Moving Cross-Country With Guitars?

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by Ray Stankewitz, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Squier-Meister

    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Okay, here's the 411; the Wife, Daughter, the cat and I are moving from Northern California to Central Indiana the end of this month. I have a butt-tonne of guitars, basses, mandolins, violins, amps and a ukulele that all have to go with us. I'm going to rent a 26' U-Haul for the move (the wife will drive the Ford Explorer) so here's the question I'm putting forth; how did you move your gear and what was the net result? Would you have done something differently? I'm thinking hard cases for everything but is this overkill? I dunno, tie them to the hood of the U-Haul so I can keep and eye on them? Jam them all in one big refrigerator box with a cr@p-load of packing peanuts? Discuss.
  2. so1om

    so1om Squier-Axpert

    Feb 10, 2010
    Chicago now Sarasota
    This is approaching for me as well. I plan on putting everything in a case, standing them un in a truck, maybe tucking one or two in here or there and that's it.

    What's the drive, 2 days? It's easy to overthink and over kill. But you're not a random UPS guy where it's going from truck to truck to conveyor to warehouse with 15 people handling it. You are personally loading it and personally handling it door to door.

    You don't need hard cases, gig bags are fine. The only thing to consider are the Gibson style headstocks that have an angled headstock in a gig bag. It'll be fine in a gig bag as long as the neck AND headstock don't take a combined hit.

    God speed, good luck, and safe travels. Let mew know how it turns out!
  3. Merv_j

    Merv_j Squier-Nut

    Aug 6, 2017
    Lincoln uk
    Is it worth suggesting loosening the strings right off? I've heard horror stories about temperature changes and snapped necks? Probably more with planes than trucks, but might be worth thinking about....
  4. JoeInMichigan

    JoeInMichigan Squier-Meister

    Jun 10, 2018
    I did a move from southern California to South East michigan with 12 guitars,we put all the guitars in cases(2)and gig bags(10) we put them all in back of a mini van cushioned with Harbor freight moving blankets with some other electronics,tv's, computers,weapons, etc. ran a/c most 99% of time because it was mid july. I drove moving truck and friend drove van. When we stopped each time it was within hour or two of dark,we got lucky and were able to get rooms on ground floors with parking outside Windows of room for added security. I'm glad to say not any damage at all,completely fine in every way. We did remove strings from some,some just loosened up. We tried to stay in hotels that had pretty good reviews and that were known from my truck driving days moving cars around for different shows,not the same exact hotels but same family nationwide. So we kinda knew the lots would be lighted and seemed at least secure. Hope it helps and hope the move is as easy and damage/stress free as ours.
  5. Cavediver

    Cavediver Squier-Nut

    Jul 28, 2014
    Eagle, Idaho
    I moved 2,600 miles from Orlando Florida to Eagle Idaho last February and I had to ship my 12 guitars in one of the two PODS units I used. This was in the middle of winter coming from warm Fl to cold Idaho. My guitars all traveled in their hard shell cases with the strings left in tune and not loosened. Once they arrived I let them slowly (2 days) get to ambient indoor temp before I opened and inspected them. I’m happy to report zero issues of any kind and they even all stayed in tune and the setups didn’t change one bit.
  6. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Squier-Meister

    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    I'll add this: the drive will be about 40-ish hours, give or take a few. We plan to go some large fraction of 600 miles a day, stopping every two hours to stretch the legs and check the vehicles. Google Maps says 2,385 miles for 35 hours driving. I'm adding extra hours due to the lack of speed out of a U-Haul.

    And a senior moment/brain fart;

    Most things are in a hard case. The Gibby Barney Kessel, Agile 3010SE, Dean Thoroughbred, Ibby Acoustic and my treasured Matsumoku Orlando 335-clone are the susceptible ones to angled peghead damage so they are in hard cases. Three Squier Strats and one mandolin could travel in gig bags plus I still have the box my Mitchell concert ukulele came in. The "Tater Bug" mandolin has the lid of the chipboard case missing so I might just make a lid out of cardboard for it.

    Anyway, thoughts? Your experiences?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
    dbrian66 and mb doug like this.
  7. CVSteve

    CVSteve Squier-Nut

    Dec 28, 2017
    dbrian66 likes this.
  8. Ray Stankewitz

    Ray Stankewitz Squier-Meister

    Oct 11, 2014
    Central Indiana
    Well, time to revisit this. The trip took 5 days, due to my lousy night vision and a storm that chased us for three days, more or less. The guitars rode in the U-Haul, just ahead of the rear axle so the ride wasn't that bad. Nothing was detuned and nothing was damaged in the move, other than a few scratches on the hard cases. I let them set for a few days in the case before I took them out to check them over. I've had to adjust the Fender and Squier Strat 1 way truss rods a bit but the gits with two-way truss rods are okay, except the Ibby acoustic. It's still slowly adjusting to the steam heat in our house.

    That's all for now.
    JoeInMichigan, Taurus and wickedtools like this.
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