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Old 08-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
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Towing with a U-Haul?

I have been eye balling the Roo 23ss for some time now. However, there is no way my current vehicle could tow it. A Chevy Uplander mini van. Completely out of the question.

My problem is this.

I have absolutely no use for a truck. There isn't anything I do that requires me to have my own truck. Nor do I really want to put out that kind of money for something that is just more than I need. I actually plan to go down to a car from the mini van in a couple of years. Maintenance and use costs on the van are high for a vehicle that's to big for our everyday needs. A mid size car would be plenty for my wife and I.

That being said.

Has anyone ever towed with a uhaul? I see their 14' and up trucks have the capability to tow the Roo with room to spare. Would cost me about 30 a day, 10 cents per mile plus gas. I've looked at several locations around my area I would like to camp. Most are all within 50 miles, a couple up to 150 miles. So my cost to rent a tow vehicle would be roughly 100 for rental for a 3 day weekend, average of 150 for mileage round trip, figure 8 miles to the gallon is about 19 gallons at local cost of 3.81 a gallon at roughly 75 in gas. 100+150+75 $325 for truck rental. Would be hard pressed to even find a truck for that price per month plus I wouldn't need to worry about maintenance and upkeep costs of the truck.

Add in campsite fees and I'm looking at roughly $400 - 450 for a weekend. Say I get to go 5 times a year. Approximately $2200 a year in costs. Figure that cost out over the course of a year is around $185 a month. I don't think I would find a truck for that price to buy let a loan maintain and use.

Any idea on how well a uhaul could tow a roo 23ss?

Regards,
Keith.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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Towed my first camper with a UHaul for about 1 year. Although it wasn't a Roo, the size and weight are about the same. I towed it with virtually no problems. Got a few laughs as I pulled into the CG, but you would be amazed at how many people asked it I would bring stuff back for them. I knew I was going to move up to a bigger camper and bit the bullet on a 3/4 ton truck.

A major word of caution. The rear bumper on a UHaul extends out quite a ways and is a hard, sharp corner. Be careful that you do not jack knife the TT as that bumper will punch a hole easily, hence my diamond plate front on my Thor You will definately need help backing up, as there are a few blind spots, but nothing that can't be overcome.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
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I believe Hertz and Enterprise do pickups, like a Ram 1500. Not sure if they are tow worthy is all. Wouldn't you need a brake controller?
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:21 PM   #4
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I believe Hertz and Enterprise do pickups, like a Ram 1500. Not sure if they are tow worthy is all. Wouldn't you need a brake controller?
They do rent pickup trucks. I've looked. However, in my area anyway, they are not allowed to be used for towing. They have a strict no tow policy. I would certainly rather use a pickup than a big uhaul. But so far I don't find that as an option. Unless I want to drive 4 hours away to pick one up from somewhere that does rent pickups that can be used for towing.

Yes I would need a brake controller. I believe the U-Hauls have the wiring harness there, you would just need to supply your own. Which would be fine. I would buy and keep one on hand for this.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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I think about what would happen if we were about to go on vacation and someone decided it was a good time run a light and t-bone my truck. There are truck rental places that rent 1/2 and even 3/4 and 1 ton pick-ups, generally to short term contractors. If I found myself in that position, I would look to one of those to rent enough pick-up to salvage my vacation.

I would much rather drive a pick-up than a u-haul.

I checked with my local Enterprise rent-a-car and they stock pick-ups (and will guarantee one in stock if given enough notice) and full size SUV's with tow package for family vacations to tow "small trailers."
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scor1pion View Post
They do rent pickup trucks. I've looked. However, in my area anyway, they are not allowed to be used for towing. They have a strict no tow policy. I would certainly rather use a pickup than a big uhaul. But so far I don't find that as an option. Unless I want to drive 4 hours away to pick one up from somewhere that does rent pickups that can be used for towing.

Yes I would need a brake controller. I believe the U-Hauls have the wiring harness there, you would just need to supply your own. Which would be fine. I would buy and keep one on hand for this.
I did not mention this, but the last time I rented a u-haul (circa 2002 when moving) the rental agreement forbade using to tow a private trailer. You could tow a u-haul branded trailer only.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
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I've had no luck at all with various Uhauls in PA and NY over the last few years The trucks or trailers are always getting returned late so they cannot be picked up on time. Busy uhaul stores don't keep enough units in stock on weekends and reservations turn into "1st come 1st serve". I really wouldn't want my vacation to rely on a uhaul rental.

I think I would just go with normal SUV/Truck rental. Make sure my personal insurance covered everything, and claim ignorance if the rental company caught me.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #8
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Have you thought of seasonal as an option? We enjoy our seasonal place for 7 months a year for less than $2k a year and it includes lake, dock, beach, pool, golf course, tennis courts, putt putt, shuffle board, rec center, and lots of weekend activities. No need to haul. I sometimes miss going from place to place, but we recently purchased a deluxe tent for that. We get great mileage!
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #9
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I've had no luck at all with various Uhauls in PA and NY over the last few years The trucks or trailers are always getting returned late so they cannot be picked up on time. Busy uhaul stores don't keep enough units in stock on weekends and reservations turn into "1st come 1st serve". I really wouldn't want my vacation to rely on a uhaul rental.

I think I would just go with normal SUV/Truck rental. Make sure my personal insurance covered everything, and claim ignorance if the rental company caught me.
HAHA I've thought of that. Does anyone know if those trucks have a hitch receiver and wiring harness installed and ready to use? I would tend to think if they don't want people using them for towing they are going to be equipped to do so.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:11 PM   #10
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Have you thought of seasonal as an option? We enjoy our seasonal place for 7 months a year for less than $2k a year and it includes lake, dock, beach, pool, golf course, tennis courts, putt putt, shuffle board, rec center, and lots of weekend activities. No need to haul. I sometimes miss going from place to place, but we recently purchased a deluxe tent for that. We get great mileage!
I have thought of seasonal sites. I'm not against it, but it isn't really what I want to do either. I would consider it for short term. However, I want to be able to go around to various parks/campgrounds and see various places and sites. To go to the same place all the time would make it feel to much like home to me and less like I'm getting out and away from it all.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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Although Enterprise and the other rental agencies do rent pickups, they will not allow towing of TT's, I travel extensively for business and know them all. I never had a problem with U Haul. They knew exactly what I was towing. The only issue is that the U Haul trucks only have a 2" ball. Yes, people laughed until I pulled out 4 bikes, 2 kayaks, full size grill, firewood..... It was an inexpnsive solution til I bought my TV. Typically, the UHaul is heavy enough that I did not need a brake system. We are not talking a 40' TT here.
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #12
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What about buying the cheapest truck that will do the job? After a few trips it would be payed for based on the prices you mentioned for a U-haul.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:12 PM   #13
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Maybe I'm missing something here...you bought a camper that you want to use & go places as much as you can BUT don't want to own something capable of towing your "camper"!?

If you never wanted to own a truck, probably could have stayed with a popup trailer or Aframe & towed with van or midsize suv...as another Poster recommended, look for a well used pickup @ a great price for just towing the Roo or consider the seasonal site route...it'll be much easier on you!
Eitherway...Happy Camping



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Old 08-01-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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I don't think he bought it yet, just considering available options should he choose to. Another suggestion might be to rent the whole shebang 5x a year...Class C. Then, no camper to maintain either.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:10 PM   #15
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I think looking into an older used SUV or pickup would do ya or what about a small class c or class b to camp in instead of a trailer. the class c could tow your car to take with you if needed. I would not want to tow with a Uhaul pickup or truck. some of the uhauls I have rented have been in pretty rough shape. Also I think current policy on Uhaul is they will only allow towing of their own trailers.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:58 AM   #16
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Maybe I'm missing something here...you bought a camper that you want to use & go places as much as you can BUT don't want to own something capable of towing your "camper"!?
I have not yet purchased the camper. No I don't want to own a truck as I have no use for one on a day to day basis nor would it really be a wise use of my money to spend 2 - 3 times as much to own one for such limited use.

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I don't think he bought it yet, just considering available options should he choose to. Another suggestion might be to rent the whole shebang 5x a year...Class C. Then, no camper to maintain either.
You got it, I have NOT yet purchased or ordered the camper. Looking at my options first. I don't mind the idea of maintaining the camper and I woud like to have it in my drive way as I would happily do camp driveway one weekend a month or more in between my away trips.

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I think looking into an older used SUV or pickup would do ya or what about a small class c or class b to camp in instead of a trailer. the class c could tow your car to take with you if needed. I would not want to tow with a Uhaul pickup or truck. some of the uhauls I have rented have been in pretty rough shape. Also I think current policy on Uhaul is they will only allow towing of their own trailers.
I have thought of the Class C option. That does seem like the better route to go. I'll give ya that. And it is something my wife and I have thought about considerably. However, we really really like the Roo. I've done many a nights in a tent and love the feel of being in one. She has not camped much at all and isn't to fond of the complete openness of a popup. She wouldn't tell me "no", but I also know she wouldn't be to happy and over time there is no doubt in my mind that camping trips would decrease as a result. We do both feel however, that a hybrid will give us both what we want most. I want the feeling of being in a tent. She wants to have her own personal restroom and some level of privacy. Yes, we know hybrid's won't be very quiet due to the tent ends but there is still some level of solid wall between you and the outside so not everything you do is on display for all to see.




I know that towing with a uhaul isn't the best option. I know we would get some laughs and glares pulling in to a campsite also. But to buy a cheap used vehicle isn't really something I am interested in either mainly due to the ownership and maintenance costs. Every vehicle I have owned whether it be new, slightly used or heavily used has required major (2k plus a year) amounts of work in no less than 2 years tops to keep it on the road. That's where I'm coming from. I dont want to buy/own a vehicle for 4 - 6 weekends of use that costs me 200 + a month to own plus 200 a month to maintain plus usage costs. That costs more than renting. 4k plus a year to own/maintain/use vs 2k a year to rent. I also don't want to put my finances at their limit. It took me several long hard years to get my finances straightened out after being a very stupid teen/young adult. Not something I care to repeat or jeopardize again.

I would prefer to rent a pickup, but unfortunately, the car/truck rental places in my surrounding area (up to 50 miles) do not allow towing where as uhaul in my area does.

Just trying to do the smart thing by my finances and searching out my towing options for something that could do it safely and economically. If it turns out that its not possible for whatever reason then I will simply not buy the RV, as I said, I won't jeopardize my finances and my families future by biting off more than I can chew financially or their safety.

Nor do I feel that we should settle for something we don't want. If neither one of us are happy with the purchase then, knowing my wife and myself, we wouldn't be to thrilled to use it and there it would just sit. It would be better for us not to have at all than to have something neither of us really wanted.

Thanks for all your input. Still very interested in hearing everyone's thoughts and opinions.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
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I find it unusual that someone would have no use for a pickup truck? Down here in SE Texas one/half of all registrations are pickup trucks and I don't know one, not one, male who does not have and use a pickup. If you used a pickup truck only that much, it would last for 20 years and when you put your numbers over that time period, you would do better buying then renting. Good Luck
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:52 PM   #18
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I have rented 3/4 diesels from enterprise in their commercial division and I could haul/tow what I wanted. I didn't even know they existed until someone told me about them, the normal enterprise people didn't even know about it. I suggest you look into that. But I have to say I have never heard anyone quite so against owning a truck and wanting to pull a camper. I do respect your desire to maintain your financial health. What about a Tahoe or Yukon?
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:13 PM   #19
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When I purchased my first tt, I was hoping my 01 expidition would pull it. One trip later, I went back to the tt seller and purchased his 96 3/4 454. I paid 3750 for the truck. It hasn't given me any trouble. At 12.5 mpg empty, and 6-7 pulling my tt, I only use it when needed. I've put 4k miles on it in one year. If you could bump into a deal like that...
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #20
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I sorry but this thread has me shaking my head and smiling.
- I would guess that many of us on here have larger trucks or have looked at getting larger trucks....just because we camp. I drive a small car commuting to work, but have a diesel 3/4 ton (and am looking at 3500-5500 trucks) that has spent most of its life towing. Of course i would still have and use the truck even if not camping.

You just have to decide if your willing to pay the price to play!
Dont look at a truck as something extra- if you want to camp this way its a necessity.

Also like others have said you dont need something expensive, just look around and find something reliable. I have bought wrecked vehicles and owned for years and have spent $2-3k total in repairs and maintenance total, not annually (and they were wrecked).
-other option is always those RentUSA or rv america motorhomes. I really think the uhaul deal would be problematic in a short period of time, between the wiring probably nonexistent or no hitch or ball, and uhauls only use gas engines-so no powerhouses there, and they aren't intended for towing like this.
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