Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Minivan Buying Don'ts

When I was pregnant with the twins, we realized that soon we would need to fit 3 carseats in a vehicle, and decided we should look into buying a minivan.  Being on a tight budget, as always, we looked high and low for a used minivan that was in good condition.  Eventually we found one with around 45,000 miles on it, and while it didn't come with any fancy extras, it seemed like it would serve our needs. 

Fast forward four years and 55,000 miles.  With a summer road trip on the horizon, we have discovered one crucial thing missing from our minivan.
There are no rails to support a luggage rack.  It's bald on top.  So I called the manufacturer and do you know what?  They said that they couldn't do anything if it didn't come factory installed! 

I then purchased a 'universal fit' rack to put on top.  Guess what?  Apparently 'universal' does not apply to my minivan, as it didn't fit.  Meanwhile, every single minivan on the road that passes me has a luggage rack (or at least a set of rails) on top of it.  Every single one.  How did we manage to get the one minivan on earth that came without? 

I have special ordered a rather expensive Yakima rack system to see if that will work.  Wish us luck, because if this doesn't fit I think we're out of options! 

Update:  The Yakima rack fits!  Paul installed it with no trouble at all.  Thank goodness.  Now I just need to order the locks to go with it. 

36 comments:

Terri said...

I thought all minivans had luggage racks. My SUV even has them and it is an '01. Good luck with the new system- hope it fits!

My Journey With Candida said...

Roof racks are probably the last thing I would have thought of. But I can see why you would need them.

Angelwithatwist said...

Ok first of all I drive the exact same van right down to the color and I did get the one that had a luggage rack.. wish I could help ya out..

Cat said...

Sears used to sell different clips to fit the Cargo carrier that would fit in the cardoor when no luggage rack was available. Would taking the Pilot be an option?

Buttons said...

Oh Lisa good luck..... B

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I didn't think it would be that hard to to get a rack. I hope the one you ordered works.

Bonsack Baptist Preschool Consignment Sale said...

We installed a hitch on our mini van and bought one of those things that attach to it (no wheels) and it works pretty well...just let me know if you need more details. Good luck!

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

i will ask my hubby, he would know - he has connections. i will be in touch about that.

on that note it is amazing how many cars are so different this day & age. you wonder what the makers of cars (vehicles) are thinking when they design the car in the 1st place???! ( :

Fernando Santos (Chana) said...

Olá Lisa, fico torcendo que resolva o problema....
Cumprimentos

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

We have rails on my SUV and have never used them. They sure look good though! Would love to see your Yakima installed. xox

alissa apel said...

I'm glad you got something that worked. I would not thought about that.

We had to get something in a hurry to. My husband watch our two nephews and our sons 2 days a week. At one point in time he had 2 babies (2 months apart) and 2 two and a half year olds 3 months apart.

He liked having a truck because he does sculpture work. We got a used Honda Pilot. It has 3 seats. It was a tight fit! It's a good thing we only had them 2 days a week for awhile.

Monkeywrangler said...

I was gonna suggest a 2" square receiver hitch and the rear platform you can buy fairly cheaply (less than a Yak Rack usually). Then you can pull a trailer too if you needed.

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

I'm so glad it worked out for you!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I'm glad the Yakima rack fit! I never thought how important luggage racks could be until I thought of how many people (and bags) you would have on a trip.

Linda said...

Glad the new one works. Happy motoring!

Debbie said...

no luggage rack?? seems like a no brainer.

you will need a luggage rack with 3 kids. i like the color!!

Betsy Adams said...

Hmmmmm--- I hadn't noticed the tops of mini-vans.. Guess I'll need to look closer!!!! BUT---I'm glad you that found one that fits... Where are you going on your summer trip? Whatever it is, I'm sure those boys will love it.

Hugs,
Betsy

TexWisGirl said...

good save!

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I'm glad you found a rack that fits! Seems like that would come standard on every minivan, but apparently not!

Grandma Bonnie said...

I am glad you found one to fit. I know the feeling of fitting everyone in. I usually borrow my daughters mini van. It just fits the five grandchilldren with their car seats.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I am glad They work....good that Paul could install them

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness - I hope that works for you - you need one! sandie

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I ran into that exact problem with a vehicle a few years ago. Universal is a misnomer to be sure!

But yay for the Yakima!

Ginny said...

How strange!!! But I am so glad you found one and it fits! Where will you be going and for how long? We have a regular van, it looks just like yours only bigger. I don't think it has a rack, it is in the shop now or I would run out and look. We only ever buy used cars, we bought this from our son when he was getting a new one. It is an old Oldsmobile.

Maple Lane said...

Happy that it worked out.

Michael Manning said...

My brother wore out two mini-vans raising his three kiddos. There are many so-called "aftermarket" sources, Lisa, that offer some solutions to automobile challenges. I don't see many cargo racks in use. But this must mean a tight ride in the passenger compartment for sure!

Eva Ason said...

That was very rare that the minivan didn't come with racks, thought it was standard. Happy to hear that you found some that fits :)

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Yay! I'm glad the Yakima fit!!

Valerie said...

We had to order an expensive Yakima rack for our previous car! It saved the day for us as well!

Guess what? The town of Yakima is only about 35 or so miles away;)

Jill said...

Great! It sure pays to keep looking!

Lin said...

Hooray! Glad you got it to fit. Isn't that crazy that you didn't notice that when you initially looked at it? But why would you? You never notice those things until you need them. Ugh.

On another note--friends of ours had their cross bars on the rack stolen off their car. They didn't notice it either until they went to use them one day. I guess you are not alone. :)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Hooray, I'm glad it fits!

Nancy Claeys said...

yay for the little things.

warren said...

Shoot...we had a minivan like yours and I stil have the racks...I could have given you a steal on yakima racks!

Andrea B. said...

Yay that it fits!!! :>

Sunnybrook Farm said...

I could put one on there for you but you may have trouble removing it!