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  #1  
Old September 18th, 2012, 08:53 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Overloading your vehicle

I'm starting this thread because I wanted to gather a few opinions on past experiences with Defenders, trucks and general vehicle knowledge. Vehicle max weights are very low. Most people I assume know that lawyers right the GCVW weights on passenger vehicles and that an engineer would tell you one could do more with the given machine. In my life, I have never paid attention to these numbers because I've never towed a lot. Then I got old enough (and got a job that paid enough) where I started taking long road trips. I wanted to bring everything I owned on these trips so that I could maximize my fun. There is a photo from a post I put up a few years back of me leaving to go x-country with my now wife. on the back of the fully packed D-90 was two dirt bikes on a hitch mounted carrier. I had tripled the max tongue weight on the defender. Tripled it. Bumper was fine.. rear bearings were fine, gas mileage sucked, and it handled like the normal crappy off-road setup D-90 does with no sway bars. No harm no foul.

Now I race cars and tow a lot of trailers very often. I have a 2008 Tundra which is rated to tow 11,100. Now I know that number assumes the tundra is empty of weight and blah blah but how does everyone generally approach towing weights? Power wise.. I have 400 HP. it will move whatever I hook up to the hitch but what I can't seem to find on the internet is what happens when you reach the level of mechanical failure. At some point of over loadedness.. will my rear bearings collapse or the leaf spring mounting bolts sheer etc. what happens. I'm not looking to purposefully push the limit because we're talking about a lot of weight here but I am curious for my own knowledge of the signs and symptoms of a potentially dangerous situation since I normally assume "the truck can take it". SO I load it up with dirt bikes, gear, trailers etc and don't think twice.

Do you guys religiously adhere to the weight limits on your cars and trucks? I know there are safety issues with other on the road and I'm not looking to dismiss that but it would be good to honestly understand the true limit of the machines given capability.

Oh and if anyone cares.. A D-90 stock rear bumper will take 800 pounds no problem.
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  #2  
Old September 18th, 2012, 09:47 PM
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Yeah, brakes would be my biggest concern, i have no idea what the tundra is rated to stop, but another thing is that it is an automatic, you just have less control when towing with one, but theres not too many vehicles left that normal people can go out and buy to tow with that have a manual. The only one the springs to mind is the 2500 or 3500 Cummins, but who knows how much longer that will be around.
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Old September 18th, 2012, 09:50 PM
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I used to use my P38 4.6 RR to tow my 90 on a trailer, loaded with tools and gear. It did great, but not quite the same as my 3/4T Yukon XL with 4.10 gears.

Everything is governed and tempered by the threat of a law suit. We have become extremely litigious over the past few decades.
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  #4  
Old September 18th, 2012, 10:16 PM
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I have seen a DI lifted, with M/T ( fully kitted RTE , Winch, sliders etc ) towing a 2,000lbs UNBRAKED trailer with a D130 on top ( fully kitted D130 ).
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  #5  
Old September 18th, 2012, 11:44 PM
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Brakes and proper weight distribution are the most important things when towing. My Colorado is rated at 6k and I've towed every bit of that and then some all the way to florida and back. I have electric brakes on my trailer and I wouldn't tow without them. It's actually illegal in nj not to have brakes on anything over 1000lbs I believe.

Power is the least of your concern always.

Follow the 60front/40rear rule with 10% of the weight on the tongue. Too mich rear trailer weight will make it sway side to side Keep the truck level so your front brakes actually do something when you smash them. The key is to tow your load, not carry it. I personally think most people way oversize their tow vehicles for no reason. I love passing guys with f350's towing a 1000lb boat with my Colorado towing my defender to maine or my 3300lb race car to the track lol
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  #6  
Old September 19th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Yeah I'm not getting close to the limit of the Tundra with my race car but I have towed it with the D-90 a few times and that was pretty scary. The tundra has some pretty massive brakes and my car trailers brakes are broken. Honestly with the Tundra, I don't notice the difference with a braked trailer or not but with the Defender... I was locking up just trying slow down for red lights.. it was bad.

Braking, weight management and distribution are definitely key. I'm considering purchasing a 2 car open trailer which would bring up the numbers a lot. Two race cars.. 3K pounds each and probably a 2K pound trailer bringing me to 8K before fuel, gear, tools or anything. With gear and hitch weight, I'll be over the payload limit of the tundra but I'll be under the GCVW I think. I feel OK with it but I just thought I would get feedback.

It's funny.. you make this same post on a Tundra forum and people flip out on you about adhering to weights and axle loads, tires pressures. etc. One guy said he takes his family and bass boat to a weigh station before he leaves on trips to make sure he's good but here guys are towing D130s on unbraked trailers. love it.
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  #7  
Old September 19th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Eventually heat and weight kill a tire. When that happens is a function of a lot of things, but that seems to be the first failure point. Brakes can overheat, but unless you are going up and down hills that is low on the issue list. Obviously stopping distances will be longer, but with good trailer brakes who cares (why you idiots tow without working trailer brakes is beyond me - I did it once by accident with a U-haul, but still). Remember, outside of the US, a D90 is rated to tow 7700lbs (as is a disco in the US -- but only in low range). I am sure I am going to mess up the story, but I was in a disco that towed a HD trailer that looked like a dump truck that was full of boulders. It had to be well over 10k lbs. No ill effects, but it was just around town.

Basically I think you are much more likely to have some sort of accident than have a mechanical breakage due to overloading. Maybe you cook the trans, maybe break an axle or CV, bend an axle housing, etc. but at the end of the day all that stuff is strong enough on a defender to take non-shock load abuse of towing multiples of what you are supposed to.
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  #8  
Old September 19th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
You have to realize the ALL Land Rover owners are a bit off. It puts most conversations into perspective.

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  #9  
Old September 19th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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I personally wouldn't tow much of anything with a defender. Short wheelbase, offload suspensions, Offload tires etc make it not the most stable vehicle. If you have a tundra use that to tow. It's was designed with that in mind.

As for the double trailer. If its loaded correctly, proper tire pressures and good brakes (both axles!) I'd say you'll be fine.

Remember. If you do have an accident and are over your limits, have faulty or insufficient equipment you may not be covered by insurance and may/probably will be at fault to some degree ( even I'd you didn't cause the accident).
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Old September 19th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Not tow with a D? Not sure I agree with that...I've used the 110 to tow a hydraulic dump trailer and frequently use it to tow my 1986 Baja boat (the boat is a beast). And where I'm towing to is squirrelly terrain (top of a mountain in NY). As long as the diesel is warmed up pulls like a champ. I also hooked up a NAS bumper, which gives me more towing confidence than the recovery style hitches.

Tow away I say!
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  #11  
Old September 19th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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Yes, good sense will see you to the end. Know your truck and cargo, don't get stupid. Mine is set up for off road also, although the most I've towed with it is about 2500 lbs, just using the 90's brakes. The stopping distance was greater but overall it was fine.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Stephan Laputka
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Yeah the towing days of the D-90 are over. That's what the tundra is for. I was just getting opinions.. some people are really insane over this stuff so i wanted a gut check. but as it with everything on the internet.. you research enough you will come up with the worst case scenario. Overload your tundra... bearings collapse, axle goes through gas tank, car explodes kills everyone within a 200 ft radius type stuff...

Like webmd which is the WORST. research an itch on your harm and 20 minutes later your convinced you have cancer.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
Not tow with a D? Not sure I agree with that...I've used the 110 to tow a hydraulic dump trailer and frequently use it to tow my 1986 Baja boat (the boat is a beast). And where I'm towing to is squirrelly terrain (top of a mountain in NY). As long as the diesel is warmed up pulls like a champ. I also hooked up a NAS bumper, which gives me more towing confidence than the recovery style hitches.

Tow away I say!
I wouldn't tow w/ mine b/c I have no reason to. I have a pick up that will handle towing much better than my D will. As the OP stated, he has a Tundra, I would say use that (as he said he will)

Theres one thing to tow a boat to the lake, or a piece of equipment through town or even just once in a rare while. I was more or less saying I wouldn't use my D to tow my race car to the track everytime (2-3 times a month, up to 7 hrs at a clip). I can go faster and safer towing my car w/ my pick up than I could going that speed with just the defender alone (if it can even do 75mph mile after mile lol)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflash868 View Post
Yeah the towing days of the D-90 are over. That's what the tundra is for. I was just getting opinions.. some people are really insane over this stuff so i wanted a gut check. but as it with everything on the internet.. you research enough you will come up with the worst case scenario. Overload your tundra... bearings collapse, axle goes through gas tank, car explodes kills everyone within a 200 ft radius type stuff...

Like webmd which is the WORST. research an itch on your harm and 20 minutes later your convinced you have cancer.
Yea - You'll be fine again as long as you use good common sense. You'll see guys that say you shouldn't tow anything with a 3/4 or 1 ton pick up. Those are the guys I was talking about that i laugh when they buy a $60k f350 just to tow their bass boat back and forth from the lake.

I would still stick to the max capacity your truck is rated for. if its rated to tow 11k then I would stick to that # or less. Again - mainly b/c if you get into an accident and your over, your going to be in trouble.

Also - i've found in the trucks I've owned the rated capacities are pretty darn close to what "feels" safe. At 6k lbs i feel like i dont really want to try towing anything more with my truck. 6K is what the truck is rated for so I think the manufacturer got it pretty spot on there. Same has been the case with my dakota I had previsouly.
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  #14  
Old September 21st, 2012, 11:49 PM
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Exceeding GAWR will get you in trouble quick if you have an accident or get pulled over, same with the weight carrying capacity of the hitch and equipment. GCWR is not normally a legal limit, lots of trucks run over their gross combined but are still legal. As a general rule, as long as everything is operating inside of its weight carrying capacity you are legal. Check with your insurance company though, they usually are idiots and may balk at exceeding the truck's rated GCWR.

The hitch on your truck is probably rated for 11.5K and you'll likely be close to your rear axle weight rating if you start towing over 11K, but if you can uprate the hitch, and distribute the load to keep the axle weights on the truck down, you can likely do it legally.
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