owners Landrover Discovery

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:41
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Any Land Rover Discovery owners that tow Bushtrackers . I would be pleased to ask you some questions please , general stuff total weight pulled and where you've been as in how rougher terrain etc I'm wanting to get right up north leolionbris@hotmail.com thanks and regards Pete
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:43

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:43
There is one pulling an BT18 .... TD5 .... email me for his mobile and you can have a chat with him ... anthony@gil.com.au Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ...Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 560107

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:44

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:44
Thanks for your help . My problem is solved My problem had been the towball weight for Landrover , The handbook states 150kgs at the ball which is far to low for most larger vans . Landrover advise me ALL Series 2 Discoveries from 1999 are in fact 250 kgs at the ball and also the using of weight distribution hitches will not effect the handling etc of Discoveries standard or fitted with their ACE computer suspension system which has it's own self leveling as my vehicle has , again in direct conflict to the L/R hanbook .Also that the correct total trailer weight maximum is 3500 kgs for an on highway brake fitted trailer . Much mis- information has been created out there and Landrover themselves don't help with outdated handbooks . Again thanks for your answer and personal email it is very much appreciated . Pete
AnswerID: 560108

Reply By: Bogged Mick - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:45

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:45
Pete, Did your information on Landrover Discovery towing capabilities come in writing from Landrover. I am particularly interested in the use of load distribution hitches. (I have a TD5 Auto with self levelling suspension) My manual says 3500kg maximum braked trailer and 250kg maximum on the ball. I have asked far and wide (at Dealers and on the phone to Landrover Australia) about whether load distribution hitches can be used and (as my handbook says) have been advised not to use one. If you go back through the discussions on this site you will see some fairly strong opinions on this subject. I have just purchased an 18 ft BT and am using a friction anti sway device. I would like to use load distribution hitch as well but won't do so if Landrover advise against it. I don't want to void my warranty or insurance. So I am very interested in the source of your information (and I bet a few others are as well)!! Mick
AnswerID: 560109

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:46

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:46
Have a look on the caravanersforum where this was discussed, and the last entry was 22/10/03 http://groups.msn.com/caravanersforum/general.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=11065&LastModified=4675443917036409540 Someone on that site sold his Disco and bought something else because he couldn't legally tow his caravan. Brian
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AnswerID: 560110

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:47

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:47
Pete Go with the LR engineers on the weight distribution issue if you have SLS. The people from LR distributorships and elsewhere in Oz who say WD systems are OK for Disco 2s are not design engineers and have not really considered the implications of their advice for SLS equiped units. Maybe OK for coiled rear suspension but quite "iffy" for SLS. In addition, there is a significant issue with your insurance - something like "operating your vehicle outside manufacturers recommendations will void any claim made from an incident while towing". If you end up going with a WD system (which, from personal experience is not needed with SLS) ensure you get an understanding in writing from your insurer that you are covered in the event of accident while towing with the system engaged. A properly loaded 18' van and vehicle should see you well within the 250 kg ball weight limit. If you are worried about sway, consider a friction anti-sway system - I hear they work a treat and possibly may not compromise insurance coverage. Hayman Reese have one. Myles
AnswerID: 560111

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:48

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:48
There will be undesirable interaction between SLS systems and WD hitches. They are mutually incompatible. SSL suspension in no way obviates the need for a weight distributing hitch. Hitching a heavy van on a towbar that is a metre and a half or so behind the LR's rear axle will inevitably lift the front of that vehicle. It's a totally basic lever action. The van pushes down heavily and levers up the front of the towing vehicle. No electronics in the world will change this. The SSL will not make one iota of difference to this except that the back of the LR will not sink. But that does not in any way change the levering action (nor would it if the SSL were replaced by concrete blocks. If you argue that it is safe to do otherwise you are arguing that it is safe to drive a vehicle with reduced front loading and hence grip from its front tyres. The reality is that is inherently dangerous to tow a heavy trailer without a WD hitch. It inevitably follows that a Discovery with SSL is fundamentally unsuitable for towing a BT. It virtually spells that out in the LR hanbook! Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 560112

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:49

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:49
The more I get into this the more I'm sorry I started , no the advice came from the service guys at Austral L/R at newstead Q. For me the real options are forget a van as I won't buy a 16 or 18' unit or get rid of the L/R and this won't happen I chose the Discovery for many reasons towing a van not one of them and as I am not a previous van owner it really doesn't worry me if I don't get one it was a mid life crisis thing and comfort the object . Steve at bushtracker spent a considerable amount of time today showing and explaining to me how this all works from that I can make now some more sane compromises if necessary knowing why I can't have it , and just not being told the L/R is no good . I have been approaching it from a strength point and that's not the issue . However Steve seems to have a handle on this engineering and would not under any circumstances compromise his duty of care regardless of losing a sale . So at this point we are loooking at a floor plan at about 20' that achieves what I want and it is very clever one it was almost to completion point at Bushtracker" loading and driving " would be critical aspects but this does not take all the considerations pointed out ie; insurance , warranties etc . So I will follow the Landrover factory thing through and see as well as seeing the completed van at Bushtracker soon . And make a sane decision from that ... thanks to all who contribute I am both confused and getting educated it's a great new learning curve. regards Pete.
AnswerID: 560113

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:50

Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 at 09:50
Peter I'm sorry if you are getting confused over this matter. It will be little consolation to know that you are very far from the first. As a professional writer in this area I too have a legal duty of care. This requires me to advise you that towing a substantially nose-heavy caravan without a weight distributing hitch reduces the loading on the front tyres of the towing vehicle. This reduces the grip of the front tyres. and hence steering ability. I am well aware that a small minority of caravan makers do not or will not accept this. But it is Newton they argue with, not me. I find it almost incredible that some caravan designers deny the effect of simple lever action. It is explained in every elementary book on mechanics! Or can be readily simulated with a long plank and a few weights. For any reader who still does not follow this - the effect of hanging a nose heavy caravan such as a BT, on a substantially overhanging towbar is similar to that of a single person sitting on one end of a see saw. It makes not the slightest difference if you beef up the pivot point of that see-saw (or the rear suspension of the towing vehicle) with bits of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the other end of the see-saw (which, were it a towing vehicle is where the front wheels would be) goes up. That's almost exactly what you are doing if you connect up your BT without a weight distributing hitch.If you still dont believe it just go out and buy a model of a car and a caravan and check it yourself - it will be cheaper and a lot safer than doing it with the full-size versions. I apologise for going on and on about this, but the thought of 6-7 tonne rigs travelling at 100 km/hr with substantially less than the 4WD maker's intended loading on the front tyres is an increasing matter of concern. And I am not the only one concerned. I have recently been commissioned to prepare a full article re all this in Caravan and Motorhome magazine. It will be published early next year. I fear that a few caravan makers are not going to like it one bit because I'm about to stop pulling punches over this one. Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 560114

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