Hi all. This is my first posting this or any other kind of blog for that matter. My wife and I are looking to buy our first TT. We own a 2010 Jeep Liberty with the tow package, which is rated with a 5000 lb towing capacity. From what I've been reading, the Liberty is not a great tow vehicle, and it all sounds pretty discouraging. We knew we didn't have a lot of options, but it's just us two and we're not looking for luxury, but as alluded to in one of the threads, we were hoping for more than a pop-up. We had the Forest River / Flagstaff Models 18RK or 18FBRS in mind. Both are under 20 feet. The FBRS is heavier but has a double axle, which I'm told is much sturdier.
So, with those two RV's as a reference, is there hope?
From what I've seen, most would suggest that your loaded weight (full propane/food loaded/grills, chairs, beach stuff, whatever) be not more than 80% of the weight rating of your truck...bear in mind, because you'll be so close to the edge weight-wise, 1.) probably not wise to carry fresh water for 'boondocking'...you'll probably be limited to camping in places like developed RV parks, state parks, and the like with hookups, as water weighs a lot and full tanks may put you over the limit; and 2.) you should be OK if the unit is within capacity, PROVIDED you're mostly on flat ground
personal experience with this...tried pulling a unit just slightly heavier than what you're looking at, with a v6 tacoma...realized after three weekends it just wasn't enough truck to pull what we have, and moved up to the v8 tundra
Glenn and Toni
2011 Palomino Puma 25BH
2012 Tundra double cab 4.6 V8 with tow package
Reese round bar w/d with sway control
The Liberty CAN tow up to 5000 lbs...but limiting yourself to a bit lighter will make a more enjoyable towing experience. Here is one suggestion that may help you out...after all...we all want to see you go camping!
Trail Manor trailers. The King of light weight travel trailers, 4 solid walls and roof, low profile when towing, and a number of floor plans with walk around king or queen beds. Not a claustrophobic trailer! The Trail Manor has hard sides, folds down to cut down on wind resistence for better towing, low center of gravity, and more stability and superior milege!
No canvas, has roomy interiors, Thetford 12 volt Cassette Toilet and a full sized Queen OR King beds, lengths from 26' and 2673 GVWR (19' closed!) to 33' and 3500 lbs GVWR (26' when closed!) when opened for camping. No slideouts, but roomy floorplans with huge windows! 6 gallon DSI Propane Electric water heater, A/C, full time dinette and even a swivel chair on some models, propane furnace, Awning, roomy bathroom with sink and shower, sofa, and all the ammenities you'd expect, refig, microwave, carpet and tile, tinted glass, well insulated walls and roof so your A/C cools better in hot weather, and your furnace keeps you toasty in the cold.
Best of all, even the largest weighs only 3500 dry! Ultra light weight weight, but very well made, sturdy and a loyal core of happy owners. Designed and engineered by a PHd in Engineering in 1983. Light weight laminated construction before anyone else had it! And did I mention ROOMY! And they can be had as used quite reasonably prices, as they tend to take a huge hit for the first couple of years on re-sale value.
A shorter wheelbase vehicle with a high center of gravity will need a good hitch...a Pro-Pride, PullRite or Hensley hitch would be ideal, but even a Reese Dual Cam WD hitch will help.
My posts shouldn't be taken for factual data, and are purely fictional, for entertainment purposes, should not be constituted as related to scientific, technical, engineering, legal, religious, spiritual, or practical advice. After all it's FREE! Amen.
There are several tear-drop style TT's that would work quite well. Depending upon how big ... or little ... you want to go, they make tear drop trailers small enough and light enough to tow behind a motorcycle, and go up from there. Forest River makes the Prod. Keystone made the T@B (TAB), and there are dozens of other brands out there to consider. Some of the retro look, like Shasta, are making a come-back. Many of these are lighter trailers that can be towed by smaller vehicles.
Not to discourage you, but nothing can be worse than to have a trailer that breaks your tow vehicle. You also have to consider the transmission in the vehicle also. We had a 1500 Chevy Suburban towing an (18 foot) (Light) Dutchmen Sport camper! You'd think that was a fair and adequate combination! Wrong! We towed in normal "D" (drive), and ended up destroying the transmission towing! We replaced the transmission, but it never drove right again, and towing was pathetic. We learned (after the fact), that we should have been towing in a lower gear! So, you need to consider your transmission also.
Don't overlook the possibility of a pop-up! Pop-ups are a lot of fun, are great trailers from someone just getting into camping, still gives you the feel of tent camping, with the comfort of a real bed under you, and can be towed with smaller vehicles. They have their own share of maintenance to contend with, but if you want to break into camping, this is how many of us started! And I believe everyone will admit, their pop-up camping days were pretty special, and had it's own charm, compared to TT, or MH camping. We pop-up camped for 6 years, including Norther Illinois winter months, in snow, March rains in Michigan, and blazing Alabama heat in August. So, don't overlook the pop-up option either.
If I am on life support, unplug me, then plug me back in and see if that works!
If you are going to try and tow with the Liberty, as advised you best get the best of the best in sway control hitches. I believe if you do some searching, you are going to find a photo of a trailer with a jeep attached laying over on it's side. It was attributed to water in the tanks, but I am more inclined to believe it wasn't properly married between the Jeep and the TT. You can do a lot of research on the web and find out all the things that will help you.....dealers SELL and that is their bottom line - you and yours SAFETY is yours!!! Safe travels.
You'll be pushing it. There is (I assume you realize) a 500 pound difference in those two models you mention, a 20% increase (give or take) in weight. Remember that the specs are dry weight --- no propane, no gear, and that doesn't include the stuff you're carrying on your Liberty.
Yes, you can tow it but you'll probably be 'hurting' on the grades. I would agree with the other comments --- you need a good hitch. I have a tall TV, short wheelbase. But I'm towing less weight with my pup and don't have the wind drag you will with that TT.
I assume the 'tow package' includes a tranny cooler?
It's difficult, I realize. You want to have a nice TT, and you only have a TV that is a year or two old, but you just didn't get a well rated TV (as you apparently know). You may have to rethink your options.
Pup: 2007 Jayco 1206 w/slide-out + shower
surge brakes, 54w solar panel
TV: 2005 Nissan Xterra 4X4, manual trans
25 years tent camping, 4000+ miles of hiking, lots of biking
The Trail Manor is lightweight and tows easily, but is expensive for it's size. I would reccommend spending the extra money on a used but proper tow vehicle and give yourself many, many choices of what you can tow.
I have towed 16' and 17' trailers with my '08 Highlander for over 80,000 miles (I tow a cargo trailer for work), no special hitch and not a hint of sway ever. If I did experience sway, though, I know how to use the trailer brakes to bring it under control.
My previous TV was (and I still own it) a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer, twin to Ford Explorer. In addition to the cargo trailer I also towed a 23' Rockwood with that... but for the Rockwood I definitely needed the Equal-i-zer hitch. It would feel really squirrelly without sway control.
Both of these TVs have relatively short wheelbases, 108" and 111" respectively. Kind of like your Liberty, I think.
I would recommend keeping any TT under 20' length, like you are thinking. If you have any doubt at all, get an anti-sway hitch like Equal-i-zer or Reese Dual Cam. Of the 2 models you mention, I think you might be happier with the FBRS because your bed isn't blocked in between 2 walls (that you'll both be banging against with arms at night as you turn over) and because of the lighter dry hitch weight. By the time you add LP, gear, and water... fresh water tank under the bed perchance?... you very well could be around 400 lbs on the hitch.
Be sure to run your TV with the overdrive locked out, to spare your transmission from undue stress.
2008 Toyota Highlander, 2010 Aliner Ranger 12
former owner of Starcraft popup, 23' Rockwood TT, 17' Burro TT, 16' KZ TT
I use a Kia Sorento V6 which as a 3500# tow cap. Experts told me not to exceed 3000#. We bought a Chalet Takena which is 18 feet and had a dry weight of 2300#. It is not a folder, it is a regular hard shell trailer but it is engineered VERY light. It is roomy, comfortable and tows like a dream with my little Kia.
There are just the two of us, and is is perfect. I would think it would be great with your Jeep.
Home: Humboldt County, Ca.
TT: Airstream Flying Cloud 25B
TV: 2007 Chevy Suburban LTZ 1/2T using Equal-i-zer hitch