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Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Old Mar 29th 2022, 1:21 am
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Default Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

I need to transport about a van-load of stuff from AZ to CA at some point.

U-Haul offer 'Cargo Vans' like this -
Cargo Van Rental | Rent A Van Near You | U-Haul (uhaul.com)
and a small (10') truck like this -
10ft Moving Truck Rental | U-Haul (uhaul.com)

I'm confident my stuff will fit (just) in the cargo van, so I'd prefer to rent one of those because they are easier to drive, and more fuel efficient. BUT - U-Haul won't rent a cargo van for a one-way long-distance move; only their trucks are available for one-way rentals.

Does anyone know of a company that will rent a cargo-van like the one above (Inside Dimensions: 9'6" x 5'7" x 4'8" (LxWxH) for one-way moves ?
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 2:22 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
BUT - U-Haul won't rent a cargo van for a one-way long-distance move; only their trucks are available for one-way rentals.
Is it completely out of the question to do the round trip and fly yourself back? I have considered doing that, but never needed to go through with it.

Alternatively, I know several people who have achieved small interstate moves by renting the extra cargo space in big freighter trucks. Would that be a possibility?
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by retzie View Post
Is it completely out of the question to do the round trip and fly yourself back? I have considered doing that, but never needed to go through with it.

Alternatively, I know several people who have achieved small interstate moves by renting the extra cargo space in big freighter trucks. Would that be a possibility?
Well, I'm already in CA, so I'd have to fly down to AZ, drive back to CA in the van, then drive back to AZ in the van, then fly back to CA ... . I just drove down to AZ last week, spent 5 days packing and moving to storage, then drove back to CA ... so that was TWO 750 mile drives in a week ... I'm not keen to do TWO more of those anytime soon!

I've heard of the 'renting extra cargo space' in a big truck, but I wouldn't know where to begin orchestrating that. All my stuff is currently in a storage locker, so I'd have to figure out how to get it from the locker to the 'freight truck', then ... I'd somehow have to get myself back to CA ahead of the truck and be ready to 'receive' the load, and then get it into a storage facility in CA. The stuff consists of about 40 individual boxes, plus random extras like artwork, luggage, etc ... lots of small items that I'm not sure I'd want to trust anyone else with.

"PODS" come to mind as a solution; if I were still in the house, I could have had one or more 'POD's delivered to my driveway, and then I could have loaded them up and had them shipped. But now my stuff is in storage, the storage facilities are not typically amenable to the use of 'POD' solutions, I don't think (they are competition, and also, they are a liability and a security concern). The hertz woman I spoke to suggested renting their biggest category of SUV - a Ford Expedition EL, or a chevy Suburban, or GMC Yukon XL ... but I have yet to see what the usable inside dimensions of those vehicles is - probably not good enough. I'd certainly be willing to pay the extra for that solution, just because it would be a smooth ride!

The 10' U-Haul truck probably isn't a terrible option ... it's not that wide, and I can park it overnight in a hotel parking lot. I was just hoping for a slightly more refined ride!
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 3:54 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

What about renting a cargo trailer? Not sure if those are offered 1 way though.
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 4:21 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
What about renting a cargo trailer? Not sure if those are offered 1 way though.
They definitely are offered for one-way - Cargo, utility and car trailer rentals | U-Haul (uhaul.com) . Looks like the 5' x 8' might just about work for me, but the 6' x 12' would definitely work. However ... my SUV doesn't currently have a tow package, so I'd have to get that, and ... I'm already in CA so I'd have to drive down, then drive back - which I'm trying to avoid. I've never driven with a trailer but I guess I could get used to it ... just remember to allow extra space when passing ... and turning ... and don't get into a situation where I need to reverse!
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 5:40 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I need to transport about a van-load of stuff from AZ to CA at some point.

U-Haul offer 'Cargo Vans' like this -
Cargo Van Rental | Rent A Van Near You | U-Haul (uhaul.com)
and a small (10') truck like this -
10ft Moving Truck Rental | U-Haul (uhaul.com)

I'm confident my stuff will fit (just) in the cargo van, so I'd prefer to rent one of those because they are easier to drive, and more fuel efficient. BUT - U-Haul won't rent a cargo van for a one-way long-distance move; only their trucks are available for one-way rentals.

Does anyone know of a company that will rent a cargo-van like the one above (Inside Dimensions: 9'6" x 5'7" x 4'8" (LxWxH) for one-way moves ?
Enterprise car rental does one-way rentals. It's been about two years since I rented from their car division. The last several times I rented was from their truck division; F550 stake-bed trucks. The good thing about Enterprise was that they didn't have a per mile charge unlike everyone else. Enterprise Truck rental has the Ram Promaster vans and Nissan NV cargo vans, both are in the same class as the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter. Home Depot rents Mercedes Sprinter box vans.
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

So you can't you rent this in California drive it to Arizona, bring back your haul to California and return it where you rented it from? Or am I missing something?
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Jolly Good View Post
So you can't you rent this in California drive it to Arizona, bring back your haul to California and return it where you rented it from? Or am I missing something?
What you are missing is, it's 750 miles from my place in CA to the storage facility in AZ - so what you are suggesting is a 1,500 mile round trip that would need to be completed within a few days (to keep the daily rental fees down). I've just done one such round-trip last week, when I drove my SUV down there; used it to move everything to storage, then drove back. I'm quite happy to do the 750 mile trip once a month or so (I've been doing that for over 10 years now) but twice in less than a week is just too much. My goal is to fly down (CA->AZ), rent something (as a one-way rental) and drive it back to CA.
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Boomhauer View Post
Enterprise car rental does one-way rentals. It's been about two years since I rented from their car division. The last several times I rented was from their truck division; F550 stake-bed trucks. The good thing about Enterprise was that they didn't have a per mile charge unlike everyone else. Enterprise Truck rental has the Ram Promaster vans and Nissan NV cargo vans, both are in the same class as the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter. Home Depot rents Mercedes Sprinter box vans.
Yeay! I went to the Enterprise truck website - https://www.enterprisetrucks.com/tru...cottsdale.html , but the site has no feature to allow you to enter a different return location, BUT - I called the office, and they WILL rent me a cargo van one-way, with a $250 'drop fee' for using a different location. He said 'corporate' don't allow (or encourage/advertise) one-ways, but individual offices are allowed to offer it. All things considered (drop fee, rental, excess mileage, etc) the cost will be about $740, which is comparable to U-Haul fees. They have Ram Promasters, Ford and Chevy's at this location. He said the Promaster is a bit bigger than the Chevy/Ford options.

So thanks for that suggestion; I was put off by the lack of the option on the website.
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Old Mar 29th 2022, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Google <freight forwarder "Your town", "your state"> (without the < & > ) and look for a freight forwarder who does domestic "less than load" and residential service (some only do industrial), and have a chat with them about what you need and if they have a service that helps you. So long as everything is packed and stacked, you should find that they can hook you up with other part loads in the direction you want your stuff moved.

Less than Load (LTL) is a big business, with well known names such as R&L Carriers and UPS Freight (recently spun off from UPS) being two of the larger players, but there are many others, and a freight forwarder is a broker who will make all the arrangements for you.
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Old Mar 30th 2022, 12:41 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Yeay! I went to the Enterprise truck website - https://www.enterprisetrucks.com/tru...cottsdale.html , but the site has no feature to allow you to enter a different return location, BUT - I called the office, and they WILL rent me a cargo van one-way, with a $250 'drop fee' for using a different location. He said 'corporate' don't allow (or encourage/advertise) one-ways, but individual offices are allowed to offer it. All things considered (drop fee, rental, excess mileage, etc) the cost will be about $740, which is comparable to U-Haul fees. They have Ram Promasters, Ford and Chevy's at this location. He said the Promaster is a bit bigger than the Chevy/Ford options.

So thanks for that suggestion; I was put off by the lack of the option on the website.
Yeah the individual stores can give you deals and will have vehicles that the national website does not list. Only way to know for sure is to call the store or visit. The website does not list Ford F450 and F550 stakebeds for my area but the branch I go to has them.

Their per-mile charge is not always offered. In 2020 there was no per mile charge, but when I rented the same truck (F550) for a 700 mile trip in 2021 the branch informed me that head-office was now charging per mile but after some pleading on my part the employee was kind enough to give me a 750mile allowance even though Enterprise does not offer such allowance, so it was discretion on the part of the employee / manager. Then in late 2021 when I booked online (same truck) the agent (located somewhere in the US) told me there was no per-mile charge.

Ram Promasters are front wheel-drive while the Fords, Sprinters and Chevys are rear-wheel drive vans. So the Promaster might even have a lower ingress/egress for the cargo area. The stake-beds I rented all came with a 1600 lb capacity liftgate.

Last edited by Boomhauer; Mar 30th 2022 at 12:56 am.
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Old Mar 30th 2022, 1:07 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Google <freight forwarder "Your town", "your state"> (without the < & > ) and look for a freight forwarder who does domestic "less than load" and residential service (some only do industrial), and have a chat with them about what you need and if they have a service that helps you. So long as everything is packed and stacked, you should find that they can hook you up with other part loads in the direction you want your stuff moved.

Less than Load (LTL) is a big business, with well known names such as R&L Carriers and UPS Freight (recently spun off from UPS) being two of the larger players, but there are many others, and a freight forwarder is a broker who will make all the arrangements for you.
I have used Freightcenter.com and Freightquote.com to book LTL shipments for equipment. They all require the contents to be palletized and items secured with banding or some other means, or crated. If crated there needs to be a gap in the bottom to allow for a pallet jack or forklift to pick it up.

In Steerpike's case it seems like he is moving a large number of personal effects so packaging everything in a crate might be too much hassle, and the weight+size will quite likely make a LTL shipment more expensive than renting the van. Pick-up and drop-off at his home also adds quite a bit to the price as the LTL terminal has to move the crate into a lift-gate equipped truck. Then there is the insurance matter, which is only really offered on things over $750 I believe and there is a $500 deductible also.

There is also UShip.com which can be quite cheap, but again if Steerpike has room sized contents to move, it would need boxing or crating.
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Old Mar 30th 2022, 1:16 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
What you are missing is, it's 750 miles from my place in CA to the storage facility in AZ - so what you are suggesting is a 1,500 mile round trip that would need to be completed within a few days (to keep the daily rental fees down). I've just done one such round-trip last week, when I drove my SUV down there; used it to move everything to storage, then drove back. I'm quite happy to do the 750 mile trip once a month or so (I've been doing that for over 10 years now) but twice in less than a week is just too much. My goal is to fly down (CA->AZ), rent something (as a one-way rental) and drive it back to CA.
Fair enough.
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Old Mar 30th 2022, 2:53 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Boomhauer View Post
I have used Freightcenter.com and Freightquote.com to book LTL shipments for equipment. They all require the contents to be palletized and items secured with banding or some other means, or crated. If crated there needs to be a gap in the bottom to allow for a pallet jack or forklift to pick it up.

In Steerpike's case it seems like he is moving a large number of personal effects so packaging everything in a crate might be too much hassle, and the weight+size will quite likely make a LTL shipment more expensive than renting the van. Pick-up and drop-off at his home also adds quite a bit to the price as the LTL terminal has to move the crate into a lift-gate equipped truck. Then there is the insurance matter, which is only really offered on things over $750 I believe and there is a $500 deductible also. ....
Which is why I said he needs a freight forwarder that offers domestic service. Clearly you have been dealing with ones focused on larger commercial shipments. I was giving him the benefit of some personal experience, not just making $4!t up.

I have used a freight forwarder a couple of times, they sent a van, loaded up my stuff, and stuck it on a pallet for me, presumably back at their depot, and then send it to the destination. Each time I paid less than Steerpike has been quoted to rent a van, and that was for transatlantic air shipment, though it was a few years ago now, and presumably for less stuff than Steerpike needs to ship. I doubt he would have to pay as much as the van rental, of course depending on exactly how much stuff he actually has to ship, but he also saves the airline ticket, the fuel, and his time and effort.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 30th 2022 at 2:57 am.
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Old Mar 30th 2022, 3:28 am
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Default Re: Renting a cargo van (as opposed to a truck) one-way

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Less than Load (LTL) is a big business, with well known names such as R&L Carriers and UPS Freight (recently spun off from UPS) being two of the larger players, but there are many others, and a freight forwarder is a broker who will make all the arrangements for you.
Aha! I think this is what I was grasping at. I have only ever heard about it secondhand, so I never knew what it was called.

Fwiw, this is a favorite option for broke grad students and postdocs everywhere, i.e., people who are skint and have the time and inclination to chronically over-research everything. I consider that to be a ringing endorsement
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