Author Topic: Cross Country Move!  (Read 363 times)

philli14

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Cross Country Move!
« on: June 18, 2019, 08:07:30 AM »
Hi all,

Wondering if anyone has experience using moving vans for cross country moves. In August I will be moving from NorCal to DC/Northern VA area. There will be 4 of us making the drive, and the current plan is to rent a moving van (options I've looked into are UHaul, Penske and Budget), which 2 of the drivers will take turns driving, and the other 2 drivers will follow in a Corolla.

We are 95% sure a 10-12' van will be plenty for what we have, so we have been pricing out the trip.. and wow is it ever expensive!! $2000-2400 for the one-way trip, not including taxes and fees that I assume will also pop up.

Does anyone have any advice? Other companies I might not know of? Other options to get our stuff across the country in a cheaper/easier way

Last point, I noticed on UHaul that there is a U-Box option, where you pack your stuff into a U-Box and they do all the work for you. When I priced this out, it was a lot cheaper than driving a truck ($1300 before taxes, fees). If we could do this option, all 4 of us could be in the Corolla. Anyone have experience with this sort of a service?

Thank you all in advance for any insight/advice you might have!!

MoseyingAlong

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Cross Country Move!
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2019, 08:17:50 AM »
I used the ABF box for my last 2 moves.
It worked out great. One of the moves I didn't know where I was going to end up so having them hold it for a few days was a nice feature.
Both packing and unpacking were less rushed having it available for a couple days at each end of the move. It was more relaxed than trying to rush thru everything to minimize the time I had a truck.

It'll probably be my first choice if I make another long distance move.

HTH

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10606
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Cross Country Move!
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2019, 09:37:59 AM »
One-way rental vans/trailers are very expensive, and you have a very limited amount of time (e.g. 5-7 days) unless you want to pay more each subsequent day.  They also tend to be hella-uncomfortable for long drives, and pigs on gas.

Here's what we did when we moved from California to the east coast.
I bought a gently used enclosed trailer (I believe a 6 x 12') for around $2k.  Then we were able to spend several days loading it at our leisure and drove x-country as we pleased, making a vacation out of it.  When we arrived we were able to keep the trailer for several months as we loaded/unloaded things into our new home.  Then I re-sold the trailer fairly easily for just $200 less than what I paid for it.  Including registration and the increased fuel bill for towing the trailer it cost us < $600, and we had the added benefit of a lockable storage shed on wheels upon arrival.

This may or may not work depending on your vehicles.  You mentioned that you have a Corolla - is that your only vehicle?

Final thought:  For non-perishable and non-fragile items, UPS freight can get a bunch of stuff across the country for not a lot of money.  If you can load on a standard pallet (forklift movable) you can ship several hundred pounds cross country for around $500.  Useful if you have dense items to move like a library or tools or things that rapidly overload most trailers or moving vans. It's pretty amazing how much can fit on a standard skid (i.e. 48" x 42" x 48"). 

reeshau

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
Re: Cross Country Move!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 09:42:58 AM »
I should cross-post this to the "Do you AAA?" Thread.  Penske has a deal with AAA.  (At least, with AAA Michigan, they did) I had a move last year from MI to TX that was in your ballpark, list price.  The AAA "show your card and save" cut it by 45%.  There was a discussion thread about this sometime last summer; some claimed that they could haggle individual store managers to this level, but the AAA pricing allowed me to get what they fought for, without any hassle.  And, moving would be the time I would be most likely to save hassle.

I would also point out that a larger van will not be proportionately more expensive to rent.  You might find a larger size is less popular, and might be cheaper for you.  This is common for rental places, as it saves them from paying to reposition equipment.  But if you go up in size, watch the gas usage.  And when timing your travel, understand that the trucks will likely have speed limiters on them.

U-Box is fine, works like PODS.  But if you have help for a period of time, be sure to watch just how long they will take to get your load across the country.  It's cheaper because they are sharing a ride, so it will take quite a bit longer than driving yourself--particularly if the load has to cross through Chicago.

philli14

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Re: Cross Country Move!
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 12:01:28 PM »
I used the ABF box for my last 2 moves.
It worked out great. One of the moves I didn't know where I was going to end up so having them hold it for a few days was a nice feature.
Both packing and unpacking were less rushed having it available for a couple days at each end of the move. It was more relaxed than trying to rush thru everything to minimize the time I had a truck.

It'll probably be my first choice if I make another long distance move.

HTH

Awesome - thanks. I'll look into it.

One-way rental vans/trailers are very expensive, and you have a very limited amount of time (e.g. 5-7 days) unless you want to pay more each subsequent day.  They also tend to be hella-uncomfortable for long drives, and pigs on gas.

Here's what we did when we moved from California to the east coast.
I bought a gently used enclosed trailer (I believe a 6 x 12') for around $2k.  Then we were able to spend several days loading it at our leisure and drove x-country as we pleased, making a vacation out of it.  When we arrived we were able to keep the trailer for several months as we loaded/unloaded things into our new home.  Then I re-sold the trailer fairly easily for just $200 less than what I paid for it.  Including registration and the increased fuel bill for towing the trailer it cost us < $600, and we had the added benefit of a lockable storage shed on wheels upon arrival.

This may or may not work depending on your vehicles.  You mentioned that you have a Corolla - is that your only vehicle?

Final thought:  For non-perishable and non-fragile items, UPS freight can get a bunch of stuff across the country for not a lot of money.  If you can load on a standard pallet (forklift movable) you can ship several hundred pounds cross country for around $500.  Useful if you have dense items to move like a library or tools or things that rapidly overload most trailers or moving vans. It's pretty amazing how much can fit on a standard skid (i.e. 48" x 42" x 48"). 

Interesting idea.. We have a corolla that we were planning on keeping for the drive. We do also have a Subaru Forester, but were planning on selling that. I'm sure the Forester could handle the trailing, so might be an idea to purchase the trailer and then sell the forester and the trailer once on the east.. Hmmm. thanks for the thought!

I should cross-post this to the "Do you AAA?" Thread.  Penske has a deal with AAA.  (At least, with AAA Michigan, they did) I had a move last year from MI to TX that was in your ballpark, list price.  The AAA "show your card and save" cut it by 45%.  There was a discussion thread about this sometime last summer; some claimed that they could haggle individual store managers to this level, but the AAA pricing allowed me to get what they fought for, without any hassle.  And, moving would be the time I would be most likely to save hassle.

I would also point out that a larger van will not be proportionately more expensive to rent.  You might find a larger size is less popular, and might be cheaper for you.  This is common for rental places, as it saves them from paying to reposition equipment.  But if you go up in size, watch the gas usage.  And when timing your travel, understand that the trucks will likely have speed limiters on them.

U-Box is fine, works like PODS.  But if you have help for a period of time, be sure to watch just how long they will take to get your load across the country.  It's cheaper because they are sharing a ride, so it will take quite a bit longer than driving yourself--particularly if the load has to cross through Chicago.

Good idea - that's quite the discount for Penske.. I'll have to see if they'd extend the deal to CAA, because I'm a CAA member but technically not a AAA member. I'll look into it.

Interesting point about the cost being more related to availability than size, that's something I didn't consider. We are also considering the cost of gas with a one-way van trip that would not be present with a UBox/POD.

--

Thank you all for the input, lots of new things to consider.