Planning to rent a U-Haul. Advice, please.

Jun 29th, 2011, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 58
Planning to rent a U-Haul. Advice, please.

I may need to get a U-Haul to deliver stuff to college for children. Driving from Md to Tx. I've driven SUVs but never a truck. Just need to get something big enough for an 88-inch sofa ... so probably the smaller options. Still, is it tough to drive a rental truck and is U-Haul the only game in town?
desperado is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 02:26 PM
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What town? I would look in the yellow pages.

Are you sure it wouldn't be economically wiser for them to buy a used sofa where they are (if you really are just driving a sofa there)?
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 02:40 PM
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Do you own a SUV and can you do this with a trailer. you need to consider the return trip.
Ryder, etc. is the other game in town.
I'd think about the cost--if you are taking other stuff, fine. For college kids, it could be cheaper to pick something up there--EVEN if you want to get rid of what you have. Think of all the alternatives and costs.
Trailers are cheaper. BTDT
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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OR a car that will take a trailer hitch (if youdon't have a SUV). Not all car bumpers can handle a hitch any more, and of course small cars can't.
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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Is it really cheaper to deliver a sofa than buy one there? I seriously doubt it when you figure in tolls, gas, rental, hotels and food along the way.

And one-way rentals are really, really expensive - are you going to drive the damn thing RT or pay a premium for one-way rental.

Around Boston area in early fall when students are returning one knows to stay far away from any rental truck because there is usually some inexperienced driver at the wheel.
gail is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Wow. Lots of challenges. Yes, sofa and other stuff to furnish apartment, but sofa being the largest item. Most likely one-way because I don't particularly want to drive back. My car does not have a trailer hitch.
desperado is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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My cousin works for Penske. Can you trade one of your vehicles for a pickup truck with a cap? Maybe a pickup truck with a trailer hitch?
tomfuller is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 07:35 PM
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We considered a U-Haul rental when my son rented an apartment in Austin. It turned out that it he could get a lot of stuff on Craigslist for next to nothing, so we let him do that instead of taking stuff we had here in Virginia.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2011, 08:43 PM
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take all the small stuff in your own car, and have them buy couches and beds in Texas. This will save you money in two ways..Cost of truck and gas, plus they will not expect you to haul it all back home next summer or when they graduate.

When I saw the stuff that some families hauled back & forth to college each year, or the money they paid for storage, I was really glad we live in Hawaii. My kids made do with a lot less stuff. They also bought stuff cheaply, then sold or passed it on when they left.
lcuy is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 04:16 AM
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All good advice. Buy and sell there over craigslist.

That said, I once taught a student who would buy a car at home in September, put on temporary plates, and drive it with all his stuff to school, where he would sell it before the temporary plates expired. As long as it brought more than the cost of the rental truck, he was golden. Ditto in the spring to get home. Over four years, he made money and learned entrepreneurship.

If you absolutely have to rent a truck, when we had to move some antiques our experience with Penske was excellent.
Ackislander is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 05:36 AM
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While I agree that buying furniture at your destination is a good idea, driving a U-Haul truck is very easy. I have driven twice in the past 3 years from Phoenix to Greeley, CO. I find the U-haul seats to be the most comfortable I have ever had in any vehicle.

I used a 17 ft truck last month. It is probably big enough for all your needs. A smaller one might also work for you.
bigtyke is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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Not sure where which cities are involved, but a hypothetical Uhaul rental (10 foot truck) one-way from Baltimore to Austin is over $1200. Add the gas and lodging along the way and I don't even want to know how much the total would be.

Round-trip is prohibitively expensive, you are charged about $20/day plus about $1/mile. Far more expensive than a one-way.

Like everyone else, I would recommend buying things to furnish the apartment in Texas.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Jun 30th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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Yes - Craigslist - but why buy? A cursory glance yielded a limitless supply of free sofas.

Don't even bother looking now, there will be plenty of everything need to furnish an apt. on the weeks postings when you arrive.
bardo1 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2011, 08:18 AM
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The Habitat for Humanity ReStore's (thrift store) are also excellent sources for furniture.
bigtyke is offline  
Jul 1st, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Two words: Bed Bugs. Although my first apartment was decorated in "thrift store chic" I'm not sure I'd buy upholstered furniture or a mattress second hand these days. Tables, desks and dining chairs? CL is fabulous. But anything stuffed? I'd have second thoughts.

I'd look at Ikea (or similar) for inexpensive furniture. Owning an Ikea Poang chair is practically a college/grad school right of passage.
MLTimes is offline  
Jul 1st, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Yes, trucks are "easy" to drive, but they are talking about a trailer. I have pulled them several times and was always VERY careful to find a place to park where I could pull THROUGH. Don't get caught trying to back a trailer without good knowledge and space!!
Some cars cannot pull a trailer, and particularly many that now have the wraparound bumpers, so it may be a moot point.
Gretchen is offline  
Jul 5th, 2011, 12:20 PM
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I don't see the OP saying anything about pulling a trailer. OP specifically mentioned a truck and asked if it would be easy to drive.
WhereAreWe is offline  

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