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Why U-Haul Won't Rent a Trailer for a Ford Explorer

June 17th, 2016 - 4:11 PM

*This post has been updated to include current information (originally published in 2011).

The issue with U-Haul® and Ford Explorers

Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have been extremely popular in the past few decades, and the Ford Explorer is no exception. With its modern design, high-end features and top of the line technology, it’s no wonder people choose this as their everyday vehicle. Do you own one? If so, you know it’s great for getting the whole family where they need to go. But, if you're moving long distance and plan to use U-Haul towing equipment, things could get complicated.


U-Haul towing

Why won’t U-Haul rent to Explorer owners?

In order to rent a U-Haul trailer, you’re required to enter the make, model and year of the vehicle you’ll be using. If you say that you’ll be towing with a Ford Explorer, you may receive the following statement: 

“U-Haul has chosen not to rent behind this tow vehicle based on our history of excessive costs in defending lawsuits involving Ford Explorer towing combinations. This policy is not related to safety issues. This is an unusual circumstance for U-Haul—we have built our success for over 60 years by saying ‘yes’ to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are committed to working with our customers to find alternative options to help with their move.”  

According to a U-Haul representative, they only ban certain models of the Explorer from towing their trailers. This might leave people confused about whether or not they can tow a U-Haul with their vehicle. 

Can I tow a U-Haul trailer behind my vehicle?

According to U-Haul, this regulation is based off the vehicle’s difference in body style. The 2011 and newer models have a lower center of gravity than the 2010 and older models. This means:

  • If you own a 2011 Ford Explorer or newer, you can rent a U-Haul towing dolly or trailer.
  • If you own a 2010 Ford Explorer or older, you can’t rent a U-Haul towing dolly or trailer.

However, the best way to check compatibility is to contact U-Haul directly. This way you can make sure your vehicle meets other requirements such as towing capacity.

Ford Explorer towing capacity

Before you can tow anything with your vehicle, make sure you have enough towing capacity (some Ford Explorers have towing capacities that won’t work for certain loads). The good news for owners of more recent Explorers is that they have a greater towing capacity and can haul trailers. The Ford Explorer towing capacity is 2,000 to 5,000 pounds for 2011 to 2017 models.

Towing tips and safety

If you decide towing a trailer behind your Explorer is the best option, there are many safety guidelines you should follow to keep you, your vehicle and the trailer unharmed. Familiarize yourself with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safety tips. These tips include best practices for:

  • General handling
  • Braking
  • Acceleration and passing
  • Downgrades and upgrades
  • Backing up
  • Parking

Keep in mind that if you’re towing with an SUV, it must be equipped with a hard top.

How can I move without towing anything?

Whether you own an older Explorer or a new model, you can still complete an inexpensive move with U-Pack®. U-Pack is a good option for those needing a Ford Explorer U-Haul alternative. Our prices are comparable to truck rentals when moving long distance.

Instead of towing a trailer behind your newer Explorer with U-Haul (or trying to find a moving company that services older models), move with U-Pack! U-Pack offers you the convenience of riding comfortably in your vehicle while a professional drives your belongings to your new home.  With U-Pack, you don’t have to worry about safety issues, vehicle compatibility or towing —  get a free moving quote online or by calling 800-413-4799.

If you have questions, leave us a comment below and we’ll get right back to you.


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