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Flat-bedding a Roadster cross-country

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by JohnnyLounge21, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. JohnnyLounge21

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
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    Location:
    San Diego, CA, United States
    I'm relocating from Chicago to San Diego in exactly 2 weeks. I'm getting the smallest U-Haul and putting a flatbed trailer behind it and bringing #1190. I've never towed anything in my life.

    Any tips, tricks, warnings, thoughts and/or guidance?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    The weather in San Diego is a lot more Roadster friendly year-round than in Chicago...
     
  3. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    1] Charge the roadster fully, so you don't have to worry about it.
    2] Don't even try to reverse.
    3] Stop after an hour or so, and make sure everything is still strapped down tight.
    4] Remember to change the 'location' in your TMC profile :)

    Oh, and try to have fun (or at least much fun as a winter roadtrip can be).
     
  4. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    This is a bad idea IMHO. There will be a lot of road grit and small stones kicked up onto your Roadster by the U-Haul. It would probably work OK if you could apply some of that sticky white plastic that new car manufacturers put on the front of cars when they are shipped on car carriers. That's the only way I would do it. Make sure the plastic film is stuck tight to the paint. Loose plastic or a regular car cover will ruin the paint.
     
  5. EVsport

    EVsport Member

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    Location:
    Northern VA
    I'm retired military and have relocated my family 8 times, all self-moves. U-Haul prices are negotiable don't go with the first quote given, call the local dealer direct. Use one foot 2x4's under the ramps to reduce the angle, might save your front lip. Poor mans paint protector is "cellophane" use it on the front of your car where the road grime and rock chips are most expected. Don't use a car cover! It will leave rub marks on the paint. Most U-Haul trailers wheel fenders fold out of the way to facilitate getting in and out. I second the checking of the straps.
    Stay away from ICE and SNOW! Go south as fast and most direct as possible. Smile a lot, moving is full of new experiences and is a good source for education.
     
  6. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I'll second using some wood in front of the ramps when loading and unloading else the nose will scrape. I towed my 3rd gen RX-7 from Oklahoma to NorCal on a U-Haul flat bed and it worked just fine. No stone damage noted. Also I filled the car up w/ all my hanging clothes - saved me a few boxes :)

    Note that I had to lie to U-Haul about the kind of car. They have a database of "low-clearance" vehicles and they won't rent you a trailer if you have a low-clearance car. IIRC I told them I had a Camry ;) You can check on-line before you talk to a person so you don't get yourself in trouble.
     
  7. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    As for wrapping the car...

    How about - http://www.buyroadwrap.com/default.aspx That seems to be specifically designed for that purpose... (if you feel that SaranWrap would not be an alternative.)

    Additionally, have the car cleaned up detailed when it gets to San Diego.
     
  8. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I did this myself on a u haul trailer when I purchased my Roadster over 600 miles away. Not aware of any I'll effects from the trip. I second the need to stop after about 30-60 to check things as straps can come lose.
     
  9. Tesla 940

    Tesla 940 Member

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    Long Beach, CA & Taos, NM
    Important things to remember - 1. Your stopping distance will be SIGNIFICANTLY longer so plan ahead and leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. 2. Your acceleration will be significantly slower so be careful when merging. 3. Make sure the vehicle weight is properly distributed front to back. Too much weight in the back will make the trailer dangerously unstable. 4. Your gas mileage will be significantly worse (my 17mpg truck gets 13 when towing). 5. Watch the speed limits - some states have lower speed limits when towing (ie. California but not New Mexico and Arizona). 6. Hopefully your towing vehicle has the capacity to tow.

    Other than that - nothing to worry about!
     
  10. Roadrunner13

    Roadrunner13 Member

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    Location:
    Montreal
    Just did the exact same thing from Florida to Montreal...
    Really not Roadster weather-like at this time of the year over here but I couldn't restrain myself and will surely enjoy driving it next summer! :biggrin:

    A couple of important lessons learned:
    • Compare your price with Penske truck & trailer. They offer the same one-way rental as UHaul and their equipment was in pristine conditions... really, really clean!
    • I use 2x8 rather than 2x4 to load up the car onto the trailer, not significant, but more margin of error to align and you want someone in front to help guide you unto the rails.
    • MOST IMPORTANT: Watch out for the front metal plates that are meant to stop the car from going over the front of the trailer when you brake hard. They are way too high and your roadster front fender won't clear them (UHaul or Penske have the same, I actually used both). Your front tires are suppose to come and stop against them. To circumvent that, you have a choice of two solutions. On my long haul with the Penske trailer, I used a wrench and a key and unbolted them. If the equipement is in good shape and not too rusted, you may succeed. The second solution, is to use more 2x8 (making sure they are cut the exact right length) and put those underneath your front wheels in the trailer gutter at the total front of the trailer.
    • DISCLAIMER: BOTH OF THOSE SOLUTION are putting you at risk of seeing the roadster fly over the trailer's front if you brake too hard!!!
    • So KEEP YOUR DISTANCES throughout the trip and drive SLOW!!! :smile:
    • To minimize this risk, you need to try and attach the rear wheels with something to the back of the trailer without scratching your mags or anything else. I used a cable lock with rubber protection around the mag wheel and tires and used the trailers chain (there are two of them, one in back, one in front, in theory 'optional') to loop into that cable against the exterior side the tire so no metal was in the contact with the mag. Really don't know if this would have been strong enough to keep the roadster from going airbone in an emergency scenario ...but I figured every little thing will help!

    If you wish to see pictures of my setup, check this link on the forum:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/20555-2010-Tesla-Roadster-for-sale-8k-miles-SOLD
    The second pictures shows you the front of the trailer pretty close and you'll see why if you go the 2x8 way, it needs to be the perfect size to fit between the front of the trailer and the metal bar that holds the straps behind the front tire.

    Enjoy your trip and you'll most certainly have much better weather in San Diego than Chicago or here in Montreal!!!
     
  11. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    Thanks! Good Canadian info. Didn't mean to digress.

    As for flatbed towing. Check 20-30 minutes into the tow, stop, and check/tighten down your straps. You'll be paranoid the first hour of towing, its natural. But after a few spot checks you'll fall into place. As for stones getting kicked up. Yes that can happen and if you can prevent it with some film covering do it. You could also make a cardboard shield in front. Many race trailers have a V protector made of canvas in the front to filter the stones. Truth is this can spring up anywhere! Tar and gravel for example! I had my Roadster chipped to death only 2 months after owning it. CalTrans tar'd the road and I got slammed with little rocks chipping away at my paint. I don't believe in paint armor, distorts the paint, and the chips are part of that daily driving life. I do touch ups at the end of the summer so its not a big deal.

    If you tape a piece of cardboard to the nose that'll filter the majority of it.

    When you get the trailer, practice in a parking lot with backing it up, making turns. Take the trailer out and observe how it tows and corners. Learn the trailer first. Then load your Roadster, ensure you have plenty of clearance, then tie it down. A member on this forum has secured the roadster also by the wheels. I know the u-Haul locks the front wheels down with the ratchet webbing. Now you'll need to secure the rear. Buy tie downs that are heavy duty, then secure the rear of the car from the wheels to keep it moving forward.
     
  12. jbadger

    jbadger Roadster #506

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    Location:
    San Jose, California, United States
    I've had mine flat bedded twice. Here are some photos of the wheel tie downs.

    IMG_0651.JPG IMG_0652.JPG IMG_0653.JPG
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    If you tie it down by the wheels, be very careful that the straps don't touch the mud flaps. They are expensive to replace.



    Also just moved a bunch of posts to Importing a Roadster into Canada
     
  14. asgard

    asgard Member

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    Here's a pic of mine showing a close up of the wheel ties. This is the safest method that ensures the wheels don't get scratched up.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalkHD1387167853.964314.jpg
     
  15. JohnnyLounge21

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Diego, CA, United States
    Guys - I can't stress how much I appreciate all these thoughts, tips and tricks. I will take every single one of these suggestions to heart. I plan on heading South ASAP and driving West so as to mitigate as much salt/sand as I can. The thoughts on negotiating the U-Haul rates - what a great idea! Going to Penske and U-Haul both to see what they have to offer. I'll stop after that first hour (my GF goes the bathroom constantly anyway) and see how we're looking. Our first day from Chicago to St. Louis will be toughest! Great tips from everyone.

    I can't wait to check out the other forums you guys posted too and look at your pictures and experiences.

    Gotta love the roadster community!
     
  16. JohnnyLounge21

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Diego, CA, United States
    Update:

    I'm in Amarillo, TX and things have been going great! Perfect weather (since getting south of St. Louis) has really helped. I'll post pics when I'm done with the trip and have a little time. Some other tips for those that may find this thread when towing a Roadster long distance:

    - DEFINITELY negotiate rates! With the guidance from this forum, I saved $500!
    - Befriend the folks at U-Haul and get them excited about seeing/helping you with your Roadster. My folks from U-Haul were fantastic and I couldn't have loaded it without them (more details later)
    - You will be nervous for an hour or more when you get started (as you guys said)! Then check your straps - tighten. Then cruise! I've been making great time and feel great overall
    - Enjoy your time on the road! I know so many have said that already on this forum - and thanks for that!

    Pictures and more comments when we arrive in San Diego. Spending 2 nights in Phoenix after tomorrow's overnight in Albuquerque.
     
  17. JohnnyLounge21

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Finally had a chance to circle back on this with you guys. It was a fantastic road trip and #1190 is very happy in her new home. The roof stays in the trunk (I actually use the roof bag so it stays clean b/c I know I won't need it very often). And we had a very successful relocation from Chicago to San Diego. To anyone thinking about moving your roadster on your own - I'd highly recommend it. Use the tips that our compadres said above and be cautiously optimistic as you motor along your way.

    Enclosed are some pictures of our adventure!

    Pulling up to the U-Haul trailer with an amazing crew that helped us SO MUCH. Notice this thing called snow that we won't be seeing again any time soon! We actually broke both of these particle board slabs when we pulled the car up - but we got it up!
    01.JPG
    Our H-Haul helper tying #1190 down - notice how tight he did it on the front. So much help these guys were!
    02.JPG
    Safety chain that he wrapped around the axle - I knew that this was not optimal, but there was little other choice unless we wanted it dangling.
    03.JPG
    Filling up late night outside St. Louis, Missouri - I took these pics nightly, just liked the irony of it all!
    05.JPG
    Worlds Largest Gift shop somewhere in Middle America, Oklahoma with #1190 being a bit of an attraction in and of itself
    07.JPG
    Taking a spot with the big rigs in Amarillo, Texas outside of a true steak house ranch joint (featured on Man vs Food)
    08.JPG
    Clines Corner in the middle of the Texas/New Mexico Desert
    11.JPG
    Finishing a day of driving in Albuquerque, New Mexico
    12.JPG
    Stopping for lunch with my girlfriend and our little pooch somewhere in West New Mexico
    13.JPG
    Finally arriving in El Centro, California to get #1190 off the back of the truck (120 miles to go to get to SD). Look at this awesome slope that we could use to unload the Roadster. It was almost flat by the time we pulled it off. Again, U-Haul staff was awesome here. #1190 loved the remainder of the drive from El Centro to SD. My GF did the drive with the top down and our pooch hung with her. I followed in a much more nimble U-Haul.
    17.JPG
    GF and pooch getting ready to head out
    18.JPG
    Charging at my dad's Nissan Leaf charging station in his condo's parking garage downtown San Diego using The Can J1772 adapter (a must buy for any Roadster owner).
    19.JPG
    All in all - everything ended great! Hope this helps anyone thinking about hauling a Roadster themselves.
     
  18. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Excellent! Glad to hear everything worked out and thanks for the pics!
     
  19. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Great shots and welcome to California... Where Roadsters roam free of weather more often than not!
     
  20. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Don't rub it in.:cursing:
     

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