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Old 10-20-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Ashland , Kentucky
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Towing an Airstream with a Uhaul?

As pointed out in a prior thread, I don't have a TV for a larger Airstream. What about using a U-Haul truck? I know this wouldn't be cheap, but would it work? One issue I foresee is that the U-Hauls are not set up for trailer brakes. Is this necessary given the weight of the U-Haul trucks? Another possible issue is that all of the U-Haul trucks except the 14' have a welded 2" ball. The 14' foot will apparently accept up to a 2 5/16" ball...

If not having trailer brakes isn't a issue, how large of an Airstream could be moved on the interstate with one of these 14' trucks?

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Old 10-20-2009, 07:35 PM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

how large an Airstream are you talking about? Most modern Airstreams hitch to a 2 5/16 ball. Trailer bakes can be an issue. We need more details.


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Old 10-20-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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You are beating a dead horse, it is likely illigal.

You must have brakes, rent a flat bed
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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I am thinking of a larger Airstream...27 - 31 or 32 foot range.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LI Pets View Post
You are beating a dead horse, it is likely illigal.

You must have brakes, rent a flat bed
Beating a dead horse? I'm just trying to find a way to make this work. What's likely illegal?

Any suggestions on where to rent an affordable flat bed?
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:50 PM   #6
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Most states have towing laws that require functional trailer brakes if the trailer exceeds a certain weight. Most states set the limit around 3000 pounds.


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Old 10-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Moving a 'larger' Airstream around the neighborhood or across town without working trailer brakes is one thing but out on the interstate is a whole nother can of worms no matter what you are dragging it with.
It is my humble opinion, having towed larger trailers, that I would not be at all comfortable pulling one without operational brakes any serious distance or speed. The risk to others and yourself is too great.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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KY DMV towing laws state that trailers weighing 3,000 + lbs or weighing more than 40% of the TV weight must have trailer brakes. Any airstream in the ranges you mention will likely push you over the weight limit requirements.

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Old 10-20-2009, 09:19 PM   #9
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Most auto and truck rentals prohibit towing any other equipment, such as your own travel trailer. The ball welded on a U-Haul is for you to tow their car hauler or cargo trailer, not your travel trailer.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:37 PM   #10
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The reason I was asking is because I spoke with U-Haul--both locally and with someone at their 800 number--and they both said their trucks could be used to tow a personal travel trailer. I explained what I wanted to do. If I can work out getting a brake controller installed, would the 14 foot truck be sufficient?
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:01 AM   #11
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Uhaul tow!

"transy416" How did you get on with your tow. I'm thinking of doing the same thing -towing a 30' unit with a 14' uhaul truck and just wanting to know if it is going to be possible. Any info would be great. Thanks Jason
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:13 PM   #12
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I have towed a 29' Ambassador many times with a Uhaul ford 150 rental. You will have to change out the ball and have an adapter for the 7 way (to the uhaul 4 way plug), its doable, not for long trips but fine for around town or short hauls.
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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I recently used U-haul for tow vehicles. When I purchased my '65 Safari I rented a $29 F-150 pickup to tow it out of the woods and to the mechanics for new tires and bearings. Then I rented a 10' box from U-haul to tow it 200 miles to my house. Because of a problem with the umbilical connector on the 10', the wound up switching me to a 14'. Both tows went great - read about it here.

The pickup will have a flat 4 pin connector that is perfect for hooking up to temporary, magnetic trailer lights. The 14' had both a standard, round 7 blade connector and a flat 4 pin. I think the 10' also had both. I don't remember seeing a brake controller but didn't look since I was using temporary lights and the truck was more than a match for my little Safari. You can check the tow capacity of each truck on the U-haul website. A 30 footer is probably more weight than the F-150 is rated for, especially if you have no trailer brakes hooked up.

The F-150 I rented had a changeable ball and U-haul had a couple of different ones, but I think it was just different drop heights - they were all 2 inches. You can certainly have your own ball, though. Although the 14' truck had a welded on 2" ball, there was also an extension thingsy on the hitch which looked to me like you could insert a different, additional ball. I guess the tow vehicle would then have a pair of steel balls. See the third picture in the post that I linked to above.

The only thing that I wasn't clear about was the insurance situation. I got the mega-insurance from U-haul but still wasn't clear about the trailer being covered. They certainly aren't going to cover damage to the trailer, but I was concerned about damage the trailer might cause - say if it became unhitched, rolled past me in the next lane and took out a station wagon full of nuns. In the end I decided to proceed despite my uncertainty and obvious fear of nuns.

Good luck!


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