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Old 10-31-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
Smithie
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What used minivan would you buy if you like easy installs?

... and who DOESN'T like easy installs?

I want this configuration - RFing infant in one second-row seat, three FFing "big kids" across the back bench, the other second-row seat removed for ease in getting in and out.

One "big kid" is in a Radian 65 that must be top tethered. The other two I'll be buying new BPBs for, whatever works best for the car, high-back or low-back depending on age and size of our foster-to-adopt boy. (Bio-boy currently uses a high-back but we're thinking of switching over in the new car).

I have several months to find the perfect car, but not unlimited $$$ to buy it. Who has a van that they love putting car seats in?
 
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: What used minivan would you buy if you like easy installs?

It's the 3 across the back that'll give you problems. Especially with boosters, they can be difficult to buckle in a 3 across. How old might the kids be in the BPBs? If they're under 6, it'd be better to have them in a harness seat still.

What about a van where you can move the passenger side outboard seat closer to the center for 3rd row access? I know in the 7 passenger Sienna and in the Odyssey you can do that. Then yo can put 2 in the 3rd row, and 2 in the 2nd row. Or even an 8 passenger Sienna, with 1 2nd row seat removed. Then you can still put 2 in the 2nd row (the center seat is big, almost as big as the outboard seats), and 2 in the 3rd row, and still have a big space open for 3rd row access.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: What used minivan would you buy if you like easy installs?

I agree - 3 across the back row would be difficult with 2 boosters, even with the radian. I'm dreading the day that my DD outgrows the nautilus harnessed, then we'd have to have one of my "big kids" in a booster in a 3 across situation. Right now my 6, 5 and 4 year olds are all harnessed, with my foster baby RF in the 2nd row, and 7 YO in a booster in the 2nd row.

The only thing that might work is a very narrow booster, but I'm not sure what's currently on the market that fits that bill. I like our 2003 Sienna, but we'll only get to drive it until we get more foster kiddos (hopefully soon), then we're back to the 15 passenger. I definitely would keep high back boosters as long as possible for the side impact protection they offer.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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Re: What used minivan would you buy if you like easy installs?

I've had a Sienna and Ody, both of which I found to offer the best configurations.. but three across in the back? You're asking to yank your hair out in frustration. What worked best for me was having the two kids needing the most assistance in the centre row, outboard--flipping the centre-centre seat down and the two oldest going over that seat into the back. In the Sienna, you could remove the outboard seat and just use two seats as well. In the Odyssey, you cannot do this because the centre seat is useless. You can move the PlusOne and shift over though.

I've done three across in both the Ody and the Sienna--and the Sienna does seem to have more space in that back row. Someone here (forget who?) flips a seat with a RF child restraint on it to get access to the rear row.

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Old 11-09-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Re: What used minivan would you buy if you like easy installs?

I have always had easy installs in my 06 sedona. I have 4 LATCH positions. 2 in the 3rd row and each captian seat.
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