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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default Fall trip with a U-Haul

    We're just back from one trip, and now thinking about the next one. My hubby will be flying from CA to MO in October for the Estate Sale (items from his mother's house). After the sale, he will be traveling home in a U-Haul truck that has some furniture and boxes of miscellaneous items in it. The furniture will include a bedroom set (headboard and frame, mattress and box spring MAYBE, large dresser and tall chest of drawers), a small china hutch, and two small end-tables. This isn't really a pleasure trip, just one that has to be made to bring things from MO to here.

    Having no recent experience with U-Haul vehicles, we have no idea of the capabilities or differences of the 10' U-Haul truck, or the 14' truck, or their counterparts in the Penske brand. Both appear to be available from MO --> CA. If anyone here has experience, please chime in?

    Second would be routing. Hubby still leans towards the I-70 to I-15 route, because it's most direct for us. We've never taken that route in mid-October. Since the route goes up to 11,000 ft elevation, is winter weather often a problem in October on I-70? I think he would drive it in FOUR days, though, because he is taking this trip solo (I have to stay home and work). The other alternative is I-70 to I-35 south (KS and OK Turnpikes), to I-40 across (either to I-17, I-10, and I-8, or straight across to I-15, depending on whether he decides to stop in Phoenix at my parents'). I told him I thought the I-40 plan would be safer and less likely to have weather issues, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks for any help!



    Donna

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

    Default Probabilities and Choices

    That's really all you have to work with this far in advance of your trip. The main area of concern in taking the I-70/I-15 route is just west of Denver as you cross the Rockies. Even though Loveland Pass is now bypassed by the Eisenhower Tunnel, you will still be operating at well over 10,000 feet for much of central Colorado and snow, even in October, is a possibility. While it is not probable that you will see freezing temperatures, and October is a relatively dry month, you still at this point should be concerned about such an event. For me, the more telling fact is simply the elevation differe3nce between your two major route choices. As noted, Using I-70 will require you to climb nearly to nearly 12,000 feet whereas the I-44(or US-54)/I-40 route only requires you to get up to 8,000 feet. Driving an underpowered and overloaded truck makes the I-40 route the clear choice.

    I haven't rented a truck in quite awhile, but I will say that my general impression from the times when I did and the comments and reviews I have seen posted on this site is that the Penske fleet is generally better maintained than the U-Haul fleet, and so that would be my choice on that front.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    the Penske fleet is generally better maintained than the U-Haul fleet
    That's been my observation too.

    Another routing option - go to Albuquerque, then take I-25 south to Hatch, then NM-26 to Deming. Take I-10 to I-8. I did that a few years ago on my way out to SD when the reports indicated it was snowing in Flagstaff. The only hard mountain pull that way is Ocotillo on I-8, which I'm sure you are very familiar with. To get to ABQ, I'd look at possibly going to Wichita, then US-400/US-54 to Tucumcari.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I can tell you that I have traveled in a UHaul from California to Kansas City (and beyond), pulling a trailer, in February.

    I took I-15/I-70 and didn't have any problems at all.

    I'll also say that I have a fair amount of experience with UHaul - both renting for a few moves and working at a store that rented them on the side - and I really have never had any problems with them. I've never used Penske because their prices have usually been higher (although Uhaul will match if someone is lower, I suspect Penske may do the same) and even more the case, Penske has a much smaller number of locations, and any time I would have used them, it would have involved lots of extra driving to pick-up/return.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default Routing...

    My hubby definitely does NOT like to travel the US highways when he's on a "speed run". We did US 54 through Wichita, Liberal, Santa Rosa and all the way down to Alamagordo right after we married. That was fine then, as we were not in a big hurry. But this trip will be different. (Why he doesn't like the US or state highways: it's difficult to pass, and he wants to hold the speed limit at all times.)

    Good point about the passes, etc., which is one reason he's now leaning more towards I-70/I-35/I-40/I-15 routing. Thanks for the alternate routing down I-25 if the weather in Flagstaff doesn't cooperate (the highest elevation on that route).

    I wonder about that Penske vs U-Haul servicing. On the way out to Phoenix, we saw a tow truck towing a Penske truck and its car trailer. We think the Penske renters were in the car that was following it! This is about the third time in the past 2 months that we've seen a Penske being towed. We haven't seen a U-Haul truck being towed, though. Maybe that's just coincidence. From our standpoint, U-Haul is cheaper than Penske by $100+ and there are more dealerships in our area for U-Haul.

    Thanks for the input. I told hubby that I'd love to come along, but it's hard for teachers to get time off during the school year like that!


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The fastest routing via I-40, weather permitting, would be I-17 out of Flagstaff to Phoenix, Loop 101 to I-10 to AZ-85 to Gila Bend to I-8.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I'd say any examples you've found of Penske's breaking down vs. Uhaul's would really be just a matter of chance, and can't really give you any good data on what is actually better.

    Uhaul services their trucks every 5,000 miles, and does larger rehabs at regular intervals. I don't have any hard facts about Penske, but I get the impression that UHaul does keep their trucks in service longer. UHaul will keep a truck in their fleet for 200,000 miles or more, but as they get near the end of its life, they will move their older trucks into "in-town" service only.

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