Road Noise: In It For the Long (U-)Haul.
Autumn is in full swing here at Vehicle Voice World Internet Headquarters and Discount Wig Warehouse, and that makes me think of moving. My apartment leases always seem to end October-ish, and every year there seems to be a compelling reason why I have to pack everything in boxes and take it someplace else. I’ve moved seven times in the past six years, so I daresay I’ve got the expert qualifications necessary to advise you on the proper vehicle for your next move.
Illustrative cat is illustrative.
Moving Van, With Movers
As Illustrative Cat helpfully illustrates, it’s a very sensible idea to pay someone else – someone with expertise, bulging muscles and a semi-truck – to come take care of the whole mess while you go to the movies or something. Are you a sensible person? Of course not. Let’s move on.
Noooo! My collection of porcelain Elvis figurines, blown-glass clowns and Franklin Mint commemorative plates!
A rental truck is a rattling deathtrap shaped like a child’s crayon drawing of a vehicle (much like the Honda Element or Scion xB! Hey-oh!). It gets about 6 mpg, the cabin smells like beef soup mix and feet, and it may not actually exist in our dimension. Still, bribe enough friends with cardboard pizza and Natty Light and you may be able to perform the kind of three-dimensional Tetris that gets all your stuff in the truck and over to your new place in one trip. No one’s ever managed that, but hey, someone has to be first!
After you’ve completed the back-straining heartbreak of unloading the truck (much like the back-straining heartbreak of loading the truck, except in reverse), head for gas station to spend the GNP of Paraguay filling this bad boy up. Then, race back to the rental place in the hopes you’ll be early enough that they won’t charge you for another day. (They will, but it’s always fun to try.)
Your Friend’s Pickup
This is how we roll, except substitute a 1991 Ford Ranger.
This vehicle may also be a rattling deathtrap that smells like beef soup mix and feet, but it’s free, so it’s the solution I usually opt for. (That doesn’t look right, but “solution for which I usually opt” is even worse.) There are some drawbacks, of course: Unless you individually shrink wrap all your belongings and invest heavily in blue tarps, you’re utterly at the mercy of the weather the day you decide to transport your stuff. And unless you’ve taken a vow renouncing all furniture and most possessions, it’s going to take several trips across the city/state/country to get everything where it needs to be. And your sofa legs will probably scratch the hell out of your friend’s pickup bed, and he’ll get all bent out of shape about it. And you’ll almost certainly lose some stuff when it falls off the back of the truck while you go over rough pavement.
But hey, it’s free!
Your Passenger Car
Idiots. Everyone knows you use bungee cords.
This option is even more free than Your Friend’s Pickup, because it reduces moving day to just your lonely self trying to cram one more Hefty bag full of clothes into the back seat. Obviously, this processes is easier for Town Car or Crown Vic drivers than it is for owners of Smarts or Minis, but needs must when the devil drives.
I once drove a Kia Sephia full of everything I owned from Tallahassee to Detroit in 14 hours. This is not something I recommend.
Burn Down Your Old Place, Start Fresh At the New Apartment
Every year, I’m tempted, and every year, I chicken out. Maybe next time.