Friday, January 3, 2014

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

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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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


  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!

    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!

  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).

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

  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.

    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.