Wednesday, November 6, 2013

PODS 16' STORAGE UNIT DIMENSIONS

PODS Storage Unit Dimensions

PODS SIZE EVALUATION                        

Today’s world of instant information and ultimate convenience has spawned a large selection of portable self storage options.  What once involved numerous visits to a potentially scary and altogether industrial self storage facility has now become as simple as a phone call to a mobile storage provider and a delivery to your driveway.  There is just no question that portable storage containers are the ultimate in efficient storage and moving convenience for the do-it-yourself folks out there.  We can all thank PODS for creating a concept that is revolutionizing the storage and moving industry this way.  It’s clear that PODS was the first and is the largest, but many interesting alternatives have come in their wake and look to improve on the service.  The difficult question is how do they all differ, what sets each service provider apart.  Since there are so many variables to consider in the evaluation of a portable storage provider, the aim of this blog is to discuss them one by one so that you can have the facts you need to make an informed decision.

Looking for U-Haul U-Box dimensions instead?  Check out this post: U-Box Review

Today our subject is the PODS 16 foot storage unit.  If you are considering using a PODS container for storage or moving, you may be asking yourself, just what are the actual interior dimensions of a PODS 16’ unit.  I don’t blame you.  It’s a really good piece of information to have.  After all, you need to know how many PODS you would need for all your stuff.  Does PODS give you the internal dimensions?  Well let’s look.  Here is a graphic from their website describing the PODS moving containers and how much they hold: 

PODS CONTAINER SIZES
PODS CONTAINER SIZE ADVERTISEMENT

As you can see PODS claims that their 16 foot storage units are: 16’ X 8’ X 8’ (L*W*H) with a capacity of 3 – 4 rooms.  That’s all pretty interesting marketing.  But is any of it accurate?  Since I am a stickler for details claimed by such marketing messages, Luckily my neighbor recently had a couple PODS containers delivered so I decided to measure them.

PODS STORAGE UNIT DIMENSIONS:

I found that the overall EXTERIOR dimensions of the U-Box were fairly close to those generally those stated in the advertisement.

Measured Exterior: 16’1” long x 7’8” wide x 8’1” tall   

This includes about 6 inches of feet below the box.  The INTERIOR dimensions of the PODS container were as follows:

Measured Interior:    15’10” deep x 7’7” wide x 7’7” tall to the ceiling, 7’4” to ceiling beams.

The door clearance is 81.5 inches wide by 76 inches tall.

This is real world – get inside with a tape measure information.  This is not just an estimate.  The PODS advertisement for exterior dimensions has relatively little value to us unless we are trying whether one will fit in your driveway, not exactly something I am worried about.  Calculating the floor area results in an actual square footage of 120 square feet.  Multiplying that area by the interior height results in an actual interior capacity of 910.5 cubic feet ignoring the ceiling beams.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU FIT IN A 16’ POD?

We see that PODS claims that you can 3 - 4 rooms in a 16’ container.  I find these kinds of estimates all over the place and I find them all to be rather worthless.  The fact of the matter is that all these estimates are relative to how big your rooms are, what type of rooms you have and how full you furnish those rooms.  In addition, it depends on how you pack the POD which is ultimately a function of the items that are going into it along with the skill with which you pack them in.  For example, if you have floor lamps in your living room and I don’t, I have a much better probability of fitting my living room into a storage container than you do.  It’s just that simple.  Do you have a 12’ X 16’ dining room stuffed with seating for 12 and floor lamps and a bookshelf and a hutch full of expensive china that will be packed in dish barrels?  That will take up a significant amount of space compare to a small table and 4 chairs from a starter apartment kitchenette.  Dining chairs are among the worst items to pack into storage – they take up an amazing amount of space. 

Large storage containers like the 16’ POD and other similar size products like United or Pack Rats or Zippy Shell’s container can pack much more into them than 2 or even 3 of the typical 5’ x 8’ boxes that U-Haul’s U-Box or Smart Boxes or MyWay Portable storage containers.  While an oversize couch may technically fit in a U-Box or these other small containers, you will be challenged to work around it in very tight quarters.  It is unquestionably easier to pack a variety of large things into a single large container than it is to pack those same items into several small containers.
     

PODS CONTAINER CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS:

As for the construction materials, let me first say that these storage units have evolved over the years.  Earlier versions were constructed of wood with an exterior skin but the new versions are a unique laminated metal structure.  There are still plenty of the wood versions around but I would image PODS is slowly phasing out the older models.  They are all structurally sound for the most part with the ceiling being the weak point.  Each POD has a plastic roof that is translucent.  This roof is bolted on and is not exactly water tight meaning there is no seal between the walls and the roof. 

Here are some pictures of the PODS portable storage units in Grand Rapids:

INTERIOR OF PODS CONTAINER
INTERIOR OF PODS STORAGE CONTAINER

PODS TRANSLUCENT CEILING
CEILING OF PODS CONTAINER

PODS ROOF BOLTED ON
PLASTIC ROOF BOLTED ON PODS CONTAINER

EXTERIOR OF PODS STORAGE UNIT
EXTERIOR OF PODS CONTAINER

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