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  1. Default Driving from Buffalo, NY to Portland, OR with 2 people and a dog.

    Hello everyone! My husband and I are planning to move from Buffalo, NY to Portland, OR in late October or early November. We are also bringing our 7 lb dog with us. Because this is the longest road trip we ever had, we are little (a little?) nervous. We originally thought to get a moving company to move our stuff and we were going to drive with my car to Portland. But because we don't have a lot of budget we are considering ditching that idea and getting a U-Haul van.

    Now, we may tow my car behind the van, but U-Haul recommends 45 MPH speed with that.... and I really prefer all of us in the one car and share driving so that we can do longer distance at one day and cheer each other up...

    Should we drive together with my car towed or ditch the tow idea and drive separately...? I am really confused about what is the best way to go with. I wanted to ask you guys what would you do in the situation like this...? That would be really really helpful!

    Thank you so much in advance,
    ChuChu10

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Why can't you do both?

    It seems to me that you could spend some times together in the truck towing the car and, if you need a break from each other for awhile (yes, on that long of a trip even couples who love togetherness can have too much of it), then just unhook the car and drive it for awhile. If you do this, I would suggest that you either both have cellphones and/or buy FRS radios. You can get a pair for about $30-50 and then you can talk to each other from car-to-car as long as you are within about 1-2 miles from each other.

    Is there anything else you would like help with?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Moving Van Towing

    Now, we may tow my car behind the van, but U-Haul recommends 45 MPH speed with that.... and I really prefer all of us in the one car and share driving so that we can do longer distance at one day and cheer each other up...
    UHaul's 45 MPH recommendation is one of those things that I assume they do for legal reasons, but its just so totally impractically, I can't believe their rules give them any real protection.

    Personally, I've pulled cars on Uhaul trailers several times, both behind their moving vans, and behind my SUV. I have also never followed the 45 mph "rule." When you are first starting out, you'll want to go slow to get a feel for the equiptment and how it handles, but there really is no reason why you won't be able to drive in the 55-65 mph range while pulling a trailer.

    Just remember, your stopping times are sigificantly increased and your ability to manuveur is significantly decreased while pulling a trailer, so you need to drive extra defensively.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    It seems to me that you could spend some times together in the truck towing the car and, if you need a break from each other for awhile (yes, on that long of a trip even couples who love togetherness can have too much of it), then just unhook the car and drive it for awhile. If you do this, I would suggest that you either both have cellphones and/or buy FRS radios. You can get a pair for about $30-50 and then you can talk to each other from car-to-car as long as you are within about 1-2 miles from each other.

    Is there anything else you would like help with?

    Hello Judy,

    Thank you for your post! I never thought we may need a break from each other but now that I think about it, a week on the road is a long time :-) We both have a cell phone with Walky-talky on it so we'll be all set about that.

    Thanks again,
    Chuchu10
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-25-2006 at 09:06 AM.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Personally, I've pulled cars on Uhaul trailers several times, both behind their moving vans, and behind my SUV. I have also never followed the 45 mph "rule." When you are first starting out, you'll want to go slow to get a feel for the equiptment and how it handles, but there really is no reason why you won't be able to drive in the 55-65 mph range while pulling a trailer.
    Midwest Michael,

    Thank you! This validated what I have thought. 45 MPH is just way too slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Just remember, your stopping times are sigificantly increased and your ability to manuveur is significantly decreased while pulling a trailer, so you need to drive extra defensively.
    I will remember this. Thanks again for your time on this.

    Everyone else looking at this post and have ANY other advice, I'd be very happy to know about it and appreciate your time!

    Chuchu10

  6. #6

    Default U-Haul rules

    My neighbor rents u haul equipment so I asked him about this 45 mph rule on their towing equipment(tow bars, tow dollies, trailers, etc). He said that the average person has no experience pulling a trailer or car or what have you and that stopping, lane changes and acceleration are all affected by towing. Thusly if they limit your speed, they greatly increase the odds of the inexperienced to arrive safely at their destination. On the flip side of that, they can also say that in the event of an accident, if you were not following their rules, they owe you nothing for your losses as you were exceeding the speed limit or overloaded or whatever the case may be.

    I have rented several times from that various rental comanies out there and each one of them has the 45 mph recommended speed limit. All of their equipment is usually overbuilt for the job required of it, so handling higher speeds is not an issue. I have pulled several of these trailers at interstate speeds without any issues. Just remember though that it is entirely possible to smoke the electric brakes(if equipped) on the trailer or dolly, especially in hilly areas or city traffic. I dont wish that on anyone. So learn how the trailer brake controller(if the tow vehicle has one) works and get comfy with the brakes before embarking on a major trip. I took my equipment out to a deserted county road and set the brakes to my liking. Each of my trailers has a different setting and those settings are written on the dash of my truck.

    What I suggest doing is getting everything set up, ie car on the trailer, moving truck loaded up, etc and driving around your current town for the afternoon before you leave and try out some highway time too, just to get the feel for what you are up against. Also remember that when driving on the interstate system through major cities, you are not as capable of lane changes and the people with no experience pulling something will get very irate with you(been there). I usually slide all the way into the left lane(fast lane) and run with the traffic(again, I have pulled cars all over the country so I know my equipment). It is usually pretty scary at first, but it leaves all the other lanes open for the daily road warriors to get to where they need to go.

    Whenever I am out and about and I spot someone pulling a camper, car trailer, horse trailer or what have you trailer and I can see that they are struggling with it. I will run behind them and aid them in lane changes and such by starting to go when they do and letting them slide in front of me while holding up the traffic with my own vehicle. Is that illegal, probably so, but guess what, I was in that situation once and someone helped me, so I just return the favor.

    Drive safely and enjoy the trip, read the owners manual for whatever equipment you rent and keep it shiney side up and rubber side down.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Courtesy is rarely illegal

    Quote Originally Posted by galaxie50059 View Post
    What I suggest doing is getting everything set up, ie car on the trailer, moving truck loaded up, etc and driving around your current town for the afternoon before you leave and try out some highway time too, just to get the feel for what you are up against. Also remember that when driving on the interstate system through major cities, you are not as capable of lane changes and the people with no experience pulling something will get very irate with you(been there).
    This advice is very sound -- thanks.
    I usually slide all the way into the left lane(fast lane) and run with the traffic(again, I have pulled cars all over the country so I know my equipment).
    In most jurisdictions, this could result in a traffic ticket because running with traffic will almost certainly be exceeding the state regulations for a towed trailer. I am sure you have been fortunate in this regards. It is probably prudent to run in the right lane for most inexperienced towers.
    Whenever I am out and about and I spot someone pulling a camper, car trailer, horse trailer or what have you trailer and I can see that they are struggling with it. I will run behind them and aid them in lane changes and such by starting to go when they do and letting them slide in front of me while holding up the traffic with my own vehicle. Is that illegal, probably so, but guess what, I was in that situation once and someone helped me, so I just return the favor.
    This is an act of courtesy and I do it nearly every trip for merging traffic (especially over-sized trucks and vehicles pulling trailers).

    Thanks for the tips!

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Right, But Not Far Right

    I agree with Mark about running in the right lane(s) rather than the far left when hauling a big rig through urban areas, but I would urge you to stay not in the rightmost lane, but in the one just to the left of it. Most freeways through urban areas have 3-4 (or more) lanes. Leave the leftmost to those who fly low, and the rightmost to those trying to enter/exit the freeway, and stick with those in the middle. Remember - moderation in all things.

    AZBuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Sort of Right (lane)

    I'm going to side with Buck and say sticking to the right-most middle lane is probably the best course of action in an urban area.

    I'd say the most important thing for an inexperienced driver in this situation is to avoid having to change lanes. You should also probably be driving slower than most other traffic. If you are in the right most of the middle lanes, you shouldn't be impeding other traffic, but you shouldn't have to change lanes because of merging traffic either.

    Also, Uhaul's trucks and trailers rely on surge breaks, so if that's who you choose to rent with, you won't have to worry about learning how to operate any trailer brake controls.

  10. Default

    hi, I just ran across your comment and it sounds like you know your business in towing cars and stuff. I looked at uhaul prices and stuff and decidded to just buy an older truck big enough to tow my car. It was accustomed to towing a 5th wheel. It has a towing package but no ball and i don't have a hitch yet. It's a ford F350 v6, not 4x4. I've never towed anything before. My car is a 2000 Saturn SL, standard 5 speed. I'm trying to figure out what would be best, dinghy towing or getting/renting a trailer. What would you suggest? I"ll be moving by myself, camping or motel along the way. Would you suggest going to a hitch shop or what should i look for in a place to do up the wiring and stuff for the car? these kinds of questions make me wish my dad was around.

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