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Old 10-12-2012, 10:09 PM   #21
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

We are a measly 5 But we have a Honda Odyssey and could fit six kids in there with the car seats that we have. We have the Diono ones. They fit three across pretty easily, even in the back row. In our van they fit RF in any seat in the middle row. I would think they would fit in your van as well. Good luck!

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Old 10-13-2012, 12:45 AM   #22
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We are expecting baby #5 in December. We have a Grand Caravan, plan to use it a while longer then get a suburban. We had one as a rental a few months ago, and I drove six kids around for a week in it (mine plus two others), and it was awesome. I plan on just having my oldest, who is out of a booster, sit in the seat we will fold down to get kids in/out of the back.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:24 AM   #23
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

We have a Yukon xl (suburban body)
We have the 8 passenger - 2 benches with 3 and front captains chairs.
We have two in the back - booster, FF carseat and three in the middle two RFing seats and a booster which we move to load the rear row. The rear row is narrower then the middle. It would be hard to get three seats across I think.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #24
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

I drive a suburban, and it is a PITB. I would recommend going with something more roomy, like a larger van.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:35 PM   #25
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

We are about to become a family of 9, but drove a Honda Accord until dc#6 came along. It worked out just fine (other than the fact that we filled it all up and didn't have any extra room for friends). When dc#6 came along we upgraded to a 15 passenger van, so now we have plenty of room for dc#7 and a few friends. The only "problem" with driving something so big, and having so many children is that we are almost regularly asked if we are going to fill it up!UGH/LOL!!
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:41 PM   #26
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

were a family of 7 & drive a grand caravan. we have 5 carseats in there. it s tight fit w/ them ( i would try them out 1st b4 buying the carseats. to make sure they fit) but it dose work out. we just do the 3 rf in the backseat through the hatch. lol we will be doing the carseat dance again in jan since my daughter aniah will b moving out of her bucket seat then. hoping to get an 8pass down the road
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #27
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We are only a family of almost 5, but bring friends of DD's camping with us.

To us, it wasn't just about fitting in seats, but we needed the trunk space too. We had a car that fit everyone, but the stroller took up most of the trunk, leaving no room for even grocery shopping.

ETA: we have an Odyssey that seats 8

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Old 10-13-2012, 07:54 PM   #28
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

i have to add, having owned both 12 and 15 passenger vans, you might be happier with the 15. if u take the back seat out, u'll still have 11 seats, and a spacious cargo area for road trips, shopping, etc... i've also seen the second row taken out, which leaves u with 12 seats, a spacious area for u to maneuver in while loading carseat riders, and still a nice cargo area. i wish we never downsized to a 12...
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:14 PM   #29
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

My sil has suburban I think. Ford has few that fit exactly 7 total. Otherwise yea a passenger van/15 seater?
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:26 PM   #30
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Re: Families of 7 - what do you drive?

Well, we are a family of 8 (6 kids ages 3 months to 12 years), and we drive a Town and Country (same thing as a Dodge Caravan). We really didn't want to drive a 12 passenger van and so we were looking to buy a used 8 passenger Odyseey or Sienna. The prices that they go for used just seemed so high to us, especially when we knew we could get an equivalent Caravan or Town and Country for way less. So, I came across a few big families online who said that they took their two captain's seats out of their Caravans and replace it with another three person bench seat. I was skeptical at first, especially with the kids getting in and out, but my parents didn't really want their 3 person bench from their Caravan anyways and said we could have it, so we gave it a try. It works out beautifully! It is actually way easier for the kids to slip into the back seat through the sides than when they had to go in between the two captain's seats. 5 yo ds is in a Nautilus in the middle back, and myy 12 year old and almost 10 year old are no longer in boosters on either side of him. (In the past, though, we have had a few combinations of car seats and boosters, including an Evenflo Big Kid Booster and 2 Radians, and also we've done a booster, a Radian, and a Britax Marathon. Marathons and Radians "puzzle" really well together when they're both facing the same direction.)
Then in the middle row, we have 2 yo dd rear-facing in a Radian, 7 yo dd forward facing in a Radian, and 3 mo ds in a SnugRide. I have petite kids, so it helps that they can stay in car seats longer and thus the lap belts aren't an issue. Dd 7 is almost too tall for the Radian, and then I'll have to switch her and the baby's position so that she will have a shoulder belt for a booster. I can fit 2 rear facing Radians next to each other just fine, though.

Anyways, would we prefer more space? Sure, but to us the financial strain of getting a larger/different vehicle just wasn't worth it. I was all worried about it working out, but now that we're doing it and it's a part of our daily life, it's totally fine. We've gone on weekend trips, etc. without a problem. The only issue would be if we're going on a longer trip with more luggage, more coolers, etc., but we have a car-top carrier which is really handy.

Obviously this won't work once we have more than four kids who are not in car seats since I won't let them ride in just a lap belt. However, by that time, the newer vans that come equipped with all shoulder belts will be older and selling for more reasonable used prices. Also, by then we may decide we need a bigger van because all of the kids are bigger and it's too crowded. But for now, this works just fine.

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