NEW DISCOVERY 3 & 4, AND RANGE ROVER, REPORTS IN ACTION
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:20 am    Post subject: NEW DISCOVERY 3 & 4, AND RANGE ROVER, REPORTS IN ACTION Reply with quote

I have heard many favorable reports now, but nothing yet long term.

It sure looks impressive, a Big Brother look to the Discovery.. What, now 3-4 of them out towing Bushtrackers?

The Owners are pleased, and I have not heard a bad report. It is worth looking at. More news when I get it...


Last edited by Bushtracker on Tue Dec 15, 2009 5:15 pm; edited 4 times in total
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kenso



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Disco 3 Reply with quote

Well what can I say?? Great to have doubled the talk (as apposed to double talk) on the BT now! Great job Steve!
Now in regards to the Disco 3, like most of you we spent many hours researching a tow vehicle for our BT. With many conflicting reports about whether a V6 2.7ltr Turbo Diesel would have sufficient grunt to haul a van with BTs dimensions. We were swayed by a guy on the disco forum (see below) commenting about the air suspension and self levelling systems and how well the disco handled corrugations as if they didn’t exist, encouraged us to put the dealers demo truck through the ringer with numerous test drives! If you have had any experience with Landrovers, the first thing you notice is how the only thing that the new Landrover Discovery3 has in common with its predecessor is its name and possibly the number plate holder! Every thing has been completely redesigned (possibly due to Ford taking over the company) the vehicle is extremely comfortable with a 6 speed auto shift with a small knob in the centre consol that enables you to select different driving conditions, eg sand, gravel, rock crawl, etc so the computers on board distribute the power individually to the wheels that require it most. “COMPUTERS CONTROLLING THE CAR!! ANOTHER THING THAT CAN GO WRONG IN THE BUSH!!” I can hear you say, well maybe, but when you put that with all the risks possible in the bush its quite minuscule. After leaving Karratha on the 20th to start our “R.A.B.I.D” (R ound A ustralia B efore I D ie) we have been through some rather obnoxious country throughout the western Pilbara towing our 19ft BT with no dramas, Back to the power plant, the 2.7litre TD tows the our BT (3500kg laden) at 90 km easy with 120km been tried without a problem fuel is about 16-20l /100 towing and 9.2ltr unhitched. There is a power upgrade available (software not a plugin) which apparently significantly increases power and economy and has rave reports but as its only done in Sydney and Melbourne its abit out of our way as yet!
PROS:
Suspension,
Air suspension, self levelling, integrated 4x4, seats, extremely quite diesel engine (a V8 is in production), sound proofed interior,
CONS
TOWBAR: (the dumbest design in the history of 4x4s! in fact so dumb you had to remove it to get out your spare!) we retired it and imported a redesign from South Africa it looks like something you could hook up a train carriage too! (see below)
Single fuel tank:The D3 has only 1 x 88ltr tank great for Europe not so good in Oz, fitted a Tank which was manufactured by “Long range fuel tanks” so I now have a 190ltr capacity.
Wheels: comes standard with 18” wheels which will one day be standard though out all manufacturers, but as yet the tyre makers haven’t caught up. We went with after market 17”s and fitted Cooper STTs nosier on tar but soooooo tough!
Summary: A new dimension in 4x4 technologies. As far as the electronics standing up to Oz conditions? Time will tell so far no complaints very happy with this vehicle.
A very good forum on this vehicle is available at:
http://www.disco3.co.uk/forum/australia-new-zealand-vf13.html

Paul & Beccy
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:05 am    Post subject: WELL, BUSHTRACKER STAFF IS SO IMPRESSED, WE NOW HAVE ONE.... Reply with quote

Matt just bought a new Discovery 3... Exclamation

And it will be featured in our NEW DVD coming... After editing, I suspect it will not be out until after Christmas, a late Christmas present from the Lone Ranger... Shocked

For a new vehicle, our combined impressions are very favorable on the new Disco 3. We await the new Twin Turbo Landcruiser with hopeful expectations, but the truth is we would probaly want to wait until the second edition of it is out a year later.... While the twin turbo V-8 concept is exciting for potential, it may or may not even work out. This Discovery 3 is certainly up there is the top considerations for a New Tow Vehicle available right now. It is longer and wider than a Cruiser, loaded with options, like a suspension air lift if it gets bogged...

Lets not forget it looks about $10,000 cheaper than the Landcruiser as well.

Look, I would certainly say this is up there in the TOP CONTENDERS for a new tow vehicle. Go have a look.

There are disadvantages, like we cannot match up wheels and tyres, our bearings in the Bushtracker are just too big for the Rover wheels.. But the advantages of this Disco 3 are worth you having a look. It will be featured and worked hard in our next DVD, with a more in depth view on all of its features. Certainly worth a test drive. We continue to be impressed.. Enough that our Office Manager Matthew bought one, and we will feature it in the new DVD....

That is pretty impressed.. Regards, Ranger, "Out there doing it all the time"
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: ANOTHER DISCO 3 OWNER REPORTS... Reply with quote

This comes in letter form from Graeme and Jean Wh****** towing a 21' Bushtracker with then new Disco 3.. And I type as it is written:

.... Bushtracker.....Certainly tows well and is stable even in wind and on corrugated and rougher roads..

You might pass on to Steve the fact that there have been no issues with the Disco 3 as a tow vehicle. It is stable and even in hill country it handles the Bushtracker with ease.

Over some 3000 kms so far, (general and some hill country, almost no highway work), it appears as if we are running at about 15.5 litres per 100km. This is quite reasonable when it is realized that we are using the van will full tanks etc..


Typed as written, for your benefit... Ranger
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: IN action.... Reply with quote

Our new Disco 3....
And our Pioneering of the WDH Adjustable head unit to fit the Disco...



This is controversial and on the cutting edge of things, but here we have adapted an adjustable WDH Hitch ball mount to fit the Disco... It has obvious advantages of strength and height adjustment. But two comments:

It has not been approved by Land Rover.... And, Hayman Reece say one that has, will be out released in the next few weeks........



Regards, LR
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Dickie Nee



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have been travelling around Australia with our 20' Bushtracker, being towed with our Disco3 HSE.
The vehicle has preformed very well.
Does anybody use ridelevellers?
We dont but I do fine when you come up on a dip in a dirt road especially the front tends to porpose a little plus the front brakes us the ABS which cuts back on the ability to slow up enough.
I look forward to your thoughts.[/list]
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Troopytracker



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day,

First off, I'm a Toyota fan and have little/no liking of Landrover Twisted Evil .

I did however get rather excited when first hearing about the new D3. As Kenso says above, this is an all new vehicle with nothing in common with Disco's of the past. Unfortunately several major issues have all but turned me off. Believe me, I wanted to be convinced Sad . If however, you are a D3 owner, easliy offended by criticism, stop reading Very Happy

Self levelling suspension-great-for loading up the car, not for replacing a WDH unless the people at LR have worked out how to defy the laws of physics. Not only do LR state a WDH shouldn't be used, I am aware of at least one owner (Kenso above) who had there tow bar PART COMPANY WITH THE CAR because they used one. They've all but lost me already, but if you think thats not an issue (good luck) and read on.

D3, all new, most modern 4wd in the world. Forget everything you've heard bad about past discos.....I tried but.....One of the first magazine tests of the D3 and the thing is having tantrums, going into limp mode on a few occasions. Shutting down the vehicle and "rebooting" got things going again in this instance but this is hardly confidence inspiring for those who want to drive into the middle of nowhere.

Meanwhile the D3 is getting rave reviews by everyone. Independent air suspension that behaves like live axles, sounds perfect. The D3 is clearly way more advanced than anything Toyota or Nissan is selling.

4wd of the year tests 4wdmonthly. Disco goes home on a trailer after a water crossing that every other vehicle on test has no issue with. Not because it got a gut full of water in the motor, because it had a tizz and the computer said no more. I'd be making sure any road side assist comes with free BT towing (anywhere in oz).

Cost. I haven't asked for a quote but unless they are knocking off $20 odd k, they are nowhere near $10k less than a cruiser. A GXL 4.2 TD 100 series can be had new for under $65k, the D3 lists for well over 70. This is assuming you want the diesel, and not the base model with no air suspension. The Cruiser price I know, I don't know how much LR will come down, perhaps an owner who did some haggling and is reading will know. This isn't a biggy anyway as I'm sure the new V8 twin turbo Cruiser will be several $k more.

The D3 has nothing short of poor ground clearance at the rear. The spare and exhaust look prime for rock massaging. The factory towbar design looks to be just as prone to hang ups. I understand Kenso has source a towbar from South Africa, with better clearance and looks much more substantial. I'd want to be sure it is legal in Oz and meets Australian standards??? If not, some quick spanner action after an accident might be required Wink

Last night I picked up a magazine that was talking about the Disco and mentioned that according to the hand book, if the car is loaded to GVM the tow rating becomes 2000kgs and ball load of 150kg, take it off road and tow rating becomes 1000kgs! Now this is the Oct 06 Caravan World, and the article piece is refering to an article in the August 06 addition. It isn't even clear that they are talking about the D3, so apologies if this is a bum steer. It is a good point though, as several cars out there seem to have variable tow ratings that are probably not at the top of the salesmans list of things to tell customers. You think that a car has xyz kg's tow rating so you think that is applies whether car is empty, or full of passengers and fuel- not always.

One last thing and I promise I'll stop, maybe. I know I roll my eyes when die hards say things like "the 1hz and the outgoing 4.2td nissan diesel are the last of the good motors". Sure everything is going computerised and this isn't always a good thing, but try and stop it. Emission laws and fuel costs arn't getting any slacker or cheaper. BUT- 6500kgs being dragged all over the country side with a 2.7 litre motor doesn't seem like a good recipe for long life/reliability to me. People will say there are millions of little TD's in Europe doing big jobs....doesn't make it ideal. I understand the poms sling both the car maker and owner more for having large capacity motors. They don't do the huge distances or have the extreme temps that we do either.

I think I've said enough, and shall run for cover Laughing

All I've said is just my opinion. I truly wish there were more tow vehicle options in Oz and really did want to like the D3.....Fix the towbar issues, intsall an OFF switch for the self levelling suspension so I can use a WDH, get the bugs out of the electronics and I might be convinced. I think asking for more $ than the market leader (despite all the excellent features) is a big ask also. Not asking for much am I!

Please tell me I got it all wrong.........

Cheers,

Matt
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Troopytracker



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sure hope Hayman Reese does come up with something (or uses the model BT have in pic above)

This is what the owner parked across the street from me is using.....

Just imagine the result of this coming in contact with an imovable object at anything above walking pace Shocked



I'd be suprised if thats more than 150mm (the legal limit!)

Matt
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gazza j



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Disco 3 Reply with quote

As the Disco 3 is one of two vehicles we will be considering as a tow vehicle for our 19' on order I would be interested in any comments on modifications that owners may have made to enhance the towing and off-road capabilities of the D3 and whether Land Rover or after market components were used (which is a given in respect to some of the items)
suspension
long range fuel tank
bull bar
winch
snorkel
spare wheel carrier
dual battery
cargo barrier
engine performance upgrade
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Dickie Nee



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:14 am    Post subject: The great tow vehicle Reply with quote

My thoughts on Mats input are why bother.
The idea of this forum is not for people to go on about things they have NO experience with.
We have done 50,000km in our Disco3 and 35,000
+km with our 20" van.
We have done locations such as Gibb River Rd, Cape Leveque, Savanah Way with our vehicles and love it.
I dont mind people with constructive or infomative input with first hand experience not that type of neg input.
Great Vehicle, Good tow vehicle, we love it. If you want to spend what you like whats the problem.
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Troopytracker



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dickie Nee,

You don't actually address anything I've brought up but dismiss it all as "negativity"....Are only positive comments allowed?? Do you have to OWN a vehicle to have a worth while opinion?? I think not.

I did warn readers not to read if easily offended. I admitted to being Toyota biased, I stated it was all just my opinion....but you seem to have taken it personally.

Do you deny the D3 failures occured and were published for all to see?? Do you deny that towbars breaking off due to a WDH being used is valid info to know about before purchasing one of these vehicles? You yourself actually asked in this very thread, about WDH's.....and your post was probably what made me post!! As far as I know, you cannot use one with your vehicle, this is a major detail in my opinion.

I was genuinely disappointed when these things became known! Like I said, please tell me I got it all wrong???

I drive a Troopy and you'll find I'd be happy to hear others criticism, it would only be someone elses opinion. One that I could take or leave Wink .

As a matter of fact, I'm tired of driving an uncomfortable/manual/thirsty vehicle and would have loved the D3 to be a huge success........honestly Smile They'll have to do a lot to convince me to come over to the LR camp.....but thats just me Very Happy Very Happy I'm happy to hear you love your vehicle, that's all that matters in the end.

Matt
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, and no offence intended,
But Troopytracker and Dickie Nee, both of you for the good of the users of the Forum trying to decide on a tow vehicle, please relax a little. Please Gentlemen...

Troopytracker, no offence, but you have no experience with the Disco 3, and with the short wheelbase your concerns about ground clearance are probably not as serious as you propose.. The suspension lifts itself when in trouble and Dicky Nee has proven his vehicles capability in far ranging terrain all over W.A. and such...

And in all fairness, Dickie Nee, please don't be so sensitive. You are well travelled and have proven the Disco 3 to be a very capable tow vehicle just by the record of where you have been.

Now onwards and upwards...

I have shown you the Hayman Reece head unit part of the WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) we are using on Matts Disco 3 in pictures above. This is only about half the WDH, and of course half the price. But anyway, this adjustable head unit has a great advantage in getting the level hook up point to the Bushtracker van... HOWEVER, in final consultations with Land Rover, they are saying that if you have trouble with the tow bar on the Disco 3, THEY WILL NOT HONOUR THE WARRANTY...

So, here are the choices: Go ahead and use the adjustable head unit for the advantages of the solid shank minimizing wear on the pin, and the adjustable part of the hitch for height at hookup adjustment. And risk that the Tow Bar failure if it happens is on you and you will not have Warranty from Land Rover... (none failed to date that I know of)... OR:

We can modify the A-Frame hook up point on the van, to a plate under the A-frame with hitch mounted on top, rather that the plate being on top of the A-frame. This will look good and work well, and all you have to do is specify it on your Plans..

Myself I like the solid shank part of the WDH hitch head part. But the WDH itself is not recommended for the Disco 3, NO WDH Level Ride bars are allowed due to the adjustable suspension on the Disco... NONE... Matt is going away on a DVD Video Tour trip, and will use the Adjustable Head unit part of the WDH as shown in pictures above.

More as it all comes in..... Regards, Ranger
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:55 pm    Post subject: NEW DISCO HITCH AVAILABLE FOR ADDED GROUND CLEARANCE Reply with quote

New Discovery Hitch available...




Contact Details Aaron Mitchell, Mitchell Brothers 4X4
on (02) 9905-4764 And a retail price of $440


Now for all the hassling around, I don't know if it worth doing or not, as we can just put the hitch plate on the bottom of the a-frame and use the normal hitch.... Cool However, in saying that:

But, for any of you extremist 4x4 Enthusiasts, this does greatly increase your departure angle in the hitch area and hook up point... However, as you can see, it will require the Hyland hitch to use this reinforced ball set up. It is fully ADR Complianced and rated to 3500kg... We do not feel the Hyland hitch is as good as what we offer, and rejected their hitch in its earlier form. We are not totally thrilled with it in its present form, but it is a vast improvement. If you want to go this way, you will have to buy the Hyland hitch direct, as they hold a grudge ... Even though we feel we are largely responsible for them improving their Product... They resent us for it... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

Regards, lone Ranger, always looking for new ideas....
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:47 am    Post subject: Another Disco 3, with 20 Bushtracker Reply with quote

Here is another Disco 3 Owner, happy with his Disco 3 and a 20' Bushtracker. He is also running the Hayman Reece Adjustable hitch like we have, no problems.. He has run through the Kimberley region and is happy with the Disco.






CLEAN MACHINE

Laughing Laughing Laughing Regards, Ranger
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Dickie Nee



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Kimberley travels Reply with quote

Thanks Ranger for posting our photos of our recent trip accross the top end. Also the picture on the web site of the Mitchell Bros hitch is incorrect.
They have now passed their hitch onto Kaymar to distribute across the country. We intend to get one fitted while back in Melbourne for Xmas.
I will drop back in in the New Year to show Mat so he know how it looks.

Also has anyone tried the General Grabber AT2 or the GoodYear GDYR02 Silent Amour. We have tried the standard fitted plus Cooper Discovery HT tyres and found they cut up and only return about 25000 Km when driven off road. I have heard mixed reports about the 2 tyre types above and have had no reports with people towing a 3500 kg fully loaded BushTracker.

We are loving the Disco 3 and find the vehicle excellent off road and on black top. we now have 64000km on the clock with no issues.
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Dickie Nee



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:43 am    Post subject: Disco 3 lovers Reply with quote

I have travelled around the paddock once already with our 20' BT on the back. The only comment I make is we have now fitted onr of Mitchell Bros 4x4 hitches and it works well, we fitted a F250 Hayman Reese Tongue shortened originally rated to 4,000kg and everythig seems great now.
I had the engine chip upgraded by Ritter Automotive in Melbourne and it towed with power to spare and we got around 14.5lt/100. I recently had the vehicle serviced in Brisbane and the dealer has changed the engine management back to the original settings. We noticed the lack of power up hills and increases feul economy, Ritters have arranged for the reprogramming of the chip by a Land Rover company in Brisbane so we can enjoy towing and feul savings again.
We have also fitted the General Grabber AT2 tyres and find them excellent especially off road.
Go the Disco 3's
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For any of you Land Rover lovers, here is another satisfied and happy Customer that is a long term Traveller with a Disco....

He has gone far and wide with the last Disco model....



He has many years with a Disco and a 19' Bushtracker. And now after getting my reports he has upgraded to the new Disco 3 and he writes to me:

We have hit the road again. Picture is at Kingfisher Camp west of Doomadgee. Currently in Borroloola took us all day
to get here as road was so bad we could not get above 20klms/hr most of the way on the Queensland side. Disco 3 is going like a dream
pure luxury on the dirt. Should be in Broome in a couple of weeks.
Regards to all.
XXXXXX







Since we have one in our Stable at Bushtracker, and you will see it in the latest video in action, I do have some first hand feeling about the Disco. My advice is that at 19' it is fine... At 20' OK.... At 21' while reportedly doing OK, I have my reservations and would probably at least consider another tow vehicle, even a second hand Landcruiser. We have a couple of problems with the Disco, one is balance since it automatically lifts the suspension in 4x4 without control you have to run around a little low in the front of the Bushtracker on the Hiway. You will see that in our latest DVD... And I would just opt for a larger diesel in the larger vans once you get up to a limit of 21' for the Disco. Yes it will do it, but I think you are pushing the limits up near the top. Plan on 19' or 20'? Certainly the Disco is an option.

Calling like I see it, with a have dozen reporting on it... stg


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safi1



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Range Rover Sport TD V6 as a tow vehicle Reply with quote

Hello Steve

You requested a report on our car as a tow vehicle, so here goes.

Collected the 20' van on Friday 3 October and I must admit that I had some reservations about towing with the Range Rover in spite of assurances from our Land Rover Dealership. Luckily, the A frame had been reversed with the hitch on the bottom due to my tow bar being so low.

Well, I needen't have worried about the performance of the car. It has handled the job superbly with the self leveling air suspension on the car keeping the van level at all times. Even though the motor is only 2.7 litres, it produces approx 445 nm and I have found myself doing 100/105 km on the excellent highways at times, but try to stick to 90/100 km. On our first outing which took us up Cunningham's Gap, we arrived at the crest recording 70km. I had the van weighed earlier that day and with all 4 water tanks full, 3 jerry cans full and all our gear, it weighed in at 3420 kilos with ball weight of 240 kilos. Obviously, I need to load more red wine to increse the ball weight a bit, but it still tows well.

So far we have averaged 16 to 17 litres per 100km for fuel and I am also happy with this. Earlier, we travelled from Peregian Beach to Brookfield in Brisbane and averaged 16.2 L per 100K. It has been as low as 15.6 and as high as 16.9 to date.

As far as the van is concerned, what can we say? It is everything and more that we expected and we could not be happier. We get complements wherever we go including the barge operator to South Ballina Beach yesterday.

Hope this information is of some interest to you.

Cheers

Gordon & Narelle

Thank you Gordon and Narelle, for taking the time... and WELCOME TO THE FORUM Post Number 1 !!!! Very Happy

Now for you Readers, this is the new Range Rover "Sport" Turbo Diesel V6.. And maybe the first towing a Bushtracker, and that is why I encouraged them tor write us a vehicle report.. It looks to be in the class of Mercedes 4x4, and the Touraug VW, and makes a very nice City type Sport vehicle when not towing... And according to them, it is a 4x4 vehicle worth considering. We will wait for further progress reports. Thank you Safi1 on behalf of all Bushtracker Owners... One minor reservation of mine was the apparent lack of available options in things like Bull Bars for protection of the headlight modules.. But maybe time and custom BB builders will remedy this. Worth looking into..
Ranger...
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OzDisco



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: New LR Discovery 4 Reply with quote

After doing some research on a suitable tow vehicle (and being a fan of the Discover look), the LR4 (the Discovery name has now been dropped and is now referred to as the Land Rover 4 (or LR4)) is looking to be very suitable. A couple of points of interest for others looking to tow a BT, might be the following:
The LR4 will be available with new 3L Twin Turbo Diesel V6. It has 600nm of torque (with 500nm available at IDLE!!!!) along with a fuel economy improvement over the old 2.7L (which will still be available).
One of the new features is Trailer Stability Assist - a new system that helps make towing safer by detecting trailer oscillations and then using selective braking to help correct a potentially hazardous situation.
You can program into the vehicle dynamics what you are towing, size, type, number of axles etc. and it will allow for these parameters in the braking, dynamic stability control etc.
A video of this in action can be seen on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gyc4Dmgbew
I know this doesn't replace common sense and skill, but it is a good back-up in case of brain fade or panic.....
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: New hitch reciever Reply with quote

Hello All,

I have just received a phone call from one of our clients who owns a Range Rover Sport which is used to tow their BT.

As of this week, Land Rover have released a new hitch receiver that fits in the same location as the current one, but lifts the hitching point by about 3 or 4 inches. This is great news to all those that were looking at alternates to get the hitching point higher as there is now a genuine Land Rover alternative.

The other side benefit is that you do not need to remove it to lower the spare tyre.

They are a bit costly at $620.00 for the part, but I believe they will be standard fitment on all new vehicles coming through from now on.

I haven't tried it, but based on this information, the hitch height should be perfect for the BT's now without going down the path of adjustable head hitches etc.

Cheers,

Matt Very Happy
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gdickie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:02 pm    Post subject: Range Rover Sport TD V8 as a tow vehicle Reply with quote

After scouring the BT site for 6 months we finally bit the bullet and bought a 2008 20 foot BT. We drove up from Sydney on a Friday night to Qld, bought the BT and drove back to Sydney by Sunday afternoon.
We have a 2007 Range Rover Sport TD V8 and have only towed camper trailers prior to the BT, so it was quite an adventure for us.
Firstly we averaged 8 litres/100kms on the 1000k trip to Qld. Luckily the seller had an adjustable Hayman Reece hitch that fitted perfectly and we got the ride height nice and level.
First impression towing was that the BT is a big unit but it didnt take long to find that it towed smooth and true and the Rangie had all the power necessary to maintain or even increase speed up the many hills on the way home. (200 hundred "Killer Wasps" and 640 Nm make a great towing vehicle) Towing at 100k's felt really comfortable and I see no need to exceed this. We had previously been all around Oz with our Aussie Swag Camper and often sat on 120km/hr. The BT is a different kettle of fish and this should not be forgotten.
We had a really comfortable trip back and averaged 15 litres/ 100km's.
Not bad for a V8 !. We love the Rangie and must admit we get a few comments of 'Nice rig" whenever we call at camp grounds etc. Have not had a long trip in the BT yet but we cant wait. At the moment work interferes.
I think we have the best of both worlds, a great caravan and a vehicle that will take it to most places in confort and with economy.

Graham and Cath
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safi1



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Graham & Cath

We also have a 2007 Range Rover Sport with the TD V6 motor. Collected our 20' BT in Oct 2008. To date we have covered approx. 23,000km towing and both car and van have performed extremely well. This includes a 3 month trip through central Australia with 4500km off road.

Anyway, I would just mention that I believe that Landrover will void any warranty if you use a height adjustable hitch and also you may void your comprehensive insurance in the event of a claim. Unless Landrover have changed their policy on this (wish they would), it may be worthwile checking it out further.

We are off to Tassie at end of Jan. for 2/3 months.

Cheers

Gordon
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gdickie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Range Rover Sport Reply with quote

Gordon

Good to hear from you. I've read a bit about alternative hitches and any light you can shine I woild appreciate as this is my first venture into towing a heavy van. I understand we do not require the WDH due to the air suspension. I previously have had Patrols and you just simply hook stuff to it. The Rangie seems abit more sensitive.

Regards
Graham & Cath
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safi1



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham

Yes the weight distribution hitch is definetly a no no and is even mentioned in your Landrover handbook. Apparently it fights against the air suspension and has been known to break the towbar.
Anyway, I have found the towing fantastic as the air suspension keeps the car level all the time no matter what the load is.

However, I personally cannot see why we can't have a height adjustable hitch, but my local Service Manager advises that it's not approved.

My only argument with the air suspension is unhooking the van with the AT35 as the car moves up and/or down as soon as the weight is applied to the jockey wheel. If you are on any sort of slope (up or down), it can sometimes be impossible to unhitch unless you put the car in neutral and try to take the pressure off the pin. I am going to purchase the new Hitchmaster DO35 before we depart for Tasmania as this will solve that little problem.

Cheers

Gordon
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not trying to start an argument with defence of a vehicle choice, but the lack of the ability to use a WDH is a serious objection to the use of this vehicle for heavy towing, (if it cannot be adapted.) Now this is my job, Director of Bushtracker, to look after you; particularly for safety reasons like this. I know you can argue that it is not necessary with the air suspension that levels it. But that is only a minor use of the WDH, the major safety benefit in our experience, is that it puts down pressure on the front steering. It corrects the lift off of steering pressure.. This is a concern when you are putting 300 kg or more out on the hitch, plus any other loaded weight past the rear axle which can add up to quite a bit of loss on that downward steering pressure in the front.. If it happens to bound a little, hobby horse, when you need it the most to avert an accident with radical steering, you have GREATLY reduced your steering "bite" and control ability to correct a radical move at 100 kph.

Now please take this to heart for your own good: In an extreme situation, this is a disadvantage and could be your undoing. In an accident adversion manoeuvre, anyone can do a radical swerve to avoid the accident. It is the extreme steering bite that you need to recover, and in a medium wheelbase vehicle like the Rovers and Landcruisers and Nissan sized vehicle that down pressure can make the difference. Heaven forbid that you are involved in an accident at high speed, but this is a major concern up on the upper limits of towing for that wheelbase. That is where the WDH comes in and shines, for the safety. A shorter wheelbase vehicle is handicapped in that recovery manoeuvre already, and without the WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch) it is further handicapped.

I am not here to stir, I am not down on this vehicle choice, but not having the ability to use the WDH for safety is a strong mark against it, if you want a larger van. There is a similar problem with some Sahara models in Landcruser, that takes some suspension modification before you can use the WDH. On maybe 18', OK, battle on. But on 20' or 21' you should use it on the highway.

Regards, on the road with the Ranger.
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gdickie



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your advice Ranger.
I tend to agree with you as I used the WDH when towing back from Qld to Sydney and it towed great. In contrast when taking the van to the local garage for the rego change over I did not attach the bars and found that on my local counrty bumpy roads the van tended to wallow and want to take over. So for mine, I will use the WDH when on the tar.

Thanks again.
PS: I am totally impressed with the Range Rover Sport TDV8, in particular the great torque. It continues to surprise how it wants to attack hills. Granted, it kicks back to 5th gear on the approach to any reasonable hill but as it is doing 1700 revs at 100ks in 6th, 5th gear sits nicely at 2000 revs at 100k's, right at its maximum torque.

Regards and Merry Christmas to all.
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safi1



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to set the record straight, Landrover advise that the air suspension works by not only raising the rear when a load is added, but distributes the weight back on the front.
Therefore, the use of a WDH could cause either it or tow assembly to break which in turn may result in a bad accident.

My car insurer, Allianz, advise that if an accident occurs using a WDH on my Range Rover, then I am not covered as the policy becomes null & void. The van insurer, CIL, also advise that any claim could be prejudiced.

Gordon
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never too old



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:40 pm    Post subject: Discovery 4 Reply with quote

This is my first entry on this great forum but I have been learning a lot from the various threads. My wife Ruth and I are about to become the proud owners of a 2004 20' BT which will be our first caravan, We have been inspired to get off the main drags since moving to Darwin a couple of years ago and we are planning many months on the road in a couple more years time.

We have virtually decided on buying a Discovery 4 3.0 litre as a tow vehicle and would be interested in any comments from BT owners who have a D4 in relation to pros / cons / idiosyncracies etc.

Cheers, Andrew
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Les and Pam



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew. There’s a good forum here for the D4. Take note that the TDV6 3l has 19” wheels because of the brake size, which will seriously limit you for choice of off road tyres.

http://www.aulro.com/afvb/
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safi1



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, we have travelled at least 30,000k towing our fully loaded 20' BT (now sold) with a Range Rover Sport which has the 19" wheels with mid profile all terrain tyres.

A fair proportion of this travel was on gravel including the Strzelecki, Oodnadatta, Birdsville Tracks, up to Old Andado, Ghan Heritage Trail including into Chambers Pillar, Diamantina National Park plus numerous others. In all that travel we only had one puncture.

I will admit that I was a little concerned how the tyres would perform prior to travelling, but took the advice of Bushtracker and lowered the pressure on car and van to 28psi on leaving the bitumen and reduced speed accordingly. Had no problem anywhere and both car and van performed surperbly. I always carry 2 made up spares when offroad as these tyres are not available in the outback.

My one and only criticism of this vehicle (Disco & Range Rover) is that should anything go wrong in the outback, no-one can fix even the most simple fault and the vehicle has to be trucked to the nearest dealer who is usually many miles away. Having said that, they are a superb towing vehicle and many of the new other 4WD's now on the market are becoming much more sophisticated and also require specialised repairing. To date we have travelled 102,000k in our vehicle since we purchased it new in 2007 with no problems (touch wood) to date.

Cheers

Gordon
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mattkurvink
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Andrew,

I would have to agree with Gordon. I personally have a 2007 Discovery 3 now travelled 76,000kms, with a significant amount of that towing. It has been a fabulous vehicle and tows the vans very well, however the lack of service agents around the country (especially remote areas) is their biggest drawback.

If there ever is a problem, the vehicle also can enter a 'limp home mode' where the suspension lowers, and engine output is reduced (it would not be able to tow the van). So a tow truck is the only way for the vehicle to be brought to the nearest repairer. This has not happened to me in our more remote travels, but it has happened around town due to a fuel pump issue.

As Gordon says, most newer vehicles are becoming just as complicated, and with it brings benefits such as more comfort, power and better fuel economy, however the practical limitations such as dealer locations and authorised repairers are certainly a consideration to take on board as they are no longer a vehicle that can be repaired by any mechanic.

Personally, my two primary considerations when purchasing a tow vehicle were diesel and automatic. Based on this, if I were travelling on a more permanent basis and in remote locations, I would find it very difficult to look past the Landcrusier 200 series. Mainly due to the fact that there are a lot more dealerships and service agents around the country. Also, the Toyota certainly has a very good name when it comes to reliability.

I hope this helps in the decision making process. I am not in any way trying to dissuade you from the Discovery, they are a lovely vehicle and I am still very happy with mine.

Cheers,

Matt

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never too old



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for those comments and I am mindful of the lack of dealers in remote areas. I'm obviously hoping that the D4 will be reliable enough for the need for serious support to be low risk.

A couple of specific queries re the D4:
- Wondering what tyres you have used.
- Have you fitted a long range tank and, if so, how did you carry the two spares?
- Would be interested to know what fuel consumption has been achieved while towing with the 3.0 litre engine.
- What mirrors have you used?
- I know I would find it on the AULRO forum but can you charge a battery such as a Thumper from the 12v plug in the rear of the vehicle?
- I know that Land Rover don't 'allow' a WDH to be used and I'm wondering whether there have been any issues in towing without one. My impression from the comments so far is that the LR tows really well.

Thanks for your help.

Andrew
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safi1



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently run Maxxis Marauder tyres which are wearing really well, cost half of the Goodyear tyres (fitted when new) and are now being used by a lot of the mining companies.

I have not fitted long range tanks and carried the extra spare in the back of the vehicle with a 4 ton bottle jack & wheel brace. This eliminates having to empty the back of the vehicle to get at the supplied jack etc. I did carry 2 X 20L jerry cans of diesel, but only had to use them once.

I have the previous 2.7l turbo diesel and averaged about 15L per 100k towing on bitumen at around 100kph. Of course that is not uphill and into head winds. I believe that your 3L motor will perform even better with 600nm compared to my 420nm. Would love to have that motor.

Never bothered with extension mirrors as the rear view camera was excellent and the existing mirrors were good enough.

Had a dual battery fitted (there is a special compartment supplied) and connected to a merit plug in the rear of the car to run the grog fridge plus connection to an anderson plug at the rear of the vehicle.

If you use a WDH you will void your vehicle warranty and also void your insurance on both car and van. Our van towed perfectly behind the car at all speeds and conditions and there was never an issue. As soon as you connect the van and start the vehicle, the rear raises to the driving level and redistributes the weight back onto the front wheels. It really is an excellent system.

Gordon
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Bow & Nan



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

safi1 wrote:
As soon as you connect the van and start the vehicle, the rear raises to the driving level and redistributes the weight back onto the front wheels. It really is an excellent system.

Gordon


Gordon

Yes it will raise the rear of the car but I don't understand how it can redistribute the weight back onto the front wheels without a WDH Question

Greg
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safi1



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am by no means a mechanic, but, as I said, as soon as the car is started, you can see the rear rise to the driving height and front lower accordingly. The air suspension constantly maintains the vehicle at this driving height. I have no idea regarding the technical issues that apply here or whether 100% of the weight is redistributed or not. I would assume that it works the same as a WDH which raises the rear of a vehicle and lowers the front.

On the odd occasion I have had to really apply the brakes in a hurry, there was never any hint of any instability in the front.

Gordon

Hello Gordon, no offence, but no it does not. Only the WDH puts downward pressure on the front steering due to it engineering. Air bags like this only level the load, weight on the ball out back of the axle does in fact lift weight off the front steering.

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director
HVRAS Officer for Qld Transport,
and Half a Horseman...

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
Our first Disco 4 has arrived here towing a 20' Bushtracker. The report from the Owner is that the massive power difference was as much from his TD5 to the Disco 3, that much again to the Disco 4. He loves it and says it tows the 20' Bushtracker with ease. If you are a Land Rover fan, then this is a vehicle that will certainly do the job, with ease and luxury and power.

Now, if you are only considering the options and not necessarily a Land Rover Fan? Then I have to say that Matthew my Office Manager just traded his Disco 3 in on a new Landcruiser 200 Series VX V-8 Turbo diesel.. His reasons for doing this instead of going for the Disco 4?

Service, parts, and availability in the Bush is massively better with the Landcruiser, the Disco 3 gave him a little worry in the Bush..
Optional equipment, GVM increase, are all better in availability for the Landcruiser 200 Series.

My feeling is no offence to the Land Rover Enthusiast, this is just scientific observation as a Coach on the matter.. The availability of Service is massively better for the Landcruiser and that is a major consideration. Luxury and power, they are much on a par with each other. Land Rovers, if they have a problem you are a bit more on your own in the Bush, and that is the sentiment Matthew expresses. That does not mean that you cannot do it with the Disco 4, and if you are an enthusiast then OK.. No need to defend your choice..

I am just indicating that these reasons are why the 200 Series are probably 40 or 50 to 1 in favor towing Bushtrackers as compared to the Land Rovers.. No offense, both will do the job admirably, but back up in the Bush is all Landcruiser... Just as a disclosure, I too have a 200 Series VX for all the same reasons, but here is the new Disco 4, and it will certainly do the job..



Kind regards to all, Cowboy, Admin, half a Horseman... Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 5:06 pm    Post subject: Range Rover Sport TD V8 Reply with quote

A small contribution to this friendly debate. We have just completed a 16,000k trip from Sydney to the Flinders, up the Oodnadatta, Mereenie Loop, Tanimi and part of the Gibb River Road. We then travelled up to Cape Leveque, then down the WA coast and back home across the Nullarbor. About 3500k's of corrigations, mud, rock and gravel. We were in a convoy of seven vans all Jaycos except for our 20' BT towed by our trusty Range Rover Sport TD V8.
All the others were towing smaller lighter vans with Prados and one Ford Ranger.
The only problem we had with the Rangie was the stone protector for the gearbox coming loose, not falling off, just loose. Some bolts from Bunnings fixed it. Prior to buying my second Sport I thought I should test the opposition so took a Sahara diesel V8 for a test drive. While I think to Rangie has a little more power and response the Toyota was very close. What I didnt like was (in my case as we are retired and there is only 2 of us) the size of the Sahara and the truck like steering compared to the sporty direct steering of the Sport. Otherwise a fairly comparable vehicle, even the price is similar. I am also impressed with the service interval for the Rangie, 24,000k's which meant no need to service on the trip, although I did replace the air filter. The Toyotas all needed a service in Esperence as no dealer could fit them in without a months notice at any other destination! One problem with one Prado was the tailgate jamming shut. It took us a week to finally get it open as dust had completely seized up the mechanism. My mate had to scramble over the back seats for a week to get a cold beer out of his fridge! Of course if he had a BT the beer would be cold in the van! All the spotlights on the Prados also fell off.
I fully accept that if I had some electrical problem in the bush I would be stuffed but also think that most other modern vehicles are in the same boat. The experience we had in just getting a simple service for the Toyotas also had me thinking that service in an isolated location might not be so easy either. Open to comments and views but for me, I am sticking with my second Rangie.
For those interested the worst tracks were: Mereenie Loop, Tanimi and the 25k's into Wolfe Creek Crater. The road to Cape Leveque was like a freeway and the Gibb was also good (then).
Regards
Graham
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landy



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am grappling with the hitch problem on the D3. Is there any reason I can not get a spacer plate made up say 20mm or 30mm and place it between the DO35 hitch and the a frame thus lowering the hitch and raising the level of the van. Anyone have any other ideas?

Bill C
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Wayjen



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day Bill

We had a Disco3 and now have a 3L D4. I had an engineer duplicate the hitch mounting plate and welded it onto the bottom of the A-frame leaving the original plate in place. This now gives us a choice of four positions for the hitch which allows the hitch to be set at the right height for the standard Disco tow hitch. I will be away for a while but when I return I will endeavour to post a photo.

Hope this is of some help.

Wayne


Last edited by Wayjen on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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landy



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wayne I would be interested in seeing a photo

Bill C
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Free & Easy



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:30 pm    Post subject: D4 Hitch is OK for D3 and Bushtracker Reply with quote

Hi Landy,
I have a D4 with the standard Land Rover hitch and hitch receiver. It is improved a bit since the D3 (not so low) and the hitch can go either way. I have towed a 21' BT for about 15,000Km now with no issue.(includes trip to Cape York). With the tongue turned the way shown and the hitch on the BT mounted under the plate as it comes from the factory the BT is pretty close to the right level I think, a bit down at the front as recommended.
The D4 hitch receiver can be retro fitted to a D3, but its about $600 I think.

Airing up after getting back to the blacktop.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone thinking of buying a new Landrover, try and find an honest sales person and ask about the " having to put it on a computer system every 20,000 ks that only major dealers have". Was told to me and put me off. Never followed it up but does not hurt to ask. Al
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is news to me as I now have my second range Rover Sport TDV8, the first with 140,000k's and the second now with 40,000k's and I have never heard of it needing any special treatment. Dont most vehicles these days get serviced by computers anyway?

Graham
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: D4 hitch Reply with quote

Hi Free and Easy

I am really interested in your comments on the hitch with your D4 and appreciated your photo. Which hitch do you have fitted to your BT and would it be possible to show a photo of how you have this attached.

We have a D4 and (new to us) 2004 20' BT and are getting organised for some serious travelling from mid-year. I have been wanting to change hitch from the original hitch on the van.

Thanks, Andrew
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Free & Easy



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Connecting the D4 to Bushtracker Reply with quote

Hi Andrew,

This link shows the history of the hitches on the Bushtrackers. We have the new yellow looking one, I think it is the same one in use now. Looking at what is there you should be able to update using same holes already on the BT. It under the topic Upgrading Second Hand Bushtrackers.

Three Levels of Hitch Evolution

Here is the picture of it mounted on ours, under the plate.


One man hook up with the D4
I have never had the pleasure of hooking up with the older hitches, but with the later hitch, the D4's adjustable air suspension and a $35 camera off eBay that plugs in in lieu of the camera on the van during hookup its a simple one man operation.
1. Put the D4 in access height,
2. fit the temporary reverse camera as below (Piece of aluminum shaped to hold it and plug to pickup camera from the rear plug)
3. back in to around 1 or 2 feet away from the van,
4. get out and check the van is just high enough for the hitch pin to just go under the coupling, adjust with jockey wheel as required,
5. get back in and using the camera mounted vertically above the pin,
creep back until the pin is visible through the hole in the hitch.You get a bit of sideways movement either way by just moving the steering wheel even when stationary,
6. when lined up and foot on the brake, select normal height and pin comes up half way through the hole,followed by off road and the pin comes up and picks up the van,
7. get out,flick the lock across, connect chains, pull camera out, plug van in, fold up jockey wheel, handbrake off and wait while Free finishes off inside the van.
Steps in italics appear to be optional at times, but mostly I remember them.




The camera, mount and plug



Regards
Gerry
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: WDH and LR 4 suspension Reply with quote

I have seen many comments from avid supporters of WDH and those who reakon they are not needed. I have a couple of questions that I have not seen answered....
1. When the LR air lifts the rear suspension doesn't weight get transferred to the front.....as if you lift the handles on a wheelbarrow.....so doesn't the suspension transfer weight to the front? If not where does the weight go?
2. Do the LR design engineers have no idea as to towing design when they assign towing limits and ball weights? One would hope they have done more that just pass their basic exams so why wouldn't we take their opinion seriously when they say no to a WDH on a LR3 or 4.

and to note these are serious questions not just trying to start the usual old arguments backward and forward. An for anyone who says have I experience of LR vehicles I have a 1997 2.5TDI and a new LR4 3.0. and I have towed all sorts with the 1997.....

Thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AJ and LJ wrote:
If anyone thinking of buying a new Landrover, try and find an honest sales person and ask about the " having to put it on a computer system every 20,000 ks that only major dealers have". Was told to me and put me off. Never followed it up but does not hurt to ask. Al


Cars have been having this type of diagnostic since the 80's.....and not only major dealers have diagnostics these days....you can even buy diagnostic readers for less than $200.......and at least the fault codes tell you what is wrong rather than having to guess on some faults.
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bobrovin



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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:35 pm    Post subject: Re: WDH and LR 4 suspension Reply with quote

redjcw wrote:

1. When the LR air lifts the rear suspension doesn't weight get transferred to the front..NO...
as if you lift the handles on a wheelbarrow...By lifting the suspension you are not lifting as in the handles of a wheelbarrow but as if you are lifting the feet of the wheelbarrow. ..
so doesn't the suspension transfer weight to the front? If not where does the weight go? It doesn't go anywhere except a little higher

Thanks.

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redjcw



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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: WDH and LR 4 suspension Reply with quote

bobrovin wrote:
redjcw wrote:

1. When the LR air lifts the rear suspension doesn't weight get transferred to the front..NO...
as if you lift the handles on a wheelbarrow...By lifting the suspension you are not lifting as in the handles of a wheelbarrow but as if you are lifting the feet of the wheelbarrow. ..
so doesn't the suspension transfer weight to the front? If not where does the weight go? It doesn't go anywhere except a little higher

Thanks.


So just to clarify.....if you lift the feet then wouldn't the car still not be level? If the front goes down to balance with the back moves up to get level then isn't there a transfer of weight? Sorry to be a bit thick on this....
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bobrovin



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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: WDH and LR 4 suspension Reply with quote

redjcw wrote:

So just to clarify.....if you lift the feet then wouldn't the car still not be level? If the front goes down to balance with the back moves up to get level then isn't there a transfer of weight? Sorry to be a bit thick on this....


Lifting or lowering either end does not change the weight at that end otherwise you could raise both ends and make the whole car lighter. Pumping up the air bags is the same as putting in stronger springs, the stronger the spring the less drop for the SAME weight. The only way you can move the weight from back wheels to front wheels without WDH is to move the centre of gravity of the car.
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