Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

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Nearly A Moose
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Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Nearly A Moose »

As I've mentioned in another thread, we will need to upgrade our Subaru Forester for a minivan early next year. Our detached garage is exactly 202 inches clearance from the widest part of the garage door to the opposite wall. If we were to nose the car into a window well just right, we could get 204-205 inches. We're looking at a 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey (203.2 inches by spec) or 2018-2020 Toyota Sienna (200.2-200.6 inches by spec). That's obviously rather ... tight. For comparison, we have about 21 inches clearance when we park our Subaru, which is just about enough to be comfortable. There are things we access on the other side of the garage, including our extra fridge and tools, that require us to either squeeze past the car or open the garage door.

We live in a historic district, so expanding the garage's footprint is unlikely to be an option. There's no driveway, and we don't want to street park.

My three questions are:
1. Does anyone currently have a situation like this, and if so, how doable is it?
2. I've read about flush-mount garage doors, where the door mounts on the inside of the frame (as opposed to just behind the frame). This would seem to net me about 6 inches. Anyone have experience with this and, even better, a sense for whether this is an expensive job?
3. Are there any ways to get a few extra inches for the garage? (I've even looked at whether I could parallel park in the garage, since it's a foot wider than it is deep)
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.
HomeStretch
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by HomeStretch »

Similar past situation trying to fit a very large SUV into a 60’s era size garage. Height was also an issue due to a ceiling mounted garage door opener.

I went with a smaller SUV with adequate clearance as I didn’t want to park the larger SUV in the driveway.
tibbitts
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by tibbitts »

Nearly A Moose wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:19 pm As I've mentioned in another thread, we will need to upgrade our Subaru Forester for a minivan early next year. Our detached garage is exactly 202 inches clearance from the widest part of the garage door to the opposite wall. If we were to nose the car into a window well just right, we could get 204-205 inches. We're looking at a 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey (203.2 inches by spec) or 2018-2020 Toyota Sienna (200.2-200.6 inches by spec). That's obviously rather ... tight. For comparison, we have about 21 inches clearance when we park our Subaru, which is just about enough to be comfortable. There are things we access on the other side of the garage, including our extra fridge and tools, that require us to either squeeze past the car or open the garage door.

We live in a historic district, so expanding the garage's footprint is unlikely to be an option. There's no driveway, and we don't want to street park.

My three questions are:
1. Does anyone currently have a situation like this, and if so, how doable is it?
2. I've read about flush-mount garage doors, where the door mounts on the inside of the frame (as opposed to just behind the frame). This would seem to net me about 6 inches. Anyone have experience with this and, even better, a sense for whether this is an expensive job?
3. Are there any ways to get a few extra inches for the garage? (I've even looked at whether I could parallel park in the garage, since it's a foot wider than it is deep)
I has a similar clearance with my truck. I had a concrete step that was part of the garage floor. With partly-worn tires, the rear tires (no choice but to back in due to the overhang difference between the vehicle's front and rear) would hit the concrete step and leave the the bumper 1/2 inch away from the drywall. So it worked out. You could do something similar - maybe no need for more complicated solutions?
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by bloom2708 »

Getting perfectly in and out with a few inches to spare could get very old, very fast.

Have you looked at other 3 row vehicles that are shorter?

Ascent, Highlander and Pilot are all 195-196”.

That would give you more clearance. Still tight.

Take a test drive and bring it to your house and practice parking.

Only then will you know.
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02nz
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by 02nz »

Would a 3-row SUV be an option? Most of them are a bit shorter than the minivans (I know, minivans are superior for space/utility). For example the Highlander is about 195 inches long.
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galawdawg
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by galawdawg »

A flush-mount garage door system will cost several thousand dollars. Even with that, you won't likely have enough room to get around the vehicle without opening the garage door.

While minivans with side sliding doors are great for families with kids, have you considered an alternative like the Subaru Ascent? Length is 196.8 inches.
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by palanzo »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:38 pm A flush-mount garage door system will cost several thousand dollars. Even with that, you won't likely have enough room to get around the vehicle without opening the garage door.

While minivans with side sliding doors are great for families with kids, have you considered an alternative like the Subaru Ascent? Length is 196.8 inches.
I would look at the Consumer Reports reliability results for the Ascent. Not good.
Mitchell777
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Mitchell777 »

I had this problem with a Park Avenue I owned years ago. Fit so tightly, in a garage probably built in 1938, I had to watch the garage door go down to assure it would not hit the bumper, yet it only did once. I guess I got good at getting it through the door just right. Recently passed on a nice car because I knew the fit would be very tight. It got to be an occasional pain to not be able to walk behind the car w/o opening the garage door. If you want this vehicle badly, ask the dealer if you can see if the vehicle fits in the garage but be careful since it can take a few times before you're comfortable with the tight fit.
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galawdawg
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by galawdawg »

palanzo wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:40 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:38 pm A flush-mount garage door system will cost several thousand dollars. Even with that, you won't likely have enough room to get around the vehicle without opening the garage door.

While minivans with side sliding doors are great for families with kids, have you considered an alternative like the Subaru Ascent? Length is 196.8 inches.
I would look at the Consumer Reports reliability results for the Ascent. Not good.
My remark wasn't a recommendation, I just noted that particular model since OP already owns a Subaru....

It is always good to thoroughly research any vehicle one is considering. :happy
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ClevrChico
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by ClevrChico »

A tight garage is miserable. I'd almost rather park it outside and use remote start or a block heater to prewarm in the winter. (If that's an issue.) Or, get a smaller vehicle.
Arabesque
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Arabesque »

I had a similar situation, maybe 6 inches to spare, for 12 years and 170,000 miles. I hated it all that time.
matti
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by matti »

Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
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galawdawg
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by galawdawg »

matti wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:30 pm Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
I am not an engineer, but I really don't think that this would result in any increase in the length of the vehicle. Perhaps the height...
Normchad
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Normchad »

If you have to park in the garage, get a smaller vehicle.

You will dent and ding the minivan, and probably damage the garage at some point. It sounds like it would be a instant irritant in your life.
z91
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by z91 »

Buy a smaller car.
PowderDay9
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by PowderDay9 »

If you do have a really tight squeeze park exactly where you want the vehicle. Then get some fishing line and a plastic golf ball. Hang the golf ball from the ceiling resting on the windshield at eye level right in the middle of the steering wheel. This will make it a lot easier to pull in the garage at the exact same spot each time.

You'll still have to open the garage door to walk around the vehicle but at least you won't have to worry as much about hitting the front wall or having the garage door hit the back.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by JoeRetire »

Remove the garage and replace it with a driveway.

Or get a smaller car.
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LittleMaggieMae
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

I've got a small brick 1940's era garage. It's not particularly long - nor is the single car garage door opening wide AND it opens on a narrow alley. The car I owned when I bought the house just "fit" in the garage. The car was long, with a long wheel base. Trying to swing it into the garage with the narrow alley and narrow garage door was a skill that took some time to learn (as in I had someone talk me into the garage the first few times. Once I got my bearings and some "landmarks" - there were times in the early days when I had to get out and check where I was before continuing to get the car in the garage.

Over the course of 5 years - I clipped the side of the garage door (brick) and scrapped my car twice (maybe more - I just stopped caring). I scuffed up the bumper (front and back) on the back brick wall when I pulled in too far. Getting the groceries or anything out of or into the trunk was difficult to impossible when the car was in the garage (I scuffed up the rear panels lifting stuff up in to the trunk from the side. Opening the car doors was a challenge as well... I had lots of chips on the edges of the doors.

If it snowed or the alley was ice-y - I might be able to get the car out - but not back in - one slip or slide going in would have hung me up on the brick garage door opening.

The next car fit in the garage better - it was 6 inches shorter and had a shorter wheel base. I only dinged the car during the winter if it was ice-y or if I wasn't paying alot of attention when putting the car in the garage (tired after a road trip. Or if I was really tired or emotionally upset/distracted>)

I bought the current vehicle with one of the criteria being it fit in the garage. It does. I can whip my little car into my garage without any problems. I had to rub out the one and only scuff from the rear bumper (the first week I owned it) when I caught the brick frame of the garage door. That was the only time I've damaged my car using the garage in 8 years. I can unload the trunk/hatch and open the doors comfortably. It's still alittle tricky because I can't walk around my car when it's in the garage - I have to open the overhead door to get to the driver's side door.

My advice - buy a smaller vehicle. OR find someplace else to park your bigger vehicle (can you add a concrete pad and/or a car port.) Or learn to live with the 'scars" and damage your vehicle will quickly acquire AND with the never ending annoying inconvenience that "putting away the car" will become. You will not win the battle with the too small garage. Resign yourself to it quickly if you go with the bigger vehicle. You'll be happier.
Last edited by LittleMaggieMae on Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HoosierJim
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by HoosierJim »

Had a friend with a large pickup truck needed about two more inches.

He took off a piece of small piece of drywall and creating a bridge header across 2x4s and left a small gap in which the bumper would fit into at bottom at least two to three more inches. So it was like creating a 8-in high by 7 ft wide window. He also had one of those laser spotting devices firmly nailed into a rafter so he could pull in the garage fairly quickly and set the truck in the exact right spot
mike_in_ny
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by mike_in_ny »

I second the comment above about hanging a marker ball from the ceiling such
that when you touch it with the windshield you stop pulling forward. We do this
and its very easy to always park within 0.25" of perfect.

I would be more concerned if it was tight width wise, than length because of the
above way of handling it. It still can be a nuisance, but its do-able.
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Cubicle »

I second the idea of opening up drive drywall if possible.

The hanging tennis ball is good. But better (to me) is laying down a "speed bump" of sorts. It's less yielding compared to blowing thorough the tennis ball if not paying enough attention.

Nail together a small rectangle of 4x4 wood, braced against the garage wall, long enough that a cross member would stop the wheels at the proper position.
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DoubleComma
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by DoubleComma »

Staying in a beach town in an AirBB this week, quarters are tight. The add said the garage was 230” in deep and you must park in the garage. Our suburban is 226” so we brought it. It fit, it was extremely tight, and not something I would want to do daily.
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Svensk Anga
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Svensk Anga »

I had a car half an inch shorter than the garage for ten years. Doable, but it was a third car and not used much. I backed it in very slowly until the bumper touched the back, concrete block wall. The chromed steel rear bumper was not in great shape to begin with, so I was not much concerned with marring it. The car had to go in perpendicular to that back wall - any diagonal was too long.
RudyS
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by RudyS »

About historic district "limitation": would it be possible to get permission for a sort of bump-out to accommodate hood/bumper, at the back (non-street side) of the garage?
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Nearly A Moose
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Nearly A Moose »

Wow, more posts on my crazy car question than when I post about bond strategies :D

For some more context, it's a 150-year old brick rowhome with a detached, all brick garage that opens to a nice wide alley with a straight pull-in. No driveway, parking in the alley isn't an option long-term (nor a good idea), and after 7 years without a parking spot previously, I'm not going back to street parking. So I hear those issues but am prioritizing parking in the garage. I also don't really care how dinged up the bumper gets. But a good idea to buy used.

Already do the tennis ball thing, and I get nosed in so that the garage door clears the rear bumper by about an inch. My wife would probably need to practice more, though. I like the idea of adding a physical barrier to hit the wheels too.

The garage is all brick with no interior framing, so no drywall to cut down or space between studs to work with. I have a standard-style garage door, which adds an inch or two with the metal cross-beams. Is there such a thing as a "thin" garage door without 2" metal support bars on its?

I'm 99% sure I can't (easily) get a zoning variance to add a bump-out to the garage because I already exceed maximum lot coverage, and that feels like an expensive solution to the problem given the cost of doing anything construction-wise where I live. I have thought about having a second access door made so I can just pick which side of the garage I enter. There's already a window in the right space for that. Come to think of it, I wonder if that might be the best option if I can at least fit the car in and get the garage door closed.

I also hear people about a third-row SUV. I think I'd go with a Hyundai Palisade if I did that (or at least that would be the first check), maybe a VW Atlas? This is really for another post, but my concern is with the third-row access, as that will be for grandparents in many instances. Plus I'm just to the point where I want a really practical vehicle, and every time I rent a minivan on vacation I just marvel at how dang easy the thing is to use. On the impractical side, however, I see that a Model X would fit...
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by aerosurfer »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:38 pm A flush-mount garage door system will cost several thousand dollars. Even with that, you won't likely have enough room to get around the vehicle without opening the garage door.

No way its 'several'. I just did mine a few months ago for a high lift conversion in preparation for a car lift.

Chamberlain RJ070 jackshaft opener was under $500 to buy. About the best consumer grade one available and MyQ capable

Cost to modify the tracks to the ceiling by a local company was $600. They offered to install the opener for $200, i opted to DIY
5280Tim
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by 5280Tim »

matti wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:30 pm Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
Umm, what? This absolutely does not happen.
palanzo
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by palanzo »

matti wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:30 pm Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
That's not right. Or else your speedometer would not read correctly. Do you have a link for this?
palanzo
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by palanzo »

5280Tim wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:22 pm
matti wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:30 pm Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
Umm, what? This absolutely does not happen.
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Monsterflockster
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Monsterflockster »

z91 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:02 pm Buy a smaller car.
+1. Why do you need a mini-van?
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BenfromToronto
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by BenfromToronto »

If you do not want a SUV and want to buy a minivan, you could buy a smaller minivan.
Smaller minivans have been replaced by the more popular SUVs but you may be able to find a used one.
The Mazda 5 was produced until 2016 and its length was 180 inches.
Another short minivan was the Kia Rondo, which was extremely reliable and inexpensive.
I do not know when it stopped to be sold in the US.
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by 123 »

One of the reasons we continue to drive an older Corolla is because it is 10 - 12 inches shorter than the current models. That 10 - 12 inches makes a significant difference in our garage as well as the availability of suitably sized street parking due to the pattern of driveway curb cuts in our neighborhood.

If a vehicle doesn't easily fit in your garage to allow comfortable parking I wouldn't buy it.
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Luckywon
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Luckywon »

matti wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:30 pm Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
Tire pressure goes up with temperature, but tire size does not significantly change. But as stated above, tire size is irrelevant here, unless OP is parking in a very strange manner!
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by HawkeyePierce »

How often will you really need a third row? Is this a daily or weekly use or just something you'll need once in a while?
onourway
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by onourway »

I would test drive the van and bring it home and try it.

However if it were me, I would buy a different vehicle. The irritation of fitting it into this tight space every day - or multiple times per day - would far outweigh the irritation of having a slightly less convenient vehicle the few times per year we need to really use the third row.
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by galawdawg »

aerosurfer wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:11 pm
galawdawg wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:38 pm A flush-mount garage door system will cost several thousand dollars. Even with that, you won't likely have enough room to get around the vehicle without opening the garage door.

No way its 'several'. I just did mine a few months ago for a high lift conversion in preparation for a car lift.

Chamberlain RJ070 jackshaft opener was under $500 to buy. About the best consumer grade one available and MyQ capable

Cost to modify the tracks to the ceiling by a local company was $600. They offered to install the opener for $200, i opted to DIY
We may be talking about two different things. I believe OP wants his door to close flush to the facade of the exterior wall of the structure to gain a few inches of interior length. Particularly with a retrofit to an existing garage, that is much more complicated (and expensive) than increasing the clearance (height) inside the garage. It sounds like your project was increasing the headroom. That is relatively inexpensive and can be a DIY project with a kit from big box hardware stores.
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

I have a question and then a solution.

Why a mini van? If you have 4 kids, then I suppose it's the best solution. If you have 2 kids, honestly, a Corolla will easily fit them.

On to the solution. You can build a slanted ramp in the garage. It starts just inside the door and rises as you drive into the garage. The ramp is the hypotenuse and is, of course, the longest side in a right triangle, formed by the floor and the rise in the ramp.

This isn't going to get you much, but it'll get you something. If the length of your garage is 200" and the ramp rises to 36", square those 2 numbers, then add the squares. Take the square root and that's the length of the hypotenuse, which in this example is 203.2".

Does this seem like an overly complicated and silly solution? If it does, get a shorter vehicle.
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Sandtrap »

Nearly A Moose wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:19 pm As I've mentioned in another thread, we will need to upgrade our Subaru Forester for a minivan early next year. Our detached garage is exactly 202 inches clearance from the widest part of the garage door to the opposite wall. If we were to nose the car into a window well just right, we could get 204-205 inches. We're looking at a 2018-2020 Honda Odyssey (203.2 inches by spec) or 2018-2020 Toyota Sienna (200.2-200.6 inches by spec). That's obviously rather ... tight. For comparison, we have about 21 inches clearance when we park our Subaru, which is just about enough to be comfortable. There are things we access on the other side of the garage, including our extra fridge and tools, that require us to either squeeze past the car or open the garage door.

We live in a historic district, so expanding the garage's footprint is unlikely to be an option. There's no driveway, and we don't want to street park.

My three questions are:
1. Does anyone currently have a situation like this, and if so, how doable is it?
2. I've read about flush-mount garage doors, where the door mounts on the inside of the frame (as opposed to just behind the frame). This would seem to net me about 6 inches. Anyone have experience with this and, even better, a sense for whether this is an expensive job?
3. Are there any ways to get a few extra inches for the garage? (I've even looked at whether I could parallel park in the garage, since it's a foot wider than it is deep)
1. Yes. I parked my pickup truck with 3-4 inches to spare. . in the back. And, had to bump the front bumper up to the front garage wall to do so. Why? Because I had a typical 3 car garage with one huge door and one tiny useless door. DW had to unload groceries outside. Squeezing past to get at things got really old. Yes, the only way to get past was to leave the garage door open.

2. No. Do it right. Hire an excellent licensed GC or excellent "real" journeyman carpenter (not handyman) to reframe the garage door to a larger door. ***This is structural work so must be done correctly and safely. I enlarged the "useless small door" to 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall on the "deeper" side of the garage and now my truck fits properly and is on the opposite side of the entry and frig/freezers, etc. DW is very happy. :D

3. See #2.
It might not cost as much as you think.
Call several G.C./builders in your area and get some free estimates.
Order the new garage door at Home Depot/Lowes etc. (it is not that expensive as some think).
Sell the old garage door on CL or give it away.
If you want to gain a little on the height, install a "jackshaft opener" and enlarge to within 12-16" of the ceiling depending on layout.

Don't mess with swapping to different garage door systems. Enlarge the opening properly. It's a good option.

After 8 years I finally did the above. On the day after we did it, of course, we wished we had done it 8 years earlier.

** The above are options if the door is too narrow.
*If you need more height under the celing tracks, then switch to a "jackshaft" style opener which runs about 12-16" from the ceiling, far less than other opener styles.
*If you need more depth, then that is something else. Is one side of the garage deeper than the other side?
Many garages have an internal offset front wall where the utilities are mounted. If that is the case, then move the longer car to that side.

Edit: after reading you last post which gives more detail: brick, zoning, etc. If not doable, then I guess a car change is in order.

j

j :happy
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whomever
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by whomever »

"On to the solution. You can build a slanted ramp in the garage. It starts just inside the door and rises as you drive into the garage. The ramp is the hypotenuse and is, of course, the longest side in a right triangle, formed by the floor and the rise in the ramp."

For a typical minivan with a close-to-vertical rear end, you would now need to measure the 'hypotenuse' of the vehicle as well.

You could minimize that, but not eliminate it, by backing the vehicle up the ramp.
neilpilot
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by neilpilot »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 8:01 am I have a question and then a solution.

Why a mini van? If you have 4 kids, then I suppose it's the best solution. If you have 2 kids, honestly, a Corolla will easily fit them.

On to the solution. You can build a slanted ramp in the garage. It starts just inside the door and rises as you drive into the garage. The ramp is the hypotenuse and is, of course, the longest side in a right triangle, formed by the floor and the rise in the ramp.

This isn't going to get you much, but it'll get you something. If the length of your garage is 200" and the ramp rises to 36", square those 2 numbers, then add the squares. Take the square root and that's the length of the hypotenuse, which in this example is 203.2".

Does this seem like an overly complicated and silly solution? If it does, get a shorter vehicle.
A 36" rise is really significant, some would consider extreme. Especially since this only adds 3".
rkhusky
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by rkhusky »

Park horizontally using a roundtable on a dolly with a winch. Or perhaps you can just use a dolly and a winch. Or just a dolly.

https://www.fullgleam.com/mechanic-tools/wheel-dollies/
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lthenderson
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by lthenderson »

Nearly A Moose wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:47 pm Already do the tennis ball thing, and I get nosed in so that the garage door clears the rear bumper by about an inch. My wife would probably need to practice more, though. I like the idea of adding a physical barrier to hit the wheels too.
I've never understood the tennis ball thing. It looks terrible, is always in the way when the vehicle is out in the driveway and one is working in the garage and gets accidentally ripped off by errant ladder swinging, etc. I got one of those laser pointers that tie into the garage door safety sensors that screw firmly to my ceiling and point to any spot I want on my vehicle. It is never in the way and doesn't care about curvature of the windshield or a wind gust causing the tennis ball to rock back and forth when every inch counts.

I'm also laughing at the ramp idea especially when you are thinking about getting a minivan with a squarish back in. Pull the front end inside the garage and up the ramp and see what happens to the top back of the van. It will tip back towards the garage door. The next problem you will have to solve would be the engagement of the emergency brake every time you park to prevent the van from rolling down the ramp until the brake firmly engages. My minivan probably will still roll down a steep incline a couple inches with the emergency brake engaged and after I release the pedal brake. It rolls even further if the emergency brake isn't used and has to rely on the transmission gearing to hold it in place.

No way I would want the aggravation of that tight of parking spot in a garage. I would shop for smaller vehicles, just lock the vehicle up and never close the garage door leaving the end of my vehicle sticking out or build a garage sized for larger vehicles. I have four feet of clearance in front of my minivan in the garage.
michaeljc70
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by michaeljc70 »

That is way too tight. The tennis ball trick won't work right. If the car is even slightly angled it isn't accurate and you don't have enough room for error. I wouldn't bother modifying my garage for a vehicle (especially a mini van). I'd pick another vehicle.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by JupiterJones »

Transit Connect passenger van?
Stay on target...
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pondering
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by pondering »

Just fill the garage with stuff and park in front of it.
--Robert Sterbal | 412-977-3526 call/text, I find speech easier than writing
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tuningfork
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by tuningfork »

When I shop for a vehicle, among the most important specs I look at are width, length and height to be sure it will fit comfortably in my small one-car garage. If it looks too tight, I won't consider it.

I use this stop sign on a flexible stick (not necessarily this specific brand). It works very well to ensure the vehicle is entirely inside the garage without hitting the front wall.
clip651
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by clip651 »

Check with your wife as well ... you already mentioned she might need more practice than you for tight parking. If you think it will be a challenge for you, but even more of a challenge for her, that doesn't bode well for both of you ending up happy with the vehicle purchase.

Another thing to check before deciding on which vehicle is how high the back hatch opens. My minivan hatch opens to a higher height than other vehicles I've owned. This can be a problem in a garage with a low overhead clearance. Think about not being able to load or unload anything while parked in the garage, if it's too tight a fit. With the newer types of automated hatch opening, if the hatch hits something on the way up, it beeps and closes itself (at least mine does). So it's not like an old fashioned vehicle where you could just raise the hatch manually to the height you wish so you could grab your groceries or whatever.

If it were me, I'd shop for a vehicle that fits my garage. Use your test drives to try it out, and have all drivers (you, your wife, anyone else you routinely allow to drive your vehicle, such as older kids) try out the fit. What is a minor annoyance on a day when you're well rested and you get into the tight spot easily on the first try will be something else entirely on a day you're overtired, the weather is bad, and it takes four tries to be able to shut the garage door and get into the house.

[edited to fix typo]
Last edited by clip651 on Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
matti
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by matti »

5280Tim wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:22 pm
matti wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:30 pm Remember, if you're driving in really hot weather, your wheels (the tires, specifically), will likely increase in diameter up to 2.5 inches or so due to expansion of the rubber.
Umm, what? This absolutely does not happen.
lol, I know. I was in a goofy mood yesterday!
Hockey10
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by Hockey10 »

z91 wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:02 pm Buy a smaller car.
or buy a house with a bigger garage...
tev9876
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Re: Car will fit in garage with one inch to spare - thoughts?

Post by tev9876 »

My garage door opener came with a laser parking assist. You mount it to the ceiling/wall, park your car in the optimal spot, then aim it at a point on your dash. I have mine aimed at a roughly 2x2" area left of the coin tray on my truck dash. This way your get four way alignment. A ball on a string can let you pull in too far if your are left/right of center depending on your windshield geometry. The nose of my truck actually goes under a shelf. Hanging from the bottom of the shelf I have a backup of three orange practice golf balls on a string as a secondary visual aid - if the nose of the truck taps them I only have a couple inches before I touch the back wall.

I have 12-14 inches of front/back clearance so this is close enough for me. I second the idea of a test drive and physical test. The published spec may not account for everything, or may account for something you won't have - maybe a front license plate bracket.

3-4" of clearance would probably be my go/no-go point - steel expands/contracts with temperature, tire wear could affect forward/backwards location with a positive stop, etc. I notice that with new tires my antenna clips the bottom of the garage door as I pull in, but 10,000 miles later it doesn't due to the tire wear. I would go for solid chocks secured to the floor to guarantee you are in the perfect spot (with new, warm tires) if you are this tight. Of course those become a trip hazard if you are working in the garage so I would engineer something that can be removed. Maybe a couple galvanized pipes drilled into the floor and posts on the wheel stop that fit into the pipes. Assuming a garage door opener, rig the sensors so that the longest point of the vehicle will break the beam. Padding the close points on the door will also prevent scratches if you ever get something misaligned.
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