How to Tow Your Car When It’s Time to Move

Moving truck next to a parked van

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Well, Pennsylvania, it’s been fun. But now it’s time to move up north to Vermont. I’m excited for the summers and nervous for the winters, but we’ll see what happens. Wish me luck!

Though an exciting time, moving is a chore no one enjoys. You have to pack up all your stuff and play the world’s most annoying game of Tetris to try to get it to all fit in the back of a truck. Then, you have to drive that truck from your old home to your new one — and still figure out how to get your car or cars to the new place.

If you’re moving and need to tow your car, here are five tips to make it a little easier.

Make Sure Your Truck Has a Towing Hitch

When you choose your moving truck, make sure it has a towing hitch on the back and a high enough weight capacity to haul your car. All these specs should be included in the rental truck specifications, but if the information isn’t available online, make sure you talk to the rental agency to get the correct information. You don’t want to rent a truck if it can’t tow your car to your new home.

Pick the Right Trailer

What kind of trailer do you need to haul your car? Flatbed trailers, also known as car carriers, lift your vehicle off the road entirely but require a higher weight rating on your moving truck. Tow dollies only raise the front wheels of your car off the road while it is towed behind the trailer, but these are only an option for front-wheel drive cars.

Car carriers are a better option for long-distance moves because they keep your tires from any undue wear.

Load Your Car

The next step is to hitch the trailer to your moving truck and load your car. Don’t try to load your car onto the trailer before you fasten it to the truck. Move your car as close to the front of the car carrier as possible, put it in park, set your emergency brake and make sure you secure your tires with straps or chains to ensure your car stays where it needs to be.

Keep Cargo in the Truck

It can be tempting to add some boxes or other cargo to the vehicle you’re towing, but that can mess with your trailer’s weight distribution and make it hard to control the trailer while you’re driving. Keep all your cargo in the back of the moving truck and don’t leave anything in your car. Driving a 20+ foot truck with a large trailer is hard enough as it is — don’t load up your trailer and make it harder.

Unload on Arrival

Once you get to your destination, it’s tempting to leave everything on the trailer while you get set up in your new house, but it’s much easier to unload your truck if the trailer isn’t attached to it anymore. Once you get to your destination, take the time to unload your car from the trailer. Even if you’re not returning the trailer until you’re done unloading, it’s always smart to get the trailer out of the way.

Moving can be a hassle, but getting your car to your new home doesn’t have to be — as long as you take the time to find a good trailer and load it correctly.

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