Can You Flat Tow Land Rover Defender?


 Flat towing is essential when you are driving your motorhome to a campsite. When you get to the campsite, and you want to explore the parking area, you can use the smaller vehicle to get around. Unfortunately, most vehicles are not flat-towable. 

Vehicles that are flat towable must offer a transmission disconnect option besides being on neutral mode. When you disconnect the transmission system, and you lock the steering column, the vehicle will be ready for flat towing. Does a Land Rover Defender offer these functionalities?

Can You Flat Tow Land Rover Defender? 

You can flat tow a Land Rover Defender, but you have to take care to protect the transmission system. Land Rover has outlined the things you should observe to ensure that you tow your Land Rover Defender safely. 

There are many reasons why you would want to bring a Land Rover Defender to your next adventure.

The vehicle was engineered for off-road driving, there are several customizations you can carry out on the vehicle, high-tech off-road and safety features, and it offers a smooth and luxurious ride. 

For a long time, Land Rover has not produced the Defender, but it came back in 2020 and reclaimed its spot as it had in its heydays. Now, you can tow this SUV behind your motorhome to your next adventure. 

How To Flat Tow Your Land Rover Defender Behind a Motorhome

Before you start towing your vehicle, the transmission park release needs to be activated. This ensures that your transmission system does not engage when you start towing as this can lead to its damage. 

If you set your vehicle on Neutral mode (N) and then switch off your engine, your vehicle’s transmission system will switch on to park (P) automatically after about 10 minutes.

If you have not enabled transmission park release when that happens, your transmission system will sustain damages. 

Enough lubrication doesn’t get to the transmission system during the tow with the transmission park release inactivated. The manufacturer warns that there is also a risk to your personal safety.

During the tow, you need power for your tow vehicle brakes. If you cannot use the engine during the tow, it means that you cannot fit the brakes for your dinghy vehicle.

Again, for you to engage the steering column, you need the vehicle battery to stay connected. 

It is dangerous to dinghy tow your Land Rover Defender with the steering column locked. You may lose control over the SUV, and this can cause serious accidents on the road.

Before you start dinghy towing, therefore, ensure that the steering column is not locked. 

According to the automaker, you can only flat tow your Land Rover Defender in a forward direction, unless you tow it on a flatbed. If you tow the SUV on reverse, you risk damaging the transmission system.

Again, you cannot tow the vehicle with only two wheels on the ground as this too will damage the transmission system. 

There are flat towing limitations set to ensure that your SUV is safe at all times. For instance, you should not tow the vehicle for longer than 30 miles (50 kilometers). 

After driving such a distance, you need to disconnect the vehicle and run the engine for a while before you continue. 

You should not exceed a speed of 30 miles per hour (50 kilometers per hour). If you drive at higher than recommended speeds or for longer than recommended distance, you risk damaging the transmission system. 

If you cannot set your vehicle to Neutral (N) mode, you should not flat tow it. If your Land Rover Defender’s rear electronic differential is in a locked position, you should avoid towing your vehicle.

Towing your vehicle in such positions can cause serious damages to the transmission system. 

How to Tow a Land Rover Defender if Flat Towing is Not Possible

Land Rover recommends towing the Defender on a flatbed trailer. Towing the vehicle on all four on the ground is only recommended where the flatbed trailer is not available.

If you tow your SUV on all four, the manufacturer says that you must do it for a very short distance.

This means that, if you have a flatbed trailer, you never have to tow the SUV behind your motorhome.

For most adventures that you will go on, you may have to drive for longer than 1000 miles – this is especially so when you are moving from one state to another. 

When towing on a flatbed trailer, you need to secure the vehicle from the front towing eye. Ensure that you engage the electric parking brake when securing the vehicle to the flatbed.

Turn on the vehicle’s ignition and ensure that the SUV’s steering column is not locked. Apply the car’s brake pedal and set the car on Neutral. 

Activate the transmission park release for your vehicle and leave your vehicle’s smart key inside the vehicle. You can then switch on the ignition to ensure that the turn signals are operational and so are the brake lights.

However, you should not leave the ignition on for extended periods of time as this will drain the battery of your SUV, making it challenging to start when you get to the campsite. 

Before you start towing the vehicle with all four wheels off the ground, release the electric parking brakes. 

According to Land Rover, towing the Defender with all four wheels off the ground is the most appropriate towing method, and you only need to ensure that the battery does not drain. 

Can You Modify the Land Rover Defender for Better Flat Towing? 

There are so many risks that come with flat towing your Land Rover Defender. Although the SUV is flat towable, there are so many precautions to take to ensure that you do not damage the transmission system. 

Again, you may need to drive the vehicle for a longer distance. 

We do not recommend any mods on the transmission system, especially on new vehicles. Doing so will void your vehicle warranty, and you will be on your own the next time your car breaks down due to some manufacturer defects. 

Fitting a transmission lube pump and driveshaft decoupler is an expensive modification. You also need to ensure that you are working with the best mechanic to ensure that everything is done correctly. Even then, you will still need to follow the instructions given by Land Rover on flat towing your Defender. 

Why Bring a Land Rover Defender on your Next Adventure? 

The Land Rover Defender combines luxury, size, and capability to give you all you need for your next trip. You can choose between the two-door and the four-door Defender, depending on your needs. 

There are two engine options. The base engine, known as P300, is a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder engine that generates 296 horses and 295-pound feet of torque.

The other engine, the P400, is a 3.0L six-cylinder engine that makes 395 horses and 406-pound feet of torque. 

All the engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a two-speed transfer case with low-range gearing. Every Land Rover Defender is 4WD, so you can take it off the road without worrying that you will lose traction. 

The standard Defender seats five passengers. However, you can pick the optional six-passenger vehicle. You can also pick the Defender 110, which comes with a third row to accommodate even more passengers. 

The base trim offers a host of comfort, convenience, and drivability features. These features include:

  • LED headlights 
  • 10-inch touchscreen 
  • Apple CarPlay 
  • Android Auto
  • Six-speaker sound system 
  • Cloth searing
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel 
  • Adjustable air suspension
  • 18-inch steel wheels 

The base trim also offers a host of safety features, such as forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping system, and a 360-degree camera system.

If you go higher the trims, you will get larger 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and power-adjustable front seats.

The X-Dynamic S is a package available for Defender 90, and it offers a host of features, including a black headliner, two-tone seats, illuminated scuff plates, dark-painted wheels, and gloss black and silver exterior trim. 

There are other packages that add several other features to the base and S trims to make the SUV better. The top trim is the X, which offers all luxury features you need for an SUV that you take on an adventure.

There are also accessory packs that offer you convenient features such as a roof rack, wheel arch flares, and a spare tire cover. 

Flat-Tow A Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender is dinghy towable, but only for a short distance. If you are planning a long trip, you are better off towing the SUV on a flatbed. If your trip is less than 50 kilometers, you can flat tow safely. 

Bringing a Defender to your next trip will be fun as the SUV offers all you need to drive on and off the road. However, you must observe all the warnings and precautions the manufacturer has outlined for flat towing. Failure to do so will lead to damage to your transmission system and even extended damage to other parts of your vehicle. 

John Nelson

You can find John stringing a hammock from the back of his SUV to a tree camping in the outdoors most weekends during warmer weather. John loves the outdoors and the freedom four-wheel-drive vehicles offer.

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