Choosing an Interstate Mover

So, tangentially related to the castle construction, is the fact that I need to move. We’re moving in July, we have a rental house already setup in the North Shore area, we’ll stay there until the castle is complete, ideally next summer (I hope we can get it done by sometime next summer).

I’ve got enough stuff here where this will not buy a DIY move, we need a full semi, a professional mover. I’ve spoken so far with Allied and Mayflower.

The Allied guy/service was more reachable, Mayflower I had to wait and deal with phone tag a lot. Allied always got right back to me. For their in person estimate the Mayflower rep gave more detailed information.

Allied has given me a guaranteed quote, and a guaranteed delivery date of the Monday I want (if we pack and leave on Friday/Saturday, delivery Monday). Mayflower’s quote is less, and they say I would probably get Monday delivery, but it could be as late as Friday. They also say that Allied is yanking my chain about a guaranteed delivery date, Allied insists they aren’t.

Allied has quoted ~23,000 pounds and ~$14,000. Mayflower estimated ~17,500 pounds, rounded up the 20,000, and ~$12,000. Allied is guaranteed, if the actual shipment is 25,000 pounds we pay nothing more. Mayflower has a 10% buffer, so at 22,000 we pay nothing more, but above that we would pay. Mayflower said they could take my guns, but not my ammo, Allied said they could take neither. Insurance was the same.

So worst case scenario, with Mayflower, we’d potentially be without our stuff for a full week. We could sleep on air mattresses (that we bought) in our rental house, do a ton of laundry, eat out every night, etc. Or stay in a hotel, a bigger problem from me at least would be the inconvenience of it, with my computer and whatnot that I need for work. Perhaps I will pack and transport that myself (I’ve also thought about trying to time a Dell delivery to get me a new PC delivered to the rental that day).

The Internet isn’t much of a help, all moving companies have pretty bad horror stories if you look hard enough. The Mayflower rep did give me more detailed information, but some of it felt a little like BS, and she was always harder to reach and get out here to me. Of course, with the weight issue, the Mayflower quote could end up being closer to the Allied quote, and we wouldn’t have the guaranteed delivery date.

We also need to move my wife’s 78 VW Beetle, which is included in neither quote.

Both quotes are higher than I was hoping for or wanted, based on my prior research I thought it would be around $8,000.

We also have to transport our single cat for the 10 hour car drive, that’ll be a first.

So if anyone has recommendations on movers, on car moving services, or on driving long distances with a cat in the car, please comment below. Thanks.


  1. Tips for moving: Pack the boxes yourself, don’t depend on the movers. You may be paying the cost for the movers, but they don’t know your wedding china from your everyday china. Take your expensive electronics, firearms, jewelry, and irreplaceable items with you, don’t send them with the movers. Military brat speaking from experience – friends of mine were wondering where their items were at, had let the movers do everything, hadn’t taken anything themselves, three months later the moving company was finally able to get ahold of them and told them all of their stuff was up in flames because the moving truck caught on fire…with all of their contact information and paperwork. The moving company had no idea what was in the truck, and the family lost every family picture, all their family history items. And all of their backups were on the computer that was in the moving truck.
    Tips for moving with a cat. They are all different. Giving you tips on moving one cat will get you scratched with another one. But…ours did better with an open basket in the car with the windows slightly cracked. It was only a two hour drive, but after about twenty minutes of roving around the car, our cat settled down into the well over the emergency brake between my wife and I. She was crying rather piteously until we cracked the window. It may have been an air pressure problem. Be prepared if you do this method to not jerk in surprise when your cat decides one of its research spots is on the box behind your drivers seat and she sticks her mouth right next to your ear and yowls unexpectedly. We would not have used this method, particularly due to the potential accident issue and a possible flying bundle of fur, teeth, and claws, but our cat was too unhappy staying in the box and our cat has an unfortunate tendency to…stink up the box, if you will, when she is unhappy. Thus rather than spend two hours smelling her and hearing her, we took the minimal risk. The other option we explored but rejected was knocking her out for the trip. Too short of a trip to deal with the anesthesia, and she would have been very angry with us for months later.

  2. Wil Wade says:

    Have you thought about going hybrid? Hire local movers to pack a truck (From something like Covenant Transport which is HQ’d in Chattanooga), then hire movers to unpack on the other end. Likely will take a bit more time than Allied, but perhaps at a cost difference that doesn’t matter? Might be a lot more coordination and setup however.

  3. C. SPEAR says:


  4. Hi new neighbor,
    When we moved from southeast Wisconsin to Chattanooga, we had Armstrong Relocation/United which is out of Chattanooga. Of course, my company paid for the move. We were very pleased with them. We filled the large semi and a smaller truck.

    We had two dogs at the time we moved and they made the 12 hour trip just fine. We moved in January. If you know the cat does not like to travel, talk to your vet about a sedative for the trip.

    Some things to know about living on the mountain:
    – many of us have had water shortage issues and have either dug new wells or fracked existing ones.
    – there are poisonous snakes (copperheads and timber rattlesnakes) to watch out for with small children and pets.
    – we have lots of ticks and small scorpions that sting.

    It will be interesting seeing the castle be built over the coming year.

    • Ishmael says:

      Thanks Julie. I knew about the snakes (and they terrify me), generally I’m okay with snakes, because they eat rodents, and as a gardener I HATE rodents. But venomous rattle snakes are not my cup of tea, at all.

      I also knew about the ticks, from our prior visits, I did not know about the scorpions, and you forgot the poison ivy.

      I heard about the water too, the new well we drilled went down 950 feet and got 10gpm, which I guess is pretty good. So I think we’re in a good spot. On my property just off the left side of the culdesac there is a natural spring even (or there was, I’m willing to bet that with everyone’s well draining the aquifer it doesn’t produce anymore). I heard the Poppels put in a new well and barely got 4gpm. So I think my plot sits on a strong part of the aquifer for whatever reason.

      How many snakes do we really have up there? I haven’t see any, yet. I was sorta hoping that maybe they would like it warmer down in the valleys.

      • On average, we only see 1-2 poisonous snakes per year. Several years back there was a copperhead curled up in the road and our black lab. got too close. She survived. My husband has gone over to the ladies next door and shot a few snakes there. Just something to be aware of especially with children. The black snakes we like!

        Our well was only producing 1/2 gpm. We tried to dig a new, higher producing well, but after 1300 feet down, it was dry. After fracking, it is now 3-4 gpm and it is 1200 feet down. Who did you use to dig your well?

        There is a spring in Georgia where we get our drinking water from because it is so good. Our well water is fine (no smell and clear), but the spring water is better tasting.

        • Ishmael says:

          Henry Well Drilling out of Franklin did our well, they were primarily hired for geothermal wells but since they were coming up anyways we had them do the water well too.

          I may walk around with my revolver loaded with snake loads the first couple times I take a hike in the forest.

  5. Chris St. Germaine says:

    Hey there. Just found your website and I’m obsessed! We often drive the 15-16 hour drive from LA to Portland, OR with our cat. We simply put her in her carrier on top of a potty pad, some food and ice cubes (they give water slowly), and just don’t stop driving! She seems to do quite well, and yours is a bit shorter.

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