I've got a big move in February... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-31-2009
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I've got a big move in February...

Hey guys, I'm new here so I apologize if this has been brought up before. My girlfriend and I are going to be moving from Ohio (Dayton area) to Sacramento CA in early February and all our crap is (obviously) going with us. I'm either going to be using a 5x10 or 6x12 Uhaul trailer for the move, depending on how much stuff we can get rid of by then. These already arent the lightest trailers in the world so I will probably be towing about 2,500-3,000 lbs. I've search other forums with similar questions and to be honest I'm a bit nervous about what I found. I have quite a bit of experience towing with my truck (using a 6x10 flatbed with 2 quads mulitple times or a 6x10 box trailer for a local move) and I have towed a 6x12 Uhaul before, but it was about 10 miles, not 2,500. I have a class III receiver but no trailer brake controller, the brakes on my truck are less than a year old and the truck has about 73,000 miles on it. Considering the fact that we'll be driving through the Rockies (in the winter), will there be any real issues with this kind of load over that much distance? Any input is appreciated.



I guess a few truck specs would help: Its a 2000 XLT 4X4 Super Cab with the 4.0 and a few basic mods. Probably around 220hp.
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Old 08-31-2009
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Do the U-haul trailers come with brakes? If it does, it probably wouldn't hurt to get a brake controller for the extra safety and to save your trucks brakes a little bit.

I would definitely make sure that you have a tranny cooler. Otherwise you may burn yours up.

Just out of curiosity, what do have done to your engine to have 220 hp with only basic mods? The 4.0 in the 2000 Ranger only had 160 hp stock.
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Old 08-31-2009
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Definitely grab a trailer brake controller, and get a trailer with brakes. It makes a big difference.
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Old 08-31-2009
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Holy crap you're right about the HP. I've had this thing for almost 3 years thinkin it was the 207. Well then nevermind, I probably have about 170 then haha...You think the tranny cooler would be the only issue?

As for the mods, I've gone on the cheap and put in a K&N filter and removed the silencer from the airbox and had a cat-back system installed with a Dynomax Super Turbo muffler and dual 2.5" pipes out the side with 3" flowmaster tips. I want to do more but the budget won't allow it yet. There was a bit more pep on the throttle after doing this. Not to mention my gas mileage went up about 3 mpg.

Asfor the Uhaul trailer brakes...they use the hydrolic trailer brake system which is OK, but they don't have connections for a full trailer brake controller that I know of. I've been thinking of installing one just to have. You never know when the need may come.
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Old 08-31-2009
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my guess is that the uhaul trailer will be running surge brakes.. so a trailer brake controler probably wont be needed if thats the case..
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Old 08-31-2009
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I live in Colorado and the Rockies are no joke. Its going to test your truck and test every bit of it. Youre just going to have to except that fact that youre not going to be able to do 60mph on alot of the runs. With that load on some of the more difficult runs you might be stuck doing 35-40mph.

3rd gear is going to be your friend.
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Old 08-31-2009
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Ok, thanks fellas, I really appreciate in info so far. I'll probably be on the I-80 going through the Rockies...weather that makes a difference or not I have no clue. I do have a tranny cooler, but I'll probably either add one in series or replace it altogether with a bigger one. Seeings how it will be winter, I'm not overly concerned with overheating but I know it can be a problem epecially on steep grades.
I'm going to go to our local Ford dealership Sunday just to get the current down-low on F-150 prices. They seem to be giving them away lately and I'm sure I can get a good trade-in price on my Ranger. It's 9 years old but that sum***** is near mint, asside from the (dang) rust on those POS painted sport bumpers, which will be replaced anyway if the F-150 plan falls through.
The F-150 won't just be because of the move...that just gives me an excuse to finally buy one.
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Old 09-01-2009
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Do not use a uhaul trailer for that, seriously. I moved from Oregon to Kentucky last year in October pulling a 6x14 enclosed trailer with my sport trac. I found a trailer with trailer brakes and bought it, and installed a prodigy brake controller and a large tranny cooler.
The surge brakes on the uhaul trailer are not something you want to experience in the snow/ice, trust me. Buy a decent used trailer with brakes and sell it when you get there.
Expect to lose a lot of power on the drive, the way I went the highest point was 8600ft so just keep in mind performance will suck up there.
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Old 09-01-2009
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IMO Keep the truck as stock as possible. It will have less issues then. Do as Brian said and buy a trailer with brakes and sell it when you get there. Brake controllers are pretty cheap too.

When you get to the mountains take your time, there is no reason to rush through it. that is the best advice, coast down the hills and slowly make it up, no need to push it running high rpms. When I tow through the mountains I try to use the hills to my advantage (coasting at any given chance and ease up the hills.)
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Old 09-01-2009
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If you did a U-haul truck and towed your truck (all wheels up), you'd be looking at around $1,700. You could save $200 if you did two wheels down and disconnected you driveshaft.

Your truck has a max tow of 5,320 lbs. and the U-haul 6' x 12' trailer has a max gross weight of 4,400 lbs. I'd feel fine towing that with your truck. You're only going to be pulling 82% of your truck's max trailer weight. Just get the thing loaded right and take it easy.

For peace of mind, I'd weigh the truck's two axle weights on a truck scale before I hooked up the trailer. Then after I loaded everything, I'd weigh all three axles to make sure the weight is distributed right. Or you could try and "guesstimate" the tongue weight, but I've messed that one up before.
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Old 09-01-2009
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Uhaul equipment is often so poorly maintained that I would really hate to rely on it for a cross country move in the middle of winter.
Spend the money and get a decent trailer, and sell it for either a small profit or small less. It will be a hell of a lot cheaper and the truck will handle it just fine. Just make sure it has electric brakes. The surge brakes are going to get you into huge trouble in the snow coming down a big grade if you have to brake.
When I came through in October it was like a blizzard. We had 60mph+ wind gusts, blowing snow and ice, etc. At a couple of points the sport trac and trailer were literally crabbing into the wind and driving sideways on the ice/snow covered road, moving forward at 30-40mph. I was afraid to stop for fear of being blown straight off the road, lol. Like Zach said, take your time. If the weather is super crappy just wait it out for a couple of days. I was in a hurry and am confident enough in my towing and winter driving, but my wife was SUPER stressed out.
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Old 09-01-2009
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I say rent a full uhaul truck and trailer or have one of you drive the truck
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Old 09-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btm757 View Post
I say rent a full uhaul truck and trailer or have one of you drive the truck
I agree with him. Put the strain on their vehicle and not yours.
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Old 09-01-2009
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Most Uhaul rides couldnt make it across country, some of them that I have seen are just unreal and barely run 55mph. Id buy a trailer and use your truck that only has 73k miles on it. Its got plenty of life to give and it not really going to beat up the truck.

I have pulled many trailers on long trips both with my ranger and with my 150. Trust me when I say take your time and get yourself your own trailer. Sell it when you get out there. You have plenty of time to look for a good trailer and to prepare yourself for the trip.

I have towed some pretty crazy stuff and put my truck through the paces at hot and cold temps, I wouldnt be afraid to tow across country with either truck.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2009
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I agree again. You will be hating yourself when you're driving a smelly uhaul with a broken heater at 50mph on flat ground, 25mph in the mountains and it breaks down in the middle of a snow storm at 8000 ft.
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  #16  
Old 09-02-2009
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Thanks again guys. I did find a decent V nose 7x12 locally here with brakes, for $3100 on caigslist. Looks great...now I just have the problem with the $3100 part. I'll keep my eyes open down the road here since the move isn't for another 5 months. I definately agree with using a trailer brake controller, never towed in the snow but I know how beneficial they can be. Looked through all of our stuff, shouldn't be more then about 1,100 pounds plus whatever trailer I use. If worst comes to worst and I can't get the money for the trailer, or I can't get the 150 in time, I'll probably suck it up and get the 5x10 uhaul. They seem to be maintained very well in this area and this would only give me about a 2400 lb load in total. Very doable indeed. Thanks for the input all!
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