Moving cross country in Toyota Corolla

I am a female 62 y.o. experienced cross country driver but not with stuff.The recent post was similar to my dilemma. Can a roof rack after man. roof rack hold a full sized box spring and mattress?. Thanks.

I’d recommend against it. First, you’ll have to see if that would exceed the weight limit for the rack. For my car, I know that it would. Second, that’s an awkward load to keep secure all that way. It’s one thing to drive across town, but I’d be nervous about it coming loose on the drive. Third, you’ll reduce your gas mileage, possibly significantly. That’s money you could put toward a new mattress. Fourth, you’ll have to wrap it really well to protect against rain, which would be a pain to do.

Nope, too heavy, will make your car handle poorly, and you could get blown off the road. Don’t do it.

Sell it on Craigslist & buy a replacement when you get there. Not worth transporting.

If you insist on bringing your mattress cross country with you, and you are going to use the Corolla to bring it, you are going to need to install a trailer hitch, and buy a small trailer to strap the mattress onto, and tow the mattress cross country with your little Corolla.

Strapping a mattress to the roof of any car is a really bad idea, in my opinion.
Driving cross country that way is even worse.


No, it can’t.

Almost all roof racks, both stock and aftermarket, have a maximum capacity that is usually between 100 lbs. and 120 lbs. You don’t want to exceed that.

I have a factory Corolla roof rack and the weight limit is 50 lbs per bar or 100lbs total. You could put a little more on, but if it works itself loose you are on your own. Agree, that driving slowly across town might be possible, but cross-cuntry is a NO NO.

As suggested, sell the bed and buy another one when you arrive at your new destination.

Numerous car comedies have ben made with people trying to do what you propose. If the wind ever catches under the mattress it will act like an airplane wing and rip the roof rack right off, and damage the roof while causing a potentially serious accident for whoever is driving behind you!

When I see anything like an oversize load on a car roof, I steer well clear.

You are proposing the equivalent of attaching a 5’x6’ sail atop your car.

Give the mattress away to a friend or family and purchase new at your destination.

Granted there are some very expensive mattresses out there these days. If that is the case with yours, consider sending it by motor freight rather than trying to haul it on your little car. One gust of wind, and the car and mattress will be all over the road.

Re: moving and carrying a mattress on roof. Seems like a better idea to sell it and buy a new one. Can a small car such as mine handle a small tow unit /hitched so I can tow other stuff? And can I handle a towed thing? I would have to buy a tow thing as U-haul won’t allow such rentals, I think. I will ship a lot of soft goods in suitcases via bus. I once got a wicker dresser 1500 miles wrapped in plastic and a box that arrived safely-but took a few weeks.

If tied down properly under less than extreme circumstances, sure. Avoid wind.

How does one avoid the wind? If you have ever been in Nebraska, South Dakota, etc., the wind always blows–hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Even a passing semi trailer may generate enough wind to cause problems with a mattress on top the car. I really can’t fathom why anybody would want to carry a box spring and mattress cross country. “Have mattress, will travel” is really not an “in” thing.

What does your owner’s manual say about towing? My guess is that is doesn’t recommend towing. If it doesn’t, don’t.

If you don’t mind me asking, what is so special about this mattress (and box spring) that would make you consider buying a trailer hitch and trailer just for it? That seems cost prohibitive to me. You would probably have to spend more on the hitch and trailer than you would for a new mattress, and that ignores the excessive wear to your vehicle.

I agree with Triedaq, this is something you do moving across town, not across the country. As for adding a trailer hitch and pulling a trailer, know that this will be hard on your Corolla’s transmission. I’d avoid it, if at all possible.

Yes, your car can handle a small trailer attached to it.
The car is rated for up to 1k lbs towing.
I have previously towed with a 96 Corrolla, using it to tow a motorcycle from NYC to Kingston, Ontario, in Canada, and it did great.

I know that towing a much smaller trailer and a mattress that is laying flat will be even less of a wind drag behind the car that towing an upright motorcycle is.

Toyota is great in that it supplies the car with weld nuts on the rear subframe of the car, which means that buying a trailer hitch and installing it is a very quick exercise for a mechanic. Installing the needed trailer wiring is slightly more work than the actual hitch install.

I’m not sure what year your Corolla is, but here’s a website that sells trailer hitches that I have purchased several from over the past 10 years:

And here’s an example of hitch mounting instructions (for an '09 Corolla, most other years are pretty much the same):

Its up to you what you think you should do.
We’re just here to offer advice, and suggest ideas.

Your car can tow, and it won’t ruin the transmission.

Good luck!