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Lumber Capacity?

I'm looking at a Model Y for our next vehicle. We have a 2010 Prius right now, and oftentimes on weekends we'll go by Home Depot/Lowes and load up on lumber/materials for various DIY or Home Renovation projects.

On the Prius, we can put the larger back seat down and lean the front seat all the way back and comfortably load up about 20 8' 2x4s... my wife just rides in the remaining back seat. We can even squeak in a few 10' pieces of lumber, although they sit on the dash and butt up against the windshield a bit. If it's not lumber, it'll be something like bags of mulch for the garden... we can probably get about 20 bags of mulch if we lay both back seats down and build up to near the ceiling. We usually have a shower curtain laid down underneath the mulch, to keep the moisture out of the upholstery.

Since our use case isn't really going to change when we switch vehicles, I'm wondering about y'alls experience loading up the MY with lumber or building materials, how much you can generally seem to fit, and general advice for transporting in the Y (for example, I'm not clear if, like with the prius, you can folk just half the back seats down, for a lumber carrying use case).
 

Dave EV

Active Member
Jun 23, 2009
1,963
1,768
San Diego
Most Home Depot and Lowe's locations rent a pick-up: $20 for 90 minutes.
I recommend this as well - I just wish the process for picking up and dropping off a rental was faster - it often takes longer to pick up and drop off the rental than the time you spend actually using it (loading, driving, unloading, driving back).
 
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Yeah, renting a truck would be preferred, if one is even available... and if it is, like mentioned, it's such a process to rent/load/drive/unload/drive back/get gas/turn it in. Generally, we just want to get on with our projects, so load our vehicle to the gills with materials it is.

We only need one vehicle (and only enough room for one), so getting a truck of our own isn't an option. Whatever we get is going to haul lumber/mulch on a Saturday, Bikes/Kayaks on a Sunday, and be a comfortable, convenient ride every other day. Occasionally, 700 mile trips down to NC. The MY seems

I'm kind of OK with a few scratches and dents from use. Although I am speaking from the perspective of only driving (mostly used) Priuses since 2006, with the heated seats on the used 2010 Prius we got a few years ago as the most "luxury" feature we've ever had. I still appreciate that I have power windows and cruise control! I'm not sure if I will feel different after purchasing a new "luxury" vehicle (regarding scratches/dents/abuse).
 

Quorky

Member
Oct 1, 2019
380
247
NYC
Should be able to do that no problem. I don't remember the exact measurement from seat (moved all the way forward to rear hatch), but in the center console you should be able to fit quite a bit.

I do this all the time. Just protect the interior with towels and you should be set. 10' would fit diagonally (left rear to windshield right), but very dangerous. I do this only in extreme situations, when no other alternative is available, and you can fit only a few this way.

Just use protection and you will be fine 😜...
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,878
2,842
In a galaxy far, far away
In general I prefer carrying 10' long lumber studs or 10' EMT conducts using the roof rack.

The passenger seat doesn't fall down flat and don't either recline back flat.
So you may need to remove the front passenger head rest.
Also I always worry putting something on the dashboard because of the risk of breaking the windshield.
 
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JHCCAZ

Electrified Engineer
Supporting Member
Feb 2, 2021
497
928
Tucson
...We can even squeak in a few 10' pieces of lumber, although they sit on the dash and butt up against the windshield a bit...
Just consider, that a collision with lumber or conduit or pipe propped on the dash, will turn those long-goods into missiles. They will have no trouble piercing your windshield and spearing forward into whatever and whomever you hit, with potentially devastating results.

Similar concerns apply to goods that are riding behind you. I don't know the exact internal structure of the seats and headrests, but I wouldn't assume that there's a robust anti-piercing shield.

And BTW regarding roof racks as mentioned in another reply, I stress that a twine or ratchet-strap tie-down, that seems secure, will do little to prevent the missile launch scenario. You can lash up a strong front restraint-shield in various ways but it's not commonly done.

I also haul such things on occasion. My preference is to position them, if possible, so that they poke into the passenger footwell. But it's hard to accomplish that for more than a few sticks at a time.

How bad is this problem really? If you have a collision at 40mph, it's similar to dropping your bundle of boards or pipes or bricks or whatever, onto your collision partner (or into the back of your seat) from the roof of a 4-story building. 50 mph, more like a 6-story building.

I'm really not trying to lecture or nanny you - I hate finger-wagging myself. Just raising the issue. We've just seen a bad situation in Texas where, apparently, a very survivable crash mixed with a few really unusual complications, resulting in a nightmarish outcome.
 
Jun 26, 2020
108
131
Maine
I’m in the same boat… formerly owned a Prius that we pretty much used as a pickup truck. That little beast could haul an amazing load! Unfortunately, I cannot (and would not) replicate the load variety in the Y. For hauling lumber, the capacity is marginal, plus the giant expensive screen in the front is a huge liability. My Prius dash was all dinged up from a variety of lumber and pipe ends, and I wouldn’t want my Y dash to end up the same way. It really can’t anyway because the screen is in the way. The front seat in the Prius could slide forward and recline to near flat, allowing for larger awkward items and more long things to go all the way to the windshield; this is not possible In the Y. The Prius could carry 10‘ long items with ease; Y can‘t quite do it unless it‘s flexible like 1/2” PVC pipe.

If you really had to, you could fit 12 8’ 2x4s in the Y. Some folks mention a roof rack. It’s possible, but will all that glass? No thanks.

All that said, it does have ok capacity for items like bags of mulch or even cement (just make sure you have a cargo mat). Not sure if you could get 20 bags of mulch in there, but probably. The Y may look bigger than the Prius, but truly it fails in comparison regarding cargo. It is much nicer though!

For me, the Y is just too nice to use as a truck like we did with the Prius. If you can acquire a used beater minivan with 150k miles on it for cheap, you’d be smart to keep that around.
 
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hellobye

Member
Apr 14, 2021
88
68
Indiana
And BTW regarding roof racks as mentioned in another reply, I stress that a twine or ratchet-strap tie-down, that seems secure, will do little to prevent the missile launch scenario. You can lash up a strong front restraint-shield in various ways but it's not commonly done.

For future reference, if you're loading lumber in volume, you can place a short piece in the middle if a row of lumber, and cinch the ends with a ratchet strap to bow the boards around short piece. This will generate friction and prevent slippage between boards, and creates a retention effect since the bowed ends will be narrower than the center.

None of that helps prevent the mass from ripping your roof rack off in an accident, though.

Personally I have carried countless things countless ways in my Impreza wagon. Generally it's easier to just pull a flatbed trailer, if you can afford the space.
 

Frieda’s Boss

Model 3 AWD Silver + Model Y AWD Red
Sep 30, 2018
95
122
Vancouver, WA
20 pieces of 8ft 2x4s is no problem with the middle rear seat folded down in a Model Y. We used a blanket to buffer the front from risk of hitting the touchscreen, but there was clearly 4” or more space between the 2x4s and the screen. In addition, 4 adults can still sit in the car LOL.
For bigger loads, the tow hitch with a cargo trailer of course is a better option!
E55B86CC-7C68-45E2-8C4A-C8F193AD327A.jpeg
7CB83E5E-4195-40AD-B533-36AA51A15F26.jpeg
F6A4EC55-A19C-4E29-BCAE-D51AB1C076AA.jpeg
 
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cancoi

#teamblue
Jun 7, 2021
60
21
OH
20 pieces of 8ft 2x4s is no problem with the middle rear seat folded down in a Model Y. We used a blanket to buffer the front from risk of hitting the touchscreen, but there was clearly 4” or more space between the 2x4s and the screen. In addition, 4 adults can still sit in the car LOL.
For bigger loads, the tow hitch with a cargo trailer of course is a better option!
View attachment 673650View attachment 673651View attachment 673653
That is impressive.
 

zpaul

Member
Apr 23, 2021
294
226
Maryland
20 pieces of 8ft 2x4s is no problem with the middle rear seat folded down in a Model Y. We used a blanket to buffer the front from risk of hitting the touchscreen, but there was clearly 4” or more space between the 2x4s and the screen. In addition, 4 adults can still sit in the car LOL.
For bigger loads, the tow hitch with a cargo trailer of course is a better option!
7CB83E5E-4195-40AD-B533-36AA51A15F26.jpeg

I am a nervous wreck seeing how close those 2x4s are to that screen.
I little tap on brakes :oops:
 

WADan

Member
Sep 28, 2020
433
712
Bellevue WA
20 pieces of 8ft 2x4s is no problem with the middle rear seat folded down in a Model Y. We used a blanket to buffer the front from risk of hitting the touchscreen, but there was clearly 4” or more space between the 2x4s and the screen. In addition, 4 adults can still sit in the car LOL.
For bigger loads, the tow hitch with a cargo trailer of course is a better option!
View attachment 673650View attachment 673651View attachment 673653
Can you fit diagonally a few 10ft (with front passenger seat down)?
 

EVer Hopeful

Member
Jul 7, 2021
845
669
Texas
I can't afford to buy a Tesla AND lumber - just one or the other ;)



Seriously though, I have a really nice Prius V and I promised myself I wouldn't use it for trips to HD. That lasted about a year though

When I ordered the Y, I got the towbar. I don't have a trailer, but I figured if I was taking the Y to HD, I'd rent an HD (or even buy a folding) trailer

And I second the post about considering what happens to any items you're carrying if you get into a wreck



...which reminds me: One time I was driving down the road and noticed the guy in front of me had two brass cannons on the rear parcel shelf. Each one was at least a foot long. I guess he preferred them to nodding dogs, but I shudder to think what would happen if he ever got into a wreck
 
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