I was the one who said I should have put a II or III on instead of a I. Altho I am within the limits of the hitch (Also a Hidden Hitch, I installed it all by myself ... woo hoo!) I still would be a bit more comfy with a beefier one. I can see the receiver has sagged a bit, and I am very careful about checking the hardware etc on a regular basis.
Being at the Top edge of it's limits is somehow wierd to me, tho I am probably quite OK. It's a perception thing.
And on another note.. Don, I put off buying a new car mostly because I can't stand the process. It seems a necessary evil.. but I found a happy solution. Both financially and in less frustration.
I put my pride away and entertained the thought of buying a low milage used car. I checked into CARMAX.
. What a great place and reasonably painless! They deal mostly in VERY low mile cars. They have some higher milage ones too, but.. Check to see if there is one in your area. (They are nationwide)
They have a set price, no haggling and since they deal in all makes and models of used, they do NOT have that "Buy an OEM accessory" thing happening. No added time for them to sell you under body sealer, fancy wax or ... tow packages.
I went in to see how they worked, ON MY LUNCH HOUR, and drove 3 cars. A CRV, a Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Liberty I eventually bought. I simply told the guy what I was looking for, he showed me what was available and didn't try to upsell me or suggest anything different than what I was looking for.
The lot is laid out like a filing cabinet, very easy to find what you are interested in. The cars are lined up by type (SUV, Truck, Wagon, Sedan etc) and then all the makes and models are together, going from the smallest to the largest. Examples.. Ford Escapes followed by Mariners, Tributes, CRVS, Elements (not that they had more than one.. he said they never stay there long) and all the way up to Excursions in that row.
The Liberty had a whopping 4693 miles on it. Still has new car smell. The financing took all of 20 mins, and 3 different warranties were offered, but not forced on me. No meant no with them. They thoroughly went over Jeeps warranty with me, even tho they made no money on it.
They pulled the Liberty out of the "active" pile, held it with nothing more than a handshake and gave me the opportunity to go away, research the model and pricing, check with my insurance on rates etc, run a Carfax and make a decision on my own.
They have a 5 day no questions asked return policy, in writing. The entire buying process took less than two hours. I drove the car home that nite, had it checked within the 5 days by a knowledgable Jeep person and I decided to keep it. At a substancial discount from the new price and someone else got the headache of the new car buying process. I am sure they didn't do well as it has most all the options, including the upcharged Red Pearl Metalic paint
job. (Something I would have actually ordered if I was buying new.. happy bonus!)
I got over the stigma of not being it's "First" real fast. Getting the Element new was about a 6 hour painful proposition. One I was trying to avoid like the plague.
Had the Jeep for a little over 3 weeks, have put 2500 miles on it and have had no issues. Just like a new one off the lot!
Another alternative buying process.. I got my 98 Civic new thru Costco. Ordered it on the phone, they called when it was in 2 weeks later, (I wanted a clutch and there weren't any in the area at that time) I went to the dealer, drove it and was outta there in about 2 hours as well.