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Old 08-09-2021, 10:14 AM   #1
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2018 23' International
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Towing with LandRover Defender

My first post.
I just purchased a 23FB. I have a Land Rover Defender, 2020 model. Towing capacity 7500lbs.
The Defender manual recommends NO stabilization system be used as the Defender has a air adjusted lift stabilization system and a tow assist system.
The manual says that anti-sway system will disrupt the built in control system.
I do own a Anderson stabilization system that I was thinking of using.

I am planning the maiden voyage next week, short shake town trip, but I do want to be safe. I am concerned about the TV, but have hopes that I won't have to replace it.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:16 AM   #2
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I do not have the new Defender, but have been driving and towing extensively with the LR3/4 air suspension, and it will absolutely take care of it all for you. IF the Defender operates the same, which I believe it does. At this point, LR has been doing air suspensions for over 20 years, and the system works amazingly.

For example, I had a roof rack absolutely loaded (jerry cans, coolers, pelicans cases) towing a trailer packed as high as the roof of my landy with supplies, negotiatiing difficult offroad terrain at a fairly decent clip when possible, and barely felt the load. The sway and levelling control on that system is insane. I wish they made a Landy that would tow my 30' Classic.

Disclaimer: I do not have direct knowledge/experience with the new Defender. I am just telling you that on the Disco 3's and 4's the air system performs as advertised, and needed NOTHING to handle overloaded trailers on difficult off-road terrain.

(In this picture, the boxes on the trailer are loaded with heavy gear...tools, books, pots, pans, propane tanks, and so on...we were on a family western tent camping adventure.)
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:23 AM   #3
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I would consider two friction sway control bars, they do not require weight distribution for sway control.

Short or long wheelbase?

IMO all rigs will benefit with WD & sway control. Why RR sez it's not needed, who knows?
After all their engineers just figured out that oil is a liquid.

Bob
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:29 AM   #4
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Are you knowledgeable about Land Rovers, specifically, or just shooting from the hip here?
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Old 08-09-2021, 11:33 AM   #5
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Hi

The 23 is not a massive trailer and you are well under the tow specs on the Defender. Does their magic system take care of everything? .... who knows .... Sounds like voodoo to me. Ford makes some not quite equivalent claims. I *know* you don't want to depend on their system. You very much do *not* want to find out that it doesn't work at interstate speeds going around than sharp curve in the mountains.

There's nothing wrong with the "try it and see" approach on the flat and level. Wind and speed both contribute to sway. If you can arrange a nice tail wind from either the right or left side.... great.

Be ready to manually apply the brake controller. Understand what sway feels like as it gets started and how to address it properly with the TBC.

Bob
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Old 08-10-2021, 09:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by stewartii View Post
Are you knowledgeable about Land Rovers, specifically, or just shooting from the hip here?
Yes/no...

Bob
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Old 08-10-2021, 09:33 AM   #7
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Old 08-10-2021, 09:51 AM   #8
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Hello

The "no weight distribution" recommendation is common on most European vehicles as weight distribution and electric brakes are not legal in most European Countries. From what I understand a protectionist move in the late 60's to keep out less expensive trailers from North America.

Their trailers have very light hitch weights 4 to 6% and are very unstable. On the other hand they don't tend to travel long distances and they drive 62 MPH in the right lane with the trucks which also never exceed 62 MPH.

It is kind of ironic that where many of the worlds most sophisticated cars come from their trailers are stuck in the dark ages.

To not use weight distribution in North America is quite unsafe so I would at the very least use the Anderson. The Defender and 23 FB would be a good application for a Pro Pride or Hensley as it will solve the spare tire issue as well.

I hope this helps.

Andy
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Old 08-10-2021, 10:55 AM   #9
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Range rover sport & sport 22fb

I tow with a Range Rover Sport and Hensley hitch.

i contacted Andy at Can-Am RV towing and he inquired about the receiver on my Range Rover. took a picture and sent it to him.

he responded that the receiver on my Range Rover would be fine for anti-sway system. he also added that he tows with a Jaguar with the same air suspension system as my Range Rover.

have been towing with the Hensley for a couple of years and its great and have had no problems on the road or with the rig.
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Old 08-10-2021, 11:01 AM   #10
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I have a 23FB Serenity that I tow with a Range Rover HSE TD6 (turbo diesel) with an OEM hitch. When I purchased my AS, I picked it up and drove a few hundred miles without a WD hitch. Like your Defender, my TD6 has air suspension and electronic “anti-sway”. On my way home with a standard hitch I encountered significant sway that triggered the anti-sway which basically just automatically aggressively triggers the anti-lock brakes to stop the sway. If you are not ready for it, it can catch you off guard.

To correct the problem, I purchased an Equal-i-zer hitch and a Tekonsha P3 brake controller that is compatible with a Range Rover (a slightly modified F150 version). I have not had any problem except that occasionally Reduced Performance Mode is triggered when in bumper-to-bumper traffic. A 15 minute rest removes the issue - a good time for a snack.

You did not mention which Defender you have (short vs long wheelbase). I think the long wheelbase Defender would be better. The air suspension should be handle the tongue weight but a WD hitch shifts more weight to the front wheels which is better. Perhaps Land Rover has come up with a solution to these problems but I think you should be prepared for some unexpected behavior if sway occurs. At a minimum I would recommend a sway damper (hitch “shock absorber”). My experience indicates that a WD hitch is far superior regardless what your Land Rover dealer says. Note that some of the information from Land Rover reflects European caravans which have much less tongue weight. European Airstreams are quite different than the US counterparts. They have much less tongue weight (smaller propane tanks and waste tanks, etc.).

The Land / Range Rover and 23FB is a great combination. Once setup properly, it should tow great. Once you arrive at your destination, you have a great vehicle that that has superior off-road capabilities to most other tow vehicles. Be careful what you read on the Internet - there is a lot of misinformation about Land/Range Rover on the forums.

Happy Camping. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwodzinski View Post
I have a 23FB Serenity that I tow with a Range Rover HSE TD6 (turbo diesel) with an OEM hitch. When I purchased my AS, I picked it up and drove a few hundred miles without a WD hitch. Like your Defender, my TD6 has air suspension and electronic “anti-sway”. On my way home with a standard hitch I encountered significant sway that triggered the anti-sway which basically just automatically aggressively triggers the anti-lock brakes to stop the sway. If you are not ready for it, it can catch you off guard.

...... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hi

Ok, that's the same nonsense as Ford puts in as part of their trailer package. It very much is *not* anything you want to trigger. It *may* get you out of trouble. I very much wonder how many people it's freaked out to the point of gettin them *into* more trouble .....

Bob
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Old 08-12-2021, 05:01 AM   #12
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How reliable is this air suspension after about ten years?
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Old 08-12-2021, 05:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Ok, that's the same nonsense as Ford puts in as part of their trailer package. It very much is *not* anything you want to trigger. It *may* get you out of trouble. I very much wonder how many people it's freaked out to the point of gettin them *into* more trouble .....

Bob
Consider also, ESC activates only after the sway starts. 🥴
I prefer to rig so that won't happen.👍
No sway...no need.

Anyone have a trailer tire go boom with ESC?

Bob
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:14 AM   #14
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I like running a Reese setup. Add a friction bar. Makes a big difference.

Have blown a front van tire with ESC. Was a non-event.
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:51 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Peter417 View Post
How reliable is this air suspension after about ten years?
Hi

Pretty much *nothing* on a Land Rover is in the "never needs to go in the shop" category. They are great while they run.....

A friend from Florida drove his up to visit us in Chicago (in the winter). The dashboard cracked in half .... vertical crack right in the middle ..... I've never seen anything like it on any other vehicle.

Bob
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Old 08-13-2021, 04:55 PM   #16
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Lucas electronics were a looonngg time ago, and predated air suspensions.
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Old 08-13-2021, 05:01 PM   #17
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The one I did the most pulling and serious off-roading with (even jumping it a few times), pictured above, was a 2008 with 350k miles on it an zero suspension problems, before it was totalled.

No problems with the others that I did a good bit with, too, they just haven't gotten that much experience yet.

Of course, you can break anything. My point was just to say that I exceeded normal towing limits and normal conditions, and not only had no problems, but had flawless performance.

Is the new Defender's suspension as good as the '08 LR3's? I don't know that for sure. Just passing on my experience both with the Landy air suspension, and with towing with it.

Also, all I ever did was routine maintenance, except when I did something to tear something up.
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Old 08-13-2021, 06:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewartii View Post
Lucas electronics were a looonngg time ago, and predated air suspensions.
My 1997 Morgan had Lucas electrics. Lucas was disappearing around that time but I just figured Morgan had several years worth of parts in stock. Too bad.

My 2000 Landrover didn’t have Lucas electrical systems to my knowledge, but that apparently did nothing for its build quality. It was a rolling disaster, matched only by the dealer service quality, or lack of quality. I’d buy another Morgan, but never another Landrover.
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:32 AM   #19
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Love the New Defender as Tow vehicle!

You do not need any weight distribution and/or equalizer!
the Defender will be just fine towing as long as you follow GVWR and load your Airstream correctly. I’ve tow over 20k miles and have never felt unsafe.
The new defender will an excellent choice and the Airstream is even better!!
Enjoy!
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:41 AM   #20
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Titan vs. Airstream

I tow my AS Safari 25C with my Nissan Titan XD Diesel. We're pushing 10,000 miles this year. No WDH. No sway bar. No sway, even in the worst sway inducing conditions. My hitch drops 2 inches when I hook up the 780 lb tongue weight of the Safari. I have not been able to get the trailer to sway, no matter how I try. Where did I go wrong?
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