Author Topic: I need a bigger car for my only child  (Read 10594 times)

AJ

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I need a bigger car for my only child
« on: April 09, 2012, 02:37:16 PM »
Sorry, I just want to make fun of some friends of mine for a minute :) Some non-mustachian (but still generally smart) friends of ours recently told us that they are buying a bigger car because they "need more space". I thought they were joking at first and I laughed. They have a 2010 Camry and one two-year-old. My co-worker (who is usually fairly money-savvy) just said the same thing last week (he has a 2010 Civic and a three-year-old). I'm thinking they both just got the "two year itch" with their cars.

In both cases I just couldn't help but thinking that American cars are so big already, how could they possibly need something even bigger to hold the stuff associated with a single child? Really, it almost seems cliche. I told DH I'm not sure how any American can say "I need a bigger car" with a straight face.

TheDude

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 04:08:19 PM »
I don't need a bigger car but I want one. My wife currently drives a 2005 Dodge Neon. It doesn't help that I hate the car (a lot of road noise, crappy mileage for a little car, and just cheaply built). If I could trade it for a Camry or Matrix I would do it in heartbeat.

zinnie

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 06:36:41 PM »
I hear people say this so much! I have three close friends who have "needed" a bigger car before having just one tiny child.

Another American "problem": I have a coworker who wants to trade his SUV for a car but he hasn't executed yet because he can't handle "being so low down."

velocistar237

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 08:05:10 AM »
Another American "problem": I have a coworker who wants to trade his SUV for a car but he hasn't executed yet because he can't handle "being so low down."

I heard the same comment recently. I was asking for a friend's opinion on her roommate's compact car, and her only comment was that she didn't like it because it was so low.

TheDude

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 10:38:12 AM »
I must be weird. I have a 94 Saturn and I cant seem to find a car I like because every car sits to high compared to my Saturn. I might have to upgrade to a sports car just so I can sit low enough. Its a good thing I only drive 10mi a week. The Saturn should probably last another 10years.

mm1970

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2012, 06:28:37 PM »
Okay, dude I am just impressed that you have a 94 Saturn.  We had one of those for 9 years and it was such a lemon.

Yeah, I have a coworker with a pickup and 2 kids.  He decided that he needed to get rid of the pickup because now he has 2 kids.

He traded it for...a bigger pickup.

A Camry should be just fine.  We have a Matrix and  Civic, and a Thule rack system for long camping trips.

shedinator

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2012, 08:35:29 PM »
I heard the same comment recently. I was asking for a friend's opinion on her roommate's compact car, and her only comment was that she didn't like it because it was so low.

My grandparents made a similar statement about the Nissan Maxima they owned, so they switched to a Murano. But then, grandpa has chronic knee issues, and going down a flight of stairs is excruciating for him. I wonder what your friend's excuse is :)

James

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 12:18:56 PM »
I have a co-worker who purchased a brand new Toyota Highlander.  The one with the nice third row seat.  And their kids moved out of town 5 years ago!  So no one ever even uses the back seat, much less the third row.  But they like it because it was nice and big, rather than a simple sedan or regular car...

But I have to say I understand, I was there just a few years ago.  I try not to judge, the best I can do is try and live by example.  I know I'll look back in three more years and say WTF! about plenty of what I'm doing right now...  :)

zoltani

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 04:03:44 PM »
It's called status, and it is purchased in the US in the form of large unnecessary automobiles.

goiyala

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 11:05:17 PM »
Another thing I've seen is that when people get their first kid, they upgrade to a SUV. When they get the second kid, they upgrade to a mini-van!!

I've seen this mentality among a lot of my Indian friends who work here in the US. And you would think people from India are frugal. Guess the American mindset overtakes them all.

mm1970

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 08:09:27 AM »
Most of the friends I have with minivans only go there when they have to - i.e., when they have the 3rd kid and need 3 in carseats.  Especially if they are close together, like multiples.  If you space them out, you can have the older kids in narrow seats.  My friend with triplets?  Not so much.

velocistar237

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 09:47:21 AM »
I heard the same comment recently. I was asking for a friend's opinion on her roommate's compact car, and her only comment was that she didn't like it because it was so low.

My grandparents made a similar statement about the Nissan Maxima they owned, so they switched to a Murano. But then, grandpa has chronic knee issues, and going down a flight of stairs is excruciating for him. I wonder what your friend's excuse is :)

She's just used to driving an SUV. The funny thing is that her SUV is old, so it isn't nearly as safe as a newer compact car.

When my in-laws bought an old Honda CR-V, they took grandma to the dealership to test for fit.

dougP

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 12:17:54 PM »
People getting larger cars because of kids are an excellent source for their now-unwanted small car.  Just yesterday we bought a 10 year old Civic from a couple who's expecting and decided they need an SUV.  A few years ago we bought another Civic from a couple with their 2nd child on the way & a new mini-van in the driveway.  These people just can't wait to get rid of the small car so are motivated sellers. 

sideways8

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 12:59:50 PM »
That's a great way to see it, dougp!

I have a friend suffering from NeedAMinivan-itis. Naturally, for her only child. The van must come with all the fixins. Sigh. Her poor husband will never retire but that's his decision!

strider3700

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 01:23:22 PM »
The stroller we had for my kids took up almost the entire hatch area of my wifes matrix making adding groceries back there difficult if we took it. When we had the second kid fitting everything inside of the car for a weekend away became basically impossible.  When my youngest hit 1 year old he no longer needed the big stroller and went to a smaller one and that made the car just fine for everything but long roadtrips.  For awhile there we were thinking of going to a minivan thought.

The major issue we have these days is by law both kids will be in booster seats until they're almost teenagers and those seats take up a lot of space and being non trivial to move/remove completely give up the ability to fold down the rear seat  for a bunch of extra space when the kids aren't in the car.

TLV

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2012, 05:58:11 PM »
Strider, have you looked into "safety vests" instead of booster seats? eg  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/best-mmm-car-with-3-kids/msg4940/#msg4940

A rooftop carrier for road trips (or even renting a larger car just for the trip) may be cheaper than buying a larger car.

Personally, I'm a fan of using a wrap (example) to carry infants instead of a stroller. We've only got one child, age 8 months so far though, so my opinion there may change as time goes on.

strider3700

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2012, 10:50:07 PM »
both my kids were over 25lbs at 1 year.  #2 is 23 months and 31 lbs 3' 3" tall.   A wrap worked great for the first 6 months after that mom's back gave up and I could only handle it another 2 months.  At this point we're pretty much done with the strollers but for awhile there it was a pain. 

I did some quick research and it looks like unless the kids are in a certified up to date booster seat that fits them correctly  it's illegal to drive with them in the car.   Up here the laws have become very strict about kids and car seats in the last few years.

We won't be buying a larger car.  I already have a giant truck since I tend to need a giant truck.    It can be used if the car can't handle the trip/load  but that doesn't happen very often.  It gets 11 mpg empty in town,  12 empty on the highway, 10 towing a 18' camping trailer or overloaded with 2000lbs of rock in the bed.   To compensate for the horrible mileage it goes about 2000 km a year, almost all of those km's working hard towing or with the bed full.

arebelspy

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2012, 07:56:52 AM »
Strider, have you looked into "safety vests" instead of booster seats? eg  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/best-mmm-car-with-3-kids/msg4940/#msg4940

A rooftop carrier for road trips (or even renting a larger car just for the trip) may be cheaper than buying a larger car.

Personally, I'm a fan of using a wrap (example) to carry infants instead of a stroller. We've only got one child, age 8 months so far though, so my opinion there may change as time goes on.

The comment about the rooftop carrier in between the comment of safety vests and wraps (both for securing/carrying kids) made me picture a kid on the roof of a car, in a rooftop carrier (ala Mitt Romney's dog).  Please don't do this.  :D
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velocistar237

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2012, 08:46:24 AM »
I did some quick research and it looks like unless the kids are in a certified up to date booster seat that fits them correctly  it's illegal to drive with them in the car.   Up here the laws have become very strict about kids and car seats in the last few years.

It's my understanding that the RideSafer vest counts as a booster seat. Instead of raising the child up so that the shoulder belt is properly positioned across the chest, the vest pulls the belt down to the proper position. They meet federal crash test standards and are certified for use. I have read comments saying they don't make a very good primary seat for frequent use, but are more for travel when you don't want to lug a seat around, though some people who can't upgrade to a larger car, or don't want to, use it so their kids will fit three-across. They have less side impact protection than a full seat, but probably about the same as a booster seat.

James

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 08:53:38 AM »
Strider, have you looked into "safety vests" instead of booster seats? eg  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/ask-a-mustachian/best-mmm-car-with-3-kids/msg4940/#msg4940

A rooftop carrier for road trips (or even renting a larger car just for the trip) may be cheaper than buying a larger car.

Personally, I'm a fan of using a wrap (example) to carry infants instead of a stroller. We've only got one child, age 8 months so far though, so my opinion there may change as time goes on.

The comment about the rooftop carrier in between the comment of safety vests and wraps (both for securing/carrying kids) made me picture a kid on the roof of a car, in a rooftop carrier (ala Mitt Romney's dog).  Please don't do this.  :D

One of my kids would love this idea...  :D

Sara888

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2012, 10:27:30 AM »
I have two kids and a 2005 Corolla (slightly smaller than the Camry).  We all fit!  Even camping gear all fits with some discipline.  And I just bought a roof luggage rack at a yard sale if we need more space.  I will say that if the corolla had to usually fit another adult (I am single), it would feel considerably more cramped and the camping gear at that point wouldn't all fit.  But an occasional rental of a minivan would still be cheaper than a new car.

twinge

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2012, 08:51:12 AM »
We have 2 adults, 2 kids (1 in a carseat/one not--and for a time 1 in a car seat/1 in a booster seat) and a Scion xa. We've taken it on cross country tent camping trips and while it gets tight, it works (and we haven't yet gotten the roof top carrier!).  One trick we use is to adapt our rear bike carrier to hold our jogging stroller when we need to take it and some gear. 

Bullseye

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Re: I need a bigger car for my only child
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 11:48:04 AM »
I have booster seats that have a 'footprint' the same size as a childs bum, they take up no more space than the child alone would.  They also clip into anchors, and are very easy to remove and put in.  If interested, I'll check the brand, I forget now.

In my pre-mustachian days we thought we needed a big SUV with two growing boys, and so bought a 2006 Honda Pilot.   We had a Subaru Outback, but found it too small with all of our gear we regularly lug around.   It never occurred to me (or was willfully ignorant?) to use a trailer and roof rack on the Subaru.  I'd sell the Pilot now and downgrade, but makes no sense to do so.  You have to pay a 13% tax on all vehicles when you buy, better to just keep it.  Fortunately, it is only used a few times a week for family outings, lessons, etc.  As well as road trips and camping.  Never rolls without at least four of us in it, and often  more, we hike with friends/family and all pile in (it's an 8 seater).