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Tow a U-Haul trailer with a Civic?

I’m moving from Salt Lake City, UT to Albany, NY and am looking for the cheapest possible way to move my stuff. Is it possible to tow a U-Haul trailer with a 2005 Honda Civic EX?

Absolutely NOT…

The Civic couldn’t even haul their smallest trailer empty…

Cheapest way is to rent one of their trucks and then tow your Civic behind it.

No, it isn’t.

The owner’s manual for my Civic says it is not designed for towing. It will void all warranties, including the powertrain warranty that lasts longer than the bumper to bumper warranty.

Rent a U-Haul truck and pull the Civic behind it. If your Civic has a manual transmission, you can tow it on all four wheels. If it has an automatic transmission, you will need to rent a tow dolly to get the front wheels off the ground.

I don’t think I would attempt that with anything smaller than a Crown Vic. They probably wouldn’t even rent the trailer to you when they found out you were going to tow it with a Civic.

I really don’t get the " cheapest possible way" attitude. If your initial outlay is less, yes. Use the Civic, decrease the life expectancy and tow in a vehicle weight it was not designed for. I have a neighbor who does business the same way. He pays later and trades his cars much more often, while putting his family in more jeopardy than necessary. Part with a few more bucks, rent a truck and drive both. Your Civic will breath a sigh of relief and give you many more years of service for less maintenance.

The U-Haul people wouldn’t even hook up their trailer to your Civic because they want their trailer back in one piece. As the others have said, do it the other way around and tow your car with their truck.

One rental company estimates you would need a 10’ truck and a tow dolly. $2000 + fuel.
We recently moved from New England to the South West. After estimating the cost of a renting a truck or using Pods I found that a moving company was best, not necessarily the cheapest but close enough. We packed, they loaded, delivered and unloaded. In your situation I would suggest you get an estimate from a motor freight carrier. You box and load they deliver. Drive the Honda.

MTraveler: “One rental company estimates you would need a 10’ truck and a tow dolly. $2000 + fuel.”

What did the moving company cost in comparison? If you can do it with a rental truck for $2,000 + fuel, I estimate a moving company will cost between $6,000 and $10,000. That still makes the rental truck and tow dolly an attractive deal in my opinion. It won’t be as cheap as using your own pick-up truck and rental trailer, but it probably the cheapest alternative.

Automatic ? Many Honda Civics (And Other Models) Don’t Have A Good Track Record For Automatic Transmission Reliability Even When They Pull Nothing. I Wouldn’t Try It.


What kind of “stuff” are you moving? I have found that I can ship books by freight at a reasonable cost. Often, appliances such as stoves and refrigerators aren’t economical to move. You would do better to sell these appliances and replace them with new or used appliances in your new location. Some moving companies will move partial loads at a reduced cost. There is some inconvenience as these companies put together several partial loads and you don’t get a guaranteed time of arrival. Look for alternatives–your Civic wasn’t intended to be a truck.

I actually saw a late model Civic towing a huge UHaul trailer on I-93 in NH yesterday. I gave him wide berth. Kept far away. Far, far away. The trailer was obviously heavier than the Civic, and much larger.

No a good idea to tow with a FWD vehicle, regardless of size.

The only FWD vehicle I have towed anything with is my Ford Windstar van (not the generation that breaks the rear axle). The most I’ve towed with it is a utility trailer with most of my tool collection and some furniture on it while moving 40 miles. The van was also full of stuff. The trailer probably weighed about 3k pounds because of the tools. It squatted the van and the trailer, but pulled better than I expected and hardly felt burdened, nor was it difficult to stop. The Windstar does, however, have pretty big brakes and a good size engine with a decent amount of power.

MB - I’m amazed U-Haul would even rent the trailer to him. If this guy gets in a accident then there’s a good chance U-Haul could be part of any lawsuit.

Now that you mention it, I too am surprised.

Maybe the Civic driver picked up the trailer from U-Haul with his buddy’s truck, and then hooked it up to his Civic.

This is one of those questions that should be categorized and searchable as a FAQ. Don’t you think?