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Old 10-24-2006, 08:10 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle concerns

My name is Mike. I have a 2004 Land Rover Discoveryll and I am contemplating the purchase of a new Airstream 23 foot Safari, base trailer weight of 4460 pounds to a gross up to 6000 pounds. I am concerned that my Land Rover will not be able to adequately tow this trailer. The vehicle's maximum towing capactity is to be 5,500 pounds, with a tongue weight rating of 550. I feel these numbers are getting a bit close. I'd have to pack a little light so as to not exeed 5500 pounds. Does anybody out there tow with this type of vehicle, and what have been your experiences?

Any input would be helpful and appreciated.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:08 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum MichaelM. Just stay within the gross vehicle towing limits and you will be ok.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:10 PM   #3
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MichaelM,
If it goes over the ratings in your owners manual, why risk it? Just don't do it. Safety is of utmost importance, both to you and yours as well as to each and every vehicle around you and that you meet. Find an adequate Tow Vehicle that you like and then do the deal. Good luck.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:47 PM   #4
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FWIW, I've owned a Discovery for 16 years, towed with Land Rovers since 1977, and I would not tow that Airstream with your Discovery. I consider the engine to be underpowered and the suspension to be too soft for safely towing that load with an acceptable margin of safety. Apart from the likelihood of exceeding the permitted tongue weight and the GVW of the trailer, one of the most common limitations of any rig is the GVW of the tow vehicle, when you add the tongue weight to the load of passengers, tools, fuel, etc. You might find it instructive to do the sums. Good luck.
Nick.
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Old 10-25-2006, 02:15 PM   #5
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If you have selected the Airstream that fills the bill completely, you will own it much longer than this particular tow vehicle. Upgrade the tow vehicle.

Airstream's Safari spec page suggests something in the neighborhood of the 550# tongue weight you mention. Note exactly what that says: "Hitch Weight w/o options or variable weight." The very popular and almost necessary LS option package adds a spare tire up front, increasing tongue weight. Add propane in the tanks, weight distribution gear on the A-frame and the smallest amount of personal gear onboard and I could about guarantee a tongue weight of 750-800# in real life. Even the 22' Safari's tongue weight is going to be close to that.

We've discussed Land Rovers before and internet info on towing is scarce. Talking about the Discovery II capacity only and not yet having a trailer behind you, please look in your owners manual. Somewhere there will be numbers on that vehicle's load capacity or payload. This number is the maximum loading for safe braking, emergency avoidance, and mechanical reliability. Within this number you must include all tongue weight inputs, driver/passenger weights, and added options or luggage on the tow vehicle. For instance, 800# of tongue weight and two slim adults will be around 1100#. Don't forget to include the weight of installing a 2" hitch receiver if there's not one under the rear bumper -- and that receiver must be able to use weight distribution gear (which I'm not finding at hitchesonline.com). Note: weight distribution does not change tongue weight significantly.

Also take a look at http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...rvice/faq.html
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
If you have selected the Airstream that fills the bill completely, you will own it much longer than this particular tow vehicle. Upgrade the tow vehicle.
With ya 110%! Nick is right on too.
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Old 10-28-2006, 01:58 PM   #7
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Thanks to everyone for all the great advice. As of now, the two directions I'm looking at are, one: An in town trailer/RV shop is willing to fabricate bracing to improve? my tongue wt from 550 lbs to an estimated 750 lbs. They say, this should also allow the vehicle to use a wt distribution hitch, which the owners manual/Land Rover, says not to use on this vehicle. My local dealer is in contact with Land Rover to hopefully determine why they make this statement. So, with these hitch to frame modifications when combined with taller and stiffer coil springs from Old Man Emu, resulting in a 3" vehicle lift, should in able me to tow this 23' A.S. ???. My second direction would be to simply upgrade my tow vehicle, as suggested, maybe to a new Jeep Commander 4wd which claims a 7200 lbs tow rate and 750 lbs tongue rate with the 5.7L Hemi option. I'm leaning towards the latter at this point. Thanks again for all your collective input.
Mike
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Old 10-28-2006, 02:34 PM   #8
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What sort of engine does this Land Rover have? Don't know about Emu. More height? How does that affect stability?

The Jeep website is lacking info. I looked at the 5.7L 4WD Commander on Kelley Blue Book and it says curb weight is 5258# and GVWR is 6500#. The difference between the two is payload -- 1242#. You'll be okay if you can fit all the people aboard + other TV cargo + tongue weight within that number.
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:58 PM   #9
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Mike --- Here's one more thing that is "IFY" about you present tow vehicle. The strength factor is but one item to concider. The wheel base length in my opinon is more of a problem than towing capacity. Short is bad--long is good!!! your's would be concidered short----pieman
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:20 PM   #10
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Wheelbase on the Landrover is 100" ? No way should you try towing that long a trailer. Our Safari van is 111" wheelbase and almost exactly the same overall length as the Discovery. It is maxed out with our 1978 Argosy 24. That fact that you're already looking at having to modify the hitch/frame arrangement should tell you this is over the limit. If you were talking about bringing home a load of lumber for a remodel that's one thing but lots of miles when you're supposed to be enjoying vacation is something different.

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