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Old 03-29-2007, 12:49 AM   #1
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towing with a box truck

Hello. We are currently in Nashville, TN and right before we pulled into town two rods went through our oil pan and it seized our engine. Now that we are ready to leave town we are contemplating what to do. One idea is to rent a 17 foot moving truck from U-haul which we got a quote for only about 500 bucks. Our other idea is to spend the 1,600 to replace the engine, except that buys us a used engine with 90,000 miles. not to mention we drive an '86 suburban, and who knows what else could go wrong with it between here and there. When we get to CA we plan on staying stationary for a year. Where ever we park we plan on using buses and byciscles to not having a car is actually okay by us. My main question is, has anybody towed with a moving truck? How is breaking, and does it feel safe? Thanks.

-Kelly
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:23 AM   #2
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Blown Engine

Hanv you tried getting in touch with the local GM dealer and checked on a factory crate engine and installation. The last time I checked the crate engine is a factory rebuilt engine with a 60,000 mile warranty.
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harestream
Hello. We are currently in Nashville, TN and right before we pulled into town two rods went through our oil pan and it seized our engine. Now that we are ready to leave town we are contemplating what to do. One idea is to rent a 17 foot moving truck from U-haul which we got a quote for only about 500 bucks. Our other idea is to spend the 1,600 to replace the engine, except that buys us a used engine with 90,000 miles. not to mention we drive an '86 suburban, and who knows what else could go wrong with it between here and there. When we get to CA we plan on staying stationary for a year. Where ever we park we plan on using buses and byciscles to not having a car is actually okay by us. My main question is, has anybody towed with a moving truck? How is breaking, and does it feel safe? Thanks.

-Kelly
Kelly,

I have not towed with a Uhaul truck, but have rented plenty of them and driven them, loaded and unloaded.
Most of the ones that I have driven were pretty loose feeling, I would not tow with one. The brakes were exellent, as I recall. But you will have a difficult time finding one with a proper tow package, ( brake controller, charge line) and towing this far without brakes seems like a bad idea to me. If you must, then try and find a newish Uhaul truck.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:56 AM   #4
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I've done 3 cross counry trips in rented trucks, and the WORST trip ever was in a U-Haul!! I have found that unless it's a new truck, their maintenance and upkeep are terrible.

I have had much better experiences with Ryder. Better trucks and maintenanace! I had car carriers in tow twice, but they had surge brakes.

That said, you might look into renting a VAN instead. A 2500 Ford or Chevy might do you well. You just will have to wire in a brake controller and charge line before you starat out, then remove it before you return it.

And don't worry.......you're secret is safe here!
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:06 AM   #5
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Look what the PO did with his stake bed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by harestream
.....My main question is, has anybody towed with a moving truck? How is breaking, and does it feel safe?
With an older 25' model, towing and braking should not be an issue with a box type rental van - the rental companies set them up to tow auto transports all of the time.

One thing that you must be aware of though, the receiver is even with the tail end of the box, and may even be recessed a couple of inches. That, plus the box being several inches wider on each side than a conventional vehicle, brings the corner of the van box dangerously close to the trailer even in a normal curve -

REALLY watch your turning radius if you decide to go the rental truck route.

First picture below is the damage the inexperienced PO did to the '78 Soverign with his one ton Ford stake bed (second pic).
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
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Lew, got it right again! Go find a Ryder or Budget truck rental outfit. You'll have to pull your brake controller and might have to go with a new hitch ball with an offset ball height.
The nice thing about a box truck is that you can haul all your "stuff" that's going to have to come out of the Suburban.
The other side of it is to check around town for another 'burb and see if you can find one at a price that will get you by.
Good luck, and do let us know what happens.
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:27 AM   #7
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UHaul trucks usually have the tow balls welded in place. I have also had the horrible experience of being sent cross-country in a mechanical disaster from them. I used Ryder, until they went away. You can try Penske, or Budget.
I bought a very capable tow vehicle for around $2500. You can buy a tow vehicle, and when you get where you are going, you can sell it for pretty close to what you paid for it.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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Not sure what the right thing to do, but I will add that U-Haul trailers that I've rented have been fairly beat up too. I'd be very careful if I used one of their vehicles to tow. I'd have to further agree that nearly any other place would most likely have trucks and trailers in better shape, as I've found.

Additionally, our U-Haul near our house it dirty, and the folks that work there are shadey....I was out hooking up a trailer I rented from them and some guy opens the garage door partially and starts to take a pee out the garage door!
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
UHaul trucks usually have the tow balls welded in place. I have also had the horrible experience of being sent cross-country in a mechanical disaster from them. I used Ryder, until they went away. You can try Penske, or Budget.
I bought a very capable tow vehicle for around $2500. You can buy a tow vehicle, and when you get where you are going, you can sell it for pretty close to what you paid for it.
I think I like this option.
I can tell you from personal experience that trucks are (were?) more expensive in California then most other places. About 4 years ago I was looking to buy a truck here in CA. I looked all over locally, then on the internet. I found that I was able to fly to Texas WITH my wife, visit family, and saved enough $$ to pay for the flight.
I would consider buying a truck/Suburban where you are, tow to CA and sell it. You'll probably come out OK. The only wildcard I can think of is that our higher fuel prices may even the market out a little now.
It's a long way from Tenn. to CA. The comfort difference would be huge between a Ryder or a Suburban.
Good luck,
Dave
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:08 AM   #10
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hi kelly...

the uber cool artist here formerly known as artlink..

http://www.airforums.com/forum...age-23259.html

now known as artstream,

tows with a box truck.

it's a ford and he owns it...

there are pictures of his set up in a thread or two...

cheers
2air'
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