Tuesday, September 12, 2023


UHaul is a company that rents trucks and trailers for people who want to move themselves rather than paying a moving company. You see lots of them on the roads at the end of every month and unless you actually deal with the company you take them for granted. I however, no longer take these ubiquitous vehicles for granted . . . . . .

The little car that could!

Our first experience with Haul was when our daughter Alisha first moved to northern Ontario. She rented a UHaul trailer and filled it to the brim with all her worldly possessions and towed it behind her Toyota Matrix. It was so full and heavy that with the three people in the car, the trailer hitch sometimes bottomed out on bumps sending sparks flying and at one point she got stopped by a suspicious RCMP officer who noticed this and asked to open the trailer for a search. 

We had to once again use UHaul for the multi stage move to Toronto. Alisha did not have a lot to pack up and move back to NS, but there was enough to require another UHaul to tow behind her now eleven year old Toyota. We discovered that although you can call and “reserve” a certain size UHaul, but “reserve” means little as you get a call the day before pick-up to tell you what you actually could rent. You also might be surprised where it had to be picked-up; not necessarily the closest UHaul to you. For this rental we did get the size trailer we wanted but had to drive two and a half hours to actually pick it up. 

Now for the move to Toronto we figured we would be fine as Dartmouth has a large major

Everything should fit in here

UHaul depot. We looked at options and decided that we should be able to fit what we wanted to take with us into a ten foot truck. This truck would also be able to tow the auto-transport trailer we needed to bring my Alfa Romeo Spider with us. We were told this would not be a problem and we “reserved” our rental. 

We were diligent and judicious in our packing and arranged the boxes and furniture in one room to be sure it would all fit in the ten foot truck. Our mover/helper assured us that he could fit everything in the truck without problems. 

Then the day before the move we got a call from UHaul to confirm our rental. They told us that they had a twenty six foot truck ready for us to pick up. When we corrected them that we did not need a truck that big and we actually wanted a ten foot truck, we were told that there was no ten foot truck available. However, if we really needed the ten foot truck we would have to go to either Quebec or Maine to get one. Seriously?

Not wanting to dig out my passport and Nexus card and go to Maine to get the right sized truck, we were stuck with the larger vehicle. 

Packed and ready to go

I believe the twenty six foot truck is the biggest one UHaul rents and it is huge. Opening up the back, I realized that with our packing planned around a ten foot truck I would have enough room inside the truck to actually fit my little car inside if I had a way to get it in. By the time you put the auto-transport behind the truck, this combination was almost the size of a semi tractor trailer. Now I did 17,000 km towing a 28 foot fifth wheel behind a Toyota Tundra so it was not my first rodeo driving a big vehicle but a fifth wheel is designed to be maneuverable where a trailer behind a 26 ft truck requires a large parking lot to turn it around. There is NO way I could bring this combination into downtown Toronto. 

Now the actual drive to Toronto went very well other than the $300.00 required to fill the fuel tank every time. Our problem with UHaul were not over however. 

The Spider on the way to Toronto
There is no way I was driving the truck and trailer through downtown Toronto. The street the condo is on is one-way and narrow, so I knew I’d never be able to turn into the courtyard with the trailer, so I decided to stop at a UHaul location close to the 401, unload the Spider and get Regis to drive it downtown while I drove the truck. Good Idea, except UHaul wanted us to drop off the truck and trailer at the same location. Now Regis is the one who was actually dealing with UHaul and most of you know her as a pretty calm, pleasant, even tempered individual, but after so many frustrating phone conversations with the company, this sent her over the edge and another side of her emerged. “Listen . . . we did not want the 26 foot truck you gave us, but we found a way to make it work! Now you have to think outside-the-box and find a way for me to do this cause this truck and trailer will not go downtown Toronto!”. 

So, we did work it out to drop the trailer off in Scarborough and the truck at a location closer to the condo downtown, but even then they changed the location three times because none of them wanted a 26 foot truck in their downtown lots. But once I actually backed that truck over the sidewalk and down into a parking spot at the UHaul depot, it actually felt like the move was over. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's quite the adventure! Glad it eventually worked out. Can't even imagine the conversation with U-Haul. Lol