Can a 4×8 Sheet of Plywood Fit in a Suburban?


You might be asking yourself, “Why in the world would I ever need to know this?” However, you might be surprised at just how this might come in handy one day! Helping renovate a house or doing some repairs yourself? Making or remodeling furniture? What about building that shed or fence you have been putting off for years? The possibilities are endless!

Can a 4×8 Sheet of Plywood Fit in a Suburban?

So does a sheet of plywood fit in a Suburban? A 4×8 sheet of plywood does fit in a Chevy Suburban. The model year of your Suburban will determine how you put the plywood in your vehicle and how many sheets you can hold.

Though it might seem like a no brainer since Suburbans are like enclosed trucks, there is more that goes into deciding whether your particular Suburban can accommodate 4×8 sheets of plywood.

Before you decide to pull up to your nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s, you should consider some of the following questions in determining whether you try to fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood inside your suburban:

  • How many seats do you have?
  • Is your vehicle long enough?
  • Is it even legal to drive with the back door open?
  • How many sheets of 4×8 plywood will fit?

Seats in a Suburban

Depending on what kind of Suburban you have can dictate whether 4×8 sheets of plywood can fit inside. The newer model Suburbans from 2007 onward have the option to seat up to nine while all of the older models typically have exactly nine seats. But what does that mean for you?

The newer standard for Suburbans have the option to add either a front bucket seat or subtract the second-row bench seat. Maximum seating would include two rows of bench seats, two bucket seats ahead of them, and one additional bucket seat up front for nine.

You have the option for most models to subtract the additional bucket seat and take out a bench seat in the second row to make seating for 7-8 people, whichever you prefer.

The older model Suburbans from 2006 and before do not give you the option of having less than nine seats. The bench seats can be removed, of course, but this would involve a lot of time and effort on your part, or money you would have to pay someone.

The good news is that no matter what kind of seating configuration you have in your vehicle, you will always be able to fold all of the seats down in the newer model Suburbans from about 2015 onward.

However, if you own a Suburban from before 2015, more than likely only the first two rows of seats will fold down and the third row will have to be removed.

This should not be too much of a hassle as there are plenty of tutorials and videos online like on Youtube that owners like yourself have posted for people who need that extra cargo space for projects similar to this one where they need all that extra space.

But if you cannot remove the third row of seats, you will not be able to fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood in a Suburban.

Dimensions of Your Vehicle

It is important to note that the length of your vehicle should not be an issue unless you cannot fold flat the third row of seats.

For the most part, Suburbans from the 1990s onward have an overall length of 219 to 224 inches or 18.25 feet and 18.67 feet respectively.

The average length of the legroom between the seats is 42 to 44 inches or 3.5 to 3.6 feet. The average width of the cargo space is 49 inches or 4.08 feet.

 If all the seats are folded flat or removed, the average cargo space is about 121.7 cubic feet which include about ten feet of length in the back for cargo which would be more than enough to fit a 4×8 piece of plywood.

Can a 4x8 Sheet of Plywood Fit in a Suburban?

However, if you own a model of Suburban that does not allow for the seats to fold flat and they would need to be removed first that presents a problem since from that back of the vehicle to the third row of seats is only about 3 feet.

If you are having issues folding your second row of seats flat, which is a common issue in older model Suburbans from before 2006, that also presents a problem since the length from the back door to the second row of seats is a little less than six feet; not enough to fit that 4×8 sheet of plywood.

Therefore, to fit it in any model of Suburban you would need to fold or remove both the second and third row of seats and probably the first as well. 

But what if you cannot? Can you let that 4×8 sheet of plywood hang out of the back and tie it down so it does not fall out?

Laws Regarding Towing

Firstly, driving with anything hanging out the back of your vehicle is dangerous and should not be done.

You cannot see whatever is sticking out as easily and you increased the length of your vehicle by up to several feet more than what you are used to so making any sharp turns or driving in heavy traffic might pose serious risks of unintentional damage.

But if you really had to and those pesky seats really cannot come out or fold flat, can you legally drive with something out the back of your vehicle? The laws vary widely and depend on the state you live in and even on which roads you plan to drive on for your trip.

Virginia for instance requires a red flag at the end of the load if it extends at least four feet. States like Georgia have no such requirement but federal law does require all loads over three feet to have some sort of marking.

Additionally, even if you marked your 4×8 sheet of plywood properly you could still get pulled over for it obstructing your registration on your vehicle which would get you pulled over in most states regardless.

With that being said, even though you can technically haul that load if you cannot fit that 4×8 sheet of plywood in your Suburban, it is strongly recommended not to so.

Amount of Plywood You Can Carry

Alright so you took out or folded all of your seats, you have the idea in mind of how much plywood you need, and have gone to the store to pick it up.

The next thing you are probably wondering is exactly how many trips you are going to need to make to carry all of that stuff! Luckily, unless you need a lot of plywood, it should not be too many trips back and forth.

The total carrying capacity we noted earlier for a Suburban with all the seats down is 121.7 cubic feet. The average 4×8 sheet of plywood is half an inch thick or 16 cubic feet. That means you can fit approximately 7 sheets of plywood at max capacity per trip.

Can a 4x8 Sheet of Plywood Fit in a Suburban?

You also should not worry about weight for this trip since the average 4×8 sheet of plywood weighs about 61 pounds.

Even at max capacity, you are looking at about 420 pounds while the max towing capacity of the typical Suburban is a little over 6,000 pounds. So you do not have to worry about that!

Conclusion

If you need to fit a 4×8 sheet of plywood inside your Suburban, you need to make sure you can take our or flatten all of the seats.

All of the newer models allow them to just be flattened, but most older models require some work to remove the third row of seats.

This is important since you are not going to fit it without doing so first. If you cannot fit it, do not try to haul your load without it!

Lastly, rest assured your Suburban will have plenty of space if you just need one sheet but you need to plan ahead for a larger amount.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

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