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#1
Old 05-30-2014, 03:40 PM
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Need a trailer for a move. Rent from U-Haul or buy?

I'm moving from Wisconsin to Florida in a few weeks, and I'm trying to decide whether to rent a trailer from U-Haul for $700-900 or buy a trailer here and sell it when I get down there. I have a 2009 Honda Odyssey with the trailer package (hitch and transmission/power steering coolers), which can tow 3,500 pounds. It looks like a 4 x 8 or 5 x 8 would be my best option. I know I would have to register and insure the trailer, but if I could pick one up for $1500 or $2000 and sell it for a couple hundred less once I got to Florida, I might come out way ahead compared to the U-Haul rental. Thoughts?
#2
Old 05-30-2014, 03:46 PM
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Remember that U-Haul rental includes maintenance, registration, inspections, insurance and other added costs. Be sure you're pricing out the whole cost of the trailer, from purchase through sale.

I've done things both ways. When I needed a cement mixer for a job but could only pour about one load a day for two weeks, it was cheaper to buy one, then sell it for $100 less than to rent one for 14 days.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 05-30-2014 at 03:47 PM.
#3
Old 05-30-2014, 03:49 PM
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I picked up a nice 5'X10' with a 3500 lb axle for around $700, but it was about 10 years ago. I think I can still get one like it for under $1000. Between myself and my stepson, we've got quite bit of utility from it. It's been handy to have around.
#4
Old 05-30-2014, 04:00 PM
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Also, watch that towing weight on the Ody. You have to subtract gross vehicle load, or some part of it, and I assume you'll have the van itself full of stuff and people. Odysseys aren't really heavy movers, and drive poorly at load limits. Most of the transmission problems in later models (after they cured the bad ones 2000-2004 or so) seem to come from overstress/overheating - the unit is not really well designed for the upper end of the weight range and towing. You don't want to factor a tranny into the costs.

(I drove a 2007 across country a few years ago... but only with four people, two big dogs and luggage for a 6-day trip.)

Look into the cost of one or two "moving pods" instead. You might find it more cost-effective over all.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 05-30-2014 at 04:02 PM.
#5
Old 05-30-2014, 04:02 PM
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I'd just like to say that I initially read this thread title as "Need a trailer for a movie. Rent from YouTube or buy?"

Carry on.
#6
Old 05-30-2014, 04:11 PM
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I think the "sell for a couple hundred less" bit is going to be much easier said than done. My perception is that utility trailers aren't exactly quick movers on craigslist or wherever. It's not like a car where you can just price it a few hundred below the going rate and have it sold in a few hours. I'd guess you can eventually recover most of your money, but it's a total crapshoot how long it'll take and how much dealing with tire-kickers and other associated craigslist/classified ad flakes you'll end up having to do.
#7
Old 05-30-2014, 05:18 PM
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This is not advice, just anecdotal non-sense:

I've towed all manner of trailer, across the country and all over locally for the last 25 years, and have never registered them, and have never been stopped. Its like the damn things are invisible to the cops.

Usually never bother with lights, either.

Again: NOT ADVICE!
#8
Old 05-30-2014, 05:56 PM
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If it is going to cost $900 for uhaul, isn't it outright cheaper to buy and throw it away, and anything you can resell it for is gravy ? IE a 5x8 at menards is $679: http://menards.com/main/p-2271366-c-9116.htm
I guess if you are comparing like to like, the Uhaul one is enclosed, those are closer to $2k: http://menards.com/main/tools-ha...926-c-9116.htm
I suppose it depends on what you are trying to move and whether you can deal with an open trailer. I'd probably look on craigslist first and try to buy it used in the first place, if you can.
#9
Old 05-30-2014, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatopescado View Post
This is not advice, just anecdotal non-sense:

I've towed all manner of trailer, across the country and all over locally for the last 25 years, and have never registered them, and have never been stopped. Its like the damn things are invisible to the cops.

Usually never bother with lights, either.

Again: NOT ADVICE!
On the one hand, if you're leaving one state, driving across others and going to dump the thing in yet another... registration kind of becomes useless bureauwanking.

OTOH, if there is any kind of accident, loss, hitch failure etc. leading to damage or injury... your insurance might get hinky about an unregistered, uninspected trailer.

If you're really looking at $600-900, ABF pods might be far cheaper. We used ABF trailers to move cross-country and it worked very well for about as cheaply as you can move a family mountain of stuff.
#10
Old 05-30-2014, 06:28 PM
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Is it really $700-900 for the uhaul? I rented a 4x8 to help someone with a cross country move and I'm pretty sure it was about $100. That was 5 years ago, but, wow, if its gone up to $7-900, I'm in the wrong line of work.
#11
Old 05-30-2014, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubaya View Post
Is it really $700-900 for the uhaul? I rented a 4x8 to help someone with a cross country move and I'm pretty sure it was about $100. That was 5 years ago, but, wow, if its gone up to $7-900, I'm in the wrong line of work.
It certainly hasn't; I rented a 10X10 enclosed trailer from UHaul in 2011- packed it full and hauled it with a Volkswagon CC from Alabama to DC, and it was around $200.

I vote for renting.
#12
Old 05-30-2014, 07:12 PM
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Maybe it's a Wisconsin-to-Florida thing -- too many trailers going that way. I just priced it again and it's $632 for the 4 x 8 and $702 for the 5 x 8.

I looked at PODS and ABF, but that's way more expensive. Even the small pods are at least $2,000. A new 5 x 8 trailer at Menards is $1,900 -- a little pricier than I'd like, but I'll think about it.
#13
Old 05-30-2014, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanibelMan View Post
A new 5 x 8 trailer at Menards is $1,900 -- a little pricier than I'd like, but I'll think about it.
Is that an enclosed trailer?
#14
Old 05-30-2014, 07:52 PM
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The trailer he is talking about is enclosed, the link is in my post higher up.
#15
Old 05-30-2014, 08:06 PM
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We bought an enclosed utility trailer for our move from CA to TX and used it a lot to move things around (we moved into an apartment, then bought a house) which we would not have been able to do with a rental. Then we sold it for around 10% less than we paid for it. However I have to admit it was probably easier to sell the trailer in Texas than it would have been in Cali.
#16
Old 05-30-2014, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jacobsta811 View Post
The trailer he is talking about is enclosed, the link is in my post higher up.
That explains the price. Thanks.
#17
Old 05-30-2014, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SanibelMan View Post
Maybe it's a Wisconsin-to-Florida thing -- too many trailers going that way.
Yeah, must be too many people going south for the summer. I went to uhaul.com and I can take one from Tn to Fl for $120, or 2000 miles to CA for $200, but tried several northern zip codes and they all cost $500-600 for a 4x8 to go to florida.
#18
Old 05-30-2014, 10:37 PM
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If you decide to rent from Uhaul be aware that a reservation with really isn't a guarantee that there will be a trailer there when you show up.
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#19
Old 05-30-2014, 11:05 PM
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Honestly,

Try selling everything and bringing nothing you cannot fit into a couple of suitcases.

Really. Do you need all that stuff? Furniture and all? Heck I've moved stuff and 5 years later its still in a box or I throw it away soon after moving it in. Do you know if all your furniture will even fit into your new house?

Plus you do realize this is Florida and you wont need winter clothes anymore.

Other than things like pictures and family mementos is there anything you cannot buy when you get there? I've known families who basically walked out of a house and left it as is with furniture, dishes, etc... or maybe sold everything down to the bare walls.

So try this. Have an estate sale and sell EVERYTHING. Take the money you make. Add in the cost the trailer would have added in, and use that for new stuff in your new home.

Last edited by Urbanredneck; 05-30-2014 at 11:06 PM.
#20
Old 05-31-2014, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
Honestly,

Try selling everything and bringing nothing you cannot fit into a couple of suitcases.

Really. Do you need all that stuff? Furniture and all? Heck I've moved stuff and 5 years later its still in a box or I throw it away soon after moving it in. Do you know if all your furniture will even fit into your new house?

Plus you do realize this is Florida and you wont need winter clothes anymore.

Other than things like pictures and family mementos is there anything you cannot buy when you get there? I've known families who basically walked out of a house and left it as is with furniture, dishes, etc... or maybe sold everything down to the bare walls.

So try this. Have an estate sale and sell EVERYTHING. Take the money you make. Add in the cost the trailer would have added in, and use that for new stuff in your new home.
Heh, this IS us trimming down to the bare essentials. The only furniture is a dining room table and chairs. Everything else is cardboard boxes with books, pictures, and clothes. I think taking a two-bedroom apartment full of crap from two adults and two kids and boiling it down to a 4' x 8' trailer is a feat in itself.
#21
Old 05-31-2014, 06:48 AM
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When we were moving from VA to FL in 2000, we went to rent a trailer so we could move my husband's motorcycle and we ended up buying a brand-new 4X8 open trailer for about $800. At the time, it killed me to spend the money, but doggone, has it paid off in the long run. That trailer moved our daughter from Jacksonville to Orlando for college, moved us from FL back to MD, moved furniture from OH to NC for the inlaws, and has made more runs from home to the landfill than we could count. It's parked behind our shed until we need it again.

Anyway, the only advice I have - make sure you use/buy a trailer with full-size tires. They do so much better on the highway and don't overheat as readily as the smaller ones.
#22
Old 05-31-2014, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanredneck View Post
Plus you do realize this is Florida and you wont need winter clothes anymore.
So if they ever travel to a place with a Real Winter they should travel wearing Florida clothes and buy something upon arrival before they freeze?

Last edited by Nava; 05-31-2014 at 06:50 AM.
#23
Old 05-31-2014, 03:44 PM
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I think alot of Florida residents keep a trailer handy in case they have to be evacuated because of hurricanes.
#24
Old 05-31-2014, 03:54 PM
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Why would you expect to lose money on the trailer when you sell it? Buy a used trailer and you should be able to get as much as you paid or more. A used trailer should not depreciate significantly from one trip.
#25
Old 05-31-2014, 10:21 PM
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Where are you moving to? I was thinking about you today, as I'm camping on Sanibel in a few weeks.
#26
Old 06-01-2014, 12:37 AM
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According to Uhaul's site, a 6x12 trailer is the biggest one you can haul with a 09 Honda Odyssey, and you can put 2480 lbs of cargo in it safely.

It costs $705 for a Miami-Milwaukee move starting 2 weeks from now.

The 5x8 costs 403 for the same time period, and can handle 1800 lbs of cargo safely.

The 4x8 costs 303 for the same time period, and can handle 1650 lbs of cargo safely.
#27
Old 06-01-2014, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnaMen View Post
Why would you expect to lose money on the trailer when you sell it? Buy a used trailer and you should be able to get as much as you paid or more. A used trailer should not depreciate significantly from one trip.
IF the OP was buying & selling in the same locale this would be excellent thinking. BUT ...

The OP is buying in WI and selling in FL. Along with thousands of other folks who've moved to FL in the last 6 months. Many of whom brought utility trailers with them that they're now eager to get rid of.

In the Midwest it's easy to stow a disused trailer in your large backyard or find somebody with a plot of land who'll rent you a spot to store it for $50/year. In coastal FL, where land rents for several dollars per square inch per month not so much. So around here yards are smaller, HOAs don't permit trailers in driveways, and dedicated boat / RV / trailer storage yards charge $150/month to store a utility trailer. Pretty quickly trailer owners are willing to give them away.

So that's the competition the OP will be facing when he tries to sell such a trailer.

Obviously if he's moving to a small rural agricultural town in mid-state his experience will be a bit different. But rural folk are famous penny pinchers; they'll know they can go get an almost free trailer any time they want by driving to a major city/suburb. One tank of gas for a nearly-free trailer sounds like a good tradeoff.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 06-01-2014 at 12:33 PM.
#28
Old 06-01-2014, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
If you decide to rent from Uhaul be aware that a reservation with really isn't a guarantee that there will be a trailer there when you show up.
They are usually good about one-way reservations, not so good about short day rentals. They've always had a truck for me, for example. Unfortunately, it was rarely the clean, shiny, A/Ced, comfort-glide automatic they promise. I usually got some beat-to-shit thing with a roaring engine, a howling 3-speed with a granny gear, and seats that looked and smelled like they came from the bum terminal at the bus station. Oh, and doors that went KA-LANNGGGG shut on the third try.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 06-01-2014 at 01:23 PM.
#29
Old 06-02-2014, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BoBettie View Post
Where are you moving to? I was thinking about you today, as I'm camping on Sanibel in a few weeks.
We're actually moving back to Sanibel. My dad is moving off the island and we're going to live in the house until it sells, but he won't be putting it on the market for a while. Have a great trip and feel free to send me a PM with any questions!

Speaking of my dad, he's offered to go in on a trailer with me, since he thinks it will come in handy for the next few months at least after we get down there. So I'm looking for new and used trailers now.
#30
Old 08-26-2014, 06:07 PM
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Update, in case anyone's wondering (they aren't): I bought a new 5' x 8' trailer for $2,000 including tax. Sold it today for $1,500 cash. My dad went in on half of it with me, and after we got down here he used it several times for local moves, so we both ended up spending $250. Not too shabby.
#31
Old 08-26-2014, 06:16 PM
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Actually I WAS wondering. Yes, sounds like a good deal all around, kudos. Enjoy Florida, maybe someday soon I'll join ya there. And thanks for the update.

Last edited by burpo the wonder mutt; 08-26-2014 at 06:17 PM.
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