Moving is almost always stressful: there are many factors to consider when moving, but the most important of these is how to move your stuff from point A to point B. If your vehicle is too small to carry your things alone, then a trailer may be the right choice for you. But what size trailer do you need to transport all of your stuff?
The size of the trailer that one needs to have an efficient move can vary greatly based on the amount, type, and weight of the items they are trying to move. The weight of one’s items is the biggest consideration, followed by whether or not they have a lot of large furniture items.
The sizes of moving trailers available for rent vary widely. Want to know exactly which one you will need for your move? Read on to find out!
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trailer
One of the biggest things that will dictate what size moving trailer you need is the size and shape of the furniture you are trying to move, in addition to how much of it you have of course. If you have a lot of large furniture, you will probably want to opt for a utility trailer instead of a cargo trailer (which is enclosed). Cargo trailers are best if you have smaller items or items that can’t be exposed to any of the elements.
There are a few common sizes of cargo trailer available from U-Haul in particular:
- 4×8 Cargo Trailer: This is the smallest of the sizes available for cargo trailers from U-Haul, and it will be sufficient if you are moving from a small apartment, such as a college dorm. It can hold furniture such as desks and children’s beds, but not anything much bigger than that.
- 5×8 Cargo Trailer: This size trailer is a little bigger than the previous one, but this size difference greatly expands what you can carry inside of it. This size trailer is good for mid-sized apartments, and it can hold furniture items as large as a queen-sized bed.
- 6×12 Cargo Trailer: This trailer is absolutely massive, and has nearly 400 cubic feet of capacity. You can fit pretty much any size of furniture inside this trailer. This trailer is big enough to fit a large apartment or small house’s worth of items.
Related Article: U Haul Trailers: Weight Capacity & Trailer Type
There are also several sizes of utility trailers that are available for rent. These are better for hauling large or unusually sized furniture than the smaller sizes of cargo trailers, especially unusually tall furniture. However, they are not very good for hauling lots of boxes.
- 4×7 Utility Trailer
- 5×8 Utility Trailer
- 5×9 Utility Trailer
- 6×12 Utility Trailer
- 6×12 Utility Trailer with ramp
In some cases, it may be beneficial to rent a cargo trailer for a day and then a utility trailer for another day in order to move both boxes and smaller items and move large furniture as well. Do note, however, that it is harder to safely secure furniture in the utility trailer than it is in the cargo trailer, so most of the time, for personal moves, you will just want to use a cargo trailer. Just make sure to check the dimensions of your largest items of furniture before picking up a trailer, to make sure that you won’t have to leave anything behind when you move.
Related Article: What U-Haul Cargo Trailer Fits A Queen Mattress
Weight is the number one factor that needs to be considered when choosing a trailer. The first thing to consider weightwise is the towing capacity of your vehicle, which you can find in your car’s owner’s manual or on a sticker in the doorjamb. You never want to exceed this number when towing anything with your car: moving trailers are no exception. As you could probably guess, this number will likely be much higher or lower depending on the size of your car: bigger cars can haul bigger loads.
In addition to checking the towing capacity of your car, you will also want to check the weight capacity of your trailer hitch package. Sometimes this number is lower than the towing capacity of your car or truck, necessitating you to use the lower number as the upper limit of what you can haul.
The next step in determining what size trailer you should get (after you are certain of the towing capacity of your vehicle) is to add the weight of the largest trailer you want to use to the weight of the items and boxes you are trying to move. The first weight, of course, can be found on Uhaul.com under the trailers section, or on the website of whatever moving company you plan to rent from. The second weight can be determined using this calculator. It will take a decent amount of time to go from room to room and add up every item to this calculator (you’ll probably want a notepad to write down everything first and then enter it into the calculator) but it is a necessity to safely rent and use the largest trailer possible.
While it may be a great inconvenience, if your items would fit in the largest trailer but the weight of the trailer will exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity, you will have to opt to do multiple trips with a smaller trailer.
Related Article: What Is The Speed Limit For a U-Haul Trailer?
When Should You Upgrade From a Trailer to a Truck?
There are some times when it may make more sense to rent out a whole truck instead of a trailer. If some of the following apply to you, you may want to consider just renting a truck out instead of a trailer:
- Your car is small and can’t haul much additional weight
- You live a great distance from your new home and using a trailer would require multiple trips
- You have unusually large or odd-shaped furniture that you don’t want to risk damaging by using a utility trailer
- Your car doesn’t already have a towing package installed and it would be inconvenient to install one
- You have a large home and a lot of items to move
Related Article: U-Haul Trucks Dimension & Sizes
Either way, whether you choose to rent a trailer or a truck, make sure it will be the right size with the tips you have learned in this article!