How to Fit 2 Couches Into a Cargo Van

Any of cargo van will fit two, 2 seat couches end to end or across the van, but only one 3 seat couch will fit in a compact or full size cargo van. Two 3 seat couches will fit in a high roof but would have to be placed on one end (an arm).

While not even one 4 seat couch will fit in a compact cargo van, it will fit in either a full size or high roof cargo van.

Both the sizes of cargo vans and the sizes of couches vary considerably and so you should measure both to determine what exactly can fit in the cargo area.

Due to their individual designs, couches vary in size, but their average dimensions are:

2 Seat Couch (W x D x H) – 36” x 38” x 34”

3 Seat Couch (W x D x H) – 63” x 38” x 34”

4 Seat Couch (W x D x H) – 117” x 38” x 34”

5 or 6 seat couches are too large to fit in any size cargo van unless they are sectional, in which case they may if you can divide them into these individual sections.

Although there are many different models of cargo van, most will be one of three sizes, compact cargo van, full size cargo van, or high roof cargo van. The size of the cargo areas in these three sizes are:

Compact Cargo Van (L x H W) – 83″ x 52″ x 48″

Full Size Cargo Van (L x H x W) – 126” x 65” x 55”

High Roof cargo Van (L x H x W) – 143” x 76” x 55”

From these figures you can see that all the couches have too much depth to fit side by side in a cargo van, so they would have to be placed length-wise down the van.

In the case of fitting two 3 seat couches in a high roof cargo van, they would have to be placed on one arm of the couch.


Weight Limits for Cargo Vans

As well as having different dimensions, the different types of cargo vans also have different maximum payloads. The average payload for each type is:

Compact Cargo Van – 1,480lbs

Full Size Cargo Van – 3,700lbs

High Roof cargo Van – 3,700lbs

These weight limits are usually ample if you are only moving couches or other furniture items, and so in those cases, it is the size of the cargo area which is important. If you are planning on transporting other materials though, the payload may be the more important factor.


How to Prepare 2 Couches for Transportation

Prior to moving the couches you should first take their measurements.

You will also need to take the measurements of any corridors and doors you intend to move the couches through. If you find you need to reduce the size of the couches, their short legs can be unscrewed.

These legs, and the couches’ cushions should be placed in plastic bags, which can be loaded in the van separately.

If you need to reduce the size of the couches further, you can remove their arms; this can be done in three stages:

  • Stage 1 – Turn the couches on their back and remove the staples holding the upholstery in place.
  • Stage 2 – Roll back the upholstery far enough so you can see all the fastenings holding the arms to the frame.
  • Stage 3 – Use a screwdriver or Allen key to remove the fastenings and then remove the arms.

If you need to do this, remember to place all the fastenings in a bag along with the screws that hold the legs of the couches and place them with the cushions. It’s best to put the items for each couch into separate bags.

Like all other items of large furniture, a couch should be wrapped in plastic to help prevent damage during transportation.

As plastic may dull the appearance of a leather couch or other sensitive upholstery fabrics, place a moving blanket over the couch before wrapping it in the plastic.

While it is best to use moving blankets to cover all pieces of large furniture, any old blankets can be used as substitutes.


Moving the Couches

Before attempting to move the couches or other large furniture items, you should check your route is clear of obstacles.

Any obstacles in your way may cause you to drop the couch, potentially causing it damage. In this instance, small children and pets should also be considered obstacles to ensure they too cannot impede your progress.

If you have them, it is always better to move large furniture items with furniture sliders. If you do not have any sliders or other types of wheeled moving devices, you should be able to carry the furniture.

It should only take two people to carry 2 seater couches and most other furniture items, but extra people may be needed for larger couches.

Once the couches are placed in the cargo van they should be secured so they don’t  move around causing potential damage to each other.

A cargo van does not have a partition between the driver and the cargo section, so smaller items of furniture or the bags associated with them should also be secured. If smaller items become loose during transit, they could distract the driver, in turn potentially causing an accident.

Many people who use cargo vans for moving or any other type of transportation use a net to separate the driver from the cargo section. A net or something similar, which can easily be removed once parked, ensures the driver is not distracted while driving.


Loading the Couches into a Cargo Van

Although a cargo van allows access to its cargo section from the driver’s position, a side door and rear doors, the couches are easier to load via the rear doors.

Due to their size, you should load a couch through the rear doors and then move them to the front of the cargo section. All other items should then be placed around and to the rear of the couch but ensure the couch is secured first.


Unloading the Couches

When you reach your new address, park in an area which will allow you unobstructed movement of the couches and other furniture into place.

If you haven’t already checked all sizes of your route, do so before starting to unload.

If you had furniture sliders, hopefully you remembered to also bring them, or have arranged adequate people to move the furniture by hand.



Cargo vans have become popular with people moving home as they are easier to drive and easier to load than larger box trucks which had traditionally been used for moving.

Obviously a cargo van is smaller and less powerful than most box trucks, but if your furniture will fit, they are powerful enough to handle the weight of furniture items.

As cargo vans offer the same protection from weather and the same security as a box truck, they are often considered a better option for moving than an open back pick-up truck.

For a hassle-free move, you should have moving blankets and furniture sliders, but old blankets and man power can work just as well. The most important part is perhaps ensuring your furniture is secured in the van as otherwise that is where it could get damaged.

If you do have to reduce the size of your couches, it should only take half an hour to remove both the legs, arms, and divide up their sections if you can.

If removing the arms, only roll up the upholstery as far as you need to in order to afford access to the fastenings. Remember to take all fastenings with you as well as any tools you needed to remove them.

If you need to move a larger sectional couch, then follow the instructions on how to reduce it to its individual sections. Once dismantled, you can load each section separately but once again, remember to take any tools you needed with you.

Renting a cargo van for moving purposes has several advantages:

  1. It is easier to load and easier to drive. Also
  2. Most States do not need the driver of a cargo van to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  3. You can make the move with just the help of a couple of friends without the need to hire professionals.

These factors combined can make your move cheaper, quicker, and easier than it would be using a larger box van.

Author: Kenneth Graham

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