Move from Twin Cities MN to Washington DC

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Posts: 7
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:55 am
Location: Washington DC

Move from Twin Cities MN to Washington DC

Postby mn2md » Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:41 am

Hi, I finally made my move. Following the consensus I found here, I rented a Penske truck (22 foot) and towed my car on a trailer behind it.
Penske was mostly wonderful. I had originally scheduled my truck for July 4, but my move date changed to July 18. On June 26 I called and changed my reservation for the 16th. When I called on the 11th they showed I had "no-showed" and cancelled my reservation. Happily, they had emailed me my new reservation time (although they kept the same reservation number) so the Penske representative kept my quote ($899 truck, $299 car trailer) and had a truck ready for me. I ran into a problem with getting the truck on the 16th that was all me, and Penske was WONDERFUL about letting me pick the truck up on the 17th. This was, of course, one of the hottest days in MN, and we had a good rip roaring thunderstorm for much of the day. At any rate, I got the truck, drove it through rush hour traffic and had the fun of unhooking the car trailer. It was a nightmare! Finally two people had to jump up and down on the empty trailer to pop it off the hitch. Getting it back on was awful too, but Penske came to my rescue and sent someone out. The trip turned into a three day driving extravaganza. I elected to drive through Indianapolis to save on tolls, and would really recommend this route- very, very little construction, just a bit in IL at the border and in Indianapolis itself. Then a tire blew on my trailer, on 74, in a area with no pull over lane. I got off the highway and called Penske. They had someone out to me in under an hour, which was amazing! It was in the 90's with an air quality advisory, and I have two big, furry dogs. Not very much fun. We got back on the road, and persevered to West Virginia. I was staying at a Red Roof Inn, and missed it, so I pulled into a parking lot to swing around, and got stuck. The only way out was to back out. It took me more than 45 minutes to get that @#$%^&* truck/trailer backed out, but I did. This is no boat trailer- it jack knives in a second. We got up and drove through the mountains on 68 the next morning- a white knuckle experience. We got in, and as I had been unable to find a place to rent, unloaded the truck into a storage unit, which means we had to RE-attach the trailer. Once again, we ran into problems with the trailer and THOUGHT we had it attached. Alas, we did not and it CAME OFF while driving on Conneticut avenue, just hanging on by cables. The brakes were locked on and this time Penske was no help. They were really reluctant to send anyone out to me, so it was fortunate that a wonderful man came by and helped us unlock the brakes- which was no easy feat- it took almost an hour, and helped me attach the trailer properly. When I drove the truck in to Penske I have NEVER been so glad to get rid of a rental in my life! Penske was mostly great, but moving is horrible! So here is what I learned:
1) Never drive a truck/trailer all by yourself- it is WAY too hard.
2) Have lots of contingency plans- I used every one of mine.
3) Call ahead a few days before your rental date to make sure everything is set up.
4) Drive the car yourself if you possibly can. It is a HUGE pain to deal with the trailer. NOT WORTH IT! I had no other option, but would not recommend the trailer to anyone. If you leave the car trailer attached, you can't use the ramp, so you will have to, at least one time detach and reattach that thing. Yuck!
5) There are a surprising amount of people who will help you- and Penske's customer service is pretty amazing.
6) 22 foot trucks are not too hard to drive- I was pleasantly surprised at how well it centered and turned.

Now that I am here, I found a place in NW DC to live, and need to move my stuff from my storage unit in Kensington MD to the Petworth neighborhood. It is an OLD skinny street, full of row houses. I have zero desire to do this myself. Can anyone tell me how to get info on these movers I found in Craig's list?

Progressive Moving (202)-459-4528 (They say they are bonded licensed and insured)

Brown Moving 703-899-3577

Dream Team Movers 240-832-1054

Bestway Moving USDOT #1788575 MC #651519 phone number 1-800-675-7470

I tried looking them up on the superlist and didn't see any of their companies on it. Thanks for the help, and best wishes to anyone else who is moving. I hope I don' t have to move again for a very, very very long time.

Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Move from Twin Cities MN to Washington DC

Postby Diane » Sat Jul 26, 2008 11:44 am

Wow, is all I can say. This is a great testimony to both Penske and you. I wonder how your total cost compared with what 20 feet in an ABF trailer would have cost.

As for workers in DC, I think it would be better to go on to look for high-rated companies there than to rely on Craigslist advertisers. Some of the companies may also advertise on Craigslist but at least you will have validated reviews on
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Move from Twin Cities MN to Washington DC

Postby MusicMom » Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:16 pm

I would actually suggest, since you need some experienced maneuvering on those streets, that you get a pro in a small truck. Beltway Movers, Town & Country, to name a couple.

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