Moving Advice Needed - U-haul trailer or moving company?

Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:01 am
I don't recall mountains on I-10, but somewhat east of Indio, there is one huge grade that goes on forever. Okay in the winter, but check your cooling system before pulling a loaded trailer up it in midsummer.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:01 am
Seriously, check out craigslist. Did a quick look and they have separate sites for at least AlbuQQ and SantaFe/Taos, go to the "for sale" section, and click "free" under that--found couches and all sizes of beds--and that's not even looking at the stuff people are offering for sale, usually cheap. Often cheaper to buy there, rather than transporting. DEon't know if you're moving to one of those or near there, but they also have a New Mexico site I think, which might cover most of the state. Think about filling the cedar chest with books or heavy stuff when you pack, if you end up UHauling.
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Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:22 am
when we moved from a small place to our farm it was only about 70 miles. We sold a lot of **** and started over.

NOW SOMETHING YOU DIDNT MENTION AT ALL. IS there a decent hitch assembly on your car? If not, the hitch assembly (Not a bumper hitch) will cost you several hundred to get welded to the frame and bolted in. Pony Cars are not meant to recieve a hitch usually so they will talk you into a bumper hitch and trust me, you can wrench your bumpwer right off. (newer cars have a bumper surface not a bumper and have a hitch reciever).

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Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:38 am
I suppose I'm the best person to answer your questions (because I drive a truck).
First of all, if you are going to take the southern route, let me ask a few questions.
Is your car equipped with a good heater/ac?
You will need both of them.
If you are going to go down I-5, remember you will have to go over the grapevine to get into the LA basin to pickup I-10.
That is a very difficult pull, even under the best of circumstances.
The same if you go down 99.
Then you will face LA traffic.
If you dont have experience in that kind of traffic, pulling a trailer could be a problem.
You will have another severe pull on I-10 just before you go into Blythe.
Actually there are 2 steep hills there, both of which can and do cause 18 wheelers to overheat.

And then in Az, it will level out, but there will be long stretches of nothing till you get to Phoenix.
Traffic there can also be a bear if you arent used to it.
In eastern Az you will run into a few mountains, but nothing real serious.
New Mexico wont be a problem for you.

As for a moving company, there are several advantages.
First of all, most of them charge by weight, not volume.
They will weigh the truckbefore AND after they load you, and see what it weighs.
They willalso have insurance on your stuff, so if it does get damaged or destroyed somehow its covered.
You wont have to worry about loading or unloading, and they will deliver it right to where you want it.
Of course, it is more expensive then doing it yourself, but if you dont have the experience pulling a trailer, its probably better if you dont try it.

In my opinion, based on what you have written, you will be better off hiring a moving company.It will cost you a little more, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Now, some advice about traveling that far, especially thru the desert.
Prepare your car and yourself.
Get your car checked and make sure you have good brakes and a good heater/ac.
Get your car tuned up first.
There are long stretches of emptiness, where you will have little to no cell coverage, so if you break down you might be in trouble.
Get yourself a cheap CB radio, so you can use that to get help if you need it.
Make sure you have full gas tanks before you head out across the desert, because once you leave the LA basin, there isnt really anyplace to get gas till you get to Blythe.
Then once you leave Blythe, there are very few places to stop for gas till you get close to Phoenix.
Between Phoenix and Tuscon it isnt bad at all, but once you get thru Tuscon it gets empty, with a few hills that might give you a problem.

If you are driving alone, dont be afraid to stop at the truckstops and ask for advice, especially if you havent driven that route before.
The drivers will give you their advice, and that will be a big help to you.

I hope that helps.
If you need any more advice about the route, e-mail me and I will give you my best advice.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:41 am
Indio is on I-15, and not I-10.
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Tue 27 Jan, 2009 08:07 am
Have you considered using a POD?

We did that for our last move and it was great. They deliver a container, you fill it up, they drive it to your location, drop it off, you unload it, they pick it up.

I think there are other companies that offer a similar service.

Tue 27 Jan, 2009 09:30 am
I also was going to recommend that Butrflynet consider using a pod instead of the traditional moving company. The only help you would need are people who will load and unload it for you. You should check with your condo office to learn if they will allow the pod in your parking area for long enough to load it.

My friend, Gretchen, is planning to use one to move back to Albuquerque from North Carolina. She's researched the PODs and think it the best and most economical way.

Don't pull a trailer.

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Nick Ashley
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 10:44 am
When I moved from San Diego to Omaha, I used a company called UPack

There they drop off a semi truck trailer, you load it, and put in a masthead to separate your stuff from the rest of the trailer. Then they load the rest with commercial goods, so you only pay for a small portion of the trailer. You pay by how many feet deep you use in the trailer. And trust me, you can fit alot in a little space if you pack well (and those trailers are TALL).

I looked into PODS, and could not believe how expensive they were. If I remember correctly (and it's been over 2 years now, so I probably don't) I got everything moved with UPack for around $800 . It would have cost something like $2000 with PODS.
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Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:38 pm
When we moved from NYC to San Diego, we rented a Ryder truck and had our
car towed behind. I don't remember exactly the cost, but it was around $ 50/day. Here is their website and they even have an office in West Sacramento
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 04:28 pm

Oh good, I was hoping you would check in and offer some driving advice based on your trucking experience. Thanks for the tips about the route to take. Can I pick your brain!?!?!?

I've driven up and down the state of California at least a hundred times from border to border so the drive does not cause me any worries. In fact, I've made 3 trips to LA with the '93 Mercury so I have no worries as far as the age of the car once it has had the brakes adjusted/replaced and a tune-up. The heater works, the AC needs new coolant so I will have that included with the oil change. It has relatively new wiper blades. I lived in Santa Monica for 2 years about 25 years ago so I'm well aware of the traffic nightmare on the LA freeways. I'd be sure to time it so I was driving through at mid day rather than prime commute times.

I'm convinced that I shouldn't attempt to pull a trailer so now I'm working on moving companies options and other alternatives. I've got a couple moving companies scheduled to make in-house estimates in 10 days. That will give me time to finalize what I will be taking and what I'll be leaving behind.

For the drive to NM, I was going to get one of those disposable cell phones. Sounds like I should also get a cheap CB radio too, 10-4 good buddy? Is channel 9 still used as the emergency channel? That will be fun. Haven't used a CB radio since the '70s when my handle was Gabby.

Thanks for the tips about gas and the long stretches. Truckers and truck stops are my friend. Most often when I'd have to make a run to LA I'd drive at night in mid-summer with the windows down and the music blaring. I'd look for a truck convoy and get behind them with my car on cruise control. If I got too tired to drive further, I'd pull into a truckstop for a catnap and let some truckers know I was there so they'd keep an eye out for me. Doubt I'd do that these days. Truck stops don't seem as safe as they used to be, or I'm just not as naive. Wink

My biggest worry is winter weather. I've driven to Reno in winter weather several times, but never when chains were required. Ran into snow on the Grapevine to LA a time or two also. California is relentless in keeping the roads cleared so it was mostly just like driving in any other weather. What's your recommendation about chains, should I purchase some just to have in case, or will they be unnecessary on the southern route?

Tell me more about the route from the California border into NM. Are there motels strategically placed along the way where you recommend gas stops? I can probably drive for about 12 hours a day at posted speed limits before needing to stop overnight. Which cities along the way do you recommend I plan for stopovers and should I make advanced reservations or can I just drop in and be able to find a vacancy? If I leave Sacramento in the AM on March 1st, can you give me some guestimates of what location I'll probably reach on what day? I'm estimating that I'll make it to the CA/AR border by the end of the first day. Am clueless as to when and where from there to NM.

If you'd prefer to communicate all this via email rather than posting it here, my email address is in my profile under the avatar.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 04:37 pm
Good idea, and I considered doing that, but the extra cost in gas for the truck and the towing/trailer driving are still negatives for that. I'll have a better idea for cost comparisons once I've gotten moving estimates from the moving companies in 10 days. I'll then have something concrete to compare to. They refuse to give me any estimates over the phone, insist on an in-house inspection of what's to be moved, even though I've told them I am not bringing most of it.

Once I know how much the moving company estimates are, I'll also look at the Pod concept. I've looked at service companies and it looks like I can hire 2 people on each end of the move for a total of $600 for 2 hours of work on each end, 4 hours total. I'm thinking it will be just as expensive to have a moving company do the work and I won't be the one trying to get my stuff down the narrow stairs of my apartment.
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Tue 27 Jan, 2009 04:56 pm
Butrflynet wrote:
I'd be sure to time it so I was driving through at mid day rather than prime commute times.

One note on that -- when I lived in L.A. I'd be on the road by 2:15 PM to avoid the main traffic (there still was traffic at that hour, just annoying rather than crazy-making). L.A. "prime commute times" are different from a lot of other places... (goes later too, basically the middle is so horrific that a lot of people skew their work day to try to avoid that, which stretches the whole thing out).
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:08 pm
Yep, I hated the drive from Santa Ana into Santa Monica. Everyone drives bumper to bumper at speeds exceeding 65 mpg. If anyone has to slam on the brakes, it results in a pile up. They drive bumper to bumper to prevent the idiots from weaving lane to lane causing people to slam on their brakes.

When I drove that route in rush hour, my hands would ache from being clenched so tightly on the wheel while trying to see several cars ahead to anticipate abrupt stops.

I hate LA traffic. And, you're right, there's only about a two hour window in the day where it is relatively less insane.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:10 pm
I used to hit it at night. Amazing the time difference, and much less wear on the vehicles.

Can you drive at night?
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:23 pm
If you do take 10, remind me to tell you about a diagonal cut off from Deming to Highway 25 in New Mexico (it led to Hatch, I think). Dys told me about it and it saved a lot of time.

and YES to media mail for the books and cds. Worth the effort re getting to post office - it saved me a lot of money (I mailed 23 boxes, 12 x 12 x 12")
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:27 pm
If I have a truck to drive behind so I can follow their tail lights I can.

Driving alone on a dark road would be tough visually. My night vision isn't as good as it used to be.
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Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:28 pm
You can also rent a truck, and put your car on a trailer.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:38 pm
A trailer for towing behind the truck, or do you mean a multiple car hauling rig?

I've pretty much nixed towing anything in any vehicle in winter driving conditions. The car hauling rig is an idea. I'll have to do some research on that. I'm going to presume there isn't much transporting of vehicles between states these days though since car sales are stagnant.
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:40 pm
As you know from our previous conversations, Butrflynet, I took 101 to LA for sentimental reasons and because I almost-hate 5.
Left west LA early on a sunday morning - 7:30 am, I think, after the family good bye conversations. Freeway wasn't crowded then, really quite clear, but it was f a a a a s s s s t, and going through the interchange engaged my sense of Here I am in a Video Game...

If you do go through the interchange and aren't familiar, I'd look at a map ahead of time to get a little sense of the layout to get to 10...

(Yeh, MM, I didn't remember Indio on 10... I do remember the section of 10 going past the Palm Springs turn offs was "Sonny Bono Highway".)

Also, I think I stayed overnight in Blythe (I mix up Blythe and Barstow names) - might have been christmas eve or christmas day. MM is bringing back my memory of a long grade(s) before Blythe.

I have a couple of photos to post, to put you in the driving mood..
Tue 27 Jan, 2009 05:44 pm
What I'll probably do is go to the local AAA office and have them help me plan the route with the best places for overnights and gas stops. I pay for the service and have never used it. About time I did.

Then, I'll compare that to what I get from Google Maps and MapQuest and make final decisions from there.

My main focus is going to be which route will have the less wear and tear on my car and avoid snow and ice while saving as much on gas costs as possible. I've driven to LA so much on various freeways that I'm not all that interested in sightseeing on this trip. Might arrange for a few in AZ and NM. I've been to Phoenix several times for work but never had a car at my disposal long enough to do much sightseeing while there for temporary assignments.

If it were a different season, I'd like to take my time and go the scenic route via Utah and Colorado to see those states. Winter weather and cost restrictions require the easiest, most direct route this time.

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