Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

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jthokie4
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Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by jthokie4 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm

We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.

jebmke
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by jebmke » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:38 pm

When I was growing up there were four of us kids. Somehow we fit in a station wagon (all six of us). We even took a vacation in that wagon with an Irish Setter in the back end. Cars were pretty big back then, I guess.
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corysold
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by corysold » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:39 pm

Not specifically your situation, but I think that is doable, especially once the kids are out of car seats. Our second car is a Prius and I take 4 kids in there, 1 in front, quite often and they seem to fit just fine.

A mini-van is nice and it might be nice to be able to drive an extra person around from time to time. Our van is full, so anytime we have a friend with us, we need to take two cars. It doesn't happen often, so we make it work, but if that was a weekly occurrence for you it might become a pain.

Maybe rent a van for a month and see how it works for you. $12,500 isn't a big deal in the grand scheme if it really improves your quality of life.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:45 pm

When we were young, 4 kids, we managed with a Chevy Bel Air. No seat belts, metal all around. One of us could stand on the hump on the back floor and the younger ones could lay across the windowsill ledge behind the back seat.
Oh, yeah, the dog too.

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leeks
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by leeks » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:52 pm

jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.
You can obviously afford a minivan. Your wife wants one. It would allow you to accommodate luggage and to travel with a friend or grandparent in the vehicle too. I can't see why you wouldn't just get one.

Although certainly you don't have to do it before the baby comes. Stick with the smaller carseats that fit 3 across anyway because it gives you the most options for different travel scenarios. Use your current car until it annoys you (or your wife) too much one day, then get the minivan. There is no rush. Minivans will still be in stock.

Caveat: we have two little kids and love having no car! But after the 2nd kid, when we occasionally rent a vehicle for travel, we now try to get a minivan or SUV with 3rd row. Cosco scenera carseats.
Last edited by leeks on Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

onourway
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by onourway » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:58 pm

We have 3 kids in booster seats and while we have a 3-row SUV we nearly never use the 3rd row. My main vehicle is a wagon.

The main issue is if you ever want to bring anyone else along. Personal choice there. We rarely do, and could typically find an alternative if so.

The other big issue is that you will probably not be able to fit 3 across in your Prius V with 2 kids in booster seats and 1 infant seat. Things work fine if you have 3 narrow seats with harnesses. Once you need access to the main belts, 3 across becomes much harder if some combination of 3 booster seats/car seats is at play.

We have no intention of ever buying a minivan, fwiw.

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FlyAF
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by FlyAF » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:59 pm

I can't imagine 3 kids in the back of a Prius would be very much fun for the kids, but more importantly I'd imagine the fighting from being packed in like that would make for a miserable ride for the parents too. My parents had a full size van and I only had 1 sibling lol.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:00 pm

jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible...our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures.
Goodness, you could have just said that up front so I could have stopped reading. Get the Hybrid Pacifica, I hear they're nice. :beer
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:03 pm

The benefits of a mini-van are many with 3 younger kids.

1. Push button/slide doors. Kids can operate. No opening doors and banging into the car next to you
2. Keep kids separated. Toss the 6 year old in the 3rd row
3. Step through to the third row. No flipping up seats to get to the 3rd row of a 7 passenger SUV (2/3/2 config)
4. The car seat base for the infant can be left strapped into the seat behind the driver. Get a dual base unit. One for each car.
5. They drive more car like and get decent gas mileage
6. Space behind the 3rd row is deep. If you have to you can use the jumper seat and do 2-3 with 3rd row folded down for extra hauling
7. There are extra seats for a grandparent or a friend to ride with

Things like DVD players used to be important for the long road trips. With newer tech, I'm not sure how many still use DVDs. Older kids can hold tablets. That doesn't work for the smaller ones.

Many get by without a minivan. 3 of the narrow seats will work, but it will be tight even with the narrow seats. Buckling overlap and reach is the hard part.

If the wife refuses to drive the mini-van (mine did), suck it up and you drive it. I drove a minivan (Mazda MPV) for 7 years. DVD players. Sliding doors, decent gas mileage. I'm man enough to drive a mini-van. :wink: You can too. :D
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UpsetRaptor
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by UpsetRaptor » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:05 pm

Some might be able to swing 3 little ones with a small car, but I can pretty much guarantee you will NOT regret upgrading to a minivan.

stlrick
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by stlrick » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:07 pm

Your wife wants one and with your assets it's a problem? You are crossing the line from frugal to penurious.

Rupert
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Rupert » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:17 pm

Of course you CAN raise three kids without buying a 3-row vehicle. But you and your children will be more comfortable in a larger vehicle (larger than a Prius V, doesn't necessarily have to be a minivan or huge SUV, although minivans do have many positive attributes). The relevant question is how valuable that extra comfort is to you. You can afford it.

As for folks reminiscing about their childhood experiences before mandatory child carseat laws went into effect, I don't really see the relevance. Do a little research into how many children died in car accidents when you were a child compared to today.

HappyWorkerBee
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by HappyWorkerBee » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:36 pm

It's worth considering who is going to be doing most of the driving around with 3 kids in the car. If it's mostly you doing that driving, give it a try in the Prius, see how it goes. If it's mostly your wife, get the minivan.

Unless you and your wife are both tiny people (think horse racing jockeys) then your kids are going to grow too big to all fit comfortably in the backseat of a Prius very quickly. At that point, you're going to upgrade to the minivan (or a comparably bigger car). So why wait? If you buy it now, you'll get 10+ years out of it while your kids are in their prime needing to be driven around ages. After that, they'll start getting drivers licenses of their own and it'll be less of an issue.

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gunn_show
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by gunn_show » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:40 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:00 pm
jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible...our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures.
Goodness, you could have just said that up front so I could have stopped reading. Get the Hybrid Pacifica, I hear they're nice. :beer
this.

and please stop over-thinking it.
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randomguy
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by randomguy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:42 pm

jebmke wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:38 pm
When I was growing up there were four of us kids. Somehow we fit in a station wagon (all six of us). We even took a vacation in that wagon with an Irish Setter in the back end. Cars were pretty big back then, I guess.
More car seats were smaller back the . My 60lb kid is wider than a 250lb guy after being strapped in.😁

If this is a once/year occurence you can rent a van. Or buy a cheaper used one and save enough to pay for the gas penalty. It is also a choice you can periodically revisit.

You can get by without a ton of stuff. The question is will it make your life easier? probably

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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:22 pm

Get the minivan of your wife's dreams. Or at least a 3-row SUV like a Highlander or Pilot. Times have changed. With car seats you can't pile in the kids like you used to.

Then start saving for the next car for when the kids are older that will be YOUR turn to pick. :D
Last edited by texasdiver on Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:36 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:45 pm
When we were young, 4 kids, we managed with a Chevy Bel Air. No seat belts, metal all around. One of us could stand on the hump on the back floor and the younger ones could lay across the windowsill ledge behind the back seat.
Oh, yeah, the dog too.
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:38 pm

I would get a Mustang. You need your children to have the desire to get their own place.

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HomerJ
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:43 pm

Minivans with a sliding door are awesome.

Your life will be SO much easier.

Get 2nd row captain chairs, not a bench in the 2nd row. Keeps the kids apart, plenty of room to put a cooler right there between the kids.
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:00 pm

leeks wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:52 pm
jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.
You can obviously afford a minivan. Your wife wants one. It would allow you to accommodate luggage and to travel with a friend or grandparent in the vehicle too. I can't see why you wouldn't just get one.

Although certainly you don't have to do it before the baby comes. Stick with the smaller carseats that fit 3 across anyway because it gives you the most options for different travel scenarios. Use your current car until it annoys you (or your wife) too much one day, then get the minivan. There is no rush. Minivans will still be in stock.
This. I have 4 siblings, my mother never had a vehicle with 3 rows, and I am generally the car police (I don't actually own a car and am generally confused as to why people need such large vehicles), but affordability isn't a concern at all, so what's with the hesitation? With 3 kids, three rows makes it a lot more convenient.

quantAndHold
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:09 pm

We did it with a Corolla. Car seats were smaller back then. We were also those weird hippies you see towing a trailer behind the bicycle with 2 kids and a dog inside. Yeah, that was us. Still is, actually, except for the kids. We still tow the dog.

Get the minivan.

sambb
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by sambb » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:41 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:43 pm
Minivans with a sliding door are awesome.

Your life will be SO much easier.

Get 2nd row captain chairs, not a bench in the 2nd row. Keeps the kids apart, plenty of room to put a cooler right there between the kids.
+1 for this situation

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ClevrChico
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by ClevrChico » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:06 pm

I've had two kids + spouse + large dog + grandparent in a subcompact. Three kids in a largish sedan or a wagon is definitely an option.

We do rent a minivan for road trips occasionally, and seems very luxurious. While more of a want and not a need, I don't think you'd have any regrets with the van.

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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:15 pm

Yep. :happy
kids came out fine.

2 door Datsun B-210
Toyota Corolla Station Wagon
Pontiac Sunfire Station Wagon
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Katietsu
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Katietsu » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:24 pm

Yes, you can afford it. Get the Pacifica if your wife wants it. But, there is a whole lot of options to consider between Pacifica and Prius.

FinTruth
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by FinTruth » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:26 pm

Another vote for the minivan especially if you go on roadtrips. We have three kids, and got the 8 seat version of the Sienna. For long trips, we lower the entire third row, all the kids sit in the 2nd row, and we have TONS of space for bicycles, luggage, camping equipment, etc. And as stated many times in this thread, auto sliding doors are awesome, way better than worrying about your children swinging a door and denting the cars parked nearby.

Best vehicle ever, after 150,000 miles, wife wants another minivan.

123
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by 123 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:35 pm

It was easy before seat belts.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:45 pm

123 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:35 pm
It was easy before seat belts.
Before car seats. The top rated ones are enormous.

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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by samsdad » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:51 pm

jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.
I’ve lived in the front range of Colorado for almost 20 years. The last time I drove a non-awd vehicle in this state was 2003ish. I have 13-month-old twins. I’m getting an awd Toyota Sienna as soon as I can collect enough to buy it for cash. In the meantime we’re squeezing into a Volvo XC90 or XC70. If the Pacifica came in awd I’d go right over and test drive it.

If tomorrow’s snow storm they're advertising makes the roads nice and slick, you might try taking the awd Sienna and fwd Pacifica out for a test drive. Or, it’ll be bright and sunny and 60 like it was today. That’s the problem with Colorado, as I’m sure you’re aware. If it is bad on the roads, and if you have to take your Prius to get to the dealerships, you might want to wait. :wink:

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Steelersfan
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Steelersfan » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:33 pm

If you make trips of any length of time, two rows to put the kids in makes a great difference. Two of the three usually get along. Which two - it varies.
All three - almost never. Put whichever two are getting along in the front row and the other one in the back row. Problem solved.

Get the SUV.

sixty40
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by sixty40 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:46 am

We have 3 kids and did not have a car with a 3rd row until the kids got older/larger, so you do not need to have a van right away, you can wait. We had a 4-runner. We fit all 3 with child seats and boosters in the back seats, tight but fine. It will become apparent as the kids get older and larger that a minivan or a 3rd row is necessary. We never got a minivan, wife did not like minivans, so we tried to find the "smallest" 3rd row car or SUV that would fit in our garage, and we ended up with the Acura MDX and we have been very happy with it.

I would say that a minivan would be more convenient than a 3-row SUV, but "I" was not driving it so it becomes "whatever the wide wants within reason", so MDX it was.

Also a 3rd row is nice when people (inlaws, etc.) visit, you can fit everyone in one car when going on short trips (dinner, shopping, etc.)

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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:35 am

The kids aren't bigger yet. I see no rush to upgrade, and rooftop boxes are a lot cheaper than owning a larger car.

Growing up, we had higher than 100% occupancy of our vehicle (until the mid-90's, if I remember right, our state didn't forbid more occupants than seatbelts, as long as everyone who could wear a seatbelt did so).

I'm not recommending that. Just confirming that 100% occupancy is definitely workable, although not always pleasant.
texasdiver wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:45 pm
Before car seats. The top rated ones are enormous.
It's funny they all claim to fit in compact cars. We bought one of the Diono convertibles because they're more compact than other models in the size category. When installed rear facing, my knees are wedged against the glovebox in the passenger seat of an Outback, which is a fairly large car. There's 0 chance the passenger seat in my Civic could be occupied with the Diono rear-facing in the back.

The Cosco Scenera I do use in the Civic, however, is smaller, lighter, cheaper, and better rated in crash tests (ref: Consumer Reports) than something like 3/4 of the competition. Safe does not have to mean expensive and bulky. The downside is our 3 year old sometimes complains about the comfort on long trips.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by DanMahowny » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:39 am

My parents did. And there were 4 kids.

We all sat in the back seat together. No seatbelts. Didn't care.
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ddurrett896
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:40 am

My neighbor has 4 kids with a double cab pickup and 4 door car. When they all ride together in the truck, 3 up front and 3 in the back. Tight but works.

Luke Duke
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Luke Duke » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:11 pm

I haven't read every response to this thread, but I'm going to respond anyway since I have 3 kids (10,7,5)...

You have the means to purchase any reasonably priced vehicle that you want. I definitely understand the desire for ER, but sometimes it makes sense to spend a few bucks for comfort and convenience.

I would highly recommend buying a vehicle with captain's chairs and a 3rd row. This does not have to be a minivan. We got a Buick Enclave a few years ago and it's been great. The GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse are the same vehicle. The kids get their own space which equals less fighting, I don't have to flip the seat for them every time we get in the car, there is room for 2 passengers with out moving a car seat, it isn't a minivan, and I can tow a small trailer or use a hitch basket if we need the cargo space. We found one that was a year old with 13K miles and saved $10+K from buying a new one.

Your fuel economy won't be nearly as good as the Pacifica Hybrid.

Typ997S
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Typ997S » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:21 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:11 pm
I haven't read every response to this thread, but I'm going to respond anyway since I have 3 kids (10,7,5)...

You have the means to purchase any reasonably priced vehicle that you want. I definitely understand the desire for ER, but sometimes it makes sense to spend a few bucks for comfort and convenience.

I would highly recommend buying a vehicle with captain's chairs and a 3rd row. This does not have to be a minivan. We got a Buick Enclave a few years ago and it's been great. The GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse are the same vehicle. The kids get their own space which equals less fighting, I don't have to flip the seat for them every time we get in the car, there is room for 2 passengers with out moving a car seat, it isn't a minivan, and I can tow a small trailer or use a hitch basket if we need the cargo space. We found one that was a year old with 13K miles and saved $10+K from buying a new one.

Your fuel economy won't be nearly as good as the Pacifica Hybrid.
+1 on the Enclave, we have a 2018 which we really like. If you shop the Enclave/Traverse/Acadia family, be aware that for 2018 and up that although they all share the GM "Chi (C1XX)" platform, the Acadia uses a shorter version, so the 3rd row/cargo room is smaller than the Traverse/Enclave.

MathWizard
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by MathWizard » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:24 pm

3 kids? I had a 3 row vehicle (minivan) for 2 kids.

Nice for vacations.

I also used it to haul wood (especially plywood as a 4x8 sheet fit perfectly with
the last 2 rows taken out.)

Now when I was a kid, there were 9 of us, all packed into a big buick
with our parents.
4 in front, 7 in back. As the youngest boy, I could curl up in one of the floorboards
on top of my brothers feet. Seat restraints were the back of the front seat
or dad's right arm if you were in the front.

Double beds were for sleeping 3, 4 if it was cold.
Last edited by MathWizard on Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trader Joe
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:28 pm

jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.
No. I have a reliable minivan for my family.

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FlyAF
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by FlyAF » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:02 pm

You have 2 million dollars, buy your wife a minivan. Unless of course you just like making her suffer?

testing321
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by testing321 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:12 pm

Its not just you, your wife and three kids, but also the kids' friends now and then, or grand parents. One vehicle should be huge.

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William4u
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by William4u » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:16 pm

Everyone I know was very happy after they got the minivan. They say things like, "I can't believe I waited this long to buy a minivan."

JPM
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by JPM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:50 pm

Life plan to have 3 kids in your 30s and retire in your 40s with $2.5M. How important is it to retire in your 40s? How important is taking good care of your family and what constitutes taking good care of that family? How important is educating your children? Just seems like there are some tensions in that life plan that go beyond car choices.

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aspirit
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by aspirit » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:14 pm

Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Yes, a neighbor had 12 kids. He had a beach wagon.
The current shock, horror, nannying and call the cops if one sees kids under 25 walking unaccompanied to school was non-existant decades back.
(roll-eyes smiley) :thumbsup
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tadamsmar
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by tadamsmar » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:04 pm

jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.
I have ridden in a Prius with two grandkids in car seats in the back. It's doable depending on the dimensions of the people. It was kind of hard to click in all the seat belts. In my state kids legally age out of boosters at age 8 or 80 pounds.

MrBobcat
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by MrBobcat » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:16 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:43 pm
Minivans with a sliding door are awesome.

Your life will be SO much easier.

Get 2nd row captain chairs, not a bench in the 2nd row. Keeps the kids apart, plenty of room to put a cooler right there between the kids.
This. Been there done that. Probably made half dozen round trips (1,850 miles one way) whilst the kids were growing up to go see the in-laws with this setup.

Hockey10
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Hockey10 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:17 pm

With my 3 kids, that would have been impossible. They would have killed each other. We went to a minivan before the 3rd was born. After the oldest went away to college, we went back to an SUV (which had a 3rd row, but hard to get into).

dziuniek
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by dziuniek » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:42 pm

Didn't the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser sit 6 with 2 rows only? :twisted:

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JonnyDVM
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by JonnyDVM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:03 pm

stlrick wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:07 pm
Your wife wants one and with your assets it's a problem? You are crossing the line from frugal to penurious.
Yes, you’re being ridiculous tbh
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

texasdiver
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by texasdiver » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:47 pm

Be strategic.

Let your wife pick the minivan of her dreams this time around.

Next time when the kids are older it will be YOUR TURN to pick the vehicle :D

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camillus
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by camillus » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:00 pm

Things I have hauled in my Honda Odyssey this week:

Lumber from lowes
Kid's bike
stroller

2 kids, grandma, wife

All at the same time.

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