Question about transporting a DB

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Pacman, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Hey guys, I'm going to have to buy a car right after the holidays (maybe before the new year) and am thinking truck or SUV. Problem is, I'm opposed the the SUV on principle. I'm going to need a vehicle that I can transport the doghouse in, safely and efficiently.

    My question is, with the big bass in a pickup, would the temperatures (winter and summer) be an issue? Even with a covered bed, it can get very cold and very hot in the back - how much temp fluctuation is too much for the bass?

    Otherwise I'll bite the bullet and buy the Cherokee....
  2. I would think that the temperature fluctuations would not be very good for the bass - I'm not familiar with the exact tolerances a DB can withstand, but it just doesn't seem too safe to me.

    Also, I would be concerned about the bumpiness of a pickup's ride - a bad pothole or set of railroad tracks could send your new love flying around the bed. Not good.

    Surprisingly, I've found that lowering the front passenger seat of my Taurus and letting the bass ride shotgun has worked better than any arrangement I've tried in any SUV or wagon. That way, the bass benefits from the seat's padding, it's a snug location in which the bass won't fly all over the place, and you can make sure that the neck doesn't undergo any dangerous stresses (a possible factor if you lay a bass on its back in a pickup, SUV, or wagon). Due to the bench front seat, I can lay the bass on its back, which reduces the bass-induced blind spot drastically. Otherwise, one would need to lay the DB in on its side, which can be quite a blind spot.

    Barring the shotgun technique, I think that a minivan would be best, provided you can rig up some sort of padding to support the bass' neck and body in the event of excessive bumps, potholes, etc.

    Literally, YMMV. :D
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Hatchbacks and small wagons are great hauling for The Bass. You can get your Bass in any sedan, either by reclining the passenger seat or pushing the bench seat (do they make any cars like this any more?) back far enough, but with the wagon or hatchback your better other doesn't have to sit in the back. A small wagon makes it easier to stow your amp so that it doesn't abuse your Bass. I carried a bass around in a VW bug for years, and am currently driving a Mazda 323 and moving my 7/8 girlie on the reclined 'shotgun' seat.

    I've found that it's tougher to haul basses in minivans and larger cars because there is too much space and it's difficult to find a space where the Bass won't be libel to slide around under heavy maneuvering.
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    '97 Honda Civic hatchback here, and no complaints. The scroll comes up past the passenger headrest (so if there's somebody else in the car, you can hear them but not see them), but I got used to that pretty quick. There's also plenty of room left over for amps, etc.

    All this at 35 MPG.
  5. I'm kinda eyeing the new Civic hatch, and it's great to hear that the older one swallows a bass nicely. So you lay your bass down in the passerger seat, too?

    Would you say that it has enough room to swallow, say, a 2x10 cab with the DB?
  6. I drive a Toyota Corolla, and to transport my bass, I put the passenger-seat fully forward, remove the headrest, and fully recline the seat. The bass is fitted in end-pin-first, and lays on its back in the passenger seat, so that the neck and scroll are in the footwell. The seat-belt is then fastened over the bass, and snugged up so that the bass can't move, and I check that the scroll isn't touching the floor. I learned the technique from my bass-teacher who uses the same method to transport his bass in his wife's Honda Civic.

    - Wil
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Actually, it lays on its back in the back of the car, propped up by a pillow at the heel. The neck sticks up between the driver and passenger seats at about head level, but the passenger seat stays in upright position. I've carried the following gear in this car with no problems:

    Typical DB jazz gig (passenger seat still open):
    Acoustic Image Clarus
    1 (or 2) 1x8" speaker cabs

    Doubling Gig (Passenger seat loaded):
    Plank (in Protec case)
    AI Clarus
    2x10 cab (passenger seat)

    Society Gig (passenger seat loaded):
    Plank (w/case)
    2x10 cab
    4-space rack with amp & preamp
    1x15" cab (passenger)
    Upright Dolly
    2 mic stands
    Bag of cables and miscellaneous s**t
    Tux (in bag)

    When I do the society gig thing, the damn thing looks like one of those shows at the circus where 50 clowns come out of a VW Beetle, but it all fits.
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    My last two vehicles have been minivans, and in cases when the bass is basically the only occupant, I put something under the shoulders of the bass and then use one of the rear, unused seat belts to loop around the bass. That usually keeps it in place, haven't had any incidents yet.
  9. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    I drive a '95 Saturn wagon (not the newer, bigger one). The rear seat splits, so if I have to (which I frequently do, I can get my bass, my combo amp, misc. accessories, and two passengers in there.

    Unless you routinely haul around more than one bass, or if you use huge speaker cabinets, I can't see any reason to choose anything bigger than a hatchback or wagon.
  10. Buy American. Get the big SUV! Put glasspacks on it. Wake up the neighbors when you come home from late night gigs.:D Hell I even have room for a full size electric piano w/amp and the gal that plays it.

    Your passengers will love ya for it.

    oh by the way...I used a truck w/shell for a year when I only had a plywood bass. Don't do it.
  11. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Hell, I was opposed to SUV's in principal for a long time and drove a tiny DOdge Colt hatchback.

    It finally died and I got a 2000 Ford Explorer sport 2-door. You know what I discovered? Bassists are masochists who like to "brag" about how small of a car they can fit their bass in. :D I know because I was one.

    With my SUV not being a giant, I average a respectable 23 mpgs on the highway, am much safer now with air bags and ABS, and I can take my bass on vacations and still have room for stuff. It takes me a lot less time to load my stuff which is
    1) Bass
    2) AI Contra
    3) backpack w/ cords, stand light, books, extention cords, anything I might need (including a backup pickup)
    4) Manhasset stand

    If you get one of the smaller SUV's like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, or Hyndai Santa Fe your mileage can be even better. As it is I get better mileage than my small Mazda pickup or my bosses 2000 Grand Prix.

    Point being, don't automatically rule out SUV's. They aren't all the size of mass transport vehicles.

  12. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    I find anything under 30mpg on the highway difficult to respect.

    So far my bass has been in:
    Ford Escort Wagon
    Dodge Spirit
    Saturn mid-size sedan*
    Saab convertible

    * rental car

    Depending on what happens with my company's stock price, I may be buying one of those gas/electric hybrids sometime in the next year or so, but in the mean time, my primary transportation is an assortment of buses and L trains.

    I almost took it in a minivan cab, but the minivan blew past the hail, and some numnutz in a sedan cab tried to take the call. It's not possible to get a bass in most cabs.

    -dh (who found that the car rental experience in toto was not a faster way to move the bass than public transportation, at least not for that gig, but it did at least mostly keep the bass out of the rain)
  13. Monte raises a good point (per usual) - the smaller SUV's can be a very good option. My girlfriend's new RAV4 is a sweet little car/truck and it looks like it could swallow an impressive amount of gear if properly positioned. It might even have room for her, too! :p

    One thing that I really like about sedans - the trunk. A large and well-designed trunk (e.g., load-in height isn't too high, a large trunk opening, etc.) can swallow tons of gear AND keep it hidden. I really don't like the idea of all my gear being exposed for the world to see in a wagon or hatchback. While I don't leave my basses in the car, I'm not always hip to lugging around every single particle of my amp rig, books, cords, etc. at 2:30 AM or every time I have to make a quick stop before a gig. I like the fact that my non-bass gear is stowed away from prying eyes.