Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

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richardtallent
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Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by richardtallent » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:54 am

Virgin burner here... I have a little fiberglass camper I'm planning to bring to Burning Man this year, and I need a vehicle to get me there and tow it. I could take our family SUV, but I think my wife would kill me with the dust it'll bring back. So my grand plan at the moment is to rent one of these 10ft UHaul moving trucks, with the tow package (I don't know if it's included or optional), and tow my camper behind it.

https://www.uhaul.com/Truck-Rentals/10ft-Moving-Truck/

The camper is light -- 1200lb empty, maybe 1600 loaded to the gills, so tow capacity isn't an issue. I'm planning to caravan and camp with some friends here in Texas (we're east of Houston, 2000 miles from BRC), so having a covered truck would allow all of us to have a place to pack things that won't fit easily into other vehicles.

What I'm curious about is how these moving trucks handle while towing a camper. Has anyone else had experience with that?

What I'd *really* prefer to do is get a passenger or panel van with a tow package, since it would be a more comfy ride, allow more carpooling, and still have plenty of storage. But I haven't found a rental place that offers that yet.

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gaminwench
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by gaminwench » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:14 am

You can prepare your SUV for the dust, so as to not bring it home.

Painter's tarp and tape, limit in-and-outs, change the air filters.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Sham
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by Sham » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:53 am

If your own vehicle is available to take, you would be much better off bringing that. You're going to have to clean a rental truck anyway, so you may as well prepare your family van with plastic on the rugs and seats. What you save in paying for a rental could even be used to detail your own car when you return.

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Token
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by Token » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:09 am

I’m pretty sure U-Haul only lets you tow their dollies and car carriers with the box trucks. They are in general the worst of the worst.

The pickups they rent can tow boats and campers. Detail is in the contract.

Enterprise and Penske business divisions do rent full size trucks equipped for towing and permit it in the contract.

End of the day, it’s all about the contract so get a copy of that and study it.

You will likely be better off renting from a construction equipment supplier like United Rentals as they do not have off-road use clauses. Most construction is off-road use.

The best option is to pack the Mrs. into the family SUV and avoid the whole homicide possibility.

maladroit
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by maladroit » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:37 pm

Oh my goodness. No. Hell no. 2000 miles one way in a U-Haul. Did you realize that the mileage rate is something like 89 cents per mile? Are you prepared to pay $3600 round trip, on top of the rental fees and gas?

richardtallent
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by richardtallent » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:40 pm

Thanks!

I'd prefer using my own car. I'm comfortable driving it and towing my camper, etc. But it would realistically limit me to one passenger.

But if a group of folks in our camp want to ride together, a passenger van would give us plenty of secure stowage with a seat or two removed. I hadn't thought of using a construction rental company, and the off-road contract issue is good to know. It ain't cheap -- United Rental's rate would be $1850 for a 15-passenger van, plus $800 or so in gas (estimating 10mpg with towing) -- but split 4-5 ways, it might be cheaper than our individual costs would be, and we'd only need/use one vehicle pass.

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Sham
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by Sham » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:43 am

A 15 passenger van starts to get full pretty quickly with tents, shade, kitchen/cooking gear, coolers, luggage, food, bikes etc. Hopefully there's a roof rack on the van to put at least the 5 bikes. I figure on 3 gallons of water/day/person. Each additional person adds weight of water and supplies, while taking away much needed room in the inside.

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Token
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by Token » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:44 am

Richard, you need to reset and break this situation down to the basics, then build up from there.

First and foremost, no one in your group has tickets yet and there is no guarantee any single person will get them.

Second, plan on half your group flaking between now and August.

Your camper - is it a must have? If Yes, only guaranteed way to get it there is tow with your “SUV”.

Speaking of “SUV” - “realistically room for one passenger”!? What is your “SUV”? A Toyota Rav, Honda CRV? A Suburban or Excursion- that’s an SUV. The rest are glorified sedans.

For your own sanity, I would plan on getting you, in your “SUV”, towing your camper to BM. The rest will shake out just fine.

If you have a passenger, great!

If all 4 of your friends get tickets and don’t flake - Super Awesome - boys, three of you fly to Sacramento, rent a cargo van and let’s meet in Reno for the pre-party!

Break it down to the basics.

Self-reliance is step one.
Then go to community effort.
Only way to still have friends when you get back.

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Ratty
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by Ratty » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:17 pm

Token is right. I bring my Toyota minivan with shade structure, event supplies plus all of my personal needs. I can squeeze one passenger in with minimal stuff. Don't take responsibility for everyone's transportation. You will not have room.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:44 pm

As for your original question, if it’s as light as you say it is a U-Haul van will pull the thing just fine. They tow trailers heavier than that all the time.
As for the immediate thread drift about whether you should even do that at all... I agree with the others, you’ll spend a fortune on a U-Haul and rental places don’t always come through with the reservations.
Many also prohibit taking their rigs to Burning Man.
There’s way too much riding on this trip to leave maybes and loose ends. I’d highly recommend covering your own ass and taking your own rig. Spend a few hundred bucks at a detail shop afterwards and they’ll clean it up great, and that’ll be maybe a tenth of what you’d spend on a rental truck.
If you do decide to use a rental, at least have your own rig all set to go in case the reservation falls through.
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maladroit
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Re: Towing with a UHaul moving truck or van?

Post by maladroit » Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:50 pm

Burn week isn't the real burn; build week isn't the real burn either. Driving to Burning Man is the real Burning Man. Don't fuck it up.

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