Friday, January 3, 2014

7QT (Vol. 68): Myth of the Minivan Part 2

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Back when Peter was an infant, I wrote about the myth of the minivan. My husband and I found it laughable that anyone would need a minivan for one little baby. Our 2007 Nissan Versa with its 94.3 cubic feet of passenger room and 50.4 cubic feet of cargo volume was more than adequate.

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Now we have two kids, though. And Jeremy used the Versa to kill two deer, so we needed to buy a car anyway. We decided the best car for our current lifestyle would be a 2013 Chevy Sonic. (It's blue; we call it the Hedgehog.) 90.6 cubic feet of passenger room and 47.7 cubic feet of cargo volume. :-) After all, the band didn't make it, so we're not carrying a drum kit any more.

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Our most frequent trip is to visit my in-laws. Everything fits in the trunk: pack-n-play, suitcase, diaper suitcase, toiletry bag, sleeping bag, pillow, and assorted stuffed animals for Peter. The regular diaper bag goes in one of the kids' foot-wells in case we need anything while we're driving.

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This most recent visit, though, we were bringing back presents from Christmas and Anne's birthday. I had to get a little more creative. I want you to notice, though, that the driver can still see out the back window and nothing is in danger of falling on either child!

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For your viewing pleasure, I unpacked everything into a big pile in the family room. Usually, of course, I wouldn't just dump things on the floor. I always have energy to immediately put away everything when getting home from a trip. Ha.


Contents: suitcase (clothes for 4 for 2 days & nights); 4 board games; paper bag of gifts; 9 piece cookware set; pillowcase with sleeping bag, pillow, and 4 stuffed animals; diaper suitcase; 2 crib blankets for keeping warm in the car; bag with 2 sets of winter clothes (jacket, snowpants, boots, mittens, hat, and scarf); diaper bag (2 spare outfits, 2 diapers, misc. snacks and stuff), Peter's water bottle, pack-n-play, Peter's church busy-bag, Anne's church busy-bag, Lincoln Logs, toiletry bag.

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Would it have been easier to pack all of that in a minivan? Sure. But we like having a fuel-efficient car that handles well in all kinds of weather. And, truthfully, I like the challenge of packing it. It's like real-life Tetris! I will admit, though, that minivans can be great. We borrow my parents' on occasion for transporting big things or trips with more people.


7 Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary

6 comments:

  1. Next to consider: a roof rack? Flying objects in a car in the event of an accident cause a lot of damage to the people they strike. This is something I often forget. Which reminds me that I need to clean out my car this weekend! Happy new year and my God bless you abundantly in 2014!

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    1. It has crossed my mind... I try to make sure everything is packed tightly and restrained by some part of the car (headrest, footwell, etc.), but I can't be sure it's secure enough for a crash. :-/ Thanks for the advice!

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  2. I was just going to suggest the roof rack as well. When I moved cross country I actually found a "soft" one, instead of being the traditional solid plastic roof container this one was made out of a heavy duty canvas. I picked it up at Dick's Sporting Goods, and if I remember correctly it was under $50 (about 3 years ago).

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    1. That's much less expensive than I would have expected. I'll have to keep my eyes open!

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  3. We had a small station wagon (Saturn) until we jumped to 3 kids. They we got the mini van. Mostly, I liked it for the ease of getting the kids in and out of the car and the ease of hooking the car seats in and fitting those. Getting 3 car seats across the back of any "regular" car is difficult, if not impossible. They are just too wide and the back seats of most cars too narrow. I have 5 kids now, so I drive a Suburban. Not fuel efficient at all, but we definitely need the space. And we camp, so it's great for that. I will definitely down size as the kids grow up and leave the house.

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    1. Once you're blessed with a big family, fuel efficiency has to be sacrificed, that's for sure! We're hopeful that we can do 3 across the back seat if we get to that point, but we'll see how it works in reality.

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