U-Haul Informative - U-Haul: an adventure in !&#$% moving….
WAKE FOREST, NORTH CAROLINA -- So I needed a trailer to move from Wake Forest to Chapel Hill this weekend. Only about 35 miles away, under no time pressures, things pretty much still packed from the last move. It’s really a pretty simple affair.
Except there’s a U-Haul involved.
I called the local U-Haul place in the center of town, across from the Hardees, and reserved a 5x8 trailer. My family doesn’t have a pickup truck or such for when we need to move something big, we just have sedans that are rated to tow our utility trailer, our boat… and when we need to move mattresses or something we want to keep covered, a U-Haul.
We’ve got the hitch professionally mounted on my folks’ Toyota Camry. Used to have a hitch on the old Volvo 850 until some… ran a red light and totaled it (thankfully my Mom wasn’t injured…). Before that it was a Ford Taurus. I think before that it was a VW….
Anyway, we’ve got the 2-inch ball as well as the 1 and 7/8, I’ve been hauling trailers as long as I’ve been driving and can even back one (*gasp*).
Believe it or not, we’ve got our crap together.
But our car isn’t wired for trailer lights. This doesn’t conflict with any law as far as anyone’s ever told me (and I didn’t see any problems in the statutes that I just glanced at online -- http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_20/gs_20-123.html), because we only use tow boats, pine straw, sand… in the daylight.
So whenever we rent a U-Haul trailer, which comes equipped with a lighting system, we tell them that we’re only towing in daylight and either that’s always been enough before or they don’t care one way or another.
Making the reservation yesterday I told the guy we were only gonna be driving it in the daylight. I went in today, had some pleasantries with the fellow… and then I tell him I’m towing with a Camry.
Can’t do that, he concludes.
Really, how about you check? Yep, just like the owner’s manual and I say, the 2005 Camry is rated for towing 2000 pounds, and my mattresses certainly aren’t that heavy.
Some folks seem under the weak idea that anything less than a Hummer is puny, child-sized toy that’s too small to carry more than a little old lady and too impotent to tow her walker.
I was working as a courier someplace once and we had to go pick someone up. They decided to take an SUV instead of my Camry because my car was alleged to be too small.
Listen, it’s a full-sized sedan for full-sized people. If you’re too darn fat, it’s not the car’s fault. And the continent of Europe does just fine towing their boats, trailers, campers… without Hummers.
So the U-Haul guy and I went out to hook up the trailer. I start hitching it up and I can take it from there. He heads in, but says he’ll have to check the lights before I leave.
I’ve got it hitched up and he comes out to check the lights and we don’t have any and I explain that it’s never been a problem before, that as I said on the phone yesterday we’d only be driving during daylight… and he said it was his “legal”, “moral” and “ethical” duty to not rent the trailer to me.
Wow, I didn’t know I was defying God by driving a trailer with no lights during the day, as kosher by state law. That must be in one of the chapters of Leviticus I haven’t gotten to yet.
But, U-Haul is a private business that can set up its regulations the way it wants.
So my Dad and I drive down the road to the next U-Haul guy, really wishing there was some competition in the trailer-renting marketplace.
Somehow, this new U-Haul guy, who knew exactly what our car was rated for, could rent the trailer to us with a third the paperwork, in half the time and for $5 less.
And his guy says the lights aren’t required anyway.