How to get a middling amount of stuff from LA to Washington
January 5, 2017 5:42 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to get a small amount of stuff from Los Angeles to Washington state this spring and am looking for affordable options.

Unless things change substantially, I'm going to be quitting my job in March and driving from Los Angeles to Washington state. I came down here a couple years back with things in the back of my Subaru wagon, but now have more stuff I'd like to take back (bed frame, mattress, bicycle, other random stuff) and it isn't likely to fit. A U-Haul van or the like would cost me more than the stuff is worth and would be rather too big for what I'd like to take, and I'm willing to leave it all (or much of it) behind if I can't find a way to take it along that would be less than replacement costs.

I do have a second driver, but would need to pay airfare for him to get down here, so that cost needs to be included as well.

It doesn't seem possible to get a van to do a one way trip from here to there (I've checked a number of rental agencies). Another option is a one way SUV rental, but that may not be easy to pack the things I'd like to take into and they're expensive ($1000, which, added to airfare, is probably more than replacement costs for the things I'd like to take).

Any suggestions into other places to look?
posted by Death and Gravity to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
It always depends on the specifics, but I'd look into some of the cut-rate pods clones out there. The amount of stuff you describe is pretty close to what would fit in some of the smaller ones. AFB-u pack and 'door-to-door' would be good places to check.

Door to door was remarkably cheap a few years ago when our family did a coast to coast.

I would pack the bike in a bike box if you go this route. We had a bike get busted (repairable, but still messed up) because of how things shifted.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:58 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


Look into the various moving pod options, where they drop off a pod — various sizes are available — you fill it up, they pick it up and drop it off where you're going, and you unload it. Among those offering this service:
-- Pods
-- Smartbox
-- Door to Door
-- UHaul Ubox
-- ABF UPack
Google "moving pods" for more. If you don't know where you're going to be living before you leave, they can store the pod for you as long as you want.
posted by beagle at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]


+1 for ABF. We took one of their ReloCubes from PDT to EDT for 2k. I am sure it would be way cheaper if you stay in PDT. It was incredibly painless and easy to use.
posted by arnicae at 6:02 PM on January 5, 2017


I forgot to mention: Door-to-Door specifically will give you a significant discount if you unload your little pod in their warehouse. They charge alot for that last leg of the trip from their depot to your house. They don't offer this explicitly, and you kind of have to push for it, but it's an option. We found out about it on accident, but it saves you some cash. Others might do this too?
posted by furnace.heart at 6:18 PM on January 5, 2017


I installed a trailer hitch on my Elantra and rented a trailer. Buying a trailer and re-selling it when you get there is also an option.
posted by metasarah at 6:33 PM on January 5, 2017


Door to Door was super easy to work with. I did a really speedy load in the pod and paid no drop off fee. You might ask about that option. They're based out of Washington State.
posted by jennstra at 6:38 PM on January 5, 2017


Another great experience with a ReloCube from ABF. $1600 (in 2010) to move from the East Coast to the West Coast, smooth as silk.
posted by bink at 7:07 PM on January 5, 2017


I've done ABF a couple times, and used their "rent a portion of a truck trailer" option instead of a relocube because those weren't available at one end of both moves. I went from San Diego to Wisconsin for around $1900 and could have knocked $200 off that if I unloaded at their terminal. From Wisconsin to Michigan was just under $1000 for twice as much stuff - they rent the trailer by the linear feet that you use with a minimum of 5 feet; I had 7' moving to Wisconsin and 13' moving to Michigan. With your amount of stuff, you probably wouldn't use the whole 5', but you're not going to use the smallest POD size either (7'x7'). If you can somehow get your stuff to and from their terminal at both ends of your move, like with a friend who has a pickup, you could get it done pretty cheap. Getting a quote from them is no hassle, and they're easy to work with over the phone (and in person when I've had to, actually).
posted by LionIndex at 8:05 PM on January 5, 2017


Thanks all. I may look into a trailer, though my poor old 4 cylinder Subaru might not approve.

I'm getting numbers all over the place on the pod systems and need to do a bit more research.
posted by Death and Gravity at 12:23 PM on January 8, 2017


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