When we first planned to move ourselves from Kansas City to Seattle (about 2000 miles) we intended to rent a large U-haul van because that’s what we’ve always done when we moved. The thing is that we’ve never moved cross-country, not as an adult anyway, and the more we thought about it, driving a large vehicle that far during the winter didn’t sound like any fun let alone very safe.
So, we changed our plans and decided to rent a moving POD instead from 1800PackRat.com. Though there were other moving pod choices, 1800PackRat seemed to be the least expensive option. For the most part, the decision turned out to be cheaper and far easier on us since they not only dropped off the pod for us to load in Kansas City but also picked it up when we finished and even did the same in Seattle. Overall, we were quite happy with the service.
The problem, however, was that we were not only limited in storage space but apparently there’s a weight limit on the pods too, more on that in a moment. With regards to the pod storage space, we wound up downsizing and got rid of two rooms of furniture, a assortment of lawn equipment, and even left non-essentials like various holiday decorations and so on.
Despite my brother-in-law helping me play the greatest game of Tetris I could have imagined in the pod–and so we fit more stuff that I thought possible–we still had to leave some important stuff behind…
The weight issue turned out to be a bigger problem than I realized. There’s an 8000 pound weight limit that I had no idea how to gauge so I just shoved until I could shove no more. What happened was that I wound up shoving all of my food storage in the back of the pod because I wasn’t sure that I would be able to fit it and, well, we *had* to take the important things like couches and clothes. 😉
I figured if I couldn’t fit my food storage I would leave it in good hands and buy more when we moved. Fortunately, there was room and we shoved. The problem was that I was not only past my total weight limit of 8000 pounds but when the pod operator showed up to get the pod he couldn’t get the back end off the ground! Long story short, a good portion of my food storage was left behind. 🙁
Beyond that, I only brought two 55-gallon water barrels leaving behind a few more. Moreover, I couldn’t bring the “holy grail” of water storage options (an IBC tote) because that took up way too much dead air space. I figured I could get an IBC tote when I moved but they seem to be difficult to procure here… I’ll keep trying.
I was getting desperate to remove weight from the back end and wound up leaving a large box of ammo which I knew weighed quite a bit. In hindsight I should have brought it but, like I said, I was a bit desperate.
Fuel and Power
While I wasn’t quite sure about the pod rules regarding transporting fuels, I DID know my wife’s rules and that was not to screw up her stuff because of any of MY stuff! And, after my recent foul-up with leaking isopropyl alcohol all over some supplies I had, the last thing I needed was to leak gasoline all over our furniture!!
Granted, I should have just emptied the cans and not worried about it but I wasn’t sure if gasoline vapors would be an issue either and, like I said, I didn’t need to have the smell of gasoline all over our clothes and furniture for months on end and then to have my wife constantly remind me of my screw up. I did, however, take some propane as I figured that stuff was darn stable.
So, now I need to by a few new gas cans. Guess I haven’t bought any in a while as they’re super expensive!
I also wound up leaving a few solar-related items including some panels and batteries. This was more due to the fact that I wasn’t sure I could utilize solar power in and amongst all the trees I’m now living in.
If I had known better I would have packed the pod differently so that it would have been more likely that I could have taken more of my prep supplies. Specifically, I would have distributed the weight differently.
Fortunately, however, all is not lost. The currently plan is that I’ll return in the summer to gather what was not brought with us so it’s not a total loss but there is a several month gap so, of course, I’ll probably want to replace the majority of what I’m missing sooner than the summer.
I’ve already started working on food storage but have more to go. I REALLY want to get more water barrels and so I need to find a cheap source quickly. The ammo box I left wasn’t crucial but I’d prefer to have more rather than less and so I need to procure some more shotly too.
Ultimately, the moral of the story is to shove the preps in FIRST, don’t tell your wife, and then shrug when there’s no room for her fancy china. 😉