Towing car long distance -
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Unread 10-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Carthage, NY
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Towing car long distance

In a couple weeks I will be moving 1100 miles across the country and I need some advice on the best way to tow a car. I have an 04 Grand Cherokee with a 4.7L V8 that I will be using to tow a Toyota Celica. My Jeep did not come from the factory with the tow package. I've installed a hitch and wiring harness and used it to tow lighter trailers the same distance and its worked great. I have experience towing utility trailers but I've never towed a car and I have some concerns.

First is which type of trailer to use. I'll be renting from Uhaul so I have the option of a tow dolly or an auto hauler. I'm aware of the limitations of backing up a tow dolly. What I'm most concerned with is the additional weight of the auto hauler vs the lack of brakes on the tow dolly. With the auto hauler I'm looking at a combined trailer/load weight of about 5000lbs with the added assistance of surge brakes on the trailer. With the dolly the combined weight is about 3600lbs without any trailer brakes. Do the trailer brakes on the auto hauler make up for the extra weight in terms of safety?

Second, I do not have an additional transmission cooler but could install one myself for around $60. Would I need this to tow the auto hauler or will the stock cooler be sufficient? Thanks in advance!

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Unread 10-22-2014, 09:54 PM   #2
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Either way I would install the transmission cooler. I thought U-Haul dollies had surge brakes?? If so I would go with the dolly because it's lighter and won't be as long which reduces the chances of sway.
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Unread 10-23-2014, 10:16 AM   #3
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1100 miles from NY doesn't get you any real hills unless you go out of your way to find some. So, I'd skip the transmission cooler.
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Unread 10-23-2014, 05:29 PM   #4
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Depending on what hitch you installed you might not even have a choice from U-haul. The only brakes on a U-haul auto trailer are surge brakes. If you already have a transmission cooler no need for another one even going over hills if your not being stupid you wont have a problem.

Type of trailer is going to be up to you. I prefer the auto trailer over a dolly. The biggest thing you will have to watch for is sway and being pushed by the car/trailer.
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Unread 10-29-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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Location: WY
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Uhaul car trailers are about 10x heavier than they should be, and their safety margins are substantial. I'd call ahead with the plan and see if they will even rent to you.

A car dolly cuts down on weight, but you end up with 0 tongue weight. Flat towing is a lot different than a trailer. Every time you touch the brakes you basically have another vehicle trying to push you off the road. I used to flat tow a samurai with a heavy 4door f150, not bad. I did the same twice with my GC, sucked.
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