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I have 06 Jeep Liberty, 2wd, auto w/OD. Tow capacity is at 2500plus or minus. I am looking at camping tariler with following mfg specs.(weights) dry-2185lbs, hitch-255lbs, trailer axle capacity 3500lbs. I prefer to be over cautious than not. Anyone have any comment on this and recommendations to beef up vehicle. My biggest concern is trans, cooling and brakes. Thanks to anyone with input. I am not interested in buying a newer bigger vehicle.
 

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Never look at dry weight. This is the weight of the trailer from the factory with nothing in it. After you drive it off the lot, it will never weigh this since there will always be things you keep in it. Sales people like to use the dry weight to get the trailer sold and give you the sense it's good. Since it's the owner/drivers responsibility to know and follow the laws, they are off the hook, cuz they can always claim you towed it properly when you bought it (because it was empty).

Look at the GVWR of the trailer. The phrase you use above, "Trailer axle capacity" may not include the hitch weight so I'll just confirm if you only went by the axle capacity you are already over the tow capacity by half a ton! You can't tow this trailer safely!

Don't forget to include hitch hardware and all the gear you put in your Jeep including passengers and their stuff. You'll also need to ensure you are not over the Combined Gross rating for the Jeep (should be in the manual). This is the weight of the Jeep, all the hitch stuff and the trailer combined. If you are within your ratings you must be okay on all parts of the Jeep and trailer.

Anything you improve on the Jeep will help the tow and help things not "work as hard" but you can't increase the weight ratings on the Jeep. Again, salespeople who say you can are not correct! I'll just say it can be done, but by the time you are done, it will have been cheaper to just upgrade the vehicle and it still might not be enough. Also consider when using the vehicle at its max ratings, you will have to go slower, driver slower, brake much sooner and you cannot defeat the laws of physics. You can only improve things with a much more capable vehicle.

In your case, you should stick to a trailer that is 2,000 or below. This allows margin for gear, hardware and other things you need and even then you might still be over on some rating along the lines. The ratings you need are:

Tow Vehicle: GVWR, RAWR, FAWR, CGVWR, TOW RATING, then check you have all the gear to support it - trans cooler, oil cooler, HD alternator, receiver, WD Hitch, auxiliary braking system. Check the laws in your state for any additional equipment you'll need to get and these will also increase the weight of your vehicle or trailer, too.

Trailer: GVWR (aka GTWR), AWR, TW (tongue weight) and check for all its gear. For example, trailers over a certain weight need brakes and a way to connect them to the tow vehicle. You'll also need wiring and hitch hardware to satisfy this and none of it should exceed the tow vehicle's ratings.

In summary, you're gonna be looking for a lighter trailer if you don't want to purchase a new vehicle, too! Keep in mind even when withing weight ratings, things will break. You don't need the extra liability if you are negligent and overweight, too.
 
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