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-   -   Renting a tow vehicle... (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=793167)

jwmustangin 05-03-2012 2:49 PM

Renting a tow vehicle...
I am located in Virginia and am currently in the market for a "new to me" boat. I would like to give myself some more options by being able to consider the sellers that are on the west coast. So, here is my question...

Say that I flew to the west coast in order to purchase a boat. Im not willing to make that kind of purchase without seeing it in person first.

Who do you go through to rent a tow vehicle so that you can haul the boat across the country?

Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Budget, and U-haul do not allow towing with the full size pickups that they rent out. Who does?

Does anyone have any experience with this type of situation?


timmyb 05-03-2012 2:55 PM

You could always have it shipped or you can get a uhaul van and tow it back, they allow that.

jwmustangin 05-03-2012 3:04 PM

Shipping is more expensive....

Yes, U-haul allows towing with their 10ft moving truck. They have regular 1/2 ton pickups but do not allow any towing with them......wtf?

pprior 05-03-2012 3:10 PM

There are plenty o' boats from the Missisippi eastward. IMO it's foolish to consider flying all the way out and renting a truck to pull it back, unless you're looking for something rare the gas/time/rentals all add up! Just look closer. I drove about 5 hours away to buy my boat, picked it up and drove it back home.

You can hire someone to pull it back for you - check out u-ship and you can get people to bid to pull it for you if you don't own a truck.

jwmustangin 05-03-2012 4:12 PM

I know exactly what I want down to the options. This is what's making the boat hard to find. Try to find a bunch ( a bunch means an assortment of paint schemes) of Centurion avys or enzos that have the sideswipe exhaust, evolution tower, and the switchblade. I realize that I will probably be installing a custom ballast system in anything I buy.

I have checked u-ship. This is how I know that shipping it is more expensive than flying out and towing it back.....depending on rental. It was cheaper all the way up till when I found out you can tow with a F-150 from Enterprise.

fuel cost for say 2500 miles at 10 miles a gallon with gas being $4.00 a gallon.....is $1000.
40 hours of driving from Cali to Va.
Sleep in the truck if you can bear it..... or get a hotel - cost depends on the hotel.
Forget the cost of food being you eat everyday anyway....
Flight is around $500.
Rental is .......?

Not to offend anyone but can we get back to the original question?


john211 05-03-2012 4:47 PM

I suggest the U-haul option of the 10 ft moving truck suits your economy plan the best.

Your 'new to you boat' is also going to be your 'new to you trailer' ... with its bearings and ... to a lesser extent of problem for a long tow ... its surge brakes.

Take that U-haul truck and throw in a jack, jack stands, tools to pull a hub, access to the Internet to replace burnt hubs ... and so on.

If you're not going to throw away the trailer when you get home, I would think that your biggest worry is not so much -- how to most cheaply get the boat across the US, but -- how to get the boat and trailer economically across the US reasonably intact.

migs 05-03-2012 4:56 PM

who said you need to tell Uhaul that youll be towing something. if its got a tow hitch receiver - throw in the ball & bouce out.

bill_airjunky 05-03-2012 4:57 PM

Seems like towing an Enzo with an F150 would be a lesson in torture.

timmyb 05-03-2012 5:09 PM


Originally Posted by bill_airjunky (Post 1749292)
Seems like towing an Enzo with an F150 would be a lesson in torture.

And 10mpg would be a dream...

jwmustangin 05-03-2012 6:09 PM

Miguel....yeah, I've thought about that. I would hate to get all the way out there though and my truck not have a receiver. That would suck.

Bill....Yeah, towing an enzo with a F150 would be a lil interesting. You'd have to stay out of the pedal in the mountains but I believe it could be done. I've known a few folks to pull a 25 foot power boat (fountains, bajas, etc..) with a 1/2 ton pickup. You just can't be in a big hurry.

newmy79 05-03-2012 6:19 PM

I towed my Supra 21v from Salt Lake City UT to New Jersey with my at the time 06 Tundra 4.7L. My trailer is fine. It was slow to get out of UT but not that horrible the rest of the way.

surffresh 05-03-2012 6:55 PM

maybe I missed it but I am guessing that you are buying a USED boat ?

patrick232 05-04-2012 7:25 AM

Enterprise has a truck division that carries 3/4 ton trucks that you can tow with. Had one for almost 2 weeks after some hit our Duramax. The sad part is the 2012 Dodge Cummings got on average 4 miles per gallon less then our 6 year old Duramax with 160K on it.

05sante 05-04-2012 8:09 AM

I researched this in depth back when I bought my boat 2 yrs ago and didn't own a tow vehicle at the time.

No company that I know of will let you tow a personal trailer with their rental vehicles. U-haul trucks are set up to tow, but you can only legally tow a U-haul trailer with their trucks. Ask them and they'll tell you the same thing. Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Budget, etc. all will not allow you to tow anything with their rental vehicles. I read online about people renting trucks and putting on their own tow hitch to tow with and got away with it. The problem is if you get into an accident while towing your boat with a rental you will get into some deep sh*t because you were in direct violation of their rental policy.

The only solution I found was Enterprise commercial truck division. They will rent you trucks that you can tow with but you have to provide your own tow hitch for liability reasons. The catch is you have to rent the truck under a business, and your business needs a commercial auto policy to cover it. Enterprise truck division requires a copy of your commercial auto policy as proof too. For me this wasn't a problem since I own a business and placed a commercial auto policy in force just long enough to cover my trip to FL to pick up my boat.

monkey_butt 05-04-2012 8:33 AM

pretty much every rental company has the policy that you're not allowed to tow and if you do and something happens you're OOL for sure.

However there's a cheaper option and it worked for me pretty well: Go check out the boat etc. and seal the deal. At the same time - put a listing on uship.com and see what quotes you're going to get. I got my first boat from Butte, MN to Saint Paul, MN for $750 and had I tried doing this myself I had spent more on fuel both ways than paying someone with the right vehicle. The boat was here within 30 hours ...

That's likely the cheapest and safest solution and saves you a literally a boat load of time too.

ReSession 05-04-2012 8:42 AM

Or, find someone on the West Coast that needs a truck driven back to the East Coast...offer to do the drive for free as long as you can tow your new boat. It's a long shot but there's always people on the West Coast moving East trying to figure out if they should just sell their truck or drive it...check Craigslist/other transportation sites?

wakeboardin 05-04-2012 8:51 AM

I know in the past I rented a motor home that I towed some quads with, I don't recall the costs since it was some time back. I just called El Monte Rentals and they really don't do one way rentals but Cruise America stated they did when I called them the smallest RV @19' was $99/day plus mileage but you can buy a mileage block up front. They did state that they did one way with towing but there was a limit to the weight don't recall but I know they should handle it if they pulled my four quads on a trailer and a bunch of wood to burn as well.
At least you'll have a place to sleep and you can use the fridge and maybe take someone with you to help drive. Hope that helps and good luck,

jwmustangin 05-04-2012 11:24 AM


Sounds like we are getting somewhere now. Here's the kicker though......

It's a one-way trip.

I called Enterprise and...
Enterprise commercial will not do one-way trips.

Haven't checked into the RV option....

jwmustangin 05-04-2012 11:36 AM

Just called Cruise America....

2500 lb towing capacity.
$125 a night - 7 night minimum = $875..... I would only need it for 4 nights!
32 cents a mile = $800 dollars
Fuel (gas) = $1000
total = $2675

Flying out and back home and then having it shipped would be the better way to go in this case....

Anymore ideas?

JohnP 05-04-2012 11:49 AM

you should be able to use u-ship for around $1500

jperkinsttu 05-04-2012 1:17 PM

Enterprise has a company they either own or partner with that rents trucks and vans called Capps. See if there is one in that area. They have everything from half tons and up. They specialize in towing rentals.

ttduncan 05-04-2012 1:26 PM

try Barco truck rental
Usually a dodge 2500. rental is about $1000/month, don't know short term rental.

jwmustangin 05-04-2012 1:26 PM

I put an ad up on u-ship going from Norco Ca to Lynchburg Va and the cheapest bid was $2300.

timmyb 05-04-2012 1:36 PM

What about having your truck shipped to CA and then driving it back home? My Aunt owns an auto shipping business if you want a quote: http://www.advanceautotransports.com/

jwmustangin 05-04-2012 1:38 PM

Capps doesn't do one-way.

Barco only does corporate/business rental and it's $875 a month with a 3 month minimum...


There is a lot of good information coming out of this thread for future boat buyers.

Come on folks....dig deeper!

timmyb 05-04-2012 1:47 PM

Maybe the WW members can pull together and tow you from one state to the next until you are home! :)

jwmustangin 05-04-2012 3:38 PM


jwmustangin 05-05-2012 12:51 PM


sppeders 05-05-2012 2:06 PM

Rent a u-haul F-150, buy a $200 Reciever, $50 wiring harness, install it, then take it off when you get back home. On my truck everything was pre drilled for a easy bolt on install.

ixfe 05-05-2012 3:07 PM

Frankly, I can't imagine a cross country trip to get a used boat. The expense, the time, the damage to the trailer, and the risk of flying that far only to decide it's not the boat for you... all that are just not worth it.

If I were you I'd either become less picky, more patient, or suck it up and buy new (where you can be both picky and impatient).

To your original question, I rented a minivan for a one-way cross country trip last summer. It was $1000, and that was a VERY good deal. Most agencies wanted > $2,000. If it had been a truck or a Tahoe it would have been CRAZY expensive.

I also rented a Penske truck for a one-way move of 1,000 miles. It was $2,500, and that was 8 years ago and less than 1/2 the distance you are talking about.

See my point...? There is just no way to do it cheaply. If you're set on used then plan on shipping it and saving yourself the time, hassle, and trailer damage.

espritv8 05-06-2012 9:06 AM

Dont' know if you tried USHIP.COM.

I found a guy who was coming back eastbound with no load after delivering a boat in california.

He charged me 1700 from Arizona to Upstate NY. That's 2500 miles!

neverwinter 05-09-2012 10:26 AM

i also used uship after towing an enzo with an F150 across half the country.

uship was the way to go!

TNX45 05-13-2012 11:59 AM

Not sure if you have triangle rental cars there, but they DO allow towing. Not sure about 1 way?

dougr 05-13-2012 1:49 PM

What price point are you trying to get to on the boat. What yr etc etc. I have a great dealer on pa that has Enzos and avys. Maybe we can help you find the boat you are looking for closer to home.

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