California is estimated to have the highest demand of any state in the nation for outbound moving truck rentals according to Scholar & Economist Mark Perry. With this demand comes skyrocketing prices as many moves involve one-way rentals and truck rental companies struggle with depleted inventory.
We wanted to compare do-it-yourself moving options between a moving truck rental and a moving trailer rental to find out if there is a compelling advantage in renting one over the other. Our research is based on a truck or trailer big enough to accommodate the average family household of 3 to 4 bedrooms.
What if you don't own a truck? It's a common assumption that you need to own a pickup truck to rent a moving trailer. This is not true. There are rental companies that will rent out a pickup truck, such as Enterprise, at a very reasonable price. Is it still cost effect if you have to rent a pickup and a trailer? Let's find out now.
The two significant cost variables with moving are the Rental Base Rate and Fuel Economy.
Here are the lowest moving truck rental prices we found for 2020. All numbers quoted are base rates before taxes and fees.
Moving Truck - A 26 foot moving truck with unlimited miles for a 1 week rental: $2,563.20
Moving Trailer - 28 foot moving trailer with unlimited miles for a 1 week rental from Big Trailer Rentals: $700.00
It's no secret that big trucks have big engines that consume a lot of fuel. But, here's something you may not know. A moving truck is designed to haul twice the amount of weight the average person will load in it. A 26 foot moving truck has a GVWR of 26,000 lb and a capacity of about 10,000 lb. It's estimated that you can load it with a 3-4 bedroom house. The weight of a room is calculated at 1,000 lb per room. For example, 3 bedrooms + kitchen + living room = 5,000 lb. Bottom line is twice the weight capacity does not equal twice the space or cubic feet, but it does equate two or three times more fuel consumption.
Moving Truck - The fuel consumption of a loaded moving truck is alarming. The average loaded moving truck over 20 feet long gets 4 to 6 MPG [Source: MyMove.com] This means even the cheapest moving truck rental will be considerably more expensive to drive than an average pickup truck.
Pickup Truck - The average pick-up truck pulling a loaded 28 foot enclosed trailer will get 12 to 14 MPG. Here's how we did the math: A typical 28 foot moving trailer + load will weigh between 5,000 to 10,000 lb. A typical pickup truck pulling 5,000 lb or more will get 25 to 35 percent less MPG than it does without pulling a trailer [source: ItStillRuns.com] For example, if your truck gets 22 MPG with city and highway miles combined, it's estimated that you will get at least 14.3 MPG pulling a loaded 28' moving trailer.
Moving requires good balance, strength and a large area to maneuver heavy furniture. Going up a steep narrow ramp with a fridge on a dolly can quickly turn into a disaster without enough people lifting, pushing and pulling. Unfortunately, in many cases there is not enough room on a narrow ramp for multiple people to stand without falling or getting injured. A lift gate on a moving truck is ideal but there may be an additional charge.
Moving Trailer Ramp - The average moving trailer has a loading ramp width of 93 inches. The average height from the ground is 14 inches.
If you towing a vehicle during your move, you won't be able to load a vehicle in a moving truck. Loading an ATV or motorcycle in a moving truck can be challenging to say the least. Some moving truck rental companies prohibit pulling a trailer or dolly behind their truck.
Moving trailers are designed with the convenience and flexibility to load a vehicle, ATV, motorcycle, or just about anything without restriction. A cargo trailer rental ramp will support the weight of 4,000 rolling pounds.
Moving truck and trailer rental features are as different as night and day.
Moving Truck Rental
Moving Trailer Rental
With so many California residents fleeing the state, moving companies have raised their rates as a result of more outbound than inbound rentals. The exorbitant shift in moving truck rental cost has customers seeking alternative means to move to their dream state. When weighing the various moving options, there's no doubt that although a moving truck has a couple advantages, a moving trailer rental has far greater advantages. Not only is there a more cost effect way to move but a more efficient way to move in 2020 and beyond.
Disclaimer: This information is provided by Big Trailer Rentals, LLC as a consumer resource. This information is based on the opinion of the author and research provided by reliable sources. The factual information contained on this page may change over time and not be accurate as products and services change. As a consumer, you should do your own research and not rely entirely on this information.