Moving advice!


Hey CAF friends,

I'm looking at the prospect of moving cross-country pretty soon here (about 3000 miles). I have a car and approximately a one-bedroom apartment full of stuff to move. I've moved before, but never cross-country, with furniture, so I'm debating between the options of flying and having my car and possessions shipped, or driving a rental truck with my possessions and towing my car.

I've been calling around and getting quotes, and I've been kind of shocked at the results. A 14' Uhaul truck plus tow dolly would be $2076. Budget would actually be more expensive, since the smallest truck they have that can tow a car is 16'. And Ryder doesn't do one-way rentals, so they're out.

On the other hand, I have a company saying they'll haul my possessions for a flat rate of $1450, and I've gotten quotes for car moving in the ballpark of $900. So far, that's only around $300 more the cost of doing it myself.

Now for actual travel fees, right now airfare between here and there is as low as $130 for a one-way ticket, versus the cost of 4-5 nights of motels plus all the gas, if I drive. I'd assume gas + lodging would be $150 per day, at the very least, but I'm not entirely sure what kind of mileage a 14' loaded truck with a car behind it would get.

So it's looking like having someone do the moving for me may be the same, or potentially less expensive. :confused: Does anyone have any insight into this? Any recommendations? Anything else to consider? I appreciate all thoughts and advice!

God Bless,




if the costs are comprable

and if you’re not looking for a cross-country road trip experience

and if you like the idea of arriving a few days before your possessions, then let someone else do it for you!!!

if you drive it all yourself, you’d probably keep the truck an extra day or more as you manage/ fenagle all your belongins into your apartment. that will probably increase the costs, right? additionally, a mover will move the stuff in and out of apartment for you.

a few years back, to attend my son’s wedding, we drove 4,000 (roundtip) in a wonderful rented RV. it was like driving a plush living room down the highway. but the drive was a miserable, life-sapping killer. oye vey. i dreamed i was falling asleep at the wheel for days after we arrived back home.

one other thought, besides your clothes and picture albums and favorite toaster, why bring all your stuff with you? can you sell it on craigslist and purchase a bed as soon as you arrive?


Have you ever driven a U-Haul before? I have, and it is not fun.

Now, I moved from north Alabama to north Florida, a mere hop, skip, and jump compared to what you’re contemplating, but it was miserable. I was driving a truck that was somewhere in the 20-foot range (don’t remember exactly) with the contents of a small, two-bedroom cabin. I did not tow my car - the truck came from a U-Haul place, but it was not actually a U-Haul truck, it was a big white truck that belonged to the owner, and I had to drive it all the way back, empty, and then I picked up my car and drove back to Florida. I’m exhausted all over again just thinking about it. The northern part of Alabama is a bit hilly, and going up those hills was really, really slow in that thing. When I got into town, driving in heavy traffic was kind of scary. And backing up the thing? The only time I backed it up was when I got to my destination. Every time we stopped to eat or make a pit stop or anything, I pulled across a bunch of parking spaces at the edge of the parking lot so I could just pull straight out again.

I am reminded of a cartoon I saw once, that had a guy loading stuff into a truck that said “U-Lug” and was cussing like mad, and the caption said something like, “U-Sweat, U-Cuss, U-Break, U Swear U’ll Never Do It Again.” That’s about how I feel about it. :twocents:


Have you ever seen the US? This may be a unique experience for you to drive across the heartland of America, eat in places that are not chains, Worship with Catholics across the country - find out that there is a great nation between the coasts.


find out that there is a great nation between the coasts.

IF you have a tried and true travel companion to make the treck with you (3000 miles of road weary can be dangerous)


IF you have 7- 10 days to do it. if you drive 600 miles a day for 5 days will take you at least a week to recover.

oh yeah, and IF you ditch the furniture on craigslist and bring only your best belongings and drive your comfortable, reliable car.


I vote for seeing the country. It’ll be fun! I love road trips. Give me my Ipod, dogs, and I’m in heaven. They’re not for everyone-so maybe they’re not for you. I suggest it though. So much fun.

Moving is a pain in the butt-nothing can stop that. Just be sure to keep a positive outlook and do “damage control”.

Travel safe my friend!


Well ‘seeing the sights’ isn’t a huge draw, especially given how boring 80 is between Salt Lake City and the Appalachians. 80 basically skirts north of the Rockies in Wyoming, which makes it boring, but more direct and more economical. I’ve driven 80 everywhere between San Francisco and Cleveland at least a few times, the only relatively ‘new part’ would be the last day.

According to Uhaul (and confirmed by independent reviews), a loaded 14’ + towed car would average 10 mpg highway, so with an average day of 600 mi, that’s 60 gallons a day. So… it looks like traveling costs would definitely be over $200 per day if I drive.


I vote for hiring someone! Of course, I moved WITHOUT a car by myself, and the movers were cute to boot. wipes drool not that I was staring at their muscles. drools again :D

It is nice to arrive at my new home, and have someone haul my queen size bed up three flights of stairs. :D When I move again, I will be hiring movers again.


Last August, I helped my daughter and SIL move from Texas to Oakland. He drove a Budget rental truck and my daughter and I switched off driving their car. He had his pet snake (eeeek!) with him, while we toted their angry, confused, growling cat, who was prone to, if you’ll pardon the expression, anger pooping.

By the last day, the snake looked pretty good to my daughter and me in comparison, so we switched pets. I have never been so glad to arrive anywhere (and I used to drive with my girls from Alabama to Boston every summer, willingly; this was different.)

If costs are comparable, and unless you are a glutton for punishment, hire the movers. (If you’re doing this by yourself, all the more reason, I think.)


Wyoming - boring - HERESY! Wyoming is heaven on earth.


It sounds like it will be more expensive to move yourself and a lot more work. I guess it comes down to how much you really like to drive. I really, really enjoy driving and I am not sure if I could make it through Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, and then Iowa with my sanity still intact. There are really nice parts in those states, except for Nebraska which is just miles and miles of boring, but you will not be passing through any of those parts if you take I-80 the whole way.


I just recently saw a commercial about "Pods" where they bring it , you load it and they deliver it for you to unload...Maybe some other companies do that same type of thing..


Thanks for the suggestion… their quote was ridiculous though, it was over $4000. :eek:


The part along 80 is, anyhow. It doesn’t go anywhere near the Tetons/Yellowstone.


[quote="Havard, post:14, topic:192772"]
The part along 80 is, anyhow. It doesn't go anywhere near the Tetons/Yellowstone.


The plains are where you see the pronghorn.


OUCH…Whoa, I thought that it would be way cheaper…


I have a friend that has moved several times cross country. She apparently never gets too attached to her furniture because they have always sold pretty much all of it before moving and get “new” stuff when they get where ever they are going. I am afraid that I would be too attached to some of my things to do that, but it works for some people. :shrug:

That being said, I vote for paying someone else to move your stuff and your car. Having done the u-haul thing from NY to NC, from NC to PA…:stuck_out_tongue: the trip from PA to NY and NY to MD were much better because we paid someone to do it! :thumbsup: There is enough stress with moving to begin with. If you can afford it, pay someone!


Sounds like selling your stuff and buying new would be a great idea.


We moved from MN to central NY which is about 1000 miles and we did a pod thing but went with ABF U-pak which was approximately $1450(almost 2 years ago), we then drove ourselves, with a few of our belongings. There were 2 of us, which made flying more expensive, and we had to get the car out there anyways, and towing or shipping a car is expensive. Shop around and make sure you include real expenses. If you are trying to keep costs low, pack food in cooler. Bagels or bread, cream cheese or peanut butter and carrots or apples.:stuck_out_tongue: (If you do drive, book you hotels through those sites that get you cheap hotels like hotwire etc. we got hotels for like $30 a night, so it wasn’t too bad)


Our best move was when someone else packed and drove our things! We drove one car, and had the other moved for us. It was heavenly compared to loading a U-haul (that was late arriving at the U-Haul center), leaving hours later than we expected, driving and watching our things to make sure all was well, and then unpacking everything after the exhausting drive so we could get the truck back before we were charged for an extra day.

One thought about selling furniture… this may be a good idea. It never seems to fail that all the furniture that worked so well in the house before, never worked just right in the new place. :shrug: The floor plans were different, the walls too short for the couch, etc. Beds and dressers always seemed to work, but never the living room furniture, and rarely the kitchen table.

I vote for having someone drive your things if the cost is the same. You can always plan a long weekend to travel those new roads, and explore with a good friend.

good luck in your move!

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