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Old 02-05-2021, 05:58 AM   #1
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Boxster transport towing setup, tips, issues, best solutions?

Hello Forum Folks!

I will be making a twelve hour each way trip to pickup another Boxster and need some “been there done that” tips and car towing best practices.

My F-150 will be the tow vehicle... should handle fine.

Will the UHaul car haulers work well? Enough ground clearance to run the Boxster up the ramps? What about those front wheel straps wide enough for the tires? Better solution?

Any best practices and lessons learned appreciated!!!

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Old 02-05-2021, 06:41 AM   #2
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I use a 22' full tilt trailer to haul mine. The incline that these cars can approach at stock height is not very much, even less when lowered, and you have to be very careful with loading and unloading. I would definitely not use a flat trailer with short ramps for fear of hanging up in the middle. Same goes for a short tilt that has a high angle, unless you're looking for an excuse to upgrade to a gt3 bumper lol

In terms of straps, overkill is always better. Either place one strap over each wheel and tighten to the deck, or use one strap across the front suspension and another across the back. If doing this technique, attach the straps to the deck forward and rear of the car to "stretch" it as you tighten. Place the straps over hard suspension elements and make sure to not torque anything during the process. Tighten until the tires start to appear loaded. Drive around the block, get out, and retigthten everything. Don't forget to do this!!! Youll be surprised how much things will shift even after you had straps so tight you thought they would break! Only at that point do I put the car in first gear and apply the ebrake.

When I haul, I use the 3" yellow straps rated to 3333lbs, one in front and one in back, and check everything frequently along the drive. Never use worn or faded straps, they can be bought new for cheap. I've never had any problems with this technique and have never had any alignment issues afterward. This was taught to me but a guy who hauls car professionally and I do the se regardless whether it's the boxster, my wife's escalade, or a big ass tractor (except I use chains on the tractor, but that's off topic)

Three other things. First, have someone to spot you. You want to be dead center on the trailer side to side and also just in front of the rear axle. This is not so easy to do first time in a 10deg grade. Second, be aware that unless the trailer is a deck over (which very few are) or is super long you are likely going to have to crawl out the window because of the clearance between door and wheel well. Use the key in the door lock to raise the windows after you've done this.

Lastly, and this is the most important, always remember that the key to safe towing is BRAKING, not power. Any vehicle is capable of towing. The key is BRAKING! I personally would be very cautious about hauling a 4000#+ load with a half ton truck. I know that it is withing the GVWR posting of the truck, but you have to remember that number applies to the suspension only. It will get the job done but just be careful. Make sure your pads are new and brake fluid is topped off, and stick to the "one car length per 10mph" rule. I know I sound like an old man here but it's not worth risking your life and $50k worth of equipment to half ass safety during such a long trip.


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Edit - don't forget to verify that your truck has a brake controller installed. On my wife's escalade there's a "tow mode" and there is a 6pin wiring plug next to the factory installed 2" receiver, but GM never installed an actual brake controller on that vehicle (even though the wiring to do so was installed by the factory!). If yours doesn't have one I would strongly suggest installing one. I installed a Curt TriFlex controller in hers and I think it works very well.
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Old 02-05-2021, 10:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ike84 View Post
It will get the job done but just be careful.
Thank you for all the great advice!
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Old 02-05-2021, 01:00 PM   #4
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U-Haul car trailers work fine. Easy to load, easy to tow.

This is one I hauled home for 78F350 this past spring. Easy as pie.

Did you find your white/red car? Pics please!
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Old 02-05-2021, 01:24 PM   #5
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I know plenty of people that hove towed their Boxster or 911 on a UHAUL trailer

If you are worried about clearance for loading/unloading, put a short 2x8s in front of the ramp
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:27 PM   #6
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Clearance and overall “load ability” if that’s the right description is exactly what concerned me.

Glad to know others have executed successfully! Does not mean I won’t do something stupid and appreciate the lessons learned greatly.

I will use the front wheel straps provided by UHAUL and I assume strap rear down either through openings in wheels or suspension or somewhere. I want to harness it down everywhere possible if you have your phone handy snap a few photos of connection points or tie down locations please and thank you.

Will share photos from the road “and color information”.... suspenseful for me too!

Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2021, 04:13 AM   #7
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I picked mine up at the Maine-New Brunswick border after a car hauler delivered it from Florida. The U Haul worked just fine, no issues.
Boxster - en route from Calais, Maine to home by Ian Murray, on Flickr
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Old 02-06-2021, 05:13 AM   #8
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I will use the front wheel straps provided by UHAUL and I assume strap rear down either through openings in wheels or suspension or somewhere. I want to harness it down everywhere possible if you have your phone handy snap a few photos of connection points or tie down locations please and thank you.
Look in my picture w/ Jon's black car - the front straps pull up over the top of the tire and ratchet down to a secure point on the front of the trailer.

Look at Ian's yellow car and you'll see the chain tie down on the rear underneath.

The fenders on the trailer will fold down. so you can exit the car without having to climb through the window like I did the first time I ever towed one, before someone here called me a knucklehead for not knowing.

Take your time loading it up. Watch the front clearance. A car with normal ride height is easy. Use the 2x8 board trick if it's lower. When you're on the trailer, be careful you don't kiss the front of the trailer rail with the nose of the car. Have someone spot you and stop 6 inches to a foot away, shut the car off and gently push it forward the rest of the way.
A tip for the front tie downs. Lay them out flat stretched to the rear of the trailer - remember you have to pull them over the top of the tire. You can't do that if the tire is sitting on them. (Ask me how I know)
You'll have to get under the trailer at the rear to find the best spot to wrap the rear tie-down. Don't tie it to a suspension part that will be moving up and down or something that will bend under stress.
When you're all done, double and triple check all your tie down points, the trailer hitch to your truck, and that you have the doors and trunks closed on the Boxster.

Now - after reading all our tips, don't stress and overthink it. Walk it through before you get the car on the trailer so everything makes sense before you're trying to figure it out with the car sitting there. It's really a simple process. I had Jon's black car on the trailer and tied down in 10 minutes tops. You might take 15 your first try.

Your F-150 will tow it easy. Get a couple miles down the road, stop and double check all your tie down points and you'll be good to go.

Then, you'll be an hour or two down the road and you'll forget you're even towing something. You'll glance in your rear view mirror and jump when you see a Boxster right on your butt!

Have a safe trip. Pictures or it didn't happen.
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Old 02-06-2021, 05:21 AM   #9
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Now - after reading all our tips, don't stress and overthink it. Walk it through before you get the car on the trailer so everything makes sense before you're trying to figure it out with the car sitting there. It's really a simple process. I had Jon's black car on the trailer and tied down in 10 minutes tops. You might take 15 your first try.

Your F-150 will tow it easy. Get a couple miles down the road, stop and double check all your tie down points and you'll be good to go.

Then, you'll be an hour or two down the road and you'll forget you're even towing something. You'll glance in your rear view mirror and jump when you see a Boxster right on your butt!

Have a safe trip. Pictures or it didn't happen.
Thanks everyone feeling much better now about the trip!
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Old 02-06-2021, 05:43 AM   #10
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I have used the UHaul with my Silverado. I just advanced the brake bias to make sure of using the trailer brakes to help stop. The only thing I would do differently in the future is to block in front of the wheels so the those air deflectors for the radiators on either side don't get mangled going over the front of the trailer. And those straps WILL loosen, so plan a stop a few miles down the road to tighten. Also be sure to use the anchors underneath!
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Old 02-06-2021, 11:18 AM   #11
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Thanks again and I like the dry run idea before getting there...

Will crawl under my current Boxster and look for tie down areas for anchors in the back and elsewhere. No suspension or bendable metal (check) with those plastic covers will be harder to find then I imagine, better to do in my garage than on the road.

Knowing me will be stopping soon after start and OFTEN to check those straps... Murphy’s Law I’d probably think about a professional shipper ($800) except I don’t want to also use an escrow service for funds transaction as dollars just keep adding up.

Plus road trip with my dog will be half the fun!!
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Old 02-08-2021, 06:34 PM   #12
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Sorry guys after watching UHaul video I have another question...

So do I need a couple 2x8 boards at the front so bottom of bumper clears that metal tire stop? Or just a couple at edge of ramps to help raise bumper to run up on the trailer?

And would it be ok to fish a tie down strap through rear wheels and around under trailer runners to secure the back? The safety chains in back don’t seem like they secure as much as in case of emergency stop from running up into the bed of my truck. Where is the rear secured nice and tight???

Thanks!

Wish weather was better next week in Midwest but at least no snow just COLD! Little nervous have no experience in this transport arena won’t feel good until I park her safely in my garage...
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:21 AM   #13
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So do I need a couple 2x8 boards at the front so bottom of bumper clears that metal tire stop? Or just a couple at edge of ramps to help raise bumper to run up on the trailer?

And would it be ok to fish a tie down strap through rear wheels and around under trailer runners to secure the back? The safety chains in back don’t seem like they secure as much as in case of emergency stop from running up into the bed of my truck. Where is the rear secured nice and tight???
Look up at my picture with Jon's black car. You'll see the bottom of the front bumper trims just clear the front of the trailer. That's why I said stop about a foot away from the front and push it the rest of the way.

I've hauled three different Boxsters on three different U-Haul car trailers and never had an issue. Saying that, you'll probably be the guy that does, so it wouldn't hurt to have something ready in reserve. I don't think I'd use something as tall as a 2xX, maybe just a 3/4 to 1 inch piece of plywood.

As for running a tie strap through the rear wheels, I really think it's overkill, but at the very least, find a way to protect your wheels from getting scuffed from the tow straps rubbing them.

Again, don't overthink it. U-Haul has made this setup work for the minimally average person, and the fact that you own a Boxster and are on this forum makes you above average. You'll be fine.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:37 PM   #14
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If you're using the ****************ty U-Haul trailer, definitely buy/bring your own straps.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:20 PM   #15
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If you're using the ****************ty U-Haul trailer, definitely buy/bring your own straps.
BS.
The included chains are more than sufficient.
I’ve hauled my 986 4000+ miles on a uhaul trailer in the last year. Never an issue.
Though, you do have to be smart enough to use the equipment properly.
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Old 02-10-2021, 09:48 AM   #16
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BS.
The included chains are more than sufficient.
I’ve hauled my 986 4000+ miles on a uhaul trailer in the last year. Never an issue.
Though, you do have to be smart enough to use the equipment properly.
I'm well aware at how to slide the straps under and then over the wheels. The ratchets are always a massive pain in the ass. The straps are always tattered and beat. Those trailers are generally a huge pain to deal with to begin with. From loading a car, to strapping it, to the hydraulic brake.

You do you. I bought a car hauler and life is SO much easier.
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Old 02-10-2021, 02:32 PM   #17
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I'm with beater on this one. You cannot be too careful when towing or hauling of any kind, especially when it's on an unfamiliar setup. I live in a farming community where "eh good enough" causes a fair amount of damage on a regular basis, and will occasionally cost a life. It may be uncommon, but it's just not worth the risk to you, your property, and other people.

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Old 02-10-2021, 05:12 PM   #18
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Jeez. C'mon. You guys are making this way too hard with your tales of doom and disaster.

It's a Boxster. Plain. Simple. We're not trying to haul an 18 ton Army Stryker over Wolf Creek Pass on the back of a bicycle.

It's a newer 1/2 ton Ford. Not a 40 year old Toyoya HiLux that was rescued from the junkyard.

And we don't need to buy a new $10,000 trailer to haul home an $8,000 Boxster.

It's a commercial trailer design that's been used successfully for years and years.

We're not using Farmer Bob's half-assed rusty homebuilt trailer with bald, mismatched tires, behind Farmer Bobs half-assed rusty farm truck with one headlight, driven by half-assed Farmer Bob with three fingers on one hand and no thumb on the other and his gimme cap cocked sideways on his bald head.

The U-Haul trailer is designed for the lowest common denominator beta dude to be able to tow his car cross country behind his wifes Honda. So - all you guys having heart palpations suggesting the wheels are going to fall off the trailer, the straps are going to turn to dust and the brakes are going to catistrophically fail - I'm guessing you're all a notch or two above the lowest common denominator? You're not betas? Right? Hopefully? And your names not Bob?

The OP asked a couple of intelligent, new guy questions. They were answered with intelligent, experienced answers from several different forum members.

Quit with the sky is falling and we're all gonna die crap. Please? It's simple. Sometimes you guys wear me out trying to overcomplicate crap with your tales of complexity and one in a million examples of numb nuttery.

Farmlifer - dry run it with your car at home. Load up your dog. Have fun. Seriously - it's not tough.

Here's five examples below. No Porsches or Volvos were harmed in the making of this public service announcement.

I wish I was along for the ride. I could use a good road trip. I think I'm turning into an old curmudgeon and beginning to sound like Starter and Piper.
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:02 PM   #19
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You do you.
You mean not being a chicken ******************** fear mongerer?
Yep. I’ll keep doing that, noob.

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Old 02-11-2021, 12:44 PM   #20
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will be easy fine tow but FYI:

u-haul has, since last checked years ago, strict limits on alum body
F-150s (2015+) regardless actual tow rating and different than their std
limits.


You should be fine w a Boxster as vehicle towed but make sure you clear w pickup store ahead of time. The snuffed me once even though online reservation accepted valid configuration. And if u tow something other than said u would, u own if anything were to happen.

Been a tenuous relationship w Fords since 'exploding' Explorer tire issue in 90's. For a while you couldn't even rent with an Explorer.

That said, you can always find cheap used steel open trailers on craigslist. Buy one and sell when you get back home as alternative and you'll probably be out less $ than a oneway u-haul rental.

Good luck w your tow

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