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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I are looking to purchase a used Liberty (probably KK) to tow an ultralight camper relatively short and flat distances. I see the Liberty is rated at 5000 pounds towing with the automatic and 3.7L. My question is, what comes with the factory tow package? Through some research online, it appears as though installing a tow hitch is fairly simple on a Liberty, as well as hooking up a harness. It also appears that all of the KK Libertys came with the transmission cooler. If I find a good Liberty without a tow package, and install the bar and harness, what am I missing from the tow package? Are there differences in gear ratios that are significant, or changes in software for stability control?

As a secondary question, assuming I am towing 3000 pounds on flat surfaces at an avergae of 50MPH, what kind of a mileage hit (best wild guess) would I see as a percentage (15%, 20%)? I realize there are many conditions to affect that, but am wondering what others see as a mileage dropoff when towing.

Thanks.

Doug
 

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Mileage is a crap shoot, depending upon driving style and terrain. Maybe 14 to 16, with that weight and on Interstates.
Towing packages usually included 7 pin plug, hitch, wiring harness for the Bargman style 7 pin. HD cooling, trans cooler.
There may still be a Mopar towing package kit, in the parts inventory, not sure.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
I see the hitch and wiring kit still available for 2008-2012 KK. The TSC (trailer stability control) may only come with the factory (not the Mopar) system.
http://www.jeepworld.com/accessories/instructions/82210988AB_hitchreceiver_IFU.pdf
http://www.jeepworld.com/accessories/instructions/82210642Ad_wireharness_IFU.pdf
Discussion: http://www.jeepkj.com/forum/f225/2010-liberty-factory-tow-package-43116/
That's it! Plug and play. He will still need a brake controller, the aftermarket Tekonsa electronic controller works great with that harness, if the TSC is factory only.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ImperialCrown said:
I see the hitch and wiring kit still available for 2008-2012 KK. The TSC (trailer stability control) may only come with the factory (not the Mopar) system.
http://www.jeepworld.com/accessories/instructions/82210988AB_hitchreceiver_IFU.pdf
http://www.jeepworld.com/accessories/instructions/82210642Ad_wireharness_IFU.pdf
Discussion: http://www.jeepkj.com/forum/f225/2010-liberty-factory-tow-package-43116/
MoparNorm said:
That's it! Plug and play. He will still need a brake controller, the aftermarket Tekonsa electronic controller works great with that harness, if the TSC is factory only.
You two are amazing! I knew I'd get great info from you. Thanks a lot. This is a huge help as I get to learn more about what's involved with towing a camper. Thanks again. :notworthy:
 

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Doug in Florida said:
You two are amazing! I knew I'd get great info from you. Thanks a lot. This is a huge help as I get to learn more about what's involved with towing a camper. Thanks again. :notworthy:
Ha! ImperialCrown is the man!
I'm just the straight man! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
MoparNorm said:
Ha! ImperialCrown is the man!
I'm just the straight man! ;)
You didn't even notice my shift from considering the KL to seriously looking at the Liberty. :) Decided to look for a more proven vehicle to get started, and give the KL time to get out in the field, and save some money in the process.
 

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Doug in Florida said:
You didn't even notice my shift from considering the KL to seriously looking at the Liberty. :) Decided to look for a more proven vehicle to get started, and give the KL time to get out in the field, and save some money in the process.
Smart move...and yeah I did notice, but I can't be happy about the issues surrounding KL.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Smart move...and yeah I did notice, but I can't be happy about the issues surrounding KL.
Understand. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised by future developments. Unfortunately, only time will tell.

Comparing the Liberty to the KL, I have to say that on the surface it does appear the utilitarian value of the KL is somewhat less the the Liberty, and I'm talking storage, towing, simplicity, etc, not even considering off road.
 

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Some people get BETTER mileage towing than not towing; say at average speed 50mph (45mph trailer speed limit in Calif.) w/trailer vs. 70mph without trailer. I always got significantly better mpg towing (not with a Liberty btw), but my towed weight was always 1k-2k lbs; guess it depends on your tow vehicle, too.
 

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The towing speed in CA is 55 mph.
It was last 45, in the 1960's ;)
But generally your point is correct, Speed Kills... MPG.
On my 6,000 mile cross country trip last year, my Wrangler with 5:13 gears and 37" tires, achieved 20 mpg in Colorado, while going over two 12,000 foot elevation passes.
The reason was that National Parks have a 40 MPH speed limit.
 

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Jeepophile said:
Some people get BETTER mileage towing than not towing; say at average speed 50mph (45mph trailer speed limit in Calif.) w/trailer vs. 70mph without trailer. I always got significantly better mpg towing (not with a Liberty btw), but my towed weight was always 1k-2k lbs; guess it depends on your tow vehicle, too.
MoparNorm said:
The towing speed in CA is 55 mph.
It was last 45, in the 1960's ;)
But generally your point is correct, Speed Kills... MPG.
On my 6,000 mile cross country trip last year, my Wrangler with 5:13 gears and 37" tires, achieved 20 mpg in Colorado, while going over two 12,000 foot elevation passes.
The reason was that National Parks have a 40 MPH speed limit.
My Seasoned Citizen moment; of course you are correct, Norm. I should have typed in "average [cruising] speed 60mph (55mph trailer speed limit in Calif.) w/trailer vs. 70mph without trailer." I really did get better mpg over at least the past 13 years at those (corrected) speeds towing than not towing. Yes, technically I could've been ticketed, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We were looking at a 2010 Liberty today and the dealer's web site listing for the vehicle said it has a two capacity of 2000 pounds, not 5000 pounds that I've seen elsewhere. I looked at the Jeep website and downloaded the Liberty Owner's manual. In there are two tables, both for the 3.7L and automatic transmission. The first table lists a max GTW at 2000 pounds, and the next table shows 5000 pounds with the statement, "ONLY if using a weight distributing hitch". What is involved with such a hitch, and is it cumbersome or expensive to purchase and use? I would assume the Liberty's drivetrain can handle the load, but stability is the issue. Thanks.
 

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Doug in Florida said:
We were looking at a 2010 Liberty today and the dealer's web site listing for the vehicle said it has a two capacity of 2000 pounds, not 5000 pounds that I've seen elsewhere. I looked at the Jeep website and downloaded the Liberty Owner's manual. In there are two tables, both for the 3.7L and automatic transmission. The first table lists a max GTW at 2000 pounds, and the next table shows 5000 pounds with the statement, "ONLY if using a weight distributing hitch". What is involved with such a hitch, and is it cumbersome or expensive to purchase and use? I would assume the Liberty's drivetrain can handle the load, but stability is the issue. Thanks.
I have a weight distribution hitch for ALL of my vehicles, I wouldn't tow any other way. It's actually set up for the trailer not the vehicle and acts like a sway bar, keeping the trailer and tow vehicle in an even plane, both in relationship to side to side and front rear. With a quality hitch you can actually remove the tow vehicles rear tires and still be in a level plane.
It takes about 30 seconds longer to set up, if you get a quality hitch.
Beware there are plenty of cheap ones out there.

This is the one I have: http://www.equalizerhitch.com/
 

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And above 2k lbs trailer weight you need a tow vehicle equipped for controlling trailer brakes (& of course a trailer with such brakes and connection provision), correct?
 

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Jeepophile said:
And above 2k lbs trailer weight you need a tow vehicle equipped for controlling trailer brakes (& of course a trailer with such brakes and connection provision), correct?
Yep, ImperialCrown has posted the Mopar wiring kit number in the past, as recently as last week. It's plug and play, no cutting or splicing required and comes with a 7 pin connector for a universal hookup to most travel trailers. (Any trailer shop can provide you with a 7 to 4 adapter for "utility" trailers without the need for the 7 pin.)

EDIT: DUH!! It's post #3 in this thread!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks for all of your input! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK, one more question. If you had a camper with a 3200 pound GTW (dry weight), would you prefer a 2008+ Jeep liberty (5000 pound towing capacity) or a 2008 - 2010 Grand Cherokee (with the 3.7L V-6; 6500 pound towing capacity)? This would be taking into account toughness of the vehicle, capacity, strain on the powertrain, economy, etc. I'm starting to wonder if an older model Grand Cherokee would be a better choice than the 2008 - 12 Liberty. I can't afford any of the newer Grand Cherokees, so that's why I'm limiting my choice to the pervious generation.

Thanks.
 

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Doug in Florida said:
OK, one more question. If you had a camper with a 3200 pound GTW (dry weight), would you prefer a 2008+ Jeep liberty (5000 pound towing capacity) or a 2008 - 2010 Grand Cherokee (with the 3.7L V-6; 6500 pound towing capacity)? This would be taking into account toughness of the vehicle, capacity, strain on the powertrain, economy, etc. I'm starting to wonder if an older model Grand Cherokee would be a better choice than the 2008 - 12 Liberty. I can't afford any of the newer Grand Cherokees, so that's why I'm limiting my choice to the pervious generation.

Thanks.
Two thoughts, if you're getting a used Grand Cherokee ( likely preferred only because of the longer wheelbase) why not get one with a V8?
I had both ZJ's and WJ's I used for towing, and the V8 is stellar when towing. Good solid towing platform, maybe a tad better and more stable than the shorter Liberty. Fuel economy will be less, but not much as the 3.7 isn't stellar in that department.
 

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MoparNorm said:
Two thoughts, if you're getting a used Grand Cherokee ( likely preferred only because of the longer wheelbase) why not get one with a V8?
I had both ZJ's and WJ's I used for towing, and the V8 is stellar when towing. Good solid towing platform, maybe a tad better and more stable than the shorter Liberty. Fuel economy will be less, but not much as the 3.7 isn't stellar in that department.
Good point Norm. I was thinking V6 due to fuel economy, but you're right, the 3.7 is not exactly thrifty. Since we would basically be using it for towing, I imagine the fuel hit on the V6 may be bigger than the V8 since the V6 may struggle some more with the towing, especially if we're going up hills.
 
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