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  1. Default Toronto to LA towing trailer - need advice please!

    Hi Everybody,

    I'm planning on driving from Toronto to Los Angeles in a 2004 Toyota Corolla towing a 5x8 uhaul trailer. I'm planning on doing this over 7-10 days beginning sometime in mid-late May.

    I've got three basic questions:

    1. Am I crazy?...I know this isn't specifically a car forum but I'm finding a hard time trying to get an honest answer from somebody with experience about whether or not this would ruin my automatic transmission. I'm staying within the manufacture's recommended 1500 lbs tow capacity. I'm also installing a transmission cooler.

    2. Assuming the answer to 1 is 'not really', What is the flatest route that I can take that would still allow me to see the places in #3.

    3. What sites should I make a point of seeing along the way? The point of this trip is not just to move to LA but to have a bit of an adventure with a couple of my friends who'll be coming along. I've already got Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park on the list. Just wondering if there are any other thoughts?

    Thanks for reading this and I greatly appreciate any advice you might have.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 04-11-2009 at 07:13 AM. Reason: Expletive deleted

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Simple As...

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    1) As long as you're staying within the manufacturer's recommendation on towing capacity, you should be fine. Most such 'engineering' limits are quite conservative. The transmission cooler will help, but might be overkill.

    2) Any route that sticks to the Interstates will be within the capacities of your car. They are built to standards that limit grades to 6% or less and on sustained grades usually have a 'truck lane' where you can pull over and go slower if need be.

    3) Given the above and the stops you want to make, I think that the route that would work best for you would be to take ON-403/ON-402 to Sarnia, cross into the U.S. and take I-69/I-94 to Chicago (by all means try to time this so that you're going around Chicago at non rush hour!), then I-55/I-44/I-40 to Flagstaff, AZ. US-89 north, AZ-64 west and south will make a nice loop through the Grand Canyon and put you on the Canyon side of the South Rim Road, so that you can get in and out of parking areas easier. The direct route to Las Vegas would be US-93 north from Kingman, but there are security, traffic, and construction delays on that route, so if you can forego seeing the Hoover Dam, then you might want to look at continuing on I-40 into California and then take US-95 north to Las Vegas. To see Zion, I'd recommend that you lock up your trailer and leave it in Las Vegas at your hotel and just go up to the park and back as a day trip. From Las Vegas it's a simple drive down I-25 to Los Angeles.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default slight detour

    I would say that a 5x8 trailer fully loaded could very well start to push the limits of your cars towing capacity. It doesn't take much to get up to 1,500 lbs of stuff in a trailer that size. If you are going with that size because you've got some larger items you're trying to move, you should be fine, but if you need all of that space for your things, you could be taxing your car more than you'd like.

    I agree that a tranny cooler would certainly help, however, I would think about how much that would cost, especially if you don't plan to be doing any other towing. Its one of those things where you start spending so much money getting a trailer to work that you end up spending more than if you'd go with another option to ship your stuff.

    As far as routes go, I will offer a slight modification that I think would be easier. Instead of taking I-94 to Chicago, take I-69 to Indianapolis and then I-70 to St. Louis. Follow the rest of Buck's directions from there. That only adds a few miles and completely avoids the traffic problems that come with getting through Chicago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A 5x8 enclosed U-Haul trailer weighs 900 pounds EMPTY. I would not tow it with a Corolla. You also will not be allowed to rent it if U-Haul follows their book.

    Your towing vehicle:

    * Must be equipped with a hard top if it is an SUV. U-Haul does not allow any type of sport-utility vehicle not equipped with a hard top to tow U-Haul equipment.
    * Must weigh at least 2,700 lbs. (curb weight)
    * Must have Class 1 tow hitch (2,000 lb. minimum weight-carrying rating)
    * Must have 1-7/8", 2" or 2-1/8" hitch ball (2,000 lbs. minimum)
    * Must not exceed maximum allowable hitch ball height 25"
    * Must have external mirrors on both sides
    * Must have fully operational lighting
    * Trailer lighting must be operational at all times, day and night
    * Maximum recommended speed is 45 MPH
    According to my research, the curb weight of a 2004 Corolla is 2568 pounds.

    You may rent a 4x8, that only requires a curb weight of 2000 pounds and it's 850 pounds empty. Other restrictions are the same.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default misread

    I misread the initial post, I thought it would be a Toyota Camry that would be doing the pulling, not a Corolla. In that case, I very much agree with GLC, a 5x8 trailer is just way too big for your car. Maybe you could do a 4x8, but even then, it wouldn't be my first choice. Compact cars just aren't built to pull trailers, and I wouldn't want to put the significant wear and tear on my car. I think I would instead be looking at renting a small truck or maybe have your items shipped by ABF.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Well, you can do it with a 4x8, as long as you won't be hauling more than 650 pounds of stuff - hardly worth it in my opinion. *IF* you do it, you will want to lock it out of overdrive. This is going to make for an uncomfortable trip.

  7. Default

    Thanks guys,

    Based on your advice I've started lean against the whole trailer idea.

    Fortunately, I just found a feasible option to ship my belongings using Amtrak.

    This should now allow us to go through some of the more scenic (and hilly) parts of the country via I-70.

    Thanks again for all the help!

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