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Old 10-18-2003, 07:06 PM   #1
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Land Rover Discovery to tow Bambi '62

I am thinking of purchasing a Land Rover Discovery to pull my new Bambi. Is this a good choice? What problems can be anticipated? If not LRD, what would you suggest that is not too overpowering? I cannot afford a VW Taureg but that would be my ideal. Thanks
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Old 10-18-2003, 09:28 PM   #2
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Hi Rosemary!

The woman who bought my '61 Bambi towed it from Iowa back to Seattle with a Disco. You shouldn't have any problems at all. I'd recommend the V-8 if you can get it. Just make sure your hitch setup works, and I'd recommend weight distribution and sway control... just because. I towed my Bambi without either with an AWD Astro van, and wished I'd had them the whole time.

Have fun!

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Former Airstreams: 1953 Flying Cloud, 1957 Overlander, 1961 Bambi, 1970 Safari Special, 1978 Argosy Minuet, 1985 325 Moho, 1994 Limited 34' Two-door, 1994 B190 "B-Van"
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Old 10-19-2003, 10:28 AM   #3
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A V-8 or a VW Toureg is really overkill for a '62 Bambi. You don't need a $30-50k truck for a trailer that came out of the factory weighing 1,875 lbs. The '62 Bambi is nearly the lightest Airstream ever made.

Just about any minivan, pickup, SUV, and many wagons can tow the '62 Bambi -- most with lower cost of ownership (better gas mileage, fewer repairs) and a much lower purchase price than the Discovery or Toureg.

My Caravel is a later version of your Bambi. We tow with a Honda Pilot (V-6, 240 hp, 220 ft-lbs torque) and it's always more than we need, even in the mountains or against a steady headwind. Our Caravel weighs about 2,700 lbs loaded.

The recommendation to get a weight distributing hitch and sway bars is a good one. They do improve the towing experience for a relatively small amount of dollars.

- RL
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Old 10-19-2003, 10:41 AM   #4
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I typically pull my '69 25' Tradewind with a V8 Disco.

The Disco is not optimal for me, because I prefer more horsepower in the mountains to keep speed, but the torque is decent... remember, my tradewind is way heavier than yours, so it may be fine for you.

With my heavier trailer, even with a weight distributing hitch, I still white knuckle when the winds are heavy. I feel like both the Disco and the Tradewind are being tossed around.

I recommend you get a weight distributing hitch, due to the short wheel base and tall profile of the Disco. The short wheel base is really nice for parking in tight spaces. You should be able to park *anywhere* with a Disco and a Bambi.

Hope it helps,

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Old 10-19-2003, 11:04 AM   #5
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WE tow our '67 20ft Globetrotter with a '03 Discovery. With its 217 horsepower and 300 foot pounds of torque, we are very happy. Mileage has been good, even coarsing I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction over Vail Pass and the Eisenhour Tunnels. Slowing only to 52 mph up the steepest grades, we averaged the round trip back to Denver 11-13.8 miles to gallon at a top speed of 65 mph. The Globetrotter weighs in at around 3250 lbs. We do use an EqualizerHitch brand equalizing hitch. The 600 lbs rated version.
One thing NOT to do, is, if you get a Discovery, don't opt for the load-leveling rear air-spring option (and don't let the salespeople tell you otherwise) you can't lock the airsprings ina certain ride height position like on a Range Rover, so the eqaulizing hitch would be fighting the self adjusting airsprings. Two, do not opt of the "ACE" package. That is the "Active Cornering Enhancement equipment. It works off the power steering pump to prevent body roll, and it has a reputation for chewing up and wearing out the front tires.
Ours is an "SE" with only the "Cold Weather Pkg. That gives you a heated windshield and heated spray nozzles on the head lights washers and heated seats. The "SE" pkg gives you leather seating and front and rear mudflaps and a nice stereo. The only other thing I wish we had gotton was the optional rear jump seats (for an occasional passenger load of "7".
We decided at present, we did not need the rear A/C option. But we can always add that later.
Onle other thing the "SE" comes with, 18 inch tires and wheels. The "S" comes with 16 inches tires and wheels. We asked our dealer to swap the 16 inch wheels and tires from an model "S" to our "SE". YOu have a smoother ride with the taller sidewall, and more choices and prices on replacement tires than the 18 inch variety.
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Old 10-19-2003, 11:11 AM   #6
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Forgot to say, use an equalizer hitch like Reese Dual Cam or what we have the "EQualizerhitch brand equalizer hitch. These both have built-in sway control. With Rover's short wheelbase the friction plate type sway-control tends to have the trailer push the car around. However if you use "2", one on either side that problem is eliminated. Thats my 2 cents.
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Old 10-19-2003, 01:03 PM   #7
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"If not LRD, what would you suggest that is not too overpowering?"

IMHO, a tow vehicle can't "overpower" a trailer. Any time a tow vehicle tows a trailer, the power and stability of the tow vehicle will be compromised to some degree. I don't think one can have too much power or stability (read: safety) with regard to towing.
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:52 PM   #8
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I see you are from Avon and we are in Wheat Ridge. As I stated above, we have an'03 Land Rover Discovery and are very happy with it as tow vehicle for our '67 Globetrotter 20ft. You should have no problem towing you r Airstream with one. I happen not to be a fan of friction plate sway control. On slippery surfaces, they can cause you to jack-knife if you don't loosen them up for slick roads. Also, if you have them clamped down for the highway, you'll have to loosen them for backing, say into campsite.
OUr Rover gets 11-13.8 mph at 65 mph. This is recent mileages from Denver to Grand Junction and back. And besides, unlike American SUV's, Land Rover has a 4 year 50,000 mile warranty for about the same price as a well equipped Tahoe.(3 yrs.,36,000 miles warranty.)
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Old 10-19-2003, 07:12 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for very helpful advice and reassurance. If you have "built in sway control" does this mean you need not install sway bars. Is it because I want a Land Rover that you mostly recommend sway bars and weight distributing hitches or would you recommend these whatever car I chose?

When I used the term "overpowering" I was also referring to the visual effect. My daughter's Durango seems too large and a truck seems too disrespectful to the Bambi's grace! I have the time to look for and choose the best match. Your experience may save me from a choice I regret.
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Old 10-19-2003, 11:49 PM   #10
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perfect matching

Rosemary, The Discovery we have does not over power visually our Globetrotter. Another choice you could make is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo or Limited. They have a tow rating I think right around 5000 lbs. Rover is 5500 lbs. The Disco receiver capacity for towing is 500 pounds. You could try just using a ball mount and lower the trailer down on to it. If Rover's rear drops more than an inch or 2 at most you will need a equalizing hitch.
To mention brand, the Resse Dual cam has combined weight distribution and sway control in one set-up. The equalizing hitch we use with Rover also is weight distribution and sway control in one for about $495.00, the 600 lb model for hitch weight. Your Bambi would need a lighter one. Just put "www." infront of and check it out.
We went to Iowa from Denver to pick our trailer up9off of e-Bay no less) and assembled our hitch in a parking lot before we hit the highway.
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Old 10-20-2003, 08:33 PM   #11
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Thankyou - I had also thought about a Jeep Cherokee but was told they did not stand up mechanically to a lot of towing. A Land Rover is something my husband and I both like but were uncertain about its appropriateness for an Airstream. The information about the equalizer is good, I will check it out.
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