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  #1  
Old February 16th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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Mike Schlueter
1995 Red D-90
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Pulling a Trailer/RV

Anyone have any experience with pulling a sleeper trailer with a D90?

I would love to buy a camper but have no idea what Rover says the D90 can pull or what people have experience pulling.

I am looking at small but not tiny trailers.

Thoughts/Experiences?

Thanks

Mike
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  #2  
Old February 16th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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Randy Black
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Personally if it's small and not tiny I'd say be sure you have good insurance and if you have a family buy some life insurance.

There have been a couple of threads on this with more opinions. I just believe the D 90 is too short and too light and underpowered for anything more than very short trips. Mountains or even hills, headwinds, and emergency stops are really tough with anything but a very small low profile trailer.
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  #3  
Old February 16th, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Mike Schlueter
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Snuff -

That is pretty much my thought. I am sort of leaning toward an "ultra light" camper. But these are still 3500 pounds and 16 feet long.

Seems to me that if a Jeep Wrangler can pull it - a 90 should be able to?

Thoughts?

thanks

Mike
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  #4  
Old February 16th, 2006, 07:47 PM
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Randy Black
'95 D 90 SW
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Maybe you could try renting or borrow a trailer of the size and weight you are interested in. Tow it in some real life situations and see how it does.
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  #5  
Old February 16th, 2006, 07:59 PM
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Mike Schlueter
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NOW THATS THINKIN!

Wish I'd of come up with that on my own!

I'll give it a try!
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  #6  
Old February 16th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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The trailer specs are in the owners' manual. I don't have it in front of me.

As someone who has alot of experience pulling an RV, I agree that a D-90 is a poor choice, whether or not you stay below the weight ratings:

-- Short wheelbase trucks make very poor tow vehicle for bumper-pull trailers. The trailer whips the truck around alot. If the D-90 was 5th-wheel compatible, that might be different, but I can't see pulling a 5th-wheel hitch on the D90

--The manual specifically states you cannot put a weight-distributing hitch on the D-90. Without this type of hitch, all the tongue wieght is on the rear axle; in fact, the trailer will tend to unload the front axle, making steering difficult.

--Along these lines, the maximum tongue weight rating is on the low side, limiting the permitted trailer size even more than the trailer weight itself (most RV trailers have 10-15% of their weight on the tongue).

--D90's are optimized for off-road use, not for multi-purchase highway applications. One major reason they are so good off-road is the long-travel, very compliant suspension. That's not what you want for a trailer hauler. Maybe a Wrangler is good at trailering, but this would be one reason why it's not as good off-road.

The only type of RV I might consider is a small one with total weight and tongue weight below the specs in the manual, and one with very small wind load, such as a pop-up.
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  #7  
Old February 17th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Scott
'94 D90 ST
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We have a popup trailer. I've pulled it behind a TJ wrangler and my D90. Land rover handled better but marginally (truck is much heavier than the tj was). I had no issues (exept lack of power), but then again it was only around 2000# or so. And braking got scary when the brake controller stopped working (it had electric brakes)
Personally, if you are going to go with a travel trailer, I'd get a real tow rig and get the trailer you really want. Yes, the 90 probably could tow one just fine, but the drive might get quite stressful. Just something to think about.
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  #8  
Old February 17th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Jack Walter
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I was looking at trying to find an Eriba Puck trailer - its a little 10' long German camping trailer that only weighs 900 lbs - very popular with the VW crowd.

Also thinking about a teardrop or one of the old early pop-up campers from the 60's where the beds ran lengthwise in the trailer. Those old popups only weigh around 400 lbs. There's a market out there for a truly ultralightweight camping trailer - something in the 600-800 lbs range.

Follow-up Post:

I was looking at trying to find an Eriba Puck trailer - its a little 10' long German camping trailer that only weighs 900 lbs - very popular with the VW crowd.

Also thinking about a teardrop or one of the old early pop-up campers from the 60's where the beds ran lengthwise in the trailer. Those old popups only weigh around 400 lbs. There's a market out there for a truly ultralightweight camping trailer - something in the 600-800 lbs range.
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  #9  
Old February 17th, 2006, 05:54 PM
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Thomas
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By an RV and tow the D-90. I'm sure that I don't even need to tell you how much better of a situation this would be but I will anyway. First, 90's suck towing anything. Second, 90's are uncomfortable on the road. Third, 90's break down at the most inconvenient times (like when you're towing a camper.) And lastly, if you have an RV and tow your 90, when you break your truck out on the trail, you can still get it (and your family) home.
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  #10  
Old February 18th, 2006, 12:47 AM
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Scot Yount
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I use my truck to tow my motorcycle which of course is much lighter than most rigs, but still weighs around 1500 lbs. I have no problems except for hills. I agree that the 90 is not exactly a great tow vehicle, but I think (this is based on my own experience and nothing else) that the 90's most significant limitation is a lack of power at highway speed. You can complain and say you can't tow with it....but in reality you can...just more slowly than the rest of the traffic in headwinds and on hills. I run it from Boston to Delaware with no real problems, but I think in Colorado or somewhere like Alaska (where I am from) it might be a different story. But again, it all depends on what you are willing to put up with. You just ain't going up a significant grade at 70...that's all.

Here it is:
http://homepage.mac.com/scotyount/.P...9C184C11DA.jpg
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  #11  
Old February 20th, 2006, 03:32 AM
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Barry O'Mahony
97 D-90 SW LE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scot
I use my truck to tow my motorcycle which of course is much lighter than most rigs, but still weighs around 1500 lbs.
Scot,

I tow a utility trailer behind the D90 all the time; with 1100 lbs of hay on it, it weighs 1400-15 lbs. easily. Towing it is no problem.

With all due respect, this is nothing like towing an RV trailer. The weight, wheelbase, and wind loading of the RV trailer is completely different. Even if you drop a bigger engine into a D90, the short wheelbase, off-road suspension, and lack of weight-distributing hitch will still make it a lousy town vehicle.

At risk of offending, anyone who considers the biggest problem with towing is going up hill may not have much experience towing big loads. Any vehicle towing near its GCVWR is going to be slow-going up something like the 8%+ mountain grades we have some places out here in the west. So what; drop it down in first, and you can crawl up any grade, even if you are going 4-5 mph. Just pretend you're a big rig driver (even better, fall in behind a big rig and follow him up; no one will blame you for holding up traffic).

The tricky part can be going down hill on a steep grade with a heavy rig. Do that too fast, or without good trailer brakes: it can be real sickening when you step on the brake pedal and not much happens. And you see smoke coming from the front wheels, and a bad smell from the front pads. Not fun.
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  #12  
Old February 20th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Scot Yount
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I completely agree with everything you are saying....it does just depend on the load. load ratings for a given vehicle are def based significantly on what it can stop....not pull.
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  #13  
Old February 21st, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Sam Allen
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I just got a 18 ft aluminum bass boat that weighs about 2200 lbs. has anybody towed boats and did the 90 handle it ok. My thought is that it's more aerodynamic than campers and might be easier to pull. Don't mean to steal the post but this seemed to relate well enough.

Sam
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  #14  
Old February 22nd, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Scott
'94 D90 ST
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestTexasDefender
I just got a 18 ft aluminum bass boat that weighs about 2200 lbs. has anybody towed boats and did the 90 handle it ok. My thought is that it's more aerodynamic than campers and might be easier to pull. Don't mean to steal the post but this seemed to relate well enough.
Sam
The D90 will tow it. Problems to consider are
1. power with that dead weight out back and an already anemic motor (at least mine is).
2. stopping ability with the already not so great defender brakes (can be helped with trailer brakes)
3. how comfortable or stressful it will be to drive.
The boat is not going to have a big wind footprint like a big caravan so side winds should not be a huge issue, but you still have to consider the fact that if something takes the trailer/boat, it will have a pretty decent effect on the tow rig. There people that done it no problems. Theres others that done it and flipped out. I've had no issues with my popup camper. YMMV.
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  #15  
Old February 22nd, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Sam Allen
'97 LE #234
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Luckily the trailer that came with it has brakes the only problem is that my defender doesn't have a trailer brake kit. Any suggestions on what brands to look in to.

Sam
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  #16  
Old February 23rd, 2006, 09:55 PM
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Brian Terpstra
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Another opinion for you. I recently towed a fairly large and heavy trailer in the size and weight range you're considering. At 60 mph or higher, I got a LOT of back and forth swaying from the trailer that would have caused a serious problem if I hadn't taken my foot off the gas promptly.

Going down a 7% grade was no real problem - the brakes were sufficient for it, although I wouldn't want to have to haul it down to 0 from 60 on a repeated basis. Going up was also not a huge problem as long as it's OK to travel at 40mph or so.

Personally, I wouldn't go that long & heavy with a such a short wheel base vehicle. There are probably safer things in this world.
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  #17  
Old February 24th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Scott T
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Don't try this at home...

There are worse Tow vehicles than the 90...

http://www.putfile.com/lrnad90/media

Click on "Bad Tow Vehicle " Movie...

Its an oldie, but a goodie...
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  #18  
Old February 25th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Alex West
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defenders are great tow vehicles loads of ppl use them in the uk everyday towing loads of differant things. That said the longer wheels base makes the vehicle feel better a 110 and 130 are known as excelent tow vehicles weight limits are the same for all models 750 KG unbraked and 3500kg for braked trailers sorry dont know what that is in lbs
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  #19  
Old February 27th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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Scott T
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westiia
..weight limits are the same for all models 750 KG unbraked and 3500kg for braked trailers sorry dont know what that is in lbs
750 Kg = 1653 Lbs
5300 Kg = 7716 lbs

Or alot more than they are rated for stateside. Unless those are LOW RANGE numbers, in which case I believe they are roughly the same as the US Ratings, but we obviously can't drive puplic roads in low range..
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