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Old 06-05-2015, 02:11 PM   #61
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We just moved our 3100 sq. ft. house, 4 bed 3 bath and all its contents minus what we sold, and still filled up a 26 foot UHaul truck while towing a 6 x 12 trailer behind (both the biggest UHaul rents). I am 61 1/2, wife is 57. We loaded the truck with help of our son and great next door neighbor. The drive was 200 miles part of which was thru Atlanta. I drove the truck alone and admittedly was very nervous about the whole trip and unloading when we got there. I am just now healing up after settling into the new place. We had sofas, dressers, beds, upright piano etc...The truck handled well with plenty of power, just had to be mindful of the distances and switching lanes safely and clearances as many have indicated. I figure we saved around $5-$6k in movng costs. Our next move will be Summer of 2016 out West (2,500 mi.). If my health and strength hold up, we'll probably move the same way, only with far less stuff and a smaller truck.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:33 PM   #62
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No big deal at all. Drove one with a trailer down the East coast shortly after getting married. Take your time, give yourself lots of room for turns.
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:51 PM   #63
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No advice, but a memory... Many moon ago, was driving a 20' loaded with appliances from state to state for selling presentations in meeting rooms and exhibition areas. A two week stint.
Backing a problem, but I turned that over to others. The part that I had trouble getting used to was the effect of headwinds, hills, and left lane driving, and the side draft effect of eighteen-wheelers passing me.
So backed up behind a slow semi, doing 60 in a 70 mph zone, the normal thing to do is to pass... Fine until coming up to the wind wall of the semi, and my truck would go no faster. Long line of cars back up behind me and we're doing an unintentional rolling block for about two miles. Same effect going downhill and passing then changing to uphill... can't pass. Not a good way to make friends with car drivers, and forces them into dangerous driving.

Patience and non aggression made it easier.
When we move stuff out of our FL home next year, will use pods... if I got the estimate right, 1300 miles... two, 7x8x5 ft pods $1800.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:01 PM   #64
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Just for comparison's sake, a 1/2-T regular cab pickup is about 17'.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:26 PM   #65
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Just for comparison's sake, a 1/2-T regular cab pickup is about 17'.
I am pretty sure the 20 ft U-haul is the length of the box on back, so total truck length is about 28-29 ft. Longer than any regular car or pickup, but nothing that excessive.

My motorhome is a bit over 44 ft, now that does take a lot more attention for length and turning radius.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:28 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by sheldon cornped View Post
We just moved our 3100 sq. ft. house, 4 bed 3 bath and all its contents minus what we sold, and still filled up a 26 foot UHaul truck while towing a 6 x 12 trailer behind (both the biggest UHaul rents). I am 61 1/2, wife is 57. We loaded the truck with help of our son and great next door neighbor. The drive was 200 miles part of which was thru Atlanta. I drove the truck alone and admittedly was very nervous about the whole trip and unloading when we got there. I am just now healing up after settling into the new place. We had sofas, dressers, beds, upright piano etc...The truck handled well with plenty of power, just had to be mindful of the distances and switching lanes safely and clearances as many have indicated. I figure we saved around $5-$6k in movng costs. Our next move will be Summer of 2016 out West (2,500 mi.). If my health and strength hold up, we'll probably move the same way, only with far less stuff and a smaller truck.
I'm with you on the required 'healing' period. I'm 57 and DH is soon to be 67. He's a machine! Mentally and physically exhausted but happy to have saved a bunch by doing almost all of the two moves ourselves.
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:39 PM   #67
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I'll be moving into my "dream house" in a few weeks. This involves a 2-3 mile move, which isn't very far but it is still a move.

I admit that I may spend considerably more $$ on the move than I absolutely have to. I am thinking that at age 67 on moving day I will be considerably older than Utrecht on his moving day, IIRC? At any rate I am getting older and older each day, and there is no doubt about it. I need to be smart and give myself a break.

I have already packed nearly everything myself, and I was surprised at how hard that was to do compared with the last time I moved, 13 years ago. Weight lifter at the gym or not, I can't do a lot of things that logic tells me should be possible. I decided that I should put my pride aside and not do any of the actual moving (other than packing and unpacking, and hand moving odd shaped or fragile items in my Venza). I'll get a local moving company to do most of the moving for me. It would be cheaper to rent a truck and do it myself, but that is too hard for me now. From here on out, my main contribution to the moving process will be "put this here", "put that there". And then, unpacking, of course.

I can hardly wait!

So, utrecht, maybe that is why I suggested PODs even though I didn't know the price. I'm sorry! I wish I had a better idea, because you are recovering from surgery and it seem like you are in an extremely tough spot. It would be nice if there was an affordable way make it easier on yourself.
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:01 PM   #68
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Curiously, I had a different experience with this. Driving a 20+ foot truck with UHaul painted all over it clearly marked me as a amateur with a large vehicle. Although there were the usual aggressive drivers darting in front of me, there was also a strong incentive for anyone driving around me to give wide berth when I tried to maneuver. If I signaled and moved slowly, I could merge left or right in any traffic and any other driver who wasn't suicidally inattentive would quickly get out of my way.

This was my experience as well driving the biggest uhaul possible without a special license from Irvine to Los Angeles to Palo Alto. Everybody just gets out of the way.



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Old 06-05-2015, 06:22 PM   #69
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I drove a 26' Uhaul, hauling my car behind, from Atlanta to Philadelphia. I was single at the time so the option to have someone else drive wasn't there. When I reserved it, they offered a service of "helpers" to load the truck. I laughed and said - sure - sign me up for the "rent-a-dude" option. I had friends at the Philly end to help unload.

The truck was not the issue. But towing a car presents challenges if you don't have pull through parking. I was not prepared to back up a giant truck towing a car without anyone to guide me. That's not a female thing - that's an inexperience with towed things thing. (I later learned to back up my husbands boat trailer... but that was a few years later.)

I agree completely that it can be challenging when dumb drivers close the gap in front of a large vehicle... but if she's calm and takes it slow, she'll be fine.

Most motels allow you to park a big truck taking up multiple spots for pull in/pull out... if they have space.

Good luck with the move.
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:36 PM   #70
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The worst aspect I see of renting and driving: boredom and fatigue of just driving all day for several days , not like a vacation, visiting things along the way.
Definitely a potential problem for long drives. If you can arrange access to audiobooks, they are much more engaging and help with the boredom of long haul driving much better than flipping radio stations as you pass in and out of signal areas.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:22 PM   #71
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I'm struggling with this, too, as I'm planning on moving across country next year. Right now my plan is to use ABF / U-Pack and have them drop a trailer which I will have loaded, ABF will deliver and I will have it unloaded. Prices seem reasonable compared to a UHaul rental, given the added convenience.

http://www.upack.com/moving-services/moving-trailer.asp
I am also planning a cross country move next year (about 3200 miles). My first thought was to go with PODS, as we had a good experience using them with DW's parents, but they don't serve the location we're moving to. So, I have been considering a U-Haul truck, or their U-Box containers (like PODS but smaller), or this ABF/U-Pack arrangement. (ABF also has their ReloCube containers, but like PODS, they don't go to my destination.) The U-Box approach seems to be comparable in cost to the U-Haul truck after you add in the extra hotel and meal costs for several days with the truck. The U-Pack approach is more expensive, but there is some extra flexibility in loading one large trailer instead of several smaller boxes.

I'm still open to considering other options that might be out there.
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Old 06-06-2015, 07:15 AM   #72
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I checked out PODS a while ago. It was something like $2500 compared to about $1000 plus $350 in gas for the U-Haul. That's a pretty big difference, plus they POD shows up several days later than driving the truck so we would be at the new house for at least 3-4 days with none of our stuff.

We have no choice about moving. We close on the sale of our house tomorrow and we leased it back for 30 days so we have to be out on July 4th. The doc said I would be healed up well before that but I'm having some complications and have no confidence right now that I will be able to sit in a truck for 20ish hrs over 3 days by then.

Plan A is to heal on time
Plan B will be for her to drive solo. I feel better about that option now. I could fly our 16 year old son back from Florida to ride with her, but no way I would want him driving at all. He just got his license about a month ago.
Plan C will be find a friend to help with the driving.
$1000 extra for a pod doesn't sound that bad, especially when plan B or C would require air fare for the extra driver. A mishap with the truck would absorb that savings quickly. 3-4 days without your stuff? Are you driving a car down? Sleeping bags, a bit of kitchen stuff, some clothes, and you'd be set enough. Just my opinion.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:29 AM   #73
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We both regularly drive our 36 foot motor home. You won't have a problem. I had some trouble backing up at first. I usually have a spotter and I lower the right or left hand mirror until I can see the rear tires. Back those on the edge of the driveway and I know I'm good to go.
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Old 06-07-2015, 02:27 PM   #74
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Specifically related to the U-Haul brand itself...There was a period about 5-10 years ago where there were serious safety and maintenance concerns about U-Haul vehicles. Seems that the U-Haul corporation was owned by a large family with a lot of infighting and many aspects of the company suffered. I don't know what the current state of the company is.

I'm only presenting this as an FYI of things I remember reading (in the LA Times, I believe).
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Old 06-07-2015, 04:41 PM   #75
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Specifically related to the U-Haul brand itself...There was a period about 5-10 years ago where there were serious safety and maintenance concerns about U-Haul vehicles.
The last time I used one was towing a largish trailer for my sister in a move of ~200 miles. At the place she rented it from they were thorough about making sure the lights all worked, safety chain in place, instructions and all that. I didn't have any problems with the trailer.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:53 PM   #76
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A couple of thoughts, fresh from a 1600+ mile drive a few weeks ago...

The audio books idea (or a stack of music CDs) makes sense, particularly for a solo drive. In the old days, though, U-Haul's vehicles were pretty bare bones. I'd check the equipment list for the truck you are renting. Or buy a vehicle charger and load up the electronic device.

Motel selection is important; a U-Haul parked at a motel is an inviting target for opportunistic thieves. This isn't the trip to save a few bucks by choosing motel in the wrong neighborhood.
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