Help me lug luggage and Costco stuff in my car
June 16, 2008 1:47 PM   Subscribe

Help me stow more in my 4-door Civic sedan.

I've got a 2000 Honda Civic sedan. Two kids in car seats. Stroller (double or single, depending on what we're doing.) My kids will be in car seats for years to come (to age 9).

When we want to go for a picnic or a trip to visit family, we have next to no storage space, if we take a stroller. We'd like to be able to take a big suitcase, diaper bag, diapers, possibly some gifts, etc. For the next couple of years, it would be nice to take a stroller with us, too. It would also be nice to go to Costco or a grocery store and take the stroller or some luggage. Christmas holidays are a real challenge.

But we only drive 3000-5000 km per year. Our car is low mileage. We barely drive it. These storage issues are mostly weekend and holiday problems. We rarely go on long road trips. Most of our driving is in the city, although sometimes we go to the suburbs. We might like to go on a 500-km trip once or twice a year, but not necessarily.

I'd like to avoid buying a minivan and instead stick with the Civic, if possible. Woiuld a roof top carrier help? Is there something I'm not thinking of?

What else could help us store more in and around the car? It must be easy and secure. I'm willing to get creative -- maybe we should have something other than a big suitcase. Inspire me, please!

We live in an apartment building and must fit through the garage door. We have no storage locker and no real room to store any car gear in our condo.

Thanks for your help.
posted by acoutu to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Yakrack! I mostly use it for bikes, but my Yakima rack has carried so much crap it's amazing. You can get streamline carriers that fit on them, that you can stow pretty easily out of the way at your place when not using it. see here for a list of what I've put on my rack.
posted by notsnot at 1:59 PM on June 16, 2008

Yes, definitely a roof rack (Thule and Yakima are the main brands, I think, though there are no doubt others). An open tub/box would be the most versatile (like this or this from Thule) -- you can leave it up there all of the time (which will hurt your gas mileage but you drive so little that the cost difference will be very minor), keep some straps in the glove box, and strap strollers, Ikea chairs, and other items up above.
posted by Forktine at 2:27 PM on June 16, 2008

we have next to no storage space, if we take a stroller.

Some of the strollers I see nowerdays are extremely large.

See if a store near you stocks one of these. When my parents had one, many years ago, I distinctly remember that it folded up to be very small. I can't say for sure whether the current models fold as small as the old ones, but that's why I said "see if a store near you stocks" so you can look and see if it will help your situation.
posted by Mike1024 at 3:31 PM on June 16, 2008

Wow, I'm going to look up Thule and Yakima in person. Those look great.

Mike: thanks for the tip. But I live downtown and need a really good stroller. I don't have any extra space to store a Maclaren, although they seem like great little strollers.
posted by acoutu at 11:24 PM on June 16, 2008

FWIW, I had Yakima racks installed, because they work best with the sloping roof of a Civic.
posted by acoutu at 7:26 PM on July 17, 2008

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