Jeep Liberty Towing?

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Paws4It

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Hello.  I am looking for opinions/advise, please.  I have a 2013 Jeep Liberty, with the tow package.  The book says it will tow 5000 lbs.. 
Does anyone have experience with towing with this setup?  I'm looking at a Rockwood Mini Lite, that is mid 3000 lb weight, with a tongue weight in mid 200's.  I would have the sway hitch put on, and the trailer brake installed.
I am just not sure about this.
Thanks in advance. 
 

Paws4It

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Thanks, Chet..  good point! 

Let me ask you this,  would you go by the sticker on the door (numbers) or what the book says the vehical can pull?  That book says it will tow 5000lbs with towing package, but I dont think the door says that much.
I just wonder what a beating we'd take if we tried to trade it in after only a year!  Do you know how that works?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Go with the door sticker - it is specific to your vehicle. The "book" (which one?) is more likely to be generic.

Trading after one year is a financial debacle. You suffer a year of depreciation, plus the dealer is only giving you wholesale vs the retail price you just paid.

I would not be comfortable towing 5000 lbs with a Liberty, but maybe 3500? You didn't mention which Mini Lite model, but most of them weigh around 3500 lbs or more empty, so that means 4000+ when loaded for travel.  Even the 18 footer is 3344 lbs, bone dry with no options.
 

Paws4It

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You are right on the mark with the weights, Gary, so would you be comfortable towing 4000 pounds with the Jeep, if it says it can tow 5?  I have to recheck the door sticker, but the book says with the towing packate it will tow 5000, so that is what my husband keeps repeating.  I also believe we should follow the door's tag.  I need to run out and take a pic of it and then post here and get you guy's opinions... 
 

Paws4It

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Ok, will you please explain this to me...what can it tow?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Larry N.

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GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, the 5675 lb listed) is the  maximum weight for your vehicle including gas, oil, people, luggage, etc. and has nothing to do with towing (except that the tongue weight from the trailer would be included in that 5675 as more "cargo"). The other two weight values are the maximum allowable weight on each respective axle. I see no towing information on that sticker.
 

Paws4It

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Hummmm  I thought the GVWR was what a person used to determine what RV they could tow....  I must have miss understood.
 

Ned

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Paws4It said:
Hummmm  I thought the GVWR was what a person used to determine what RV they could tow....  I must have miss understood.

That would be the (G)ross (C)ombined (W)eight (R)ating (GCWR), the maximum weight of the vehicle and whatever it tows.  Se the forum glossary for the definitions of weight ratings.
 

Paws4It

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I got'cha!  Ok, so the tag on the door is not what we go by...  back to the drawing board!  ::)
 

Frizlefrak

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I'm a car rental manager for a living, and I drive new Libertys on a regular basis.  Anything over 3000 lbs would make me nervous, and I'm an old hand at doing this.  If they are rated for 5K, I can't understand how.  I would stick with a pop up using a Liberty, and even then would watch the weights carefully.

Gross Combined Weight Rating    minus    weight of vehicle, fuel, passengers, pets, luggage, and anything else you carry is what you can safely tow.  Discount 10% off GVWR if you tow in the mountain west.
 

Paws4It

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Hi Frizlefrak.  It's the 2013 Liberty's with the tow package that are rated for 5k.  I agree I am not comfortable with it either.  :(
 

Gizmo

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Don't forget to subtract from your tow capacity drivers weight over 150 lbs, all passenger and luggage/gear weight and not a bad idea to include a margin of safety.  I live near and travel in mountains, so I include a 25% margin, for travel in relatively flat terrain 10% should be adequate.  On another note, I have a 98 Jeep Cherokee which carries the same 5K tow capacity.  So when we purchased our trailer (Aliner Expedition) based on the aforementioned parameters I use, I did not want a trailer to exceed 3500 lbs which is the GVW of the Expedition.  Our Aliner when loaded for travel weighs in at 2400 lbs and I installed a Hensley Cub anti sway hitch.  The Cherokee for the most part does a fine job, but when ascending long steep grades, I need to shut the AC off (no fun in Phoenix 110 degree + summer temps) and keep my speed down to under 50 mph or the engine will begin to overheat.  I am looking to purchase a truck after the 1st of the year for more towing capability.  Also consider, because the Aliner is a pop-up in design we have virtually no aerodynamic drag as the trailer when folded for travel, sits below the roof of my Cherokee.
 

Paws4It

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Thanks, Gizmo!  That makes me feel better to know it can be done.  We will put the anti sway hitch on and have trailer brakes put on the Jeep.  I still wish we had a truck to do it, and see we have to keep the trailer as lite as possible, like not putting water in it till we get to where we are going.  In your opinion, you think that 3300 Rockwood mini lite should be ok then?  Depending on not packing it full, that is.  That Rockwood is not slanted enough as I'd like so it will have that aerodynamic drag you mentioned, but we dont think the pop up would do what we need it to do.  I wish they would have named this new Liberty another name because it is not like the older Libertys, but more like your Cherokee, in my opinion.  It's bigger and tows more I think.
Thank you for the info.
 

Gizmo

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Paws4It said:
Thanks, Gizmo!  That makes me feel better to know it can be done.  We will put the anti sway hitch on and have trailer brakes put on the Jeep.  I still wish we had a truck to do it, and see we have to keep the trailer as lite as possible, like not putting water in it till we get to where we are going.  In your opinion, you think that 3300 Rockwood mini lite should be ok then?  Depending on not packing it full, that is.  That Rockwood is not slanted enough as I'd like so it will have that aerodynamic drag you mentioned, but we dont think the pop up would do what we need it to do.  I wish they would have named this new Liberty another name because it is not like the older Libertys, but more like your Cherokee, in my opinion.  It's bigger and tows more I think.
Thank you for the info.

It is doable but you need to be prudent and careful in loading your rig, definitely cannot be in a hurry.  Also, be aware the trailer, although it falls witin your tow capacity, will put a noticable load on the Liberty, as a result added wear and tear on the Liberty is to be expected.  The anti-sway hitch is a must and I would make sure it has a weight distribution feature as well, which would be equally as important.  Good luck.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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When a car manufacturer says a vehicle can tow 5000 lbs, they mean it can move the load and won't damage the vehicle in the short term (towing always increases wear & tear in the long term). They don't mean you will enjoy it, nor do they promise comfort or reasonable performance under all driving conditions.

If you already have this vehicle, I don't think it is the "new" Liberty.  It's my understanding that the "all new" Jeep Liberty doesn't arrive until May, 2013, as a 2014 model.  The Liberty production plant was shut down in August to be re-tooled for the new model, and no new ones have yet been produced for sale. I think the early 2013 is essentially the same as the 2012 Liberty, which does indeed have a 5000 tow rating when equipped with the Class III trailer tow package. The new Liberty is even more car-like than the present Liberty, using a car chassis with front drive as standard equipment.
http://blog.caranddriver.com/jeep-liberty-production-to-end-mid-august-replacement-on-sale-in-may-2013-with-improved-fuel-economy/

All that said, 5000 lbs is 5000 lbs. You need to subtract from that any extra weight carried in the Liberty (passengers and gear), as well as the weight of the hitch itself.  Let's say that leaves 4600 lbs for the loaded weight of the trailer. To me, that's still too much for a short wheel base, light suspension tow vehicle and I would prefer to hold it under 4000 lbs.  And even at that, I would still expect it to struggle on hills.

Which Rockwood mini Lite are you looking at? The smallest ones, the 1901/1904/1905, are a good fit for a Liberty, with a max weight under 3900 lbs loaded. The 1809 and the 21xx models are really pushing the limits at around 4700 lbs max load. The 2503/2503 models are just plain too long and heavy for a Liberty.
 

Paws4It

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Thanks Gizmo!

Gary,  I stand corrected, as my Jeep is a 2012.  We are looking at all the small RV's so none are set in stone.
 

Frizlefrak

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Gary RV Roamer said:
When a car manufacturer says a vehicle can tow 5000 lbs, they mean it can move the load and won't damage the vehicle in the short term (towing always increases wear & tear in the long term). They don't mean you will enjoy it, nor do they promise comfort or reasonable performance under all driving conditions.

That is probably the most accurate way I've ever heard it stated.  As always, Gary nails it.  The closer you get to the "limit", the less fun you'll have.

If it were me, I'd buy something under 3500 lbs and load it gingerly.  Tow it with the Liberty for a few years, and see how well you like RVing.  It's a ton of fun, but it's not for everyone.  If you enjoy doing it, upgrade to a truck and buy something bigger....OR....

Find a well kept, older pickup, like a F250 or Chevy/Dodge 2500, and buy a bigger trailer to begin with.  Keep the Jeep for the daily driver, and the truck for a pulling mule.  There ARE bargains out there on low mile, well maintained older trucks.  I bought my truck in 2003....a 1989 F250XLT Lariat.....had 36K miles at the time and was garage kept, and I got it for $5000.  I'm still using it nearly 10 years later, and it's about to click over 50K.  Yes, the paint is getting faded and the body design looks dated, but it still runs like new, pulls like a bulldozer, and does it's job nicely.  I'd drive it anywhere with no worries. 

Just a thought. 
 

Paws4It

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All good advise Frizlefrak!

Here's a couple we're going to look at:

http://www.specialtyrvsales.com/inventory/199010/New-2012-Coachmen-RV-Clipper-Ultra_Lite-13K.aspx


http://www.specialtyrvsales.com/inventory/244407/New-2013-Forest-River-RV-Rockwood-Mini-Lite-1901.aspx

Both lite.  Still, in a few years when hubby retires, we do plan on buying a bigger set up.  I just wish he'd wait now!  lol
 

Frizlefrak

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Nahhh....don't wait.  There's plenty of fun to be had with a lite trailer.  Life can change in a hurry....do the things you want to do now. 

We started in the lat 80's with a 18' 1978 Kit Road Ranger we bought for $1600.  Drug that thing all over God's little acre with an F150.  Next was a 1993 Coachmen 23' fifth wheel we bought in 2003 with our F250.  Finally, we bought this one brand new.  If we'd waited for the "ideal" trailer, we'd have missed out on a lot of good times.  Some of the most fun we had was dragging that old 18' trailer places there weren't even really roads....logging roads would be more accurate.  :)

Go for it! 
 
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