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On Dec 11th I took a flight from Kalamazoo, MI to Seattle WA to pick up a used 2018 (2200 miles) 135-inch WB 2018 Metris Cargo (white) with hitch, cruse, backup camera, leather wheel with controls, comfort seats, heated mirrors, Becker map, rear LED light strip, fog lights, but no roof rack or extra windows. Use will be for travel with mountain/road bikes and long SUP’s. I got a very inexpensive flight and total cost of flight, subway, taxi and gas was approximately $400 so it was cheaper than shipping. No hotel cost since I slept in the van.

The drive back was very exciting. It was a rain storm in Seattle, and I am used to driving a small sporty car, not a big van with no windows. I was hoping to beat the snow storm that was hitting the mountains, but I did not and just 20 miles out on my drive back I hit snow going up the mountains and did 4 major mountain passes in snow (Washington, Blue mountains in NE Oregon, Salt Lake City, and the Continental divide in south Wyoming. It was almost 1,200 miles before I saw dry pavement. The stock Handcock tires did better than I expected but I did have a couple of scary times due to the rear wheel drive. There were a lot of 40-60 mph wind gusts which I did not feel until the van was stopped so I think the cross-wind assist has an effect. I had to stop in the blue mountains and in Wyoming to sleep until the snow plows came through in the morning (about 4 am in both places) and I followed them. My REI -10 down bag worked great but my nose was very cold on the divide at 4 degrees.

I was very surprised by the MPG. The mpg of the electronic display is an overestimate of about 1.8 mpg. From my calculations of 5 fillups for 2127 miles I averaged 27.38 mpg. My best was 29.47 mpg (average speed of 53 mph) for Wyoming divide crossing. It was amazing that the mountain/snow driving was the best mpg but a lot of it was in eco mode at 35-45 mph in high gear. With the empty van it was able to climb at these low RPM in high gear so my MPG was good even in the mountains.

Questions

1. Is a Costco membership required for Mercedes ownership? In Kalamazoo MI premium gas is $ 0.40 lower at Costco than any place else. Is this just for my area or is premium cheaper at Costco in other regions of the country?

2. I see a lot of unclear discussion about the factory provided trailer hitch electronics. It sounds like the 7-pin connector is missing electronics at the pin for break control of the trailer. Or there is something that needs to be added to make it compatible adding additional cost to the purchase if you want to tow over 3000lb.

For the 2019 Metris dealer order form, there is wording that they have corrected the problem if you order a hitch.

i. Trailer brake controller connection will be part of the vehicle standard in combination with the code E58 (no additional sales code)
ii. Trailer brake controller connection will be standard within the code Q24 with no additional sales code.

What’s up with this? How can a 5000lb tow package come without the ability to tow 5000 lb?
 

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Welcome fellow Michigan Metris owner! :D The Metris does well in the mountains likely due to a lot of torque and being turbocharged, both which negate the effects of high altitude power loss. MPG's sound about right, I've had many times where I've exceded 25mpg going 80mph in my passenger version.

As for fuel prices...costco will always be less as they keep their prices much lower as a benefit to their members....I fuel mine the majority of the time at costco for this reason....last I paid was $2.45/gal for premium....roughly a dollar less per gallon than I was paying 6 months ago when I got the van!

Not sure about the trailering questions....I do not have a hitch yet, I will put one on eventually.
 

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Lots of info on brakes in "actual towing experience" thread (https://www.metrisforum.com/forum/1...discussion/4321-actual-towing-experience.html)

I use the Tekonsha RF controller. I pull a 28ft, ~4000lb travel trailer (since 1992) with a Hensley weight distributing hitch. Used to have a lot of rough stops at slow speed (had to dial back gain in city traffic) but the RF controller with the Metris has been wonderful in comparison with the ones I have used on my full size ford van. I even moved the unit and secured it to another trailer recently and it worked well.
The only problem is that it (and most controllers) can't tell the difference between hazard lights and brakes, as it is detecting both lights going on. So if you are going slow using your hazard light, you have to dial down the gain or you get a jerky ride that wears your trailer brakes and uses more gas! In some in-car controllers, you can isolate the hazards from the brake signal, but not with the RF controller. I don't know if the 19 Metris is smart enough to tell the difference between brakes and hazards, but you would think the computer system would be able to do it.
 
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