Drummers and Motor Vehicles

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
If you have to sometimes haul your gear around in your own vehicle, do you tend to:

(1) Buy drum sets/additions to drums sets based on how well they'll fit into the car you have or maybe the car you plan on buying in the future?

or

(2) Buy cars based on whether your drums and possible future additions to your kit would fit in the vehicle?


I definitely do (2)--if the drums won't fit and/or there's not enough room for more stuff should I decide to add it, it's not the right car, so I look for other vehicle choices. But I've noticed some comments that suggest some folks take the (1) approach, so I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a poll.

If you do (2), and you have a significant other, how do they feel about this? Do they mind that you have to own something like a cargo van rather than something more fashionable or mpg-friendly just to accomodate your drums? I had to make kind of a compromise choice--a larger SUV, which was more expensive than something like a Ford Econoline or Chevy Express because of that.

I should also add this bonus question:

* If you had the urge to move up to a much bigger set-up than what currently, comfortably fits in your vehicle, and you could manage to swing the budget for this, would you tend to (i) see it as a reason you need to buy a new vehicle, or (ii) just be satisfied with your current setup because you like your car too much?
 
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Florian

Gold Member
I used to use my old Jimmy to haul my stuff around in. But as my set grew and my Jimmy got older, I started thinking pickup truck. The truck is great in the winter, hauls stone/dirt, whatever in the summer and hauls drums very well.....Im pleased after 3 years with my F-150.


F
 

cnw60

Senior Member
I drive a pickup truck (Toyota T-100) with a fiberglass shell over the bed so hauling my drums is not an issue. And having a truck is not an issue with my spouse because we use it for many purposes beyond carrying drums.

It seems that just my drums would fit in a smaller vehicle with no problem - it's all the rest of the band's stuff; PA cabs, etc that are what really fills up the truck pretty quickly.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I've had a very large drumset for years and years. For this (but also other) reasons I buy cars and/or trucks that can carry the gear. My wife has an econo-skate we use for short errands around town. I'm glad I decided on drums and large drumsets before, rather than after, I started driving and buying cars... I can't imagine driving a 2-door compact and then falling in love with the drums.
 

ccsimms

Senior Member
When I buy my first car I will definitely consider one that is able to carry alot of equipment, probably like a van or something.
 

Adam B

Senior Member
I drive a Kia Spectra 5 which is similar to a Toyota Matrix or Mazda 3. I really like today's hatchback/sportwagon cars. They can fit a full 5 peice with cymbals and hardware plus a passenger. Also good gas milage.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Yep I have to have a car that will fit my kit, that's a requirement and my wife is cool with it. I can get my whole kit (rather snugly I might add) into a 1997 ford explorer. Once it hits the graveyard will probably get a pickup, little more versatility with that as far as other uses. Explorer is now a third vehicle to haul drums, mountain bike, dog and things like drywall, plywood, 2x4's and such. Gas mileage was killing me and it's been paid off for awhile so we kept it and got me a VW Jetta for better mileage and a daily driver.
 

sqadan

Senior Member
I have a hatchback and will always own a hatchback or wagon to haul my gear around in.

I guess I buy my cars based on fitting the drums in the back.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
I always buy my cars to fit my kit with extra room for add ons. My first car to haul my kit was a 66 mustang, and let me tell you that wasn't any fun to load. I have since owned nothing smaller than a 4 door sedan. I recently bought a 07 Dodge Caliber (not a big dodge fan, but got a REALLY good deal) and it's perfect! Eventually my band will buy another trailer to haul all our gear, but til then this will do just fine.
 

Yo!

Member
My '91 K5 gets my kit around just fine. And quick too with its ZZ4 350.

4860131233_e3d1855dfe.jpg
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I just got a Toyota 4Runner last week, best gear vehicle I have ever owend.

I have never bothered to buy a car or gear based on how much of it will fit. Anytime I got a new car I just would make sure my current drums would fit, and if I got a new kit, I would just get whatever I wanted without reguards to my car, lol.
My last car was a 2 door Olds Alero and I figured out how to fit a 26" kick, 3 Toms, 3 snares, cymbals and hardare in it...
 

Fuzrock

Silver Member
I used to haul my drums around in a car. I used to be able to get me, my drums, my singer/rhythm guitarist, his half stack and two guitar cases into my 89 Ford Thunderbird. It was a tight fit but we made it work. Back in 2001 I got my first minivan. That made it so much easier that I could never go back to a car. I am now on my third minivan. I can fit my whole kit behind the second row of seats and still see out the back window.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
I just got a Toyota 4Runner last week, best gear vehicle I have ever owend.

I have never bothered to buy a car or gear based on how much of it will fit. Anytime I got a new car I just would make sure my current drums would fit, and if I got a new kit, I would just get whatever I wanted without reguards to my car, lol.
My last car was a 2 door Olds Alero and I figured out how to fit a 26" kick, 3 Toms, 3 snares, cymbals and hardare in it...

I'm right there with ya...had a 4 door Alero that I could fit my 7 piece kit (22 14 8 10 12 14 16 ), roto toms, hardware including a pearl icon rack, cymbals, carpet, heads, girlfriend, and myself in and still be comfortable enough to drive out of state. I swear, we drummers must be Tetris masters.
 

BrewBillfold

Silver Member
I always buy my cars to fit my kit with extra room for add ons. My first car to haul my kit was a 66 mustang, and let me tell you that wasn't any fun to load. I have since owned nothing smaller than a 4 door sedan. I recently bought a 07 Dodge Caliber (not a big dodge fan, but got a REALLY good deal) and it's perfect! Eventually my band will buy another trailer to haul all our gear, but til then this will do just fine.
Haha--at one point in the 70s, I was trying to haul around a large double bass kit in my mom's Trans Am. That didn't work out very well. I was lucky I didn't rip up my mom's upholstery. My folks soon after gave me a loan to buy a used Ford Ranchero with a topper.
 

Zickosdrummer

Senior Member
I currently have a Chrysler PT Cruiser and I can get my 5 pc kit, cymbals, hardware, throne (all in hard cases), music (over a 1000 charts) and Manhasset music stand in without removing the back seats (just fold them up) and carry one passanger . If I take out the seats I can carry two tympani (25" & 28") and a 4 pc kit in soft cases (hardware in a hard case) and still carry a passanger (I do this for pit orchestra work). The PT has a lot of room inside and gets reasonable mpg. My first car (in college) was a '68 Pontiac Tempest (it had a chopped off trunk) and my 3 pc jazz trio could fit in it with my 5 pc drumkit (no cases) and a full size string bass (had to stick the scroll out the window over the passangers shoulder). As I recall, I had to tighten down the BD to get the trunk lid closed. Good thing the piano player didn't need to take an axe. :)
 

bodinski

Senior Member
This...
3003ssetup-1.jpg

fits in this...
gashog.jpg

I just have to remove the passenger headrest if I want to use the side mirror.
 

jayblazeff

Senior Member
Yes, i have drummed on every motor vehicles' dashboard and steering wheel i've ever owned! lol

But seriously.... i have a ford explorer sporttrac (which i love to death) and it handles all of my gear, drums, guitar amps, mixer, rack cases and speakers. It's nice to have a full size cab AND a bed, albeit a short (4 foot) one.

AND..... as an added bonus, if the gig happens to be out in the woods somewhere, my 4X4 ST will go over hill and dale, up mountains and through deep valleys, across streams and over sand, snow or ice to get there!
 
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Leadfoot

Senior Member
Since I started gigging 34 years ago, I have never been without a van, mini van, or covered pickup truck. To me, it's just required equipment no less than a bass drum or throne. I will never cram my drums into a car to haul them around unless it's an emergency or absolute last resort, it's too dangerous. I had a good friend who lost part of his arm in an accident when some band gear came over the seat at him, he nearly bled to death. Cars are people haulers, drums are cargo.
 
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