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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,
Let me tell you first. I'm a total noob with towing, and I need to tow a trailer for the first time. I feel quite embarrassed to ask these questions but I have to now. LOL.
I reserved a 4 x 8 trailer from U haul. I kept declining all the accessories which kept popping up. But now I realize that I don't have anything to attach the trailer to and I'm worried that when I go there to pick it up, I'll be stuck. My Pacifica came with the factory hitch, and that's all about it. I have no other accessories at all.
Do any of the U haul trailers already come with the stuff or I have to purchase it before hand? Will the U haul centers have all the required hardware onsite at all locations?
I guess I need a ball, lighting, and mirrors, right.....? Anything else. / any advise would be helpful.
Thanks a lot guys.
 

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Model Year:
2018
Gas / Hybrid:
gas
Trim:
Touring L Plus
A ball should be available at most auto parts stores. Just be sure you get the right size. U-Haul will tell you what size you need. Lighting would have to be installed before you get there. It is not something that just takes a couple of minutes. Mirrors you can get away with using the outside mirrors on the Pacifica. Just be aware of your surroundings, and use a spotter for backing up.

The items you are looking for will probably be available from U-Haul, but call them well in advance of the rental day to see if they have time to help with the items you need.
 
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U-Haul will likely have everything you will require. Even if the particular U-Haul pickup location is not one of their full stores, they can tell you whatever you need and you can run get it at just about any auto parts store. A 4 x 8 trailer will be easy to pull while moving forward, backing up will undoubtedly take a little trial and error. When you time your turns in traffic just don’t forget you are now a lot longer!
 

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Since you have the factory tow package, the only items you need are the ball mount and ball. The Pacifica factory tow package comes with both a 4-pin (flat shape) and 7-pin (round shape) connector to power the trailer lights. The 4-pin is likely what you will need for the U-haul trailer. The factory mirrors should work fine as the trailer will not be wider than the van.

The ball mount is the piece that slides into the vehicle's hitch receiver. You will also need the pin and clip that secures the ball mount to the receiver. These will likely be sold separately. The ball mounts come in different sizes and weight carrying ratings. The Pacifica factory hitch has a 2" receiver (size of the square opening) and the weight rating is Class 1. Using a higher class rated hitch is okay (e.g. Class 2 or Class 3).

The ball mounts also have different "drops" or "rises". This offsets the surface to which the ball mounts, either down or up, such that the trailer is level when attached to the tow vehicle.

The ball attaches to the ball mount. The balls come in different sizes (1-7/8", 2" and 2-5/16"). The trailer you are connecting will dictate the ball size. The threaded shank that attaches the ball to the ball mount comes in two different sizes (3/4" and 1"). The hole in the ball mount must match the ball shank size.

The nut that secures the ball to the ball mount requires a large wrench and significant force to tighten properly.

If you want to buy the needed items, you can find them at most auto parts stores. You may be able to find a "kit" that has the ball already mounted to the ball mount and comes with the pin and clip. Price will be around $35.

It may be easier to buy the correct ball and ball mount from U-haul. Just make sure the store you are using has the stuff on hand.

Loading the trailer properly is VERY important. You want at least 10% of the total trailer weight (trailer and cargo) pressing down on the trailer ball. Too little weight on the trailer ball will make the trailer unstable while towing resulting in trailer sway which can become uncontrollable. Best to load heavier items toward the front (ahead of the trailer axle) being mindful that the load on the trailer ball does not exceed 350 pounds or cause the rear of the van to sag too much. You also need to be mindful about how much weight you have loaded in the van.

Drive slower and be aware that stopping distances may be longer depending on trailer weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a lot guys. It looks like just going with U-haul and getting the stuff from them will save me a lot of hassle. I will be doing that prior to my pick up day. Also just want to be clear, the trailer should already come with the lights and wiring to attach to my car with the 4 pin. Right..?
Thanks again. 👍
 

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Thanks a lot guys. It looks like just going with U-haul and getting the stuff from them will save me a lot of hassle. I will be doing that prior to my pick up day. Also just want to be clear, the trailer should already come with the lights and wiring to attach to my car with the 4 pin. Right..?
Thanks again. 👍
Yes, trailer should have lights and associated wiring that plugs into the connector on your van.

Because this is new to you, make sure the rental guy goes through the hitching and un-hitching procedure with you. It is not complicated but does need to be done right for safety. Take pictures with your phone so you can easily recall what it looks like or make a video of it being done.
 
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