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2013-01-04 10:13

LUXURY TRAILER FOR EPIC TREKKING Airstream’s luxury trailers make for the perfect addition to a 4x4 trek through the great outdoors, especially when hitched to a new Range Rover.


Range Rover in Morocco 2012. Wheels24's editor LES STEPHENSON was there for the international launch and a drive from Essaouira on the coast to the fabled Marrakech 450km east - via some awesome scenery.

MARRAKECH, Morocco - While not in the same league as the 2013 Dakar, the route through Morocco chosen by Land Rover for the world launch of its fourth generation Range Rover was still arduous as LES STEPHENSON found much to his delight.

Despite performing admirably across mountain peaks and sand dunes, it seems the automaker still had one test in mind - how well does its latest 4x4 tow?

With a new Airstream 684 Series 2 aluminium travel trailer hitched, a Range Rover Autobiography, powered by 249kW SDV8 engine, was chosen for a unique challenge – drive from Airstream’s home in England to the top of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco... and back.


Often on the move for more than 12 hours a day, Ben Samuelson, whose firm Samuelson Wylie Associates planned and executed the trip, coped imperiously with the challenge of towing a 2399kg trailer across 5915km in just 11 days.

The journey started at Airstream's factory in Tebay, a few kilometres south of the Scottish border, to Oukaïmeden, the highest ski resort in Africa. The route included a trip to Land Rover’s factory in Solihull, England and Frank Gehry’s aluminium Marques de Riscal building in Rioja, Spain.

The team also traversed the desert outside Chichaoua and the race track at Marrakesh, where Land Rover held the launch of its new 4x4.


Samuelson said: “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.

"Half-way through Spain we encountered horrendous crosswinds, the type that see articulated trucks tipped on to their side, but the Range Rover’s trailer stability assist meant that any sway was dealt with before it even started.

"Mountains? What mountains? With 700Nm of torque from that mighty 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."


The team’s 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."


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