Sarah Moving to Tuscon

Shouldn’t Sarah refer to the owner’s manual. It seems to me that the manual usually tells you whether or not you can pull a a trailer (or whatever) and what the maximum weight the car can pull.

Absolutely learn what the vehicle will handle. Not sure the manual will tell you but it can surely be researched online.

And or your local trailer/Trailer hitch shop can likely tell you what you need to know.

Call the dealer?

Keep in mind that even though the manual says you can tow a certain amount of weight a certain way, the manual cannot see the actual vehicle. Your decision may be to tow less that the manual says you can based on the actual condition of the car.

Yes, the Owner’s Manual should have information on the towing capacity of Sarah’s vehicle–if she will bother to open that little book.

By the way–where is Tuscon?
Is it anywhere near Tucson?


I would do it the other way around: Instead of getting a trailer, rent a truck and tow the car. Most truck rental places offer options for pulling a car behind the truck. Of course, this will probably cost more than a trailer but it wouldn’t require getting a hitch for the car or worrying about whether the car can pull the trailer.

Sarah should be aware that I-40 at the New Mexico/Arizona line is extremely windy. I have made that trip both directions several times in a 6000 lb Toyota Sequoia and in a Chevy S-10 minitruck. It can be exhausting keeping the vehicle going in a straight line. It is even worse in the rainy season because it is near the tornado belt. Also, the trip west is uphill from Albequerque, culminating at the Arizona segment of the continental divide near Flagstaff. Sarah should contact the New Mexico highway department and explore the possibility of going farther south. It may be easier driving through Safford AZ and then turn south at Phoenix.

I got stuck for about 30hrs one time on I-40 just East of Amarillo. The road was so icy the authorities shut the Interstate down. 30 hrs and no restroom and not a tree to hide behind either.

I never noticed Tuscon and I am in Tucson

Funny, I just had to find the spelling for Tucson. I spelled it wrong in an address book and felt funny about it. I had the S before the C too. Glad I had company.

I could not agree more. While I was listening to her, I flashed to the Christmas I drove from Carlsbad NM to Albuquerque. It turned into a whiteout and the highway was closed after I was on my way. The only way I made it to safety was by following a semi and I was in a Subaru Outback. Not only are the roads windy, there are very few stops in between and often very few other vehicles if you do get into trouble.

As a 28 year resident of Colorado and spending winters in Quartzsite, AZ I would not reccomend that a novice pull a trailer over I40 past Santa fe in the summer let alone the winter. Last year on November 1, I spent about 4 hours getting up those hills east of SF. It was so icy that I had to go at less than 20 mph most of the way from Las Vegas to SF and that was pulling my wife’s 28 foot Diamond Jewel, 3800 lb empty but heavily loaded. My truck is a quad-cab 98 Dodge Duly 4x4.

With a car, in the winter? That’s crazy.

I’ve made this trip many times. Sarah’s best bet in the winter is to get as far south as possible, as soon as possible. Going through Dallas to pick up I-20 is actually a reasonable alternative. It may look like it will add a couple hours to the drive, but it’s a much easier drive and you stay out of a lot of rain, snow, wind and muck. It’s not without its drawbacks - that stretch in West Texas is pretty remote and sometimes the wind is a factor. But not as much as the long hill into ABQ when it’s getting dark and snowy.

Nonetheless, if you plan to take I-40 to Albuquerque, then head south on I-25 to 10 - don’t go through Flag. You can take the cut-off at Hatch to shave some time off and it’s a beautiful little two lane highway through a pretty valley.

I agree with going farther south, but you definitely don’t want to go through Safford. All of the roads north and east from Safford are extremely hilly with lots of switchbacks. I got nauseous just driving a car on those roads - pulling a trailer would be a real nightmare.

This is a common problem with Arizona cities. People are always switching the third and fourth letters around. They do it here in Phoenix too.

For some reason, Flgastaff is immune.