How to Decide What Size Moving Truck I Need

by Russell Wood

There aren't too many people who enjoy moving, because it's a great deal of work and hassle to get your items packed. Then you have to load all your stuff and unload it again. One difficult decision to make during the moving process is trying to determine what size moving truck you need to use, because you don't want to pay for more truck than you need. Figuring out the right size is an educated guess, but with some general guidelines, you can pick out the best truck for your needs.


Walk around your house and count the number of rooms in the house, then record that number. Make sure you count every room, including bathrooms and common areas.


Multiply the number of rooms you have in your house by 150.


Whatever number you end up with is going to be used as a cubic-foot measurement for the space in the moving truck. For example, if you have three rooms, you need 450 cubic feet of moving truck space. The general rule of thumb goes like this: 12-foot truck: 450 cubic feet 16-foot truck: 800 cubic feet 22-foot truck: 1,200 cubic feet 26-foot truck: 1,400 cubic feet


Take the number of rooms you have in your house and use that number against the following scale: 15-foot truck: three rooms 20-foot truck: five rooms 24-foot truck: eight rooms


Compare the two guides from steps 3 and 4 with the length of vehicles available at your local truck rental store. At this point, the safest bet is to go one size larger than you actually need, just in case you need more space or have miscalculated. For example, if you have a five-room home, according to the two charts you would need either a 16-foot truck or a 20-foot truck. To make sure you have enough room in the vehicle, rent a 20- or 22-foot truck. That way, you won't have to make two trips, which will take longer, and ultimately cost more money.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.

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