View Full Version : Late Model, not a pickup, That can carry a sheet of plywood


gahrajmahal
12-30-2011, 06:33 PM
So, I have a long drive every day. I am thinking of the future where I will have to replace my trusty 2002 Ford F150 V6 2WD pickup. I am thinking of something that gets 25 mpg and up and can carry 4 adults and one small child on occasion. 95% of the time it's just me. 1 hour on the freeway there, 1 hour back and forth to work. I like being able to carry the occasional 4 x 8 sheet of whatever, and that is my question for you. If you were looking at a new vehicle, what would fit the bill. Inside the vehicle with the hatch/trunk open is OK.
I have two fun cars, a 68 Chrysler 300 convertible and a 70 MGB for the wife. She drives a newish Corolla. 4 vehicles with a two car garage in suburbia. My last " car" was a Grand Marquis, which I loved and it got around 25 mpg on the highway and could haul that 4 x 8 product if I shoved two 2 x 4's underneath for support.
So, please let me know from your experience. The Auto Expo is here in February and I will check them out.

MustangRick
12-30-2011, 06:49 PM
My wife's mini van (Toyota) will haul a few sheets of 4x8 plywood. After that you loose about an inch due to the seat tracks. It can also haul a dozen or so 10' 2x4s stuffed under the console. I think I fit some 12' pipe in there once as well. If you get the captains chairs for the second row, they are pretty comfortable, the benchs still suck. It averages about 25 or so on the highway.

metaleltr
12-30-2011, 06:50 PM
Most minivans should be capable of hauling a 4x8 sheet.

Jay H 237
12-30-2011, 07:16 PM
I wonder if the Ford Flex has that capability, seeing them on the road they look large enough.

gahrajmahal
12-30-2011, 07:19 PM
Mini van, ooooh, you're killing me. But thanks for the confirmation. Yea Jay, that's what I'm thinking, but it's kind of hard to bring a sheet into the Expo center.

e-tek
12-30-2011, 07:52 PM
IMO (and I have good reasons!) Mini Van's (Chrysler/Dodge) are the BEST DAMN UTILITY vehicle on the market! I got one as a company vehicle about 16 years ago and thought I would DIE! Turns out it had a full fold-down bed (bench seats at the time) that made the BEST shaggin' wagon/ tent/motorhome on the planet! I went everywhere with my bikes, sports stuff, camping gear and freinds, towed boats, trailers, campers and more.
Since that time I have been without one only a few times. I had a Bronco, an Expedition and a VW Westfalia. None could hold a candle to the Mini-Van.
Now, with the Stow-and-Go seat option, the seats all flip down for that 4x8 sheet (or 10!), or 20 sheets of Gyproc. I've hauled engines, rear-ends, 1500pound playsets, loads to the dump and MUCH more. It'll hold as much as a truck - and nothing gets WET! In a few minutes you can empty it out your tools and wood, pop up the seats and take the kids (and in laws) to dinner. Mine has a DVD player and auto-sliders and rear hatch - very convenient. Good on gas, easy repairs, reasonable fit and finish.

So, other than having absolutely NO resale value ;) and if a guy can get over himself, they are the best all-around vehicle - for the dollar - and, if I could only afford ONE vehicle - and being a do-it-myself, family man - it'd have to be a Dodge Caravan. As it is, I can afford (many) more than one vehicle - and one HAS to be a Dodge Caravan! :)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OUChefoFQ5c/S6WVGeGiRLI/AAAAAAAABtI/xfFL9EnaWyE/s640/IMG_1484.JPG

frank_c
12-30-2011, 07:59 PM
it's kind of hard to bring a sheet into the Expo center.

um...you ever heard of a tape measure? :D

v8garage
12-30-2011, 08:12 PM
IMO (and I have good reasons!) Mini Van's (Chrysler/Dodge) are the BEST DAMN UTILITY vehicle on the market! I got one as a company vehicle about 16 years ago and thought I would DIE! Turns out it had a full fold-down bed (bench seats at the time) that made the BEST shaggin' wagon/ tent/motorhome on the planet! I went everywhere with my bikes, sports stuff, camping gear and freinds, towed boats, trailers, campers and more.
Since that time I have been without one only a few times. I had a Bronco, an Expedition and a VW Westfalia. None could hold a candle to the Mini-Van.
Now, with the Stow-and-Go seat option, the seats all flip down for that 4x8 sheet (or 10!), or 20 sheets of Gyproc. I've hauled engines, rear-ends, 1500pound playsets, loads to the dump and MUCH more. It'll hold as much as a truck - and nothing gets WET! In a few minutes you can empty it out your tools and wood, pop up the seats and take the kids (and in laws) to dinner. Mine has a DVD player and auto-sliders and rear hatch - very convenient. Good on gas, easy repairs, reasonable fit and finish.

So, other than having absolutely NO resale value ;) and if a guy can get over himself, they are the best all-around vehicle - for the dollar - and, if I could only afford ONE vehicle - and being a do-it-myself, family man - it'd have to be a Dodge Caravan. As it is, I can afford (many) more than one vehicle - and one HAS to be a Dodge Caravan! :)


I have a Dodge Caravan and I agree with everything you said, but I noticed that you didn't mention the exact gas mileage. Garajmahal said he wanted it to get 25 miles to the gallon, if your Dodge Caravan gets that kind of mileage it is the exception and not the rule.
V/8

Kevin54
12-30-2011, 08:12 PM
If you're not the van type, look into getting a small utility trailer or even those fold up trailers to haul something the size of a sheet of plywood.

Myself, I like a truck. Just hang on to that '02 until the wheels fall off

Lotek
12-30-2011, 08:29 PM
Pontiac Aztec, sure it's fugly, :wtf:but you can haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood in it.:lol_hitti

joe.gravelle
12-30-2011, 08:54 PM
Buick road master with the lt1

hmbemis
12-30-2011, 09:02 PM
If you're not the van type, look into getting a small utility trailer or even those fold up trailers to haul something the size of a sheet of plywood.

+1 on this--a smallish FWD 5-door hatchback, or just a sedan, with a Class-2 hitch will do just fine... you'll save so much on gas (think 30-35MPG instead of 25MPG) you'll have the trailer paid off in no time...

Or, consider how often you actually haul those 4x8 sheet goods... it may be cheaper to just rent the Home Depot or Lowes van for 90 mins... they'll rent it for about $20 and then you can drive it over to the local lumber yard if you want :bounce:

gahrajmahal
12-30-2011, 09:02 PM
E-Tec, I know I may have to "man up" and get the mini-van. Actually I don't hate them. We rented a few Caravans for family vacations and the mileage was around 25 or so with all highway driving. I don't really want to get rid of the 02 either but this December as usual we took the truck to the tree farm. My wife, our son and his wife. When all 4 of us fell out of the cab the other Christmas tree buyers thought it was a clown car. Regular cab, bench seat. The four of us spent about three hours in the truck that day, so yea, there are some warm feelings for the old girl... But I put about 500 miles a week on it, and I don't really need a fifth vehicle, so I am trying to warm up to the idea of something new.

imperialman67
12-30-2011, 09:06 PM
Pontiac Aztec, sure it's fugly, :wtf:but you can haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood in it.:lol_hitti

Actually the Aztek is a VERY versatile, comfortable vehicle if you can keep the Dexcool out of the crankcase, or vise versa.

canuckian
12-30-2011, 09:07 PM
I wonder if the Ford Flex has that capability, seeing them on the road they look large enough.

Guy I work with has a Flex. awesome car and it can carry A LOT of stuff and people, but I'm pretty sure it won't fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood flat. It may flipped up on one side though.
Though I'm not a mini van type guy, I believe it's pretty much your best bet for the conditions you outlined. The 25 mpg is the killer here. Maybe consider a club cab mid size truck. I'm pretty sure they can carry a sheet of plywood and fit a few people wihen the need arises.

theoldwizard1
12-30-2011, 09:10 PM
Most cars and small SUVs, including many with 4 cylinder engines, can pull up to 1,000 lbs. Get a small, lightweight trailer.

machine_punk
12-30-2011, 09:26 PM
I've been looking hard at the new (to the U.S.) Ford Transit. I really liked them while I was in Europe and I am glad they made it over here. You can configure it more like a car (side glass and a back seat) and there is still a lot of room in the little bugger. If I didn't already own a full-size, 15-passenger van, I'd be looking hard at the Ford Transit. Like most European vehicles, they tend to have smaller engines (i.e. better mileage) than most U.S. cars.

onething
12-30-2011, 09:39 PM
I can't haul 4 people, but my Miata pulls a 4x8 HF trailer all the time.

Just sayin' the trailer is a good investment.

Cobra5150
12-30-2011, 09:46 PM
this may get close to the 25MPG mark during hwy driving
http://newcarbuyingguide.com/images/articles/reviews/dodge/2007DodgeMagnum01.jpg

mikew13
12-31-2011, 12:16 AM
Ecoboost F-150 with the best gear ratio for fuel efficiency. Never will drive a minivan without a paper bag with three holes cut out on my head!

p_mori7
12-31-2011, 01:21 AM
A quad cab pickup with a shell over the bed ? Not quite 25mpg unless really light footed. I have a 2011 Ram 1500 4x4 w/4.7 v8 and get about 20 on hwy. 2wd would probably get 22/23.

If you stand on it though...

Chevy Colorado quad cab maybe ?

gahrajmahal
12-31-2011, 06:40 AM
Hey guys and gals, thanks for all the answers but...
I don't want another pickup truck. I have one, it's paid for and it can reside in the driveway like a trailer would have to do and it would not upset the neigbors, like a trailer would. They are not allowed, that is one reason I got rid of the boat. The cost to keep the old truck around for hauling duties would be minimal.
I Googled my question and I got this posting on the first page of answers which tells me not many people have figured this out yet.
Some vehicles I have seen and thought hmmm... I wouldn't mind driving that, wonder if a sheet of plywood could fit in there.
Honda CRV or Element
Subaru wagons of various models.
Saturn SUV, would have to get a used one.
Mercedes SUV, the older ones maybe diesel is available?
VW Passat wagon

And yes, I will take a tape measure to the show, which is nice cause you can see all the models, sit in them, open them up, and no one is allowed to " sell" at the show.

superspec
12-31-2011, 08:52 AM
this is easy man, pick whatever car you want!

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n114/superspec02/roofrack.jpg

that is 4 4x6x 14ft and 4 2x4x 14ft

Nighttrain
12-31-2011, 09:09 AM
Roof rack is an option. We (wife) has a Honda van. If you look at mini vans give it a try. I feel its the best one out there for comfort. 24 mpg.

superspec
12-31-2011, 09:31 AM
i love my roof rack for everything like this, can i throw a lawnmower up there? not really but i have a trailer hitch for those situations.

GirlnAgarage
12-31-2011, 09:32 AM
On each test drive stop by Lowes and buy a sheet of plywood. The first vehicle it fits in you buy :D

I think your in minivan territory to carry a 4x8 without a truck. Or look at Suburbans/Tahoes/Expeditions.

geologist
12-31-2011, 09:34 AM
Our Dodge Grand Caravan leaves much to be desired. The floor rises up in the back, right at the hatch, which is kind of a crappy design because it really limits what you can put in the back. It's also a gas hog.

ddawg16
12-31-2011, 10:36 AM
If you're not the van type, look into getting a small utility trailer or even those fold up trailers to haul something the size of a sheet of plywood.



Yep....my little Harbor Frieght trailer has been worth every $350 it cost me.....I use the dog crap out of it....I can carry things with it that I can't with a truck....carries 1200 lbs....folds up out of the way when I don't need it.

Used it yesterday to bring home a material lift so I can lift that big beam you see in the photo up onto the second floor.

What I really like is that it's pretty close to the ground so it's easy to get stuff on....

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e370/JeepDawg16/2-Story%20Addition/IMG-20111221-00005.jpg

kbs2244
12-31-2011, 01:07 PM
Most of the small PUs will handle a 4x8 above the wheel wells.
If you build little support racks, or get the right size tool boxes, you can slide them in.

I donít like the stock seats. Too thin.
But I know a guy with an S10 that he put junk yard Buick seats in.
He is happy with it for his daily 90 min one way.

JimVonBaden
12-31-2011, 01:14 PM
If you're not the van type, look into getting a small utility trailer or even those fold up trailers to haul something the size of a sheet of plywood.

Myself, I like a truck. Just hang on to that '02 until the wheels fall off

That is what I do. It allows for a variety of fuel efficient cars, but still gives you the option of carying a lot of stuff, especially dirty stuff you wouldn't want in a car.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b238/JimVonBaden2000/Caliber/Trailer/P7163137.jpg

Easy 27+MPG.

Jim :cool:

Goldboattail455
12-31-2011, 01:24 PM
1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice, Buick Roadmaster or Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser ('91-'92 only).

Gotten more than 25mpg on the highway before with mine. And that was with 220K+ miles on it.

Super Sport
12-31-2011, 01:35 PM
I'm not sure a 4x8 sheet would fit inside, but it should fit pretty well on a roof rack of a wagon. I've been looking at buying a Subaru Outback for similar reasons you're looking for. I want utility and AWD but with the gas mileage and handling of a car. Subarus are very reliable and have some of the highest owner loyalty of any brand. Judging by the fact you have a 2WD truck I imagine AWD isn't important to you, and your gas mileage will suffer with it. Volvo and Audi make wagons that should work though.

A small trailer is also an excellent option for those rare times you would want the utility of a truck bed.

superspec
12-31-2011, 01:37 PM
wow only 220ish miles on a mid 90s car? haha

Zelatore
12-31-2011, 03:31 PM
Maybe a stretch to say 'late model' - depends on your definition I guess. And I'm sure the penut gallery here will will have a field day with it since it's not 'murican, but a few years ago I had a Saab 9-3 4-door hatch that was hand's down the most functional car I've ever had.

Once put a washing machine, 6'x2' shelf, and 2 large bags of mulch in it and still shut the hatch with two people.

Seriously, it was amazing what that thing could hold. Got good mileage as well. Tubo lag and torque steer were your constant companion, but it was pretty quick when on boost and of course you don't see them every day.

Don't think you'd get a 4x8 in it. Certainly not flat. But you might be surprised.

yellowdartdave
12-31-2011, 06:28 PM
What else can I say. Good gas mileage,esp on the highway. Have gotten as high as 29mpg.
Great fun to drive and it tows stuff rather well.

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/crazydave1972/P5167718.jpg

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/crazydave1972/Cart-1.jpg

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i219/crazydave1972/DSCN1393.jpg

superspec
12-31-2011, 06:31 PM
now thats what im talkin about^^^ except buy a 5 liter ;) the 4.6 would be good though if you didnt want a payment! drop the cats and get an x pipe and some basanini mufflers and call it a day.

yellowdartdave
12-31-2011, 06:40 PM
Yep, a new 5.0 is on my wish list, but my 04 has 144k miles on it and other than normal stuff, oil,filters, 1 battery and 1 set of brakes, I have only had to replace...........

One license plate light bulb.

And the thing has been paid for for a long time.

Bkf350SD
12-31-2011, 06:43 PM
I was going to say go with a new f150 with the ecoboost as well, but i see your not looking for another truck. The Ford Raptor is sweet although its a pickup and probably doesnt get 25 mpg.

I will NEVER get 25 mpg with my truck, id be happy with half of that LOL

twincam00
12-31-2011, 06:48 PM
1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice, Buick Roadmaster or Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser ('91-'92 only).

Gotten more than 25mpg on the highway before with mine. And that was with 220K+ miles on it.

+1

I shoulda gone for the wagon instead of the sedan, wagons are so handy

Kev442
12-31-2011, 07:17 PM
IMO (and I have good reasons!) Mini Van's (Chrysler/Dodge) are the BEST DAMN UTILITY vehicle on the market! I got one as a company vehicle about 16 years ago and thought I would DIE! Turns out it had a full fold-down bed (bench seats at the time) that made the BEST shaggin' wagon/ tent/motorhome on the planet! I went everywhere with my bikes, sports stuff, camping gear and freinds, towed boats, trailers, campers and more.
Since that time I have been without one only a few times. I had a Bronco, an Expedition and a VW Westfalia. None could hold a candle to the Mini-Van.
Now, with the Stow-and-Go seat option, the seats all flip down for that 4x8 sheet (or 10!), or 20 sheets of Gyproc. I've hauled engines, rear-ends, 1500pound playsets, loads to the dump and MUCH more. It'll hold as much as a truck - and nothing gets WET! In a few minutes you can empty it out your tools and wood, pop up the seats and take the kids (and in laws) to dinner. Mine has a DVD player and auto-sliders and rear hatch - very convenient. Good on gas, easy repairs, reasonable fit and finish.

So, other than having absolutely NO resale value ;) and if a guy can get over himself, they are the best all-around vehicle - for the dollar - and, if I could only afford ONE vehicle - and being a do-it-myself, family man - it'd have to be a Dodge Caravan. As it is, I can afford (many) more than one vehicle - and one HAS to be a Dodge Caravan! :)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-OUChefoFQ5c/S6WVGeGiRLI/AAAAAAAABtI/xfFL9EnaWyE/s640/IMG_1484.JPG

What he said is the way I use mine and they are excellent hiway cruisers.

That being said, you could buy anything you want, put a hitch on it and buy the foldable HF trailer. I actually store my snowmobile trailer on its side against the garage wall when not in use.

superspec
12-31-2011, 07:24 PM
Yep, a new 5.0 is on my wish list, but my 04 has 144k miles on it and other than normal stuff, oil,filters, 1 battery and 1 set of brakes, I have only had to replace...........

One license plate light bulb.

And the thing has been paid for for a long time.


trust me i wasnt knockin the 4.6. my engine builder had a novi2000 4.6 for a good while and beat the absolute fuck out it everyday.

gahrajmahal
01-01-2012, 07:57 AM
Thanks again to everybody, especially for posting along all the photos. It makes the post that much more fun to read!
Yellowdartdave, I especially enjoyed your post. I look at this with an iPad and the trailers and loads kept getting bigger and bigger. I truly did laugh out loud. Back when I was a teenager I had a trailer I made from a VW front end H- beam. I drove various cars, replacing them every 6 months to 1 year. I towed that trailer with most of them. Your photos of the Mustang brought back fond memories. We towed 3 dirt bikes and a minibike behind my Karmann Ghia. I also towed a 24 ft. Cigarette boat behind my 6 cylinder Ford van, 1960 vintage. You know, the one where you drive over the front axle sitting next to the motor.
I have a lot to think of. Keep adding your thoughts and experience. Others will benefit too.
Happy New Year everyone.

tonydanzah
01-01-2012, 10:01 AM
the new 2wd f150s get low to mid 20s mpg

yellowdartdave
01-01-2012, 10:49 AM
Thanks again to everybody, especially for posting along all the photos. It makes the post that much more fun to read!
Yellowdartdave, I especially enjoyed your post. I look at this with an iPad and the trailers and loads kept getting bigger and bigger. I truly did laugh out loud. Back when I was a teenager I had a trailer I made from a VW front end H- beam. I drove various cars, replacing them every 6 months to 1 year. I towed that trailer with most of them. Your photos of the Mustang brought back fond memories. We towed 3 dirt bikes and a minibike behind my Karmann Ghia. I also towed a 24 ft. Cigarette boat behind my 6 cylinder Ford van, 1960 vintage. You know, the one where you drive over the front axle sitting next to the motor.
I have a lot to think of. Keep adding your thoughts and experience. Others will benefit too.
Happy New Year everyone.

Yep, I know what driving an old van is like..I had a 68 Chevy flat face van.

PS. Please send me some GOLD STAR CHILI. I miss it !!

cheap bastard
01-01-2012, 12:44 PM
Last Tuesday night, I watched a guy slide a sheet of !/4 inch or so plywood into a PT Cruiser! The rear set was folded down, of course and he moved the front seats forward a bit. The process took about a minute. He was confident going in, so he may have done it before.

gahrajmahal
01-01-2012, 01:18 PM
PS. Please send me some GOLD STAR CHILI. I miss it !!

I haven't purchased anything from these folks, but you might find something you like. I don't think Gold Star is in the grocery but Skyline is.

http://www.cincy2u.com/

holland_patrick
01-01-2012, 07:04 PM
The subaru wagons will not take it.... only the Baja or the Brat

C G
01-01-2012, 09:34 PM
Well if you are keeping the truck you have something to haul the occasional load you are talking about, and be able to cram the family in there too.

But if you buy a mini van or what ever and you want to haul a load and the family, you may be out of luck since you will have to remove or fold down the seats. Then you are stuck with (usually) two bucket seats up front.

They make some really cool roof racks these days and I think if you are just hauling a few sheets of plywood it shouldn't be any problem. Thats my two cents and it was worth exactly that lol.

bhclark
01-02-2012, 03:56 PM
Another vote for the Buick Roadmaster/Chevy Caprice Wagon, although I still find a need for my redneck truck trailer due to tall, bulky items not fitting inside the wagon like they did in the minivan.
Minivans are a PITA to maintain though....I'll never own another.

gahrajmahal
11-23-2013, 06:18 PM
I am re-visiting some of my old threads and came across this one. I thought you all might be interested in what I came up with.

http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu96/gahrajmahal/Ridgeline/DSCN9200_zpsc9b76d84.jpg

I purchased a 2013 Honda Ridgeline Sport. There is also a new album if you are interested in more photos. Additionally there is a Honda Ridgeline post that I added lots of photos and descriptions to.

I don't consider the Ridgeline to be a "truck" in the sense of a real working vehicle, but more of an SUV with outside storage. As you can see it is almost the exact same size as the old girl this posting started with. I have had it now for about 6 months and I just love it. I wish the gas mileage was a bit better, but it is right in line with what the Ford was getting. Around 20 mpg on the highway. It has loads of room for the extended family and can fit the 4 x 8 whatever I originally was interested in.

Any of you considering a similar purchase should hurry up as I don't believe Honda will continue it after 2013.

http://i637.photobucket.com/albums/uu96/gahrajmahal/Ridgeline/DSCN9372_zps4c9a721d-1.jpg

One of the first loads she hauled. A load of brush to the recycler. It now takes two trips instead of the one with the Ford, but the drop off site is only 3 miles away, so no big deal.

As a side note, the Ford went to a very nice young guy, his first vehicle that he paid for with earnings from his first real job driving trucks for a landscaping company.

Keep adding along to this with other "non-pickup" entries to the post as I am sure this will continue to be an issue as the years go on.

Later...

neonnblack
11-23-2013, 06:29 PM
I think it was 8 10' and a few 8'

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2894/11018727146_a2cfaee2a0_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/106234635@N04/11018727146/)
Untitled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/106234635@N04/11018727146/) by neonnblack (http://www.flickr.com/people/106234635@N04/), on Flickr

darwyn
11-23-2013, 06:37 PM
Keep in mind that MDF is sized an inch larger than 4x8. I put plywood in my Transport all the time, but it barely fits. When I went to buy some MDF I got a surprise, fortunately it fit on the roof rack.

cassidy
11-23-2013, 06:38 PM
I too have a ridgeline and average 24 mpg mostly highway. I also have trailered full sized cars and hauled 4x8 sheet rock and plywood no problems.