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  1. #1
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    Question Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    My wife and I are expecting triplets in a couple months. We're shopping for mini vans and have been looking at the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. We can't afford a new van, so we're only looking at used vans. It seems that the only used van that has any possibility of 3 car seats in the second row is the Honda Odyssey. We want to make sure that we can safely do this before we purchase a van. Can I get some advice on what year model vans we should be looking at and what seats would work best for what seems to be a tight space?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    Congrats in advance on the triplet addition to your family. It's actually the current model year 2011 8-passenger Odyssey that's 3 across friendly in the second row compared to the previous 2005-2010 8-passenger version of the Odyssey and also compared to the 2011 8-passenger Toyota Sienna. Both the 2005-2010 8-passenger version of the Ody and the 2011 8-passenger Toyota Sienna have the markedly smaller/narrower second row center seating positions. If you're shopping pre-2011 used models, then I recommend aiming your sights on the 2004-2010 8-passenger version of the Toyota Sienna which is capable of handling just about any combination of 3 carseats in its second row.
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    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
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  4. #3
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    I'll second the 2005-2010 Toyota Sienna...we just bought one this weekend (2008) since we're expecting our 4th...I have two Nautiluses and a True Fit three across with no problem in that second row right now, and those are two seats known for being wide and hard to do three across with.

    Look around for deals on the 8 passenger...I found one that had been on the lot over 3 months because they just don't move very fast around here, so I ended up getting a fantastic deal on it (otherwise there's no way we'd have been able to afford one that new!).

  5. #4
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    I have a 2007 Honda Odyssey. I have the optional 8th seat model. All three of my kids are in the middle row. I have 2 FF Radians in the center seat and the outboard driver's side and a Snugride 32 in the outboard passenger side. The Radians were the only thing that fit well. We had Britax Roundabout and Marathon before and no luck. I mean, they fit but they were such a tight fit that we thought we would not get the SnugRide 32 snapped in all the way. We actually tried a regular SnugRide as well and it didn't work either. I don't think three SnugRide 32s would fit across.

    Good luck and congrats on the triplets!

  6. #5
    DFountain
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    Thanks so much for the input! So, what I'm gathering is that the 2011 Sienna just doesn't have the space that the older models do to accommodate 3 rear facing car seats on the second row? If so, that's really disappointing. I'm going to check out the Radian brand of car seats. Is that the only brand that offers safe narrow car seats?

  7. #6
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    Hi! We have 9 month old triplets in a 2010 Odyssey (2 in the 2nd row, 1 in the 3rd). One thing to consider when buying carseats for your trio is the strong possibility that they could be under 5 pounds when they leave the hospital. Not all carseats accommodate babies that small (ie. according to their website the Radian does not), and most NICUs will need to see the babies in their carseats before they'll let you leave with them.

    There are a few that do claim to accommodate the 4 lb weight and lower harness slot requirement; for example the Chicco Keyfit, the Snugride 30, several Safety 1st seats, the Air Protect OnBoard and the Britax Chaperone, but these are all infant seats. I can only attest to the Keyfits because that's what we bought, and they fit our 4.0-4.5 lbs babies perfectly. Far more knowledgeable people on this site may be aware of a lower weight combination seats that will allow you to extend rear-face and/or go up to the 60-65 pounds but I wasn't able to find one available in Canada.

    Is there a particular reason why you would like to get them all in one row? We found it much easier to have them split over the two back rows because once the carseats are in place (and taking up the room between the seat and the one in front), that middle baby could be difficult to access. Then again, I'm short-armed and 5'2, so it could just be me! We ended up removing the smaller middle seat in the second row, pushing the two captain's chairs together and this leaves us enough room to get to the third baby in the 3rd row. We can also squeeze one extra person in that back row as well, with the car seat in the middle. Plus, this configuration was the only one that gave us the flexibility to buy seats that weren't the most narrow ones we could find. Trying to meet that criteria (narrow seat + rated to 4 lb) didn't leave me with any options in the end!

    Good luck!

  8. #7
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    Some people find it's easier to not have to get a kid in/out of the 3rd row. Particularly if there are car seats attached to the 2nd row. Or, they might also be a bit concerned with having less crumple space in the 3rd row.

    And yes, I have every reason in the world to buy a Toyota. Two bro-in-laws are Toyota mechanics. One is the shop foreman in one of the biggest dealers in my state. The other one is more neutral, but even the die hard Toyota apologist one admits the new 2011 Sienna is not quite the top choice anymore (he owns a 2006).

    So yes, if you're considering 8 seat minivans, the 2011 Odyssey is CLEARLY superior. The changes to the 2011 Sienna are frankly head scratchingly stupid. It's something you'd expect the domestics to have done back in the 90s. Also, being from Los Angeles, the interior is vital to me since I'm used to spending so much time in there. The new Sienna feels horrifically cheap. Frankly, a lot of the new Toyotas are heading in that direction.

    However, if you're going used, the 2005-2010 Sienna 8 seater model was clearly the best 8 seater minivan. The 7 seater was good too, but since the Honda drove better, I give the edge to the Odyssey if you're looking at 7 seaters. For 8 seats tho, the 8 seat Ody is nowhere near as user friendly as the 8 seater Sienna.

    But for 2011, it's like Honda looked at how the 2005-2010 Sienna was better, and improved on that. Toyota apparently looked at an old GM minivan and see what they could do to make the car crappy enough so sales drop through the basement.

  9. #8
    CPS Technician swtgi1982's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    The Safety First On Board Air is really good at fitting tiny babies. I would consider that. Just make sure you read the manual and adjust the crotch strap to the "tiny baby" setting. My niece was barely 4 lbs at release and she used mine from my son until she fit in her snug ride about two months later.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    Congrats!!!!

    I'm a mom of twins. When I was researching car seats. I made sure I bought infant seats instead of convertibles. Of course, now my guys are almost 7 months and I'm facing buying new car seats, and that's a hassle. I decided to go with infant seats, knowing it would be a hassle later, because for tiny babies (and multiples tend to be tiny babies) convertibles just don't fit as well from what I understand. (I'm not a car seat person myself, just hanging around to get advice so someone can correct me on this).

    I agree with the poster who said to look for seats that fit smaller babies. I bought my Graco Snugrides from a twin mom I knew but her babies came home from the hospital in car beds because they were too small for even the Snugrides (which are rated for 5 to 22lbs).

    Wishing you fat, healthy, wonderful triplets, and at least some sleep.

  11. #10
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Expecting triplets and used minivan shopping/was Re: 8 passenger Honda Odyssey with 3 carseats in 2nd row?

    Quote Originally Posted by diagriene View Post
    There are a few that do claim to accommodate the 4 lb weight and lower harness slot requirement; for example the Chicco Keyfit, the Snugride 30, several Safety 1st seats, the Air Protect OnBoard and the Britax Chaperone, but these are all infant seats. I can only attest to the Keyfits because that's what we bought, and they fit our 4.0-4.5 lbs babies perfectly.
    As a side note, the SnugRide 30 is not in the same class of the others you mention in terms of fit, due to the relatively tall bottom shoulder harness strap slots. While Graco's research indicates it will fit a typical 4-pound low birthweight infant, it simply does not even come close to fitting the 4-pound preemie doll, something these other infant seats do quite well.

    As for convertibles, the new Maxi Cosi Pria 70 is one that appears to fit low birthweight infants much better than other convertibles. The Radian would definitely not be a good choice to use from birth for multiples in general, unless they are well above average in size and weight. I agree that a previous generation Sienna would be a fine choice if you can find a CE or LE model with the 8th seat in the second row. Combined with an infant seat that fits low birthweight babies and multiples and they will be very safe.

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