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Post Info TOPIC: Luxury tow tugs

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Luxury tow tugs

I have a Heavy Combination (semi trailer) licence and have driven a large variety of commercial vehicles over the years.  For my personal use I was a Toyota man for 35+ years.  Towed box trailers, trail bike trailers, camper trailers and caravans.  Swapped in heavier springs, BIG shock absorbers, disk brakes, power steering, power assisted clutch, soft bucket seats, loud radio -cassette, etc to 'improve' them.  But they always remained a loud, wiggly body attached through rubber bushings to a heavy, wiggly, riveted chassis that gulped large amounts of fuel and was imprecise in steering and braking.


When it came time to consider a big lap retirment rig, another flimsy box on a wobbly ladder frame chassis was not top of my list for a tow tug.  I know they have improved since I bought my first FJ-40 in 1976 but the underlying design and limitations are still there.  So I looked at other capable vehicles.

Subaru and Range Rover (full sized) have monocoque bodies with wish-bone suspension and all mod cons.  In 2021 10 year old L322 Range Rover Diesel Vogues that have always been dealer serviced are going for $40,000 and come with everything you could want including great comfort, superb handling, ample power and suprisingly good fuel economy.  [note - Range Rover Sport and Evoke are different models, smaller and chassis based]  A similarly equiped 2011 Landcruiser Sahara costs ~$64,000; that's a suprise (or not).


So what do you get in a Vogue?

Big, economical V8 diesel engine (Ford brand, designed by Jaguar, England); 230kW, 700Nm 9.4L/100km, 104L tank.

Automatic gearbox, full time 4wd, low range selection on-the-move, traction control, hill decent, dynamic stability control, air suspension (including low access height on demand), power steering, enormous brakes with ABS, parking sonar, reverse camera, auto wipers, memory mirrors,  ...

Cruise control, trip computer, sat nav, entertainment system (11 speakers), height and reach steering wheel adjustment ...

Xenon head lights, front and rear fog lights, 4 footwell curtersy lights, puddle lights (under front mirrors), boot lights, 4 map/reading lights, ...

Luxury leather seats, power windows, accoustic glass, flat floor, ...

Keyless entry with high security, including panic/double locking.

Boot height 1000mm width (between wheel arches) 1081mm, length 1081, volume 1m3, with rear seats folded 1529mm 2m3.


What extras do you need to add to a Vouge?

Tow hitch for light weight trailers only (tow bar and receiver are intergral to the monocoque body).

Weight distribution hitch is definately needed when tow ball weight is above 100kg.  The auto levelling air suspension will pump the rig up to level when the caravan is attached, but leaves the front wheels unloaded.  $650

Extension mirrors.  $100

Tow Electronics Lighting Controller.  The connecting plug is standard but may be unpopulated.  $200

Electronic brake controller for any trailer over 500kg.  This requires running new cables from the main Lighting Control Module under the passenger seat to the brake controller and from the controller to the Tow Electronics Lighting Controller in the rear.  $350

Trailer lighting and power plugs. $100

Total = $1,400  But you'll likely need most of these for a Landcruiser too.


I've had my 2003 L322 for 5 years now.  Tows a dream.  Steering is always light and PRECISE, braking is easy, acceleration is smooth.  Air suspension is wonderful, seats are comfy, noise is subdued.  And there is no shaking, shuddering, body roll or distractions of any kind.

To give an example, 2 years ago we needed to get home quickly from the sunshine coast QLD 900km to Newcastle NSW for a family 'event'.  Packed up the van the evening before, then left Noosa Heads early.  13 hours later (including 5 stops, 1 for fuel) got out of the car with no stiffness or muscle aches, just a little eye strain.  In no way will I ever go back to driving trucks.

So if you are Ok with buying a 10 year old comfy car with a full dealer service history for 2/3 the price of a less than equivalent Landcruiser you could do worse than an L322 Range Rover Vogue.


Does anyone else have similar comfort/value info for all of us forum members ?



-- Edited by bruceg on Sunday 25th of July 2021 02:37:10 PM

-- Edited by bruceg on Sunday 25th of July 2021 02:38:42 PM


Bruce & Judy pulling a 3T 23.5' Traveller Prodigy behind a Diesel Range Rover


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Posts: 7456

We have the Freelander, as we needed a small car due to parking issues where we live. Never had a problem with it, it was designed by Ford, has their 2.0L Ecoboost petrol engine, a brilliant bit of kit.

It is a quiet car, but I have stuffed it full of acoustic insulation to make it even better, with improved thermal bonus. Actually gone mad to see how far one could push it. I only have the cheap 11 speaker Meridian hi-fi, not the 17 speaker setup. There is an owner who has rebuilt the amp with larger capacitors & upgraded the speakers & rebuilt the standard subwoofer, which is pretty good to start with even on the 11 speaker setup.

There are a few owners who have added items from the Range Rover, TVs & remote control in the back, four TV antennas, blind spot monitoring which fit the Freelander. Surround cameras, extra 4WD data. It's all there in the software, just was turned off & never offered as an option for the pauper models.

I find the front parking sensors are handy at times. Heated mirrors are good. I have the puddle lamps under the mirrors but not the doors, have filled the gap with acoustic insulation.

I haven't got the door sill stainless tread plate with illuminated personal title. A terrible disappointment. Not offered on the Freelander, but can be added to keep up with the Jones.

A lot of parts are interchangeable between LR, Jaguar & Volvo.

I use my own mechanic but he does use the LR parts, they are not that expensive.

My sister has a Evoque with illuminated door sills. The Evoque originated from the Freelander, but my Freelander is much nicer & more room with full size spare wheel. 


Some personal modifications are:

3 ARB air compressors, 4L air tank, refrigerated after cooler, moisture trap. Compressed air can be used with venturi air gun to wash the car 0.5L/minute bottled water, works brilliantly.

104AH auxiliary batteries, DC-DC, solar MPPT. Dashcams on all sides with 2 at the front. Anderson plug for jump starting, including self.


I have actually taken the footwell globes out, a bit of a pain when camping. I could add a switch, but couldn't be bothered. Although wouldn't mind the door sill illumination just for the sake of it!


Onboard OCD cleaning!



Procrastination, mankind's greatest labour saving device!

50L custom fuel rack 6x20W 100/20mppt 4x26Ah gel 28L super insulated fridge TPMS 3 ARB compressors heatsink fan cooled 4L tank aftercooler Air/water OCD cleaning 4 stage car acoustic insulation.


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Posts: 1363

Wawt, you are talking me into buying one of those in the future. Am quite interested. I would have bought one this time, but way more dearer, then what I bought.


Ric - The Eccentric One

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