News : Range Rover L405 tows Airstream to Morocco

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

In order to demonstrate the class-leading towing ability of the all-new Range Rover, Land Rover teamed up with an American icon to take part in the ultimate road-trip to one of the highest points in Africa.

LR_Range_Rover_and_Airstream_030113_02

With a newly-launched Airstream 684 Series 2 aluminium travel trailer hitched to its electrically-deployable tow bar, a Range Rover Autobiography with the 339bhp SDV8 engine was chosen for the challenge – to drive from Airstream’s European home in the English Lake District, to the top of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco – and back… More European Airstream owners choose Land Rover products to tow their ‘silver bullets’ than cars from any other manufacturer so all-new Range Rover and Airstream made for an appropriate pairing.

The journey started at the factory where Airstream finishes its European specification trailers in Tebay, just a few miles from the Scottish border, to Oukaïmeden, which is the highest ski resort in Africa. En route, it encompassed Land Rover’s factory in Solihull, Frank Gehry’s aluminium Marques de Riscal building (below) in the Spanish wine region of Rioja, the beach near Casablanca, the desert outside Chichaoua and the race track at Marrakesh, where Land Rover was based for the launch of the new car.

Often on the move for more than 12 hours a day on every type of road imaginable – from the empty motorways of Spain to the precipitous hairpins of the High Atlas – the all-new Range Rover coped imperiously with the challenge of towing a 2399kg Airstream 3676 miles in just 11 days. Ben Samuelson, whose firm Samuelson Wylie Associates planned and executed the trip, was deeply impressed by the new car: ‘The new Range Rover’s towing ability is nothing short of stunning. It pulled the two and a half tonne Airstream like it simply wasn’t there.

‘It didn’t matter what we, or the weather, threw at it – it just did the job we asked of it without question, while truly cosseting us with its extraordinary luxury and refinement. Half way through Spain, we encountered horrendous side winds, the type that sees articulated trucks tipped onto their side, but the Range Rover’s Trailer Stability Assist meant that any sway in the trailer was dealt with before it ever started. And mountains. What mountains? With 516lb ft of torque from that V8 diesel at our disposal, there wasn’t an incline that slowed us down at all, even with a gross train weight of well over five tonnes. What was possibly even more impressive was the way that, even after repeated 12 hour driving days, we’d step up into that exquisite cabin in the morning and still appreciate its sense of occasion.’

And the overnight stays were no less luxurious…

‘You can compare the Airstream to a boutique hotel – albeit a mobile one – and taking this combination of rig on your travels injects some serious style and comfort. The moment that really summed up the magic of a journey like this was waking up in the Airstream on a sunny morning next to the beach just outside Casablanca – only a few days after towing it down a crowded British motorway through typically dismal autumnal British weather. A hot shower was followed by breakfast rustled up in a luxurious Corian-worktopped kitchen and that morning’s Times newspaper downloaded onto the iPad via the Airstream’s satellite broadband. I think we proved that luxury and adventure are not mutually exclusive…’

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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22 Comments

  1. Excellent publicity for a car of great merit.

    I just hope it doesn’t fuel the growing misconception amongst caravan makers that we all aspire to own a 4×4. Airstreams are built to last and elegant – if a little incongruous-looking on British touring sites – but less space and weight efficient than any British built vans. Even the fixed bed ones.

  2. I wonder if there is space in the dashboard to fit a digi tacho in a Rangey? It won’t take a very big trailer to put it over the 3.5t limit……

  3. Hardly inspiring stuff from the Land Rover press office. You would expect any Land Rover product from Discovery upwards to be able to tow a caravan from one end of Europe to Morrocco, up mountains and down dale, virtually in it’s sleep.

    Whatever happened to stuff like the Camel Trophy or similar? A real workout and adventure for Land Rover products- sort of thing that really whets the appetite.

    Wonder if JLR shares its press office with MG Motors?

  4. Perhaps they should take a Rangey to the Australian outback, with a caravan and try this properly? I honestly doubt the Rangey would get very far, before having a terminal breakdown.

  5. Thanks for the link Triomatic- that’s the sort of thing that LR press office do so well when they do it!

    Surprised about the G Wagen- its built by Steyr who have something of a reputation when it comes to making off-roaders- their Pinzgauer would be my offroader of choice if I was going to go overland.

  6. A caravan such as the one in the photo you usually see on the back of a Mitsubishi L200 Warrior or a Transit.

    Don’t see many being pulled by Range Rovers.

  7. Lol @23

    Do said vehicles usually have greedy boards and only a mobile phone number on the side advertising their roofing/drive laying/tree cutting business?

  8. Great article. im just in the process of building a 7Metre caravan – trailer from the ground up after the last we bought was rotten, I am hoping to come in under 2000 kg and it wont be fitted out like an airstream (basic it will be) the airstreams are wonderful looking caravans inside and out. alex

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