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7 Alternatives to U–Haul Cargo Trailers

a white pickup truck is towing a U-Haul cargo trailer

Wanting options for moving your studio apartment cross-country? Or maybe just a few pieces of furniture? You might know that
U-Haul offers cargo trailers to move your lesser load. But if a tow-behind trailer doesn’t quite fit your needs, you might be left scratching your head about what to do. We’ve found seven cargo trailer alternatives that’s sure to get you moved in no time.

1. Moving Storage Containers

Think PODS. Portable storage containers come in handy for several situations. First, if you’re ready to move right away, you can rent a container and have it shipped to your door. The company will then drop off the unit, and you can spend a few days loading it.

When you’re raring to go, just tell the company where to send it. They will do the rest.

On the other hand, if you need to store your items for a while before moving, containers make great options. You can store items at the company’s service center and have them ship it to you when you’re ready.

Many people who are packing large houses or hate driving a rental truck will use these containers, but you can actually choose them for small loads too. MyWay Storage offers a cute, 8-foot container that might fit your needs. You can also look at the similar sized containers provided by U-Haul U-Box and PODS.

2. Shipping Services

If you’re only moving a few small boxes or furniture pieces, you can look into shipping them. Depending on the size of your items, you may find this cargo trailer alternative much more economical. There are several companies who specialize in shipments of furniture or valuables specifically, even UPS.

One company owned by eBay, uShip, is designed to make these small shipments easier by connecting with truckers. If a trucker is going your same direction and has room on his truck, you can rent out the extra space. Again, you’re leaving all the difficult driving to the professionals.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

3. Pickup Rentals

Maybe you’re set on doing the driving. If so, you could look into renting a pickup truck or cargo van.

Although you can rent a pickup truck from places like Enterprise for long distances, you’ll likely pay large amounts for the one-way fees. Plus, you will need an extra driver if you plan to take your own vehicle too.

When you choose a pickup or cargo van rental, you’ll find the best value if you’re moving locally. In this case, you can rent a truck from Home Depot or U-Haul. Get your friends to help you load and unload your stuff, and you’ll find this option to be very economical.

4. [Buy A] Cargo Carrier

Sometimes, you simply need an extension of your car to move extra luggage or small items. For instance, you might be moving in and out of a college dorm each semester.

For such light moving, you could consider buying a cargo carrier that attaches to the hitch or roof. While these carriers cannot shoulder large loads, even a small one can hold five or six carry-ons. With this option, you can even use the carrier for multiple moves.

5. Full Service Storage

If you live in a large area like New York City, you could take advantage of full service storage. Because of the convenience, this new type of storage is quickly turning into a top option in these cities.

With full service storage you would call a company like MakeSpace to pick up your packed boxes from your home. They will then store them for you until you need them again.

These companies are only an option for local storage; so you won't be able to use them for a long distance relocation scenario. Still, you might find full service storage to be more convenient than traditional self storage.

Moving soon? Find affordable local movers to do the heavy lifting for you on our mover marketplace.

6. Freight Moving Companies

One economical way to move small items is through freight trailers. When you choose this cargo trailer alternative, you can rent the space that you actually need and avoid paying for unused space.

For example, ABF U-Pack provides a 28-foot trailer that they drop off at your home. Instead of paying for the entire trailer, you can rent as much or as little space as you need (the minimum is 4 feet). When you have everything loaded, U-Pack will drive the truck to your new city for you.

7. LTL Movers

Last but definitely not least, you could choose to hire a less-than-truckload (LTL) moving company. Companies like uShip and TSI will work with your specific situation, finding the best option to move your light load.

They use a variety of sources, including freight- and furniture-shipping, to get your items moved safe and sound. If you want several options but need some extra help in the process, you will love using LTL companies.


No matter which way you go, you should realize that you do have options other than the tow-behind trailers rented by U-Haul. From full service storage to freight-shipping to moving containers, we bet that you can find a cargo trailer alternative to fit your needs.

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