We’ve all got that one friend with an innate ability to pack an empty cargo space with the prowess of a Tetris world champion. It’s as if they open the car’s boot and all of a sudden they’re looking at what’s in front of them like it’s computer code, just like Neo in The Matrix. They just know how to fill every square inch of cargo space with that huge pile of luggage that looks twice the size of the boot. Not many of us have this ability, and so frustration can quickly set in, leading to squashed boxes, broken cargo and loose items.
Ideally, if you’re going to need to transport large volumes of luggage, or if you’re a regular camper who likes to take a few extra luxuries, it’s best to have a car with a large enough boot space. Medium and large sized SUVs often have loads of space for luggage, as do estate cars such as the Skoda Octavia wagon.
Whether you’re moving items to your new home, or you’re off on a camping holiday, it’s always a good idea to keep a few things in mind when packing the car. So, we’ve compiled a list of handy tips that should help you make the most of whatever boot space you’ve got to work with.
1. Consider the weight
Firstly, you’ll need to weigh up your cargo to make sure the car can safely handle the load. Every vehicle has a maximum load that it can handle, and exceeding this limit will result in significant handling issues, causing the car to become unsafe. That load limit includes passengers too, so make sure you include the weight of your family when you’re loading the car up for that next road trip.
2. Put the heavy stuff on the bottom
The best way to pack a car is to put large or heavy items in the boot first to avoid them crushing your other belongings. Ideally, they should be arranged in the centre of the cargo space to maintain good handling while driving the car. This also gives these items a solid footing which will help to avoid them moving around and potentially damaging other cargo while going round corners. Soft bags can then be placed around the heavy items to help fill in some of the leftover space.
3. Don’t stack too high
A crucial part of transporting loads is that you arrive at your destination safely. This should obviously go without saying, but people often tend to overpack in the hope that they can squeeze more in, or reduce the number of required trips. This can cause visibility problems and result in a vehicle that is unsafe to drive. Loose items on top can potentially go flying into places you don’t want them to, like the back of yours or your passenger’s head. If doing multiple trips, you may just have to bite the bullet and accept that you need to do one more run to safely finish the job.
4. Think about what might need to be pulled out during the trip
When travelling long distance, there is a good chance you’ll need to stop at some point to retrieve something you’ve packed away. The last thing you want is for your lunch to be packed in a suitcase that is underneath four other items of luggage. This will mean keeping in mind what you may need to access at some point during a road trip. It will also mean packing your bags, boxes and suitcases accordingly so that anything that might need to be used while on the road can easily be found without having to pull everything out of the car first. Remember you have a glove box. This often forgotten compartment is perfect for storing lunch, first aid kits or other items you may want to keep within arm’s reach.
5. Spare tyre access
Obviously, if you have a boot full of cargo, it will be impossible to avoid packing things on top of the spare tyre compartment. But, if you avoid having too many small or loose items over this section of the boot, it will make things easier if you do find yourself needing to pull out the spare.
6. Roof racks
These are great for freeing up space in the car’s boot. Roof racks can be used to carry larger items such as surfboards, swags or tents, or even household furniture. Just remember that due care is required when securing any such item to the roof rack. Make sure you have sufficient straps and ropes to ensure nothing up top can become a safety hazard for other drivers on the road.
7. Clever packing
A bit of pre-planning will go a long way when it comes to loading up the car. Think about the kinds of items that are best packed together and what may be better separated. If a bag has only clothes in it, you know it can survive a bit of weight on top of it. It’s therefore a good idea to keep clothes separate from fragile items so that you don’t mistake a bag with breakable items for one that can be squeezed into a tight space.
Meanwhile, if possible, vacuum bags are a great way of making things smaller. Rather than putting your clothes in a duffel bag, use vacuum bags if you have them so that they take up far less space and can be stuffed into spots they may otherwise not have fit.
Figuring out how to get everything in the car that you need can be a daunting task. But just following these simple car packing tips will go a long way in making sure everything in there is safe and secure. The last thing you want to hear on a road trip is the sound of your favourite wine glasses being smashed underneath the weight of the portable BBQ!
Of course, all this is made easier if the car is well designed with cargo transport in mind. So, visit your nearest Skoda dealer and take a look at our range of cars that are big on space and will comfortably get you and your cargo where you want to go.