Towing with a Land Rover LR4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-26-2019, 11:51 AM   #1
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Towing with a Land Rover LR4

Is anyone towing a 19 or 21 with a Land Rover LR4? Did you have ETI install a weight distribution hitch, and which one did you use?

Do you recommend the high lift axle?
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:40 PM   #2
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I have a 21 on order and plan to tow it with my LR4 (2011).

Land Rover does NOT recommend using a WDH due to the air suspension. I have heard some people have used a WDH with an LR4 and have been happy with their setup, but I don't plan to do so. The LR4 will self-level the rear end, so the only issue would be front tire weight. Since the LR4 weighs 5617 lbs empty and has a short rear overhang, my thought is you are not adding so much percentage difference to the rear that you should wind up too light on the front. I've towed a 3500 lb trailer quite a lot and not had any problems (other than the poor fuel mileage and range).

One thing to be aware of is the tow hitch weight rating (550 lbs). It quite possible to exceed that with a Escape 21, so I will be measuring and monitoring my hitch weight carefully. Here are some calculations I did a few years ago:
LR4 Ratings
Base Curb Weight 5617
Gross Vehicle Weight 7143
Gross Axel Weight Front 3197
Gross Axel Weight Rear 4090
Tongue Weight 551
Tow Rate 7716
Unbraked Trailer 1653
Gross Total Weight 14859

GTW-BCM 9242 pounds for cargo, people, and trailer
GVW-BCM 1526 pounds for cargo and people
GAXR-50%BCM 1281.5 pounds for rear axel
GAXR-50%BCM-TW 730.5 pounds for rear axel with full trailer weight

As my LR4 is over 100K miles now, I'll be doing some service to make sure everything is up to snuff before taking off for a long trip this summer into remote areas (driving to Alaska). A transmission fluid change is definitely something to be done. My LR4 has "tow assist" which allows you to configure a trailer and it gives different guides in the rear display - you are supposed to put a sticker with 3 black dots on the trailer. I think you may need to have the surround camera option to get that - I mention it only because it seems few are aware of it...my dealership had never heard of it when I asked for help with it. It also has trailer sway control, btw.

As far as the high lift axle, I didn't purchase it. To me there would be downsides in raising everything up higher that you would have to live with every time you used the trailer, vs the rare time the high lift might help for a rough road. There were some threads on here discussing it and generally there were few recommending it.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for the well considered reply.

We have decided to go with the E19, and the hitch weight is slightly less than the E21 (290 lbs vs 350 lbs)

We towed a Roo 19 with the LR4 for the last 2 years, and used a Reese WDH without knowing about the recommendation from LR to not use a WDH with air suspension. We never had any problems, and towing felt secure. GVWR and hitch weight for the Roo are similar to the E19.

The third party Land Rover shop that we use told me that they have not seen any problems with customers who use weight distribution hitches, in fact the service manager uses one to pull his camping trailer.

I will ask ETI about installing the E2 hitch and see what they say.

I think I will go without the high lift axle. Besides, the lowest point in the trailer setup is probably my funny looking underslung LR hitch receiver.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:15 AM   #4
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Trailer: Escape 21 November 2014; 2016 Ram Eco-diesel 4WD Crew
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Daniel and Jennie,

Our Ram has the self-leveling air suspension with procedures listed in the owners manual for setting up a weight distributing hitch.

We've towed over 50,000 miles with the Andersen setup, which is both weight distributing and anti-sway, since we already had that from our previous tow vehicle.

There seems to have been no unexpected self leveling concerns, and I think the more connection between truck and trailer, the better, although I haven't tried towing without the WDH.

I'm sure everyday towing would be fine, I just worry about an emergency maneuver or tire event that would make me glad I had more than just the ball hitch.

I think you're a bit light on your estimate of tongue weight for the two trailers you've mentioned. 400 to 450 pounds seems to be a better estimate for a 19. Others may confirm that.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:11 AM   #5
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OK this is not a subject I would consider myself an expert on and most of what I know I learned from this forum but I think you should be fine towing either the 21' or the 19', its the climbing over someone to get out of bed in the 19' I would be more worried about. LOL
I towed our 21' with a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder that had a 6000lb tow capacity and tongue weight in the 600lb range. Most important thing when towing is how you load what your towing and towing with. The LR based on the ratings you showed seem very much like the Pathfinder.
I just purchased a 2014 Nissan Armada Platinum and it has tow capacity of 9,000 lbs and tongue weight at 1,000, have not towed the Escape yet with it but thinking I will hardly know its there. We loved the Pathfinder but in my career I drove a lot and our 2012 was at 227,000 miles, this was the last year before the drastic change in body style and tow capacity. Ask me Nissan ruined the perfect tow vehicle when they did this.

Enjoy the journey.

Steve
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quilting Jennie View Post
Besides, the lowest point in the trailer setup is probably my funny looking underslung LR hitch receiver.
I don't really like the stock LR hitch assembly either. I suppose it's nice that it can be easily removed, but I leave mine in all the time. With it sitting so low I feel it leaves my bike rack more vulnerable to bottoming out. For an investment of over $600 that could be remedied with this option:
https://www.snomasterusa.com/product/rhino-ox-hitch/
with I suppose some money back for selling the old receiver.

Back to WDH, there are apparently plenty of people using it on an LR3/4 without problems. There are also reports of locking pins shearing and housings cracking. I've heard of at least one technical bulletin issued by LR AUS repeating the same specification as the owners manual to not use a WDH. LR3/4 have a sophisticated suspension system that detects when a trailer is attached and provides all the necessary compensation as long as you are within the tow ratings. Using a WDH with this system is not something LR designed and tested for, although there seems to be plenty or real-life success stories. I think using equipment that violates the users manual puts you in a weak position with respect to insurance claims. So, for me, I intend to see how it works with the OEM hitch and no WDH. If I find that it is unsatisfactory, then I will look for solutions. But if it works well, and there are plenty of reports that it does, then I saved myself some money and made the hook up simpler. The RAM is an entirely different vehicle which apparently was designed and tested for use with a WDH, so I personally wouldn't consider that as prescriptive of what to do with an LR4.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Daniel and Jennie,

Our Ram has the self-leveling air suspension with procedures listed in the owners manual for setting up a weight distributing hitch.

We've towed over 50,000 miles with the Andersen setup, which is both weight distributing and anti-sway, since we already had that from our previous tow vehicle.

There seems to have been no unexpected self leveling concerns, and I think the more connection between truck and trailer, the better, although I haven't tried towing without the WDH.

I'm sure everyday towing would be fine, I just worry about an emergency maneuver or tire event that would make me glad I had more than just the ball hitch.

I think you're a bit light on your estimate of tongue weight for the two trailers you've mentioned. 400 to 450 pounds seems to be a better estimate for a 19. Others may confirm that.
Thanks Bill,

I looked up how to turn off the air suspension system in the Land Rover in order to setup the hitch properly. Not as sophisticated as the Ram: you open the driver's door and it prevents the air suspension from functioning.


I think you are right about the tongue weight, it is probably safe to assume 10 percent of the gross weight instead of what is listed in the ETI spec.

Denis
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
LR3/4 have a sophisticated suspension system that detects when a trailer is attached and provides all the necessary compensation as long as you are within the tow ratings. .
Thanks Daniel,

I see in the LR forums that the trailer detection system will not recognize new trailers that have LED tail lights. The system looks for electrical resistance that the old style bulb would provide through the trailer wiring, but the LED lights don't have enough resistance to be detected. There are some posts that show how to wire in a resistor so that it can detect the trailer. You may want to look into this.

Denis
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quilting Jennie View Post
I think you are right about the tongue weight, it is probably safe to assume 10 percent of the gross weight instead of what is listed in the ETI spec.
It varies by model, but most recent conventional Escapes (not the 5.0TA) tend to run about 12% on the tongue, empty or loaded, although of course individual equipment choices (such as batteries) and cargo packing cause substantial variations. Also, few trailers are loaded to the allowed gross weight.

For some examples, there's the list in Trailer Weights in the Real World.
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
...
Tongue Weight 551
...
GTW-BCM 9242 pounds for cargo, people, and trailer
GVW-BCM 1526 pounds for cargo and people
GAXR-50%BCM 1281.5 pounds for rear axel
GAXR-50%BCM-TW 730.5 pounds for rear axel with full trailer weight
It looks like this includes an assumption that the tongue weight is directly carried by the rear axle. In fact, the tow vehicle is a lever, with the rear axle as the pivot, with the hitch weight prying load off of the front axle. Since the distance from rear axle to hitch ball is at least 40% of the wheelbase, the amount of load shifted from the front axle to the rear (in addition to the hitch load) is at 40% of the hitch load.

So, putting 551 pounds on the hitch ball will add at least 770 pounds to the rear axle, leaving about 1280 - 770 = 510 pounds for cargo and people weight capacity on the rear axle.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:28 PM   #11
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Thanks! Good point and over-simplification on my part. Of course I'm also assuming that the Base Curb Mass is a 50/50 load on the axles, which it's probably not but I don't have any measurements or specifications.

With the 50/50 assumption, 113.6" wheelbase and 46" to the ball (eyeball estimate from a photo, not measured), and 551 lbs tongue weight:
Rear axle load is 3610 lbs, which gives 480 lbs cargo margin. Not a lot when you figure we can easily have 500 pounds of people in the vehicle.
Front axle is reduced in load by 251 lbs. This seems insignificant to me so front wheel traction should not be a concern.

I definitely plan to find a scale once I have the trailer loaded and see what this all actually measures.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
With the 50/50 assumption, 113.6" wheelbase and 46" to the ball (eyeball estimate from a photo, not measured), and 551 lbs tongue weight:
Rear axle load is 3610 lbs, which gives 480 lbs cargo margin. Not a lot when you figure we can easily have 500 pounds of people in the vehicle.
Fortunately, about half of the front seat load and some of the rear seat load is carried by the front axle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
Front axle is reduced in load by 251 lbs. This seems insignificant to me so front wheel traction should not be a concern.
I agree, as long as the air suspension keeps the vehicle close to level (for headlight aim and suspension geometry).

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
I definitely plan to find a scale once I have the trailer loaded and see what this all actually measures.
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