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A frustrating move using a U-Haul trailer!



My youngest daughter is graduating from high school this year and her grad party is in 2 weeks.  My wife has been working on tent rentals, catering, etc. and unfortunately, I promised her that the 2002 would be out of the garage by then.  I honestly thought it would be at the paint shop.  Well, I explained in a prior posst that my scheduleis way off and I'm not going ot have this car ready for Oktoberfesdt/PVGP, so I had to get the car battened down for a trip to the warehouse where I keep a couple of other cars.    


Yesterday, I attached a couple of 2x6 boards to the pylons of the dolly to make them sturdier for transport.  I also installed a handful of through-bolt eye-bolts into the dolly to use as tie down points.  


I was unable to secure a regular flat car trailer, so I decided to try to use a U-haul 6x12 trailer with the loading ramp.  I knew this would probably be a major challenge, but I thought the experiment was worth the $35 rental fee for the day.  I can't use a regular U-haul car hauler because the wheels of my dolly are not wide enough to fit on the ramps or tracks.  


Winch Solution:   I bought a small ATV winch from Harbor Freight for $56 (with the always happening 20% off web-coupon) and mounted it to the front of my car dolly.  I'll add some pictures of that when I get a chance as I think it is pretty cool.  The thing has a remote key fob, so you don't need wires.   I set a car battery in the 2002's battery tray and hooked the winch up directly to the battery with a fuse.   Now whatever trailer I use, I will always be able to load and unload the car!   


There are a couple of major considerations when using a U-haul trailer.   


1. The gate is not the full width of the trailer.   The gate opening is 58 inches wide and the "fence" at the gate is 27 inches tall (it is taller around the rest of the trailer).  The frame rail of a 2002 is about 53 inches wide. but the doors are wider than 58 inches wide.  By pure dumb luck I built my dolly to be about 27 inches tall.  Even so, with the angled fence and an inclined ramp, I had initially a little over an inch of clearance to the frame rail on both sides when loading and managed to scrape the car slightly where the lower trim would be if it were installed.  Once the car was in the trailer, there was moderate clearance on all sides except the back (see below).  Raise the tongue more (see below) to get more clearance at the gate.   If you have a dolly that sets the car lower than about 27 inches, you will not be able to use this type of U-Haul trailer.    


2. The bed of a U-Haul trailer is CORRUGATED STEEL!  It is not flat!   The disadvantage of this did not fully dawn on me until I was ready to unload the car and could not get the swivel castors to rotate so I could unload it.  In the end, I used a floor jack to lift each end of the dolly and turn the wheels around by hand.   I would HIGHLY recommend getting some plywod to place on the bed of the trailer if you decide to use one.   


3. The tongue jack only jacks the tongue to a little above level.  The issue here is that you want the ramp to be as in-line with the trailer bed as possible to avoid bottoming out on the lip of the trailer and you want as much clearance as possible around that gate fence.  I happened to have a bunch of 2x8x8 blocks I made as jack-stand extensions and I threw 3 under the tongue jack to make high enough when unloading.   


4. The trailer isn't long enough.  I thought I measured my car and that it would fit on a 12 foot trailer without bumpes.  Apparently not, as there was about 8 inches sticking out the back when I get the car all the way in with about 4 inches of space up front.  I did not think to measure the trailer but suspect that it is not really 12 feet.  Fortunately, I had some huge sheets of foam insulation and I just tied the (counterbalanced) trailer ramp to the trailer and put the pads behind the rear lower sill of the car. 


5.  The tongue of the trailer extends 8 feet beyond the trailer to the hitch.  With that huge tongue, the whole rig including the truck was nearly 40 feet long.  This made maneuvering the truck to my garage at the rear of the house very difficult.  I drove on the lawn.  ALOT.  My wife nearly killed me when she saw the damage I did.  Hey, it's grass!  And it is growing season!  I'm sure it will be fine for the grad partyy in two weeks!  :-)  


The trailer had plenty of tie downs and I was able to secure tiedowns from the eyelets I installed on the dolly to the trailer very easily.  Once loaded, the car didn't move an inch.  




The 2002 is now resting peacefully in the warehouse space where it will probably sit until mid-June when I can start working on it again.  I'm already working on other ways to get the car back into my garage that do not involve a U-Haul trailer.    


Thanks for reading!  I hope this was useful for you!  





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Or... find some strong, 2002 weirdo Pittsburgh friends to lift it in place / remove it for you. :)


Photo taken last autumn. North Hills, Pittsburgh PA. 

U Haul.jpg

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Hi Scott, you left me hanging, cliff hanger, did the grass grow in 2 weeks?    Is the wife talking to you?     Did the Grad Party happen?  I was with you all the way...  yep yep  yep  way to go … love the winch (panic buying) … pls  follow up bringing it back … great story, happy it all worked … 6 stong guys worth weight in gold  ….amazing stuff . tks  Lucian

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