Extra/Space cab with kids?

Submitted: Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:36
ThreadID: 105804 Views:10864 Replies:15 FollowUps:3
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This is my first post here so hello from SE-QLD :)

I'm due for a new car shortly and I'm thinking I'd like a ute with a canopy to throw a mattress in the back and go camping.

It seems the dual cabs trays are 1.5m at most, which won't accomodate a mattress or myself (I'm 6ft). I can't afford a lazy axle or chassis extension modification to put on a longer tray, so it looks like I'd have to go space cab.

The only issue I can see with going space cab is our kids. We have a little girl who will be 7 in April and a little boy who will be 1 in July. My partner has her corolla which suits her fine, but if I ever need to drive her and the kids about (camping, holiday etc.) then I need to be able to fit everyone, including whichever child seats I must fit.

I don't think our little boy will need to be in a capsule much longer since he's 6 months old? So do kids seats fit okay in the space cabs? Has anybody done this type of thing before?

All input and suggestions will be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time :)

Kind regards,
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Reply By: Litlbalt - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:47

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:47
We have a dual cab and the tray is 1.8m long. We have 2 daughters 7 and 5 and they wouldnt fit in the back of a space cab they would have no where for their legs and would get lots of complaining being uncomfortable. Plus you need to remember they are only going to get bigger.

Also if you are going camping with them all you wont all be sleeping on the back of the ute? Where would all the rest of your gear be?
AnswerID: 524439

Reply By: MAVERICK(WA) - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:52

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:52
I have a current model DMax spacecab with tub and canopy. I have slept in the back twice due to weather and it was ok. as for kid seats - I don't know if the mounting points are in this vehicle......haven't noticed reference to them in the owners manual. That may be the same with the other spacecabs. Your 7yr old may be ok if she isn't very big but even then the seats are suitable for short trips only - no matter age/size. You will be better off with a dual cab and if you get a longer tray fitted with a cover you will be able to sleep in it. You can either keep the cover on or can remove when needed. Makes life a whole lot easier especially with kidlets. It is also easier to modify a tray for camping and carrying as you will end up with lots of stuff no matter how hard you try and limit what comes away with you. rgds
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Reply By: BenFraser747 - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 13:09

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 13:09
In regards to sleeping in the back, it would just be myself. I have a few mates with 4x4s who go fishing and camping (Get away from the missus type thing) who sleep in the back of their single cabs with canopies and fly-screened windows. I'd like to join in :)

Having the missus and the kids in the ute with me would be only very occasional and not overly long drives, otherwise there'd be frequent rest stops.

It seems a lot of dual cabs and space cabs have anchor points nowadays. I think it's a legal requirement since a certain year in rear seats with normal seat belts (not the lap sash ones).
AnswerID: 524443

Reply By: Member - Ian F (WA) - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 15:01

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 15:01
Hi Ben,
I have just purchased the 2013 DMax space cab aluminium tray back
Tray specs 2100mm x 1830.
it has Batwing or suicide rear doors which are excellent. Can't be opened until main door is opened. Licenced for 4 with Lap sash rear belts.
this is un upgrade from my old Rodeo space cab.
I don't how child seats would go but would not be hard to find out.
AnswerID: 524449

Reply By: BenFraser747 - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 15:29

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 15:29
The aluminum tray backs are a little wider and longer than their style-side counterparts. 2100 would be long enough for me to throw a mattress in, looks like most extra cabs are 1800 long though. That 1800 number might be style-side dimensions?

Are the canopies just as good on the aluminum trays as the style-sides? I would prefer a style-side if I can find one long enough.

I guess I'll have to look at some space cabs and see what I think about the space for child seats. In the meantime I'll just collect opinions and experiences.
AnswerID: 524452

Reply By: whackywombat - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 20:14

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 20:14
I had a dual cab hilux with canopy & often slept in the tub. Drop the tail gate & rolled out the swag
AnswerID: 524467

Reply By: Nutta - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 21:00

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 21:00
F250 dual cab?

Just kidding but I would love one, probably a bit big to run around in though.

The only problem you may have with the space cab is finding the right canopy, I'm not sure if there are a lot of options for them, others here will know though.

Good luck with it!
AnswerID: 524471

Reply By: Eric Experience - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 21:47

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 21:47
The best vehicle for you would be a van. The mercedes sprinter 4x4 can carry your kids in comfort and safety as well as sleep all 4. If you can't come at a Merc try a Delicia. Eric
AnswerID: 524476

Reply By: chisel - Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 21:57

Monday, Jan 13, 2014 at 21:57
Dual cab with a tub and use the tailgate for extra length when sleeping, or,
dual-cab with a flat tray ... usually 2100mm wide (not long) ... might be a bit hard to get up there though.
AnswerID: 524478

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 08:04

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 08:04
Standard trays are 1840x 1840, 2100 wide might be a problem
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Follow Up By: Jeffrey B2 - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 11:28

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 11:28
Hi ! Ben, I would go for the two door with either a tub or tray.

The billy lids will grow and you will have better access to child seats with the two door. As someone said before, with the tailgate horizontal, plenty of length either with the tray or tub.
I have a space cab Collarado and because there are only two of us it suits us fine. Also the tray is very big and wide.
I extended the height by 80 mm. and it now accommodates all the usual plastic boxes we carry for camping/fishing under a tornau?? cover..

Also tow a 16 foot van and carry a 12 foot roof topper tinnie.

The only down side for us is loading the shopping into the back seat area in shopping car parks. But we manage.

Having the tray gives me a better set up for my dinghy rack.

I still wonder if we made the right choice of 4 door or extra cab but I am off to the dump with a load soon and that is why I bought it in the first place.

Also the tray allows easy access to load items and get to things.

Have Fun Haji-Baba
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Follow Up By: Jeffrey B2 - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 12:35

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 12:35
Ben, may have misled you with my suggestion, I mean to describe a four door model for your requirements.

Have fun Haji-Baba
FollowupID: 806129

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 15:47

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 15:47
For comfort your best bet would be a twin cab with ladder bars. Mount a car top camper on the bars. Some campers would fit bars on the cab, others would need the longer length of the tub/tray.

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AnswerID: 524512

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 20:11

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 20:11
I think you will grow out of the xtra cab before you know it. I would defiantly go a dual cab in your situation
AnswerID: 524519

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 21:13

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014 at 21:13
You need a dual cab. They are at least 1850 wide!
Kids aged 7 and 1 will only get bigger!
And a carseat for the 1 year old won't fit in an extracab.
And there will be no fittings for the child's seats.
AnswerID: 524524

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 12:10

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 12:10
While these extracab/ space cab things may be "legal" for 4 people, the practicalities simply don't supoort this.

If those people where all less the 5 foot 4 ya might get 4 in there.

I doubt very much that you would get child restraints in there even if there where or you could fit anchorages.

The real reason for the esistance of these extracab/ space bab vehicles is..tall buggers.....in the 03 series hilux, the maximim pracical height for the driver is about 5 foot 8.....5 foot 6 with real comfort.....taller than that and you end up with bent legs and the seat bolt upright.
The space cabs allow you to push the seat back and recline to a reasonable angle.

I don't know about the other brands but the hilux extracab has a slightly longer chassis and you can fit an 8 foot flat tray, where the dual cab, the 6 foot tray is about the limit..and with a 6 foot tray you need an underground mine induction to get to the tow bar.

If you need to carry the kids and the mrs.....serioulsy think about a station waggon and a light trailer..or as has been mentioned one of the van/ buss 4wds.

AnswerID: 524551

Reply By: Member - LG__ (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 21:54

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 at 21:54
... gazes into the crystal ball and looks 5 years into the future - and too many decades into the past ;)

A hormonal 12 year old girl will want nothing to do with any 5 year old boys, including her own brother!

To me, this screams Dual Cab (for when the whole family is involved) and
Quality Swag (for you to sleep, in under the awning attached to the side of the Dual Cab) :)

That's my 2 pennies worth :) Good luck
AnswerID: 524582

Reply By: Hoyks - Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 12:02

Saturday, Jan 18, 2014 at 12:02
From my post on another forum:

I have spent the last 4 years with an extra cab ute and 2 kids. No 1 son was 5 and daughter was 8 when I inherited it.

The Ute has served me well during that time with daily collecting from school, weekend running around, fire wood collection and camping. The 3 of us lived out of it for 2 weeks and drove to Cook Town via Longreach and back to Brisbane, on another excursion Brisbane, Sydney, Moree and home.

For most of this time my Son got by with a foam booster seat in the back and Daughter in the front seat. As the boy grew we just didn't push the passenger seat all the way back and there is a surprising amount of leg room in there.

The down side is that the seat is diabolical and he needs a booster seat of some description so as not to be sitting bolt upright. Fitting the family of 4 in there is a bit of a squeeze too.

Other issues you might encounter is that kids under a certain age must be in a child seat (in Qld anyway) and a baby seat would be a squeeze in behind the front seats and there are no mounts anyway. If there is an airbag, then a child seat in the the front seat is out.

I'm in the market for a dual cab now as the boy is 7, on a growth spurt and can't see out past the front seats due to the head rests, so if you do go the extra cab option, you will only get a few years out of it, my previous wagon I had to 8 years. Mine served us well, it wasn't the ideal mode of transport, but it was definitely adequate. Kids are adaptable and most times would prefer to travel in the the ute... probably because I bribe them.

If you are stuck on the idea of a mattress and sleeping in the tray; Another option is a dual cab with a slab of ply on the floor. If you pull it out so it has 1 foot off the edge of the tray and you have the mattress on the other 3 foot of ply. Feet are supported and you fit in the tray. Drop the tailgate and you are most of the way there anyway.

What am I saying?? Nah, they are awesome!! Just so happens I have one that will be available to a prospective new owner shortly. 15 years old, 2 owners, only 130000km.....
AnswerID: 524710

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