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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #1
New to the Forum but not new to Rovers. Full Euro Line Technician . I Purchased a 2003 Range Rover HSE 4.4 this past winter. I Bought it from the original owner. Engine seized on it and I got it for next to nothing. It has a brand new trans (6000 miles on it). Bags have all been replaced in the last 4 years. Customer kept excellent records. Engine was fully gone through. Bought a used rotating assembly and Replaced all seal, O rings, timing components, PCV stuff, VANOS Repairs done, Water pump , New radiator, and Trans cooler. I am looking to take a trip with the family this summer across the country around 2800 miles. Has anyone had an experience with towing Long distances with these vehicles? I have a 23Ft. Travel Trailer and it weighs 4600 LBS loaded at this point. Just trying to decide if I take this or a truck. Thanks in advance for any and all input.
 

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Don’t worry it’ll tow fine

I’ve towed much heavier with mine and they do great, the BMW 4.4 does great with towing, a very smooth engine and one of my favourites this point.

The longer wheel base of the RR does very well compared to a RRS/LR3/4 so stability isn’t much of a worry either.

I’d recommend, if your trailer brakes aren’t automatic, to install a trailer brake controller.

Maybe even a trailer sway controller hitch.


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I agree with keralis.. you should have no issues , i travel back and forth between florida and Seattle sometimes three times a year with my car towing a trailer full of engineering equipment that weights around 9000 lbs.
Seattle to florida is approximately 3800 miles to 4000 miles depending on which route you take, often i am in major snow storms and ridiculous temperatures ,
last year cayenne Whyoming was -23 degrees fahrenheit my gps map shut down until i got past that mountain terrains that were frigid then it came back on... either due to harsh weather or unreadable data... it stopped computing when the temperature reading hit -23

opt for hydraulic brake controllers vs electric, the electric trailer brake controllers heat up the drum to the point that they melt the wheel grease if used too much.. seek out a hydraulic brake controller like the ones used on the uhaul rantal trailers , those work great by sensing load applid the moment you step on your brakes and engage hydraulic braking to the hitch ...a cool system if you can get it....... i had the tekonsha unit and it burnt out my hubs , in fairness you could set it to a low frequency and that will help as there is a range on the dial .. all the best on your journey.
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guys for the input. The camper has Electric brakes but I do have the new wireless brake controller (Tekonsha Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control) for it. Which uses more of inertia than brake input. Any reason to use add a external trans cooler?
 

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Another transmission cooler wouldn't be a bad idea but I don't think you'd need it if the fluid is fresh and the original cooler has been replaced, which you mentioned yours was.

I'd leave it alone, unless you're towing every day.
 

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Ajansen198, I've been wanting to post my towing experiences for a while, so I'll hijack your thread to do so. And congratulations on your vacation plans, those sound uber-kewl!

I've been towing a Fleetwood 18CK trailer (5,000 lbs wet) over 4,000 miles for a half-year now with my 2004 L322. Mainly desert trips, but also some off-season trips into the Sierras.

I'll post some comments separately below, but you can contact me at southwestindliv... yahoooo... commm if desired.
 

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TOW BEAST

The L322 tows well with decent power, although you'll need to rev it high on grades as well as often shift manually to keep it from lugging in 5th gear. My engine invariably runs cool, but the transmission goes into cooling mode several times each trip for 5-10 minutes each. Not a big deal, it simply limits you to gears 1 through 3, and you can still travel 65 MPH at 4,300 RPM, not a problem for the M62 Autobahn engine. It enters cooling mode (no visual or audible announcements) at 284 F tranny temp and exits at 266F. For the first time ever, my ride flashed "TRANS OVERHEAT" last week, but it required a long, steep mountain grade (the kind with 15 MPH switchbacks) for that to happen. I found that fast idling in neutral for 2 minutes on a turnout seemed to sufficiently cool it below "overheat," so I repeated 3 minutes driving, 2 minutes turnout, multiple times until I reached the summit 12 miles up.

Note that even L322s with new cooling systems can see cooling mode while towing. It's not particularly easy to add a trans cooler to the L322, but some have done so with varied results. See other threads on this board.

The ZF5HP24 tranny holds 10.5 qts fluid. A full FLUSH will replace most of that, whereas a basic drain and refill will replace 6.3 qts. So if my hillbilly math is correct, a single drain will result in 60% new fluid, whereas a subsequent second drain will result in 84% new fluid. So I'd suggest either a single flush or two drain/refills.
 

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GETTING HITCHED AND STOPPING THE BEAST

I unexpectedly experimented with three tow bars ("ball mounts"), 10.5", 13", and finally settling on a 12.25" Curt #45260. Yes, this is more than the 11" max, but that shouldn't be an issue if you're significantly under the max tongue and trailer weights of 770 lbs and 7,700 lbs respectively. Since the ball is so close to the bumper's plastic skin, while hitching you might use a small wooden board as a bumper for the bumper to avoid scratches. My bumper can unfortunately attest to that.

Although my trailer tracks well, I opt to connect an anti-sway bar during rain and high winds. Otherwise I don't use it since it's so noisy. (Many aftermarket sway bars creak and groan LOUDLY, normal for them.) So I suggest installing a sway bar. Mine is an Eaz Lift #48380 right side. You'll also need a Reese or Draw Tite #26003 sway adapter, and a hitch ball with a longer stem to accommodate that adapter, the Curt #40021 (2-5/16 inch ball). I opted to use standard bolts, nuts and lock washers for both the sway bar and Tekonsha, rather than the self-tapping screws provided.

I also use the Tekonsha wireless, which works fine. I set mine to 5.5 and b1, but that's unique to a given trailer. Note that the Tekonsha wireless instructions are incomplete for Euro vehicles, as you'll see in Amazon comments. Under #6 of "Pairing Instructions" it should read "...Flashing 0.0 or n.c." (either is normal). And #8 should read "Within 1 second of achieving P.A., press and hold the brake pedal..."

Surprisingly, I use my brakes relatively little. Even on steep mountain downhills, engine compression braking in first or second gear provides 75% of needed braking. Weird, but very cool. Should you for some reason need to tow 5,000 lbs without trailer brakes (obviously not recommended) for a short period, I can attest that's not a problem so long as you use long following distances -- the L322's 13.5 inch front brake rotors perform just fine in such limited circumstances.
 

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TOYS

Some miscellaneous items that have worked well for me in my L322 rig...

-Fit System #3891 clip-on towing mirror extensions, O'Reilly Auto
-Replace safety chain ends with Home Depot clevis latch hooks such as Curt #205632930, easier to use
-Install a simple trailer battery disconnect on the negative terminal, such as Littelfuse #ATD300BP or Bussmann #BP/BMS-1
-Lube trailer wheel bearings (Lithium #2 grease is common)
-"Cargo" LED bulbs for interior lights, Amazon
-Kohree replacement light fixtures for Fleetwood trailers, Amazon
-Portable Dokio 100 watt solar panel and controller, Amazon
-Schumacher #XI41B power inverter, Lowe's
-Streamlight #66608 rechargeable LED flashlight
-Igloo BMX "5 Day" cooler
-Thetford Aqua-Kem Toss-Ins for holding tanks

Gotta say I LOVE the solar panel, and have no use for a generator, although my electricity needs are modest. One hour of direct sunlight and the trailer battery is fully charged.

And if you don't have LED bulbs in your RV interior lights, install them, like, yesterday. Incandescent: 18.4 watts; LED: 3 watts. Yes, one-sixth the power consumption!

But be careful about LED tail/brake lights on trailers. Those can freak out Euro tow vehicle electrical systems due to the bulbs' modest wattage, resulting in fast-blink turn indicators or other freak shows. If my memory is correct, installing a resistor in the circuit can fix that (I think Sylvania sells one). If you have old-school incandescent taillight bulbs in your trailer, I'd suggest keeping them.
 

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A few last comments...

As you may have noticed, the L322 factory hitch receivers are tucked down low and forward to esthetically hide them, as well as improve off-road angle of departure. So go as long as you can safely go in a tow bar/ball mount. Only extra long bars even work on L322s; UHaul's #13112 "Extra Long" bar, at 10.25", is nonetheless short enough to be awkward when hitching up. Even with the longest tow bars, you'll still have the trailer coupler fairly close to the rear bumper. But also realize that going over the 11" max may overstress the hitch (similar to using a longer pry bar on a door) unless you've done some simple number crunching to justify going over. (11" refers to the distance from the trailer ball hole to the receiver's retaining pin hole.)

-Since L322 receivers are low, you'll likely want to install a tow bar in the less-common inverted position. Flip the bar over so that the flat part where the trailer ball attaches is HIGHER, rather than lower to the pavement.

-Trivia... The BMW rides came with the ZF 5HP24 tranny, whereas the Jaguar rides came with the ZF 6HP26 tranny. Wikipedia claims the 5HP24 tranny can handle 320 lb-ft of torque, and the BMW engine cranks out 325 lb-ft, so it's basically maxed out. The 6HP26 tranny locks up the torque converter in all gears, improving fuel economy, but also problematically increasing wear (Wiki). I don't know if one tranny runs cooler than the other. (Continued...)
 

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-L322s have a separate transmission cooler the size of a small brick below the passenger side (U.S. models) of the engine radiator. I believe the dimensions may be 142mm long, 80mm wide, 75mm high. Both engine coolant and trans hydraulic fluid run through it. The coolant passages sometimes scale up, the fluid passages generally do not. I had mine flow-checked with a simple compressed air test. The 2006 to 2009 Jaguar rides use the same trans cooler as the 2003-2005 BMW rides.

-My engine and tranny cooling components are all OEM and have been replaced (trans cooler was inspected). To sum up my experiences with transmission cooling, at least for my L322 and 5,000 lb trailer....

--Engine always runs cool
--Normal highway driving: Few trans cooling modes
--Longer uphill highway grades: Occasional cooling modes
--Stop-and-go traffic through cities: Occasional cooling modes
--Trans cooling modes usually last 2-10 minutes
--Twisting, long mountain uphills with 15MPH switchbacks: Trans Overheat

-At this point I'm opting to leave the system OEM, although I'll change the trans fluid much more frequently than usual. The cooling modes don't bother me, and I'm suspecting (hoping, actually) that I'm not doing substantial harm to the tranny with them. The overheat was basically a travel route fluke.

-In short, a fun and comfortable towing experience with my L322, even if not quite the carefree experience of a 1 ton pickup.
 

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-FYI, mileage for me while towing is 9 MPG. In comparison, a typical 15 year old Ford Class C motorhome (with the van front) powered by a 460 V-8 is 8-9 MPG, and a Class A motorhome (a big fiberglass or aluminum box) is closer to 6-8 MPG.

-The best tip EVER in the history of trailering: When backing a trailer, grasp the BOTTOM of the steering wheel with just one hand. If you want the rear of the trailer to go left, move your hand to the left, etc. Frackin' brilliant.

-Search for EVERY light and LED indicator in your RV interior, floor to ceiling, and find out why it's on. Just last week I noticed an LED light hidden behind a fixture in a corner of the ceiling which I learned was a TV antenna booster. I don't watch TV while in the mountains (don't even have a trailer TV), but that useless piece of cr-p was sucking battery power for a half-year and I didn't even know it!

-Make sure your hitch latch and trailer ball (or coupler) are routinely lubed with spray lube and grease, respectively. I've found it can make hitching go much more smoothly. Sometimes a coupler won't want to slide over or off a dry ball. (No comments please, Beavis and Butthead).

-Although I haven't had to use it yet, after much internet searching, I have high hopes that my "O2COOL 10" rechargeable fan" (Amazon) will cool the trailer this summer while placed in a window for draw-through ventilation.
 

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For what it's worth, a chart posted by RRPhil in another thread suggests that...

-The 5HP24 transmission used with the BMW mills is rated for roughly 370 pound-feet input torque.

-The 6HP26 transmission used with the Jaguar mills is rated for roughly 443 pound-feet input torque.

The BMW mill cranks out 325 pound-feet, as does the later non-supercharged Jaguar mill, strangely enough.

My dog, on the other hand, cranks out 12 pound-feet on a treadmill with all four legs, which likely is just as relevant for towing, I suspect.
 

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For a 2 ton camping trailer your U.S. hitch setup will likely include a 2" receiver hole, a 1" hole for the trailer ball stem, and a 2-5/16" trailer ball. If you prefer to comply with a max 11" tow bar, you might consider the 10.5" Draw-Tite #40343, #40382 or #40443. I forget what max rise is listed on the factory Westfalia hitch label, but if you need an 11" tow bar with extra rise (your rig looks like a sagging "V" in the middle when viewed from the side in spite of the air suspension), you might try the Reese #21345, Curt #45230, Brophy #BM40 or #EA40, or Draw-Tite #40345 or #40382. Trailer ball nuts can loosen over time even with a lock washer, so I chose to double-nut mine, although a Loctite threadlocker might work too.

-Regarding "84% new trans fluid," each drain and refill will retain 40% of the old fluid. So a SECOND drain should retain 40% of the previous 40% old fluid, or 16%. And 100% - 16% = 84% new fluid. A third drain would result in 93% new fluid.

-References to adding a trans cooler to an L322 refer to a SUPPLEMENTAL or alternative cooler since 2003-2009 L322s came with the small, occasionally overtaxed (towing) factory trans cooler under the engine radiator.

-The bottom eight rows of the engine radiator supply coolant to the trans cooler, so if there's a coolant shortcoming with the trans cooler, it could be caused by corrosion/blockage in the cooler OR radiator.

-The purpose of the trans cooling mode is to limit the drivetrain to gears 1 through 3, and therefore move higher flows of both coolant and trans fluid through the cooler until the trans temp drops below 266 F. The mode also alters torque converter lock-up mapping, reducing heat associated with slip.

-If your shop prefers BG chemicals for sake of convenience (not uncommon), their "BG Premium Full Synthetic" trans fluid meets the LT71141 spec and works fine, one of a number of appropriate fluid brands. See other threads.

-Per Robison Service, a large Rover shop, all of the L322 BMW cooling system components are suspect by 100,000 miles, with preventive replacement often appropriate.

-For my L322 there's no visual or audible warnings for trans cooling mode -- you'll know when it revs high. It seems that the more serious "Trans Overheat" visual may not go away until you restart the engine, even if the trans has cooled back to normal.

-Ditch that idiotic, old-school block of wood under your trailer jack with a Husky Brute Super Foot or Fastway Flip.

-Reese sells kits with all three hitch locks conveniently keyed alike, occasionally on sale at auto stores.

-The owner's manual suggests that proper towing tire pressures may be 36 psi front, 44 psi rear.

-"Walgreens Rinse Free Body Wash" is a great, residue free product I've used when you can't shower in your RV.
 
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