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I have a 2005 Chevy Cavalier, with a 4 cylinder engine. I am preparing to move across country, 2,000 miles or so. The car is in good shape. I am just wondering how safe it is to install a hitch and tow a 4x8 U-Haul trailer. The thing is, they tell me that it is safe at 1,100 pounds total. I want to be certain that my car will not be damaged if I do this. Please let me in on some expert advice. Thank you!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Sarah, Thank You for writing into AskPatty! Your concerns of towing a 4x8 trailer with your cavalier should be at easy as long as you do not over load your vehicle and trailer. More weight adds the need for more fuel and wear and tear on your vehicle. To be safe you may be able to visit your local trash dump where there are drive on scales. Subtract your vehicle weight (if not heavily loaded) from your total for an approximate trailer weight. Make sure your vehicle has acceptable tread on your tires, oil is changed, and your brakes are sound. Be careful on "riding your brakes" so you do not over heat them. You should be fine, if you are sensitive to these points. Hope this helps! A. J. Valle

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Yes you can tow a trailer behind your Cavalier. Look in your owners manual to find the total pounds you can tow. I highly recommend you go to a U-haul dealer or a Camper dealer that install hitches on a daily basis to get your hitch. There are 1 size hitches that fit nothing.... and a very specific hitch for the correct size trailer that was made for your yr. / make / model.

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Sarah, if you have not towed a car before please do not start on a long trip with too much weigh. The load must be balanced; the car handling will change drastically, your braking distance will be increased greatly and almost all rental places that will provide you with a trailer put a max speed on the trailer 45mph very slow for a long trip. You car could probably do it, it will make for a very nerve racking trip! The real answer will be gained from reading your owner’s manual and adding the weight of your car and trailer together to get and make sure you do not exceed that total. Be safe and drive slowly! Judy and the Curry's Team

Kerri Papajohn, Marketing Director at USA Sealants, Inc. It's safe. If you get close to the 1,000 pound limit then I would consider driving 55 mph to 60 mph. (If your car starts shaking at the latter then slow back down till it's smooth.) You don't want to risk your alignment getting out of whack. Also, get U-Haul's recommendation on a hitch that fits perfect which will help ride control. You could always buy insurance through U-Haul (I think $80-$100) to ease your mind.

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