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Thank you for all of the great info on this thread. I am close to pulling the trigger on a travel trailer that weighs about 3500# dry. I had previously installed a Draw tite hitch receiver for carrying bikes etc. With it sitting lower etc would i want to replace it with the OEM unit or will it likely be okay for use in towing?

 

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@markkeefe the website you linked shows that Draw-Tite hitch can tow well over 3500 pounds. For reference the factory OEM hitch can support up to 5000 pounds (and 500 pounds of tongue weight).

Thanks @Lane on the fence for those points and @Vercingetorix for the picture. So the choice we face with the factory hitch installation is as follows: 1) install a washer (or even a washer on each side of each bolt as the kit comes with 12 washers) knowing the bolts are not long enough to also mount the backing plates, or 2) install the backing plates without any washers. I spoke with a mechanical engineer about it and he advised that option 2 is better: install the backing plates with no washers (which is also how the factory installation looks from @Vercingetorix). Today it took me just a few minutes to remove my washers and place the backing plates opposite the frame rails from the hitch mounts (while the hitch stayed in-place), and then I torqued the bolts back up to 90nm.

Side note: for my bike rack, the Yakima FullTilt 5, adding a hitch tightener has really helped to stabilize the system.
 

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Thank you for your response @birdboy. Despite the tow weight capability I know there has been some concern with the way the aftermarket receivers are positioned lower so I wasn't sure if this would be exacerbated by towing a trailer of the weight I am looking at, or if there are any features of the OEM hitch that make it superior to the point of me swapping it out.
 

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Thank you for your response @birdboy. Despite the tow weight capability I know there has been some concern with the way the aftermarket receivers are positioned lower so I wasn't sure if this would be exacerbated by towing a trailer of the weight I am looking at, or if there are any features of the OEM hitch that make it superior to the point of me swapping it out.
They both have the same mounting points; you may need a riser for the aftermarkets ball. They also provide only about 10" of clearance underneath so are prone to scraping things like short steep ramps
 

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Well, the deed is done. Had my dealer provide and install the trailer recognition unit and do programming. They supposedly do a bunch of metris hitches so the programming went perfectly. I had to shell out $500 for the labor which seems high, but I was just glad to put this project behind me and know that it’s done correctly. I also saved a boat load on doing the hitch install and wiring harness myself. I know it worked since I have the trailer backup cam option and the dash told me my trailer lights were out. I ordered a 7 pin to 4 pin adapter of amazon and works just fine.


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Hey Willapa, what dealer did you take yours to? I installed a factory hitch just the other weekend and am looking at options for wiring. I've got the Tekonsha aftermarket kit that just clips onto the wires that I'm waiting to install, but I'd like to do everything the right way. I'm not sure my dealer would have the know-how on how to flash and reconfigure the system considering they told me to go somewhere else when I asked if they would even consider install a hitch on a Metris.

Also if anyone else has had success with dealers through this process in the Central California/Santa Barbara area that would be great, thanks!
 

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Hey Willapa, what dealer did you take yours to? I installed a factory hitch just the other weekend and am looking at options for wiring. I've got the Tekonsha aftermarket kit that just clips onto the wires that I'm waiting to install, but I'd like to do everything the right way. I'm not sure my dealer would have the know-how on how to flash and reconfigure the system considering they told me to go somewhere else when I asked if they would even consider install a hitch on a Metris.

Also if anyone else has had success with dealers through this process in the Central California/Santa Barbara area that would be great, thanks!
At MB of Wilsonville up near Portland, OR. They seem to do a lot of them. Between the $500 labor and that control unit costing $362, it wasn’t cheap but glad I went this way to now have a full factory like install. It is nice having the camera zoom, trailer light detection, and whatever other magic that thing does. The MB of Riverside in LA area seems to be a large dealership. Maybe they would do it and be closer to you?


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Also if anyone else has had success with dealers through this process in the Central California/Santa Barbara area that would be great, thanks!
My van was re-coded for use with the Trailer Recognition Module by Mercedes-Benz of Fresno. It took a few tries but they figured it out.
 

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My van was re-coded for use with the Trailer Recognition Module by Mercedes-Benz of Fresno. It took a few tries but they figured it out.
At MB of Wilsonville up near Portland, OR. They seem to do a lot of them. Between the $500 labor and that control unit costing $362, it wasn’t cheap but glad I went this way to now have a full factory like install. It is nice having the camera zoom, trailer light detection, and whatever other magic that thing does. The MB of Riverside in LA area seems to be a large dealership. Maybe they would do it and be closer to you?


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Thanks for the recommendations!

Another quick question (for anyone to answer..), I know that my van has the E58 option (pre-wiring) but I'm not sure if that includes that recognition module and the wiring harness. Are those bits already in my van? Or do I still have to get those to finish it all up? From scottmcdaniel1's post at the very beginning of this thread he mentions the E58 code and the Q24(?) code, and one of them needing to buy the additional electronic parts, but it's tough to decifer which code needs what. Sounds like the pre-wiring option (E58) would come with the socket, TRM, and wiring harness, but I've got the inkling that it doesn't. Any help would be great!

I would go to that back-right corner of my van and check it myself but I had wood paneling put up way before I even considered adding a hitch and would have to cut into it to check, so I'd rather just hear from y'all before I gut the thing. Cheers
 

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Thanks for the recommendations!

Another quick question (for anyone to answer..), I know that my van has the E58 option (pre-wiring) but I'm not sure if that includes that recognition module and the wiring harness. Are those bits already in my van? Or do I still have to get those to finish it all up? From scottmcdaniel1's post at the very beginning of this thread he mentions the E58 code and the Q24(?) code, and one of them needing to buy the additional electronic parts, but it's tough to decifer which code needs what. Sounds like the pre-wiring option (E58) would come with the socket, TRM, and wiring harness, but I've got the inkling that it doesn't. Any help would be great!

I would go to that back-right corner of my van and check it myself but I had wood paneling put up way before I even considered adding a hitch and would have to cut into it to check, so I'd rather just hear from y'all before I gut the thing. Cheers
If it’s a 2018 or earlier, I can guarantee the pre wiring just means the connectors for trailer wiring terminate in the rear jack compartment. No TRM or harness. From there, you connect the TRM then install a harness from that to the 7 pin trailer jack, which also needs to be purchased separately. I bought new harness and jack on eBay and had dealer supply TRM at coding and flashing. I didn’t want to connect TRM with fears of frying a 350 dollar part that takes a couple of minutes to connect.


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Hey everyone, I've been going through the process of installing a hitch and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. All I have left to do is to get the codes flashed onto the car and see if it all works! I've been calling around to dealers in my area to see who will do it, and I've got one that's done it before and will to work on mine. They gave me a price of around $350 for the codes, but mentioned that they may have to charge more if the car needs like a larger engine fan or transmission cooler(?) added to facilitate trailering. I haven't read on this thread or anywhere else that more bits and pieces are needed on the car going through this process, but I don't want to be blindsided with another huge bill trying to get this all set up... Has anyone who has gone through the process been told they need to add more to the van besides after the hitch/socket/wiring/TRM/codes?

Any info helps, cheers!
 
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