Recreational towing behind RV -
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-18-2009, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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2008 KK Liberty 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: traveling USA
Posts: 5
Recreational towing behind RV

Hello, I'm new here as I just bought a 2008 Liberty specifically to flat tow behind my motorhome. Reading the owner's manual I find two items that maybe some one here can help me with.

First, I have a tow dolly that I need to transport about 800 miles. The manual says that the vehicle should not be towed on a dolly. If the transfer case is in neutral so that the rear wheels are free spinning I would think that the vehicle could be towed with the front end on a tow dolly. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Second, the manual says to disconnect the battery negative terminal while towing. This is not required for 2007 and earlier models. Anyone know why the change was made? Would disconnecting the positive battery terminal have the same result? Is it possible to pull a fuse or two to get the same result? Will mileage accrue during tow if the battery is connected?



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post #2 of 3 Old 09-01-2009, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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2008 KK Liberty 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: traveling USA
Posts: 5
Towing KK behind motorhome

I am a full-time RVer and I recently bought a 2008 Liberty Sport 4x4 specifically to tow four wheels down behind my motorhome. I had been using a tow-dolly to tow a Nissan which I did NOT trade-in on the Jeep.

After reading the KK owner's manual I had some confusion and several questions. I put them to Jeep (Chrysler) customer assistance.

Facing the possibility of selling the Nissan but not selling the tow-dolly I wanted to know WHY the manual stated flat out that the Jeep could not be towed on a dolly even if the transfer case is in neutral. Made (makes) no sense to me. If the transfer case is in neutral then all wheels should be free-spinning and thus no harm would occur. I put the question in an email to Jeep Customer Assistance on About 6 days later a Chrysler rep called (left a message) clearly restating the "do not tow on dolly" but not explaining WHY. I have since sold both the dolly and the Nissan so the issue is moot for me.

The second concern was having to disconnect the negative terminal on the Jeep's battery while towing. I didn't have to do that with a 1995 Cherokee that I towed some years back. What a PIA to lift the hood and disconnect the battery - then lift the hood and reconnect the battery at the end!! So I started looking for a work around. In addition to a crude terminal mounted disconnect swith from NAPA, I found "Battery Brain" which has one model that works on a battery's negative terminal with a wired on/off switch that could be relocated to the interior. Still I wondered WHY I couldn't just pull a fuse or two (using an interior switch work around). In the same message mentioned above, the Chrysler rep stated that it was necessary to disconnect the battery to prevent the battery from draining while under tow.

UMMM why would the battery drain????

Back to the owner's manual. Page 13 illustrates four ignition key positions. They are LOCKED, ACC, ON and START. However, on page 391 under Recreation Towing instructions, item 12 says "Turn the key to the unlocked OFF position". WTF????????????

Well another email query to However, by this time I have done a little thinking (dangerous) and I'm thinking that the only reason the key needs to be in the ignition at all is to UNLOCK steering lock. And since my vehicle doesn't have a locking steering column I see no reason the key needs to be in the ignition at all and thus nothing to drain the battery and thus no reason to disconnect the battery.

This time I'm in when the Chrysler rep calls. He says Chrysler acknowledges the confusion in the manual (to be corrected) and that the key should be in the ON position while the vehicle is being towed -- he did not know why. I pressed him about taking the key out altogether since my vehicle does not have steering lock since that was part of the question I had submitted. He did not have an answer (he was just a talking head not a technician or engineer). I pressed him more and he asked me to hold while he communicated with engineering.

Well turns out that sometime during the 2008 production year Jeep changed from steering lock to no steering lock on Liberty Sports and this part of the instruction applies to vehicles WITH steering lock but not to vehicles WITHOUT steering lock. He said engineering said as long as I do not have a locking steering column the key could be removed while towing. Of course the Chrysler rep declined to send me this via email.

So, I am going to take the key out and leave the battery connected while towing the KK.

Hope this has been entertaining if not informative.
SunDawgJEEP is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 09-03-2009, 08:28 AM
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2004 KJ Liberty 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 77
I plan on towing my 04 Liberty *stick shift* behind my motor home
(all four wheels on the ground) for the first time right after Labor
Day. I have to put the key in the "RUN" or "ON" position to keep the
steering wheel unlocked. So that means to keep the battery from
draining, I'll disconnect the negative post. It only takes a 10MM
open end wrench and less than a minute. I'll also be sure to put
the transfer case AND the tranny in neutral to make sure all free

I was told once by a owner of a CJ type Jeep with auto tranny that
he screwed his tranny up even putting the transfer case into neutral.
He now runs a 12 volt pump hooked into the tranny cooling lines
to keep tranny fluid flowing while towing the Jeep.

I'm glad I bought my 04 with a manual.. Makes it easier for towing.

Good luck..
N8FIS is offline  

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