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Tow UHaul trailer with Nissan Altima?

Hi everyone,
I’m moving across the country (approximately 1,200 miles or so) and am looking for the cheapest option to move my stuff. I’m getting rid of almost all my furniture, but at the end of the day there are some things I will have to take with me. It looks to me like the cheapest option might be to get a hitch and rent a small trailer from UHaul.

I have a 2008 Nissan Altima. The UHaul site says I could tow up to a 6’x12’ trailer, but I just don’t know if that’s actually possible. I’ve been reading that Altimas can tow up to 1,000 pounds, and I’m guessing that even the smallest trailer will put me over the weight limit.

Will I be able to cash in on the savings of renting a trailer, or is my car not built for something like that?

You’ll almost certainly go over that weight. The usual advice here is to rent a truck with a tow dolly and pull your car behind the truck.

Your vehicle is rated for a Class 1 hitch. You can’t safely haul a 6X12 with a Class 1 hitch. Rent a truck with a tow dolly as lion9car suggested.

Don’t tow that type of trailer with an Altima! My neighbor just sold their Honda Odessey for scrap because the transmission failed on it. The vehicle was otherwise pristine with only 125,000 miles on it. They just towed a tent trailer with it on their holidays…

Today’s front wheel drive cars are not really suited to tow trailers. As other say, rent a U Haul truck and either tow the car behind it or have your spouse drive the car.

Thanks everyone - I wasn’t planning on towing the 6’x12’, but I think from hearing what you’re saying even the 4’x8’ wouldn’t be a smart move. I’ll explore other options… I think I can safely say this was a disaster averted!

Here’s another option to consider, sort of a hybrid between hiring a conventional moving company and doing it completely yourself. I used this once and it worked out well. The freight company, ABF, has a system where they provide a small container or a trailer, delivered to you, in which YOU load a small amount of stuff. … you pay proportionally to the amount of floor space you use in the trailer. Then a “bulkhead” is installed between your stuff and the remaining open space-nobody handles your stuff, it never comes off the truck until you unload it at the other end. They pick up the trailer and fill it with other freight going in the same direction, deliver that, and bring you the trailer now emptied of everything except your stuff. You then unload it yourself.

I did it ten years ago to move some things coast to coast after an estate sale, and my five linear feet of floor space cost $1200. I would otherwise have spent much more on a rental truck. Prices are probably higher now, and the system may be a little different, but you are only going a third as far as I needed, which I imagine will influence the cost. The net cost may be close to the cost of renting a truck and tow dolly and paying for a lot more fuel to run the rental truck, and be less stress too. Might be worth investigating.

Here’s the link: www.upack.com

Hope all goes well on your move!

Thanks WesterdRoadtripper! I’ll definitely look into those. Sounds like it might be a good option.

That is sound advice for you. if you are not comfortable, don’t do it.

But i wanted to point out to others that are comfortable and can stay within the limits, I don’t feel that everyone should restrict themselves against towing.

Stay within the weight limits, take it easy on the driving and especially the braking, and make your your terrain is not really challenging. Follow this and i never hesitate to tow with any/all of my vehicles. (i’m referring to an occasional tow, ie 5-6 times a year)

Towing a U-Haul with an Altima??? IMPOSSIBLE.

U-Haul wouldn’t even let you rent it.

Uhaul actally has a small aerodynamic trailer you can probably tow with no problems. Problem is it will not hold much. You can also try packrat and pods.

What are you moving? If the stuff you need to move can fit into manageable boxes (like moving boxes), see if you can ship the boxes by Amtrak. Pretty cost-effective.

Check craigslist for people selling former U-Haul and Ryder or Penske trucks…You buy the truck, use it to move, and then sell it, hopefully for exactly what you paid for it…There is a whole fleet of these trucks moving through the underground economy…Maintenance on these trucks is pretty poor, so you have to be careful…But usually, the price is right…

Problem with buying the used truck is the hassle with license, title, tax, etc. Then turning around & selling it right away & go through that hassle again. One thing you don’t need at moving time is more headaches.

As a longtime employee of U-Haul we recommend never towing more than the owners manual states you can safely tow. The problem I see with towing with your car is the same problem I see with towing with my Altima. It’s a CVT transmission, and therefore no transmission cooler can be installed. This actually makes it tough to protect your transmission for towing purposes.
I do however have an alternative suggestion for you as a potentially very viable and cost effiective solution. You could get a quote for a U-Box from uhaul’s website. You pack it, and we ship it for you to your destination. Hope this helps, and I hope you have a great safe move.