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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all

My better half and me will be moving from Philly to Austin in August. We were going to rent a U-Haul trailer, but seeing as U-Haul decided to charge $888 for their tiniest 4x8 trailer - we went out and bought a 2003 model 6x8 trailer for $1,000 - and we own it ;)

That out of our way - we till have to get ourselves and all of our stuff safely over almost 2,000 miles. And while she has towed once before, and there is a chance her dad (a seasoned tower) will come up and help us - we are still a little uneasy about towing.

The drive: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=...5.677068&sspn=48.641855,76.992187&ie=UTF8&z=5
We have driven it once before in our Mazda3 (no trailer of course)

The tow vehicle is a 1999 Expedition 5.4l RWD with 190k miles. It has been sitting almost idle for the past 2 years, but recently we have revived it - given it a good service with oil change and once over. It is generally in a good shape.

Trailer is a single axle 6x8 - nothing fancy. its GVWL (us that what trailers have) is 2,200 lbs. We just bought it and looked it over and it is in a good shape - absolutely no rust in the frame - new looking tires etc.

The drive is all highway with 2 vehicles (Expy plus trailer, and a Mazda3) so we will take our time as at best we will have 3 drivers - otherwise it will be just 2 of us.

I have been reading online a number of "how to tow" guides with the usual
- 10-15% tongue weight
- secure cargo
- slow down and give yourself more space
- let of gas in case of trailer sway etc.

Should I know of anything else?
Is it really that risky to tow?
What kind of mileage penalty should I expect?
Any other advice?

Thanks

Igor
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not really... just don't go too fast if it's got those tiny little wheels... they are such crap... with the big wheels you're fine to cruise at 70...

I don't like to go much more than 70 or 75 on a trailer because the tires are speed-rated only for around 75... but the little ones even less.

Expy is a big truck for that, I would tow that trailer on the Mazda3 ;)
I do not want to void my warranty. I know that Expy will hardly break a sweat with the little trailer - but it has the hitch and that will be our "cargo" vehicle. The Mazda will have the pets, and all of our stuff we will use on the trip. The Expy and the trailer will have everything else.

Igor
 

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Like Saabr said there really isnt much to it. When I was 16-18 my parents were having me drive my dads E-150 with a camper behind it (smaller pop-up), sometimes it was only for 3 hrs up to a campgroud, other times it was out west on an all day drive. Just go the limit the trailer is rated at, be careful with turns and changing lanes (you have extra length behind you), slow down sooner, in general just take it easier than you might other wise. It is a better idea to use the Expedition, then like you said just load the crap out of it. The only hard part will come if you have to back the trailer up.

As long as both the trailer and truck are in good running condition it should be just a normal drive. Might want to just have the Mazda follow the truck for safety sake.
 

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Drive around with the trailer unloaded to get an idea of the turning ability. Afterwards, load it and go. You'll learn everything you need to know when driving and maybe you'll become more assertive through the drive. As my boss said before my first trip, "just do it".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm just amazed that you can fit your whole home in a 6x8 trailer!
we are young - all we have is a 1 bedroom apartment .. plus some extras - a grill, patio furniture, and bikes.

It is not that much, but we decided to keep our bed - so we cannot fit into the Expedition itself. And of course - with the pets - one of them a 45 pound dog (taking up the whole back seat of the Mazda) - the Mazda is out of commission as a hauling car.

Igor
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Like Saabr said there really isnt much to it. When I was 16-18 my parents were having me drive my dads E-150 with a camper behind it (smaller pop-up), sometimes it was only for 3 hrs up to a campgroud, other times it was out west on an all day drive. Just go the limit the trailer is rated at, be careful with turns and changing lanes (you have extra length behind you), slow down sooner, in general just take it easier than you might other wise. It is a better idea to use the Expedition, then like you said just load the crap out of it. The only hard part will come if you have to back the trailer up.

As long as both the trailer and truck are in good running condition it should be just a normal drive. Might want to just have the Mazda follow the truck for safety sake.
where would I find the maximum speed for the trailer? on the tag with its other info?

Igor
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oh so the trailer's speed rating is the tire's speed rating?
I will find out

Thanks

Igor
 

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I am willing to bet money the maximum speed for the tires is 65 mph....not 70 mph like mentioned before. If it has a "ST" designation, then the speed limit is 65 mph.

It's a good idea to check the load, and tires at ever gas stop. Carry a can of fix-a-flat if it doesn't have a spare. Take it easy, slow and safe is better than fast and possibly not getting there. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am willing to bet money the maximum speed for the tires is 65 mph....not 70 mph like mentioned before. If it has a "ST" designation, then the speed limit is 65 mph.

It's a good idea to check the load, and tires at ever gas stop. Carry a can of fix-a-flat if it doesn't have a spare. Take it easy, slow and safe is better than fast and possibly not getting there. ;)
will do - I will be picking the trailer up next weekend so I will check the tire rating.

Igor
 

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Lots of people tow U-haul trailers and their max speed is 45 or 55. I towed one from NY to NC going 75 almost the entire time and it did quite well. It swayed just a tad if you went any faster than 75, so that's what I kept it at. I would drive it at what you feel comfortable with. Going 65 down a highway could get you killed if the speed limit is 70!

Do ya'll have POD rentals up there? They are like portable moving cubes. You load it, they pick it up and deliver it wherever you want it, when you want it. Just out of curiousity you may want to check them out and you won't even have to worry about towing it if it's a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lots of people tow U-haul trailers and their max speed is 45 or 55. I towed one from NY to NC going 75 almost the entire time and it did quite well. It swayed just a tad if you went any faster than 75, so that's what I kept it at. I would drive it at what you feel comfortable with. Going 65 down a highway could get you killed if the speed limit is 70!

Do ya'll have POD rentals up there? They are like portable moving cubes. You load it, they pick it up and deliver it wherever you want it, when you want it. Just out of curiousity you may want to check them out and you won't even have to worry about towing it if it's a good deal.
yes we do have PODS, but it was even more expensive. We went this way because for $1k we actually bought something we will own and use (some). Moreover, because we have the Expedition - we will have to pay for gas to get it across either way - so the "do not have to fuel a u-haul truck" argument just fell flat on us.

We once drove a 10" U-Haul truck - flooring it 100% of the way and the thing was so tried it could not figure out which gear to be in. You'all's responses make me a little more confident, but we will definitely keep it relaxed -we have three nights to make this so there is no rush. Last Christmas we drove this stretch NON STOP - with 2 drivers and one car. it took us just around 30 hours and we would have done it faster, but the dog needed to be walked at each stop.

Igor
 

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Ok, so now we got the towing question out of the way, you got to tell us why you are moving! You're moving to Ford's secret lair, aren't you?
 

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DISCLAIMER: don't hold me liable for this.

To me, if I can barely pick up the coupler off the ball, then it's loaded properly
 

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I don't know how heavy it's going to be, and an Expedition probably shouldn't have any trouble, but one of the things I've learned being on truck forums is to keep the truck (or car) in "D", not "OD". The idea is that the transmission will slip in and out of overdrive often, which would create more heat that could damage the transmission.

Now you need a boat and a camper.:D
 

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See how the Expy tows...if it shifts between OD and 3rd then lock it into 3rd. Otherwise if it holds OD fine feel free to leave it there.
 

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Lots of people tow U-haul trailers and their max speed is 45 or 55. I towed one from NY to NC going 75 almost the entire time and it did quite well. It swayed just a tad if you went any faster than 75, so that's what I kept it at. I would drive it at what you feel comfortable with. Going 65 down a highway could get you killed if the speed limit is 70!
Jesus, that's pretty far fetched dude. 5 mph under the speed limit, and you claim someone can get killed? That's not a responsible thing to say to someone new to towing.

Does this trailer have brakes?
 
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