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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy kitkatkc's Avatar
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    3 across in grand caravan

    We will be traveling to FL with the grandparents, and if at all possible we would like to be able to fit all 3 carseats in one row so that we only have to rent one car (this would mean 4 adults and 3 carseats in one car)
    The carseats that I have to play with are:
    2 sceneras, one SR 30 (we would bring this without the base), one BLVD (the retired version, from 08), one maestro.
    I have two kids that need to RF (will be 23mo and 8mo) and my 3.5 yo who is FF.
    I have never had RF kids in the 3rd row of a minivan, but if I need to put them there, I will. If the kids are going in the middle row, then I would still need to be able to get 2 adults in the 3rd row.
    I have a 10 odyssey, I don't know how similar the caravan will be... I assume it will sit 8? Is the layout at all the same, as in, could I fool with the seats in my car and expect it to work in the caravan?
    I did look in the three across thread, but I see anything that involved the seats that I have.
    Laura, driving a Honda Odyssey '10 Mama to:
    Ellie 9/6/08 Britax Frontier Greg 6/25/10 Britax Frontier Brenna 9/18/11 Graco My Ride Jacob 3/20/13 Graco Snugride

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  3. #2
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    The Caravans only seat 7. I have a 2003 which is different but I could easily fit 2 Sceneras plus a baseless infans seat back there.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Caleb 11 yrs. 70lbs. 55" 5-steps Megan 8.5 yrs. 45lbs. 48" Harmony Literider
    Grace 6 yrs. 40lbs. 42" Nautilus
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    Sally born 4/28 SR35, Zach born 4/28 Combi Coccoro

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    I have the newer body style caravan. If you want to do 3 across in the 3rd row you will Have to put the FFing child in the middle because there is only one tether anchor back there. I can get a good seat belt install in the 3rd row with my classic britax convertible, I imagine the scenera would also install fine. I think the scenera would have a better chance of fitting next to the maestro with 3 across. You might be able to fit those two seats and the baseless infant seat passenger outboard.

    Good luck!!

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy kitkatkc's Avatar
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    Why does the FF seat have to go in the middle? I didn't think that FF seats HAD to be tethered. I thought they could just be installed with a seatbelt? I mean, what do you do if you don't have tethers in the car?
    Also, when you have kids RF in the 3rd row, how do you buckle them? I mean, with the SR, I can buckle DD in and then put the seat in, but with DS, would I need to get in the hatch to buckle him? I am trying to imagine this, since I will have a bunch of stuff in the back (stroller, beach toys, etc)
    So, if there are only 7 seats, that means that the 2nd row are captains chairs? Would it be easier to put one or more of the carseats in the 2nd row, and seat adults in the back? I have never sat next to a maestro- I have done two adults in the 3rd row with a scenera, and that was do-able, but not the most comfortable.
    Laura, driving a Honda Odyssey '10 Mama to:
    Ellie 9/6/08 Britax Frontier Greg 6/25/10 Britax Frontier Brenna 9/18/11 Graco My Ride Jacob 3/20/13 Graco Snugride

  6. #5
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    Ffing seats should be tethered because it makes it safer and lessens head excursion in a crash.

    They dont have to be installed with seatbelts if the child is under the LATCH weight limit for the vehical, 48 lbs for Dodge, 40lbs for Honda.

    My Aunt has a 2005 Town and Country and it has a second row bench that fits 2 people.

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic aept's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitkatkc
    Why does the FF seat have to go in the middle? I didn't think that FF seats HAD to be tethered. I thought they could just be installed with a seatbelt? I mean, what do you do if you don't have tethers in the car?
    Also, when you have kids RF in the 3rd row, how do you buckle them? I mean, with the SR, I can buckle DD in and then put the seat in, but with DS, would I need to get in the hatch to buckle him? I am trying to imagine this, since I will have a bunch of stuff in the back (stroller, beach toys, etc)
    So, if there are only 7 seats, that means that the 2nd row are captains chairs? Would it be easier to put one or more of the carseats in the 2nd row, and seat adults in the back? I have never sat next to a maestro- I have done two adults in the 3rd row with a scenera, and that was do-able, but not the most comfortable.
    I would expect a newer rental dgc to have the two captains chairs in the second row. There is no such thing as an 8-seater dgc. It will be a tricky 3-across in the third row.
    As far as adults fitting back there with one seat, it might be doable with your narrowest seat. Maybe the SR? The adults will need to be no bigger than a "medium" size wearing man or a woman who would wear a size 12. Someone more like my SIL who probably wears a size 4 fits better. Probably 5'10" or less.
    Also you would probably not want to drive like this more than an hour or two. We have done some short "day-trips" with 4 adults and 3 kids in seats. Our oldest rides in his booster in the center of the third row, and two adults cram in on either side. It is safe but tight.
    If your smallest 2 adults will fit, this would be the easiest plan. Installations of any of your seats on the captains chairs should be simple. The seats are pretty sloped, so rearfacing seats install fairly upright. The kids all sound old enough not to need a newborn angle, though.
    Ann, mom to 3 big brothers and a baby girl:
    DS1 - Aug 2006, 80 lb, 56", incognitos
    DS2 - May 2008, 77 lb, 51.5", Vivo or NBB
    DS3 - June 2011, 46 lb, 43", FF in FR85 or booster training
    DD - May 2015, 19 lb, 29", ) Snugride 30

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy kitkatkc's Avatar
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    The sn is the narrowest of the seats- according to the database it is 16.75 in, so maybe that one in the middle 3rd row with me and my mom on either side... We are not huge people, but I am not going to kid myself, I am not tiny, either!
    Other than the ride to/from the airport, I doubt we will be taking any trips longer than 30 min, so I guess we can just squeeze in if we have to!
    My dad is just really impatient, so I really want to be able to just put the seats in and go so that he doesn't blow a gasket while I try to puzzle seats at the airport!
    Laura, driving a Honda Odyssey '10 Mama to:
    Ellie 9/6/08 Britax Frontier Greg 6/25/10 Britax Frontier Brenna 9/18/11 Graco My Ride Jacob 3/20/13 Graco Snugride

  9. #8
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    If you don't have tethers in the car then you just have to deal with that. But I'm pretty sure all cars since 2000-ish have had LATCH so that is becoming a thing of the past.

    It is MUCH safer to have the forward facing seat tethered. It's not illegal for it to be untethered but it's not particularly safe either.

  10. #9
    CPS Fanatic aept's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitkatkc
    The sn is the narrowest of the seats- according to the database it is 16.75 in, so maybe that one in the middle 3rd row with me and my mom on either side... We are not huge people, but I am not going to kid myself, I am not tiny, either!
    Other than the ride to/from the airport, I doubt we will be taking any trips longer than 30 min, so I guess we can just squeeze in if we have to!
    My dad is just really impatient, so I really want to be able to just put the seats in and go so that he doesn't blow a gasket while I try to puzzle seats at the airport!
    Sounds like a good plan. With only quick trips you and your mom should be fine being a bit squeezed in.
    Ann, mom to 3 big brothers and a baby girl:
    DS1 - Aug 2006, 80 lb, 56", incognitos
    DS2 - May 2008, 77 lb, 51.5", Vivo or NBB
    DS3 - June 2011, 46 lb, 43", FF in FR85 or booster training
    DD - May 2015, 19 lb, 29", ) Snugride 30

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic aept's Avatar
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    Wait, is the "sn" the scenera? If that will be RF, it might need to be outboard third row, not center, so that you and your mom can access your own seats back there.
    That's why I thought maybe the baby bucket would be best in the middle there since it could be passed back to you once you are already back there.
    Ann, mom to 3 big brothers and a baby girl:
    DS1 - Aug 2006, 80 lb, 56", incognitos
    DS2 - May 2008, 77 lb, 51.5", Vivo or NBB
    DS3 - June 2011, 46 lb, 43", FF in FR85 or booster training
    DD - May 2015, 19 lb, 29", ) Snugride 30

  12. #11
    CPS Technician keri1292's Avatar
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    We have an 06 Caravan that we've had 4 adults and 3 kids (1 HBB, 1 FFing, 1 RFing) crammed into. We put the RFer in the middle 3rd row and flipped the seats forward to access the back where my DH and I sat on either side. It's more comfortable to put the RFing seat there and have the extra shoulder room for the adults. We took a 3 hour trip this way and it was fine.
    Maiya ~ 12y/80lbs ~ Jane Indy Plus ~ Hayden ~ 9y/55lbs ~ SK Monterey ~ Quinn ~ 8y/45lbs ~ RXT ~ Mitchell ~ 18m/24lbs ~ Arctic Cat MA

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy kitkatkc's Avatar
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    Sorry... not sn... the SR. For some reason it seems wider than 16.75.
    I have had two adults in the back of my Ody with a FF scenera- it is do-able once everyone is buckled. (and as long as I am next to the carseat, since I was the only one that felt comfortable sliding sort-of behind the wings of the seat)
    I didn't even think about how it would be easier to put the RF scenera outboard there. They are narrower at the foot, so that is another idea. I may see how that one looks in my car... not exactly the same, but close as I can get.
    I just hate having to either a) drag the seats to the rental car place or to the parking lot or b) rush to get the seats installed while we are in the luggage claim and being told we can't park at the curb.

    One more question about the caravan: I am guessing that I will need at least one noodle or something to get the scenera to RF correctly, yes? Anyone done this install and could tell me what I should expect to get a decent recline for it? I am looking at bringing the maestro for DD1, the scenera for DS, and the SR for DD2, so it doesn't have to be super reclined, just good enough for an (almost) 2yo.
    Laura, driving a Honda Odyssey '10 Mama to:
    Ellie 9/6/08 Britax Frontier Greg 6/25/10 Britax Frontier Brenna 9/18/11 Graco My Ride Jacob 3/20/13 Graco Snugride

  14. #13
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    You could just bring a rolled up towel in your suitcase for the Scenera...the seats on the Caravan are very angled so the seat will install pretty upright.

  15. #14
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    I have my two rear-facing seat in the 3rd row of an '08 Grand Caravan and put them in through the tailgate. The seat is very angled and not very wide. You also have the funky seat belt in the center seat that comes out of the ceiling, so if you put a FF seat there, you would need a clip.
    DS1 10/06 - Recaro Vivo
    DS2 10/07 - Frontier 85
    DD Twinkies 11/11 - CCO & Headwise70

  16. #15
    CPS Fanatic aept's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mama_katz
    I have my two rear-facing seat in the 3rd row of an '08 Grand Caravan and put them in through the tailgate. The seat is very angled and not very wide. You also have the funky seat belt in the center seat that comes out of the ceiling, so if you put a FF seat there, you would need a clip.
    In the third row center seat of my '10 grand caravan, the funky seatbelt has a locking latch plate. So the lap portion tightens for a seatbelt installation without a locking clip. Of course,it never hurts to be prepared.
    Ann, mom to 3 big brothers and a baby girl:
    DS1 - Aug 2006, 80 lb, 56", incognitos
    DS2 - May 2008, 77 lb, 51.5", Vivo or NBB
    DS3 - June 2011, 46 lb, 43", FF in FR85 or booster training
    DD - May 2015, 19 lb, 29", ) Snugride 30

  17. #16
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by aept View Post
    In the third row center seat of my '10 grand caravan, the funky seatbelt has a locking latch plate. So the lap portion tightens for a seatbelt installation without a locking clip. Of course,it never hurts to be prepared.
    Lucky!
    DS1 10/06 - Recaro Vivo
    DS2 10/07 - Frontier 85
    DD Twinkies 11/11 - CCO & Headwise70

  18. #17
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by mama_katz View Post
    I have my two rear-facing seat in the 3rd row of an '08 Grand Caravan and put them in through the tailgate. The seat is very angled and not very wide. You also have the funky seat belt in the center seat that comes out of the ceiling, so if you put a FF seat there, you would need a clip.
    Quote Originally Posted by aept View Post
    In the third row center seat of my '10 grand caravan, the funky seatbelt has a locking latch plate. So the lap portion tightens for a seatbelt installation without a locking clip. Of course,it never hurts to be prepared.
    It is a locking latchplate and does NOT require a locking clip... (I have a 2008)

  19. #18
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    Quote Originally Posted by jourdysmom View Post
    It is a locking latchplate and does NOT require a locking clip... (I have a 2008)
    Thanks for the clarification. I've only had a booster in the center and didn't notice the locking latch plate. I'll have to play with it.
    DS1 10/06 - Recaro Vivo
    DS2 10/07 - Frontier 85
    DD Twinkies 11/11 - CCO & Headwise70

  20. #19
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: 3 across in grand caravan

    The third row in a caravan is really narrow. So I would recommend one rf carseat and two adults in the back. I have two carseats in the back of my Caravan and my teeny tiny 11 yr old niece was uncomfortable sitting next to them. I second the recommendation for putting the 3rd row rf seat outboard. If you have two seats in the middle captains chairs you won't be able to flip them forward and if you have an rf seat in the middle of the 3rd row you won't be able to get into the seats on either side unless you climb under the rf seat.

    That is why someone recommended putting the snugride in the 3rd row so that you and the other person can get in seats, someone can pass you the snugride, you can buckle it, then put baby in. Honestly it will be faster though to install a seat outboard and leave it there so that you don't have to install the snugride each and every time you get in and out of the car.

    I would also recommend that you put the rfing seats on the same side of the car. Sometimes with a ff seat in front of a rf seat they end up hitting each other and that creates it's own problems. Good luck!

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