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Moving cross country, any advice?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Googlaw, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. Googlaw

    Googlaw Member

    So I'm moving. Across the country. I'm riding solo with just my tape deck, broken heater and trunk full of everything I own. I'm looking for advice, pointers, lessons learned, things to avoid or just humorous anecdotes to keep me awake. See you on the roads!
     
  2. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I did it. If you're Northward, fix your heater. Trust me on this.

    Feel free to PM me. I did the move with cats. It was awful!
     
  3. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]
     
  4. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    Don't.

    Period.

    OK, rent a top-of-the line moving company. Don't try to do it yourself and don't rent a cheap one.

    I speak from experience.
     
  5. Bad Guy Zero

    Bad Guy Zero Active Member

    Check your local library to see if they have a copy of The National Highway Exit Authority. It lists very gas station, food establishment, shopping mall, lodging, etc. within 1/4 mile of every interstate highway exit in the country. Use it to plan your trip out ahead of time. You'll thank me when you don't run out of gas on some barren stretch of two lane interstate that runs 38 miles between exits. Neither of which has a gas station within a mile of the interstate.
     
  6. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    I've done it twice ... you save a lot of money if you pack a cooler and fill it with lunch stuff. My last cross country trip, four days in a U-haul, I only ate two hot meals. Ate a lot of cold cuts at rest areas.
     
  7. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    OK, I had a family to move.

    1. If you're going solo, I agree on fixing the heater. It's likely just a heater core, which you could put in yourself depending on your car (a friend and I changed ours in a Cavalier, but had to go under the dash to do it).

    2. Take your time, if at all possible. Check maps for things such as scenic stops, malls (if you're a shopper -- Hi Sxy!), flea markets, antique shops, whatever.

    3. Enjoy the drive. Starting a new job is stressful, so this will be the most relaxing you will be for a few months.

    I drove my wife an 3-year-old daughter from Orlando to Oregon, and had our stuff moved by a cheap moving company (I was scared to death to drive a truck that big). The bastards stole some of our stuff, and since we stuck most of it into storage, didn't know it for a while.

    I drove my then 10-year-old daughter (and her damn gerbils, which she accidentally let escape the cage once) from Oregon to Kansas in as large a truck as I was daring to drive (I got bolder in my old age, but I refused the larger truck and had to leave some stuff behind). That was a fucking nightmare.

    Pulled our minivan on full tow while driving the truck. Road work in every state. And the sign on the truck said not to exceed 45 mph, but the damn truckers wouldn't let me go less than 60. Scared the shit out of me on those one-lane bridges with those bastards right on my ass with their brights on.

    Then drove across Kansas with a larger truck, which burned oil like crazy. Three stops to put oil in it (after fearing I burned it up). Thought I could get there with $100 for gas money. Spend that 30 minutes into the trip. Mom-in-law wired us money to get the rest of the way.

    Hellfartdamn, I hate moving.
     
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    I will never again tow a car behind a moving truck. Either I get movers, or I do what I did last time and throw as much as I can fit into the car and leave the rest behind. (It helps that the furniture I was leaving was free ... and ugly.)

    Nothing as fun as cruising down the interstate and suddenly having trucks on both sides of you, pulling you in both directions. 7 miles per gallon, slow as all hell. Oh yeah. Good times.
     
  9. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Nearly croaked myself by driving 800 miles in one day. Only time in my life I nodded off at the wheel and came inches from a concrete thing where they were doing some highway construction. Fortunately I was driving through a decent-size city, so I pulled off at the next exit and checked into the first motel I saw, a HoJo.

    I've driven across the country twice and the papers gave me a per-diem, although with one paper you could spend more one day and less on another as long as it all worked out to the budget. I ate cheap for lunch and ate someplace expensive for dinner. Would stay someplace cheap one night, someplace great the next.

    You're probably not going to drive this too many times because it's a really, really long ride, so my advice is Experience America! Don't eat at McDonald's -- go native wherever you are.

    As for music, the first time I did it, the paper paid to have the movers pack me and they got almost all the cassettes. I set off with just the two that were already in my car -- Grateful Dead's Mars Hotel and the first Traveling Wilburys album. I got pretty tired of them west of the Mississippi. There are long stretches where there aren't many radio stations that I'd listen to. Had to stop and buy some tunes. Couldn't put that on the expenses, though.
     
  10. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    Which brings up a great point. Invest in satellite radio. Skip meals if necessary to do so.
     
  11. Bad Guy Zero

    Bad Guy Zero Active Member

    If you're moving a significant distance and have a moving company handling your belongings look into an auto transportation service. They'll load your vehicle onto one of those car hauling trailers and transport it wherever you want. It'll save potentially several hundred [if not over a thousand] miles on your vehicle and allow you to regain a bit of your sanity.
     
  12. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Of everything I've read, I agree with this the most. Moving is most definitely for sucks.

    Googlaw — this is more for when you get there than getting there, but if at all possible, have some of your soon-to-be co-workers scout out living accommodations for you. It'll make settling in infinitely easier and those folks should know who's on the level and who to avoid.

    As for the drive itself, Cosmo is exactly right with bringing your own munchies. Even investing in a Gigantor-sized tub of Cheezy Poofs will save you from loading up each time you stop for gas. Also, make sure you get out and stretch every 2-4 hours or so. I've done at least a dozen 1,000-plus mile drives in my life, so trust me when I say losing 5-10 minutes here and there beats feeling like the Tin Man when you get where you're going.
     
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