Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Keeping "Cargo" Things From Sliding Around in SUVs

I’m considering getting a used (2017) Rav4. As I’ve had only regular cars, looking at the cargo area in the Rav4 how does one keep things that would normally stay in place in a trunk, or slide around only within the contained trunk, from sliding around and forward to the back of the front seats. As I need cargo space equivalent to my current Camry’s trunk, the second row of seats would always be down).

You need lots of length? The volume behind the second seat is about the same. Maybe stick with a Camry.

1 Like

We use one of those storage box type things you can get at Target or wherever. One two, or whatever you need. We also bought the rubber floor protector but rarely use it because everything slides around like crazy.

I’m sure you’ll get a number of suggestions here.

First, Toyota might offer a cargo net or cargo system, so check on that.

Second, in her SUV, my wife uses a large milk crate that has a grid pattern that digs into the carpet, so it doesn’t move. You can put items in it but also use the crate to trap larger things in the corner of the cargo area.

I use an adjustable bar that goes side to side in my pickup along with plastic storage bins, this keeps stuff between the bar and the tail gate.
This may not be practical for a RAV4 depending on how the side walls are and configuration of the lift gate.
Bungee cords are another option.
Toyota probably has a cargo net specific to the RAV4.

I’m still puzzled by the Camry comment of the OP. The Camry is listed as having about 15 ft3 of trunk space, the Rav4 has 35 ft3. So why fold down the rear seat on the Rav4?

1 Like

What is being stored in the trunk that makes this a big concern ?

I don’t know that it would be a big concern but for us it would be a few tools, first aid kit, winter cold weather gear, and the wife likes to keep a supply of shopping bags. You just don’t want it cluttering up the space if nothing else. Then there is the whole security issue but the blacked out windows and cargo area cover kind of take care of that. I’ve tried cargo nets but they are really a pain. Stretchy and get tangled up.

If you look inside the Rav4 you would see that it has less than 1/2 the usable cargo space of the Camry. You cannot pile things up on top of each other in the Rav4, as in the Camry trunk, because you need visibility to see out the rear window with the rear-view mirror. With the second row collapsed you may get equivalent floor space to the Camry’s but again there is the limitation of not being able to pile thinks high - needed especially when travelling - because of the line-of-sight clearance from rear-view mirror to back window.

What? You can pile stuff up in an SUV. If you can’t see out the back window, that’s what the wing mirrors are for, and if you’re backing up it has a backup camera, so you don’t need to see out the window. Some vehicles don’t even have a rear window because it’s superfluous if you use your other equipment properly.

OP, if it’s large and/or heavy stuff that you don’t want flying forward in a sudden stop, you need a cage. It’s just a wire panel that pressure-fits between the floor and ceiling.

Otherwise if it’s just ordinary cargo I’ve been having really good luck with Weathertech’s “Cargo Containment System,” which is a set of triangular holders with rubberized feet. You put them around whatever you don’t want sliding and they hold it in place. I wasn’t expecting them to be all that great, but they work really well.


I’ve rented both, found this not to be true.

1 Like

I glue carpet pads to the bottom of my plastic bins and thy don’t move unless I try little gymkhana in the minivan. The one I kept in the trunk on my Accord didn’t move either.

I use this sort of floor-mat material in my truck’s bed sometimes to keep things from sliding around.

I wrote “usable” cargo space. Linear space may be close to the Camry’s trunk but one can’t pile up high in that space as one can in the Camry’s trunk.

Thank you for the suggestion of what to get.

Thank you for the recommendation of what to use.

… 'Kay…

Yeah, I gotta say I’m a bit baffled. I’ve used both on trips, LOTS of storage in the Rav4, without blocking any view.

1 Like

Never had the urge to tie anything down except a multitude of suitcases for a road trip, bungie cords worked, but only 17 years of suv experience. Not saying I can’t learn something new, had a shitload of tools and crap when I got rear ended at 30 mph, worst was looking for my hat that ended up on the back seat after my head hit the headrest, bad hair day.


I use a piece of 1/2 inch plywood cut to fit the truck’s bed sometimes as well. Actual fir plywood. The advantage of plywood is it isn’t as “sticky”, so moving boxes & stuff in and out and re-positioning is easier.