My next car needs to be able to fit a piece of plywood in it....

Actually it means “The Road”.

And if you think high school girls stay the same age, I guess you haven’t been to a reunion. I was expecting a room full of hot, nubile girls and just found a bunch of old women. :wink:

Trailers are a major pain in the ass. My contractor buddy has a Honda Odyssey and he claims he can fit a 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood inside it. I’ve driven down the highway with 3 pieces of sheet rock strapped to my Yakimas and the top piece ripped off due to wind shear. It was pretty exciting.

Yeah, the wife has suggested a trailer. Thing is, we have 2 cars and a two car garage. I don’t have a big desire to park a trailer in the circle of our driveway.

If I had room to park a third thing I’d probably just get a mid-eighties F-150 for a couple thousand.


A trailer doesn’t have to take up much space.

when using car top methods to transport materials that are not rigid and durable then you might sandwich them between two sheets of plywood.

Folding trailer at Harbor Freight. When folded it can be moved around on the built in dolly wheels.

Buying a vehicle for occasional hauling of 4 x 8 sheets is an expensive proposition.

That’s not a bad idea, though I’ll have to get a hitch. Definitely something to consider.


This is what I came to say. We have a Grand Caravan (but where the seats fold flat into the floor very easily, no need to take them out) and I’ve transported 4x8 sheets of drywall flat on the floor with the rear door completely closed. Its designing genius is what it is.

Of course, a Grand Caravan is quite a bit bigger than your Outback, which will decidedly not carry such a large piece of plywood without some serious strapping and finangling. But a full sized minivan will give you better mileage than an SUV, too, due to V6 versus V8 powerplants, and generally lesser curb weights.

Unfortunately, most small cars sold in the US have a rated towing capacity of zero. Though often the same car is rated for a non-zero towing capacity in other countries, so it appears to be mostly a liability and warranty issue.

Last I checked, the Hyundai Elantra was one of the few small cars that had a non-zero towing capacity.

As I recall, the 1968 Ford Station Wagon was advertised as having “enough room to fit a sheet of plywood in”…

The back door opening on my Frod Fucus wagon is 45". The 4’ board would easily fit in it on the diagonal. If I remember correctly, my earlier Frod Escort wagon would take it flat. They will stick out the back. Check on the fit of the Honda Fit. They’ll take a 10’ surfboard, with the rear closed. If the vertical clearance is 48" or nearly so, it would work, possibly with a slight lean.

Consumer Reports used to check this when evaluating cars & pickup trucks. Mainly for station wagons, back when they made them. Now I suppose it would be SUV’s, etc.

Nut I still think their evaluations of cars give details of the maximum cargo capacity.

And Consumer Reports is available in most libraries.

If you need to routinely haul stuff, get a truck. If not, get a vehicle that meets your routine needs, and borrow or rent a truck when you need one. Compromise vehicles are a waste of money.

Your earlier Ford Escort had a flat floor space of 4 feet wide? I really, really doubt that. That’s the standard between wheel wheels on full sized pick ups. Not S-10’s. Full size.

The Honda Fit can take a 10 foot surf board and close the tail gate? The overall lenght of the ENTIRE car end bumper to end bumper is 13.4 feet.

I have a large midsized SUV. Pathfinder. I can get 10 foot long lumber in and close the gate if I run it all the way up to the dashboard. Color me surprised if a 13 foot long Fit can fit a 10 foot surf board in it and close the hatch.

I found this as a reference. You can check various models. Oddly the Ford Focus showed a towing capacity up until a few years ago. With 140 hp it should have no problems towing 1000 lbs.

To add…
My Wife is looking to replace her Grand Jeep in a year or so. We are seriously looking at the Subaru Outback. Enough room for me at 6’4” to travel in. Well, It’s OK but I would not want it for a daily driver. And the 4 cylinder seemed to do well with the CVT transmission. Pretty good mileage, and it ran strong testing it on hills at 9000 feet elevation. I’m not sure if you could wrangle or angle a piece of plywood into it. But probably. You would have to measure.

Myself, even with the Pathfinder, I usually tie it to the roof rack. I don’t like to travel with my tail gate open if I can avoid it. The Subaru seems to have a good rack. It seems to have some good features. As I and others have said, know your rope and knots, and or get some good tie down straps. I often use both.

As said by an earlier poster, trailers are a pain in the ass. You will have to license it, and worry about brake/break lights and such. While even a fold up one may store easily, it is still another vehicle that needs bearings packed, and tires aired up.

Probably a lot less to do with horse power, and everything to do with how to attach a hitch to unibody frames and trying to make vehicles lighter weight overall.

Getting a vehicle that can do this plywood carrying will most likely require a larger vehicle that does not get very good gas mileage.

It would make a more sense to spend 1500 2,000 on a good trailer that will do this (or much less for a used one) than base your whole vehicle purchase around one activity you will not be doing 99.99% of the time and that will beat the shit out of your vehicle. I have a large GMC Denali SUV and I still use the trailer all the time.

Damn. I was really hoping you wouldn’t get around to specifying this. So I could say:

“Hey, my Toyota Echo fits TWO pieces of plywood… and those 12” square pieces are pretty cheap at the local Ace hardware."

My father was a contractor. He always bought 3/4-ton pickup trucks, specifically because he needed to haul a lot of plywood, and the standard sheets would fit neatly between the wheelwells, and you could still close the tailgate.