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Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Old Jan 5th 2008, 3:20 pm
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Question Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

We are moving from PA to San Francisco at the end of June and plan to drive across as we want to see more of the country and also we want to get our Dodge Grand Caravan across.

We currently have furniture and belongings for an average 3 bedroom townhouse, which, ideally we'd like to ship over. What would be the cheapest way to do it? I'm sure a U Haul trailer hitched to the back of car would not be big enough except for maybe personal items.

I'm really not in love with any of my furniture, but they are good quality though and will be expensive to replace - espcially in CA.

Any advice appreciated.....
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We are moving from PA to San Francisco at the end of June and plan to drive across as we want to see more of the country and also we want to get our Dodge Grand Caravan across.

We currently have furniture and belongings for an average 3 bedroom townhouse, which, ideally we'd like to ship over. What would be the cheapest way to do it? I'm sure a U Haul trailer hitched to the back of car would not be big enough except for maybe personal items.

I'm really not in love with any of my furniture, but they are good quality though and will be expensive to replace - espcially in CA.

Any advice appreciated.....
Why not rent a small U Haul truck and load it with your furniture and then get a U haul tow dolly (A trailer that lifts only the front wheels) for the van and take it all in one go?

I am not 100% certain but I think you can do a one way rental with a U haul truck (small truck no CDL needed) but Im too lazy to check it out for you.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Originally Posted by Rushman View Post
Why not rent a small U Haul truck and load it with your furniture and then get a U haul tow dolly (A trailer that lifts only the front wheels) for the van and take it all in one go?

I am not 100% certain but I think you can do a one way rental with a U haul truck (small truck no CDL needed) but Im too lazy to check it out for you.
You can do exactly what you said, and do not need a CDL as far as I know.

I've done it - but some years ago, doubt it changed though.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

I strongly recommend Penske over Uhaul. Uhaul is well known for poorly maintained equipment and poor customer service. Several years ago the missus and I were driving on the Ohio Turnpike. We were overtaken by a Uhaul truck that was blowing white smoke. A lot of white smoke. I bet my wife he wouldn't make it to the next toll gate. He didn't.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

We moved a 3 bedroom house from Texas to LA last year (the contents of it actually LOL), and will be moving again in July. We hired the biggest UHAUL truck you can get, and the biggest UHAUL trailer to go with it. It is a slow drive when fully laden, but nothing scary. If you have two cars then you can haul the smaller one with the other on a car transporting trailer. We had two cars and a horse trailer to bring out, so I had to do the drive twice - once with the truck and trailer, and once with a SUV and horse trailer.
I don't think we had a great deal of stuff (the house in Texas was about 2,100 square feet) - but we filled the UHAUL truck, and the trailer, and the horse trailer too! We shipped the horses using professional horse transporters and were able to use all the space in the horse trailer. We gave a fair bit of furniture away to the cleaner, and sold some at a garage sale. I think you may be surprised how much space your belongings take once you protect them in bubble wrap and cardboard You may have to just follow a truck and trailer with your dodge. My wife and I drove out together. She would drive ahead to the hotel we would be staying at and have a meal waiting for when I finally caught up. She had all our animals too.

We looked at other companies but the cost was a lot more. All UHAUL equipment has roadside assistance.




Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We are moving from PA to San Francisco at the end of June and plan to drive across as we want to see more of the country and also we want to get our Dodge Grand Caravan across.

We currently have furniture and belongings for an average 3 bedroom townhouse, which, ideally we'd like to ship over. What would be the cheapest way to do it? I'm sure a U Haul trailer hitched to the back of car would not be big enough except for maybe personal items.

I'm really not in love with any of my furniture, but they are good quality though and will be expensive to replace - espcially in CA.

Any advice appreciated.....

Last edited by Pony; Jan 5th 2008 at 7:56 pm.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

To make the move easier you may consider hired help. We toyed with the idea of getting a couple of illegals at the local DIY centre. In the end we called a bonded/insured professional company and hired two professional movers. The company owner let them work for cash. The guys arrived with all the proper equipment, dollies, lifting gear, covers etc. They unloaded the truck and trailer in just 2 hours. They had doors off to get the washer and dryer in, they were excellent. We were charged $15 commute as we are in a highly congested area, and $15 an hour each. Money well spent!

Just a thought
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

we moved Texas to NYC 12 months ago - cost the thick end of 12k including the car - that was all packed as well and insured. Easy and hassle free but not the cheapest experience. Realize that doesnt help you - but it gives you something to compare with.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Some small moving companies are a pretty good deal too - much cheaper than the big names.

Need a personal recommendation I'd think though... ask around for local recommendations?
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

If you have an employer paying for it, hire a mover. Just be aware that moving companies are ripoff artists extraordinaire. When they're not busy breaking your belongings, they're happily baiting and switching the price. Don't go with a no-name mover, although be aware that the name brand moving companies are usually franchises with their set of unsavory characters, so your hope is to have a parent company to complain to if things don't go well (and they often don't.)

If you can stomach the thought of loading and unloading yourself, then hire a one-way rental truck of your own. As noted above, U-Haul tends to offer ragged equipment, although they often compensate for it with lower prices. (Although to be fair, the worst of their worst is reserved for local use, not so much for the long haul moves.) Budget and Penske charge more, but offer better equipment.

Don't skimp on dollies. They make the job much, much easier. And consider carefully what you will take with you, this could be a good opportunity for a thorough purging of what you don't really need.
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP View Post

And consider carefully what you will take with you, this could be a good opportunity for a thorough purging of what you don't really need.
Never a truer word said - a good life laundry is always a winner!
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Old Jan 5th 2008, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

We had quotes ranging from $10k to $17k. The UHAUL truck and trailer, one way, cost a little over $1,000. I spent probably $500 in gas getting it here. We looked at 'Pods', I recall that would have been around $2.5k.
I used a removal company to move my 3 bed house from England to Texas, and the experience wasn't that great. My inlaws moved a lot around the US during their professional careers. He was in banking, and the company paid for all the moves. A common occurrence was a lack of attention to detail -
for example on two different moves the movers packed the trash cans - without emptying them!. On another they packed the fruit bowl, complete with fruit.
It is not always hassle free, but is certainly less work. The drive was completed in 2 days, so I figure I 'earned' $4k a day to drive the truck from Texas to L.A. , not bad pay for a trucker LOL.


Originally Posted by Big D View Post
we moved Texas to NYC 12 months ago - cost the thick end of 12k including the car - that was all packed as well and insured. Easy and hassle free but not the cheapest experience. Realize that doesnt help you - but it gives you something to compare with.
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Old Jan 6th 2008, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Originally Posted by RoadWarriorFromLP View Post
Budget and Penske charge more, but offer better equipment.
A friend just did almost this exact move, and in fact Penske turned out to be cheaper - YMMV, of course.
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Old Jan 6th 2008, 4:29 pm
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Wink Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Thanks for suggestions, we liked Rushman's idea of the truck/car tow thing, then I thought that if we get one of Uhauls knackered old trucks then that will make the trip an ordeal as opposed to the enlightening and enjoyable experience we would like it to be...

I will investigate pods...

I also found this interesting site, http://www.uship.com/ which is a logistics auction site where removal companies bid for your move, you have to be flexible though about arrival dates and there is a measure of protection through their 'feedback' system. I reckon I could get the whole house move done for anything between $2.5 - $4k. This leaves us to drive in comfort in the car. We don't have antuques or anything too special. We would take our TV in the car.

Thought I would share this with you as could be pretty useful for anyone really...
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Old Jan 7th 2008, 11:48 am
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

Originally Posted by joyceygreen View Post
We would take our TV in the car.
A friend wanted to be more careful/save money and transported his LCD TV himself. Naturally, he dropped it and shagged it beyond repair. OTOH, my aunt got the movers to transport her TV (paying extra for special care or some blox) and they threw it in the back of the van unwrapped and smashed the screen. They paid for it.

I'm not sure if that's very helpful!
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Old Jan 7th 2008, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Cheapest/Best way to move house from East to West?

http://www.movingscam.com/

If you go for movers, check them on that site...
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