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  #1  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:02 AM
xanthous xanthous is offline
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Choosing a U-Haul truck, having a hard time figuring out the size I need.

I realize the site gives you guidelines by # of bedrooms- I presume this means a house with that many bedrooms, but I'm moving myself out of the house I'm sharing, so I'm having a hard time visualizing just how many "bedrooms' worth" of stuff I have.

I have guesstimated the following (being very generous with my guesstimation):
40 boxes (the 18 x 18 x 24 size)
bedroom dresser
steamer trunk
kitchen rack (disassembled)
2 end tables
small bookshelf
small computer desk
small filing cabinet
weight bench
2 grills

No bed.

14 foot truck? 17 foot?
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:12 AM
Sehmket Sehmket is offline
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Having done the U-haul thing a couple times...

Always go with a bigger truck than you think you need. It's usually only a $10 or $20 difference to upgrade to the next bigger truck.

The grills will ALWAYS take up WAY more room than you think they will. We've got a pretty nice gas grill, and even though it's not large (for a gas grill) it's always difficult to fit anywhere and annoying to pack around.

The weight bench will probably be the same way. Even though it doesn't LOOK that big sitting there, it will be difficult to pack around.

So... I would go with the 17', to be on the safe side. Assuming, of course, that it's an in-town move, and it's only a $10 difference. If it's a bigger price gap, or you're moving far enough away that the MPG difference will start to affect your budget, you'll probably be able to swing a 14'. Also, if you can, get extra tie-downs. I'm telling you, Grills are freekin' annoying to move.

I'll also share that we got a 17' last time, made two trips (it was about a fifteen mile move), and it ended up costing us about $90 with the gas and insurance. (I would self-insure if I had my druthers, but it's important to my husband).
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:20 AM
xanthous xanthous is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehmket View Post
Having done the U-haul thing a couple times...

Always go with a bigger truck than you think you need. It's usually only a $10 or $20 difference to upgrade to the next bigger truck.

The grills will ALWAYS take up WAY more room than you think they will. We've got a pretty nice gas grill, and even though it's not large (for a gas grill) it's always difficult to fit anywhere and annoying to pack around.

The weight bench will probably be the same way. Even though it doesn't LOOK that big sitting there, it will be difficult to pack around.

So... I would go with the 17', to be on the safe side. Assuming, of course, that it's an in-town move, and it's only a $10 difference. If it's a bigger price gap, or you're moving far enough away that the MPG difference will start to affect your budget, you'll probably be able to swing a 14'. Also, if you can, get extra tie-downs. I'm telling you, Grills are freekin' annoying to move.

I'll also share that we got a 17' last time, made two trips (it was about a fifteen mile move), and it ended up costing us about $90 with the gas and insurance. (I would self-insure if I had my druthers, but it's important to my husband).
I guess I should've added that I'm moving from Los Angeles to Ohio, so yes, MPG will be important. I can get rid of the bench, and I should be able to box the grills (I have a Big Green Egg for which I might be able to get my hands on original packaging, and an offset smoker that I can disassemble and box up)
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2010, 08:56 AM
Sehmket Sehmket is offline
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Originally Posted by xanthous View Post
I guess I should've added that I'm moving from Los Angeles to Ohio, so yes, MPG will be important. I can get rid of the bench, and I should be able to box the grills (I have a Big Green Egg for which I might be able to get my hands on original packaging, and an offset smoker that I can disassemble and box up)
Given that you can pack them up, and you're going that distance, then, yeah, I would go with the 14'.

Also, you can probably go to the place where you're renting from, and get a better idea of what the inside of a 14' truck really feels like. You may even try piling most of your stuff up and measuring a rough cubic footage and comparing that to the truck. Also, I'd try to talk to the person in charge of the rentals - you may be able to sweet-talk them into giving you the youngest truck they have (most likely to have the best MPG) instead of whichever one's closest (most likely to be the one rented out the most, and seen the most wear and tear). They should also be able to give you a rough idea of what the MPG is, so you can budget for your gas.

I'd also check around for other rental companies - while U-Haul has the best rates in my area for in-town, other companies can start to catch up on one-way rentals, plus they may have coupons available (There's usually one in the packet you get for an address change at the post office). Once you add in the gas (these things get less than 15 MPG, sometimes less than 10), there may be other options in the same price range, like those pack-it-in-your-driveway outfits (they can see significant savings in transportation by combining and shipping via rail).
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2010, 06:55 PM
jacobsta811 jacobsta811 is offline
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If you are moving cross country and want a Uhaul truck, you should *NOT* use the website to "reserve" it, if Uhaul hasn't changed from the last time I moved a few years ago - the only way to make sure a truck will actually be there is to go to the place you want to rent from and talk to the owner/manager themself or your truck will not truly be reserved (look on the internet for stories). In general a Uhaul truck is usually older and not as suitable for Long-distance moves as the other companies. I think Budget and I know Penske trucks truly get reserved via the website/national phone #.

As far as the OP is concerned I would get a smaller truck and try and fit it all, leaving a few big & cheap to replace things to get chucked if they don't fit, for a move of that distance
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:08 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehmket View Post
Always go with a bigger truck than you think you need. It's usually only a $10 or $20 difference to upgrade to the next bigger truck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobsta811
If you are moving cross country and want a Uhaul truck, you should *NOT* use the website to "reserve" it, if Uhaul hasn't changed from the last time I moved a few years ago - the only way to make sure a truck will actually be there is to go to the place you want to rent from and talk to the owner/manager themself or your truck will not truly be reserved (look on the internet for stories).
Both of these quotes are true, and you should pay attention to them. If it turns out you don't really need the bigger truck, it will still be easier to pack, as you won't have to go to the ceiling. If it turns out that you do need the truck to be filled in time to allow cleaning of your apartment before the complex office closes, you won't have to go back five times after your reserved pickup time before they finally get tired of you and give you whatever truck happens to be laying around.
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:12 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Only used them once, then stuck to a local company who I've used three times since.

The U-Haul truck was a beat down piece of shit cobbled together with bailing twine and rat feces. I felt dirty just being in it. Ran poorly and got the most god-awful milage imaginable.

Then they tried to screw me over. I reserved it on-line for the day. Used it for the day. When I tried to return it, they claimed that the paperwork I had signed was for only 4 hours, and therefore I would be charged double what I'd signed on for. Um, no way. I pointed out that I had reserved it on-line for the DAY and that nowhere on that web page did it tell me that the reservation was for only four hours, so no fucking way I was giving them any additional money. If they wanted to come after me for the money, good luck. They tried to point at my paperwork, but were unable to point to any specific wording on the copy of paperwork that I had signed.

In the end, they backed down, but between the miserable truck and the scam attempt, I've never used them since.

The other (local) place I've used 3 times gives me generally brand new trucks, not due back until 7am the next morning, for cheaper than U-Haul.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work for cross-country, but I would strongly advise you to use someone other than U-Haul.
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  #8  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:16 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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As for truck LENGTH vs gas mileage...I doubt the difference would even noticeable. How you drive and the condition of the vehicle will make a bigger difference than a slightly longer vehicle.

Unless you are really strapped for cash, a smaller vehicle just isnt worth it IMO. Like others have stated, a slightly too large vehicle is sooo much easier and faster to pack (and unload for that matter) and you are less likely to break stuff too. One thats a bit too small is fricking time killer and a royal PITA.
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  #9  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:26 PM
Frank Frank is offline
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Unfortunately, that doesn't work for cross-country, but I would strongly advise you to use someone other than U-Haul.
I think, in general, U-Haul gives better trucks for one-way. They don't want to have to deal with helping people when trucks break down in the middle of nowhere. The trucks that are rented for local use are the beaters that can't handle road trips anymore, and are, I agree, in pretty horrible condition.

With the caveats I mentioned above, I'd use U-Haul for long distance, and, like you, somebody else for local.
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  #10  
Old 04-25-2010, 07:52 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
As for truck LENGTH vs gas mileage...I doubt the difference would even noticeable. How you drive and the condition of the vehicle will make a bigger difference than a slightly longer vehicle.
This. The weight of the extra three feet of load box is pretty much negligible relative to the total weight of the truck and your shit.
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  #11  
Old 04-25-2010, 09:34 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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In my experience, it doesn't matter what size truck you reserve, because they're just going to give you whatever they have on hand anyway. I once reserved a 14-foot and all they had to give me was a 22-foot. I was a menace on the road that day.
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2010, 10:35 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehmket View Post
I'd also check around for other rental companies - while U-Haul has the best rates in my area for in-town, other companies can start to catch up on one-way rentals, plus they may have coupons available (There's usually one in the packet you get for an address change at the post office). Once you add in the gas (these things get less than 15 MPG, sometimes less than 10), there may be other options in the same price range, like those pack-it-in-your-driveway outfits (they can see significant savings in transportation by combining and shipping via rail).
I agree with the idea to shop around. Years ago, I had to do a long-distance move, and the price that U-Haul quoted for the truck rental was about the same as it cost to hire professional movers. (And I would have had to pay for gas, meals, hotel rooms, etc.) So check into professional movers or the PODS-type outfits mentioned by Sehmket
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2010, 11:00 PM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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Yeah I know this is sorta a non-answer, but I used U-Pack for my last move and it worked out great. I would definitely pick them over renting a truck and driving myself.
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  #14  
Old 04-26-2010, 12:21 AM
xanthous xanthous is offline
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Originally Posted by sugar and spice View Post
Yeah I know this is sorta a non-answer, but I used U-Pack for my last move and it worked out great. I would definitely pick them over renting a truck and driving myself.
I'm verrry intrigued by this. The price estimate I got is similar to what I would pay for a U-Haultruck/trailer, and I'd think gassing up a U-Haul would be wayyy more expensive than gassing up my own car to get me across country, never mind the huge increase in stress of driving a big truck & towing my car vs. paying somebody to transport my stuff.

Anybody else have experience w/ U-Pack?
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  #15  
Old 04-26-2010, 10:51 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanthous
Anybody else have experience w/ U-Pack?
It all depends on the local franchises you'll be dealing with. Some are decent, but the ones I've come in contact with make U-Haul look good.

Give PODS a call. They have a small container (IIRC it's 7x7x8 feet) that's probably more than enough for you if you're judicious in what you take along. When we moved cross-country, we used two full-size (8x8x16) PODS containers for a 3-bedroom house. It was a tight squeeze, and we sold off a lot of bulky stuff like appliances, the gas grill, the lawn mower, a table saw and a piano. If we didn't unload the big things, we'd have needed three containers.

You need to take a long and critical appraisal of your stuff - if it's going to cost an extra $1200 for an additional container to hold a five year old lawn mower that doesn't run well, an old fridge and an old spinet piano that you got for free on craigslist, it probably makes more sense to sell or give away those things than to move them. A regular gas grill that can be replaced for $200 at Sears is probably not worth moving - as mentioned above, they're annoying things to transport. I would take the Egg, though.

If your furniture is generic particleboard stuff, you may want to hold off on packing things that can be just as well replaced at the other end. Your computer desk, for example, probably won't travel well unless you're really careful with it. If it is particle board, it will do everything it can to scratch, split, crack and chip while in the truck. It may be better to unload it now, then buy a new one at your new home.

Some stuff is also too fragile to be safely moved unless you can find a proper shipping carton - I sold off my 50" plasma TV before moving because those things do not take kindly to jostling. Yes, I was without a TV for a while at the new home, but it was a good chance to upgrade, and I wasn't worrying whether the thing was going to survive the cross-country trek intact.
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  #16  
Old 04-27-2010, 08:13 AM
xanthous xanthous is offline
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p.s. started a new thread asking for opinions on alternatives to U-Haul. sugar and spice, I'd love to hear about your experience with Pods.
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