Renting a Pickup Truck Vs. Cargo Van

Mar 14, 2016

Let’s face it — Not all moves require a large moving truck. Even if that may have been your first choice, with a higher overhead clearance, some locations simply won’t allow for one. So now that you’ve made your decision to go for a smaller rental, how are you supposed to decide between renting a pickup truck or a cargo van? Both vehicles are smaller and easier for the average person to drive and have a max loading capacity of 4,000 lbs. Rentals for each vehicle also start at the same price! So really, what is the difference between the two? Fear not traveller, for we have the answer to your inquiry.

renting a pickup truck vs. a cargo van

Renting a Pickup Truck

Because of the open truck bed on a pickup truck, this vehicle is the DIYer’s best friend. Simply load the bed of your truck up with whatever home improvement or other miscellaneous items that you need to transport, and tie everything down to ensure that they stay secured in your truck bed, and get moving.

Perfect for:
  • Local Deliveries
  • Landscaping Projects and Home Improvement Projects
  • Small Moves
  • Transporting larger, bulkier items
  • Towing

The size and shape of a pickup truck bed helps with larger, bulkier items such as appliances and furniture. With a towing capacity reaching up to 6,000 lbs, you can tow your vehicle or boat with you behind your pickup truck. Don’t let the open bed of the pickup truck discourage you if you are worried about exposing your cargo to potential outside conditions. Simply tie a tarp down over your items and they will be good to go! Now you and two other passengers can get on your way!

See how much fits in a pickup truck:

Renting a Cargo Van

All you college students out there moving to college, a cargo van might just be for you.

Perfect For:
  • Local Deliveries
  • Small Moves to a Dorm or Studio Apartment
  • Moving a queen sized mattress and box spring
  • Protecting fragile cargo
  • Street Parking

Unlike the pickup truck rental, a cargo van only has 2 seats as opposed to three. However, cargo vans have the feature of cruise control and additional tie-down points. These rub rails and tie downs ensure that even in your already enclosed vehicle, items to do not shift and remain in perfect condition as you move them. If your items are more fragile, a cargo van will likely suit your needs better as your cargo will be protect from any outside weather conditions and can be tied down within the van.

See how much fits in a cargo van:

Additional Considerations

If you are concerned that not all of your belongings will fit in either the pickup truck or cargo van, remember that you can do multiple trips when it comes to local moves or deliveries. Additionally, if you need more room for a longer-distance move, you can attach a trailer or pack up and tow your personal vehicle behind a pickup truck. Another key point to consider when choosing between vehicles is where you will need to park for loading or unloading. If you pack your pickup truck with items that are too large, it can get a little bit too tall for some overhead clearance. Trust me… my mattress and parking garage became quite aware of this fact through some strategical testing. If you don’t pack your pickup truck in that manner, however, it is actually shorter than a cargo van. Similarly, cargo vans have sliding side doors to help make street parking easier.

Whether it’s a pickup truck or a cargo van that you need, either is available through U-Haul Truck Share, a 24/7 self-service program. With Self-Pick-Up and Self-Returns available, you truly get to move on your time and no one else’s.

Do you have any experience moving with either vehicle? Let us know in the comments below!

UPDATED: November 2, 2017 to incorporate U-Haul Truck Share 24/7


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