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Old 03-26-2008, 06:48 PM   #1
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1986 34' Excella
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Renting a tow vehicle for very occasional use

My wife and I own an '86 Excella, 34', that we intend to tow to northern Georgia very soon. My vehicle is a 1990 F-150 with a straight six and manual transmission. Our circumstances have changed since we bought the AS and there isn't the possibility of purchasing a TV, (only recently figured out that refers to the tow vehicle , not the flatscreen), and was wondering if one can rent a tow vehicle. Or barring that, are there services available for hire to tow a trailer and are they prohibitively expensive

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Old 03-26-2008, 07:08 PM   #2
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I think the possibility of renting a properly setup tow vehicle capable of towing your trailer is very slim. I have seen at least a couple of advertisements of people wanting work moving trailers, but sorry, I do not know their rates, and even if I did, they would probably be different in your area.

Maybe you should put an add in the classifieds here to see if you could find someone who would move your trailer for you.

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Old 03-26-2008, 07:13 PM   #3
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Renting a TV that can handle and is set up for heavy duty towing is tall order. It's going to take at least a 3/4 ton TV with a class V receiver to handle a 34 footer. You might consider a trailer moving firm. I have no idea what the cost would be.

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Old 03-26-2008, 07:21 PM   #4
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An option would be to hire the guys who do it for a living. You might want to run an ad in the elkhart indiana paper. Pickups always running new units to dealers who I would think be very happy to pick up a return load part of the way home. I would think a little home work researching these companies that specialize in new trailer delivery would be your best bet. These guys have the experience, insurance and equipment to get the job done for you.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:29 PM   #5
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Check with your local RV dealers , they have inventory coming in all the time and someone is leaving empty. One of the truckers might be glad to pick up a return trip.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:33 PM   #6
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Hello Fellow Floridian! I did the same thing several years back, I rented a truck and moved my Ambassador up to the Smoky Mountains where it sits. At that time the major rental companies didn't have a truck that you could use the brakes with. I rented an F250 from Atlantic Ford Rental in Ft. Lauderdale and had a hitch specialist guy set it up for me. Atlantic Ford rents trucks to the boating and yachting industry there (some BIG boats) so they were equipped. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:09 PM   #7
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hiring someone to tow it can be expensive, but it's a good idea...

perhaps one of the local rv dealers who hires private trucks to deliver rvs can suggest someone locally.

there are lots of guys self employed doing this, but be sure they are insured or bonded...

not only are there truck rental companies...

but there are VAN and 'self moving' type vehicles (box trucks) that can work nicely...

'leasing and fleet companies' also have full size vans and f-250s for rent.

btw a 1986 34 can easily be towed with 1/2 ton vehicles, it weighs MUCH LESS than a modern 34.

and a class 4 receiver is more than adequate for the tongue of these early 34s.

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Old 03-27-2008, 10:07 AM   #8
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I'd be leery of hiring just anyone to tow it. A wreck, damage from other reasons, etc with a guy with no DOT Authority, commercial insurance etc, could be prescription for disaster. I'd check with my insurance agent, as well.

That said, there are guys (hotshot) who could do it, on a flat bed, drop deck trailer or without.

I agree with 2air. That truck can probably do it. Just go through the brakes and cooling system beforehand (pump, hoses, thermostat and backflush radiator). Tires should also be properly rated, and less than 5-years old with at least 4/32 tread remaining (no patches from flats). A good time to renovate all systems, actually. A top speed (downhill) of about 62 mph will work.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:27 AM   #9
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I'm sure the local RV dealers could put you in touch with a retired/part timer that could help -- I suggest just calling around.
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by packrat561
My wife and I own an '86 Excella, 34', that we intend to tow to northern Georgia very soon. My vehicle is a 1990 F-150 with a straight six and manual transmission. Our circumstances have changed since we bought the AS and there isn't the possibility of purchasing a TV, (only recently figured out that refers to the tow vehicle , not the flatscreen), and was wondering if one can rent a tow vehicle. Or barring that, are there services available for hire to tow a trailer and are they prohibitively expensive
I wouldn't abandon the notion of using your current truck just yet. Which transmission does your truck have? If it's the 4 speed with the low first gear ("granny gear") you have plenty of pulling power, you just won't go all that fast. You might spend some time in 3rd climbing moderate grades at 55 mph with the engine running at about 3500 rpm, but the old 300 straight six has a great reputation as a working engine. You would be treating it like the truck engine it is. And I suspect that on long grades you would still outperform some tractor-trailers.

The most important issue is ensuring a good hitch setup and keeping things stable. If you have LT tires on the truck, that would make a big difference. I would recommend that you contact Andrew T via this forum. He would be able to guide you in considerable detail to make this work.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:11 PM   #11
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I suspect that your current vehicle may have the capability to tow the trailer, particularly if you have the ability as well.

Another option is to grab the latest Good Sam "Highways" publication and go to the classifieds. There are several firms offering the services you need. It does not show rates and I suspect it won't be cheap but it is an alternative.

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Old 03-27-2008, 08:27 PM   #12
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Check out, the Ebay equivalent of a shipping auction service. You can always post your desired shipment to see what kind of offers you get and it won't cost anything until you accept a bid.

See: uShip - The Online Shipping Marketplace - Ship Freight, Furniture, Vehicles or Moves

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Old 03-27-2008, 10:27 PM   #13
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Be selective if you hire someone to move it! There are a lot of tweekers driving something with a hitch who would respond... you don't want that! I'd go with an established company, that is properly bonded and insured, and pay what that costs, if the trailer was worth a lot to me. From what I've read on the ebay motors forums, even big national vehicle transport companies can be really bad sometimes. Therefore, its probably best to figure out a way to tow it yourself.

A traditional rental is out, most rental companies have no towing and no off-roading in their boilerplate contract. It is for good reason; it is obviously far more risky, and probably specifically excluded from their insurance coverage, accordingly.

Besides using your own truck ( a pickup is too light in the rear for my own taste) you might consider some kind of swap-rental arrangement with the owner of a capable truck. Consider someone with a nice (diesel?) heavy duty truck, making big monthly payments and under-using it. Perhaps they'd be glad to have someone else use it for the occasional weekend for a few hundred, maybe including swapping your own truck for them to drive if need be. I'd consider running an ad on c-list and see what happens.

While you're at it on craigslist, keep your eyes on whats out there in the way of a heavier duty truck. I've picked up some sweet deals by not being a rushed buyer. The latest was a 94 Suburban off ebay, I got it at 40c on the dollar, did an oil change and $94 alternator that kept the bidding down, and now I have an extra vehicle for towing, and a non-gas-hog to drive when not towing. You'd be surprised how little a second or third vehicle adds to your policy.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:06 AM   #14
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Are you willing to make the trip both ways? What about buddying up with the local car dealer? I'm probably lucky in that I live in a small town and know most of the car dealers and I know at least one that rents vehicles and if it's on their lot, they'll rent it to you.

And I'm not an expert but the notion of pulling a rig that size across the country with a 1/2 ton and a straight six borders on iffy at best. And that's coming from someone who owned such a truck and has nothing but nice things to say about them. I just wouldn't want to tow a rig that size for any distance except maybe to the next county. I'd be amazed if you weren't pretty much blowing away the weight limits of that vehicle.

But that's just my opinion.

The opinions above are mine, they belong to me, and they may not be shared by others.


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