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Old 06-26-2005, 01:01 PM   #1
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Land Rover LR3 towing story

A friend of mine with an 8 year old daughter bought a 25' CCD at about the same time I bought my 28' CCD.
She saw an LR3 Land Rover liked it and asked LR dealer about towing the Airstream.
They said it was perfect for the job. Cut a long story short she has had 2
total failures of the LR hitch just popping out of its receptacle. Luckily both
incidents were very low speed as the hitch piece that came out of the receptacle had safety brake wire and chains attached to it. The story would be frightening if it had happened at highway speeds. The 2nd incident happened last Friday in west Texas. Land Rover said it was her problem. She has rented a Dodge truck to tow the Airstream to Reno where she is moving to and has had LR3 flat bedded to Reno. Land Rover made a poor judgement call not helping her or even offering a Range Rover to pull trailer to her destination.
According to her she showed Land Rover dealer the specs before she bought, she brought the Airstream to them hitched to LR3 and they approved it, this was an equalizer type hitch.
Conclusion: Any prospective buyer wishing to use Land Rover LR3 to tow a trailer better check it out carefully. Land Rover does not clearly specify tongue weights, use of equalizer type hitches and other data essential to setting up or determining if their LR3 is suitable for towing medium sized travel trailers, in this instance a 25' CCD Airstream.
At present this is all the info I have and am posting this FYI.
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Old 06-26-2005, 05:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reventlow
She has rented a Dodge truck to tow the Airstream to Reno where she is moving to and has had LR3 flat bedded to Reno...
Wow, that kinda sums up the whole thing right there, huh? When you have to tow your tow vehicle, and your spare tow vehicle outperforms your regular one, maybe the spare suits the need better than the original!
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:35 PM   #3
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Pretty much says it all. We've said before several times around here that the LR is not a good choice for larger coaches. Not sure what else can be said to say it better than what was posted here.
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:42 PM   #4
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Rev,

It sounds like there is something wrong with the hitch receiver. The 'hitch piece' shouldn't just pop out of the receptacle. And the brake cable and safety chains should not be attached to the hitch piece/head. Has she had the installation inspected by a reputable mechanic?

The LR3 should have enough tow capacity (7700#) and load capacity (1695#) to handle a trailer this size. The wheelbase is less than optimal, but the vehicle has the torque and horsepower to do the job.

I don't understand the part about Land Rover providing her with a Range Rover to tow her trailer to Reno.
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:58 PM   #5
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The problem with LR specs is that they are written to low range towing... Nobody at LR seems to know what they can tow.

I've been down this before with LR. I towed a Caravel with an '01 Disco 2 with the same tow ratings as the LR3... It was a miserable experience mainly because of low power. The Range Rover shares the same towing specs. Heck, they all do except the Freelander, as far as I know.

However, that being said, the LR3 has over 300 HP and a six speed auto. But, the "3" is based on a unibody suspension which is quite different from the Disco. The old Disco was built on rails. It was stiff and strong, terrifically so.

I've meant to lurk some of the LR3 forums to see what they are up to insofar as towing is concerned. I suspect that the 3 is fine for smaller coaches like my 22' CCD.

Finally, I've owned a dozens of different vehicles in my life (I once worked for a Detroit manufacturer's finance arm). There was a time when I would have 3 or 4 different vehicles a year. Once you own a Land Rover you understand it as a very different ownership experience. Customer care is beyond belief. You are treated like a king or queen. And, some of the quirky attributes of the British become longed for when you get into another brand. I loved my Land Rovers (they just wouldn't tow my CCD...) and miss them. I look at the LR3 with desire.

I hope we can continue this thread from others who have experienced towing with the LR3. If I learn more, I'll post.
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Old 06-26-2005, 09:31 PM   #6
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Land Rover LR3 towing story

Sorry if I was not clear about Range Rover in my attempt to be brief.
The lady who owns the LR3 was unwilling to tow her Airstream with the LR3 after 2 failures. Understandable with an 8 year old. She asked Land Rover to lend her a Range Rover as it has higher tow ratings to finish her trip from Texas to Reno (her destination). They refused to help her, hardly a good choice.
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:16 PM   #7
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Rev,

You haven't said why a Range Rover might be better than the LR3.

If the failure was the the hitch popping out of the receptacle, then a vehicle with a higher tow rating isn't going to help.

Did the entire hitch receiver detach from the vehicle body? If the whole thing fell off, that's an assembly problem, and warranty work.

Trying to understand exactly what happened.
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:31 PM   #8
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The posted tongue weight limit for the LR3 and the Range Rover is #550 (a readily available specification) and therein lies the problem, IMHO. The specs on a 25' CCD are ~#5,200 dry and a #740 hitch weight. Clearly, the 25' exceeds the towing specs of either the LR3 or the Range Rover by a wide margin.

I can easily imagine why the hitch failed.
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:43 PM   #9
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I can see why it failed too and we've been on this subject before, so it should come as no shock to most on the forum. I can also see why they refused to lend her a Range Rover or offer to tow her coach. I could see them paying her back for some of the costs, but even to me asking for another truck to compete a trip seems like an unreasonable request. I mean how does the company know what a sales person at a dealership promised? Did she get something in writing from either the dealer or the maufac about the tow ability mentioned? If so she might have some legal grounds, but if she's only got some smile and a handshake from the dealer and/or salesperson.....

Bottom line, when you're spending a LOT of money on something (or any amount for that matter) particularly when you are talking about items that can be safety issues, there really isn't any short cut to doing your own homework. Clearly from what has been posted, the end user did not do enough research on the issue before making the purchase. What she did was IMHO not enough. I've found more times than not where sales folks (and mind you I was in sales too) would sell their parents or first born for a sale......it's up to the consumer to look at all the info and make a decision that way, not by what a sales person says.
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Xray
The posted tongue weight limit for the LR3 and the Range Rover is #550 (a readily available specification) and therein lies the problem, IMHO.
I submit. I looked for the number, but couldn't find it. All I could find was the total load rating.

Good catch.
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:41 AM   #11
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Twink is right. It's easy to lay blame on the dealer. Problem was, somebody was contemplating a $100,000 or so investment in the LR3 and 25' CCD and didn't do their due diligence.

Here's how easy it was to find the LR3 tongue weight spec:

I Googled "LR3 tongue weight" (seems pretty straight forward).
Take a look a the very first result in the google list. (click here)

FYI, here's the official screen from Land Rover's site:
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:55 AM   #12
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I find it very odd about the 550lb tongue weight limit. I looked into the LR3. It has a capacity of 7700lbs however I believe the only hitch you can get for the LR# from LR is a class III. The Range Rover does have a heavier hitch, it's at least a class IV. Land Rover should not be giving a spec of 7700LBs if they don't recommend a heavier hitch. I think they are specifying the tow rating based on the engine/transmission but LR won't setup the LR3 to tow what they say they can tow...
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basecamp
I find it very odd about the 550lb tongue weight limit. I looked into the LR3. It has a capacity of 7700lbs however I believe the only hitch you can get for the LR# from LR is a class III. The Range Rover does have a heavier hitch, it's at least a class IV. Land Rover should not be giving a spec of 7700LBs if they don't recommend a heavier hitch. I think they are specifying the tow rating based on the engine/transmission but LR won't setup the LR3 to tow what they say they can tow...
I agree. A good rule of thumb is that hitch weight should be between 10 to 15% of the coach weight. If you go by these numbers alone, that's a min of 770lb hitch weight.

Clearly LR has a target market for their products and in this particular case, clearly some of the vehicle's ratings were exceeded significantly in which case she's lucky if she gets a dime. This reminds me of my conversation with my insurance agent after the posts here about what an insurer would do if you were negligent in doing something like this where it caused a problem where loss of your property, the property of others or injury or loss of life occurred. They told me that they would "most likely pay the claims" but that they'd most likely be dropped shortly thereafter. Once that happens, getting insurance is nearly impossible under 3x the going rate, if not more, let alone any civil suits that insurance may or may not cover.....

In the end the woman in question is VERY lucky neither her, her daughter or anyone else was injured or killed as a result of not doing her homework. Just my opinion FWIW.
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Old 06-27-2005, 07:16 AM   #14
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If we assume the 550# tongue limit is a european peculiarity, that doesn't settle my mind about why the hitch is just popping out of the receptacle. That's still the only physical complaint I heard from Reventlow.

Not a word abut it not being a strong puller or lacking torque, just that the hitch failed.

Is it a design feature of the LR3 that the hitch pops out above 550#? I still don't understand the failure mode. Is the design different that the normal class III/IV hitch bar?
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