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Old 12-18-2008, 06:21 AM   #1
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Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 320
I am interested in setting up the Liberty for Towing.

Those that tow the Liberty:

what towing setup are you using

are you satisfied with the ease and dependability, etc.

What is your ideal towing package.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:21 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 320
I am interested in setting up the Liberty for Towing.

Those that tow the Liberty:

what towing setup are you using

are you satisfied with the ease and dependability, etc.

What is your ideal towing package.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:24 PM   #3
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SideRoads,

Right now, all I can say, is be VERY, VERY careful. As I recall, the 08 Liberty weighs in at 4200#, or so. I did search to find the towing capacity of your coach, but didn't get too far. Let's just say at best its 5000# and at worst its 3500#. That puts the Liberty WAY above--or JUST below your coach's towing capacity.

I also have an 08 Liberty and plan to tow it with an 07 Bounder Diesel. In an effort to not get beat up too badly by those who have made other choices, in what follows, I'm not saying "this one is good, this one is bad". I'm just saying these are the choices I made.

Tow Bar/Base Plate

Went with Blue Ox Aventa II and Blue Ox Base Plate. Both are major league in the heavy duty department.

I installed the base plate. The Blue Ox instructions (you can get them ahead of time at their web site) left out several key fasteners that attach the fenders to the front fascia. I suppose it was a fair omission, since there wasn't (as far as I could see) a good way to separate these body parts without destroying the fasteners.

However, I did manage not to damage the fasteners beyond usability, but I'm sure my local dealer could have provided new ones had I failed.

Blue Ox stands behind their stuff. On the occasion I had to ask a question, the response from their online support assured me they knew what they were talking about.


Auxiliary brakes

This required an initial decision or two. Removable or permanent (by permanent I mean minimal setup prior to towing, nothing to remove or reinstall into the driver's foot-well). I chose SMI's Air Force One. there are a number of systems which fit my description of "permanent". SMI's system gave me a warm fuzzy when I became aware of that they had asked the chassis manufacturers what they would like to see. And they did it. There may be some who will argue that the solution SMI employed is overkill. All I can say is, in this case, overkill is good.

At any rate, I haven't installed it yet. We have company coming in the new year with a youngster who may be persuaded to do the hard part and crawl under the Toad dash.

The Air Force One system is for coaches with air brakes. SMI also makes a system for hydraulic brakes.

Also bought a "Protect-a-Tow" to attempt to keep the dings and dents on the Toad to a minimum. To me it just seemed reasonable to keep the dent causing junk under the Toad, rather than trying to deflect it once it has risen above bumper level.

Don't forget about rear lighting for your Toad. There probably isn't a "vendor supplied" perfect solution for this very important issue, but there should be. This was my greatest disappointment. Every solution seemed a "rigged" affair. I, again, went with Blue Ox. Their solution was "the best" of what there was.

I know I've rambled on a bit. I have more details if you're interested. Just let me know if you are.

Again, this is my story, based on my decisions. I hope I didn't put you to sleep. Hope your choices go well.

Steve
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:41 PM   #4
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Steve,

Thanks very much for the detailed response.

I did my homework on the towing capacity, etc., I am ok with the 5k hitch, towing etc. The jeep weighs in at about 4269 lbs.

I have just started researching towbar setups. The Blue Ox is looking the way to go, but I still have research to do.

I appreciate the experience of others towing the 08 Liberty.

We are leaving in the AM until Jan 1, I won't be towing the Liberty until late spring.

I really do appreciate you taking the time to explain the details as to what you did.

I sure would be interested in talking further about your set up, and your experience towing the Liberty: Batter disconnect, etc.

If you don't mind, I'll get up with you after the holidays.

Thanks again for your kind response.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to you and yours.

John
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:07 PM   #5
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I have a 2008 Liberty with the automatic transmission. Found out from others on the web and confirmed that there isn't any steering wheel lock on the ones with an automatic. Therefore, there isn't any reason for a battery disconnect. You don't even have to put the key in the ignition.

I have the Blue Ox baseplate, and I have no problems. Since I am in Ohio, I have a front license plate. It is very close to the plug for the lights, but it is still usable.

The tail lights have a third compartment at the bottom of the assembly. There is even an outline of a hole that you can drill out to install a separate light for towing. With a brake/tail light socket, it makes a very neat installation, and you don't have to cut into the vehicle wiring and contend with blocking diodes.

There is a rubber plug in the firewall for the clutch mechanism (I think). It is conveniently near the left side of the firewall and makes an easy entrance for wiring. Unfortunately, the Liberty has only one 12 volt outlet - even on the Limited model which I have. I am going to add an aditional four plug socket (Radio Shack)off of the battery. I use it for a number of devices. Remember to fuse it. You can also have the dealer reconnect the existing socket to stay on after the key is removed.

I use a Brake Buddy, and it works fine.

So far, I have towed the Liberty several tousand miles with no problems. The procedure to shift the transfer case is a little funky, but it works well.

You'll find that it is a great tow vehicle. I'd be sure to use an auxilliary brake since the vehicle makes a substantial addition to your motorhome weight.

Good Luck

W8RLM - Bob
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Old 12-18-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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Bob,

Again, thanks so much for the information, it gives me time to
research everything over the holidays.

The reason I was given for disconnecting the battery was that the
odometer would not turn and add towing mileage.

thanks again,

Merry Christmas

John
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