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Is a trailer-hitch move a bad idea?

I have a SAAB 92-X and am considering getting a hitch and using a Uhaul trailer (5’x8’) to tow my items in my upcoming cross-country move (1600 miles). Is there a chance this would cause significant wear and tear or damage to my saab? Will it work to tow a trailer with a 4 cylinder engine?

Better idea–Rent a truck and tow the SAABaru on a flatbed trailer behind the truck. I did this twice and it worked out great. I recommend Penske for this if they are in your area. Do not use a dolly (only lifts the front wheels) as this will damage your all wheel drive system. Using this vehicle to tow a box trailer is Madness! Madness I say!

A 4 cylinder engine is a bad candidate for towing. The best and safest way to move cross country would be to rent a truck and tow your vehicle on an auto transport trailer since it’s a 4-wheel drive. This vehicle is very expensive to repair so I would go the truck rental route. It will also be cheaper in the long run.

Thanks guys. Cost seems to be a difference of $400 with the trailer or $800 to tow my car behind a truck, but I guess the extra $400 will be worth it in the long run?

Yes, it will.

It’ll be worth it, lots more than $400 at stake. Subaru Imprezas (aka Saab 9-2X) don’t make good tow cars, as others have said.

The 92-X is not a big car and the trailer will be heavy and an aerodynamic drag. Combined this will put a lot of stress on the car. Moreover you could encounter some steep hills along the route.

It is easy to see more than $400 worth of damage and repairs to the car. You are going to spend a bundle on gas for the truck hauling the car on a trailer so figure in that cost as well.

Is the $800 figure you mentioned for just a tow dolly or an entire flat-trailer? You need to tow this car with all four wheels off the ground. The trouble is that you’ll need a bigger truck to haul your car than you would otherwise need just for your stuff. Plus hauling a flatbed car trailer in the kind of crappy equipment U-Haul usually has sucks.

If I were you, here’s what I’d do. Enlist a friend who likes taking road trips and go to a regular old car rental place (one that has unlimited mileage deals) and rent a pickup, van, SUV or whatever sized vehicle you can cram all your stuff in. Then you drive your car out, he drives the rental and then drives the rental home. Since you’re not doing a one-way trip you’ll be much more able to shop around for a good price, especially if you book ahead.

Even if you can’t enlist a friend, I’d still suggest driving a rental out and back and then driving your car out. But, then, I like to drive!

Thanks everyone for your input. I’m definitely nixing the trailer idea. It is a one-way trip. The $800 includes a car-carrier (not tow dolly). As much as I’d like to have a friend follow in an suv to avoid the crappy and oversized 16’ truck, I’m not much of a power driver; I’m going to need that friend to do half the driving so I’m not doing all 26 hours by myself!! (spread out over a few days of course - I’m not crazy enough to try to drive straight thru)

If the truck is oversized for what you need, put an ad on Craigslist to see if anyone wants to pay you to carry a few items for them. If you’re moving from one big city to another, maybe you’ll get lucky and find someone looking for that.

I agree that towing that distance with lots of weight isn’t the thing to do. Fortunately, you have a Subaru and not a SAAB, so if the weight is under 1k lbs, I see no problem. It will always cause wear; IMO acceptable if light.

If the weight is under 2000 lbs for trailer/stuff I would not be too worried. The Saab 92x is a Subaru Impreza essentially and Subaru’s can tow very well.