Cross country movers truck overlay

What Size Moving Truck Do I Need When Relocating Across the Country

Posted in Moving Tips & Tricks on November 30, 2022

Relocation can be a stressful time. There are so many things to think about and plan for, especially in the packing department. One of the most important questions you’re probably asking yourself is what size moving truck do I need. So, how do you determine what size truck you need for your move? Keep reading to find out.

To determine the suitable vehicle size for your move, start by making a list of everything you’re taking with you. Then, determine the dimensions of each item by measuring the height, width, and depth (including any protruding pieces). Once you have those numbers, calculate the cubic footage for each grouping by multiplying height x width x depth. Finally, compare your total cubic footage needed to the different truck sizes offered by rental companies to find one that will work for you.

What Size Moving Truck Do I Need for Moving? To Answer This, Consider Your Belongings

When you decide it’s time to move, you surely want to have the best experience possible. In order to do that, you need to do a lot of things besides booking reliable cross-country moving services or even packing assistance. One of those things is figuring out how you will pack the vehicle that will transport your belongings, which mostly comes down to its size.

Having a successful move means you’ll have to deal with a lot of stuff. One of them is figuring out the approximate dimension of your belongings and the boxes they will be placed in. Once you figure that out, it’s time to calculate the cubic footage in order to rent the right-sized rental vehicle.

Ready to move with us? Get A Free Quote

How to Calculate the Dimension of the Cubic Footage on Your Own

To do this, simply multiply the height x width x depth of each item grouping. Once you have the cubic footage for all the items, add them all up to get your total cubic footage needed. In addition to a cubic feet measurement, the majority of truck rental companies help movers determine their needs by assigning a practical number to their trucks.

For instance, a 20-cubic-foot vehicle can hold roughly three rooms’ worth of furniture. Keep in mind that these figures are estimates. Only the amount of belongings you possess in those rooms will truly determine how many rooms a truck can hold.

But what if you own a sectional or two huge sofas? What if all you have is a recliner? The number of rooms that can be packed in a particular size truck might be significantly reduced or increased depending on these kinds of variations. You’ll be able to choose the truck size more appropriately if you compare your items to the measurement criteria being used by the rental company.

Cross-country movers loading a truck
Have the right-sized vehicle to ship your stuff

Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Truck?

Making the proper truck rental size selection is essential to a stress-free move, but it’s not always as simple as you might believe, and doing so can prevent relocation mistakes and catastrophes. For instance, if you select a vehicle with insufficient storage space, you will either need to empty it and rent a larger one or make some difficult decisions, such as what items will be left behind.

If you are preparing to move on a tight budget, you want to select the appropriate equipment without wasting money on one that is too huge or expensive. Choosing the right moving truck sizes could be critical if you don’t want to compromise your relocation.

After all, not only you’ll risk investing too much cash on a large vehicle or overloading the smaller truck, but you might end up with damaged or broken fragile and other items. So, consider these things when relocating and avoid any inconvenience during the process.

Declutter Before You Get to Packing

The process of decluttering while moving across the country can be daunting, but it’s important to do it before you start packing for your move. Not only will it make the packing process easier, but it will also help you save on relocation costs. This is particularly useful for those who find the cost of hiring cross-country movers a bit high.

There are a few simple ways to declutter before you start packing. First, take an inventory of all the items in your home. This will help you determine what you need to keep and what you can get rid of. Once you have a list of items, start going through each room and decide what to keep and what to toss.

If you’re not sure what to do with certain items, consider donating them to a local charity like Goodwill or selling them online. You can also hold a garage sale to get rid of unwanted items. If you’re still not sure how to efficiently declutter your home and pass on some packing tips you’ve learned, check the video below.

How Can Choosing the Wrong Size of a Rental Vehicle Impact the Safety of Your Belongings?

If you pick a rental vehicle with too much room, your belongings will be thrown around so much that by the time you arrive at your destination, everything will be shattered or ruined. Even if you prepare for movers in the best way when relocating to a new state and protect your items with different packing materials, it could still be risky if you don’t choose the right-sized vehicle.

But, the good news is that when you check if a relocation company is legitimate and hire professionals, they will tell you exactly what rental vehicle you’ll need and also give you some advice on other aspects of the move. That way, you can proceed with other tasks on your to-do list without a worry on your mind and ensure everything goes smoothly.

Two long-distance movers carrying boxes
No one wants to have their possessions damaged or broken during the transportation

How Big of a Moving Truck Do I Need?

Not knowing how to estimate moving truck size is completely normal, no matter how many times you have already moved before. But, after you consider all the benefits of relocation and have all the needed help to move efficiently, start thinking about the size of the vehicle, as well.

According to a standard rule of thumb, a relocation vehicle should be about 14 to 17 feet in length. This is only a rough estimate, so you should still figure out the majority of your stuff before relying exclusively on it. Ultimately, renting a truck that is a little bigger than you thought you would need will also make your move less stressful and more effective.

Small Loads Are Perfect for Transporting One-Bedroom Homes

Small rental trucks, which are normally around 10 feet long, are ideal for one-bedroom residences with limited space. A compact truck is also suitable for transporting stuff out of a mid-sized flat if you don’t mind making multiple trips. Relocating things out of a modest apartment without any major appliances or a dorm room are two examples of small loads.

Size of the truck Truck's capacity Number of passengers Weight
12-foot Box Truck One-bedroom apartment or studio One or two From 3,100 to 3,610 lbs.
10-foot Box Truck One-bedroom apartment or studio One or two 2,810 lbs.
Pickup Truck From one to two rooms One or two 2,000 lbs.
Cargo Van From one to two rooms One or two 4,000 lbs.

Medium Loads Can Be a Great Solution for Transporting a Three-Bedroom Place

Trucks with a medium load that might be between 15 and 17 feet long are the perfect fit for a bit bigger homes than those with just one bedroom. In fact, this size should be able to fit three to four rooms with no problems. This size truck is also ideal for relocating a small business.

Size of the truck Truck's capacity Number of passengers Weight
17-foot Box Truck Three-bedroom apartment or two-bedroom house Two 6,160 lbs
16-foot Box Truck From two to four rooms Two 5,524 lbs.
15-foot Box Truck Two bedrooms or less From one to two 6,385 lbs.

Large Loads Are a Good Choice for Bigger Residences With up to Eight Rooms

Larger loads need vehicles that are between 20 and 26 feet long. These trucks can carry residences with five to eight rooms when necessary. They typically have a capacity of 500 medium boxes. Alternatively, you can use them to transport up to 15 large pieces of furniture when moving cross country.

Size of the truck Truck's capacity Number of passengers Weight
26-foot Box Truck Five to eight rooms Three 12,000 lbs.
22-foot Box Truck Three to four-bedroom home Three 10,000 lbs.
20-foot Box Truck Two to three bedrooms Two 5,605 lbs.


Which Moving Truck Size Do I Require?

The number of rooms you’re relocating and whether you need to transfer bulky furniture or some electronics or tow a vehicle all affect the moving truck dimensions you choose to rent. So, avoid the last-minute move and plan everything accordingly by simply making an inventory list of everything that will go into the vehicle.

What Can I Do to Make the Most of the Space in a Rental Vehicle?

Start by dismantling any furniture that can be taken apart. Before placing anything inside the vehicle, pack it as tightly as you can. The heavier goods, such as furniture, bulky items, and hefty cartons, should be loaded first. In this manner, you can stack lighter and more compact boxes and bags on top of each other.

When Should I Book a Truck Rental?

Ideally, you should get in touch with the relocation company via phone or online as soon as you decide to relocate. By doing this, there is a higher likelihood that the relocation van size you require will be available on the required day.

Take the Easy Way Out – Hire Cross-Country Movers

Renting a vehicle doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful – as long as you know what size truck you need. Whatever you plan to move will always determine the truck’s size. If you don’t intend to move a lot of stuff, you can usually fit everything into a smaller vehicle. Conversely, larger vehicles are required for transfers involving higher volumes of inventory when long-distance moving. With a little planning ahead, renting trucks becomes easy and stress-free, especially when you have professional long-distance movers by your side.

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

    Choose locations, date and size.
    Tell Us About Yourself

      Choose locations, date and size.
      Tell Us About Yourself
      Need to move your car/automobile?
      Get a Free Estimate 800-611-0502