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If it were a forged piece I would have more confidence but it is cast steel. LR needs to man up and offer a solution to owners of older vehicles.
In the end it really does not matter what material it is made of as long as it meets the advertised specs... which it does and always has. The hitch is designed for light weight towing when properly installed and weight limits are observed.

Just because someone has a hitch available does not mean they should be towing anything they like. Just because a rig has a V8 does not mean they can tow more weight. When you see some pimple faced kid with no experience rents a moving trailer to someone with obviously no experience towing it can hardly be the fault of hitch company if something goes wrong. In our area we have quite a few bridges. Several times a year some overloaded moron will loose their load and snarl traffic because they knew nothing about proper loading, tongue weight, sheer forces, wind loading... etc. Should these folks complain to Reese, UHaul, GM, Ford etc because if the system was built stronger their ignorance would not have been an issue?

LR can hardly needs to "man up" or offer anything to people that are unable to properly use the equipment offered. You can not engineer or manufacture for stupidity because there will always be someone with no common sense or thinks that designed limits do not apply to their situation.
 

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Garry

Thats a nice looking hitch.. Does it use the OEM reciever or is it bolted to the rear bumper frame?
The hitch is bolted underneath the car and also has a horizontal bolt and nylon bush that goes through the standard rear recovery ring. It also has tongues welded at the rear that go up into the standard recess that the OEM hitch would go into but it does no lock in there like the OEM.

Pull loads are carried by the recovery ring, the area where it is bolted and the rear tongues up in the original receptical. Vertical loads are taken by the recovery ring and the bolts under neath. This way horizontal pull loads are spread over 3 spots not one as per the original and vertical loads are shared by two spots.

Have a look at the underneath pics in these links.

http://www.caravancampingsales.com.au/content/products/2013/tested-mitchell-bros-hi-rise-tow-hitch-34444

http://www.britishoffroad.com/products/mitchellbros.aspx

Also here is the link to the maker but the products link is down at the moment.
http://www.mitchellbros.com.au/
 

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Garry...that's a nice setup...big advantage of not having any issues with removing the spare tire (although most of us have learned to manage it).

Question: The standard recovery loop behind the hitch I presume is still there? Good to see a very solid alternative solution.

AHarris: With regards to the OEM hitch, how many failures have there been reported? If it were truly a defective design, I'd have expected to see more press on it.

In 10 years of using the hitch, towing regularly I've had no issues. To the OP, I'd still stick with either of the two LR OEM designs and not the cheaper/lighter capacity Atlantic British one, and most definitely not a used set.

Your call!
 

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Question: The standard recovery loop behind the hitch I presume is still there? Good to see a very solid alternative solution.
Yes the tow point is there - that takes a large proportion of the load of the hitch. The tow point is no longer usuable but you can use the pin for the receiver or I carry one of these under the back seat if a tow is needed from the rear. IMG_0089.jpg
 

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Nice..Ok...same device here...with the pin in of course! :)
 

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I agree that the unit that Garry shows is a better design than the Atlantic British unit. The Aussies are way ahead of us in North America in offroad and overland stuff. I'm going to look into purchasing one.

I still maintain that the OEM design is weak and has an unacceptable risk of failure. Just because there has not been a "TV show" on the issue does not mean the LR have not recieved complaints about hitch design. They are not going to advertise this. As they say the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I'm sure that many, if not the majority of failures are overloading the tongue. But you can engineer for idiots to some extent. I'll bet you would bend the frame before you broke the hitch on a Ford F-250.

Let me say, I love my RR. LR is an iconic brand that has dominated off-roading/utility since 1948. I'm going to continue to buy LR. Caveat emptor.

Andrew

Andrew
 

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Just because there has not been a "TV show" on the issue does not mean the LR have not recieved complaints about hitch design. They are not going to advertise this. As they say the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
The statement is illogical...had there been multiple cases of failure, there would be either a recall or plenty of forum activity in the US and UK forums on the design. I haven't seen either. Please share where you have seen such reports...and what metallurgical testing have you done on this piece to prove that it is defective? Right now...it sounds like pure supposition...absent of any evidence...just heresay.
 

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One source is a Land Rover bashing site. Naturally getting truthful info there would be like asking a Democrat to vote for a Republican. I do remember one posting either here or on AULRO about a slow speed "failure" but it was, of course, human error with the locking mechanism. There simply is no wide spread issue of actual structural failures.

Keep in mind that the only person siting "lots of reports of failures" has never actually used the factory set up. His very first post was to complain about a system that he has no first hand knowledge with. His tales of woe and cautionary bits are only regurgitating some obscure references from unknown sources with no actual information.
 

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So after lengthy search the only reference on any legit site was indeed the AULRO. There were many reports of stuck keys, stuck pins and units rusted in place however only a few actual "failures". Here is a very nice summary from one of their posts.

"If I remember correctly there have been three other reports on AULRO of issues.

There was one where a car towing a van went into a service station to get fuel and the tow hitch fell out with the van attached. There was another where the hitch (nothing attached) fell out of the hitch in the owners driveway after coming back from a drive. There there was the recent report where the actual casting cracked - oh there was the report of the separation of van from car but this was not a hitch issue but the casting where the safety chains were secured failed."
 

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I think that is the main issue - human error rather than actual failure - however in designing a system the lowest common dominator should be taken into account. To me the design of how the hitch clips into the rear chassis cross member is a nonsense. It is under the vehicle, gets lots of dirt in there and we know what happens to mechanical things when dirt gets involved.

To me I do not understand why they went to the rachet/tongue type system where dirt can stop the tongue engaging correctly the hitch. A better design would have been to have a pin (similar to that which secures the receiver to the hitch) to hold the hitch into the rear chassis member. The OEM Aust and US hitch and receiver are fully rated and are different to the UK goose neck system that is much lower rated than our units and is illegal to use here in Australia.

So the issue is that owners need to be aware of the limitations of the system and ensure the receptical is clean and the locking mechanism works freely.

Also irrespective of what version L320 you have, if you need to buy a OEM hitch/receiver but the version that plugs into the D4/LR4 as it does not hang down nearly as much as the D3/LR3 version (commonly called the plough).

Also RRToadHall - the last example you used about the securing chain casting cracking happened near where I live - what was not said was that the chains on the caravan were far too short and would not allow full movement of the tow vehicle in relation to the van. Going down the mountain with U bends the chains went tight and the force pulled them out of the cast fitting - not an actual issue on that trip until the tow ball came off the receiver because the dopey owner had not correctly tighened it and when the cvan came free the safety chains were no longer connected to the car. The cast fitting is strong enough for what it is designed for but not when the chains are too short.

But again human error came into play relating to the length of the chains and securing the ball to the receiver.

Garry
 

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Appreciate your points Garry. Interesting that the gooseneck is not approved in Aus.

My eldest son just returned to Canada from two years in Queensland. Awesome experience. He bought and old troopy and did some fun overlanding with some locals. Really got the offroad bug and he just bought an '87 Defender back here in Canada. Great community of adventure offroaders there.

Cheers

Andrew
 

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Interesting that the gooseneck is not approved in Aus.
Andrew - just an assumption on my part but I would assume it is the same in North America as our OEM hitches are the same as yours and are rated higher than the UK gooseneck. I also understand that the tow ball rating of NA and Australian cars are higher than UK offerings - certainly my handbook indicates this is 250kg but the Aussie supplement to the handbook raises this to 350kg, but the supplement covering the quick release gooseneck type hitch rates it at only 150kg.

Garry
 

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Discussion Starter #34
OP back here after having had a chance to investigate our RR a bit closer. I was looking for electrical pre-wiring... and here is what I found. No visible wires even when I ducked my head under the rear bumper - nothing visible. Is there somewhere else that there could be pre-wiring for the hitch/towing or is it a safe bet that I do not have any pre-wiring so I need a comprehensive kit? Pic here... advice appreciated.

20150905_132434886_iOS.jpg

Another seller has this kit (says that is is the full kit however I do not see the hitch - I only see the receiver, ball and electrical). The LR/RR part # is LRNASE5664. Can anyone advise me if this is the one to get to get the hitch, receiver, ball, wiring?
1.JPG 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG

Thank you!
 

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I bought the trailer wiring kit from Atlantic British. $150. Plugs into the rear harness. Took about an hour to install with very complete instructions.

Good Luck.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I bought the trailer wiring kit from Atlantic British. $150. Plugs into the rear harness. Took about an hour to install with very complete instructions.

Good Luck.

Andrew
If I do decide to buy this kit where did you find it for $150? The site shows it at $299.
It has not had great feedback on here though.
 

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The Sport wiring kit is indeed only $149. It is the wiring only, not the pictured items you posted.
 

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If I do decide to buy this kit where did you find it for $150? The site shows it at $299.
It has not had great feedback on here though.
Speed...you have to read the posts a little closer. The wiring harness is perfectly fine...it's the HITCH receiver we are not recommending you buy from AB due to the lower weight loads. Find one on Ebay is your best option...unless you are in a hurry...then the dealer. Many dealers also offer parts discounts to their local Land Rover club members, so ask your parts manager if they have that arrangement, and then join your local club if they do. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Speed...you have to read the posts a little closer. The wiring harness is perfectly fine...it's the HITCH receiver we are not recommending you buy from AB due to the lower weight loads. Find one on Ebay is your best option...unless you are in a hurry...then the dealer. Many dealers also offer parts discounts to their local Land Rover club members, so ask your parts manager if they have that arrangement, and then join your local club if they do. Good luck!
My mistake... thanks for clarifying.

There is a local dealer claiming to sell this whole kit (harness, wiring, receiver, ball) for $100 ... I am confirming if it is in fact Atlantic British. I have not ruled out the option of going LR OEM but it is significantly more expensive however I do agree that this is not a place to skimp.

There is a local private seller selling the LRNASE65664 kit but I need to confirm if it comes with the hitch as well. It only shows the wiring, receiver and ball in their classified ad. That will hopefully be way I go and I don't imagine install is that complex (private shop wants almost $300 for labour - the one selling the AB kit).
 
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