Home Stager with Key Elements Inc. Home Staging & Interiors

I am absolutely amazed that I have grown my staging business as far as I have owning a Volkswagon Jetta. The commercials ARE right showing how much cargo can fit into the little bugger. It is so funny to hear what people think when I pull up and pop out two six foot trees and several big plastic bins of accessories, plus a cart of tools, a steamer, an aluminum ladder and whatever floral things grace the rear window.

Thus far, I achieve the necessary expanded ‘corporate fleet’ with cargo van and box truck rentals. Have not as yet been able to justify financially the purchase of our own cargo vehicle, but that day will soon come. Meanwhile, it is time to replace my everyday company-owned Jetta with a more appropos staging vehicle. I consider  myself to lead a green lifestyle, and  cannot imagine using a van or SUV for daily running with as little fuel economy they offer, though bio-diesel capabilities would make a van/SUV viable for me.

So today I begin the search for the perfect new stage-mobile, with maximal storage capacity AND good gas mileage. Maybe I can work in the bio-diesel. Initial research shows the Scion xB getting better ratings on Consumer Reports than Honda Element, with $5K less price. Scion starts at $17K. Thinking larger, I undertand the Dodge Sprinter, made by DaimlerChrysler, is offered as diesel in the European markets, which would be the bio-diesel choice, however, they are priced nearer to $35K and maybe more for the diesel.

There must be many other choices and ideas waiting to emerge. Would anyone care to join in a discussion of staging vehicles with me?

Comments (10)

Cindy Richter
Interior Motiv Home Staging - Flower Mound, TX
IRIS Dallas, TX Home Stager
I have a Honda Pilot that I just LOVE!  It can carry a sofa and gets about 17/22 mpg.  My husband and I were just discussing the thought of getting a trailer instead of a large moving van.  I don't think I want to drive something so big but I think the trailer would fit everything. 
Jul 15, 2007 06:10 AM
Tara Boettger
HOMEGIRL Home Staging - Poughkeepsie, NY
I am also considering a new staging vehicle, there is only so much my cavalier can hold. I was thinking of getting a hybrid SUV I know Saturn has one. But I haven't done too much research on it yet.
Jul 15, 2007 07:15 AM
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL

Hi Paula, I have a Honda Element which is fabulous for transporting staging materials.  I get 25mpg in the city and its a low emmissions vehicle as well.  In addition the interior is completely washable with a damp cloth.  You should test drive, have the dealer show you all the configureations for the back seats, then decide.  Plus that if you have kids, its the most kid friendly vehicle I know of at the moment.

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

Jul 15, 2007 08:48 AM
Nicola Lindsay
Nicola Lindsay ReDesign and Home Staging - Saint Stephen, NB
I have a mini van and find it works quite well. Hubby also has a cargo van I can use when I need too and a trailer,,,,oh if I get these all filled then I would be busy busy!!! Laughing!
Jul 15, 2007 09:42 AM
Heidi Coulter
SET Interiors - Eugene, OR

I own an '04 Scion xB and absolutely LOVE it. For staging, we generally rent a van for the very big stuff, but I always plan to put the back seats down just in case. I've carried 2 wing back chairs in it at once, with room to spare.

 I would suggest loading some stuff in your car that you commonly carry (a ladder or tree...or both). Then go to the lots and "test load" models you are looking for. We did something like this when we were looking for a new car after we had a new baby. We took the baby seat and loaded it in every car and my tall husband sat in front of it...if he didn't fit, we didn't even take it off the lot.

Jul 15, 2007 12:50 PM
Mary McGraw
GLREA - Rockford, MI
2015: Solar Energy Is Still A Simple Machine!
Can't help with suggestions. Glad to see you are looking after the environment and I will be interested to see what you decide on and why so I can share with others!
Jul 15, 2007 03:04 PM
Angel Walker
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners - Johns Creek, GA

Paula, I was hoping someone would post this question.  For me, gas milage is the biggest concern.  Storage is second, but not by much.  I am looking forward to hearing all the suggestions.

I have noticed that Scions look great wrapped with advertising.  Tons of space to do that.  I've never looked inside to see how large the cargo area is.

Jul 18, 2007 12:57 PM
Stephanie Heron
Dressing Rooms LLC - Scottsdale, AZ
Weeber - Dressing Rooms

I bought an Expedition last year with my staging business in the back of my mind. The cargo space is fantastic but the gas mileage is awful - and I can't tell you how many times I have fallen out of it because it is too high off the ground:) 


Jul 18, 2007 02:56 PM
Jennifer Guinasso, Premier Home

I have a 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Gas is ok. When going over a certain mph (I think it is 45), it shuts down from 8 cyl to 4 ! It helps !!

Jul 19, 2007 04:51 PM
Christopher Johnston
FlexBox Mobile Storage - Philadelphia, PA

I run a portable storage company in Philadelphia and have help stagers in a couple ways. We can deliver the units to the customer's home and often at a great discount if they refer the customer to us. The customer get the space they need to declutter and the stager gets free logistics as we deliver their inventory with the customer's order.

A second choice is loading your inventory in one of our self service units. We can put our 5' x 8' containers on the back of a trailer and you can pull it behind your Jetta or any car with a trailer hitch. Installing a hitch is much less expensive than a new car and you don't have to suffer through the gas mileage of driving a behemoth around.

 Happy to help!

Christopher Johnston

FlexBox Mobile Storage

888 GoFlexBox (463-5392)

Aug 22, 2007 03:45 AM