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  1. Default Towing car behind truck

    We are moving and will be towing a Mitsubishi Galant (small car) behind a Ford F150 Crew Cab truck on a U-Haul towing dolly. Is it ok to pack stuff in the car that's being towed? We're squeezed for room in the truck and would like to use the car for suitcases and hanging clothes. Someone told my husband it would make the car fishtail, but as long as the load is evenly distributed, is there any problem? Thanks!

    Clare

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    Officially, UHaul recommends that you do not have anything inside your car while towing.

    From a practical approach, you could get by putting a small number of things in there, but not much. It's not really possible to evenly distribute the load, because the bulk of the weight of the car is in the engine - which is a good thing on a tow dolly, because that means the weight of the car is over the wheels of the tow dolly. Any additional weight you put in the passenger compartment and/or trunk is going to be behind the tow dolly, and make the towing less stable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    I'd really recommend you rent a trailer instead of a dolly. It will make for a much better towing experience. You CANNOT back up a dolly, but you can a trailer. If you use a trailer, you can pack the car to the roof no problem. Well worth the extra expense, believe me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    I concur with GLC. It also makes more sense for the transmission on the Towed-vehicle. If it's off its four wheels, you won't need to worry about what gear its in or if you are damaging the vehicle. GLC is also correct, you can't back up a dolly. You'd have to disconnect.


    Donna

  5. Default

    A trailer isn't feasible...it was twice the cost of the dolly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Don't live to regret it.

    Being aware of the experience of those who have replied, I think you may regret along the way not following the advice. The extra expense may be less than having problems on the road.

    Lifey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default

    Is driving both vehicles an option ? I know it is nice to travel together, but with plenty of short breaks along the way you won't feel lonely. I have towed many vehicles and have never felt completely comfortable with a Dolly as I have a Trailer. Whatever you use, but especially with a Dolly, stop after a few miles and check the tension of the straps as they can stretch and leave slack, then repeat at each stop and before setting out in the morning, if it's a multi day trip that is. Loading the car with a few lighter items should not present too much of a problem but do not fill the trunk with heavy items and if possible, avoid using it altogether.

  8. Default

    I think you've convinced us. Even though it will add another $500 to the trip, we'll rent a trailer instead. Driving both vehicles isn't an option unless we go straight home and forget our sightseeing trip. We plan to see a couple National Parks and do other things along the way and we know if we don't do it now we'll never go back and do it. I could manage to drive the trip if we go straight back...3 days...but not the long 8-day trip. Thanks, everybody for your advice!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    If you are also sightseeing, then a dolly is DEFINITELY out. A trailer is going to be enough of a hassle off the Interstates.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    That changes things completely - I'm guessing this is about the trip you asked about previously then?

    I actually didn't think a tow dolly was a bad idea to start. A tow dolly weighs significantly less than a full trailer, so I thought that might be an advantage since you're using an F150 to do the towing.

    But I agree with GLC, trying to get around National Parks with a tow dolly would be a nightmare. The inability to backup at all could really cause you some problems. Your plans really make using a full trailer a must - that will be enough of a challenge getting around.

    With the added weight, and the roads you'll be using, it will be essential to make sure your truck is completely prepped for the stresses it will be seeing. Oil and Transmission coolers are a must, and I'd be looking at flushing all fluids both before and after your trip.

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