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Old 03-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #1
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Gypset's Avatar
1959 26' Overlander
Montauk , New York
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 28
Land Rover Defender + Overlander = Overlandrover? Is this a good combo?

I have recently purchased an '59 26' Overlander and am looking into getting a Land Rover Defender as a tow vehicle. Any advice, comments, warnings, experience welcome!

The trailer is currently empty at 3100 lbs and will be turned into a mobile recording studio. We will be adding some lightweight sound proofing/insulating materials and installing a simple desk/shelving, daybed and minibar. Have to calculate how much weight the instruments/speakers/gear will add.
(Vid of Overlander: )

From my research the Land Rover Defender 110 seems to offer most of what I want in a tow vehicle (great 4x4, classic look, tons of interior space/seating, longer wheelbase, convertible option, head turner, diesel) and I can find decent ones under $20,000. To be in the US they must be 25 years or older. Does anyone have experience with Defenders as towing vehicles? Just how powerful of an engine is ideal? Is 2.5 turbo diesel ok?
(Vid of a polished Defender 90 )

The idea is to strip the paint from the aluminum (Birmabright) Defender to match the polished aluminum Airstream!
GYPSET - adj. an unconventional, bohemian approach to life characterized by a fashionable exoticism and down-to-earth ease. (a portmanteau word: the wiles of a gypsey mixed with the sophistication of the jetset)

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Old 03-22-2013, 06:19 AM   #2
Figment of My Imagination
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2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,868
Land Rover Defenders have large towing capacities. lists the towing capacity of a Defender 110 as 7700 pounds and a Defender 90 also at 7700 pounds despite the shorter wheelbase and lower vehicle weight. According to UKTow, in the UK, towing capacity is determined as the weight of trailer that the vehicle can move, from a standing start, up a 12% grade.

For importation, check out this link…
The "25 years or older" rules are not universal. Basically, imports older than 25 years do not have to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), but imports newer than 25 years do. Some limited model years of the Land Rover Defender can be brought into compliance by a registered importer for sale in the US. But note, the newer model years only apply to the left-hand-drive Defenders. Right-hand-drive defenders still have to be more than 25 year old, no exceptions.

For Land Rovers, the document at the link above identifies which newer model years are also eligible for importation; but the selection is very limited— only 1993 for the Defender 110, only 1994-1995 and the first 9 months of 1997 for the Defender 90. But as long as you deal through a registered importer, you don't have to worry about that; that's the importer's job to make sure he imports only the right model years.
I thought getting old would take longer!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:55 AM   #3
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1948 16' Wee Wind
1953 21' Flying Cloud
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,169
Images: 20
Use Google to search this web site for earlier threads on Land Rovers, especially Defenders, as Airstream tow vehicles. I've never owned one so never earmarked specific threads. But I seem to recall, generally, past LR owners saying there were issues when LRs were used to tow travel trailers. "Ask the man who owned one." Do your research before you buy, not afterwards.
Fred Coldwell, WBCCI #1510, AIR #2675
Denver, Colorado - WBCCI Unit 24
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:05 AM   #4
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1956 22' Safari
Vintage Kin Owner
Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Hmmm...that would be a lot of polishing to keep on top of ~

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:51 AM   #5
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1968 26' Overlander
1976 31' Sovereign
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Wake Forest , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 104
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Go for it!!!
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