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  1. #1
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    Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan (Update in post #21)

    We will be picking up our new van sometime this week but I need help with some questions. I've been reasearching vans like crazy and although I really wanted a wider based van such as the Nissan Quest, the most cost effective for us os the 2010 GC. I run a home daycare and need 5 car seats installed and was hoping to have 3 placed in the back rear bench all the time. I've done my homework and see the best fit may be to purchase the Radian's but I also noticed in checking out the van carfefully that they only have one tether anchor in the back of the bench on the middle seat.
    Does anyone know if its possible to have the dealership install extra tethor anchors in the outboard seats? And is it law that all FF car seats be tethered in addition to being secured in with the seat belts?

    Any info is greatly appreciated. I'd hate to be picking up my new van this week only to find out that it wont work for my business. TIA
    Last edited by Maddiesmum; 04-14-2011 at 08:32 PM. Reason: update

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    No, I don't believe that it's possible to have additional tether anchors installed in that vehicle. And yes, you are correct that all forward-facing seats must be tethered by law. Do you have a variety of ages of children in your care? Perhaps there is a child small enough to be rear-facing (Radians rear-face to 40 or 45lbs, depending on model) or big enough & mature enough for a booster? You could have one forward-facing seat and 2 rear-facing in the third row or one forward-facing seat and 2 boosters.
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

  4. #3
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    I am pretty sure that no new vehicles, which come with factory installed TAs, allow additional TAs to be installed. As Amy said, the best solution would be to look at the children's weights/heights/ages/maturity and try to come up with seat combinations involving RF seats and boosters. If you post back with the kids' stats, we can help you "arrange" them.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  5. #4
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    My kids (with the exception of my own), are all under the age of 3.
    I'm not sure of their heights right now but do have them in FF convertible car seats.
    One of my largest children is 2.5 and 3 ft 9" and I was shocked to learn that mom already has him riding in a booster seat with the lap and shoulder belt. I still have him in a convertible car seat using the 5 point harness.
    Another 2.5 yo is petite and weighs 28 lbs.
    Another 3 yo is probably 35 lbs
    I have 2 one year olds and I know one of them could go in a RF bucket but the other one is a big boy. (will weigh him tomorrow)
    I wanted the option of having the 3 biggest children in the back seat with 3 FF seats. My own daughter is almost 5 and even she is not in a booster seat yet so I dont feel comfortable putting my daycare children into a booster seat yet either. I have to use the convertible seats with a 5 point harness. So some how I need to figure out a way to have bolts out in to use with the seat tethers.

  6. #5
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Unfortunately, I don't believe it's possible to put in more tether anchors. The manufacturer of your vehicle has provided the number of anchors required (3) and they don't allow any more to be added.

    The one year olds are likely both small enough to rear-face (the smaller 2.5 yo is as well), so you could have 2 rear-facing seats in the third row where you don't have the tethers. It's usually fairly easy to load rear-facing children through the hatch in a van/SUV. I often do that when I put my son RFing in the 3rd row of a friend's Caravan.
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

  7. #6
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    So what happens as these kids get bigger and I cant have them RF anymore?
    Does that mean I cannot have them all in FF car seats because there is no tether anchor available? I mean having them in a harnessed FF car seat with no tether would be safer then using a booster with the seat belt right?

  8. #7
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    I'm sorry to say that your ideal set up will not happen with this vehicle. You cannot retrofit new tether anchors in this case. Putting non-approved tether anchors in would not be a legal (or safe) option.

    Could you list what seats you have available as well? For the sake of simplicity, I will just ignore that you have seats available for the time being and just name off the ones I would use if you were starting from scratch. To sum up, you have your 5yo DD, 2x 1yo, 2x 2.5yo and a 3yo? =6 kids? Which kids seat-share?

    The 3'9" (45"!!!) 2.5yo is so TALL! He is taller than my 6yo! Unless that was a typo... What does he weigh? Depending on his torso height and the seat you have, he may have outgrown a convertible. There are only a few that DS still fits in. I would put him in an Evenflo Maestro if he needs a new seat and is not too heavy. It's not too wide, has 18" top slots, a 47lb harness limit, an 8 year expiry, makes a decent (but shortish) HB booster and is only $129.99 regular price at TRU/Zellers/Sears. Put him in the 2nd row so you don't have to lug him to the back. Alternately, if a Safety 1st Complete Air can still be found for the sale price of $129, that would be a great seat to have for a DC since it is narrow, has the same 18" top slots and 8yr expiry, but would either RF to 40lbs (with a tall shell, stated limit of 36" to RF) or FF harness to 50lbs.

    I would RF the two 1yo kids for sure. Unless they are exceptionally tall, I would get 2 Cosco Sceneras - the newest ones RF to 40lbs, the older clearanced ones were 35lbs. They also FF to 40lbs but have fairly low top slots, so they are really ideal for RF. They are narrow, easy to use, very compact. They are currently on rollback for $69.97 at Walmart I believe (the old ones were being clearanced at $50). Since the petite 2.5yo is so small I might get a 3rd Scenera and RF them all across the back to make it simpler to just load them all at once.

    The 3yo's seat would depend on height. They could probably still RF as well for another 5 lbs if it was really needed, though.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  9. #8
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddiesmum View Post
    So what happens as these kids get bigger and I cant have them RF anymore?
    Does that mean I cannot have them all in FF car seats because there is no tether anchor available? I mean having them in a harnessed FF car seat with no tether would be safer then using a booster with the seat belt right?
    That is correct - you cannot legally have them all FF because you do not have tethers. Especially since it is a DC situation and they are not your children, I would be very hesitant to even consider using the seats illegally - the liability should something happen would be scary. You are also correct when you say that putting a 2yo in a booster is not a reasonable option. Luckily there are seats available which can RF a long time. The kids can RF a very long time, and by the time they need to go FF the older ones will likely be booster-ready, or at least a lot better than they are now. Your 4yo for example should be ok in about a year or so to booster assuming she is developmentally typical.

    My younger son RF in the Scenera until ~2.5/3yo when he outgrew it by height. He is still easily RF in the Graco MyRide at 3.5yo and 36". He would have a lot more room by height in a Complete Air. Both the Scenera and Complete Air are narrow seats which might work well for you.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

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  11. #9
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    The 3'9" (45"!!!) 2.5yo is so TALL! He is taller than my 6yo! Unless that was a typo
    Oops, sorry, he is 40 inches tall.
    I am in the market to get new seats but was hoping to get 3 Radians that could be FF across the back to make it ideal for in and out.
    I do have the 6 kids enrolled but only have 5 children at a time. (my daughter goes to school so she doesnt count in my numbers)
    I'm just so frustrated by all this. If it cant be done, I wont be getting the van. I researched Toyotas and Hondas and wanted the 8 passenger option but it was out of our price point.
    I dont understand why tether anchors are not mandatory on all seats in a van. It woudl make the most sense wouldnt it??

  12. #10
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddiesmum View Post
    I dont understand why tether anchors are not mandatory on all seats in a van. It woudl make the most sense wouldnt it??
    Yes, it would. I was floored by the fact that not all the seats had anchors when I first found out.

    I am sorry that this was not the news you were hoping to hear. It sounds like you have been putting a lot of thought and effort into this and to come so close then have to rethink the whole thing must be very frustrating.

    Is there any chance of picking up a nearly-new van that did meet your specs?
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  13. #11
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    This thread was about someone looking for a vehicle to transport 6 kids, though some of them were in boosters; the other vehicles mentioned were the Traverse(/Acadia/Outlook) and the Honda Pilot, have no idea how prices compare for these. It sounds like the Pilot has 6 TAs as well, anyone know what the Traverse has for tether anchors?:
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=160696
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  14. #12
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by mommycat View Post
    This thread was about someone looking for a vehicle to transport 6 kids, though some of them were in boosters; the other vehicles mentioned were the Traverse(/Acadia/Outlook) and the Honda Pilot, have no idea how prices compare for these. It sounds like the Pilot has 6 TAs as well, anyone know what the Traverse has for tether anchors?:
    http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=160696
    Traverse would have 4 tether anchors assuming 2nd row bench. I have had 6 seats installed in an outlook (identical to the traverse on the inside.) It was VERY very tight! But it was done anyways. 3 across in the 2nd row is relatively easy, it's the 3rd row that's tight.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


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  16. #13
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Additional TT thread: posts 53, 55, 74

    Pics of the TT retrofit

    How I got mine (copied from a previous post):
    When I called the dealership, I asked for part # 05015403AA. The guy wasn't very receptive to that so I asked for part # 05015405AA and was told that it doesn't exist. So I said that I need part 05015403AA. He asked what I needed it for. I said that it is a Retrofit part for a Top Tether for car seats. He replied "looks like a part for a Durango?" (It was originally made for the Durango but the seat bolt is the same in the stow and go seats...)

    He ordered it and I had to pay up front over the phone with a credit card. It was about $125 with tax.

    It came in 2-3 days later (delivered from Detroit MI to NY).

    In order to install it, you need a torque wrench. It has to be 250in-lbs. My dad is a Chrysler mechanic so he has all these special torque wrenches and tools.
    My dad will be installing it this Saturday. You can get 2 for the outboard positions in the 3rd row. I only needed one as the other outboard seat is a boostered kiddo.


  17. #14
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by jourdysmom View Post
    Additional TT thread: posts 53, 55, 74

    Pics of the TT retrofit

    How I got mine (copied from a previous post):


    My dad will be installing it this Saturday. You can get 2 for the outboard positions in the 3rd row. I only needed one as the other outboard seat is a boostered kiddo.
    Canadiangie and HoneyHas3 are familiar with the retrofit, however I'm not sure if its extended to the 2010 model year. But it has been done in the past. I was told straight up by a parts and service advisor previously employed by Chrysler Canada that their training on carseat equipment is a joke, so its extremely difficult to get what you need.
    Melissa ~ former CPSAC CRST & Mommy to:
    C (26/02/07, 58lbs) FF in Oobr & 2 HB TB & I (10/05/10, 30lbs & 35.5") FF in a RXT, FRXT & Nauti. Crashed & Retired G1 BV, TB, AOE & Roundabout 55. Mommy's got a '10 Dodge Ram 1500 & Daddy's got a '14 VW Passat.

  18. #15
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    The 2010 model is the same as the 2008 and 2009, it should not be an issue.

    If you call and order the part #, the worst they are going to do is tell you it is for a Durango. Smile and nod and tell them you will pay for it over the phone. Works like a charm.

    I did it and another family did it no problem.

  19. #16
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by jourdysmom View Post
    Additional TT thread: posts 53, 55, 74

    Pics of the TT retrofit

    How I got mine (copied from a previous post):


    My dad will be installing it this Saturday. You can get 2 for the outboard positions in the 3rd row. I only needed one as the other outboard seat is a boostered kiddo.
    Thanks for posting this info. Sometimes these things are a little trickier to procure in Canada, but hopefully this info will be helpful to the OP
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

  20. #17
    CPS Technician mommycat's Avatar
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Really?! Thank you for posting this. I was under the impression that no manufacturers offered additional tethers for vehicles that came standard-equipped.

    Maddiesmum, sorry for the apparent misinformation. I honestly had never heard that this was ever possible.

    I even checked the LATCH manual: it lists the 08-10 models together, and specifies 3 TAs (2 in 2nd row outboard and 1 center 3rd row) with no notes on the retrofit. Should this not be in the table as an option if it is a valid retrofit? It lists retrofit part #s for the pre-2001 Caravans/Grand Caravans, but nothing beyond that.
    Cat in Canada
    DS1 7 yo - 47 lbs (47"/??"t/??"top of head) - boostered in SKMonterey/2TBs/2CowmooPWSG/2HarmonyNBBs
    DS2 4 yo - 34.5 lbs (40"/15"t/??"top of head) - FF in CowmooMA/TrueFit/2Radians/2Nautiluses/HarmonyV7
    Also in possession of: Graco SafeSeat1 and MyRide (loaned out) + 1 demo seat: SnugRide.

  21. #18
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    Thankyou soooo much for the info! thats awesome to know that there is a part i can order and have it installed for what i need. Thankyou thankyou thankyou! I feel so much better now.
    i just have to get in touch with the dealership and go from there.

    I appreciate all the advice and support here.

  22. #19
    CPS Technician amyd's Avatar
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    OP, please keep us updated on this.

    Sent from my iPhone using Car-Seat.Org
    Amy~ Canadian tech instructor (CRST-I), Mama to Peter (4.20.08), riding in a Diono Monterey and a Clek Ozzi; Jasper (4.25.11), riding in a Britax Frontier CT and a Graco Nautilus; and Ruby, riding in a Clek Foonf; wife to my CRST hubby, Chris

  23. #20
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    Re: Help with 3 car seats in a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

    I definitely will! thanks

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