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Old 10-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
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Land Rover Discovery II towing a 23FB Flying Cloud

I am buying a 2009 23ft FB Flying cloud and will tow it with a 2003 Land Rover Discovery. Even though the factory manual tells me not to use a load distributing hitch, I have been told by an RV dealer that because I have coil springs on the Discovery that load distributing hitches would be okay to use. Since there are not many Land Rovers being used a tow vehicles I do not have many sources for advice. What do all of you have to say? This is one of the shortest SUVs out there, so what would be a recommended LD hitch for short TVs? First hand experience would be nice. It would add credibility. Thanks.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:28 PM   #2
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Run don't walk away from that vehicle for towing. I don't care what kind of WD hitch you put on it or sway control or anything else again Run don't walk away from this for a TV. We used to have one and that thing felt uncontrollable even towing a small utility trailer. I really couldn't imagine towing a 23 ft. camper. If the mfg says not to use a WD hitch then I wouldn't consider it. Does your have the airbag system? Again if it does I wouldn't use a WD on it. We had issues with the airbag system. I had to replace a couple of bags and then sometimes you would come out and it would be sitting crooked and would take a little while to level itself back up.By the way ours was a 2002 so I doubt much changed in one year.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:35 AM   #3
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Search for many old threads . . .

. . . on this exact topic. Land Rover Disco II's have been discussed many times as tow vehicles, and from memory they do not get high marks. Do a Google search of this web site for "Land Rover Discovery II" or "Disco II" to read what others have said over the past decade or longer about their experiences with what you are considering. Read and heed. Good luck with your search.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:03 AM   #4
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If you already have the truck, why not set the Airstream up with a high quality WD and anti-sway rig, then pull it around a bit?

A quick glance shows it can be set up for 7000+ pounds. Do some research on an aftermarket hitch or have a custom hitch built - the warning about using WD on the D2 seems to be a limitation of the factory hitch.

It seems like a tough capable truck. If you like it and it tows OK, then consider lower ratio differential gears, springs, stiffer load range D tires, and some nice shocks.

This is what RV'ing is all about - have fun. Don't worry!
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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I've owned and driven a number of Landies when I lived in the UK, starting with a SWB Series IIa, as well as Army vehicles. I haven't owned a Disco specifically.

Almost all European manufacturers will advice against WD hitches, simply because they are illegal and poorly understood in Europe. That does not mean that they cannot or should not be used. Mercedes and VW don't like them either, yet thousands of owners use their GL 350 or Touaregs Diesel to tow successfully every day.

I am generally a fan of Land Rovers as tow vehicles - a vehicle designed to tow light artillery tends to be a capable one, but the Disco is a bit of a strange beast. While still rugged and extremely off-road capable, it seems to have lost some of the good and uncomplicated towing manners of the earlier, more utilitarian, models.

The Disco is a very popular tow vehicle in Europe, where you'll often find it attached to both human and horse trailers. If you like the vehicle, and are used to the many LR quirks, then it would set it up and see what happens. It is certainly strong and powerful enough if set up right.
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:56 AM   #6
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"I am generally a fan of Land Rovers as tow vehicles - a vehicle designed to tow light artillery tends to be a capable one....." snip

Yes but artillery doesn't usually get toed at 65+ on the Interstate with your Family in the toe vehicle and fellow travelers sharing the road.

WB 100"-113", high COG questionable at best.

Positive reinforcement only gained from personal experience of which I am lacking, intuitive perceptions escaping from the brain box are offered here.

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Old 10-26-2013, 08:55 AM   #7
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Thanks for your replies thus far. In regard to panheaddale reply, your former experience with the Rover should have taught you a very valuable lesson. Never own an air suspension vehicle again unless you are ready to rebuild the air system every 6-7 years. My first experience with air ride suspension was with an car my brother had. He and I were on a trip and started having air leaks in the air pistons. We were only able to get home by hooking up an auxiliary 12 v air pump under his hood and left it running as we drove home. When I was shopping for a Land Rover the LR dealer suggested the coil type suspension after talking with me about what I wanted. For the same reason. The failure of airbags after a few years.
I have towed a Fleetwood Yukon Wilderness behind this vehicle for about 8 years and have no problem. The suspension of the COIL SPRING Land Rover is stiffer than most of your vehicles and the hitch ball is I am sure closer to the rear axle which gives you the advantages of a 'fifth wheel" TV which means the hitch weight is felt more at the axle. I worked for 37 years for a state highway department and pulled many a trailer with heavy equipment on it with various pickups, usually the F150 or better. On most PU trucks it is the great distance between the rear axle and hitch that caused the great sag when you drop the tongue on the hitch ball. I get about one inch drop when I hook my single axle Yukon camper up. I do not even use LD hitches with it. I would like to see if some of you have had good experiences with a particular LD system when using some of the shorter TV out there.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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Look at Hensley or ProPride hitches which move the effective pivot point forward. The innovative linkage system keeps the trailer from moving out of straight alignment with truck, while the weight distribution bars equalize the weight to the axles.

I would think Land Rover does not want you to use a w.d. hitch because the hitch attachment points are too weak to support the lifting action of the w.d. bars. Some have reinforced this area by welding a support brace from the receiver forward to the frame to resist the vertical twisting. Can-Am Airstream in Canada does his sort of thing regularly, give them a call for a recommendation based on experience.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenderson4 View Post
Thanks for your replies thus far. In regard to panheaddale reply, your former experience with the Rover should have taught you a very valuable lesson. Never own an air suspension vehicle again unless you are ready to rebuild the air system every 6-7 years. My first experience with air ride suspension was with an car my brother had. He and I were on a trip and started having air leaks in the air pistons. We were only able to get home by hooking up an auxiliary 12 v air pump under his hood and left it running as we drove home. When I was shopping for a Land Rover the LR dealer suggested the coil type suspension after talking with me about what I wanted. For the same reason. The failure of airbags after a few years.
I have towed a Fleetwood Yukon Wilderness behind this vehicle for about 8 years and have no problem. The suspension of the COIL SPRING Land Rover is stiffer than most of your vehicles and the hitch ball is I am sure closer to the rear axle which gives you the advantages of a 'fifth wheel" TV which means the hitch weight is felt more at the axle. I worked for 37 years for a state highway department and pulled many a trailer with heavy equipment on it with various pickups, usually the F150 or better. On most PU trucks it is the great distance between the rear axle and hitch that caused the great sag when you drop the tongue on the hitch ball. I get about one inch drop when I hook my single axle Yukon camper up. I do not even use LD hitches with it. I would like to see if some of you have had good experiences with a particular LD system when using some of the shorter TV out there.
I would NEVER have owned the LR in the first place if it wasn''t for my better half. Airbags are not the issue it is LR design. Here we go this thread just turned in another CAN-AM groupie rant. If the factory doesn't recomend then I would find a TV that can handle what you want to do instead of doing unsafe and not recommended mods to try to tow with something.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by panheaddale View Post
I would NEVER have owned the LR in the first place if it wasn''t for my better half. Airbags are not the issue it is LR design. Here we go this thread just turned in another CAN-AM groupie rant. If the factory doesn't recomend then I would find a TV that can handle what you want to do instead of doing unsafe and not recommended mods to try to tow with something.
As usual, you seem to be the only one here who is ranting. Your hatred for all things Can-Am have been pretty noticeable throughout your posts and is getting tiresome. Don't like other people's towing options, then don't participate in the discussion. Especially if you can't do it in a civil manner.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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Never own an air suspension vehicle again unless you are ready to rebuild the air system every 6-7 years.
=========
Quite true! I've been discovering this with my 2007 AirRide Suburban. It does involve some considerable cost. Fortunately there are 3rd party options less expensive than the OEM parts. Anyway, I like the AirRide system, and I think it is good for about 100,000 miles in the Chevy. Although, I am sure I will be moaning about it when the front shocks need replacement fairly soon!

As to the LR vehicles. I've seen a few lately at rallies and the owners sure like 'em. I have not owned a lot of TVs, but what I have learned here is that you can really widen your choice if you are willing to make a few modifications here and there. I refer to that as innovation. Like what they do at Can-Am. Why not, if you have a beloved vehicle that is capable in general.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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Question Is it good .....

……having vehicles modified so they are "capable" of being used as a tow vehicle. If folks are comfortable going that route so-be-it. Only time will tell if it was a smart decision.

We are all traveling down the same road, some, like me are just further along than others, time to find out is not an option.

I now have my last tow vehicle, it has a well proven history as a very capable performer.

I'm not a big fan of re-engineering a vehicle to do a job it was never designed to do. That's not a "bash", just a POV.

That said, what do I know?…..just a simple Yankee wench twister lost in the haze of Airstream Folly.

Bob
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:21 PM   #13
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I'm not a big fan of re-engineering a vehicle to do a job it was never designed to do. That's not a "bash", just a POV.
But Land Rovers are designed to be capable and safe tow vehicles. That's one of their main uses, back in the UK (and other European countries) where pickups are incredibly rare. Go to any horse show, 90% of the tow vehicles are Land Rovers and Range Rovers.

In the Army they are used to move everything from cargo trailers to light artillery - frequently on public roads, surrounded by civilian traffic.

And go to any European campground, and you'll find yourself surrounded by them, towing all kinds of trailers.

I don't know anything about the strength of the hitch mounting points in the Disco, but judging from my experience with other model LRs it should be plenty strong.

I loved mine, despite the typical Land Rover quirks like a questionable electrical system and a complete inability not to have at least one leak at any given time.

The only reason I am not driving one now is because they're too expensive to run up here in Canada. What's a cheap repair in the UK, is expensive and complicated here.

Still, should I ever find myself in the possession of some play money, I'd love a Defender as a tow vehicle, before they'll stop making them in 2015. 1700lbs payload, factory rating of 7000lbs, strong engines, great vehicle.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #14
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Question The reference was to CanAm bashing...

You won't find any reference to the LRD in my post.

I wouldn't use one but that's just me.

TETO

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