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Old 06-16-2015, 06:29 AM   #1
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Default Motorcycle Carrier on a Merc?

Hello folks, brand new here.
We are looking into a 3500 dually MB Roadtrek.
Has anyone used a electric or hydraulic lift on the rear of a MB Sprinter to haul a motorcycle?
My aim is to haul a 450 lb bike, not a huge Harley type bike.
I am told Mercedes would stand behind their warranty even with a weld on motorcycle carrier lift?

"Overbilt" lift (electric) seems to be the most likely fitment wise.

Pros or cons, do's or don'ts?
Thanks
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:07 PM   #2
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You have to add the weight of the carrier and then there is leverage that increases the tongue weight. It seems to me it will exceed. You can calculate it yourself.

My experience with a hitch receiver is a combined weight more than 250 lbs. using a cargo carrier started to affect handling in making the front steering a bit loose. Enough so I stopped after a few miles and shifted some stuff to inside the van as I was that uncomfortable.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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With a hydraulic or electric lift, you probably will be looking at upwards of 600+ pounds of load, which is a lot, plus it will be back a couple of feet from the actual hitch area, so the comparable tongue weight would be even more. It just sounds like too much weight for hanging off the back, to me, especially if it is an extended Sprinter.

I would consider a small trailer instead.
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.
It is the shorter MB not the 'XL', so not too much overhang in the rear.
The lift is 230 lbs, the bike is 450 lbs, for 680 lbs approximate weight.
That is on a 3500 which has 750 lb tongue capacity, 7000 lb tow rating.

IMO the steering wouldn't be any 'looser' than pulling a trailer with a close to max tongue weight.

Which leads to my next question... Airbags.
Anyone doing air bags on their Sprinter?

FWIW I have been a cdl driver in the past, paying attention to GVWR's & GCWR's.

With my current vehicle, I have airbags, used the hitch to haul m/c's & tow close to capacity in tongue weight & trailer weight (not at the same time).
My curiosity is knowing if anyone has put substantial weight on the back of a Merc, but not in a pulling manner.
Am I going to be the first?
Overbilt Lifts claims to have put several lifts on Mercs...
Maybe not anyone here?
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:01 PM   #5
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I'm not sure why you bothered to ask. Your mind was made up and you seem to be willing to believe the seller regardless of what was said here.

Airbags? Yes. Every one that is available. Why are you asking? That seems like a safety no-brainer to me unless you don't want them.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:34 PM   #6
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Be also aware that at the 700# tongue weight, you would be looking at an equalization hitch and anti-sway bars, that you won't have, if it were towing a trailer. You will also be putting a lot of extra load on the rear axle, and depending on the conversion, you might go over on that capacity. The front end will get lighter and give more understeer and wind wander. Whether or not it bothers you, will be known later. I hope you report back with your answer, as that amount of weight is way more than anyone has done and been comfortable with that I know of.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
I'm not sure why you bothered to ask. Your mind was made up and you seem to be willing to believe the seller regardless of what was said here.

Airbags? Yes. Every one that is available. Why are you asking? That seems like a safety no-brainer to me unless you don't want them.
Well with answers like yours, your right, why bother.
Yes my mind is close to made up. I am looking for experience from people who may have done this sort of thing.
Maybe the lift mfg lied to me when the said they have installed these lifts on MB's. Maybe those owners are not on this forum?
I ask genuinely.
The numbers are within factory ratings, so this is why I am looking for experience, rather than why bother asking us replies.

Has anyone broke or cracked a frame from overloading it at the rear? What is the reputation of the MB chassis? ...

I do follow the opinions on potential light steering.

Once again I am asking for experience on airbags. I wonder how much the rear would/will settle with this potential setup. Or body roll stock vs airbags.
Is there much body roll on a Class B dually 3500 Merc?

Genuine questions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
Be also aware that at the 700# tongue weight, you would be looking at an equalization hitch and anti-sway bars, that you won't have, if it were towing a trailer. You will also be putting a lot of extra load on the rear axle, and depending on the conversion, you might go over on that capacity. The front end will get lighter and give more understeer and wind wander. Whether or not it bothers you, will be known later. I hope you report back with your answer, ...as that amount of weight is way more than anyone has done and been comfortable with that I know of.
I follow you on no weight distribution setup with a motorcycle carrier. Good thought.
Probably more need to have the airbags this way.
I have never owned a dually... I don't think I would try this on a non dually rear end.
Numbers... Rated at 750 lbs tongue weight. Every little bit helps.
I will check my axle rating, as I do not know its rated weight maximum.

At this point MB is saying this will not void the warranty on drivetrain/running gear/chassis.
They are saying a 'hitch issue' would not be warrantied. Hoping to have this in writing from my RV dealer.
Trying to do my homework!

Maybe I will be the one to report back. The good thing is, I can pull the lift off and be as normal.
Thanks
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Old 06-17-2015, 04:34 AM   #8
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What answer did you want from me or any of us? I gave my experience and know you will have triple the weight I experienced and found squirrelly. Tongue weight is directly over the receiver hitch ball. Your motorcycle is going to be a lever weight probably considerably more than 750 lbs. No cargo carrier dares sell a box with that suggested weight. I suggested to you to do the math. I'm not going to do it for you.

I don't know what the salesman referenced but probably not a Sprinter RV. If you do add 600 lbs to a typical Class B Sprinter you are not going to have much else to work with. Have you thought of that?

Sorry I am so curt about this but you are not genuinely asking in my opinion. You have your mind made up and a retort answer for everything said.
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Old 06-17-2015, 07:07 AM   #9
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I do not have exact specs on the MB 3500 dually Roadtrek CS Adventurous. As in actual weight or rear axle weight rating.
I do see that Roadtrek recommends a weight distribution hitch on 400 lb tongue weight or more. Puts me out/over right there.
With 11,030 GVWR and 3000 lbs occupant & cargo carrying capacity as per Roadtrek, I take it the weight of the CS to be apprx 8030.
That figure seems light to me?

So...
Two adults, 350 lbs
Fuel & water, 385 lbs
Gear/food/etc (subjective and a high rough estimate), 750 lb?
M/c lift & m/c (Honda CB500X), 680 lbs (and added cantilever weight on tongue)
So a rough estimate of 2100-2200 lbs + or - on occupants/cargo.

I could add weight from full B & G tanks (270 lbs apprx) along with the full water
2200 lbs + 270 lbs=2470 lbs.

Puts me roughly 500 lbs under GVWR. Sound semi close Davydd?

I am getting your point of the weight ditrubution behind the hitch ball, and of course no WD hitch with this setup.

Which leads me to reconsider ...and ask myself if MB would actually endorse me doing this by stating warranties would still apply, as per my RV dealer.
I am asking for this, in writing from my dealer, with MB approval of course.

Maybe this will be unlikely.

Thank you Davy for encouraging me to do the math (rough as it is), and catch the Roadtrek footnotes that I did not catch earlier.
If it is not reasonable to haul a m/c in this manner on a MB 3500 dually chassis, I have no business owning it.
I have a refundable deposit on this vehicle, based on the capability of it hauling a motorcycle on the rear.

I already have a travel trailer (being traded in), and a small motorcycle trailer.
I've been hoping to downsize, with the intent of riding my motorcycle around the country, and the wife meeting up here & there with occasional hauling of my bike when not riding.

Theres my goal. No offense meant to you Davvydd.
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:05 PM   #10
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You might want to consider something like this:



They make them to hold 500 lbs, and with the ramp, the bike is easy to get on. Overall, a lot less weight on the back of your van than a hydraulic lift.
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:28 PM   #11
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When I look at those motorcycle carriers I can't help but think they put very different types of stress on the hitch than a trailer would. It looks like it would be twisting it a lot more than a trailer on a ball. MB and the RV industry have much less experience with this type of load than with a trailer.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
You might want to consider something like this:



They make them to hold 500 lbs, and with the ramp, the bike is easy to get on. Overall, a lot less weight on the back of your van than a hydraulic lift.
Thanks for posting up wincrasher.
I knew someone had to be putting a bike on the rear.
What type of bike are you hauling wincrasher?
What is the combined weight of your bike & carrier? I am curious.
Even a light dirtbike (250 lbs +-), 50 lbs carrier (+-), you are at apprx 300 pound of tongue weight. And yes Davvy, levered to the rear.

How does it drive wincrasher??

I am trying to get away from the manual loading of a mid size bike. I like the ground load idea and electric lift. It helps the bike sit higher with less issue of dragging, and with the lifting action 'shortens' how it sets to the rear.

What I am looking at is the Overbilt electric lift & weighs 225 pounds.



If as Davydd says 250 lbs makes the Sprinter light, well the Sprinter is a pretty wimpy tow vehicle.
170" wheelbase siting on duals at 8000 + lbs should have quite a lot of 'leverage' in front of the duals to counter 680 lbs behind the bumper.
It would probably take airbags to lessen squat and help keep the rear from being 'rolly poly'?
As far as how this would feel? A 5000 lb trailer w/500 lb tongue weight is going to 'feel' like a load no matter what, and work on you (as far as relaxed driving goes), WD hitch or not.
I know as I tow one now.



Anyone else hauling a bike on the back?
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:14 PM   #13
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The setup I am looking at is a weld on '3 hitch' receiver.
MB has said they will cover warranty issues with this, although I am hoping to get this in writing.
If I cant get it in writing, I feel, would be a sign MB does not endorse this style of loading and safety that goes with it.
I AM researching!
I appreciate opinions. I am also looking for experiences.

Thanks.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:24 PM   #14
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Will MB warranty cover damage to your motorcycle if the hitch you welded on fails?
Will they cover what happens to the cars traveling behind you? If your bike falls off at 60 MPH it could be ugly.
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Old 06-17-2015, 03:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiMore View Post
When I look at those motorcycle carriers I can't help but think they put very different types of stress on the hitch than a trailer would. It looks like it would be twisting it a lot more than a trailer on a ball. MB and the RV industry have much less experience with this type of load than with a trailer.
The twisting motion can be almost completely eliminated with the right pieces. I have something like that rack that I used to carry a CT-90 (250lbs) on the back of my Class C. The issue with them, I think is the unknown of how much does everything really weigh. We can do the simple math and figure out what 250lbs extended out a foot weighs but that's static weight. It changes when you're travelling and hit a speed bump too fast or swerve to miss something in the road.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:23 PM   #16
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I'm not sure how Roadtrek can claim you can add 3,000 lbs. unless they are talking about a B without any options installed. The GVWR is 11,030 lbs. Many people have weighed their converted Sprinter Bs and they will come in over 9,000 lbs I am sure. Mine weighed 9,420 lbs. as delivered. Add water and fuel. Then add occupants, cargo and whatever. You are pushing to the limit. A converted van will weigh over 9,000 lbs after you add all the options that most vans come with like awning, air conditioning, generators, propane, etc. ETrek additions would add even more. You should know Roadtrek has historically had a penchant for overstating optimum possible facts and leaving out reality.

Note also Roadtrek says a weight distributing hitch is required for tongue weights over 400 lbs. That is a trailering limit. You are not trailering but the principle applies in reality and not stated numbers. That gets back to what I originally experienced with a rear cargo carrier and the general 300 lb. limit with cargo carriers that generally weigh around 100 lbs. All that weight on the back will lift your front steering wheels. That I told you from real experience. You are teeter tottering on your rear wheels and you are contemplating more than 3X the weight I found unacceptable. That has nothing to do with GVWR by the way. If you have less weight up front your problems worsen. Air bags don't help any.

First thing I would do besides those calculations which tells me right off you already exceed the limit, IMO, is to go back to your salesman and ask him for references of people with Sprinter vans who have put their carrier on and also a 450 lb. motorcycle. Or you can go ahead and convince yourself, listen to me now and believe me later. Or grit your teeth and drive gingerly.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Will MB warranty cover damage to your motorcycle if the hitch you welded on fails?
Will they cover what happens to the cars traveling behind you? If your bike falls off at 60 MPH it could be ugly.
I think the install is only as good as the welder doing the job. A certified welder would be good to use IMO.
I am not sue happy as much of the USA seems to be these days. I understand my responsibilities.
Why would I ask Mercedes to cover my motorcycle if the welds of an aftermarket install failed? Its my risk there. I understand that.

There are many motorcycles that are transported on a receiver carrier of some sort. The fastening of the motorcycle is only as good as the person tying the bike down.
Why would someone ask Mercedes to cover that when its the failure of the owner to fasten and monitor the fastening while underway?
If the bike fell off & hit a vehicle behind, wouldn't it be the insurance companies responsibility (rates could go up or you could get cancelled I suppose)?
Bikes have fallen off, yes.

I think we are drifting to the legalities side of this. And I see I am in the minority contemplating doing this type of carrier.

Whether its class A, class C or class B, the issues are the same. Weight ratings, type of install (weld on, bolt on etc), handling issues and so on.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:52 PM   #18
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I do appreciate your opinion and experience Davydd. Your points are valid.
I do not know Roadtreks reputation for stating a lighter vehicle than it is.
Sportsmobile does it also (my Ford van is not Sportsmobile btw), and they send out their rigs over GVWR from the get go.
I am not a believer of that practice.

I will continue to work with my dealer, ask for references, and go over calculations with them.
I also need to find a real world weight on the MB 3500 dually CS Adventurous.
I do not have to buy this rig. I want in writing from MB, or Roadtrek, or both, to have done the calcs and sign off on this.
Its an easy fundamental thing that should be provided, either way, in the purchase of a vehicle in this price range. If its just a glorified limo, I don't need it.
Thanks for guiding me along.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #19
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I have been in touch with a Roadtrek rep. He is giving my carrier lift & numbers to their engineers to crunch numbers. Doable or not he is going to get back to me on the issue.
No fluff. Roadtrak approved, or not approved.
This should be helpful for future buyers/owners on what is or isn't recommended.
I will be in contact with a MB rep also re airbags. Roadtrek says MB is touchy about changing things on their suspensions. Even airbags I guess.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:28 PM   #20
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Mercedes Benz approves the Dutch VB Air Suspension air bags on the rear axle. I have that option on my Advanced RV but don't think it would mitigate any potential loading problems. They are designed to automatically level your van and that's a plus. It is not cheap and requires a certified installer. Roadtrek doesn't install them that I am aware of but I do know of one Roadtrek CS owner who had them third party installed in Minnesota. It involved considerable work to make them fit including moving and rearranging under floor Roadtrek additions such as turning the Onan generator 90 degrees.
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