Range Rover Tows Airstream to Africa & Back

To demonstrate the 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.

The 250kW, 700Nm Range Rover SDV8 pulls the Airstream.

The 250kW, 700Nm Range Rover SDV8 pulls the Airstream.

According to Land Rover, 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.

With a newly launched Airstream 684 Series 2 travel trailer hitched to its electrically deployable tow bar, a Range Rover Autobiography with the 339PS SDV8 engine was chosen for the challenge—to drive from the English Lake District, to the top of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco—and back.

The journey started at the factory where Airstream finishes its European-specification caravans in Tebay and went to Oukaïmeden, the highest ski resort in Africa.

En route, it visited Land Rover’s factory in Solihull, Frank Gehry’s amazing aluminium Marques de Riscal building 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 model.

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 5,291 pound (2,399 kg) Airstream 3,676 miles in just 11 days, according to the Land Rover blog.

Ben Samuelson, whose firm Samuelson Wylie Associates planned and executed the trip, was impressed by the new car.

Parked at the aluminum Marques de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, in Rioja.

Parked at the aluminum Marques de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, in Rioja.

“The new Range Rover’s towing ability is nothing short of stunning. It pulled the two and a half ton 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 700 NM of torque from that mighty V8 diesel at our disposal, there wasn’t an incline that slowed us down at all.

“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.”

According to the blog, 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, Samuelson said.

“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.

The High Atlas is no place for sissies. If you look carefully you can see the Range Rover and Airstream trailer in the hairpin bend.

The High Atlas is no place for sissies. If you look carefully you can see the Range Rover and Airstream trailer in the hairpin bend.

“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.

“Travelling doesn’t get a lot better than that.”

Worth Pondering…

I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band,
I saw a needle that winked its eye.
But I think I will have seen everything
When I see an Airstream fly.

—music and lyrics by Oliver Wallace and Ned Washington, in Dumbo

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