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Old 02-04-2013, 07:39 AM   #1
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Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

New baby is due in a little over 7 weeks and we need to figure out where everyone will fit..

Dodge Grand Caravan 2003
2nd row captains chairs
3rd row bench
TAs on both captain's chairs and middle of rear bench. (dh is calling Dodge today to see if we can get another one (or 2) retrofitted if we need it).

Kids:
DD1: 77lbs, 4ft 6" (age 9, 10 in 2 months)
DD2: 67lbs, 4' 3" (age 7)
DS1: 45lbs, 44" (age 5)
DS2: 36lbs, 39" (age 3)

Here is what we have so far...
DD1: captain's chair backless TB
DD2: 3rd row outboard High back TB
DS1: 3rd row outboard FF Trufit
DS2: captain's chair FF Evenflo E3
baby: right now we have a Snugride 35 for her.

So I need to figure out where to put baby, and I would like to find a spot where my 2 boys that are FF have a TA (DS1 currently does not). We have yet to find a backless booster for my DD1 that will work in the 3rd row.
She would be fine w/ a HB booster if we can find something that will work back there for her (she is too tall for the HB TB). She can't 5 step yet either.

So, where can I fit everyone??
Getting our tax return on Wed and I am ready to start ordering seats to try out so hopefully we get this figured out before baby gets here

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

I am pretty positive that on any vehicle post 2002 (when the tether anchors were required) you can't have any more added. Vehicles older than that, you can, because some of them have none at all.

We have nearly the same age kids, though I'm not positive on their sizes. We have the same set up as far as seats and tether anchors are concerned.
Right now we do:
DD (10), seat belt, captain's chair (passenger side)
DS1 (8), low back booster, outboard rear
DS2 (6), high back booster, outboard rear
DS3 (2.5), RF radian, captain's chair (driver's side)

I haven't played around with the radian yet to see if it will fit well for a newbie - if it does, we'll be getting another one (for either Levi or Hiccup, depending on if I have the infant insert for this one or not!). If it doesn't fit, we may get a Truefit for Hiccup... haven't really decided that yet.
Then we will shuffle kids to either:
DD, DS1, DS2 across the rear (boys outboard in boosters, DD in middle, unfortunately with the lap belt)
DS3, FF radian, captain's chair (driver's side)
Hiccup, RF radian (or whatever we end up with), captain's chair (passenger side) *unless a seat at 45* will fit behind the driver for DH driving, then Hiccup would be on that side.

OR,
DD, seat belt, rear outboard
DS1, booster, captain's chair (either side, depending on fit of Hiccup's seat)
DS2, booster, rear outboard
DS3, FF radian, rear middle
Hiccup, RF whatever seat, captain's chair (again, where it fits)

Why does the TB not work for your DD in the rear row? We have no problems with ours (both are TB, just one with the back and one without).

I don't know if the 2 boosters would work across the rear with a FF radian in the middle - that's what I would try though. Then have the older 3 back there if the 5 yr old fit in a radian, if not, the older ones could be taught to help buckle the 3 yr old (and likely he could do a bunch on his own), then the other FF'er and baby in the middle seats.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianbakers View Post
I am pretty positive that on any vehicle post 2002 (when the tether anchors were required) you can't have any more added. Vehicles older than that, you can, because some of them have none at all.

We have nearly the same age kids, though I'm not positive on their sizes. We have the same set up as far as seats and tether anchors are concerned.
Right now we do:
DD (10), seat belt, captain's chair (passenger side)
DS1 (8), low back booster, outboard rear
DS2 (6), high back booster, outboard rear
DS3 (2.5), RF radian, captain's chair (driver's side)

I haven't played around with the radian yet to see if it will fit well for a newbie - if it does, we'll be getting another one (for either Levi or Hiccup, depending on if I have the infant insert for this one or not!). If it doesn't fit, we may get a Truefit for Hiccup... haven't really decided that yet.
Then we will shuffle kids to either:
DD, DS1, DS2 across the rear (boys outboard in boosters, DD in middle, unfortunately with the lap belt)
DS3, FF radian, captain's chair (driver's side)
Hiccup, RF radian (or whatever we end up with), captain's chair (passenger side) *unless a seat at 45* will fit behind the driver for DH driving, then Hiccup would be on that side.

OR,
DD, seat belt, rear outboard
DS1, booster, captain's chair (either side, depending on fit of Hiccup's seat)
DS2, booster, rear outboard
DS3, FF radian, rear middle
Hiccup, RF whatever seat, captain's chair (again, where it fits)

Why does the TB not work for your DD in the rear row? We have no problems with ours (both are TB, just one with the back and one without).

I don't know if the 2 boosters would work across the rear with a FF radian in the middle - that's what I would try though. Then have the older 3 back there if the 5 yr old fit in a radian, if not, the older ones could be taught to help buckle the 3 yr old (and likely he could do a bunch on his own), then the other FF'er and baby in the middle seats.

From what I have heard, the 2013 LATCH manual states that Dodge can/will put in additional TAs on all 2002-2007 Caravans as long as the seats are not stow n go. Going to call around to double check that today though, so we will see.

All backless boosters we have tried keep the shoulder belt too low on both of my dds. Not sure why, but I haven't had any luck.

I would like to keep both my DDs and one of my DSs in the 3rd row if I can fit it, gotta see what is narrow for back there...
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

Yes, I think Dodge vans are one rare exception to the general rule of manufacturers not adding top tether anchors. Good luck with that.

I've heard that it can be very difficult to find boosters that work well in the back row of caravans (though, I'm not sure of the years). That might be why you're having trouble with backless boosters positioning the shoulder belt too low.

It would probably be easiest to put the baby in a captain's chair, which means you need to find a 3 across for booster/FF harness/FF harness. Did you check the 3 across thread on car-seat.org?
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:39 AM   #5
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

Do you have any family dynamics issues so that certain kids can't be by certain other kids?
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjordan View Post
Yes, I think Dodge vans are one rare exception to the general rule of manufacturers not adding top tether anchors. Good luck with that.

I've heard that it can be very difficult to find boosters that work well in the back row of caravans (though, I'm not sure of the years). That might be why you're having trouble with backless boosters positioning the shoulder belt too low.

It would probably be easiest to put the baby in a captain's chair, which means you need to find a 3 across for booster/FF harness/FF harness. Did you check the 3 across thread on car-seat.org?
I have been searching on car-seat.org for weeks! lol...
one thing I found that I want to try in the 3rd row is Parkway/FF My Ride/TB..anyone think it would work?
I could put both my girls in back and my littlest boy in the my ride...
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
Do you have any family dynamics issues so that certain kids can't be by certain other kids?
No, all mine get along really well, I would rather not put baby next to DS2, just b/c he might be a bit "much" for a new baby. He is quite rambunctious and
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #8
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janelle View Post
I have been searching on car-seat.org for weeks! lol...
one thing I found that I want to try in the 3rd row is Parkway/FF My Ride/TB..anyone think it would work?
I could put both my girls in back and my littlest boy in the my ride...
Perhaps... the Parkway is typically better for 3 across than many other boosters. I've also heard that the Recaro Probooster is sometimes good for 3 across. Though I'm not sure how the Parkway or Probooser will do in your back seat.

You could also try a Britax FF, they are up on a base (like the MyRide), which sometimes is good for 3 across with boosters in the mix.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

I was thinking about a Britax too..like a Marathon or something. Anything that is "up" on a base to make more room. I could try a Radian too, but I have installed on once and do not look forward to it again, lol...plus, they are pretty low profile, so I am guessing wouldn't give as much room for boosters to get buckled.

I will look in to the Recaro Booster too!
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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Re: Help w/ the carseat shuffle :)

We tried a couple things @ BBB yesterday:
TB/Marathon/TB (SUPER tight, dd's couldn't buckle)
and TB/Radian/TB (still to tight for them to buckle w/o lots of help).

They didn't have a My ride, so I will try to go to BRU for that, I am wondering if I could try some narrower no back boosters (top side, harmony, etc) is there any issue w/ using the shoulder belt placement strap thing that comes w/ them? I assume if they come w/ the seat, they are okay to use, right??
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