When it comes to DIY moving, one of the most important ways to ensure you have an easy and smooth move is to select the right size trailer rental. Trailers can be a great option for your DIY move because they allow you to use your own vehicle. Follow the steps below to select the right size trailer, and your move will go off without a hitch (no pun intended)!

Step 1: What are you hauling? The type of trailer you choose has everything to do with what you’re hauling. There are two main types of trailers:

Trailer Rental1. Cargo trailers, which are entirely enclosed, provide the most protection for your items. This will be especially beneficial if you will be leaving the trailer unattended at times because they can be locked up, or if you will be traveling through adverse weather conditions such as storms or snow. Enclosed trailers are ideal for household goods.

Trailer Rental2. Utility trailers, which have an open top half, provide a greater amount of flexibility for transporting bulky or large items. This will be especially beneficial if you have very large pieces of furniture. Open trailers are best for shorter trips due to the open design as you do not have the ability to lock it closed. They are ideal for items like lawn equipment

Step 2: What is your vehicle’s hauling capacity? The next step in deciding what size trailer you should rent will be to determine your vehicle’s towing capabilities. Every vehicle has a maximum towing capacity which can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual and/or in the door jamb. Just as you might assume, a smaller vehicle will be able to haul a small trailer, while larger vehicle’s can haul larger trailers. You must also note your hitch package’s capacity. In some cases, this will be more or less than your vehicle’s capacity. You should always consider the lowest weight to be the maximum towing capacity of your trailer and hitch combination.

Trailer RentalStep 3: How much stuff do you have? Once you decide which type of trailer you want, and what your vehicle’s towing capacity is, you are ready to choose the appropriate size trailer rental for your move. Since the biggest component to consider is weight, you should start by getting a general idea of what your belongings weigh (NOTE: The weight of the trailer itself must be included in the total weight that your vehicle will be carrying and should never exceed the maximum capacity under any circumstances).

To get an idea of how much your belongings weigh, go through the home room-by-room and make a list of the large pieces of furniture such as book shelves, beds, and sofas. Next, use this calculator to input the furniture you have to arrive at an estimated weight. Remember to include additional weight in your total for boxes. The weight of your boxes will depend on the number, size and contents of your boxes, and you should use a generous estimate.

After determining the towing capacity of your vehicle, and the weight of your belongings, you will be able to choose the best size trailer. If your vehicle has a large enough towing capacity to carry your belongings and a large trailer at once, then you may be able to make your move in one trip by fitting everything into the trailer. However, if your vehicle and hitch package cannot tow the weight of all of your belongings plus a large trailer at one time, then you must rent a smaller trailer and make two trips. If using an enclosed trailer, confirm that the dimensions inside the trailer can accommodate your largest piece of furniture’s dimension. You can find out the trailer’s dimensions by contacting the rental company’s website or in the owner’s manual.

Check out the links below for more tips for renting a trailer:

Hitch selection guideHow to select and hookup a trailer
Safety tips for loading a trailer
How to hookup a hitch
Understanding your towing capabilities: An interview with Bob De Kruyff

What are your tips for choosing the right size trailer? Have you ever used a trailer to move? We want to know! Tell us below in the comment’s section.

  
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