Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Moving from Oregon to California: Comparing Movers - PODS - 16' Penske + towing car

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Im assessing cost and time effort comparisons to move 970 miles from Portland to Los Angeles, movers vs PODs vs moving it all myself. Any thoughts, horror stories, "best-decision-made" stories you want to share that could be helpful or if you see something I've missed, please shoot over a response! Hoping my thought process on looking into the options is helpful to someone else out there too.

I am getting a relocation bonus from work so cost is a bit less of an issue though I'd love to keep as much of the bonus as possible with regards to total moving cost and purchase of replacement furniture. Another consideration is if the moving costs are tax deductible I'd be wise to spend more on that rather than a cheaper move with furniture repurchases that are not tax deductible. But my main decision is factoring in time and effort involved in the prep and then on the arrival side.

Generally yes it makes sense to move the least amount of crap, purchase what you need when you get there. But re-acquiring furniture can get expensive and is time-intensive both for new or if hunting down used items, particularly because I can't fit anything in my little Subaru so would have to book movers on Lugg just to pick up a desk or whatever and that's 1 item; deliveries will add up fast. Plus a lot of the furniture I do own is well made and with moving a relatively short distance it doesn't seem smart to sell it all to then have to spend the time and money to replace it. If I was moving across the country it would be a different story. And I hate shopping, would so rather spend a bit extra on the move itself to move more of my crap to then be able to spend time experiencing my new city rather than running around buying new stuff.

I have about what will fill a 700 sq ft 1-2 BD apartment and have purged the usual clothes/books/paperwork and any dead weight as far as stuff I don't use. But I do have a lot of hobbies and own quite a few hand tools that I use regularly, kitchen gadgets, 3 bikes that I use regularly and would never sell for a move, a large bikerack that I built which gets the bikes out of the way and allows me to lock them to the rack and not ding up the walls (and will be tough to reconstruct living in an apartment with no garage), and own some furniture items including a nice mattress that I bought less than a year ago, solid pine dresser that I refinished, few other small but good quality furniture items, some metal artwork I created, and the usual personal items. So even if I sell the majority of my furniture I will need some sort of truck or transport to get the rest of my stuff down to California and I think paired down still wouldn't fit in a trailer. My Subee can't tow a trailer anyway and dealing with a car sale and purchase of bigger car and trailer, then reselling all sounds like a huge headache just to save a few bucks, especially with moving to Los Angeles.

Movers: Basic quote on my current belongings ranged from $4200-$7500k, will of course be less if I get rid of furniture. Anyone had a good or bad experience using Uship? I see it mentioned a lot but haven't read any direct experiences. My biggest issue with movers is time output. If I went with movers I would sell off most of my furniture which will take time with dealing with FB Marketplace buyers (which I have had WAY better luck with than CL) and hope it all sells. Otherwise I'll be donating it for free and I know the Goodwill here sometimes has to be booked 2-3 weeks in advance to do a pickup in a wide time window and assuming they actually show up (I've had 3 no-shows with previous Goodwill appts). The risk there is also being a few days out from the move when I haven't been able to get rid of my stuff, this happened when moving out of Denver and we ended up having to rent a truck to bring a bunch of donations to Goodwill ourselves, lost an entire day dealing with it and had 2 sets of hands whereas this time I don't. Packing each box will also take more time because I have to assume the movers will be tossing the boxes around so every single one has to be perfectly Tetris'd in. Breaking down 3 bikes and carefully packing them then reassembling takes more time, also means I'm without a bike for awhile which is my usual mode of transportation. Assuming the cost is much less sans furniture, the money I get from selling my stuff and the mover savings should* make up for furniture replacement costs but this absorbs the most of my time before and after the move.

PODs: Upack: Roughly $3400 for trailer option or $2300 for 2 boxes, all gas/tolls/driver fees included, transit time is 3-5 days and my quote includes loaders and unloaders on both sides because I need the help. So added to the cost to drive my car and hotel = $2600- $3700 all in. I don't have my new apartment lined up yet and I know in urban areas it's common there is nowhere on the street for the box to be dropped that day or they can't drop it in the gated parking area, Los Angeles also requires a permit if on the street so that needs to be lined up ahead of time. This seems to be a low stress way to go and allows for more time to load in and not worry about rough handling of boxes or the bikes but I'd have to ensure the delivery end is 100% issue-free both for unloading and for them to come pick up the container. Upack has great pricing, explanations of the boxes and how they only charge you for space or boxes actually used, and you can do an instant quote which I deeply appreciate versus having to give out your info for someone to contact you with pricing and harass you for days and weeks after. For my first cross country move I made the mistake of giving out my cell # to one of the moving quote brokers and instantly regretted it, my phone was ringing off the hook until I was able to remove myself from the lists. I suggest setting up a separate email for moving quotes and I no longer put my real cell # on anything of that nature.

I Move It Myself: 16' Penske, $2200-$2600 total including hiring movers to load and unload, truck and 4 wheels up tow trailer, insurance, gas assuming 7mpg loaded down and towing, hotel, and a caffeine IV drip : ) In terms of time output I budgeted to hire 2 movers to load the truck and unload so that's a wash in terms of time and physical effort compared with movers or Upack. I can keep most if not all of my furniture which makes for instant apartment and no shopping time on the back end plus I am going to have to try to fill up the 16' truck anyway to prevent stuff shifting since the 12' doesn't tow though will also put a callout offer for anyone needing some stuff moved. I don't have to spend time selling/re-purchasing/re-building anything and will be considerably less time on packing/re-assembling the bikes. Compared to movers I figured about a 20 hour time savings on packing, bikes, and selling off furniture. I have no idea how much time it would take for me to replace furniture when I get there.

The downside is the drive will suck for sure and will take longer because of the extra gas stops and slower speed.

16' truck, maxing out at 55mph, 7mpg = 17.6 hrs, 4.2 gas stops = roughly 19 hrs and $515 in gas. Could average a higher mph and mpg but figure it's a safe estimate. That means doing a marathon day of driving on day 1, less driving day 2 to be able to schedule unloading when I arrive or arrange for truck to be safe overnight to unload following day. Or break it up into 3 shorter drive days, unload day 3 upon arrival.

Driving my Subee alone, 72mph average, 22mpg = 13.5 hrs, 3 gas stops = 14.5 hours total and about $185 in gas.

So with the Penske I lose 5 hours of time there compared to movers or POD. Definitely something to consider because of potential 3rd day of driving and another hotel stay.

I mapped out the stops and gas pricing on Gasbuddy (you can just enter in mpg and tank size without entering in the specifics of the truck model) and did an elevation check on RidewithGPS to see about any lengthy climbs or descents. It's a pretty easy drive, will be completed in summer weather, and I'm probably good to do it in 2 days but could stretch it to 3 if I needed to. I've done quite a bit of nature exploring already on this route so I don't feel the need to add in any sight-seeing.

Am I gapping on anything? Any experiences out there that might impact my findings?

I am slightly nervous to drive a 16' truck with tow though I've backed my father's stick shift truck with boat trailer into a parking spot plenty of times and did fine and I've driven loaded-down 12' cube trucks around NYC and on hilly farm roads no problem. From what I've read I'm to take wide turns, be mindful when switching lanes, plenty of braking distance, and there will be no backing up so plan out the gas pump stops before getting into a sticky situation . All seems self-explanatory but I'm a petite woman doing this drive alone and want to be certain I can see properly and safely in all of the mirrors!

I'm also concerned about someone cutting the lock on the truck or stealing my car at the hotel; hotel front desk people don't tend to care much about what's happening in the parking lot from what I've noticed. I saw someone here on Reddit mention a pool gate alarm for inside the truck which I will look into. Do thieves attempt stealing the truck or what about the trailer with car on it? My car theft protection in NYC was removing the fuel pump fuse every night, worked like a charm despite other break-in attempts : ) I will be staying at a well-lit La Quinta or Holiday Inn Express in Redding, Sacramento or Bakersfield (no roadside motels GROSS) but was also considering the idea of parking the truck at a parking garage for the night where it could be better monitored, assuming I could find a garage that can accommodate a 16' truck. Maybe I am overthinking this.

And input welcomed other than "just sell everything" because it just doesn't make sense for me and will cost me more time and potentially money in the end. I've purged nearly everything 3x now because I didn't own anything of quality or value or was moving too far to make sense of bringing much. This time I'm not moving Ikea crap and am more interested in the instant settling in so I can focus on my new chapter.

Will update after my TBD move with any insights on final costs and what I would have done differently.

Submitted May 14, 2019 at 02:15AM by kr0q http://bit.ly/2E7Ospr

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