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Old 12-26-2015, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
282 posts, read 169,489 times
Reputation: 351

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So I'm moving from California to Iowa this summer. Nearly 2000 mile trip.

My current plan is to take my car, pack it up with everything I can, and go. No trailer. No renting a moving van. Just what I have with me.

Why I think this'll work? My car is in good mechanical order, so not an issue there. I'm a student with moderately crappy furniture that I plan on selling when I move. It's cheap stuff and not worth hauling. I have a cat, so that complicates any route I take. And the amount of possessions I care about bringing are low (clothes, some electronics like my computer and game system, and other things I can just pack and have shipped later by a friend I can leave it with like books).

I was going to fly, but decided I'd do better to bring my car with me instead of selling it and getting a used one where I go. Figure I know the quirks of my car, but concerned if California emissions regulations means I'll have lower gas mileage than a car from Iowa. Or are there perks there? I also figure I have just a little too much stuff to comfortably fly with. And the price difference is perhaps negligible at best, even though it'll save me a day or two.

Train seems a nice follow up, but again I want to bring my car with me and don't know if I get the car on a train. Is that something that's offered?

I can't think of any other viable means of moving. So any suggestions? I'm happy with my plans, but since I've got several months to consider it, I'd love to find out there's an easier and cheaper way to handle this.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:27 PM
 
789 posts, read 1,673,775 times
Reputation: 1059
If you're thinking of having anything shipped, consider contacting UPS/FedEx and getting the cost of doing a freight shipment of a pallet. You can likely ship everything you want to bring and just keep your electronics and some clothes in your car. Be careful with loading up your car and leaving valuables in it parked overnight. I know so many people that have had their cars broken into during a long-distance move where it was obvious that they had packed their worldly possessions into a car left parked overnight at a motel or truck stop.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:07 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,190 posts, read 8,314,583 times
Reputation: 7127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Setchel View Post
So I'm moving from California to Iowa this summer. Nearly 2000 mile trip.

My current plan is to take my car, pack it up with everything I can, and go. No trailer. No renting a moving van. Just what I have with me.

Why I think this'll work? My car is in good mechanical order, so not an issue there. I'm a student with moderately crappy furniture that I plan on selling when I move. It's cheap stuff and not worth hauling. I have a cat, so that complicates any route I take. (What complications ?)And the amount of possessions I care about bringing are low (clothes, some electronics like my computer and game system, and other things I can just pack and have shipped later by a friend I can leave it with like books).

I was going to fly, but decided I'd do better to bring my car with me instead of selling it and getting a used one where I go. Figure I know the quirks of my car, but concerned if California emissions regulations means I'll have lower gas mileage (You won't notice any difference, all cars in the US are now built to the same emission standard) than a car from Iowa. Or are there perks there? I also figure I have just a little too much stuff to comfortably fly with. And the price difference is perhaps negligible at best, even though it'll save me a day or two.

Train seems a nice follow up, but again I want to bring my car with me and don't know if I get the car on a train. Is that something that's offered? (Not easily or cheaply. You could have it shipped by a car hauler, but would be an added expense to flying there)

I can't think of any other viable means of moving. So any suggestions? I'm happy with my plans, but since I've got several months to consider it, I'd love to find out there's an easier and cheaper way to handle this.
Given what you've said, driving with some possessions, and having a friend ship some stuff later by UPS or FedEx Ground appears to be a good plan, especially if you have time to make the drive.

As said, just don't make it obvious that you have valuables in the car when parked overnight.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,047 posts, read 5,959,698 times
Reputation: 9419
What you're planning is probably your cheapest alternative.

I moved from Ohio to Iowa with a cat and car full of stuff. My tips (skip if you already know this stuff):

- Know your route and where gas stations are located

It's possible to "zone" a bit and suddenly find you're low on gas. Avoid that.

- Keep some blankets out - cover the load

I first covered stuff with a tarp and then two crappy quits (ripped). I tried to make it look like I was hauling junk to the dump.

- Keep the load *below* the windows

This is both for safety and to keep the highway patrol from bothering you

- Map out your cat-friendly hotels ahead of time, with some alternatives if anything happens

Have in mind a general driving schedule.

- Be mindful of where and why you are stopping

At the end of the day, I dropped the cat off and got food for the next day and ice for my cooler so that I would stop at a Truck Stop or big parking lot. I stayed with the car when the cat was there, aside from very brief bathroom breaks.

At the hotel, I got in early enough to back in, in front of my door. I'd rather start trips at 5 am then drive until 11 or midnight, but that's me.

There's also some threads in the Cat section PETS on this forum with more tips about traveling with a cat if you need them.

Good luck and welcome to Iowa!
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
22,052 posts, read 10,266,157 times
Reputation: 20101
My impression was that Amtrak didn't allow pets, but you'd need to check.

Fed Ex and probably some of the other shippers have programs where you can ship boxes and have them held at the local Fed Ex location a reasonable period of time.
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Old 12-27-2015, 05:48 PM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
1,725 posts, read 3,123,925 times
Reputation: 2928
Quote:
Originally Posted by Setchel View Post
So I'm moving from California to Iowa this summer. Nearly 2000 mile trip.

My current plan is to take my car, pack it up with everything I can, and go. No trailer. No renting a moving van. Just what I have with me.
I like your plan. If it was me, I'd do the same.

It will be a long drive. I drove from San Diego to Central Texas 30 years ago, and I was just amazed at how tremendously big our country is.
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