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  1. #1
    CPS Technician urchin_grey's Avatar
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    Still van shopping... Talk to me about the Caravan/Grand Caravan

    Ok, so I'm still hunting for an MPV in my price range because that's what I really want but I'm finding very few of them and I'm running out of time. I need something by next week! It seems used Caravans/Grand Caravans are in abundance, though so now I'm considering those. I'm looking to pay cash and I have around $5k so I'm looking at like '00-'04 models. I noticed at least one year (I think '00?) the Grand Caravan has some safety issues, so I definitely will pass those up. Anything else I should know though? Are there any specific years that have better features, like more latch positions, etc?

    Also, I've been steering clear of Windstars because I've heard a couple people tell me that they were unreliable, but I'm not sure if they just say that because its Ford. LOL So if you have a Ford van (like early '00s), how do you like it?
    Carly
    mom to Bram [10 years/32lbs/41" - BT 3-in-1 & Nauti]
    ...and TTC an excuse to buy a new seat since 2/2013

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician swtgi1982's Avatar
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    Re: Still van shopping... Talk to me about the Caravan/Grand Caravan

    2001 Dodge Caravan! It is the blessed year for car seats! Mine has four full full sets of latch anchors, and 5 tether locations! From what I have heard it was standard in 2001s

    Latch can be used in both positions on the double bench and either both outboard positions on the triple bench or center only.
    10.5yr old Topside Booster, 9yr old Topside, 6yr old Topside, 4yr old RXT RF, 2yr old RXT RF

    Combi Coccorro waiting

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member 2BunniesMommy's Avatar
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    Re: Still van shopping... Talk to me about the Caravan/Grand Caravan

    Happy Ford van owner here! We have had a 2004 Freestar since Feb 08 and had no major issues with it. We just got a 2003 Windstar in Feb and are happy with it.

    Only car seat issue has been with Radians, otherwise both vans are great for car seats. The Windstar has a ton of top tethers, on for each captains chair, one on the passenger side front seat (great for rear tethering of DD2s MA) and 3 in the back row. Latch in the 2nd and 3rd rows too of course.

    Freestar has a 2nd row bench that can have 2 car seats installed with Latch outboard or one center. Also has the tether on the pass. seat. One set of Latch in the center back seat and just the one top tether back there.

    If I could morph the 2 I would be really happy, but I am pretty sure everything that I like more on the Windstar could be had on a Freestar with more options. Anyway, DH and I are both happy with our vans and if you have any questions about them, I would be happy to answer.

  5. #4
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Still van shopping... Talk to me about the Caravan/Grand Caravan

    Yes, the 2001model year Dodge Caravan/Chrysler T&C was the mother lode of tether anchors with a tether anchor for each rear seating position. After the 2001 model year, Chrysler reduced it to 3 factory equipped top tether anchors. The Ford Windstar also has top tether anchors for every rear seating position starting with the 1999 model year. 2000 and newer Ford Winstars have 4 factory equipped full LATCH positions, in each second row outboard and each third row outboard spot. The 2000 and newer Windstar allows borrowing for a third row center LATCH install if the carseat manufacturer also allows borrowing with 9.8 inch spacing between the borrowed lower LATCH anchors. I was about to look up the Ford Freestar's tether anchor and LATCH info. but see a previous poster already covered that while I was wrestling with the LATCH manual, lol, thanks for chiming in.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  6. #5
    CPS Technician urchin_grey's Avatar
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    Re: Still van shopping... Talk to me about the Caravan/Grand Caravan

    Thanks everyone! I wound up getting an '03 Grand Caravan. It only has one top tether, but all of the kids that are currently riding it in will be RF'ing for quite a while and I'm sure we'll upgrade again before we need more than one top tether. I got a good deal on it though and its in really good condition (other than the fact that it needs a good shampooing) so I couldn't pass it up.
    Carly
    mom to Bram [10 years/32lbs/41" - BT 3-in-1 & Nauti]
    ...and TTC an excuse to buy a new seat since 2/2013

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