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Old 10-09-2016, 08:34 PM   #1
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Towing a car on a trailer

I am heading for New Orleans soon. I want to tow my wife's Toyota Sienna van on a flat trailer rented from Penske or U-Haul. My Class C Four-Winds doesn't have trailer brakes installed. However, it has hook-ups for trailer lights, etc. Do I need to have trailer brakes installed? Or, am I good to run without?
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:45 PM   #2
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Most RentAll trailers have surge brakes, meaning you don't need a controller in your MH. If the trailer does not have surge brakes, you MUST install a brake controller in your MH or risk your families safety. The bad news is, your MH has a 5,000# hitch with a tongue weight of 500#, meaning the trailer and your van must weigh not exceed those limits.
That 5,000# tow rating depends on the actual weight of your loaded MH + actual weight of trailer and van. Locate the GCWR of your MH to calculate how much you may legally tow.
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:05 PM   #3
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The van alone is over my 5,000 lb. limit. Would I be better off to tow my Grand Cherokee 4-down?
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:10 PM   #4
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The van at "over 5000 lb" is over the weigh limit for U Haul, Penske, and Budget rental trailers as well.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:01 AM   #5
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Re Penske, my recent research found that they usually won't rent a flat bed trailer unless they also rent you a truck (properly equipped) to pull it.

Am not familiar with your "toad" at all, but if it's front wheel drive, you might consider a tow dolly if your O/Manual speaks to this. Many, not all, U-Haul locations rent dollys. If your toad is rear wheel drive and has towing speed/distance limitations, you could consider removing the drive shaft to use a tow dolly. That can be a tedious job, however....and somewhat messy too. And you'll likely have to put and secure a "plug" into the transmission tail shaft housing to prevent trans fluid loss. And mark that driveshaft at the rear U joint to ensure it goes back on the way it came off. Again....not familiar with your vehicle, so a look-see at a shop manual would be wise to see if this is even possible or practical. Just a thought....
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
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The van alone is over my 5,000 lb. limit. Would I be better off to tow my Grand Cherokee 4-down?
1) Grand Cherokee must also be below the limits for your coach and hitch. The posted curb weight for that year/model may be lower than your vehicle's weight, depending on options installed and what you carry inside. I would add 5 to 10 percent to the post curb weights and compare that to the towing limits for your coach and hitch.

2) If not already equipped, Grand Cherokee will require a baseplate, braking system and lights. Coach will need a towbar. Costs will vary, depending upon parts chosen and whether you install them yourself, but should fall within a range of $1,500 to $3,500. Also takes time- and you said you are leaving "soon."

3) Grand Cherokee may require battery disconnection or fuse-pulling before towing.

There are lots of posts on iRV2 concerning towing a Grand Cherokee. Here's a link to a Google search for posts containing the terms "Grand Cherokee" and "towing."
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:19 AM   #7
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Consider renting a vehicle once you get to New Orleans.
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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ray,in i am wondering if you mean a brake controller like on fifth wheel??
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:08 PM   #9
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We have a victor!!!!! After much thought & research, we are renting a car in New Orleans. Waiting on the toad until I buy a new Jeep. Thanks for all the advice!!!!!!
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:39 PM   #10
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We have a victor!!!!! After much thought & research, we are renting a car in New Orleans. Waiting on the toad until I buy a new Jeep. Thanks for all the advice!!!!!!
Good decision.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:03 AM   #11
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It's good to read it's working out well for you.
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