Curious Harpmobile question

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    ashley-c on #155807

    Hello, I’ve been lurking here for a while but this is my first post. I feel silly asking this, because I feel like the answer is probably a really obvious one but I haven’t seen any information on this topic ever, so here goes.

    Does anyone out there just use a pickup truck as their harpmobile? I own an F-150 now and while my current harp is small enough to fit inside, I am

    Participant
    catherine-rogers on #155808

    The main reason is the bed of the truck, even with a camper cover, is not climate controlled like the interior of a van or car, so the harp can be exposed to extremes of temperature. The rule of thumb is usually that if you are comfortable in a particular atmosphere, your harp will be also. You would definitely need a mattress in there unless you move the harp in its trunk (which usually only pedal harps have and these days not even those come with trunks unless specially ordered). A smaller harp in a case might slide around and hit the sides and tailgate.

    Spectator
    Sid Humphreys on #155809

    Yes, the bed of a pick up truck would be too bouncy for a harp. You should also check with your harp’s insurance company as they may not cover damage to your harp from the truck’s bed!

    Participant
    ashley-c on #155810

    Thanks for the quick responses. Like I said, I should only have to move it very rarely (if ever), but I was really curious. Thanks for clearing that up!

    Participant
    Tacye on #155811

    Is the bed of a truck any worse than say the back of a transit van? Harp makers regularly turn up to harp festivals in vans stuffed with harps.

    Member
    kreig-kitts on #155812

    Having grown up in a rural area where working trucks were common, another consideration is that many pickups have much springier shocks, better for off road work like fields and ditches. However, over speed bumps, railroad tracks, and so on, passengers and cargo can go airborn for a second. This could easily result in the harp smacking hard onto the bed, even with padding, the padding moving out from under the harp, or for a bad enough bump, the harp falling out if there is no cab.

    And in an accident, the harp could go airborn if not strapped down, risking property damage and injury to people, not to mention the harp’s likely destruction.

    Having seen many trucks in the cities and burbs that rarely carry more than a load of groceries, there might be models now that are basically cars with truck frames over them. They might drive more like cars.

    Participant
    ashley-c on #155813

    I also grew up near a lot of farms and I’ve driven and rode in several different ‘work trucks’, and you’re right those types are WAY different to ride in. The ones I rode in were a LOT bumper, and also they shook almost constantly. Not at all comfortable for me and certainly not for a harp, but they got their job done. My truck doesn’t ride the same at all, but it is a good decade or two newer than the work trucks I rode in so maybe they just make them differently. It’s also a lot smaller which might also play a role.

    I hadn’t considered the possibility of an accident, I’d definitely rather have it inside a vehicle if something terrible happened. Assuming it didn’t though, I have moved a lot of large furniture in the back of my truck across the city before and it didn’t so much as shift.

    Participant
    Alison on #155814

    well maybe but furniture is probably more forgiving or has legs and edges to take the jolts, the harp has a long back and so ask yourself, “how would you feel if it cracked” ?

    Participant
    barbara-low on #155815

    When I first started out moving my harp, I used a small pickup. If you need to move your harp only occasionally, and only in good weather, you should be fine. Provide good padding underneath your harp, lay the harp down lever side up, and if possible, strap it down so that it doesn’t shift during the drive. I’d also place it as close to the cab as possible for a smoother ride.

    Get a camper shell. It would protect your harp from extreme shifts in temperature and humidity, such as direct sunlight or rain. It’s the extremes that will damage your harp. A harpist friend moved her harp this way until they could purchase another vehicle. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area so we don’t experience extremes in the climate, but summers can get pretty warm. As far as the suspension goes, don’t fly across bumpy terrain. Since your harp is on the light side, it could bounce, so you’ll want to give it a smooth ride.

    Finally, my husband drives a Ford Ranger with a camper shell. He regularly transports harps all over the Bay Area. With good padding (exercise
    mats with dense foam) and moving pads, harps load and off load with ease. He loves it, plus got the idea from a harpist!

    Barbara

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