U-haul vs professional movers

Anyone with a standard class C drivers license can drive the biggest truck U-Haul rents, so that’s not an issue. Which makes sense, because I can’t imagine it would make sense for U-Haul to rent vehicles that most people can’t legally drive.

One thing that I’m wondering about is parking the truck somewhere secure when we stop midway there. I’m assuming there are secure parking locations where I can pay a fee and stash it for a few days, but I’m not sure what to look for.

I’ll be stopping in Santa Rosa, CA, if anyone has a lead on something like that.

What I’ve done when we rented a U-Haul for a business-related trip was to back the truck against a wall, so no one can get to the cargo compartment. Between that and a good padlock, we didn’t have a break-in. Another option; perhaps you can park the truck in the Santa Rosa U-Haul depot? The one near me is fenced, so it might safe overnight.

A U-Haul 26’ truck. Unless you only have a motorcycle license, you can drive one on a class C license.

Some things to keep in mind…
[li]$500 for gas is a reasonable estimate but don’t be surprised if you end up getting 3-4 mpg fully loaded. [/li][li]Give serious thought to buying their Safemove Plus insurance. If you damage the truck, they will charge you immediately otherwise, and there’s not much damage you can do to the truck that would cost less than $150. [/li][li]0 to 60 might as well be measured in minutes, not seconds.[/li][li]Stopping time/distance will be far longer than you’re used to in a car. [/li][li]It’s wider and taller than anything you’ve ever driven. Be EXTREMELY careful around gas station canopies, awnings, trees, and anything else that will either be destroyed if hit by a truck, or that will scrape up the truck. Also be careful on turns - you can very easily hit street light poles or pedestrians if you start turning before the rear wheels are past the obstacle. [/li][li]Be sure you know how many days U-Haul will let you have the truck. For an 800 mile trip, they only allow four days total. That includes loading and unloading time, so no side trips or parking it for a couple days.[/li][/ul]

It’s really too bad that PODS doesn’t serve whichever end of your move. Once you load a container that has a 1" step to get in vs having to shove things up to a 44" or so high truck bed, you’ll never want do use anything else. Having someone else drive is also quite nice. Somewhere in between is **ABF U-pack. **You’re still loading a truck, but they drive it.

Santa Rosa has a medium size airport (Charles M. Schulz Airport). So there should be long-term (multi-day) parking options around there, operated by the airport authority but probably private lots in the vicinity too.

See: Parking - Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport

Google Charles Schulz Airport Santa Rosa to find other options as well as hotels and other amenities in the area.

Considering the move is 800 miles and not just on the other side of town, this is a good quote. When I moved across town, I was given a high(ish) quote with the understanding that if we took less time than estimated, the price would be lower. And it was lower. I later hired the same movers to help me move to a smaller/cheaper storage unit for my remaining stuff. It turned out very cheap as the new unit was in the same block but I didn’t have to haul the heavy stuff without help.

Depending on how much stuff there is, you can get unloading help cheaper than $500 (assuming the $1k is for both loading and unloading. The U-Haul I used for an 800 mile transport to my new home had a sticker on the dashboard for a website that’d connect you with unloaders. My friend (who, thank God, likes to drive big trucks) and I were exhausted, so we went to the website. We got a team of 3 people who unloaded, brought the boxes up 18 stairs, and put each in the right room (I marked boxes with rooms–highly recommend) in half an hour. Best $200 bucks I ever spent.

Another consideration: do you have two cars and two drivers (not counting you)? Towing a car behind a big truck requires nerve and expertise I sure don’t have.

Hang on, reality check time…

Santa Rosa is technically along the way, but from Santa Barbara to Bend? It’s going to be a several hour detour. If you shoot up 5, it’s about two hours in no traffic to get over to Santa Rosa, so four hours minimum just to go to SR and wave at someone then continue on. And remember you’ve only got the truck for four days unless you want to pay a lot extra for being late.

Another route option is to go up 101 to San Jose and then 680 to 80 then at Vacaville take 505 to 5. Trust me, you do not want be in a huge truck on 680 anywhere from 5-10 AM and 2-7 PM. 5 has its moments around Sacramento, but nothing like San Francisco traffic.

According to Google maps it takes en extra 53 minutes if I stop in Santa Rosa.

I have family in Santa Rosa. We’re stopping for a visit. The truck is an extra $40 per extra day according to the U Haul website. Not big deal. And a considerable savings on not having to rent a hotel room elsewhere.

Another option: I-5 to I-580, then across the Richmond / San Rafael / Richmond-San Rafael / whatever it’s called this week (seriously, the road signs on the San Rafael side say “Richmond Bridge,” and the ones on the Richmond side say “San Rafael Bridge”) bridge to 101. The hard part is going to be getting back on 5; you can probably take state road 12 or 37 to 80, then 505 to 5, but both 12 and 37 are one lane undivided in each direction for long stretches.

You’re both underestimating the time it takes to get to the 5 from Santa Barbara. It makes no sense to spend 45 minutes getting over to the 5 and then another hour coming back.

I’ll just take 101 to Santa Rosa, probably going through the East bay across the Richmond San Rafael bridge so I don’t have to take a truck through SF. I’ve made this drive many times and the 5 doesn’t enter into it. Day 2 I’ll get over to the 5 and head on up.

In a car.

I’ve just been through this. For most people, it kinda ends up being a wash … assuming this is daily essentials, you do need to replace that stuff later, and presumably will pay to do so.

In the end, you pay now, or you pay later.

Exceptions include sentimental value - can’t just buy a new table hand-made by my late husband when we were in college together. On the flip side, some people enjoy shopping and have fun picking out new stuff.

Ok sure, but how much slower is my Uhaul going to go? I’m not going to be doing 35 on the freeway (unless everyone is). Maybe it adds 1.5 hours to my total trip, but nowhere near the 4+ that people were suggesting.

For total fun, combine having professional movers with also driving a U-Haul truck (for those items too fragile or perishable to entrust to movers).

I will shortly be departing in a 15-foot U-Haul truck on a fun Interstate trip to hopefully last no more than 4 hours. The good thing is that these trucks no longer have speed governors, so I can go 70 mph. The not-so-good thing is having to load and then unload it yourself.

I would recommend doing all the packing yourself, so you can pack the fragile items well and discard the worthless items. You will also organize the boxes better. Hire movers at each end to load and unload the truck and drive the U-Haul yourself. I’ve heard nightmare stories about interstate movers, not limited to extremely late delivery, missing goods, damaged goods, and demands for extra money to unload once they arrive at your doorstep with dubious claims of excess weight or for other reasons. I’ll pass. There are likely many interstate movers who don’t care much about their reputation because their customers aren’t going to make that many interstate moves in their lifetime. Most movers aren’t building a long-term repeat business with customers, so they seem to just try to milk as much money as possible from every deal.

I did a 450 mile move many years ago in a 24’ Penske rental using volunteer labor to unload. It was mostly highway driving and level terrain. My ordinary pace on the highway is around 80-85 mph so limiting myself to 65 probably added about 15-20% of the travel time to the trip. I don’t remember the precise fuel economy but I think I estimated around 12 mpg beforehand and I don’t think I was surprised by the actual result. Driving the truck wasn’t too hard. My new job was paying for the move but the movers I contacted quoted two-week time windows when I wouldn’t have my stuff and their cost estimation process left a lot to be desired. The rental cost my firm about 20% of the cost of movers.