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If you are a Ford Explorer owner who may need to infrequently tow small loads, here's a Public Service Announcement that may be of interest. Apparently, U-Haul, which we'd guess is the first name that pops in people's minds when the subject of a rental trailer comes up, will not loan trailers out if the lender plans on hooking it up to a Ford Explorer, regardless of the vehicle's tow rating.

According to a spokesperson for U-Haul that spoke to Consumer Reports, it's company policy to deny trailer rentals to Explorer owners. Why? Lawyers. Says Joanne Fried, director of media and corporate relations, "Every time we go to hire an attorney to defend a lawsuit, as soon as we say 'Ford Explorer,' they charge us more money."

The issue can be traced all the way back to the Firestone tire debacle that tarnished the Explorer's good name in the late 1990s. Though the original lawsuit has long since been settled and, more importantly, the current Explorer shares absolutely nothing but its moniker with the old truck-based model cited in the lawsuit, the name 'Explorer' is still enough to incite bouts of panic, sleepless nights and a bucket full of dollar signs to U-Haul's legal team.

The corporate edict also applies to the Jeep Wrangler, unless the owner agrees only to tow the U-Haul trailer only when a hardtop is in place on the iconic off-roader. Seems more than a little arbitrary and ignorant to us, but we're not the ones with law degrees, so what do we know?


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  • 73 Comments
      longducdong
      • 3 Years Ago
      That is one of the dumbest things I have ever had the displeasure of reading. I dont know who deserves a harder kick the balls... lawyers or U-Haul.
        Mike K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        Lawyers, always the lawyers.
        tantareanujellob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        Ford explorer owners.
          Mike K
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tantareanujellob
          You're cool... wish I could be like you and make dumb comments with no real backing.
        simianspeedster
        • 3 Years Ago
        @longducdong
        Kick the juries who make bad decisions. U-Haul and its lawyers are just protecting themselves from uncontrollable stupidity.
      Redline
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yay for stupidity! Hand in hand with Law.
      mbmorrow4
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Explorer that was subject to the recall was 2 generations ago. The 2002-present Explorers have nothing in common That's like refusing to rent trailers to chevrolet owners because Corvairs had rollover issues with the '60-'63 models.
      rsholland
      • 3 Years Ago
      U-Haul also has a ridiculous 45 mph speed limit on their trailers.
        Lemon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rsholland
        With the correct application of electrical tape that speed limit can easily be changed to 145 mph...
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        simianspeedster
        • 3 Years Ago
        More like dumbass juries. The lawyers have nothing against Explorers but stupid people make for stupid juries.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Freakin' lawyers!
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      U-Haul should have plenty of legal issues. I'm thinking of the past TV exposes' about dilapidated box trucks with bald tires, bad brakes, etc. In one case, someone was driving one of their trucks on the highway (in AZ, IIRC) when they came upon stopped traffic. They tried to stop, but the brakes failed, causing them to rear-end a string of vehicles and kill someone. I'd rent from Ryder, Budget, etc., before I'd rent one of U-Haul's hoopties.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        [blocked]
        nardvark
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        I've had generally good luck with Penske and Budget.
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      U-Haul consistently has the worst, most poorly maintained equipment anyway, so don't bother with them. My local U-Haul has Ford F series box trucks from the late 70's / early 80's with faded paint, 1' of slack in the steering and exhaust leaks.
        tom von ct
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        U Haul is the worst compnay to rent from period, Their $20 day rent was only good for about 6 hours and they won't rent trailers locally anymore. I stopped using them 3 yrs ago and now get better usable trucks from budget.
      foxtrot685
      • 3 Years Ago
      this is so stupid in the fact that they dont have any real evidence to deny service other than a name. if they are that scared to rent out the trailers to explorer owners, just dont rent to that generation of explorers that were affected by the firestone mess. thats all. not that it would right any wrongs associated with this non-sense, but at least it would be a little more fair. furthermore, id rather tow with the truck based explorer models of the past than with the car based current model. not saying its not capable, just a personal preference.
      PhilipJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      How does UHaul not have its own lawyers?
      W
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had a similar issue with my new 1999 EB Explorer. At 7 months old I drove from Texas to California to pick up a car that I had been storing for several years. The dealer in California rented me the car hauler without question and I loaded the car and pulled it over 5,500 pounds across the desert and mountains back to Texas (about 2,000 miles) getting no less than 13 mpg with the 5.0 L, V8 engine...and no problems. About a year later I tried to rent another car hauler to move the car the final 200 miles to my home, but U-Haul said no. I borrowed a Suburban. I am still driving the '99 Explorer today (2012) with nearly 213,000 miles and going strong. U-Haul needs to go away.
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anything to arbitrarily punish SUV owners for being stupid is a good thing.
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