If you’re going to use your car to pull a trailer, you’ll need a hitch to connect the two. If your car isn’t equipped with a hitch, you’ll need to rent or purchase and install one. Check your owner’s manual to determine the size trailer your car can safely tow. Install only a hitch that meets your car’s specifications. Be careful not to exceed the weight limit of the trailer or hitch.
Hitches are grouped into classes:
- Class I hitches have a maximum rated capacity of 2,000 pounds.
- Class II hitches have a maximum rated capacity of 3,000 pounds.
- Class III hitches have a maximum rated capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
- Class IV hitches have a maximum rated capacity of 7,500 pounds.
In most cases, the Class I and II hitches have a receptacle ball of 1-1/4 inches in diameter, while the Class III and IV hitches use the 2-inch ball.
Some truck rental companies sell and install hitches, but you can also install it yourself or have it done elsewhere.
If you move in a borrowed or rented truck, you may need to tow your car to your new home. The easiest way is with a car carrier trailer, available from truck rental companies. You can easily load and unload your car, and the trailer causes no wear on tires or any other part of your car. You can also rent tow bars and tow dollies.
For extra storage, you can install a car-top carrier on your car. You can also pack your towed car with stuff—as long as you don’t exceed weight limits.
Gross weight is the weight of the truck and contents after your goods have been loaded. Tare weight is the weight of the truck and contents prior to loading your shipment.
If you decide to transport your car on a flatbed trailer or car dolly, don’t neglect tiedowns. Any object set on an open, flatbed trailer will move around in transit—especially if that object has springs and round tires! Tiedowns are straps with hooks on the ends to anchor the car to the trailer. The tiedowns are then cinched tight to remove any slack and prevent movement.