PODS or U-Haul?

I’m moving from NH to NC in the near future. The way I see it, I have 2 choices:

  1. Rent a storage unit from PODS, load it myself, but have them drive it, and I’ll have about a month to get it done

  2. Rent a truck from U-Haul (or Budget or Hertz or whoever), load & drive it myself. I’ll have 4 days to get it all done, and will have to pay extra for any miles above ~850 (which is cutting it close)

Once you factor in the gas, tolls, etc, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in price. At the moment I’m leaning towards the PODS option, because I can’t see any drawback. (Except for the fact that it’ll take them 6 days to get the stuff to it’s destination, but that’s nothing.)

I’ve used U-Haul before, and they always seem full of hidden costs & unpleasant surprises. I’ve never used PODS before. Any success stories? Horror stories? Given the chance, which would YOU choose?

Can you get unlimited mileage? We have a truck reserved through Penske for our trip from Kansas City to Portland, Oregon, and we’ve (luckily) got unilimited mileage.

PODS sounds like the better option to me–U-Haul has become a customer service disaster and their vehicles are poorly maintained. They break down by the side of the road all the time (anecdotal evidence provided by the highway patrolman I sleep with) and our last experience with them (four years ago) was almost completely negative. They didn’t have the truck we had reserved, they lied about the amount of fuel in the tank, we rented moving blankets that were given to us in a filthy wadded ball but when we returned the truck we were told that they had to be clean and nicely folded or we would have to pay a $75 charge. The truck was filthy (but didn’t break down between Oakland and Sacramento, so one positive) the employee at the return was possibly the rudest person I’ve run into aside from airport security, and we had to drive to several U-Haul return centers before finding one that was actually open when they were supposed to be open. It’s great fun to drive around in a town you’re brand new to, in the worst neighborhoods (where the rent is cheap) while exhausted from moving. For our move from Oakland to San Diego we used the Paul Arpin co. based on some recc’s received here, and that was the best, easiest moving experience ever. More expensive than U-Haul, but worth every penny (and when we broke down time and effort, it seemed cheaper than U-Haul).

I haven’t used UHaul in years. My daughter rented a Penske truck to move from Chicago to Philadelphia, and that worked well.

All I can say is that just about every block around here has one house with a PODS unit - so they seem to be working for people. Sounds like a great idea to me.

I used Budget… it was a good experience… but then we only had to drive from Gainesville to Baton Rouge, so they gave us plenty of miles and time…

We rented U-haul trucks twice last year and had nary a problem - picked up in central PA, dropped off in northern VA, trucks were adequately clean, adequately maintained, and had enough mileage to cover the distance we were moving with a bit left over. The supplies (dolly, pads) were in good shape - clean and folded unlike Tortuga’s experience. I actually picked them because their website was the easiest to navigate for making the reservation.

The only prior time I used U-Haul was in 1993 - and the truck itself wasn’t great (steering wheel shimmied every time I went faster than 45… on the highway from NY to VA this was not pleasant). But the rental experience was OK aside from the neighborhood in NYC (who knew streetwalkers were still out at 7 AM???).

However, one BIG downside with a y’all h’all is that you’re driving a truck. Personally, I’m used to being able to look in the rearview mirror, the one in the middle of the windshield. Some of the U-hauls have these. But they obviously aren’t helpful, as they just show the truck body! So lane-changes are an exercise in white-knuckles until you get used to using the side mirrors and even then they’re nervous-making.

I’d consider the POD route, myself. How would you get your car down to NC if you drive a truck?

I’m currently in NC, in charge of procuring a residence. The wife & kids (after their brief stay in NY last month, which you may or may not recall) are in NH packing up our meager possessions. At the end of June, me & a few of the guys are driving up to pack up & move the junk. There are enough drivers to get all the vehicles up & down, including a truck if need be.

I have to admit that I’m not thrilled with the idea of driving a rental truck down I-95.

I’ve dealt with U-Haul personally, and with helping a buddy of mine. They suck.

ABF U-Pack - absolutely the most headache-free inter-state moving experience I’ve ever had. They drop off a trailer, you load your stuff up. You screw in this big bulkhead that separates your stuff from the rest of the cargo hold, then they load up the rest of the space with whatever they happen to be moving. When it gets to your destination city, they unload their crap and then drop off the trailer with your stuff at your new location, where you unpack it.

We loaded our stuff up in DC, had a nice, leisurely drive to Chicago in our car, and it was waiting for us when we arrived.

And it cost us less than half of what we were quoted from both PODS and Uhaul.

We had a good experience with U-Pack, too. I have gone the U-haul route before, and U-Pack was easier and cheaper.