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  1. Default Moving LA to MD, need advice

    Hi, I'm a single woman moving cross country alone. For a variety of reasons, I think it best to drive a truck and tow my car. I will be traveling with one cat, and have time to make the trip. My sons are fearful of my doing this, especially the thought of someone stealing my truck or it's contents while I am sleeping. I plan to use Penske because they seem the most reliable.

    So I ask you road veterans out there: Am I crazy to do this, as my sons suggest, or is this a feasible and safe option?

    What suggestions would you give me regarding: route, safety, sleeping?

    Thanks very much for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Do It

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Hundreds, if not thousands, of people do similar moving trips every day. If you can handle the truck/car combination safely, there is no particular reason not to do this. Buy yourself a good padlock for the truck's lift gate and no one is going to bother it or its contents. The most direct and easiest route from Los Angeles to Baltimore is I-15 north to Barstow, I-40 east to Oklahoma City, I-44 to St. Louis and I-70 to Baltimore. At around 2700 miles, this trip can be made in five days of steady, serious driving. Six would leave you a little wiggle room, but how much time you have may depend as much on the rental contract as anything.

    A few general suggestions: Have everything packed up as much as possible before you get the truck so that you maximize the time you have for the drive rather than wasting rental time on putting stuff in boxes. Use beltways around major cities wherever possible and stay in the 2nd lane. Most of these roads will have 3 or 4 lanes. Leave the leftmost lane(s) to fast traffic and leave the rightmost lane to people trying to get on/off. Know which exit number you want and where it is, then get over to the right a good couple of miles beforehand. Try to spend your nights well away from major cities at motels along the Interstate at otherwise underpopulated exits. This will make it easier to get to on/off the highway and the motels will usually be set up for drive through parking. Ask at the front desk if there's somewhere you can park your rig that's well lit and visible from either the lobby or the road.

    In short, you're not crazy and maybe it's time to show your son what you're capable of.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-05-2009 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Clarification

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default We are huge proponents of solo trips here

    Quote Originally Posted by slbphd View Post
    Hi, I'm a single woman moving cross country alone. For a variety of reasons, I think it best to drive a truck and tow my car.
    We are deeply committed to the concept of solo road trips here -- and in fact, my research shows that a significant & majority % of all solo roadtrippers out there are women. We have lots of tips about the best ways to do that.... That being said, I have some concerns about about anyone, male or female, combining a solo roadtrip with a household move. Are you familiar with those pack and drop containers? If it were me... I would use one of those services for your household goods and then take a considerably less stressful move across the country in your car. Here's one such company, (I'm not recommending this company -- I don't know anything about them -- strictly an example) What I do like about the service is that you pack your belongings as you wish, you lock the container and then let a professional driver haul it for you.
    I will be traveling with one cat, and have time to make the trip. My sons are fearful of my doing this, especially the thought of someone stealing my truck or it's contents while I am sleeping. I plan to use Penske because they seem the most reliable.
    I think the chance of a theft of this nature is very remote. There are thousands of such trucks on the road in the summer months -- thefts of personal household property are pretty rare.

    Solo road trip tips:
    An overview article
    Safety on the road
    Here's a thread from a first-timer solo (woman) traveler and her experiences
    Truck Stops as a resting option

    Mark

  4. Default

    I would also recommend hiring someone else to drive your stuff while you drive your car and enjoy the trip. We are moving from NY to NC. With the company we chose, you pack and load your stuff yourself then they drive it to your location. For us that will be storage until we close on a house. Then they will take it from storage (nothing every gets moved out, they just unhitch the contained and rehitch it to move it) to our new home. It's about $1500 I think plus storage for however long. This way we just take our personal belongings and important papers and have a fun road trip and not have to worry about driving a large truck.

  5. Default Moving LA to MD, need advice

    Thanks very much for your replies.

    I had looked into the pod idea, but I am limited by the rural nature of my move and the facilities locations.

    Any suggestions on the moving of a piano? I hear that it's better to let a piano company move it, but of course, they make money that way.

    If everything is strapped tight to the truck, any reason why I can't transport that too?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Weighty Issue

    Um, pianos tend to be very heavy, even small spinets. So will there be people at both the California (or Louisiana?) and Maryland ends of this move to help you load and unload it? If so, there's no reason not to move it yourself. You will probably have to get it tuned again after the move even if a professional moves it just because of the changes in temperature and humidity. But if you're going to be trying to move this thing around by yourself, I'd make sure you can do that (including up and down steps!) before committing yourself to such labor.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Hire a professional piano mover. It's well worth every cent. A professional can retune it upon delivery. I have a friend who does this for a living, and there's a lot of specialized equipment involved, and having knowledge of pianos is a must.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default option B

    Unless the piano has some real special personal significance, I would try to sell it and just buy a new (used) one when you get to your destination. I really think you could save a lot of money compared to moving it across country, and at the very least, you'll save a whole lot of hassles.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Ditto-ditto-ditto

    Pianos are incredibly susceptible to changes in humidity and the general bumpiness of a move. If this is a valuable asset to you (and nearly all pianos are) trying to move it yourself is foolhardy at best. Sorry, but that's the reality of this situation. Michael's "Option B" probably makes the most sense!

    Mark

  10. Default Thank you

    Okay, it looks like it's coming together. Thank you to everyone as this gets worked out.

    I haven't decided on the piano yet, but it's too valuable to sell in this economy--I'd never be able to replace it. So somehow it will get moved.

    I've decided on Penske as my truck. Their rates were better than Uhaul, and more professional, through, and helpful. I can also get professional help loading the truck through a company that they recommend--very helpful!

    So now I'm down to packing (of course), but also mapping my move. The course that you have recommended was helpful, thank you.

    As I plan the drive, I am guessing that 300 miles a day is about 6 hours.
    Is that reasonable for 1 person to drive in a day?
    Am I over/under estimating 50mph, (with a 26 ft truck towing a car)?

    Also, given your experience, what are the best, safest, and easiest places to stay in? Economical would also be nice, but safety trumps all.

    I appreciate your help so much--thank you.

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