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I LOVE the Volt concept and have been waiting to buy one for what seems forever (like most, I had to wait for the new model to finally be available in my state (FL)).

However, I am moving from a big family SUV as my only vehicle and when I finally got to touch and test drive the Volt in person on Friday, I realized how small it is in comparison.:(

It is now mostly myself and 1 human passenger that I need to haul on a regular basis instead of family and carpool. But, my 2 aging 50 lb. dogs are going to be somewhat of a challenge to lift into the cargo area if the seats are folded down and they will not be able to stand up unless they are going to sit on the backseat instead of cargo. Any Volt big dog owners that can share their experience?

The next challenge is my 2 kayaks. I have found no where that anyone has found a solution for this on the 2016/2017 models. Should I assume that roof racks will eventually and absolutely become available? I will not have anyway to use my kayaks if they cannot be put on top of the volt. That has thrown me in a bit of a panic on pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Any advice from 2016/2017 volt owners that may have this as their only vehicle but still have lots of stuff that needs to go with them would be much appreciated! (I have a short commute to work/school so the volt efficiency is not a money saver for me but a lifestyle choice so my next alternative would be a (eek!) regular gas small suv.)
 

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I can't help with the kayak hauling, but I have a 95 lb. Golden Retriever that loves riding in my Volt. He rides in the cargo area with the seats folded down. He doesn't move around much, usually lays down looking out the front or side window. I did get a pet seat cover, it is made for the back seats, but it is big enough to cover the entire rear hatch area with the seats down. It keeps hair, dirt, and slobber out or the carpeting. He enters the car thru one of the rear doors, but because of the small entrance, he can't jump in on his own. He will put his front feet inside and try to climb in, but can't find a place to put his rear feet and I usually just grab his back feet and help him climb in.
 

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Hello .....The 2016/2017 should not be alot different then the 2015. I think the hatch cross section may be a bit less. If the 2015 can do a heavy Couch a kayak should not be a alot different. Unless it is real long. even if the CG is off the rear hatch ledge if strapped properly it can be done. The strap would need to pull down near the front end of the payload and be up near rear seats, which would be down. Of course. Unless your going 400 miles.

Or get the fellow (scarlet...?) from the volt shop to bend some adapter brackets for a roof rack. Which I thought he was doing in the other thread

The 2015 has hooks to hook the come along straps too
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?242770-Do-NOT-do-this-with-Your-VOLT
 

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Alt idea (and bordering on blasphemy) the Mitsubshi Outlander PHEV might actually be on sale this fall. Not sure if your name implies your current SUV is a outlander or your just outdoorsy or you are already aware but no longer waiting on the delays from Mitsubishi.

Suppose to have one at the Eco booth in August for the MN state fair. Only 20mi range, but if that fits your daily driving and still gave you flexibilty to haul the dogs, family and toys... The Gen1 seems to have been okay overseas, we are to see the Gen2 here... But they have had misc delays getting it ready for the US market.

Others will have to chime in how convenient it is for dogs and roof racks hauling. I personally, would probably spring for the larger vehicle if it was a regular trip with pets/toys. Grrrrrr..why no CrossVolt yet GM!?
 

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Could you deal with a small trailer for the kayaks? That might be the best solution.
 

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I have 2 big dogs, but honestly they never ride in my gen1 Volt. If I were to take them in the Volt, the two back seats fold nearly flat and I think that would be a great place for them to ride. The gen1 seats will fold down completely flat if you remove the 2 bottom seat cushions which is really easy to do. Entry for my dogs would be through the rear doors! (Not the hatch) Of course I don't know about gen2???? As for the kayaks. Curt makes a light duty hitch for the gen1 Volt (again I don't know about gen2), I think I'd use a small lightweight trailer to haul them.
 

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Any advice from 2016/2017 volt owners that may have this as their only vehicle but still have lots of stuff that needs to go with them would be much appreciated! (I have a short commute to work/school so the volt efficiency is not a money saver for me but a lifestyle choice so my next alternative would be a (eek!) regular gas small suv.)
Sounds like you want an PHEV but need a small SUV. The Volt could work but it really depends on how much outdoor stuff you do with the car and your dogs. A volt may work for you now but as you and your dogs get older maybe a small SUV may be better like the Mitsubishi PHEV SUV or the Audi A3 etron PHEV (although Audi/VW are not very popular due to their emissions cheating and a lot of people don't want to give them any business right now).

If your outdoor trips are mostly less than 200 miles, then the Chevy Bolt might do the trick. For longer trips, you can check to see if quick charging stations are available along your favorite outdoor locations.

http://www.chevrolet.com/bolt-ev-electric-vehicle.html

I wish you luck in your search.
 

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I would buy a trailer (I would never want anything on my roof). I bet removing the 1/3 seat would make entry for the dogs look more like a steps in the flat load area.
 

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...or the PHEV version of the Chrysler Pacifica mini-van with 30 mile all-electric range which is supposed to be available this fall.
Here's an interesting option: an electrified pickup truck that's all-electric for the first 40 miles, then switches over to gasoline. Not as slick as the Volt, but if you want/need to carry stuff...

http://www.viamotors.com/vehicles/electric-truck/
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I actually went to the Mitsubishi dealership on Friday to eyeball the Outlander SUV Sport model. It is sharp and if the PHEV was for sure going to be available this Fall it could be a consideration. However, in my location there is only one dealership and iI was not impressed. I had dealt with them years ago when I had a Mitsubishi Eclipse and they were great but it has obviously gone down hill. The first salesmen did not even know they were coming out with a PHEV. The second salesman barely gave grunts of answers when asking for more information. Also, friends here in the car business have recommended to stay away from both the brand and dealership.

It does sound like, based on all the responses, I can likely make the Volt work - dogs can lie down in the cargo area and something can be cobbled together for the kayaks. As longs as I can be sure that there will be SOME solution to get my stuff where it needs to go then I think I am good. I am downsizing, simplifying my life and trying to live more in harmony with the environment so I really want to make an eco-friendly car work. I am not comfortable with an all electric yet due to the limited charge stations so I really want the flexibility that the volt offers.

The volt is a really nice car and I was happy with how well it drove when I finally got behind the wheel. It reminds me of my old Eclipse as far as size and feel. It has been 20 years since I have had a car this size so it is an adjustment though.
 

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We dumped a 1997 Explorer for a 2013 Volt and just got an awesome 2012 used from Lewey Marcucci at Ecolam Automotive to replace our 1997 Expedition. We are so done with hauling around a sledge hammer of a truck when a hammer of a Volt will do the job so much nicer.

Rhino Rack makes a roof rack for the Volt. We have used ours for 4 cross country trips thus far. The cargo box we attach to it frees up room for the Aussie Shepard mix that weighs about 60 lbs.
 

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I'm sure the thread starter has considered this, but my solution is that I'm not getting rid of my Jeep. It's paid for, and it handles things the Volt cannot. It just won't be my primary driver anymore. There really isn't a 'do anything but has great fuel economy' car on the market right now for a reasonable price (Model X is the closest but costs way too much).

Capability - Performance - Fuel Economy

Pick any 2
 

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After waiting a while, I finally broke down and installed Yakima roof racks on my 2016 volt. The only way to do this ( as of May 16) was to install four base mounts that hold the removeable horizontal bars ( which are a cinch to take on and off). Yakima has adapters for kayaks to go on top of the bars.. I've lifted kayaks on myself, but if you are a small person, it might take two of you. If your last name is Romney, you can probably haul the dogs on top

The only downside is the bars are not two far apart (~2 feet) so you have to be careful about centering the load. FWIIW, I've got a home depot habit, and have easily carried four 2x6x12' pressure treated joists without problem. Nominal load limit is 150 lbs
 

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I LOVE the Volt concept and have been waiting to buy one for what seems forever (like most, I had to wait for the new model to finally be available in my state (FL)).

However, I am moving from a big family SUV as my only vehicle and when I finally got to touch and test drive the Volt in person on Friday, I realized how small it is in comparison.:(

It is now mostly myself and 1 human passenger that I need to haul on a regular basis instead of family and carpool. But, my 2 aging 50 lb. dogs are going to be somewhat of a challenge to lift into the cargo area if the seats are folded down and they will not be able to stand up unless they are going to sit on the backseat instead of cargo. Any Volt big dog owners that can share their experience?

The next challenge is my 2 kayaks. I have found no where that anyone has found a solution for this on the 2016/2017 models. Should I assume that roof racks will eventually and absolutely become available? I will not have anyway to use my kayaks if they cannot be put on top of the volt. That has thrown me in a bit of a panic on pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Any advice from 2016/2017 volt owners that may have this as their only vehicle but still have lots of stuff that needs to go with them would be much appreciated! (I have a short commute to work/school so the volt efficiency is not a money saver for me but a lifestyle choice so my next alternative would be a (eek!) regular gas small suv.)
I went from a 2007 Trailblazer SS to a 2012 Volt. Two kids under 9 years old. Works just fine 99.9% of the time for me.

Look into a roof rack for they kayaks, what do they weigh?
 

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I thought those were only availble as fleet vehicles, or has that changed?
They're still fleet only...It's reported they start at $65K and will qualify for the $7500 tax credit plus state/local...No where on their site does it mention EPA range, so it's quite possible they're not selling to individuals because they feel the EPA may rate the range lower...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Ok, georgepds, I just saw the Romney-dog-transportation comment and now ROFL! Good to know that there is an option that I can work out with the roof racks. I have a roller that attaches to the car that allows the yaks to roll on top of the car so I just have to take time to work out a manageable way to configure it all so as to not damage the car during transport.

So, carry the dogs (Check - in cargo area, loading from the side 40 split seat so no lifting over tailgate), Kayaks (Check - Roof racks ARE available), Bikes (Check - trailer hitch tow, if desired), Passengers (Check - the two smallest will have to go in back and not complain because they are riding in such a cool car!)
 
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