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Cross-country UHaul tow

1652 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MassSubie
Hey all,

Been lurking here for a couple weeks and I wanted to see the opinions on my specific towing scenario. My manual 2005 Forester 2.5 X has just under 170k miles, and my wife and I plan on moving from Seattle to North Carolina in late June. I am between towing a 5x8 covered UHaul (~1000lbs unloaded) or towing a big 6x12 dual axel UHaul with brakes(~2000lbs pounds unloaded). I know this question has kind of been asked to death, but which one would be safer for my situation? I have a class II hitch, ball, and mount.

I know people on the forum have driven the 5x8 uhaul with no brakes without too much of a problem, and I know the car is only rated to tow 1000lbs with no brakes and 2400lbs with brakes. What I am worried most about with loading up the 6x12 trailer is getting up the mountains in Iowa in the middle of summer, especially in a long distance scenario with an older forester. We plan on hitting Iowa after the sun goes down, as it'll be the most likely place on the route for it to overheat.

Other moving options are kind of off the table for me at this point, just want to know if my car is going to make it to NC safely with either trailer. As for the after the move, if the car lasts me a couple more years great. If not I can finally get a new Subaru!
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I should clarify, I plan on hauling less than 500lbs in either trailer.
Even as a guy who likes to push the limits sometimes, I would not tow any trailer loaded with stuff that exceeds the recommended limits, especially in the mountains or cross country. Know YOUR limits. :)
Honestly, you want to move 500 lb stuff. Is the rest of your stuff going with a moving company? In which case, I 'd suggest getting a smaller trailer and figuring out how to get by with less than 500 lbs.

Either scenario, you are really pushing a 14 y/o Foz a long way and a long while. Not to mention, driver fatigue. Driving loaded is always stressful. I'd choose neither....

And I am not someone opposed to pushing limits or rules either. I recently went and had the local landscaping company dump a "yard" (27 cubic feet) of topsoil in my ~700lb trailer. It carried a yard of mulch fine. Well top soil is not mulch.... I think I was at 2500 lbs or a little less. Never mind brakes, the old Foz really did not like on ramps or hills. I did this 7 miles, and all was well. You are contemplating a whole lot more.....

Good luck, honestly. Whatever happens, hope it turns out OK.....
I regularly tow my 4x8 utility trailer loaded with 1200 lbs of mulch for a few miles without any trouble; however, 5x8 uhauls behind foresters look ridiculous. 4x8 would be the largest I'd consider. 6x12 on a cross country trip is nearing negligence.
Between the two of those, I'd pick the 1,000lb trailer (1,500lb total) without brakes. There's a lot less risk to the powertrain, which you can't do much about if you go the heavy route with brakes. If you go the light-er route without brakes, you can mitigate risks, mainly by by driving slower (55-65mph) and using a longer following distance, brake early, all of which will greatly reduce the demands placed on the Forester's braking system. If you are coming down from some high mountain pass in the Rockies, don't ride the Forester brakes all the way down at 75mph (which would be asking for brake fade and a runaway vehicle), go slow, use the manual transmission to select a lower gear for a little engine braking and pull over a few times to let your brakes cool for 5mins.
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