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Old 04-27-2010, 09:09 AM
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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U-Pack and Pods as an alternative to U-Haul: opinions? experiences?

In this thread, I was asking about U-Hauls, because I'm planning a cross-country move with all of my belongings and my car. I'd envisioned driving a 14'-17' truck and towing my car.

What I didn't mention in that thread is that I'm also transporting my dog, bird, and hamster, so I've been having anxiety about where the hell I'm going to put them, as a friend is also making the trip with me.

A couple other stuff-transporting options were mentioned in that thread that I'd never been aware of (U-Pack and Pods), and now I'm intrigued, because these options would allow me to drive my own car, and safely transport me, my friend, and my menagerie from L.A. to Ohio, and perhaps save on gas costs. U-Pack is priced very comparably, and I was up too late last night to call for a quote on Pods, so I'm not sure how they compare cost-wise.

Any doper opinons on U-Pack or Pods as an alternative to U-Haul? Any other alternatives I'm missing?
Old 04-27-2010, 10:26 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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I looked at PODS for a move a couple of years ago. It seemed surprisingly expensive for what is basically a self service moving van. The fact that I'm way out in the hinterlands with the nearest PODS depot nearly five hours away was probably a factor. Moving from an urban area to an urban area might me cheaper.

Get a quote, read the fine print and see what you think. That's what I did and I ended up hosing out a friend's horse trailer to carry my stuff.
Old 04-27-2010, 10:41 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Orlando
Posts: 3,927
I used a POD once and they do not hold as much as advetised and lord help you if something happens and you can't meet the pick-up on schedule. The price can go up dramatically if your timing goes off. Read the fine print and it can work for you.
Old 04-27-2010, 12:40 PM
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I used UPack for a cross-country move about 6 years ago. It was great, and about half of what UHaul would have cost without the hassle of driving a big-ass truck across the USA.

They drop off the trailer, you fill it up with your stuff and place a barrier. They pick it up and fill the rest of the trailer with cargo going in your direction. They drive it where it needs to go, unload their cargo and drop it off at your new place. You unpack and they pick up the trailer.

A few things to keep in mind.

1. Pack well - use all the space, floor to ceiling, for 2 reasons:

1a. They charge by the linear foot of space used.

1b. If you pack badly, your stuff WILL break.

The only think that broke was my fault - at the last minute I threw a painting on top of the stuff and it got torn.

2. You may get to your destination before your stuff - plan for that.

3. IMPORTANT - make SURE that you have a legal place for them to drop the trailer both at your origin and destination points.

If I hadn't sworn never to move my own stuff ever again, I would use them again in a heartbeat.
Old 04-27-2010, 01:38 PM
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Here are some old threads that I posted in (linking so you can see other poster's comments too):

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=407991
http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...d.php?t=467253
http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/.../t-453885.html

Anyhow, as mentioned I did U-Pack, they have a few different configurations and I did a terminal-to-terminal storage cube because I had nowhere for them to park a truck all day. Door to door would have been a lot easier, but if you have access to a van or something for a local move then terminal->terminal or terminal->house might save a few more dollars. And likewise the only problem we had was that some stuff was thrown on top and damaged, but that was entirely our fault, it *is* called "YOU pack".

In your situation ISTM that the only reason *not* to use of the cube-type services is if you have to keep your stuff with you at all times. Note there may be a storage fee if you don't retrieve your stuff within a certain amount of time, ie, you turn the drive out into a 2 week vacation. And my recollection of reading reviews is that the only thing that's actually likely to go wrong is that your stuff takes too long to get there. But that was something that I could deal with, I just packed the car appropriately (and FWIW my stuff was on right on).

Last edited by sugar and spice; 04-27-2010 at 01:41 PM.
Old 04-27-2010, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Obamarado
Posts: 1,100
I used UPack for a cross-country move two years ago, and pretty much agree with mozchron and sugar and spice. I loaded up my stuff at their terminal, and then they kept it on the truck for almost a week at the destination with no complaints, while I found a place to live, and rented a U-Haul for the day to move it from the terminal to my new place. Everything went smoothly, with no damage to my stuff except what I didn't pack well. If I remember correctly, the truck actually got to the destination city before I did.

Aside from the cost savings, the biggest benefit was that I got to take a cross-country drive in my car, which made it more of a vacation, instead of the work it seems to be driving a truck (which I've also done). No worrying about parking or fitting the truck-with-towed-car into small areas, more comfortable driving, and a lot less for gas. I'd definitely recommend UPack.
Old 04-27-2010, 04:25 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,107
Any of the "You pack and they transport" services will be a whole lot stressful on you as you will not have to worry about snaking a truck towing a car dolly through gas stations and motel parking lots. You'll be able to drive the legal limit, rather than being limited to 55 with that dolly. You won't be looking nervously in the mirrors after every big bump to see if your car is still back there.

The two biggest distinctions between ABF U-Pack and PODS are security and ease of loading. With PODS, you lock it and you keep the key. You don't really lock the U-Pack truck, but your stuff is walled off and the rest of the truck is filled with commercial freight at the ABF depot. As for loading, the U-Pack truck is well, a truck. The deck is over 4 feet off the ground. The PODS container floor is two inches off the ground. This is a HUGE difference, and your legs will know it at the end of the day.

When you're looking at costs of a container vs driving a rental truck, don't forget the cost of fuel - expect to get 5 MPG out of a U-Haul truck towing a car dolly. U-Haul's website bases their cost estimates on 8 MPG. (way, way down at the bottom of the page)

We crunched all the numbers and looked at all the options about half a year ago when we were planning a cross-country move. We went with PODS and would happily use them again.
Old 04-27-2010, 04:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 24,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanthous View Post
Any doper opinons on U-Pack or Pods as an alternative to U-Haul? Any other alternatives I'm missing?
Have you considered just using an actual moving company? That's what I did for a cross-country move (albeit years ago). I had everything boxed in my parents' garage and it was all transported and delivered to my new apartment for about the cost of a U-Haul truck rental. (I think they put multiple people's stuff on one truck with barriers between them.)
Old 04-27-2010, 05:35 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Have you considered just using an actual moving company? That's what I did for a cross-country move (albeit years ago). I had everything boxed in my parents' garage and it was all transported and delivered to my new apartment for about the cost of a U-Haul truck rental. (I think they put multiple people's stuff on one truck with barriers between them.)
Wow - your parents had enough space in their garage for your stuff?

These options weren't available the last time we moved, but I suspect we will use them the next time, when we're going to have to pay for it. Tons of people in my town seem to use Pods - I seem them a lot when walking the dog. I'd think they'd be great in helping you to pack incrementally, which is much less stressful.
Old 04-27-2010, 05:59 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords View Post
The two biggest distinctions between ABF U-Pack and PODS are security and ease of loading. With PODS, you lock it and you keep the key. You don't really lock the U-Pack truck, but your stuff is walled off and the rest of the truck is filled with commercial freight at the ABF depot. As for loading, the U-Pack truck is well, a truck. The deck is over 4 feet off the ground. The PODS container floor is two inches off the ground. This is a HUGE difference, and your legs will know it at the end of the day.
Just in the interest of accuracy, UPack does have a "cube" option and it sounds like it works the same way -- ie, you lock it and keep the key (BYOL), and loading is from the ground level.
Old 04-27-2010, 07:47 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: 0730bama
Posts: 382
I used a UPack ReloCube when I moved across country last month. I was very happy with the whole experience and would definitely recommend them.
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