Putting a loveseat in a minivan or an SUV should be possible, but it’s definitely a time to measure carefully and at least twice.
For example, there are many SUVs that ride high enough that the wheel wells are not terribly intrusive, but in an older minivan the wheel wells will take up a lot of space.
Where to Measure
Measure your loveseat from outer arm to outer arm. This will give you the length you need from the driver’s seat to the back door. Next, measure from the back of the loveseat to the front of the seat.
This is the length you need between the wheel wells. Finally, measure from the floor to the highest point on the back of the loveseat. This is the length you need from the floor to the top of your door frame.
Depending on the brand and age of your minivan, you may have more clearance on the side door. If need be, consider removing the feed of your loveseat to make sure that you won’t scrape the top of the back along the top of your door; you don’t want to damage the fabric or tear up your weather-stripping.
As a general rule, the legs will just screw off. When you go to move your loveseat, take a wad of shopping bags and a towel so you can easily wrap up the legs and keep them together without scratching up the finish.
When you remove the legs, make sure you split the legs up before you bundle them into the bags and wrap them up. It is critical that you do not bang up the threads on leg bolts or it may be tough to put your loveseat back together.
When to Use Straps
If you have to remove the legs, you will lose your gripping edge. Many minivans and SUVs have carpet on the floor. Sliding a loveseat over this carpet especially if the legs have been removed, may damage your vehicle interior and your new loveseat!
Instead, use a nylon strap such as you would find on a tie-down strap. You’ll need two straps. Since most loveseats are about 5 feet wide in total, two 10-foot straps should be enough. Tilt the loveseat to the front and back to center the loveseat on the straps, then simply lift it into the vehicle with your lifting buddy so you can lift the loveseat just a bit to “float” it into your vehicle.
If your straps are long enough, you can gently snug them down so you have a wrapped bundle to move. Don’t strap them down tightly; you may damage the padding or the fabric.
When to Use a Tarp
If the loveseat has a fairly low back, it may make more sense to transport it back down. However, this sets up a lot of friction between the carpet and the back of your new loveseat.
Put down a tarp inside the back of your vehicle so it hangs out a bit; you just want to set the back of the loveseat on the tarp and slide both tarp and loveseat into the vehicle.
This will slide easily whether you want it to or not. If there’s a big gap between the loveseat and the driver’s seat, fill it in with boxes or bins to protect the driver from a hard slide. Take the low slow route and get home in one piece.
Do be careful about your back door hatch latch. It may be tempting to try to do this on your own.
However, if you find yourself rocking the loveseat up and down to get it and the tarp into the van and your back door latches at the bottom, you may now own a loveseat with tears or stressed areas of fabric along the back because it got bounced into the latch catch.
Will a loveseat fit into a Toyota Sienna minivan?
Yes, it will, and here’s the proof!
When to Move Your Loveseat With the Back Up
You can reduce friction risk and enjoy a great gripping area if you move your loveseat with the back up. However, you will want to make sure that
- the loveseat is strapped down
- the windows are protected along the top of the back of your loveseat
- You’ve either removed the legs or they are wrapped in good padding
In the sad event that you have to stop hard and swerve, your loveseat could tilt and do serious damage to your windows. You will also probably not be able to see much out the back window, so this is probably not a good position for a long drive.
If you are making a big move, you can pack around and under your loveseat for more stability. However, you will still want to protect those windows in the event that the load shifts.
When to Get Help
You will need help and may do better to hire someone if
- you are alone; even if you can get it in your vehicle, getting it out of your vehicle and into your home could be a nightmare
- you don’t have a tarp
- you don’t know what a tie-down strap is
If you don’t have clearance to get your loveseat into the vehicle on its feet, the load will be tippy. If you’re driving alone and someone cuts you off and you have to stop hard, a sliding loveseat can damage the mechanism that will allow you to adjust your seat. Furniture movers are much cheaper.
You will probably need 6 feet from end to end, 3 feet from floor to the top of your door, and 3 feet between the wheel wells to get your loveseat into your minivan or SUV.