Sat Feb 25 – Starting To Load Trailer

I’m so lucky. The trailer just fits into my garage with 1/4″ to spare. The clearance should increase as I get the trailer loaded up. It’ll be interesting to see how low the trailer gets once it is fully packed. I’m going to guess it’ll drop an inch or so.

The trailer has a maximum cargo capacity of 1,800 pounds. It weighs 900 pounds, so the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for the trailer is 2,700 pounds. My 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon has a 3,500 pound towing capacity, so I’m well within the limit. I’ll need to pay attention to the tongue weight, which should be no more than 10% of the packed trailer weight (350 pound max based on 3,500 pound towing capacity). I guess I’ll be paying a visit to a Cat Scale before I head out.

U-Haul recommends your cargo be distributed as 60/40, so I put my three heaviest items at the front of the trailer, protected them with moving pads, and secured them with ratchet straps. My iKamper Mini 2.0 (125 pounds), my IronMan4x4 drawers (138 pounds), and my Stanley FatMax toolbox (120 pounds packed). I put the iKamper all the way in on the left wall, draped a moving pad over it, then ratcheted it to the left wall. Did the same for the IronMan4x4 drawers on the right wall. That left enough space for the toolbox in the center against the front wall. I then put a couple heavy items in the gap. Looks like there’s more than enough space for all my other stuff.

Sorry, I planned to help but I fell asleep.

That’s enough work for today. Time to order dinner, and prepare some Naproxen (Aleve) and some hard lemonade. Tomorrow we pack some more.

Fun At U-Haul

So I get to U-Haul. One of the guys waves me back up to the trailer. I get out to ask what the coupler height is, so I can set the adjustable hitch to match. The guy didn’t know, yet he already started connecting the trailer. I pointed out that the trailer is not level. He disagreed and asked his buddy who also disagreed. He told me to call 1-800-UHAUL (pretty sure he meant 1-800-GO-UHAUL). Incredible.

I asked for the manager. He didn’t know the correct coupler height either, but at least he was happy to help. Once the adjustable hitch height matched the coupler height, the manager tightened down the coupler. He then began to twist the hitch chains (to shorten them) and hook them onto the hitch receiver holes. I tried to stop him but he insisted he knew what he is doing, since he does it every day.

I explained that the chains needed to be looped through the hitch receiver holes and back to the tongue holes, so they could be padlocked for security. I’m going on a 1,500 mile trip, so I don’t want the trailer to grow legs in the middle of the night. He said he didnt know that. Tis is proof that U-Haul staff, managers included, don’t bother to watch their own videos. He apologized and accommodated me. He undid the chains, looped them through the hitch receiver holes, and padlocked them.

I thanked him and drove off to Home Depot. Along the way I heard terrible sounds coming from the trailer. It sounded like Joe Pesci in that Goodfellas scene. BAM! POP! BOOM!

I slowed down and finally got to the Home Depot parking lot. I got out to check things. I saw the coupler was not tightened down securely. It seemed to be tight, but the threads on the coupler bolt were a little rusty and there was a lot of slack when I lifted the tongue. So the coupler was bouncing at the hitch. That’s not good.

Luckily I keep a small can of WD40 in the Jeep. I sprayed the coupler bolt to loosen up the rust. I put on my protective gloves and was able to tighten the coupler down two full turns. I drove around the lot and confirmed that took care of the noise. #wipesbrow

So I go into Home Depot to buy a couple heavy duty moving pads. U-Haul charged me for some but didn’t give them to me. I hope they remove the charge once I call them, but so far I’m not very confident in them. So for $5 I’ll probably just let it slide. Not worth the headache.

As I get into the Jeep to drive home from Home Depot, I get a TXT message asking me to confirm the condition of the trailer. I click the link, and found it is expired. Despite getting it 5 minutes before trying it. Maybe the staff thought I would complain and expired the link? Nah, they wouldn’t know how to do that. I don’t plan to complain, so far I’ve been able to work around the blunders. I do plan to send their corporate office a link to this blog post. 🙂

Tires are exactly 35 as required, didn’t see any cracks or wire issues. I noticed the right side door holder is missing from the right side fender, but overall the trailer is in excellent shape.

As I drove away from Home Depot, I confirmed the noises are gone. I also confirmed the Jeep tailgate opens fine with the trailer attached.

I’m done for the day. Tomorrow I’ll start loading the trailer.