By Lori Straus
Maybe your family is growing, or a parent is moving in with you, or you’re planning a Spring Break road trip. Whatever the situation, you need more space in your vehicle. The good news is that you have many options that don’t require you to buy a new vehicle. We’ll cover a few of them in this blog post.
Clean out Your Vehicle
An article about more space in your car would mean nothing if we didn’t at least suggest cleaning out your vehicle first. Remove those old coffee cups from your side door pockets, recycle the used Kleenex boxes that are squished in the armrest between the front seats… you get the drill.
This, of course, won’t give you enough space for more suitcases (well, usually), but it can give you that extra space for another bag or a small in-car container that can secure baby toys but have them at the ready in case you need to entertain your new little bundle in the middle of a traffic jam.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can get really creative here. (Just make sure that you keep safety a priority for whatever you create.) You’ll find loads of ideas on Pinterest for car seat organizers that can hold drinks, toys, and garbage bags while at the same time protecting the backs of your front seats from dirty boots.
You can also find online storage containers that fit on the floor of your vehicle, organizers for your trunk, and even seat organizers. (Seat organizers sit on another seat, e.g., the passenger or back seat, and store anything from files to food for your daily commute, and more.)
If you need more space for trips, whether frequent getaways or occasional road trips, rooftop carriers are the way to go. Extremely useful for skis, but also for carrying different types of luggage, they’ll keep your cargo secure and protected from the elements. Moreover, you’ll have more space inside your car, making for a much more comfortable drive.
However, the drag they create and the fact that you have to get out to reach up and inside them makes them inconvenient for daily use.
Hitch Cargo Carriers
The perfect option for reachable storage, hitch cargo carriers attach to your hitch. They typically carry around 500 lbs of additional weight, but check the product description before you buy.
Keep in mind that parking may be difficult, depending on how far back the hitch cargo carrier extends from your vehicle. You’ll still need to fit in parking lot spaces, and you may receive a ticket if the carrier reaches over the sidewalk when you’re parked in a driveway.
Always Evaluate Your Needs First, Shop Second
This rule of thumb applies to almost everything, and yet we’re often awestruck by the next shiny object we see. If you need more reachable, daily storage solutions, cleaning out your vehicle and then shopping for car organizers is your best bet. If you need occasional storage space for travelling instead, then rooftop carriers and hitch cargo carriers are the way to go. Either way, research first, purchase second, and then enjoy your newly spacious vehicle.