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Moving across the country in my Toyota Corolla 2015

My husband and I are moving from Minnesota to Seattle in four months. We plan to purge our belongings and bring with us the essentials; our pets, kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, and clothes. We have been sorting out what the most financially savvy thing is to do. Corolla’s can’t haul much so adding a trailer hitch to my leased vehicle seemed pointless. We don’t want to spend over a grand shipping anything. We currently are discussing buying a top rack for the car and attaching items to the top of the car. I did some surface research and it seems racks cost anywhere between $200- 600? Any recommendations (brands, where to buy)?

I also read briefly that top racks can only withstand about 125 lbs of weight… that obviously won’t be worth it if that’s the case. Anyone have more knowledge on this?

Basically, we aren’t really wanting to rent a uhal and drive separate, and we dont want to ship anything either. Advice is greatly welcome!

Yes, roof racks are weight limited. Have you considered renting a U-Haul or Budget rental truck along with a tow dolly or car trailer?

Factor in the rental truck cost against a roof rack and the cost of replacing all of the purged items along with shipping costs of other items and just taking it all with you may be a better option.

Modern rental trucks are much more comfortable than they were in the old days and you won’t even know the tow dolly is there.

I’ve owned the same truck for over 40 years, and one reason I’ve kept it, each time I’v had to move, I’ve always been able to move everything I need to move just w/that truck. Were I in your situation I’d probably rent a one-way small pickup truck to haul whatever wouldn’t fit in the Corolla, and drive in separate vehicles, the Corolla and the rental truck. That wouldn’t cost too much I expect, esp if you reserve a couple months in advance. Budget, U-Haul, Pensky, etc.

If I wanted to drive together in the same car, then I’d just do that. No roof racks or anything else tacked on to the poor Corolla. That’s likely to cause more problems than it will solve. You definitely don’t want a problematic Corolla upon your arrival in Seattle. You’ll need it working so you can do all the fun Seattle stuff there is to do. So whatever won’t fit inside the Corolla, leave behind. And just buy whatever you need but couldn’t bring once you get to Seattle.

A Corolla is a great car for up to 4 passengers and a trunk full of stuff. I have owned one for several years and will buy one again. I would never consider putting a roof rack on it or a trailer hitch. That is just not what a Corolla is for. @ok4450 has a great idea in renting a truck and towing the car behind it.

Here’s another vote for renting a truck and pulling the Corolla behind it. I think you’ll be able to move the most pounds for the money that way.

I agree with others. Corolla’s are not the best for hauling stuff across the country. We have done 3 such moves and each time we have pretty much given all big items away since ours weren’t worth much or were already used up and definitely not worth hauling around. Only took pictures, memorable stuff, a few books. We actually filled up the car trunk and shipped it and we flew. It cost the same and I didn’t have to miss work. If you have time driving is nice.

Agree. Our Acura has a weight limit of 65 pounds on the roof. Not good for much. There are only so many ways to move stuff from point A to point B, and when you throw in not wanting to spend much money, the options get further limited. Most practical, rent a truck the proper size for your stuff and either trailer the car or drive separate. Other than that, if you can’t borrow a truck to use, you could always buy a pick up here and sell it when you get to the coast.

Your cheapest option is to pack your household belongings well and ship them with an over the road carrier such as YRC or a household goods expert such as United Van Lines. Then you can drive your Corolla with a minimum of stuff in it. Unless your household items are very fragile this option should serve you quite well.

@bloodyknuckles I agree; shipping a modest size container is quite cheap considering the distance.

We moved cross country in 1979 in a Ford Granada. We bought a roof carrier form Sears, called an “Excargo” for about $90 at the time. We packed mostly light stuff in it that we needed as we also brought our pet bird in a cage with us and 2 kids. We wanted a pleasant trip.

If you are downsizing, you need to do an economic analysis. Decide what you definitely need at the other end and what you can take in the car with a roof carrier. Sell the rest. and ship what you can’t carry in the car.

My mother in law passed away in the East a few years back. The items my wife wanted were not many and after buying a shipping box from Walmart, we spent $75 shipping it to our destination in the West.

OP is over-thinking this and needs to know what it costs to ship things.

I do not recommend pulling a U-Haul behind a Corolla size car; a new transmission will set you back $4000 or more.

I vote against the rental truck and tow-dolly idea. If someone forgets the truck is taller than the car they normally drive or that they need more room to turn and that backing up is almost impossible expensive damage can occur.
There are shipping companies that will pick at your door, arrange for freight carriers and deliver at your door wherever you move to.

The $1,000 budget limits you. There are freight companies that deliver a “pod” to your home. You pack it and they pick it up and deliver it to your new location.

Look up local shippers in the phone book or on line and find out what it costs to ship from your home now th your new home. You might save money taking it to their depot and picking it up at the depot on the West Coast, but you may need to use your Corolla on either end. This really is your cheapest option.

A pod or partial load from a moing company could be a nice option also.

Leased? Read your lease agreement thoroughly before making any decisions.
By the way, how many drivers are there in the family?

Ii understand Volvo’s concerns, and they’re valid, but I think that unless you’re willing to drive two vehicles in a caravan (truckavan?) than I think the lease truck with dolly is the best option. Do NOT tow the Corolla with the front wheels on the ground. Doing so without the engine operating will ruin the tranny.

shipping a modest size container is quite cheap considering the distance

Off the subject a little, but since there seems to be a good deal of expertise on the shipping household goods topic here, wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a shipping company that ships household goods overseas? I need to ship 10 cardboard boxes, each about 20 cubic feet, of household stuff from Oakland, Calif to Bangkok, Thailand.

I work in international logistics but my company doesn’t move household goods. My recommendation would be to contact Suddath International out of Jacksonville, FL. I have used them for years with great success when dealing with moving household goods. Most carriers and forwarders will not touch household goods and many that will are scammers who will fleece you.

@GeorgeSanJose We shipped household goods from Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) home by using a reputable international mover’s (Allied) overseas office and everything came through without any damage. These large companies move staff all the time overseas and carry good insurance. Their clients are government and major industrial companies mostly. The rate was reasonable and I personally watched them packing.

So, go with a major with international experience; this is no case for trying to save a few dollars. I would recommend Allied based on our experience. Their Yellow Pages ad in the local phone book stresses all destinations including overseas.

Good luck.

I needed to return an item to china, very expensive, through post office I believe, once in china there is no tracking. Got refund for shipping, but not for video card. Avoid at all costs.

I recommend making contact with a moving company that does partial loads. You are on the right track paring down to the essentials. You may be able to come in at your $1000 limit. The only disadvantage is that you may not have a definite arrival date, so get ahead of the movers to be there when they arrive. If you have a lot of books, ship them by freight. It is the cheapest way send books that weigh a lot, but are not fragile.

Yeah come to think of it, maybe that’s a good idea. Trying to remember but I had six or three folding exhibit displays that were 6’ long and about 18" triangles, so very bulky. Had to go from Minnesota to Arizona. I think it cost $125 through Conway. They took weight and size into consideration. I delivered them to the local terminal but it cost more because the destination was a residence and not the terminal in Arizona. Really happy to get them out of my basement.