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Long Distance Moves FAQs

Posted By:
Becky Google+
1:25 PM

U-Pack Moving is a service that specializes in out-of-state, long-distance moves. Because it's our speciality, we get the opportunity to talk to a lot of people who have a lot of questions about how it works, the best ways to do it, and how much it costs. Today I'll spend some time responding to some of our customers' most frequently asked questions about long-distance moving.

What is best for long-distance moves—truck rental or movers?
This really depends on your needs. If cost is a concern, a full-service mover may not be ideal. If you’re concerned about the difficulty of driving a large moving truck across the country, you may want to avoid the truck rental route. There is a middle-ground solution though; you may want to consider a “you pack, we drive” service like U-Pack. The price is typically significantly less than a full-service move, and you don’t have to drive.  

Are there any long-distance movers that do not require a down payment or deposit?
In the research I’ve done, I have not been able to locate a mover that does not require some sort of deposit, pre-payment or down-payment. U-Pack is the exception. With this service you pay after your shipment is loaded and you know how much space you have used. A credit card is required for reservation, but no charges are placed on the card until your move takes place.

If I use a mover for my long-distance move, will my belongings be transferred from one truck to another?
While this does not always happen, if you are moving long distance and your belongings do not fill the moving van, it is very likely they will be transferred from one truck to another. Often the truck is taken to a local warehouse where household moves are combined. When you move with U-Pack your belongings stay where you load them until you unload at destination. They are not unloaded or transferred in transit. Any space you do not use in the trailer is used to transport commercial goods moving in the same direction. Your belongings and the commercial goods are separated by a divider wall called a bulkhead.

If I go the truck rental route, do I have to stop at weigh stations along the way?
This varies state to state. For example, in California all rental trucks must stop at the scales, but in Alaska and Hawaii, only trucks over 10,000 lbs. GVWR are required to stop. Resources like AAA Digest of Motor Laws, and the Department of Transportation in the state(s) you are driving through are great places to look for verification.  

If I go the truck rental route, can my family of 4 (with children) ride in the cab?
Most truck rental companies recommend against traveling in a rental truck with children, and most larger trucks will only hold a driver and 2 passengers (with a lap belt in the middle). Rental trucks do not offer back seats, so before planning a trip with children, check state laws regarding child safety requirements.

What is the best way to get my vehicle to my new home—ship it or drive it?
This may depend on your budget and how much time you have. Though not always the case, vehicle shipping can be pricey, and sometimes long-distance auto shippers need to wait for other vehicles going the same direction before they begin transit. Your best course of action is to get quotes and ask about transit time before booking. If you’re able, driving your own vehicle is typically the most cost-effective option.

What is the best time of year for long-distance moves?
The “off-peak” season is typically late September through early April (while school is in session). Peak season normally begins mid-April and ends mid-September. Other times when you might see higher prices are days surrounding holidays and Fridays at the end of the month. 

How much will fuel cost for long-distance moves?
This fuel calculator is excellent for calculating the cost to fuel a rental truck. This fuel calculator is excellent for calculating the cost to fuel your personal vehicle.

What type of packing materials are needed for long-distance moves?
For long-distance moves we recommend using boxes that were designed for moving. You’ll find that these sturdy boxes do a better job at protecting your belongings in transit. Other supplies we recommend are small and medium boxes, wardrobe boxes, bubble wrap, paper padding and plenty of box tape.  Remember that each box should be full, but not bulging—and it’s best to keep the weight less than 50 lbs. each.

If we are moving long distance, is it a good idea to pack into large plastic bins?
The great thing about a “you pack, we drive” move is that you can pack your belongings into whatever type of cartons you would like. However, like I mentioned above, we recommend using boxes made for moving. Because of their shape, plastic bins cannot be stacked flush against each other. As a result the integrity becomes compromised when other totes/bins are stacked on top and the plastic bins could break and cave. Cardboard boxes of similar size do meet edge-to-edge and as a result hold their shape and provide better protection.

How much can I save by moving less?
The answer to this question will vary based on the type of service you choose. With a U-Pack trailer move, your price is reduced when you load into less space (down to a 5 ft. minimum). So, for example, if you get a quote for 10 linear feet (typical for a large one bedroom to small two bedroom apartment), but you sell some of your belongings and are able to fit into 8 linear feet, you pay for 8 linear feet. Your U-Pack moving quote will include a “per-foot adjustment rate,” so you’ll know how much to subtract if you can fit into less.

If you choose a U-Pack ReloCube move, your price is based on the number of Cubes you use. So, if you reserve 3 and end up fitting into 2, you only pay for 2. There is no additional charge for reserving more than you use.

How long does it take to pack a house for a long-distance move?
It depends on how much stuff you have, how much help you have, how prepared you are, and how much experience you have. It’s probably a good idea to start the process at least one month before moving day (give yourself more time if you can). This will give you time to purge your home and clean as you go. We recommend starting by packing up the stuff you don’t need right away (out of season clothing, books, decorations, etc.), and storing it in a location that’s out of the way. 

How far ahead of time should I reserve my long-distance move?
We recommend making a reservation at least one month in advance. However, short-notice moves are typically possible with U-Pack. Just call 800-413-4799 to check availability.

If you have more questions about long-distance moves, we’ll be happy to help. Just leave a comment below, or use the “Ask the Experts” tool to the right. For a free moving quote, call us at 800-413-4799 or get pricing online 24/7.

Happy moving!!