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Old 03-13-2016
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Long distance tow

Hello everyone. Finally signed up and first post here.


Long story short, I'm going to be moving from Alberta, Canada to Arizona. I'm planning on renting a U-Haul trailer to get the job done, and am hoping those who have done a similar trip with a trailer can share their experiences with me.


This will be a one-way trip of about 1500 miles, almost half a dozen trips over the continental divide, with the hardest pulls being along the Montana / Idaho border and northern Utah. The truck is a 2008 Sport with a 4.0, 5spd, 3.55 gears with about 50k miles.


The cargo will be about 750-1000 lbs, plus the trailer, plus a motorcycle that weighs about 550 lbs.


I'm thinking loading the bike in the box, and going with the 4x8 trailer would be the best bet.. that said, maybe getting the 5x8 and loading the bike in it would be a good idea too.


I'm a 10 year experienced CDL driver so know there will be times I'm climbing at 35mph with the 4-ways on, rolling down grade in 3rd gear to keep from burning the brakes, and taking breaks and checking all the equipment is needed to keep it rubber side down. Just looking for some tales of successful trips to make my best decision.


Thanks gang!
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Old 03-14-2016
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With a manual trans you will be fine.

Make sure to load the truck bed with some weight, bike is good but add some more weather-proof stuff as well.
Although, I would be tempted to load the bike in the trailer for easier access in case of a breakdown, not that there would be one but............
You could then unload the bike to get parts or 'help'.

With the 4.0l SOHC engine you will be doing better than 35mph up the hills, my 4.0l OHV pulls great.
Have done the L.A. to Vancouver run with some good size loads with trailer and without.

Also make sure trailers are heavier in the front, tail heavy will cause trailer to wander back and forth.

Have a pad lock and chain for bike and trailer to truck, less worry if spending the night somewhere.
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Old 03-14-2016
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I tow my race car all over the country. The race car and trailer are about 3500 lbs combined and I have an additional 800 lbs or so of gear on the bed. My longest tows have been round trip from California to Wisconsin. My hardest trip was over the Rockies on I-70 to Denver. There was a couple times in the Rockies that I needed to shift down to second but usually 3rd will pull almost any hill unless traffic slows you down.
You should have no problem with what you are planning to move. In addition to what Ron advised, I suggest some kind of trailer brakes. You are at the weight that it may not be needed but it is still nice to have. I also have helper air springs to keep the rear from sagging and it helps to keep the rear stable too. I usually stay out of overdrive also. I am sure you know you need to add more air to the tires too.
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Old 03-14-2016
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Just do the usual trailer check every couple hundred miles. Unless your in a hurry I would take your time. No need to try to pass someone on a one lane highway with all that stuff. Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2016
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For the record, a 6x12 u haul trailer pulls like a dream compared to aNY other enclosed u haul trailer. Comes with surge brakes too.
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Old 03-15-2016
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Yes, tandem axle trailers are much better towing than single axle, providing you need the extra room :)
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Old 03-15-2016
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Great news! I'll admit, when I bought the truck I really only had the intent of a daily driver with the ability to haul a motorcycle or some building supplies across town. Seems to be a pretty able little machine it sounds like.



Fortunately (or unfortunately) most of the way will be in the slow lane on I-15. Bike in the box is sounding like a better idea, and all the boxes and housewares in the trailer. I won't be in a huge rush so nothing wrong with the recommended 55mph, maybe 60 with taking a run at the hills is what I was thinking... treat it just like hauling freight cross country.
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Old 03-16-2016
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Also check on the U-haul website about what "they" allow.
Enter your truck data and it will show you the trailers "they" will allow you to rent.

Their trailers, their rules

And check your trailer hitch rating and what kind of wiring connector it uses, so no surprises when picking up the trailer
U-haul just has the flat 4-wire connector on most trailers, getting an adapter, if needed, ahead of time is cheaper, u-haul sells them but............a buck is a buck

Not sure if the '08 has separate brake/turn signal wires in the rear, if so you may need a converter for the trailer hook up, like this: https://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Curt/C56190.html

On some models the rear brake/turn signal bulb is one filament(bulb) and the Multi-switch(turn signal lever) cuts power to the brake light power when that turn signal is connected, so only 1 wire goes to each rear bulb, 2 wire setup.
Other models used 3 wires, one for each turn signal and one for the brake lights, and either used separate bulbs for brake/turn or dual filament bulbs.

U-haul trailers are setup for 2 wire, if you have a 3-wire system then you need a converter, or if you have a "trailer package" it may already have one, not sure on that.

Last edited by RonD; 03-16-2016 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 03-16-2016
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It is your choice as to what speed you run for your comfort zone. I usually run about 70 mph and it does not feel unsafe at all at that speed. I do look well ahead to give myself plenty of distance to react if needed. I also had a commercial license and drove trucks when I was younger. That is what paid my way through college.
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