4 things to know before renting a trailer for a long-distance move
Trailers are a great way to haul cars, oversized items and any other belongings that won’t fit in your vehicle. But if you’re moving long distance, they may not be the best solution. Check out four reasons one-way trailers can complicate a move, and then see how U-Pack makes the process easier.
1. One-way rentals can be difficult to find
While most truck rental companies and some home improvement stores rent out trailers, not all of them offer one-way options. This means you’d have to return the trailer where you picked it up — not ideal if you’ve moved hundreds of miles away. Some types are also more difficult to find than others (enclosed trailers may be the hardest), so make sure you don’t leave reservations for the last minute if you’re set on renting one.
2. Trailer options aren’t the same at all places
If you find a company that offers one-way trailer rental, it’s important to know they may not have the exact option you need. For example, Budget® only offers dollies and car carriers, while U-Haul® offers cargo, utility and car/motorcycle trailers (though availability can vary by location). There are also different weight restrictions, tow hitch requirements and other details that may affect what you’re able to rent. Learn more about trailer options and rental requirements for these companies:
3. Renting a trailer may be more expensive than another moving service
The total cost includes more than just the price of the trailer — especially since many companies require you to pull a trailer with a rental truck instead of your own car. There are also costs for the additional fuel you’ll use while towing and liability coverage for the rented equipment. These expenses can add up quickly and make trailers a surprisingly expensive option. See how these costs come into play for towing your car during a move.
4. Towing can change the way you drive
Depending on the trailer type and what you’re hauling, trailers can add 8-12 feet behind a vehicle and hundreds of pounds of extra weight. This can cause issues during the drive like trailer sway, limited visibility and more time spent on the road. Before you decide to rent a trailer, make sure you know these towing safety tips:
- Confirm it’s connected. Before driving, check the trailer latch and wiring and make sure the safety chains are crossed and securely attached.
- Slow down. Driving a little below the speed limit is a great way to ensure you’re being safe on the road. Many rental companies suggest a maximum speed of 55 MPH when towing.
- Be mindful of your brakes. It can be tough on brakes to stop a vehicle that’s pulling extra weight. When it’s possible and safe to do so, slow down gradually to take some of the work off them.
- Don’t change lanes suddenly. Quick lane changes could lead to trailer sway (a back and forth swinging motion that can be very dangerous). If you need to get into another lane, confirm you have plenty of space and move over slowly and smoothly.
- Make wide turns. Trailer wheels may hit curbs if a turn is too sharp.
- Know how to back up. Because of the hitch, trailers don’t reverse the same way a vehicle does. And jackknifing is possible if you do it incorrectly. It’s a good idea to practice backing up in a safe location and have someone outside of the vehicle to warn you if you may hit something. Note: you won’t be able to back up a car dolly, so choose pull-through spots if towing one.
- Stop often. Wind and road conditions can loosen straps, chains and other devices keeping your items on the trailer. Stop frequently to confirm everything is still secure.
- Consider tow mirrors. These can help you see trailer blind spots if your tow vehicle’s mirrors aren’t wide enough.
Check out the National Highway Safety Administration’s towing safety guide for more information.
There’s a better way to move than renting a trailer!
Rather than pulling a trailer full of your belongings across the country, let U-Pack® do the work. We’ll deliver a 28-foot moving trailer or ReloCube container(s) to your home, you’ll load your belongings, then we’ll drive everything to your new location.
The best part? Space is flexible. You can use as little as 5 feet of the trailer or 1 ReloCube (or as much space as you need), and just pay for what you use. It’s a convenient option that eliminates the stress of choosing the right size trailer, towing it and returning it after the move.
Budget® is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC. U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Penske® is a registered trademark of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third party.
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