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Old 04-21-2013, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,634,569 times
Reputation: 2977

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Hi all,

We'll be moving from MA to CA (3000 miles) in a month or so. We made a similar move 5 years ago. Then, we sold everything that wouldn't fit in our (tiny car) and drove it over. This time we're moving a home business with some specialized equipment and some boxes of stock and raw materials with us, and it's just not going to fit in that same tiny car this time. Furthermore, we're just not willing to start over from scratch again, this time. We'll be getting rid of all the ugly cheap furniture, but keeping a few nice or essential pieces and maybe a sentimental item from family who have passed on. We don't really care to have the pressure of sleeping on the floor on an air mattress while we shop for a bed, again. Even though our current crummy furniture is barely worth the cost of shipping, the cost of buying replacements far outstrips the cost of shipping.

Looking (generally) at prices, it seems we have two options:

1. Rent a 14' truck (probably U-haul) and tow the car. ~$1400 + gas + hotels
2. Pack a shipping crate (or two) and drive ourselves. ~$1400-2000 (depending on how many crates) + 1/2 gas + hotels.


Truck + Tow: ~$1400
+ Can carry more stuff for less. (May save $600 over a second shipping crate)
+ We control our stuff the entire time.
+ Saves 3K miles on the towed car.
+ Saves 100-200 on a month of storage.

Crate + Drive: ~$1400-2000
+ Vehicle is more reliable, takes less gas, and is faster/easier to drive. (Probably saves $400 in gas and possibly a night in a motel)
+ No limit on the time for a side-trip[s] to visit family or see the sights on the way.


I'd rather crate & drive, but the numbers seem to support truck & tow, especially if we can't keep it to a single crate. Uhaul seems like the cheapest option for both. Does anyone have any suggestions to cut costs further or re-balance the equation in favor of crate & drive? Cheaper rental truck companies, cheaper U-pack crate shipping companies?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Asheville
1,162 posts, read 3,543,365 times
Reputation: 1197
You can rent a trailer from U-Haul that is NOT very expensive, particularly if you drive straight thru, since they charge by the day. Hook it to the back of your car, and if you don't have a tow-thing, ask the U-Haul people where in town can you get it done. You can invite family to visit in Calif (they'll love that), and you can later "vacation" at some spots you wanted to stop. In this manner, you spend VERY little, you get there in lightning-fast speed, switching driving of course, and avoid hilly places to make the tow work better. I've never done it, but I HAVE rented a whole truck, nonstop 300 miles, and a friend drove the truck as a complete favor, and I drove my car. But those trucks, they CAN be unreliable. Whereas towing something that will hold the bits that you have will work, just look around one of those places or online, and see what will perhaps work. As for beds, I mean, really, just go to Sears the day you get there, after you've unloaded your stuff, and buy some mattresses, put them in the tow, drop them off, and then drop off the U-haul thing, pay up. Keep us updated. And I'm just giving the "Streamline Method," to save lots of money and time and heartache.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:48 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,407 posts, read 57,013,325 times
Reputation: 28546
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
1. Rent a 14' truck (probably U-haul) and tow the car. ~$1400 + gas + hotels
2. Pack a shipping crate (or two) and drive ourselves. ~$1400-2000 + 1/2 gas + hotels.
I'd rather crate & drive, but...
but nothing.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,634,569 times
Reputation: 2977
Thanks for the suggestion, Gigi. I had thought about renting a trailer, but I have a small manual-transmission compact. On car forums, it's an oft-repeated theme that towing anything sizeable any significant distance with my type of car will damage the vehicle.

It's a good point that rental trucks can be unreliable. A breakdown that eats up a few days of travel would certainly make it worth the extra expense of crate & drive.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:56 AM
 
345 posts, read 612,835 times
Reputation: 286
Talk with U-haul, sometimes the have people drive trucks to other locations they need more trucks at. They might need some trucks where you are going and you could possibly work out a deal. I know people who have done it, now the trucks are usually empty but it never hurts to ask. The worst they could do is say no.

Don't forget, a lot of those trucks have governers (speed limiters) on them. You might save a bit on fuel but make sure to add some time to your trip.

The other cheap way; find friends with trucks that want a vacation. Some pizza, beer, and a few days away from work, you might be amazed who signs up.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
10,100 posts, read 13,888,175 times
Reputation: 8600
Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Hi all,

We'll be moving from MA to CA (3000 miles) in a month or so. We made a similar move 5 years ago. Then, we sold everything that wouldn't fit in our (tiny car) and drove it over. This time we're moving a home business with some specialized equipment and some boxes of stock and raw materials with us, and it's just not going to fit in that same tiny car this time. Furthermore, we're just not willing to start over from scratch again, this time. We'll be getting rid of all the ugly cheap furniture, but keeping a few nice or essential pieces and maybe a sentimental item from family who have passed on. We don't really care to have the pressure of sleeping on the floor on an air mattress while we shop for a bed, again. Even though our current crummy furniture is barely worth the cost of shipping, the cost of buying replacements far outstrips the cost of shipping.

Looking (generally) at prices, it seems we have two options:

1. Rent a 14' truck (probably U-haul) and tow the car. ~$1400 + gas + hotels
2. Pack a shipping crate (or two) and drive ourselves. ~$1400-2000 (depending on how many crates) + 1/2 gas + hotels.


Truck + Tow: ~$1400
+ Can carry more stuff for less. (May save $600 over a second shipping crate)
+ We control our stuff the entire time.
+ Saves 3K miles on the towed car.
+ Saves 100-200 on a month of storage.

Crate + Drive: ~$1400-2000
+ Vehicle is more reliable, takes less gas, and is faster/easier to drive. (Probably saves $400 in gas and possibly a night in a motel)
+ No limit on the time for a side-trip[s] to visit family or see the sights on the way.


I'd rather crate & drive, but the numbers seem to support truck & tow, especially if we can't keep it to a single crate. Uhaul seems like the cheapest option for both. Does anyone have any suggestions to cut costs further or re-balance the equation in favor of crate & drive? Cheaper rental truck companies, cheaper U-pack crate shipping companies?

Thanks in advance!

If you're thinking of truck and tow, that would be the way to go. I would not hesitate to use Penske, they have the best reputation as far as I know and can also provide you with a few men to help pack it (for a fee of course). You don't want to do "cheapest", what if the truck breaks down, etc. You've got some diverse territory to travel through and you want to be safe. Spend a few extra dollars and have more peace of mind.

Drive the truck and trailer the car behind it, either on a dolly or on a small flat bed like people do with motor homes. That way you have everything with you. Hire some help to pack the truck and take as many belongings as you cannot replace. Replacing furnishings is very expensive, use what you have and replace a little at a time after you get there. You will have many other expenses, so don't make furnishings the first priority. (Make sure that the truck is clean. Either have them spray it for bugs or you can do it yourself using Home Defense you an buy at Lowe's etc. Buy the wardrobe boxes from Penske and hang all your clothes in them, very easy to load and unpack. Very important when putting your goods in a used truck. )

(Just say no to U-Haul. Worst equipment, worst rates.)
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:13 AM
 
7,282 posts, read 8,287,417 times
Reputation: 11396
If you're looking for the cheapest way, you already know what that is. It doesn't take a forum to help one figure out what is cheapest. Add up the numbers, look for the lowest one.

Then there is the best way to do something...
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
4,699 posts, read 7,327,254 times
Reputation: 6279
Did you get a quote from ABF's U-Pack Trailer service ? They send out a 28' trailer, you use as much as needed, they bill by the foot used (after a minimum charge).

U-Pack Moving Trailers
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,634,569 times
Reputation: 2977
Thanks to everyone who has replied, and for the advice about bugs. I didn't even think of that. Some of our stuff sat in a storage unit (just a shed out in the country) for 6 months, so it's probably already infested. Haven't seen any critters, though, so maybe not.

Other suggestions for more reliable truck&tow or cheaper crate&drive companies are welcome.

The welfare of our goods is pretty low on the priority list. So long as they don't get soaked or burned, most of our stuff is either durable, or so cheap we don't care. The furniture just has to arrive in semi-functional condition. It's so scratched and dinghed, what are a few more rips or dents? We don't have any fragile heirlooms or expensive electronics.

Why do some suggest getting help loading the truck? We've packed ourselves for cross-town moves, but never for long-distance hauls (except by cramming the car totally full of what we couldn't sell). Is there any special trick to securing a load for long-distance travel, that's not obvious?
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:27 PM
 
345 posts, read 612,835 times
Reputation: 286
Other crate companies to check; 1-800-packrat & PODS. Not sure if they're cheaper. As far as the relialibity of U-haul, if it breaks they send someone to fix it or get you. Worst case scenario though, they have to send a new truck and you have to transfer everything. I had one die on me years ago, waited 2 hours for local mechanic to come but thankfully he was able to fix it.
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