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Old 11-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What econ car can haul Plywood Laying Flat???

I'm downsizing from a minivan and want to get a high mpg car (probably station wagon) that can still haul plywood laying flat.

I read a just one old comment that there was an Escort Wagon that could do this. But I know a 93 EW will not.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,
Tom

PS. Also, want to haul 10' pvc pipe too - even 12' lengths. Here in PA you allowed stuff to stick out the rear 4'. Of course if you have a tailgate that lifts up, there is debate if that is 4' from the aft end of the tailgate in its up position.

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Old 11-04-2011, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just about any of them... Put it on the roof! Also, many Eco cars car tow 2000 lbs with no problem so most trailered items can be towed.. (firewood, lawn equipment, motorcycles, landscape dirt, ladders.. Dead zombies, etc...

Manufactures say no towing but it's really pretty safe to bet on a 1500-2000 lbs capacity. Usually the uk version of your car will state towing for your transmission. Also manuals are safer to tow with than automatics.

To get the on roof rack capacity you have to read your manual. It will say what the loaded capacity of the vehicle lets say 1500lbs. So if it's you at 200 and the other 2 passengers at 300 that's a total loaded weight of 500. Your vehicle can safely carry another 1000lbs. That can be in the car or on the roof. Just be sure not to overload it or you'll windup like a plane wreaked Rockstar.
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Last edited by TXwaterdog; 11-04-2011 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal Grammeter View Post
I read a just one old comment that there was an Escort Wagon that could do this. But I know a 93 EW will not.
I don't think you can haul a 4x8 plywood in an escort wagon. A couple of weeks ago I bought a sheet of coroplat and I had to seriously bend it in every way to fit it inside my focus wagon. I've got some serious doubt you'll find a car that would do it!
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd second the small trailer option. They're cheap and work great when you do need to haul stuff. When you don't (which is probably 95%+ of the time) you get great mileage.
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Old 11-04-2011, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I haul 8 foot lumber all the time in my civic with the rear hatch closed, but the rear hatch is only 44" wide so no ply wood inside the car, I've towed a trailer with my old civic vx and averaged 39.9mpg over the entire tank where I was either towing a trailer with 12 foot long dry wall or hauling 800 pounds of lead acid batteries with me.
Here if you have something hanging out the back of a vehicle more then 3 feet it has to have a red flag on it in the day time or a red light on it at night and a compact car can tow a trailer that is up to 40 feet long.

So the question is, if you can save $300 or more per year on gas by getting a vehicle that gets better mileage, is it worth spending $300 once on a high quality roof rack that will last you the rest of your life or spend two years of fuel savings on a trailer and trailer hitch? and do you have space to store those when they are not in use?
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestions!

Some replys:

Roof Racks

I've never liked them. I've had full pickup ladder racks and they work great. They do make "construction grade" RR's for vans, but what you get on cars is really suited for small items. In particular there is little fore/aft wheelbase which makes anything long a serious aerodynamic concern. Too many plywood roof rack hauls end up on YouTube(!)

Trailer

These are a good solution - especially when you have a manual transmission which is what I'm looking for. However, like said before, you have the cost of the rig and where do you store it. Both issues with me. I would really like to avoid this.

Older Models

Definitely have larger cargo capacity and dimensions. I suspect the comment I read about Escorts was for the original model from the 80's. I just saw some pics of an old Falcon station wagon from the 60's and the cargo area was massive.

The Plymouth Reliant looks pretty bulbous (and so does an 84 Escort.) I was even wondering if the Isuzu Trooper might do the job, but I believe they are quite heavy (3500lb-ish.)

Non-Station Wagons

There is always the "mini" truck. Light weight and w/4 cyl, they should be fairly economical, however, I really like the ability to lock up my cargo like in a van or SW. If there was such a thing as a 4 cyl crew cab w/short bed, that might work, but I suspect it would be heavy.

The Escort SW

I get the impression this might be the "sensible" pick for station wagons. It seems like you can find nice ones for $2000 or less.

Subaru SWs

A little more expensive, however, it seems common to find these cars for sale with way over 200k miles on them. They might be great runners and another sensible pick.

Mini Vans

While they are shrinking and getting incrementally better mpg, they are still gas hogs relatively speaking.

Thanks for the suggestions,
Tom
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You like those Escorts- I do too even though I've never had one- so get one. It won't take a full sheet of plywood flat though. Not even close. Not even close in the relatively big Sable wagon. Not even close in any wagon I can think of, short of a Suburban.

Small pickup like a Ranger could probably meet your hauling needs; you indicated you wanted a closed lockable area- so put a cap or tonneau on it.

Trailers: I got a Harbor Freight trailer and except for the woefully inadequate fender mounts, it's held up very well. Light and easy to store too, even though I don't have the fold-up model. It was cheaper to buy on sale than I could build myself from scratch- only a couple hundred dollars, and a new hitch for about $120. If I didn't already own a truck that has practically no resale value, I could do most of my hauling tasks with this trailer behind a small car.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal Grammeter View Post
Non-Station Wagons

There is always the "mini" truck. Light weight and w/4 cyl, they should be fairly economical, however, I really like the ability to lock up my cargo like in a van or SW. If there was such a thing as a 4 cyl crew cab w/short bed, that might work, but I suspect it would be heavy.
There is, and it's heavy, but it can get good mileage. I averaged 34.9 MPG last summer. That will drop to 28 when it gets really cold. Full sheets of plywood overhang the tailgate, but 8 foot 2X4's will fit inside.


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Old 11-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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JR!

Thanks for stirring the pot!

I didn't think what you have was possible, but it might be the best compromise for me. Do you have the 175hp 4cyl?

I guess if GM makes one, there are others out there.

But my concern is that I'm really lo-buck for the next few years, hopefully only. How far back does this combo go?

Thanks for a great alternative!
Tom
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal Grammeter View Post
Thanks for the suggestions!

Some replys:

Roof Racks

I've never liked them. I've had full pickup ladder racks and they work great. They do make "construction grade" RR's for vans, but what you get on cars is really suited for small items. In particular there is little fore/aft wheelbase which makes anything long a serious aerodynamic concern. Too many plywood roof rack hauls end up on YouTube(!)
The simple solution is to create a base plywood template that bolts directly to your roof rack. Use that base to strap your new plywood to. It won't go anywhere at that point. I can't seem to find weight load capacities for roof racks so there might be a load concern there...

Quote:
Trailer

These are a good solution - especially when you have a manual transmission which is what I'm looking for. However, like said before, you have the cost of the rig and where do you store it. Both issues with me. I would really like to avoid this.
they make fold up trailers that store quite easily.
http://www.harborfreight.com/1195-lb-capacity-48-inch-x-96-inch-heavy-duty-foldable-utility-trailer-with-12-inch-wheels


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