Just moved the contents of my life, in crate form, to my girlfriend’s place. Despite all the bad press, the natural choice for a ‘cheap’ move was U-Haul. I used Private Mini Storage of Sawdust Road Spring Texas, and we reserved a large truck a few days in advance, picking up on Saturday at 11am.
We arrived about 10:30am and went through some basic paperwork. My quote was $39.95 + $14 insurance + $50 mileage estimate coming out to about $120. This really is quite a lot cheaper than hiring movers, especially when moving lots and lots of small boxes which are easy but time consuming to load.
The Tiptons were couteous and business-like, and Randy pulled a 24′ gas truck round the front for me. I guess they are used to people renting trucks, so there wasn’t too much mollycoddling. The truck was a gas-powered 24′ with AC and automatic. It had 194,000 miles on it and started up fine. As usual with any big, fairly well-used piece of equipment, there were a variety of hisses clunks and squeaks, shakes, lurches etc. But, the truck had a good vibe going, being extremely clean, and having all gauges working. I asked, and the truck was a ‘one-way’ truck, from Arizona. Apparently these trucks are the best maintained ones, having to do long hauls across the country.
I put 20 gallons of gas in it, since it only had about 1/8th of a tank according to the gauge, and the drive down to my apartment went fine, with 45 and beltway 8 passing beneath the big wheels at about 55-65 mph. I kept a good eye on the gauges and the truck never lost charge, or got hot, though the gas sloshing around in the 40 gallon tank (my guess) sure made the gauge go up and down.
Once down at my apartment, I loaded the entire floor of the 24′ truck with boxes and plastic crates. Some of it was stacked up, but there was enough space to have most of it one layer. At least nothing was going to be falling around.
The drive back up to Spring was pretty uneventful, until the ramp onto 45, when two guys in a truck got somewhat of a scare when the wheel came off (!!!) their truck. The people in an Explorer on the 45 feeder were pretty lucky not to get killed, as I watched the wheel from the other truck just miss them.
Made it back and unloaded, then returned the truck on Sunday morning about 10:30am. Final mileage was 80 miles, so the bill was just over $150 bucks (+fuel), so I was pretty happy. Overall, if you’re happy driving a big truck, that doesn’t go very fast, or at least aren’t scared, then go for it. It took about 6 hours to do the whole move, so I saved probably a couple hundred bucks on movers. Recommended.