Another harp car post… but I have specific questions!!!

  • Participant
    lydia-covey on #149774

    Hello All!

    Its been way too long since I’ve been on the forum… but there is not much time in my full time harpist life!
    I know there are a gazillion harp car posts on here. I’ve read many of them but it’s kinda hard going through them all and sifting all the opinons through what I need.

    So, I made the final payment on my harp earlier this year (yippee!!!!) and already have a good amount of cash in the bank. So it’s time that I start researching my own vehicle. I’ve been using my parents Honda Odyssey for too long now… And I really don’t know where to start. I have my dream car, the Lexus RX 350 (btw, anyone use this vehicle?). But that is a bit out of my price range right now, especially considering I am going to buy the car loan-free.

    So, on the the specifics. First, I have an 85E and I load it layed down flat. I love how amazing everything fits in the Odyssey, BUT, as a 20 year old I am NOT getting a mini van as my first car… that puts alot of cars out of the picture. I need to be able to use the front passenger seat, and I’d like to get decent gas mileage as I drive ALOT (8 weddings this month plus 5 mothers day events….)
    I am looking for a small SUV/station wagon. I’m trying to avoid American made; Ford, Dodge, Chevy. But as they’re cheaper, I may end up with one. I really like the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot. But finding a decent priced one is hard.
    So, if any of you use these cars, I’d really appreciate knowing if they are good harp cars. Or, if you use a car that fits most of my specifications, please reply! I really appreciate your opinion and experience.

    Look forward to hearing from you all.
    Lydia Covey

    Spectator
    Sid Humphreys on #149775

    I fit my 23 in a Ford Edge as well as Explorer. The milage isn’t great, I don’t think you can be too picky when it comes to an SUV… this is concidering the 2010 models. 2011 may have different dimentions and therefore may not accomidate.

    Participant
    laura-palmieri on #149776

    Hi Lydia,

    You and I have very similar situations and interests! I have been using my mom’s amazing Honda Odyssey for years and as 23 year old college student its time that I find a decent SUV/station wagon that I will be happy with for years to come.(Since I will be making the payments I really must LOVE the car,right?? :P) I hear that the Honda Element is a good option. But I am not really into the boxy look of it. My teacher loves her new Ford Taurus X station wagon and the Ford Freestyle I hear is good car too. Gas mileage is a biggy for me too since I travel everywhere with my harp! Sorry I am not much help to you but thanks for posting this!

    All the best,

    Laura Palmieri

    Spectator
    marguerite-lynn-williams on #149777

    Both my sister and I are professional harpists and

    Member
    Susan Sparks Irving on #149778

    Hi there. I have had several harp cars… none have been mini vans. I just can not go there! In Southern Cal, I have had a covered toyota longbed red truck. In cold weather or extreme heat this doesn’t work great. Now I drive my most favorite vehicle…. GMC Denali XL. It’s black and really great. My best advice is take your harp to the dealership and see what works best. They’ll all tell you it will fit, but seeing is believing. I never buy a car without trying to load my 23 first. It needs to be easy to load by myself. Good Luck!

    Member
    kay-lister on #149779

    The Nissan X-terra is a great harp SUV and gets good gas milage.

    Participant
    sharon-avis–2 on #149780

    I’ve been driving a Chevy Maxx Hatchback.

    Participant
    vince-pierce on #149781

    I wouldn’t recommend the Honda Element. It does work, and is a very economical car, but if you were to upgrade to a larger harp it wouldn’t work too well. I have moved a Salvi Diana in one, and I had to push the driver’s seat all the way up. It worked for me because I’m only 5’4″ but it was very uncomfortable. I wouldn’t even want to try putting my Salzedo in there. It’s also a lot lower, so you have to lean the harp all the way over to get it in, which is not easy. The Honda Pilot is great. I would also recommend a Toyota 4Runner. They are great vehicles, and they last a long time. You might even get a used one for a good price. You might look at the Volkswagen Passat wagon. It’s a tight fit, but I know a 23 fits perfectly, and it’s pretty fuel-efficient, I think. I agree with you avoiding American-made cars, I’ve had nothing but problems with GM vehicles. Good luck!
    Vince

    Participant
    sherry-lenox on #149782

    There was a piece on our local TV last night about the severe dangers incurred by putting the seat of a car as close to the dashboard as it will go, and it seems a lot of us do that.
    Besides the claustrophobia, it just seems terribly unsafe for many reasons, and there aren’t so many harpists around that even one should jeopardize his or her well being in the interest of frugality. There’s nothing frugal about damaging one’s instrument or oneself. Just a thought.

    Participant
    vince-pierce on #149783

    Sherry, you are completely right. My dad gets after me all the time about how close I sit in my car. But I have yet to own a car that works for someone as short as I am. I do have my seat in my GMC Jimmy pushed all the way forward, partly to fit the harp, but also because that’s the only way my feet reach the gas and brake pedals. Another option is to turn off the driver’s side airbag, but then that’s not really a solution. I wish there was a larger vehicle with the pedals further forward.

    Participant
    sherry-lenox on #149784

    I don’t know if there are still pedal blocks available Vince, but that’s how we all reached the pedals when we learned to drive years ago. They fasten to the gas and brake pedals so that you can sit far enough back to see out the window but still reach the pedals with your feet!

    Participant
    J P on #149785

    This is for the person that mentioned the Element not being a good fit for a larger harp.

    Participant
    jessica-wolff on #149786

    My daughter’s been telling me I need pedal extenders. That’s with a VW New Beetle, automatic. With stick shift I have an even harder time.

    Participant
    vince-pierce on #149787

    JP, that’s a good point. I never think of column loading, because it’s impossible for me. I also don’t particularly like the idea of it, but I know that there a lot of harpists who load their harps that way. I remember the last time I was at the Lyon and Healy factory, I was told that the column on a LH harp (any large pedal harp, maybe) is strong enough to replace a structural beam in a building. I would assume that the column also has a great deal of rigidity and strength holding up weight from any direction (whether vertically or horizontally). So I guess column loading makes plenty of sense if you can manage it. I just find it mind boggling…but good point nonetheless!

    Participant
    lydia-covey on #149788

    Thank you all so very much for your help and advice.
    I’m glad to hear good reviews of the Pilot, I really like the car.

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