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Old 07-03-2014, 12:09 PM   #1
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Towing with a Range Rover Sport

Hi everyone, I'm a new Airstream owner. We have a 2014 25ft International. We love it and are very excited to explore and travel around the country. However, I'm suddenly aware of how little I know about towing trailers.
My question is more specific to range Rover and I will post on Range Rover forums but I thought I'd throw this out here anyway. Perhaps someone has experienced this.
When we bought, we had the Airstream dealer speak to Land Rover about what type of towing setup we needed. Based on the appropriate weight info and towing capacity of the vehicle, Land Rover installed their specific Receiver Hitch. That connects to an E2 Equalizer with bars. The Airstream A frame coupler then locked on to the tow ball. We took it out on a 200 mile trip and things seem to work accordingly.
However, on my second trip (to Tahoe) This time after 100 miles, the Land Rover receiver hitch FELL OUT the housing. The towing unit dropped to the ground and everything ground to a halt!!!!!!! Fortunately the chains prevented a complete detachment.
We had just left a gas station and were only traveling at 5mph. No-one was hurt.

We contacted the Land Rover dealer in Sacramento. Left the Airstream behind and drove to Sac'to to get a new receiver hitch installed. They claimed they had never heard of this happening and that the hitch must have had a defective lock.
With a new one fitted we drove back and re-hitched up the trailer. After much checking and stopping and re-checking we set off again. This time we had gone about 40 miles when -------- it fell out again!!!!!!!!!!!! The new one, that had been installed by the dealership!!!!!
We were on a narrow winding road an only traveling at 15 mph. Again no-one hurt.
With no cellphone coverage to call for help, we felt we had to move it to safety to we uncoupled everything, put everything back together and towed another 3 miles to a safe place. As we pulled to a halt- it happened a 3rd time!
We ended up getting the trailer towed back home, 150 miles!!!!!!!
Has anyone ever experienced this ? it's very specific question about a very specific Land Rover part, which I think must be very badly designed and not capable of towing a trailer this weight.
If nothing else I just want to put the warning out there.
thanks
phil
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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Philian,

Do you have pictures that you can post of the failed hitch?

Bill
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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Your experience is highly unusual (thankfully!)

I am no Range Rover expert so I won't be able to comment specifically on that brand of vehicle, but it would seem to me that your Range Rover dealer on the other hand is no expert on towing! The Range Rover should be able to tow your 25 foot unit without dropping the hitch. WTF???

I would seek out a company in your area that specializes in installing hitches on trucks (and cars) and go from there. It's not surprising that the Range Rover dealer is not experienced in towing with Range Rovers since I would bet that 99.99% of Range Rovers never actually get used for towing.

Good luck and get this thing resolved before you plan your next trip!

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Old 07-03-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philian View Post
the Land Rover receiver hitch FELL OUT the housing.
phil
Are you saying that the "stinger", the square shaft with the hitch ball on it came out of the receiver (the square tube attached to the Land Rover)?
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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Pictures would be very helpful to clarify the situation. I am guessing that the pin securing the ball mount to the receiver is what was falling out (which is easily remedied). On the other hand if the receiver hitch itself is coming off the vehicle that is an entirely different and far more serious problem.
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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There is a pin that should go through the tow vehicle receiver, which will go through the "stinger" and come out the other side. That should be secured with a locking pin. I'm guessing the clip pin is missing. Photos would be key. Glad no one was hurt but you need to sort this ASAP. Good luck!!
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:56 PM   #7
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It has happened to more people and no it is not the 'clip'. You need to get an aftermatket hitch from for example Curt and have this installed professionally and welded to the frame. The receiver hitch by LR can't handle the tongue weight. With the proper hitch, the LR is a great tow vehicle.


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Old 07-03-2014, 05:22 PM   #8
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Andy T has talked about this happening with some hitches, typically at low speeds. NCstreamer has the correct solution.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCstreamer View Post
It has happened to more people and no it is not the 'clip'. You need to get an aftermatket hitch from for example Curt and have this installed professionally and welded to the frame. The receiver hitch by LR can't handle the tongue weight. With the proper hitch, the LR is a great tow vehicle.

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Holy crap! How does LR recommend such a thing if it doesn't work???
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
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The traditional Landrover hitch is detachable so that nothing is visible when it is removed. The vertical socket accepts a 'swan neck' with a ball on the end, or a 2" receiver, after which it is the normal North American connection with a stinger, etc.

Sounds like it fell out of the Landrover socket. If it happens once it could be a bad retaining lock. If it happens more than once it sounds like a bad socket for the removable tow receiver, something the dealer should have caught the first time it came apart. Or perhaps it was never latched properly.

Solving the problem requires a diagnosis before anything else.

Or, the OP could install a fixed receiver from the aftermarket, as recommended above.

Jeff
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:31 AM   #11
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The traditional Landrover hitch is detachable so that nothing is visible when it is removed.
Sounds like a bad idea in the name of vanity. And hardly "traditional"- it wasn't that way on my 1967, 1970 or 1995 Land Rovers.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #12
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Thanks for responding everyone. I'm putting together some pictures of the problem and I'll post them today.

Phil
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:02 PM   #13
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photos

Thanks to everyone for their concern. For legal reasons I don't want to go into detail.
Here is a photo of the entire towing assembly that was on the ground. Note that the tow ball is still secured to the Airstream Hitch and the "Stinger" is still attached to the Receiver hitch. It's the Reciver Hitch that detached from the appropriate slot on the back of the vehicle.



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Old 07-04-2014, 03:25 PM   #14
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Sounds like a bad idea in the name of vanity. And hardly "traditional"- it wasn't that way on my 1967, 1970 or 1995 Land Rovers.
I don't think it is just vanity, although it may be for some. Saves damage in parking lots, and prevents the rear park distance sensors from going off when they sense the hitch ball or receiver.

Westfalia list that they introduced it in 1966. Not sure when Landrover started using that style. My Discovery didn't have one in 2000.

I am guessing that you would not be a fan of the newer (since 2002) electrically activated ones, used by BMW and others. Completely hidden when retracted. Ford is even offering it factory installed on the Focus, in Europe.
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