View Full Version : Safely carrying cargo (plus passangers) in SUV?
03-21-2005, 10:02 AM
Hi. We are about to embark upon a cross-country move and will be driving to our new location in our Nissan Murano. We have two children, one in a rear-facing seat, and one in a front-facing seat. Since we plan on piling the cargo area with a week's worth of clothes, toys, strollers, etc., we are wondering about safety for the kids in the back seat in the event of an accident (or even just if something slides over from the cargo area).
Is something like this a good idea? Nissan sells this and installs it but calls it a "pet divider". Do the car seat techs know anything about its safety to protect the kids from cargo?
03-21-2005, 10:32 AM
Do you know if the divider is bolted to the frame of the car (which is good) or just pressure mounted (which is bad...no matter how tight it gets pressed in there, it can't withstand crash forces and *could* theoretically fly forward under the weight of the cargo)?
Cargo 'covers' don't do anything in a crash, either.
You know, I'm just thinking this up right now, lol, but what if you could find an attractive looking tarp (unless you *want* to use a blue plastic one in your pretty Murano...hehehe), and lay it on the bottom of the cargo floor, (the same width of the cargo floor), attach it to the cargo hooks with carabiners or heavy duty chain links, and then make sure the tarp is long enough to wrap around your cargo...a cargo burrito...place the stuff on it and then secure the top fold around at the back of the cargo hold and secure the top with more carabiners...something heavy duty but easy to open. That way it's easy to get to all your stuff when you need to from the back when you open the hatch.
OR you could see if they sell a heavy duty stretchy cargo net to put over everything.
OR just get some "ratchet tie-downs" and at least have one or two heavy-duty straps holding everything down somewhat.(stroller on top, holding everything down).
Those are just some random thoughts....dunno if it's any help at all! (makes me feel guilty, last time I drove cross country in an SUV i put a beachtowel over all my stuff to keep people from seeing it, forget about holding stuff in place!)
Julie CPS Tech and mom to 2 in seats
03-21-2005, 11:01 AM
We also had a cross country move with our two kids (twice :)) so if you have any questions still lingering I might be able to help. One thing that helped me (and this really depends on how long you drive each day, if you are staying in hotels or with friends/family) is that I packed in what I called "pods". I bought lightweight black packing bags at target and I packed one night of clothes for the four of us in each one. Then, I packed a bedtime bag with pajamas, diapers, toiletries, some toys, and bath stuff, and snacks, bathing suits (for all the hotel pools). When we pulled up to a hotel alI I needed was the night bag and the pod for the day. Then the dirty clothes would go into the bag and I would put it in a different part of the car. It helped us not have to drag heavy bags in and out every night while we juggled the kids, and it kept the dirty clothes from being everywhere, and the kids from having too much to unpak in the room and make a mess with. I also had a bag that I called a spare. In the spare I had two clean outfits and diapers, etc. for both kids so that if they spilled something on themselves, a diaper leaked, etc., I could easily replace the outfit without messing up the pod. The other lifesaver was the DVD player. Good luck, we actually had so much fun on both trips I would do it again in a heartbeat!
03-21-2005, 11:06 AM
What a GREAT idea!! We are moving from Delaware to CA later this year with a 3 yo and a 9 mo old and we have to do it in 4 days!! I will have to pack this way for sure in order to save a little bit of sanity. Thanks so much for this idea.
03-21-2005, 11:32 AM
"Cargo 'covers' don't do anything in a crash, either."
I guess I should have realized that, but I always thought that we were being safe by just closing our cargo cover in our Outback. I have been stressing about what to do when our cargo exceeds the space that our cover will cover and came across this site:
Looks like they have a bunch of stock sizes or will custom cut one to fit. Would this be a better option, Julie???
03-21-2005, 12:45 PM
Hey, those look nice! I want one!
I had a tech-friend who had something like that solidly rigged in the back of her minivan, and I didn't doubt it would help a great deal in a crash.
Julie CPS Tech and mom to 2 in seats
03-21-2005, 01:16 PM
I have a Passat wagon and worried about my DS' safety when we had cargo in the trunk. I got one of those nets and ended up not using it. I would have to look to see who was the manufacturer of ours, but you could not fit much under it. So, it would be fine if you had a few smallish items, but not if you had a stroller or made a trip to BJ's, etc. I ended up getting the VW metal gate, which we had to get installed in our car - it is bolted, not pressure mounted.
For us, it has been much easier using the permanent gate. The only problem with it if you often haul long tall items, it would be in the way. We almost never do so it wasn't a problem for us.
Just wanted to give you my experience with the cargo nets - maybe some are made to expand higher than others?
03-23-2005, 02:59 PM
I went to the dealer and found out it is pressure mounted. Bummer! I was hoping that it was one of those things where you could snap the gate into some mounted brackets. Well, off to think about your other ideas.
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