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Minivan non-removable center consoles
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akrausz



Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 157
Location: FL

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:20 pm    Post subject: Minivan non-removable center consoles Reply with quote

I'm looking to buy a new minivan and it seems they all now have non-removable center consoles in the front. I need the space between the front seats to fit a 9.0 sail, or whatever I have that is long. It seems that minivans have lost the versatility they once had with the removable console like my Dodge Grand Caravan.
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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 1301

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider buying used or as they say now, “previously owned”.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 10156

PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ideal path is buying a full-sized van, but today, fuel costs can be high. I had a full-sized Chevy for 21.5 years, so it was something that I accepted to get what I wanted.

The way things are going into the future with the strong emphasis on electric vehicles, it might worth waiting things out to buy a commercial electric van once they are available. Also, having the opportunity to build a custom interior is a big plus, and it's not that hard to do with simple battery-powered tools and a little time.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 3125

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Windward1 said, consider used.

You only mentioned a minivan so that is what I will address. I recently gave my daughter my 2002 Sienna & bought a new Pacifica. In addition to the center console problem all the other minivans except the Pacifica also have a middle seat cart problem so you lose that completely flat floor when you remove the middle seats. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to haul my Sienna seats in & out of my basement, I would have kept it. The ability to have all “stow and go” seats in the van was more important than the console obstacle for me.

What you can do is make a removable PVC rack to hold your 9.0 & 490 mast. Build the rack so it is at the same level as your console. Here is a picture of my sail rack mounted on the side. In this position I can place sails up to 8.2. I can also move it to the middle to place my 9.2 or 10.0 sails along with 490 or 520 masts.

Coachg



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20354

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 12 foot kayak fits inside our Honda Odyssey if angled from the left rear floor corner to the right side of the dashboard with the front passenger seat reclined fully. You might consider using that space, with the sail supported in the center by a webbing sling or a chute of some sort ... PVC*, heavy cardboard, plastic pipe, etc.

* Such as a 10' (or whatever your sail length requires) X 4" rectangle made of 1" PVC water pipe ... two 10' sections, two 4" sections, and four elbows.
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akrausz



Joined: 19 Sep 2008
Posts: 157
Location: FL

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses. I've been at this a long time, but it's always nice to hear new ideas on how to get gear in a minivan. I'd like to bring my wife sometimes and I'm way too tall for the seat to move forward. So even boards as short as 240cm won't fit behind the seats. Hence I need the space between the front seats all the way down to the floor. I think the base model Chrysler comes with a small enough console that has enough room behind it.
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windward1



Joined: 18 Jun 2000
Posts: 1301

PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I bought my Dodge Grand Minivan in 2015, I chose the model that had the removable center console. Allows me to put a 10’ 10” Sail/SUP inside the van no problem. I liked that the old criteria for the Dodge Grand Caravan was that you had to be able to stack 8’ x 4’ plywood sheets flat between the wheel wells. The Stow& Go is great and well engineered. The new replacement van, the Pacifica, I think is a hybrid. I would be a bit concerned about wet gear dripping salt water on the batteries. Maybe Coach can speak to how well that compartment is sealed and protected. I think he sails mostly freshwater though.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20354

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google <minivan floor liners>. Maybe there's a commercially available custom total floor liner to address that valid concern.
If not, you might consider fabricating one from HEAVY duty floor covering such as used in horse stalls, available in 4X8 and probably larger sheets. The rubber versions are impervious to water, and turning up the edges should provide good protection.

All this presumes you don't need your back seats or can fold them sorta flat most of the time.

A spinoff of that idea would be to fabricate a waterproof trough just to hold dripping sails or booms.

Then there are garage floor coverings much like felt, made to entrap water until it evaporates. Mine trap serious snow/ice melt from my cars to keep the floor around them dry even after parking with cubic feet of packed snow underneath. Those would allow much more versatile drip interception even as you alter seat configurations because they absorb and trap water rather than merely diverting it. I've been parking on mine for a decade with no signs of wear.

windward1 wrote:
I would be a bit concerned about wet gear dripping salt water on the batteries.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 3125

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pacifica comes in regular gas engine or hybrid. With the hybrid you loose middle seat stow and go so I chose the non-hybrid model.

Coachg
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20354

PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for non-removable consoles (I've never encountered that in a minivan, and would not accept it), how about a refined cabinetry-making version of a chainsaw or pullsaw?

I just Googled the latest Odyssey interior. Its seat-level center console looks like little more than a huge plastic contraption with charging ports in it. Big Whoop! Without looking at it in the flesh, I gotta ask: Honda bolted and wired it in. Can't an owner just turn Honda's mounting bolts counterclockwise until it lifts out, mount charging ports somewhere else, and free up the space for MUCH more voluminous, important and useful stuff than a cupholder? And doesn't that apply to most if not all minivan center lower consoles? Doesn't this smack of the mentality that boasts of SEVENTEEN cupholders in a seven passenger SUV? That alone would make me run ... not walk ... from buying such a vehicle, wondering how much equally useless and stupid OTHER crap lies hidden from view?

My Odyssey console and its mounting bolts (and my second-row seats) are in my basement where they belong, having long ago been replaced with a voluminous and infinitely more useful box that looks and feels factory at first glance.
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