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LibertyProblems Hooking Up a Trailer to a Jeep Liberty?
Posted by mike on 2002/5/1 0:00:00 (942) reads

One of our readers ran into an interesting problem while trying to hook up a trailer to his new Jeep Liberty

We recently had one of our readers email us with the following problem:

Got the scoop on the 2002 Liberty with the factory installed trailer towing package.
It won't work.....
The spare tire is mounted so that it will not allow a trailer coupler to attach to it. Tried at various trailer hitch retailers to find a tube long enough to extend beyond the tire. No Luck...
31 years a Chrysler employee (retired)
What do you think of that ?????

The reader also sent us a photo which further explains the problem he's having - has anyone else seen this issue? What is the best solution?

  

Let us know what you think by using the Reader Reaction section!

Reader Reactions

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: lynda clark
Had the same problem, take off the spare tire holder and rotate it. It does come away from the window a bit but sure beats swinging the door open

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Tim
here is my commentHad same problem, what you do is back jeep up to trailer ball then open back door just so spare clears coupler lever to make connection

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mark Southern
I have just had a dealer fitted tow bar to my Jeep (Liberty) and it doesn't look like the one in the picture at all. It is demountable and is approx 12-inches long and oversails the tyre. The one in the picture doesn't look right at all.

Mark, Southmapton, England

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Ab van Suijlekom
Checkout : http://community.webshots.com/storage/1/v0/8/9/56/38680956WEQTnH_ph.jpg

[IMG]http://community.webshots.com/storage/1/v0/8/9/56/38680956WEQTnH_ph.jpg[/IMG]


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: FatboyXJ
here is my comment SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A JEEP CHEROKEE! OH! sorry DC scewed that up for us!!!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon
My brother has the same problem with his Pathfinder (1995). Had a custom tube/ball mount assembly fabricated at a welding shop, works great!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: texlaw
here is my comment

I bought a longer hitch tube from U-Haul for $25 and it works great. I tow my 20ft ski boat with it all the time.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: wags
here is my comment Don't tow, you're too dumb!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Scott
A longer insert will solve the problem. Just be sure to check out the clearance between the trailer and the spare tire when making sharp turns.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Josh
Look for a receiver with more of a drop. U-Haul outlets, Wal-Marts, any of these places have them. With the ground clearance of the Liberty, you should be able to get away with even a 6" drop hitch. I have used my Liberty to haul a 22' sailboat- a 2600lb gross weight. I hardly used a drop at all. Sounds more like a trailer issue than a vehicle issue! Good luck.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Ab van Suijlekom
We are using in The Netherlands a ,,Brink,, hook.
A removable hook and about 5" longer.
I've got no problems with hooking a trailer

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Don
here is my comment: Could the aftermarket Michelin tires (all Libertys are delivered with Goodyear tires from the factory) have anything to do with the "problem"? Oversized? I have the trailer towing package, but haven't tried it yet. My next door neighbor has a Sport and uses his for towing his 25' sail boat or his small utility trailer with the same type hitch. I don't see a problem.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Chris
Yeah, they don't want you to hurt the little KJ by pulling a trailer. Now if it were an XJ, or WJ, they know it can stand up to whatever you throw at it.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Alan
There is now an extended hitch adapter available from MOPAR part number is 82207716

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mike T.
ACAR makes a 12" long extension tube that will allow the hitch to work and also allows the back gate to swing open at the same time. The only prob;em using this beefy tube is it reduces your available tongue weight by 1/3 (i.e. normally 500 pounds down to 333 pounds). It's the only solution to this problem that I see. Too bad the engineers didn't think long and hard about this one problem!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: anonymous
Must be a slow news day if ya gotta report on some guy that can't figure out on his own how to make something as simple as a trailer hitch work.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bill Adams
h
I havea 17 ft.trailer and I had no trouble hooking up , My hitch is the same as the picture. How ever canadian Tire store in canada dose carry a longer shank hitch , You might have to drill a new hole in your shank to allow your hitch to extend out furather. best of luck

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Stock Tias
I haven't had any problems cause I got a Volkswagen New Beetle Turbo S.......... n stuff.....

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jeepster
here is my comment I have the same problem. I think it is poor design. The latch on my boat trailer hits the bottom of the spare. I pulled the pin on my receiver hitch and let it come right to the end of the opening, then I hooked up. After that I backed up, put the pin in, and was on the way to the lake.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: John Ellegard
here is my comment

I think that whoever fitted that towbar must have fitted the wrong kind because here in New Zealand we don't have that problem with the Cherokee (nee Liberty). The factory-specified towbar tongue is made longer to allow for the spare wheel. It's a dealer fit problem, not a factory problem I reckon.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: MICHAEL BRAVERMAN
here is my comment BUY A HITCH EXTENDER FROM HARBER FREIGHT.IT GOES INTO THE 2"HITCH AND HAS IT'S OWN RECEIVER.EXTENDS OUT ABOUT 18"COST LESS THAN $25.00

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: BiLL
Although it looks tight and could be a problem with a large tongue, I agree with the others, open the tailgate, put the trailer on, lock it up, and close the tailgate. That side view shows there is pretty good clearence for your average tongue. I really don't think Jeep would build a truck and put a hitch on that is totally non-fuctional. If they was a real problem, we would have heard about it months ago.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: jeff
here is my comment
i'll vote for rob's idea. I have a wrangler too. just open the tailgate,hookit up and closeit

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Tony
here is my comment
Had the same problem with a Wrangler after putting over size tires on. Got a hitch with a bigger drop and it worked fine.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe
I had the same problem. I went to the local trailer supply store and found an insert that was longer than most, It works great.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Chuck
There is a spare tire extension sold that lifts and extends the spare tire to make clearence for a larger tire. Sounds like it could work here too. I found it on a website. www.rocky-road.com/kjtirespace.html

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Ken Chace
Just get a ball mount with a 11" or 12"
distance between the pin and the ball. This
puts the ball beyond the spare - problem
solved. Real easy, minimal expense. $25 (No
expense if you need to get a ball mount
anyway - just get one long enough)

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Crazyjeep
I would avoid hitch extenders for because of the excessive torque they apply to the hitch mount. It wasn't designed for that! The best way would be to follow the Wrangler owners' advice.

FYI, if you are towing a boat, make sure the trailer winch upright isn't going to hit your spare!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mike Assef
I had the same problem with my 94 YJ with the dealer available draw bar. All I had to do is open the rear door and drop the trailer on the ball then close the door.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Rob
You can do like a lot of Wrangler owners do, open the taigate part way to hook up and then close the tailgate. It's at least a no cost solution that could be considered.


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Fellow Liberty Owner
Take the spare tire off!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Erik
I guess it all depends on how big the tongue of the trailer is, most have the same height as the ball on you hitch, if it's bigger than that I can see a problem. Other readers suggestion sounds best, I've seen lower hitch adapters at places like Wally-World(Walmart).
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