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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I've got a 1995 RRC LWB with the 4.2, which is rated to tow 6,500lbs. I have the factory tow hitch, but no towing wiring (yet).

I'm planning to do a 1,000 mile drive as we move to Fort Collins, Colorado. In thinking of ways around the logistical nightmare of getting both cars and all our stuff out, I've come up with this idea:

I want to rent a flatbed from UHaul and put my wife's 2013 Subaru Forester XT on it. Since it's all-wheel-drive, they don't recommend having any wheels on the ground for extended towing unless the drive shaft is disconnected. The Forester weighs 3,460lbs. We're planning to pack both vehicles with as much of our stuff as will fit. I have no idea what everything will weigh once it's all packed, but it's just basic personal items like clothes etc, the heavy items will go into the back of my buddy's pickup.

Since I don't have towing electrics and I suspect I might be getting toward the 6,500lbs towing limit when fully packed, is there any advice anyone has on loading, towing, getting towing electrics, or any other things I should do to the truck to prepare?

So far I'm bringing her in for a basic once-over on Monday to make sure she's in shape for the run. Before we knew we were moving I bought a set of new factory springs and Bilstein shocks which I'm planning to fit before leaving. I'm assuming this setup will be up for the task, since I rarely tow at all, ever. I just fit a new set of all-season tires, 245/75/16. After reading through our towing page I'm not sure if I need a "Load Equalizing Hitch", a "Boge Load Leveling Strut" or a "friction sway control device".

Any advice would be appreciated. We're driving at the end of the month.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Dropped the truck off today at West Coast Rovers for a full service. Not cheap, but I don't have the time to do it all myself when I'm learning along the way. The move looms!

They're doing spark plugs, complete inspection and ALL oils & fluids. I've never done any fluids except coolant since I bought her, so this is long overdue.

They quoted me a reasonable price for installing the towing electrics, so I think I'll have them do that as well.


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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Looking at your 'so far:' list, you're plenty skilled enough to tackle spark plugs and fluids. I am curious to hear the report on the complete inspection though.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looking at your 'so far:' list, you're plenty skilled enough to tackle spark plugs and fluids. I am curious to hear the report on the complete inspection though.
Yeah I know, I just have a tight deadline because of the move, and it's really the full inspection I'm after. If I weren't moving I would've done all the fluids myself eventually and waited for something else to break ;-)


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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Had you considered just renting a big uhaul truck and using their truck and one of their trailers to haul the suburu and just drive the rangie. If it were me I would want to minimize the possibility of a break down. i know it could be pricey but the rangie breaking down could be a bit more expensive and hard to get parts for on the road and if the uhaul goes down they will come to you and fix it and if they can't they have been known to transfer your belongings to another truck to get you going again.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Had you considered just renting a big uhaul truck and using their truck and one of their trailers to haul the suburu and just drive the rangie. If it were me I would want to minimize the possibility of a break down. i know it could be pricey but the rangie breaking down could be a bit more expensive and hard to get parts for on the road and if the uhaul goes down they will come to you and fix it and if they can't they have been known to transfer your belongings to another truck to get you going again.
Assuming you meant tow the Rangie, not the Subaru.

Thanks for the feedback. In short, yes I have. I LOVE the idea of minimizing the possibility of a breakdown, which I'm doing by having the current service done, but I think I've considered every other possibility, barring black holes or teleportation.

The problem with the UHaul option is cost alone. It would cost an additional ~$200 in fuel and hiring the truck itself would cost about $1k for our needs, $50 for another hotel night after the additional $250 flight back to drive the Subaru there, plus $3k minimum for at least 2 more days of me not working. The cost analysis tells me that even if I do break down, I would rather spend money improving a car I own, and that the repair will not likely cost more than ~$4,500.

This one has really worked my logistical abilities ;-)
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
quick question regarding the towing electrics. A buddy of mine also has a '95 LWB, and he has the towing electrics. Would it be simple enough for me to 'borrow' them for the drive and then mail it back to him?


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Depends on the setup he has. If his are just plugged into the factory trailer harness, then yes it is a simple plug and play setup. Just unplug from his truck and plug into your, unplug and return when done. If his have been grafted into the rear harness other than at the factory plug then it probably isn’t worth the effort. If you don’t mind connecting onto the leads to the factory trailer plug instead of using the plug itself you can get a universal trailer light harness for under $30.

Universal trailer wiring
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Depends on the setup he has. If his are just plugged into the factory trailer harness, then yes it is a simple plug and play setup. Just unplug from his truck and plug into your, unplug and return when done. If his have been grafted into the rear harness other than at the factory plug then it probably isn’t worth the effort. If you don’t mind connecting onto the leads to the factory trailer plug instead of using the plug itself you can get a universal trailer light harness for under $30.

Universal trailer wiring
Cheers Simon. I think I'll just buy one and graft it in if they're that cheap then. I didn't know you could just wire any universal harness thingy in. Now to find the wiring schematic...
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just picked up the trailer kit mentioned above. Beats $150 installed for sure ;-)


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Installed flat-4 trailer wiring. Piece of cake. 30 minutes. Tapped into brake wiring harness in the rear passenger side corner next to the subwoofer. Routed flat-4 receiver to sit on top of CD changer, so I pull it out after I open the trim CD changer access flap. Sweet.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Hi, I intended to say this last week ... got busy. I have the same 95 LWB, mostly stock and original: except coils and LT230. I bought it at 130K miles and just passed 201K miles. Maybe 50% of those miles have been towing and I suspect at times I've been a bit over the total weight (vehicle and trailer) recommended in the owners manual. Tows everything well and braking has always been smooth and controlled. I only have two issues, the 4.2L is not excessively powerful for a full load and mid summer, on a grade, everything gets fairly hot. So you slow down and don't use the AC. The transmission seems to run fairly hot when speed is under the torque converter lockup speed so I try to stay above that (55mph) or run in low on the t-case, just for steep grades. I've completed several 3500 mile trips towing with only minor issues that all made warning sounds hundreds of miles before I worried about serious failure; includes universal joints, power steering pumps, loose screws in the distributor, seized front and rear brake calipers, and a really leaky transfer case (but thats an anti-rust feature). I have noticed with a heavy load the T-case gets very hot and will blow a lot more fluid; I just check it every morning, and look at u-joints etc. Surprising thing is I've always been able to find parts within a day or two and mostly not any more expensive than any other vehicle. Last, for the trailer electricals I used an adapter that powers directly from the fuse box up front with its own fuse. This is tapped in where the stock LR harness would go for light signals and this set up seems much more stable for a wide range of trailers, especially ones that draw a lot of power. I also feel better with the trailer lights on a separate fused system. Given those minor issues I don't find long trips towing stressful, though I will say interstate in Colorado doesn't sound fun with a loaded trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi, I intended to say this last week ... got busy. I have the same 95 LWB, mostly stock and original: except coils and LT230. I bought it at 130K miles and just passed 201K miles. Maybe 50% of those miles have been towing and I suspect at times I've been a bit over the total weight (vehicle and trailer) recommended in the owners manual. Tows everything well and braking has always been smooth and controlled. I only have two issues, the 4.2L is not excessively powerful for a full load and mid summer, on a grade, everything gets fairly hot. So you slow down and don't use the AC. The transmission seems to run fairly hot when speed is under the torque converter lockup speed so I try to stay above that (55mph) or run in low on the t-case, just for steep grades. I've completed several 3500 mile trips towing with only minor issues that all made warning sounds hundreds of miles before I worried about serious failure; includes universal joints, power steering pumps, loose screws in the distributor, seized front and rear brake calipers, and a really leaky transfer case (but thats an anti-rust feature). I have noticed with a heavy load the T-case gets very hot and will blow a lot more fluid; I just check it every morning, and look at u-joints etc. Surprising thing is I've always been able to find parts within a day or two and mostly not any more expensive than any other vehicle. Last, for the trailer electricals I used an adapter that powers directly from the fuse box up front with its own fuse. This is tapped in where the stock LR harness would go for light signals and this set up seems much more stable for a wide range of trailers, especially ones that draw a lot of power. I also feel better with the trailer lights on a separate fused system. Given those minor issues I don't find long trips towing stressful, though I will say interstate in Colorado doesn't sound fun with a loaded trailer.
Great feedback, thanks Sapelo. Yes I'm not looking forward to it, but planning to just take it slow and press my luck a bit. I like what you've done with your towing wiring, makes sense. Our plan is to get out really early so it's still cool for the desert areas in California up to the mountains, and then by midday we'll be in the mountains where it's a lot cooler. We'll stop somewhere halfway in Utah (hoping for Moab!) in order to avoid excessive heat. A lot of the way down the other side is downhill, which is great for the engine, not so great for my brakes ;-) let the adventure begin!


1995 Alpine White NAS LWB
(aka "The Fat Stormtrooper")
 

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I don't have much advice on prepping for the mechanicals but I will say that the first thing I did after buying my RRC was buy AAA with 100 mile towing. If you don't have AAA yet there is a short waiting period before they cover the tows so you might want to look into that soon. Maybe one of their packages with the most miles covered with or without a trailer? Also consider getting recommendations on good service shops along the route so if you do break down you know where to go.
Good luck!
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I've decided I'm going to leave the RRC here in CA at a buddy's house until I have time to do these things. Instead I'll be pulling a UHaul 6x12' covered trailer with wifey's 2013 Subaru Forester XT. Hitch receiver, hitch & electrics $200 shipped, not bad. 2 hour install, jobs a goodun. Then when the time & cash allows I'll order the parts, fly back out, put them in and drive her back. I'm going to miss her for a couple months, but at least I know I'll make the drive and can rest at ease.

Bummer - I was really hoping I could do it in time, but hey. Win some lose some I guess.


1995 Alpine White NAS LWB
(aka "The Fat Stormtrooper")
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Little update.

Did the 1,000 mile drive from California to Colorado without incident. I towed a 12' UHaul trailer with the wife's 2013 Subaru Forester XT and it did fine for the most part. Took the drive over 2 days. I hit quite a bit of weather inside most of Utah, and some of the down-grades were a little hairy, but other than that she did fine, even though I'm almost certain she was quite overloaded!

Thanks for everyone's advice. I couldn't have done it without you. We've settled in for the most part up here in Fort Collins. The weather is beautiful and cold.

I've just placed an order for the following parts:
- Air Idle Control Valve
- Throttle Position Sensor
- Ignition Amplifier Module & relocation kit
- EBC pads & rotors all around (7000 front, 6000 rear, dimpled & slotted discs)
- brake pad hardware front & rear

I'm planning to fly back to CA next month and I'd like to be able to fit everything in one day and drive it back to Colorado. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on fitting these items or comments on the timeframe. I'm going to try to bring most of my tools with me and I'll work in my mom's garage.

Here's hoping for the best!


1995 Alpine White NAS LWB
(aka "The Fat Stormtrooper")
 

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If it's running alright why don't you replace the bits after the trip? It's not like any of these things are going to fail catastrophically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If it's running alright why don't you replace the bits after the trip? It's not like any of these things are going to fail catastrophically.
Thanks John. The main reason I want to do these things before the trip is because of the roads. I just did this drive, and with the forecast the weather's not looking up. Blizzards, white-out conditions, sleet, steep grades near cliffs etc. it's not traversing K2 or anything, but having just done it, I've got a fresh enough perspective to have a lot of respect for that mountain.

I'll also have my mother riding shotgun and a wife & 2 kids waiting for me at home. While an engine dying on HWY 1 through Orange County isn't a big deal, the engine dying half a mile down a 7-mile 6% grade in the middle if a snowstorm in the middle of the night is starting to qualify for 'catastrophic failure' in my book. Just trying to think ahead ;-)
 

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Which way are you coming into CO? I'm assuming you're coming in on I-70. If you're worried, why not detour and go through Flagstaff and Albuquerque? It's like an extra 250 ish miles and you avoid snow covered passes.

Saying this as someone who's lived in CO for a while, it's a good idea to avoid the mountains in the winter if you can. Especially at night. The only time I go up there in the winter is for skiing. My sister just totaled a Mercury Mariner up there, on the west side of the Eisenhower tunnel because of hitting black ice at night, she got pinned between a fed ex truck and a semi and hit by numerous other cars.

Also, if you need a new mechanic in CO, PM me and I'll give you the name of my guy, great rates, and incredible work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Which way are you coming into CO? I'm assuming you're coming in on I-70. If you're worried, why not detour and go through Flagstaff and Albuquerque? It's like an extra 250 ish miles and you avoid snow covered passes.

Saying this as someone who's lived in CO for a while, it's a good idea to avoid the mountains in the winter if you can. Especially at night. The only time I go up there in the winter is for skiing. My sister just totaled a Mercury Mariner up there, on the west side of the Eisenhower tunnel because of hitting black ice at night, she got pinned between a fed ex truck and a semi and hit by numerous other cars.

Also, if you need a new mechanic in CO, PM me and I'll give you the name of my guy, great rates, and incredible work.
Good question. Yes I'm taking the i70. I'm not 'worried', just trying to be prepared. I'm not taking the other way because it's longer and uglier. I WANT to take the i70. I have a friggin' Range Rover. I should be able to take any stinkin' road I want ;-)

Sorry to hear about your sister's accident. Yeah you've really got to drive carefully and have your wits about you. I have a fair bit of time driving ice & snow under my belt, so that's not really the part I'm worried about. I just want to do what I can to make the journey safe & uneventful.

PM'd about your mechanic.
 
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