Suggestions on transporting furniture to relatives

I have family furniture that its time to pass along to the next generation. Its 12 hours drive. I’m planning a vacation to go through the area. Renting a trailer seems expensive…there are two options I see:

  1. Rent trailer one way; Drop furniture off and drop trailer off at destination. Cost of trailer $1000
  2. Make a special second trip. Rent trailer for 4-5 days. Drive to destination, drop furniture off. Drive home, return trailer…Trailer cost $200, Gas cost for extra trip $300

Right now, I’m thinking I’ll split with the extra $500 cost to not have to make an extra trip. Before I finalize a decision though…are there any opinions or alternatives, that I have not considered?

Well, one option is to hire someone else to move the furniture. There was a reality series, I think on A&E, called Shipping Wars, in which random people (i.e., not professional moving companies) competed to move all sorts of weird stuff for people. They worked through some sort of website where people would solicit bids for moves. Given that your furniture is probably not going to occupy a whole truck, you might find it cheaper than the thousand bucks it would cost you to hire a trailer.

Check rail rates. If you’re both at major rail hubs, it can be surprisingly cheap. You just gotta rent a truck/trailer to get the stuff to/from the the train stations from/to your houses. But that’s only like $20 each side.

The best solution would be to have the next generation come and get the furniture.

The website Dewey might be referring to is:

The suggestion for rail doesn’t work in the U.S.; they are only interested in full railroad car loads.

What about PODS or similar services from other companies? I know nothing about the costs, but it certainly seems an easy alternative - load it at your house, then say goodbye…

I’m not sure I’d be comfortable doing vacation-y stuff with a trailer full of furniture. It seems like the longer it’s on the trailer, there’s more opportunity for stuff to happen to it. I’d probably trailer the furniture over in a straight shot and then do vacation stuff on the way back. If you don’t have too much furniture, you could consider renting a mini van or pickup truck rather than a trailer. If you can get a rental with unlimited mileage, the cost wouldn’t be too bad.

The option would be to trailer it over, drop the trailer off, then continue on with the vacation trailerless. THe amount of time the furniture is on the trailer would be the 12 hour drive

I get nervous pulling a trailer. Bad things can happen and there’s funiture with sentimental value. I wouldn’t want it ruined in an accident. My personal limit is an hour drive pulling a boat to the lake.

I would rent a uhaul truck and have a family member follow in the car. Drop off the furniture and turn in the truck.

It depends on a drivers confidence pulling a trailer.

The posters 1st option is the best. Driving 12 hours to return the trailer and 12 hours back to the relative isn’t worth the savings. My time and labor driving is more valuable.

What about buying a trailer from Harbor Freight, making the trip in a single, long day (so you don’t put the merch at risk in a hotel parking lot overnight), and either:

  • Leave the trailer with the kids to sell/keep
  • Take the trailer with you back home. It would now be empty, and – though a PITA to drag around as you sightsee – at less risk

If you wanted to own a trailer, this is your chance. Otherwise, whatever you got for it would subsidize the outlay, and almost surely still be cheaper than renting or paying movers.

Would it all fit in a 4’x8’ open trailer (securely fastened with a fair # of ratchet straps) ?

That’s a good idea. A 1,000 will buy a nice trailer and it can be sold later. Why give that money to uhaul?

The trailer should easily resale for at least $750. Maybe more.

Or maybe return it? Perhaps for a fee less than a rental.