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Old 11-08-2011, 05:42 PM   #1
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Default Towing Shadow Cruiser with Jeep Liberty

Hi, I am new to this group and just purchased a slightly used 2011 Shadow Cruiser 26BHS (picking it up next week!). Anyway, I thought I would share my issue with everyone. I have a 2002 Jeep Liberty 4x4 with Class III hitch and aftermarket trans cooler. We searched super light weight trailers for over a month before stumbling on this unit at the dealer, and it was our favourite, suiting our needs perfectly, with bunks for the kids, etc. I have been on the Jeep forums and Outbackers.com forums for a while, before making our decision to buy this unit. Most all members said "not a chance" to haul this trailer with my Jeep......the dealers I have been to said "no problem" with a good WD hitch and anti sway control added. The forums say the short wheelbase is just too risky and unsafe, as well as saying that the dealer will tell you anything to make the sale. I also know a lot of these members were from the US, where travelling on packed intersates and going up and down mountains is the norm. I am from Eastern Canada, which is a bit more quiet, so we can take some more care in travelling within our limits. The dealer was sure enough that he said to come in and take the trailer for a test run with the Jeep. I dropped by last week, they setup the WD hitch and a Reese Dual Cam Anti Sway control. I didn't have a brake controller yet, but they said just take it easy on a short run and I would be OK. Took her out to a bypass highway 80-90 km/hr and the Jeep pulled with no problem at all. With the anti sway, the wind and tractor trailers hardly budged it. I felt a gust of wind try to take control of the trailer/jeep, but the sway control did it's job, and I just had to be a little more cautious with both hands on the wheel, but it certainly didn't want to make me go all over the road. With the WD hitch, the Jeep didn't even drop an inch, properly adjusted. With the dry weight of the trailer just over 4000lbs, the Jeep seemed to have no problem, and I am sure it will be fine at closer to 5000 lbs limit when loaded. Just wanting to know about anyone else's experiences with similar tow vehicles and wheelbases. How have you made out on trips, if any longer ones, wind, sway, safety and ability to pull this trailer? I appreciate any of your comments or suggestions. I think I will be fine travelling within PEI for a summer or two, but not certain how safe it will be for longer trips outside the province or to the US in summers to come?? I may have to switch up to a truck, but love my Jeep.....Thanks so much for any of your insights folks!!
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:33 AM   #2
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I think you need a bigger truck. I have a 2002 Jeep Cherokee with a 5,000 tow rating. I pull a 2008 Fun Finder x-160 which has a dry weight of about 2500lbs and when I'm loaded i'm just over 3,000lbs for a weekend trip. I have no issues towing, but I do need to take it very slow up the mountians. If you're Jeep is rated at 5,000 and your dry weight it 4,000 you have no wiggle room for the extra power needed to pass or get over a mountian. I would just get a bigger truck or smaller trailer. Sorry to rain on the parade of the new trailer, but I think you might be under powered.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:18 AM   #3
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Thanks. I am hoping to get through next summer travelling locally....we have no mountains here, all rather flat terrain. I love the Jeep, but will likely have to move up to a larger TV if we want to travel any far distance.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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I love my Jeep to, it was a challenge trying to find something I could safely tow.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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Wait - the dealer let you pull this trailer with no brakes!!??

That was pretty risky. In an emergency situation you probably would not have been able to stop in time and if you did have a problem with sway you wouldn't have been able to to apply only the trailer brakes to control it.

I agree with aubbenslv, you really need a bigger truck. From Cruiser's web page the 260BHS is 4500 lbs dry weight, and the hitch weight is 540 lbs so you are already over your 5000 lb tow rating. Then you have to add in the weight of all of the extra stuff on the trailer like the battery (45 lbs), propane (60 lbs), plus everything else you stow on the trailer like food, water, gear, pots & pans etc., etc. which can add up really quickly. And that's not all. The Jeeps tow rating is based on having the driver only and nothing else in the truck, so you have to include the weight of all your passengers, the weight of the hitch itself and and anything else loaded into the truck. You could easily exceed your tow rating by 1000 lbs. or more.

The thing to consider is not so much what you can pull but what you can stop.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:59 PM   #6
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If your dry weight is truly about 4000 lbs you're okay for a modestly load TT and the 5000lb rated tow capacity of the Jeep. You might find that the rating is higher with a W/D hitch even. However, if the dry weight of the TT is closer to 4500 lbs, you certainly need to reconsider your choice of TT and TV.
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