U-Haul won't rent me an auto transport trailer | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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U-Haul won't rent me an auto transport trailer

I've got a 2006 Ranger 4x4 automatic 4.0 liter with 4.10 axle.
Specs say can tow about 5500 lbs.
I want to rent a trailer to tow a car. Car weighs 3150 lbs. Empty trailer wt is 2210 lbs. Total = 5360.
U-Haul requires the vehicle weigh at least 80% of combined wt of trailer and towed vehicle (80% of 5360 is 4288 lbs). The curb weight of my Ranger, I think, is about 4700 lbs.
Despite all that, Uhaul checked their computer and said no.
I called an independent trailer rental shop, and they also said no-- would only rent auto transport trailers for a Full Size pickup.
The guy said it would burn up my transmission and would be unsafe.

So why do the Ford specs say I can pull 5500 lbs?
 
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fwillison

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Ok, the actual curb weight of my Ranger is 3700 lbs, not 4700. Shouldn't matter though, since the specs in the owners manual says I can tow 5580 lbs and the GCWR is 9500 lbs (trailer 2000, plus car 3100 = 5100 lbs, for GCWR of 5100 + 3700 = 8800 lbs, well below 9500).
So are Ford's specs too generous or is Uhaul and the independent trailer rental company's specs too conservative?
 
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fwillison

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Try posting an ad on Craigs List. Seems like there is always so many trailers for sale . . . maybe someone will rent one.

not a bad idea, thanks.
I do want it to be safe though, so the question remains, what can I SAFELY and PROPERLY tow.
 
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1999_sport

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i had the same problem and it was because the curb weight of the trailer exceeds the curb weight of the truck pulling it, regardless if the truck can pull 5500lbs, its the curb weight of the vehicle being towed plus the actual weight of the vehicle your towing, plus the trailer, which will exceed you towing capacity and exceed the curb weight of your ranger
 
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Anime

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The only thing that tows more than the Ranger 4x4 with the 4.10 gears and an auto tranny is the 4x2 Ranger with 4.10 gears and an auto tranny.

Towing with a vehicle that is much lighter than the combined weight of the trailer and what's being towed with it depends on a lot of things besides just the max towing capacity of the vehicle. If you know what you're doing, and the engine/tranny of the truck is in really good shape, you just have to take it easy and it'll tow just fine. Thing is, most people DON'T know how to tow, and DON'T take it easy, and the heavy trailer/cargo weight can have a very dangerous effect (the tail wagging the dog) on the handling of the tow vehicle, especially at high speeds, in bad weather, etc. With the way most people drive, I can see where any place that rents trailers wouldn't do so unless the tow vehicle was way overkill for the job.

That said, I towed a fully loaded dual axle box trailer across the country (before U-haul stopped renting to Explorer owners), and it really never even felt like the trailer was back there (well, except at highway speeds, where the front of the trailer was a few feet taller than the roof of the Explorer and had so much drag it was hard to go faster than 55...but I didn't use overdrive anyway). The X has also hauled heaps of full loads of firewood that exceeded the max capacity by quite a bit, and again, never had a problem.

Bottom line, if you take it easy, accelerate slow, take corners slow, allow for plenty of stopping distance, etc. you'll not only not have a problem towing max capacity loads, you'll also minimize the wear and tear on the truck from doing it. U-haul doesn't care how you drive, though, they just have to assume you'll drive like most other people do with their stuff.

If you don't need a full flatbed trailer tow the vehicle, you might consider renting a tow dolly. They cut the trailer weight by quite a bit, and are quite popular for pulling vehicles with smaller trucks and SUVs, and even cars, not to mention they cost less to rent, or even buy.
 
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Hevyg

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they just wont. Its a relic of the wonderful roll over days with the exploders. The only way around it is to borrow a buddy's rig to get the trailer, then hook up to it. IM not saying lie,,, the very thought.... just the less said the bettah.
 
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fwillison

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I understand the issue of the weight of the trailer and car being more than the weight of the Ranger, thus creating a "tail wagging the dog" issue with handling and stopping. However, since the Ranger weighs 3700 lbs and specs say it can tow 5580 lbs, then obviously Ford thinks the Ranger CAN tow a load much heavier than the Ranger itself. Ford says the Gross Combined Weight can be up to 9500 lbs. Again, the trailer weighs 2000 lbs and the car on it weighs 3100 lbs (5100), add in the 3700 lbs of the Ranger gives a Gross Comined Weight of 8800 lbs. Ford says that is fine, no sweat, well below max. The rental companies apparently disagree.
You would think Ford would have as much concern for liability as UHaul, in that if the Ranger couldn't safely tow these published loads, Ford would certainly be on the hook big time for any accidents resulting.
 
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2000StreetRod

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Hydraulic trailer brakes

I seem to recall that all U-Haul trailers use hydraulic actuated trailer brakes. That means they can only be activated when the tow vehicle is slowing. The system makes it very difficult to back a trailer uphill. There are times when the trailer needs to be stabilized (after crosswind activated sway) but the tow vehicle should continue pulling. That can only be done with a driver accessible manual brake control.
 
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hoss_hanna

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just ran into this myself,u haul said it had to do with a lawsuit and that i couldnt rent evan the two wheel dolly to tow a nissan sinatra had nothing to do with the weight. he did tell me that i could pick it up with my friends dodge d-50 though :( (for those who dont know the d50 is probably smaller than the nissan
 
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yellowford

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He has a ranger so legally u-haul will rent to him.

And to the op your truck is rated to tow what it says which means you can legally tow that much. But if you are going to be towing a lot then you will want a big transmission cooler, and a good brake controller if you end up getting a car trailer. Also remember to not tow with overdrive on. Your ranger can handle the weight that Ford says it can but just take it easy and remember that the load will weigh more than your truck.
 
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fwillison

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He has a ranger so legally u-haul will rent to him.

And to the op your truck is rated to tow what it says which means you can legally tow that much. But if you are going to be towing a lot then you will want a big transmission cooler, and a good brake controller if you end up getting a car trailer. Also remember to not tow with overdrive on. Your ranger can handle the weight that Ford says it can but just take it easy and remember that the load will weigh more than your truck.

Thanks.
It looks like my truck has a factory tranny cooler mounted in front of the radiator. Is this not adequate?
 
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yellowford

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Thanks.
It looks like my truck has a factory tranny cooler mounted in front of the radiator. Is this not adequate?

The only way to really tell if it is adequate would be to put a transmission temp gauge in to see what is happening, most that tow big loads will put in a larger transmission cooler than the factory one just to be safe.
 
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The towing specs from Ford are mainly a guideline, and also used for advertising purposes, so while a well equipped Ranger probably CAN tow a GCWR of ~9500 lbs, that's likely assuming a lot of things, like an experienced driver, a vehicle and trailer in perfect condition, towing on level ground, perfectly balanced weight on axles and tongue, etc. For everything that isn't perfect, the weight that can be towed safely decreases, or has to be compensated for in how the driver tows it.

I don't disagree at all that the Ranger will do it, but Uhaul and other rental companies probably have a different safety scale they use, something like 50-60% of the manufacturers GCWR, rather than the full rating, due to most people driving with a trailer the same way they drive without a trailer.

Besides, unless you're buying the insurance from them, you don't have to tell them what you're towing and the weight. If I was really stuck and had to rent from a Uhaul where they mind your business about what you're driving and what you're towing, I'd pick it up in a vehicle other than an Explorer, and just say I was going to pick up some stacks of very light but very bulky plastic pipe or something. Would it be lying? Not really, I'm sure I could find a few pieces of plastic pipe to throw on there and haul along with the vehicle...
 
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FordLover

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I had that problem as well. I wanted to move a Taurus across the state, but Uhaul wouldn't rent it to me because the tow vehicle didn't weigh enough. So I came back the next day and told them I was moving a Ford Festiva, and they rented me an auto transport to me no problem.


Also your Ranger's tow rating is with all proper tow equipment, and 150 lb. driver only. Anything else you carry (other people, junk in the cab, cargo in the bed) is to be subtracted from your towing capacity. Few people actually do this, so it's not uncomon for Uhaul to build in a little safety policy by not allowing you to tow a trailer within a few hundred or even 1,000 lbs. of your capacity. It's all in the name of limiting their liability when some idiot rents one of their trailers and overloads it and kills themselves.
 
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Joe Dirt

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Brakes brakes brakes...

Few vehicles are really equipped with adequate braking for the large loads they pull...
 
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Br0oklynKid

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What Did You End Up Doing? i Also Need To Rent a 5x8 Trailer From Them But They also denied me.. AnyOne Knows Of another renting company that rents 5x8 trailers. i honestly dont want to travel 1500 miles with a queen size matters on my roof rack:(
 
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hoss_hanna

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i borrowed a dodge im sad to say......
 
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janolsson

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This is an interesting thread for me as i'm in the UK.
Back some 20years ago when i passed my driving test, i could go straight out and tow. Now anyone passing there test also has to take another test to get entitlement to tow a trailor. The comments above are so true about how to tow and most drivers not realising the difference in driving style.
 
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Twisted1

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The only thing that tows more than the Ranger 4x4 with the 4.10 gears and an auto tranny is the 4x2 Ranger with 4.10 gears and an auto tranny.

Towing with a vehicle that is much lighter than the combined weight of the trailer and what's being towed with it depends on a lot of things besides just the max towing capacity of the vehicle. If you know what you're doing, and the engine/tranny of the truck is in really good shape, you just have to take it easy and it'll tow just fine. Thing is, most people DON'T know how to tow, and DON'T take it easy, and the heavy trailer/cargo weight can have a very dangerous effect (the tail wagging the dog) on the handling of the tow vehicle, especially at high speeds, in bad weather, etc. With the way most people drive, I can see where any place that rents trailers wouldn't do so unless the tow vehicle was way overkill for the job.

That said, I towed a fully loaded dual axle box trailer across the country (before U-haul stopped renting to Explorer owners), and it really never even felt like the trailer was back there (well, except at highway speeds, where the front of the trailer was a few feet taller than the roof of the Explorer and had so much drag it was hard to go faster than 55...but I didn't use overdrive anyway). The X has also hauled heaps of full loads of firewood that exceeded the max capacity by quite a bit, and again, never had a problem.

Bottom line, if you take it easy, accelerate slow, take corners slow, allow for plenty of stopping distance, etc. you'll not only not have a problem towing max capacity loads, you'll also minimize the wear and tear on the truck from doing it. U-haul doesn't care how you drive, though, they just have to assume you'll drive like most other people do with their stuff.

If you don't need a full flatbed trailer tow the vehicle, you might consider renting a tow dolly. They cut the trailer weight by quite a bit, and are quite popular for pulling vehicles with smaller trucks and SUVs, and even cars, not to mention they cost less to rent, or even buy.

Your 100% correct about the liability issue. 99% dont have a clue how to tow or are inexperienced in doing so. It would be stupid for U-haul or any other equipment rental company to rent a trailer to someone off the street with a downsized truck such as a Ranger, explorer ect. Just because your truck can tow those loads does not mean that you as the driver are capable of the task, with a full sized truck it's a lot safer because 9 times out of 10 the tow rig will weigh more than the load being hauled so it kicks the skill level down a bit and makes their insurance company happy. Ford would not be held liable for any accidents incured as they would be "driver error" in nearly all cases. If you tow in the correct manner and go by the book your truck will haul the loads Ford claims. Any towing or saftey specs claimed by any manufacturer are not simply marketing tactics to entice you to buy the truck. It's all federally mandated and approved first before Ford can tell the public what they can haul and this clears Ford of the liability short of failure within these guidlines. I can tell you I haul on average 5-10 cars/ trucks and pieces of equipment a week between 3 trucks. My Explorer sport, my 96 F-150 with a straight 6 and 5 speed, and my Dodge Ram with 360 V-8 and an auto. powerwise the Ex is right up there with my Dodge and seems to pull better and have more power than the F-150. but braking, handeling and ease of use the full size take it hands down. Just as a little survey here honestly how many cars/ trucks have any of you hauled behind your ranger or Explorer? be honest about it.
 
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