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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone has transported weight on a hitch rack over the recommended 165lb limit? I have a hitch rack for a motorcycle that combined weighs about 275lbs, leary about throwing it on the metris as it exceeds the recommended limit by 100+lbs. Gross tongue weight for metris is rated 500lbs, cant figure out why they have a hitch rack limited to 1/3 the rated tongue weight? Anyone with insight is appreciated!
 

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The 165 limit is for the Roof rack, not the trailer hitch. Trailer hitch should easily carry 500lbs....its massively strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply. Consulting the Operators Manual has a table that shows capacity of roof rack and a rear mounted hitch rack. Looks like I was generous by 11lbs. Table shows max at 154lbs... See attached picture.

I dont doubt the hitch is capable. Just not sure if the frame attachments for the hitch are what Mercedes used to calculate the max load. Would hate to see my dirtbike break loose and bounce down the highway in my rear view! and potentially cause an accident, in which case an investigation would show I overloaded the hitch and would be liable for any damage (or injury) caused by my negligence... I think I just talked myself out of using the hitch motorcycle rack!!
 

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The manual passage you point to does not address a hitch rack. It specifically mentions a bicycle rack attached to the tailgate of a Metris.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the clarification! I definitely misread that section. And failed to read the following section that referred to the hatch door.

So (turning the page) i see 500lbs as max nose weight. Would you say that can be assumed as the max weight of a hitch mounted cargo carrier?
 

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Agreed. I've personally installed the MB (westfalia) hitch on my Metris, and its a MASSIVE piece of steel. Sitting on the ground by itself its over 70lbs! Its secured by six gigantic bolts through the rear under-frame rails of the van. You could probably load it until the van was squatting to the ground without it failing.
 

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Wondering if anyone has transported weight on a hitch rack over the recommended 165lb limit? I have a hitch rack for a motorcycle that combined weighs about 275lbs, leary about throwing it on the metris as it exceeds the recommended limit by 100+lbs. Gross tongue weight for metris is rated 500lbs, cant figure out why they have a hitch rack limited to 1/3 the rated tongue weight? Anyone with insight is appreciated!
The farther out the weight is from the car, the greater the lever arm and the greater the force on the mounting bolts.I'll draw a diagram as an example if you want.
 

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I took a look underneath and made some measurements. The mounting bolts are about 4.5 inches apart and the receiver pin hole is about 9.5 inches from the rear mounting bolts. My normal drawbar puts the ball another 9 inches back.

With a 500 lb load, resolving moments around the rear mounting bolts, 18.5 x 500 = 4.5xF where F is the total upward load on the front mounting bolts. F= 500 x 18.8 / 4.5 = 2056 lb (an approximation, but not far off). Resolving vertical forces, the downwards force on the rear mounting bolts, R=500 + 2056 = 2556 pounds. These are the stated upper limits for attachment to the van and presumably includes a safety factor for bumpy roads etc. Note, with a load leveling hitch properly adjusted, there would only be a 250 pound downward load on both front and rear bolts (depending on the distance back to the trailer wheels). In all cases, loads would be half on each side for the left and right mountings.

I have a 14 inch receiver extension that I use occasionally with a light trailer so I can open the tailgate. With 500 lb on the ball, using the same calculations, F= 3611lb and B=4111. To keep the forces on the bolts within specifications, I would have to reduce the tongue weight to 56%. The warning on the extension says 50%.

I also have a hitch carrier which I have rarely used. It has a 7 inch drawbar and goes back another 20 inches. If the load is centered, it is 17 inches back from the hitch pin, so 26.5 inches from the rear bolts. A 500 pound load (including the carrier weight) would make F= 2944 and R= 3444, so the load would have to be reduced to 70% = 350 pounds to keep F within spec.

There are other factors to be considered as well. A greater load might perfectly OK as long as the road is smooth. Any load placed farther back than the normal ball position could affect handling.
 

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Wondering if anyone has transported weight on a hitch rack over the recommended 165lb limit? I have a hitch rack for a motorcycle that combined weighs about 275lbs, leary about throwing it on the metris as it exceeds the recommended limit by 100+lbs. Gross tongue weight for metris is rated 500lbs, cant figure out why they have a hitch rack limited to 1/3 the rated tongue weight? Anyone with insight is appreciated!
I’ve carried a KLR650 on mine several times and really don’t think you’ll have any issues. And the KLR pig is well over 300 pounds.
 

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I agree, 275 lb should not be a problem. There is the liability issue, but you can justify that weight. A 500 pound carrier does not mean for all vehicles however, even if it takes a 500 lb trailer nose weight.
 

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Don't be afraid to load up a hitch carrier on the Metris. I have a MotoTote hitch motorcycle carrier. The Metris handles my Ninja 300 or FZ07 motorcycle with no issues with the weight. My only issue is ground clearance. It's very low, and speed bumps or driveways are your enemy. I have toyed with the idea of using a hitch riser. I actually bought one, Apex rated at 500 lbs. tongue weight. Several people I know have used them with no issues. I'm not that trusting just yet.
 
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