The Evolution of U-Haul Trailers

Jan 7, 2015

U-Haul trailers have come a long way from the first trailers that rolled into service in 1945. Those very first trailers used old automobile rear ends for undercarriages. Within a couple years, however, U-Haul was designing and building trailers.

Today, U-Haul has applied the know-how it has acquired over the last 70 years to build the most state-of-the-art, durable trailers in the do-it-yourself moving industry. Here’s a look at U-Haul trailers and how they’ve evolved over the years.

1946 U-Haul Trailer $2 day

Some of the very first U-Haul trailers had wooden sides, emblazoned with “$2.00 PER DAY.” In 1946, the first one-way trailer rental went to Seattle. By 1948, U-Haul had a fleet of about 200 trailers and was renting them one-way throughout the U.S.

 

 

Tarp Top Trailer

In 1949, U-Haul introduced tarp-top trailers, which were the forerunners of today’s van-type trailers.

 

 

RV Trailer in 1970s

U-Haul started producing dual-axle trailers in 1959, and the first 6’ x 12’ trailers rolled off the assembly lines in 1969. At this point, U-Haul offered 19 different trailer sizes and models—the widest selection in the industry!

 

 

SUV Towing AV

In the 1990s, U-Haul modernized its trailer fleet, including the use of fiberglass reinforced plywood (FRP) on the sides. Trailer production ramped up dramatically to meet growing demand. By 2004, all of the U-Haul one-way trailer models had been modernized.

 

 

Ramp Trailer

Many of the early U-Haul open trailers were cut-down versions of van trailers. In 2000, U-Haul started producing galvanized open trailers. In 2002, U-Haul unveiled a 5’ x 9’ galvanized ramp trailer for one-way rentals—a U-Haul exclusive! And in 2009, production began on ramp trailers that included a motorcycle chock to hold motorcycles—another U-Haul exclusive!

 

 

New AV Trailer

In 2010, U-Haul added swing doors to its popular 5’ x 8’ cargo trailer. Other new features included a lower profile for better fuel economy, more D-rings for added tie-down locations and more water resistance.

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