What Size Moving Truck Do I Need?

Moving can be a stressful time. There are many things to think about and organize, from packing all your belongings to transferring your utilities. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is selecting the right size moving truck. So, what size moving truck do I need? Find the answer here.

A big white truck on the highway overlay
November 28, 2022 Posted in Moving Tips

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing the ideal truck size. Some factors to consider include the size of your home, the number of belongings, and the size of your family. If you move with pets or change homes with kids, you should consider help from long-distance movers.

Sizes of Moving Trucks Available on the Market

Whether you’re looking for the cheapest way to move out with professional long-distance moving services or independently, you’ll have to consider the correct size for your truck. That way, your move to a smaller home will be effortless.

Here are the possible truck sizes you can rent.

For Small Loads and Moves

These are typically used for smaller moves, such as studio apartments or one-bedroom homes.

  • The pickup truck – A great option for smaller moves or if you’re on a budget. Keep in mind, however, that they have limited storage space and aren’t ideal for long-distance moves.
  • 10-foot truck – Perfect for small moves or one-bedroom apartments, these can hold approximately 3,000 pounds worth of belongings. If you hire packing services for a studio apartment or just a few pieces of furniture, this is the truck for you.
  • The cargo van – Slightly larger than a pickup truck and can typically accommodate one to two bedrooms-worth of furniture. Like pickups, cargo vans aren’t good for long-distance moves.

For Medium Loads and Moves

Medium-sized moving trucks are a good option for most homes and apartments:

  • 15-foot truck – Perfect for two to three-bedroom homes or apartments with up to 5,000 pounds of belongings. It can hold the contents of three bedrooms, including large items like mattresses and dressers. If you have a lot of heavy furniture or appliances, a 15-footer may be the best option, but there are 16 and 17-footers, too.

For Large Loads and Moves

These trucks can be up to 53 feet long, which is enough space to hold the contents of a four or five-bedroom home:

  • 20 and 22-foot trucks – Perfect for larger homes with four or more bedrooms. These can accommodate up to 7,500 pounds worth of belongings. They’re also good for relocating businesses because they can hold commercial equipment like desks, chairs, and file cabinets,
  • 26-foot truck – The largest size available, 26-foot trucks can hold up to 10,000 pounds worth of belongings – that’s equivalent to the contents of a five or six-bedroom home. If you’re making a long-distance move or relocating your business, this truck will ensure everything arrives in one piece.

What Size Moving Truck Do I Need – Before Deciding Consider Your Belongings

The size of the rental truck you need will depend on the amount and size of your belongings. Those with a lot of furniture and other large items will need a larger truck, either from a long-distance moving company or privately.

Consider the size of your belongings before deciding on a truck size, as you don’t want to be stuck with one that is too small or too large. Moving for a relationship could significantly reduce your load, but if you plan a last-minute move, you’ll have to scramble a lot more.

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How Will You Arrange Your Belongings in the Truck?

When packing the truck, make sure to distribute the weight evenly. You don’t want the heavy items on one side and the light stuff on the other. This could make the truck uneven and more difficult to drive. It could also lead to the items shifting during transport and potentially getting damaged. If you hire professional movers, they’ll include relocation insurance specifically for this purpose.

Keep in mind that most trucks have a maximum capacity of around 26,000 pounds or 13 tons. This should be more than enough for most households; however, if you have a particularly large home or a lot of heavy furniture, you may need to rent two trucks or use a professional moving company.


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Declutter Before Choosing Moving Truck Sizes

Whenever you plan a move, decluttering, one of the relocation essentials, should come first. You don’t want to end up paying for a truck too small and move everything twice because you didn’t declutter properly. Start by sorting through your belongings and getting rid of anything you don’t need.

Once you’ve decluttered, measure the items you plan on taking with you, get the best-sized boxes for relocating, and estimate the amount of space they’ll take up. If you’re not sure where to start, try these tips:

  • Sort your belongings into categories: clothing, furniture, electronics, and alike,
  • Get rid of anything you don’t use or need,
  • Ask yourself if the item has been used in the past year. If not, it probably doesn’t need to come along,
  • If the item is damaged or broken, get rid of it,
  • Donate anything you don’t want to charity,
  • Sell any electronics or appliances you no longer use.

This list will help you choose the adequate transport size for your move. However, it’ll also be great in helping you learn the purpose of moving labels, how to pack a guitar and how not to break stuff when you pack glasses.

A bunch of household items stacked on top of each other
Decluttering helps get rid of unwanted items, and some emotional baggage

How Big of a Moving Truck Do I Need – What Are the Things You Should Think About

Besides taking relocation inventory and learning all about different types of packing materials, you or your cross-country movers will have to consider two factors when choosing the right-sized transportation – the number of bedrooms and their cubic footage.

When you start packing for a move, you can avoid relocation stress by determining the cubic footage for each room. That’s a lot of plastic wrap, but it will work just fine.

How to Estimate the Moving Truck Size? By the Number of Bedrooms

One of the first things you’ll want to think about is how many bedrooms you have; this will also work when you make your new apartment shopping list.

The average bedroom is about 200 square feet, so you’ll want to allow for at least 200 square feet per bedroom when deciding on a transport mode. If you have a three-bedroom home, you’ll want to look for something that can pack at least 600 square feet of belongings.

The general rule of thumb is that you’ll need a 10-foot truck for one bedroom, a 15-foot truck for two bedrooms, and a 20-foot truck for three bedrooms. Of course, this is just a general guideline – your actual needs may differ depending on the amount of stuff you have and the layout of your home.

You Can Also Choose Moving Truck Dimensions by the Rooms’ Cubic Feet

The second thing to consider is the cubic footage of each room, which can also determine if you pack quickly or not. To calculate this, simply measure the length and width of each room in feet, then multiply those numbers together or look for the household documentation and read this information on it.

For example, if your living room is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide, it has 300 square feet. To convert that to cubic feet, multiply by the room height (usually 8 feet). In this case, 300 square feet multiplied by 8 gives you 2,400 cubic feet. Repeat this process for each room and add up all the totals to get your total cubic footage.

The woman in the video below provides some awesome packing tips and relocation hacks to make the relocation day much easier to handle.

Why Is It Important to Pick the Right Size?

Picking the right size truck for a move is most of the job done. It should be one of the most important points on your moving to-do list. Essentially, choosing well will also be helpful when you unpack after a move.

If you choose a truck too small, you may not be able to fit all of your belongings. If you choose one that’s too big, you may wind up paying more than necessary. Picking the wrong transport can be costly and inconvenient, so it’s crucial to take the time to choose the right one. With some planning, you can make sure your move goes smoothly and without any problems.

If you have any questions about choosing the right size vehicle for transporting your belongings, ask your relocation company. They should be able to help you make the best decision for your move.

If You Don’t Know How to Choose a Truck, Contact a Cross-Country Moving Company

If you’re the type to worry about relocation scams, contacting the nearest relocation company might be the last thing on your mind. However, there are many benefits to hiring professional cross-country movers.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Having professionals handle your move ensures that your belongings are handled with care and that they will arrive at your new home safely,
  • Many of them have a car shipping service available,
  • Professional movers have the experience and expertise to handle moves of any size and scope. This means that they will be able to help you plan and ensure everything goes smoothly,
  • Most professional relocation companies offer free storage services for a month,
  • A professional cross-country move can be a great way to save time and hassle. Movers know the best routes to take, have the proper equipment and supplies, and can help you pack up your belongings quickly and efficiently.
  • They know how to prepare electronics and pack fragile items for long-distance moves,
  • Most importantly, professional movers know what kind of trucks are suitable for specific types of moves. They’ll suggest the best solution according to your packing list.
Long-distance movers near me carrying a white couch and smiling
Hiring movers is the ideal course of action when it comes to any part of your move

Call Long-Distance Movers Near Me to Help With Your Choice of Trucks

Ultimately, the best way to choose the right truck is to consider all your needs and preferences. Talk to your family and friends for advice, search online for reviews, and visit local companies to get quotes. By considering all these factors, you can organize the perfect move.

If you try to estimate the size of the truck you need on your own, you may underestimate or overestimate, leading to problems down the road. But if you contact a moving company, they will ask you questions about your move to determine which transportation type is right for you.

They will take into account the amount of furniture and belongings you have, as well as the distance of your move. With this information, they will recommend the perfect-sized truck for your needs.

Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.



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