Loading an Estate - Martin Wall
What's the recommended approach for loading an estate (Volvo V70) when you want to have the following configuration:

driver and two passengers - one in the front and one in the back

Is it to keep the luggage below head height - even if that means it spills into the passenger compartment (via split fold rear seats) or is it pile it high in the rear and use the nylon cargo net to stop luggage breaking through under heavy braking?

The V70 has curtain airbags which shouldn't be obstructed but I also don't like the idea of an obscured rear view via luggage piled high and I prefer to keep it low down.

What's the best bet for safety?
Loading an Estate - DavidHM
The way I've always done this is to put the heaviest things in the middle of the car to try and make weight distribution as similar as possible, and also to give them less space to accelerate under heavy braking. You then put lighter, squishier objects further back, which should be held in place by any heavier objects in the middle.

That way you also keep your rear vision. I don't see why curtain airbags shouldn't be obstructed - if you're hit, they're going to go off anyway, so there's no advantage in saving them and the fact that they'd be completely ineffective is balanced by the fact that it's only luggage they'd be protecting.

Ideally the seats, etc., should have enough mass to stop the heaviest objects from accelerating through them if they are placed close enough together. Does anyone else have any views?
Loading an Estate - blank
I don't
see why curtain airbags shouldn't be obstructed


I may or may not be correct, but I imagine that the airbag going off would fire at very high speed across the car whatever objects were in the way.
I would be EXTREMELY careful never to obstruct any airbags.
Loading an Estate - DavidHM
True, but once the car's been hit with enough force to set the airbags off, aren't things going to be flying around regardless. Also, the force would be very much sideways rather than forwards, so although I accept there is a risk, wouldn't it apply mainly to rear passengers, of which there appear to be none?
Loading an Estate - blank
DHM:

To quote the original message, and not wishing to sound too much like the smart-ass I'm about to, :-)
"What's the recommended approach for loading an estate (Volvo V70) when you want to have the following configuration:
driver and two passengers - one in the front and one in the back"

I accept all of what you say in your post, but airbags go off with terrifying force, inflating in a few hundredths of a second I think. This is going to fire stuff across the car, at the rear passenger, at very high speed indeed.
Loading an Estate - DavidHM
In that case, I agree. Lose the rear visibility because, airbag or none, there's going to be greatly increased danger if the vehicle is hit from the side with all those objects in the passenger compartment.
Loading an Estate - Flat in Fifth
Personally I load so as to lose visibility as a last resort on the basis that being able to see out of all the windows might help you to avoid whatever.

Heavy stuff low down and distributed sensibly. Everything below "window" height. Anything in the passenger compartment being soft stuff as far as possible. Strap down with cargo nets, straps, rope as much as possible if you have some really heavy stuff. Don't like putting heavy objects immediately behind and occupied seat either.

One of those cargo/doggy guard type wossnames doesnt do any harm either.

If stuff below window/head height wouldn't have thought airbags were too much of an issue.
Loading an Estate - Martin Wall
Lose the rear visibility because, airbag or none, there's going to be greatly increased danger if the vehicle is hit from the side with all those objects in the passenger compartment.


Eh? What do you mean by 'lose the rear visibility'? Do you mean pile it high in the rear, use the cargo net and keep it out the passenger compartment?

Where can I get long restraining straps? Longest I've seen is 3m which isn't long enough.

Also, is the V70 cargo net actually going to be strong enough to stop a flying suitcase for example?
Loading an Estate - Martin Wall
Also, is the V70 cargo net actually going to be strong enough to stop a flying suitcase for example?


I should have added : or should I look at getting the metal grille instead?

www.volvocarcampaigns.co.uk/accessories/popup.asp?...Y

many thanks
Loading an Estate - Clanger
This month's Readers Digest has an alarmist article about having a computer simulated accident in a Fiat Multipla. The simulated laptop, conveniently placed on top of a pile of luggage in the boot and in full view of any passing thief, was launched forward, over the back seat passengers and somehow managed to duck between the driver's headrest and his neck and kill him with "massive skull trauma". Yeah, right, everyone leaves their laptop sliding around on top of a suitcase. And, having been launched across the car at 50 mph, how does it manage to suddenly go into a dive just as it's passed the top of the driver's headrest.

Rubbish.

As long as the big objects are placed where they can't gain momentum, and small objects are well stowed, you should have no worries using a metal grille.

Darcy.

Loading an Estate - J Bonington Jagworth
"..where they can't gain momentum.."

Pedantic, I know, but nothing gains momentum in a crash, it just loses it at different rates. It helps to remember that normally everything in the car is travelling at the same speed, and only when this changes suddenly does the momentum of individual items become apparent.

FWIW, when packing estates, which I have done many times when ferrying children to/from university, the end result is more stable if the heavy stuff can be placed as far forward as possible. This also helps with the restraint, as it has less far to travel in the car.

The other thing you should do is take a Citroen, then the attitude of the car will be unaffected by the load...
Loading an Estate - Clanger
I stand (not gaining momentum) corrected.

Darcy.

Loading an Estate - Bromptonaut
JBJ wrote;
The other thing you should do is take a Citroen, then
the attitude of the car will be unaffected by the load...


Which will stop your headlights pointing skywards. The laws of physics however remain the same. Too much weight too far back and the rear end will get skittish.
Loading an Estate - J Bonington Jagworth
"Too much weight too far back and the rear end will get skittish"

Of course - I didn't mean to imply otherwise. However, the physics also kick in aerodynamically, and the maintenance of the horizontal in a Citroen estate does make them much better behaved at speed with a load. I had a humble GS for a few years, and it could hold 100mph fully laden with a mere 65bhp, whereas my later Peugeot estate, with 50% more power, could barely manage 90 with a similar load, although much faster unladen. The GS was much more stable under those circumstances, too, and I always felt (still do) that Citroen made far too little of this advantage - not to mention the fact that the floor was lowered for you when you switched off...
Loading an Estate - Cyd
Darcy,
As an Automotive Engineer involved with safety aspects of vehicle interiors I can assure you this IS NOT RUBBISH. In an accident something as small as a can of beans can become a killer projectile - if it hits someones arm it might just break it, but if it hits someones head they may be dead meat.

All luggage should be stowed safely and tied down either with straps or in nets. Cups and cans should be in the cup holders. In accidents at "only" 20mph decelerations of 30g can be experienced - so suddenly that 300gm can of beans is a 10kgm piece of concrete crashing into your head at 20mph.

Has anyone noticed how rear parcel shelves in saloons have become useless for stowing things on in recent years? This is one reason why.

The side aircurtain will not thrust objects across the car in this way, chances are the accident is already doing that for you. But anything that gets in the aircurtains way will prevent it from deploying properly and that might cost a life. So keep the area above waist level clear in the area of the curtain.
Loading an Estate - Clanger
Cyd
I don't dispute that loose items can become dangerous as they lose their momentum. My point was that I think it daft that anyone would contemplate setting out on a journey with their laptop loose on top of a suitcase in the back. In your experience, don't the headrests stop flying stuff? If they are strong enough to stop a head whiplashing, surely they could stop a can of beans? What on earth would a can of beans be doing flying around at head height anyway? Typically your can of beans would be in a corner-shop plastic bag next to the jar of coffee and 2 pint container of milk and newspaper. The plastic bag would be on the floor behind the driver, or on the empty front passenger seat.
Darcy.

Loading an Estate - Ian (Cape Town)
Darcy,
next time you are in the carpark, have a look at all the loose stuff people stow in their vehicles.
I did an \'inventory\' once after a long trip, and it was shocking what I, a supposedly sane man, left lying about [some of it I can\'t blame on the kiddies!]
Cassettes, cassette boxes, fag packets, empty tins, zippo lighter, books, shoes, fluffy toys etc.
in the event of a smash, many of these items would have rattled round inside the car, some with horrid results.
In the event of a sudden emergency stop/avoidance manouevre, some of the kit could easily end up shooting through under the seats, and getting jammed in the pedal box.
I\'m still amazed at the engineering types who carry their hard-hat on the rear parcel shelf - almost like a \'badge of office\'. This thing is designed to prevent hard objects hitting your head, but it is just the right solidness to become a hard object hitting you on the head from behind!

Loading an Estate - Daedalus
Martin,

For three people you should be able to reduce the amount of luggage so that none of it needs to sit up high. 5 of us go on our hols in a Mondeo estate for 2 weeks and I can still get the cover over the luggage and I dont use a roof rack.

Just a thought,


Bill
Loading an Estate - madman
"What's the recommended approach for loading an estate (Volvo V70)"

This one works for me:
1. Open the tailgate.
2. Throw the baggage in.
3. Close the tailgate.
4. Drive away.

PS don't forget to remove the baggage at your chosen destination.
Loading an Estate - Rob the Bus
lol madman!

I must admit, despite the sound advice given here, you're not the only one to think that this thread was getting a touch too serious! ;-)

 

Value my car