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U-Haul Trailers: Information and Alternatives

May 7th, 2018 - 4:02 PM

Thinking about a U-Haul® trailer for your move?

If you’re considering truck rental for an upcoming move, there’s a good chance you’ve also looked at renting a trailer. Whether you need to haul a few extra items, tow a vehicle, or put all of your belongings inside it, a trailer can be a good solution. Learn about the different options U-Haul has, and then compare U-Haul trailers to U-Pack® moving services.    

U-Haul trailer rental

U-Haul trailer rental options

The type of trailer you need depends on the way it’s going to be used. Take a look at the options:

  • Cargo — enclosed design for household goods.
  • Utility — open design used to transport oversized items.
  • Sport — compact two-wheel trailer with an aerodynamic shape. 
  • Car tow dollies — two-wheel dolly with security chains and tire straps.
  • Auto transport — full trailer with an easy loading ramp, security chains and tire straps.
  • Motorcycle — small trailer featuring an easy loading ramp and built-in motorcycle chock.

For moving belongings, you’re likely looking at either cargo or utility trailers. To learn more about vehicle transport, check out these resources: 

Towing a car
Moving a motorcycle

U-Haul trailer sizes 

Enclosed trailer sizes range from small to large (the biggest one is just slightly smaller than their 10’ rental truck). 

U-Haul cargo trailer sizes and weight limits:

  • The 4’ x 8’ trailer has a 1,650 lb. limit
  • The 5’ x 8’ trailer has a 1,800 lb. limit
  • The 5’ x 10’ trailer has a 1,550 lb. limit
  • The 6’ x 12’ trailer has a 2,480 lb. limit

U-Haul utility trailer sizes and weight limits:

  • The 4’ x 7’ trailer has a 1,770 lb. limit
  • The 5’ x 8’ trailer has a 1,890 lb. limit
  • The 5’ x 9’ trailer with ramp has a 1,650 lb. limit
  • The 6’ x 12’ trailer has a 2,670 lb. limit
  • The 6’ x 12’ trailer with a ramp has a 2,110 lb. limit
U-Haul cargo and utility trailers

Frequently asked questions about renting U-Haul trailers

Beyond just size, the details of the rental can be just as important. Learn if you qualify to rent one (age, vehicle requirements) and the logistics of towing.

How much does it cost to rent a trailer?

Prices for long-distance moves (where you pick up at one location and drop off at another) are based on the distance between locations and the amount of time for the rental. Local moves have daily rates that vary depending on the equipment size and location. 

How old do I have to be to pull a U-Haul trailer?

U-Haul requires you to be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license. 

What does U-Haul require for towing?

U-Haul has specific vehicle requirements to rent a trailer. Some types of vehicles are excluded, for example, U-Haul won’t rent a trailer to a Ford Explorer. When you reserve the equipment online, they will check the vehicle type to verify that it’s compatible:

The vehicle must have external mirrors on both sides

  • All lights must be operable
  • There must be an adequate hitch system with receiver hitch, ball mount and ball (1 7/8” or 2” ball, 2,000 lbs. minimum, with maximum hitch ball height of 25”)
  • Compatible with a 4-way flat light connector
  • If the vehicle is an SUV, it must have a hard top
  • The curb weight of the tow vehicle must be at least 80% of the loaded weight of the trailer

How fast can I drive with a trailer?

U-Haul has a maximum recommended speed of 55 MPH.
How will towing affect gas mileage?

Pulling a heavier load takes more power, so you can expect to pay more at the pump when towing. Fueleconomy.gov states that every 100 pounds of extra weight can decrease fuel efficiency by about 1 percent. Since a full 6’ x 12’ U-Haul trailer can weigh close to 4,400 lbs., pulling it behind a vehicle could decrease fuel efficiency by 44 percent! So, if your car normally gets around 30 MPG, it may only get 13 MPG when towing. When moving long distance, those costs can add up. 

And if you’re planning on towing behind a rental truck, be prepared. Trucks are not known for fuel efficiency, so adding a trailer can have a big impact on gas prices.

What is trailer sway? Can I prevent it?

Trailer sway is the swerving, fishtailing or swaying movement that can happen when towing. It can be very dangerous, causing a vehicle to drift across lanes or even lose total control. Minor sway is normal, but unsafe trailer sway is something to work hard to avoid. Improper loading or substandard vehicle care can lead to sway — load the heavy items in the front half of the trailer and check that the tires are properly inflated and in good condition. 

U-Haul trailer alternative 

Not sure all your items will fit in a trailer or don’t want to worry about extra fuel costs? There are alternatives for moving without renting a trailer.

U-Pack is a great option because you still get to pack and load, but you don’t have to drive. It works like this:

  • U-Pack delivers moving equipment to your door
  • You load items inside
  • U-Pack picks up the equipment and delivers it to the destination 
  • You unload
  • U-Pack picks up the empty equipment

There’s no picking up and dropping off equipment, no towing, and no paying extra at the pump. U-Pack rates are based on the origin and destination, move date and how much space you use. One U-Pack ReloCube (or 5 linear feet in a moving trailer) is just a little bigger than the largest U-Haul trailer. 

If you plan on moving an entire home, you can use multiple Cubes or more space in a moving trailer. Just use the space (or number of containers) you need and pay for the space (or containers) you use. 

Get a quote to compare

Get a free moving quote online to see how much a move with U-Pack will cost. Rates include transportation, fuel, taxes and liability coverage. 

Looking to save even more? Talk to a moving consultant about money-saving options like loading or unloading at a service center. 

For any questions about U-Haul trailers or moving with U-Pack, leave us a comment below. We’re here to help.

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