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Unread 08-12-2009, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Colorado
129 posts, read 335,294 times
Reputation: 65
Default Driving cross-country with a Uhaul trailer?

I'm moving from WI to CO next week. I don't have a lot of stuff - basically a bed and about 15 boxes - so I don't want to spend the $$ on renting a whole truck.

My plan at the moment is to get a trailer hitch installed on my car (Mazda protege) and then rent a Uhaul trailer for my few belongings.

I'm a little nervous about the drive; my car isn't all that heavy and there are some gusty winds across the plains in NB and Eastern CO. Not to mention the recommend not driving more than 45 mph, so that'll nearly double my drive time.

Has anyone else driven long-distance with a trailer? Any comments, suggestions, or advice?
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Unread 08-13-2009, 01:24 AM
 
103 posts, read 417,528 times
Reputation: 99
Call uhaul tell them what you drive and find out what they let you haul with your car.Unless your bed is something special,loose the bed.Get rid of some of the stuff inside your 15 boxes.There is craigslist and freecycle for all the things you need at your new place.
Buy a roll of cheap black garbage bags[50 for $7]Put your favorite items in them and load your car.You will be surprised how much you can load without having to put it in boxes first.forget wrapping paper,use your clothes,sheets,towels etc.Not so favorite stuff next.Rent a luggage rack for the top of your car if you have too.
Just my opinion as to travel cheap.
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Unread 08-13-2009, 02:21 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 8,270,492 times
Reputation: 7337
Forget the 45 mph speed limit and drive as fast as you like, so long as the tires are in good shape. I can't imagine why they put that on their trailers, but it's probably a liability issue or something. I've pulled them at 70+ without any problems. Then again, I drove a big truck all my life and a U-Haul trailer is a piece of cake for me.

But, you're right to be concerned with winds and that shows you've got enough sense to pull one and enough sense to stop if it gets too bad. The only other thing you need to be aware of is sway when you brake. I don't know if their smaller trailers have brakes, or if you have an electrical connection (probably not), but with no more weight than you'll be carrying, it shouldn't be an issue. Well....unless your 15 boxes are filled with lead ornaments!

Just remember...smooth taking off; smooth stopping.

You'll be fine. After a few miles, you'll get more comfortable with it back there.
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Unread 08-13-2009, 07:17 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 12,576,354 times
Reputation: 3618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nique View Post
I'm moving from WI to CO next week. I don't have a lot of stuff - basically a bed and about 15 boxes - so I don't want to spend the $$ on renting a whole truck.

My plan at the moment is to get a trailer hitch installed on my car (Mazda protege) and then rent a Uhaul trailer for my few belongings.

I'm a little nervous about the drive; my car isn't all that heavy and there are some gusty winds across the plains in NB and Eastern CO. Not to mention the recommend not driving more than 45 mph, so that'll nearly double my drive time.

Has anyone else driven long-distance with a trailer? Any comments, suggestions, or advice?
I think you're on the right track. I think U-Haul might rent and/or install trailer hitches, but I'm not sure.

I've done quite a bit of trailering over the years. I'd suggest a few things...

- Rent the smallest trailer you can get by with, for obvious reasons.
- Pack the trailer so that the majority of your weight is in front of the trailer axle. If the majority of the weight is behind the axle, you will not be able to hold the trailer on the road. Pack it tightly, so that nothing is moving around in the trailer.
- Make sure your car is serviced and good to go - especially the transmission. Also, run at least 35 psi in your rear car tires. You could probably go 40, but 35 will do you good. If you have squishy tires, pulling a trailer will not only damage the tires, it'll be a very unstable ride.
- Take it easy. The "45 mph limit" sign on the UHaul trailers is for their liability, but it doesn't mean much more than that. I'd recommend you plan on driving about 60 mph. Don't push it too much, because that'll be hard on your car.
- Start slowly and stop slowly. Give yourself plenty of room and time, especially when coming to a stop. That is where most people run into trouble.

Good luck with your move!
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Unread 08-13-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Chapin SC
2,834 posts, read 3,188,831 times
Reputation: 1347
A couple other options/notes:
If pulling a trailer for first time, also pay attn when going around corners. You need to go a bit wide, or you'll hop the curb each time. It's easy enough to get the hang of it, my wife never pulled our boat before hauling it from WI to SC this winter...... and both made it in one piece!
Have you priced the one-way costs for renting this trailer, as well as putting on a hitch, etc? Then compare that to shipping whatever boxes you can't take in your car via UPS, and then donate the bed and buy new when you arrive at destination. UPS probably could ship the bed as well if in pieces if you ask them.
Is your car a manual or auto? If manual, just take it easy on the clutch.

Pulling a trailer isn't that difficult, just be cautious and patient. But you may have other options as well.

good luck
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Unread 08-13-2009, 09:30 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,294 posts, read 12,576,354 times
Reputation: 3618
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger17 View Post
A couple other options/notes:
If pulling a trailer for first time, also pay attn when going around corners. You need to go a bit wide, or you'll hop the curb each time. It's easy enough to get the hang of it, my wife never pulled our boat before hauling it from WI to SC this winter...... and both made it in one piece!
Have you priced the one-way costs for renting this trailer, as well as putting on a hitch, etc? Then compare that to shipping whatever boxes you can't take in your car via UPS, and then donate the bed and buy new when you arrive at destination. UPS probably could ship the bed as well if in pieces if you ask them.
Is your car a manual or auto? If manual, just take it easy on the clutch.

Pulling a trailer isn't that difficult, just be cautious and patient. But you may have other options as well.

good luck
Excellent points - especially about wide turns (we've all learned about that the hard way! )


It's also a very good point about the cost of shipping these boxes. When you add in the much lower mileage on the car, while towing a trailer, and the cost of the hitch & trailer rental, shipping might be cheaper.
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