What Size Moving Truck Do I Need When Moving | Long Distance USA Movers

What Size Moving Truck Do I Need When Moving Long Distance?

Relocating to a new state is exciting and terrifying at the same time. There are so many things to think about and plan, including which truck size you need to transport your belongings. So, what size moving truck do I need, you ask? We have all the answers on what kind of vehicle will be perfect for your upcoming move.

Man packing a truck before long-distance moving overlay
Don't let a detail such as the wrong vehicle dimension ruin your relocation experience

If you’re relocating from a studio apartment, you’ll need a smaller, 10-foot vehicle. Medium moves usually require a 16-foot vehicle, while large relocations demand a lot bigger trucks, such as 20 or 26-footers. Still, note that choosing the right capacity will depend on the number of belongings you have and their type.

Which Relocation Truck Sizes Can You Choose From?

When you’re planning a move to another city, and you wish to do it without the help of cross-country movers, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is which size truck to rent. There is a variety of moving truck sizes available, and it’s important to choose the right one so that your belongings make it to your new home safely. Here are some of the most common vehicle dimensions you can choose from when renting:

  • 10-foot vehicle – the smallest option, with a storage capacity of approximately 300 cubic feet,
  • 15-foot vehicle – has a storage capacity of about 400-500 cubic feet,
  • 20-foot vehicle – has a larger capacity of around 700-800 cubic feet,
  • 26-foot vehicle – the largest option, with 1,200 cubic feet capacity.

You want to make sure you have enough space for all your belongings, but you don’t want to waste money on a truck that’s too big (or end up making multiple trips because the one you rented was too small). So, how do you estimate the moving truck size you need and avoid making relocation mistakes? Just follow our guidelines.

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What Size Moving Truck Do I Need for a Small Load of Stuff?

The general rule of thumb is that a small studio apartment or one-bedroom home will require a 10-foot vehicle, while it typically won’t be enough space for a two or three-bedroom home. Of course, this isn’t an exact science, as everyone has different amounts of stuff. Also, keep in mind that some companies can offer you a larger vehicle, 12-footers, with a bit more space. They are a good choice when your one-bedroom home or studio apartment has a lot of belongings.

Additionally, know that large items like couches, dressers, and mattresses can take up quite a bit of space – and they’re not always easy to fit through doors or around tight corners. For this reason, it’s always best to be cautious and choose a truck that’s slightly bigger.

Which Type of Truck Should You Choose for a Small Move?

Smaller moves are the ones that shouldn’t burden you with too much anxiety about the move. If you wish to organize a relocation on your own, those with a smaller number of belongings will be the easiest ones. However, if this is your case, note that you’ll need to choose not only the vehicle capacity but also its type.

The most popular kinds of vehicles used in any type of move are so-called box (or cube) trucks. They are available in a range of sizes, from 10-footers to 26-footers, as we pointed out above. However, with smaller moves, vehicles such as cargo or pick-ups are also an option.

Many rental companies offer cargo vans, which provide adequate storage for goods that fit a typical one-bedroom apartment. On the other hand, if you plan to move only a few relocation essentials, pick-up trucks can be a decent option.

Man packing a truck before long-distance moving overlay
Small moves offer the most options when it comes to vehicle types

What Truck Size Do I Need for Moving Medium Loads?

Choosing a truck that’s too small will only cause you to make multiple trips and rack up unnecessary mileage and fuel costs. Not only that, but you run the risk of hurting yourself or damaging the vehicle if it is not built to hold that much weight. On the other hand, if you choose a truck that’s too large, you’ll be paying for extra space that you don’t need, and your possessions will be tossed around. This is unacceptable if you plan to pack fragile items and other delicate belongings.

For medium loads, we recommend renting a 16-foot truck (although some companies can offer you both 15 and 17-footers). This size is big enough to fit most medium-sized shipments but not so large that it will be difficult to maneuver or park.

In addition, because 16-foot trucks are one of the most popular sizes, they’re relatively affordable to rent. However, that means you shouldn’t forget to reserve your rental truck in advance. Popular sizes like 16-foot trucks can book up quickly, especially during peak relocation season (May through September). Therefore, if you plan to move in the summer, contact the rental company well in advance.

How Big of a Moving Truck Do I Need for Large Loads?

Of course, for the largest loads, people need the largest trucks. Relocating everything above a two-bedroom apartment or house is considered a big move. However, moving truck dimensions will depend on the exact number of rooms (and type of items) you have. The rule of thumb is that you should use a 20-foot vehicle if you plan to move out from a three to four-bedroom place, while 26-foot trucks are reserved for houses with five or more bedrooms.

Should You Even Try Completing a Larger Move On Your Own?

Relocating all the way across the country is always challenging, but it gets more complicated if you have plenty of belongings. Without professional packing services, you’ll have to deal with packing up all your belongings, but it’s also on you to physically transport them to your new residence. That is why many people decide to make a move easier and get help from a professional long-distance moving company.

Getting long-distance moving services ensures that your belongings will be handled by people who have the experience and expertise to get the job done right. They know how to properly pack and transport any of your items so that they arrive at your new home safe and sound.

When hiring long-distance movers, you’re not just renting a truck – you’re getting a full suite of services designed to help you move safely and as seamlessly as possible. In addition to physically transporting your belongings, they can also help with packing, organize professional auto transport, or even provide you with storage services. This takes a lot of the stress and burdens off your shoulders and helps you focus on other aspects of the move, such as adjusting to a new town.

Packing Service

Sit back and relax, we’ve got packing services covered. We use moving blankets, shrink wrap, bubble wrap and even custom wooden crating. Your stuff will be protected and carefully handled during the move.

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Moving Insurance

All your stuff is secure with Long Distance USA Movers, but in case something does happen to it, there’s a moving insurance policy in place. We offer both basic Valuation Coverage and Full Value Protection.

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Auto Transport

Move your car across the country in an open or enclosed trailer – for an affordable fee. We offer car transport as a standalone service, but you can bundle it with your household move and get a hefty discount.

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How to Choose the Right Moving Truck Sizes?

Make an inventory

Doing a home inventory can be of great help when you need to select the right vehicle capacity for your move. Be sure to include everything, even small items like boxes of kitchen supplies or clothes hangers.

Measure larger items

If you plan to move furniture pieces such as couches, dressers, and beds, it’s a good idea to measure them beforehand so that you have an accurate idea of how much space they’ll take up in the vehicle.

Try using online calculators

Once you have your inventory list and measurements, use one of the many online calculators to help you estimate how much space you’ll need based on the number and size of your belongings.

If uncertain, choose the larger one

If you’re still unsure about which vehicle capacity is the best for your situation or you’re thinking between two similar sizes, go with the one with more volume – you’d rather have too much space than not enough.

Know How Rental Companies Charge

Many of these rental companies charge based on your chosen vehicle capacity and the distance you need to travel. They will give you an estimate of how many miles it will take to get from your current location to your new one and base their price on that number. However, there are other companies that charge by the hour instead of miles. If you’re relocating to a new state, it’s usually more cost-effective to go with a company that charges by the mile.

You should also be aware that most companies charge extra for things like fuel, insurance, and tolls. Be sure to ask about these additional charges before you book a vehicle so that you can adjust your relocation budget accordingly. At the same time, check if the company is accredited by BBB and read online reviews to ensure you’re working with a trustworthy team.

Empty truck prepared for long-distance moving overlay
When choosing a relocation company, make sure you avoid scammers

Find Out How to Pack a Truck in the Best Way Possible

Packing a truck is an art form. Sure, anyone can stuff their belongings into a truck and hope for the best, but if you want to do it right, there’s a certain method to the madness. If you’re planning on relocating long-distance on your own, then you need to know how to pack a truck like a pro.

There are a few things to consider when relocating to a new state and packing a truck for a move. You’ll want to ensure that everything is securely packed so that it doesn’t shift during transport and maximize the space in the truck so that you can fit everything in without having to make multiple trips. Here are a few relocation tips that should help you prepare for a move:

  • Start with the biggest items – this will ensure you have enough space for everything and that your smaller things don’t get lost in the shuffle.
  • Put your heaviest items towards the front – start by packing the heaviest items first. This will help to keep the truck balanced and prevent items from shifting during transport.
  • Use all of the space – the key is to make sure that everything is securely packed so that it doesn’t shift during transit. You can use blankets and towels to fill in any gaps and keep your belongings immobilized.
  • Be careful with fragile items – If you plan on packing dishes, glasses, and other breakable belongings, you must pack them carefully. Use professional packing materials and do your best to cushion them from other items. It’s also a good idea to mark any boxes that contain fragile items.
  • Secure large items and boxes – use rope or straps to secure any large items, so they don’t move around during the trip.

Packing a truck is not as simple as it may seem at first. However, if you follow these tips, you can rest assured knowing that your belongings will arrive at their destination safely and damage-free.

Relocation truck on the road during cross-country moving overlay
Once a vehicle is securely packed, you can carry on with the move stress-free

Get Cross-Country Moving Services, and Let Professionals Deal With the Right Vehicle Size

If you’re looking for a hassle-free cross-country move, it’s best to leave the logistics to the professionals. They have all the resources in place to make your move a success – from finding the right sized vehicle for your belongings to packing everything safely. Don’t spend hours online trying to figure out how to transport your furniture. If you wish to move efficiently, know that nothing can compete with the help you get from relocation experts.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

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