i believe we have come to the point in our lives that a RSTV would be a good choice. On several occasions i need to fit 7 people in our grand caravan. i have 2 grand caravans an 01 & 06. all but one of my kids can't fit in a harnessed seat (only the regent) & fitting a regent & 2 other kids in the 3rd row is just aweful. it's actually miserable for all but my son sitting in the regent. i admit in the mean time we have put my DH with the skinniest butt of the adults in the middle of the 3rd row. a lap belt & he's so tall a headrest is pointless. his head hits the roof. i don't at all like this set up. but i'm left with no choice (other than not driving anywhere) at the moment.
sooo.....DS3 is 51lbs & so a large RSTV is a must. liking the vest is not an issue at all. i'm for certain he'll love it. it's, can i make this work? after DS3 is 60 lbs (i figure by next year) he'll need that criss cross tether strap...
1) the 01 caravan has 3 top tethers. so that's not a problem however there is a lack of headrest in the middle. i don't knwo how close he is to needing a headrest. not home to check. i'm sure we have at least the year. but its a 50/50 split so the plastic where his butt is maybe uncomfortable. would a pillow at the edge be OK?
2) the 06 caravan has just one top tether. so where can i put the 2nd tether? I think i saw somewhere on this site that someone was able to add a top tether? that would be golden since that van has a headrest in the middle as well as its a 60/40 spilt for more comfort in sitting.
so WDYT? a RSTV? or something else?
Last edited by ginny4; 05-21-2012 at 09:33 AM.
Mom to 4!
, DS2 15yo
, DD 11yo & DS3 9yo
05-21-2012 07:34 AM
This is the first time I’ve tried to answer a “puzzle” problem on the forum so I hope I’m not missing anything. I’m sure others with better knowledge will surely chip in...
Originally Posted by ginny4
I think the first thing to address is the lack of a head restraint in the 2001 Caravan. Unless there are location slots/holes ready to accept a head restraint and you can buy the actual head restraint as a spare part, a seat of some kind is necessary. Even if you have a year or so left before it is required regularly, the lack of a head restraint in that position effectively renders the seat dangerous for anyone whose head is above the seat back when seated. E.g. it cannot safely be used, even by adults, without a head restraint.
I guess a harnessed seat must be used in that location because of the lap belt? Could you consider a very narrow booster perhaps with the E-Z-On 86Y harness? That setup, if workable, would provide head and neck protection and make good use of the lap belt.
If the shape and design of the 2006 Caravan allows it, you can install extra tether anchors yourself. Are there pre-marked/pre-drilled points for additional tether anchors or nothing at all? If there are marked locations, then it is likely there exists an OEM tether kit that you can buy and install. If there is a tether kit available then I’m sure one of the technicians here on the forum will know the part number.
If not, you might be looking at installing the heavy duty tether anchors from E-Z-On Products. We did this in our family vehicle and the process was quite simple.
As for the pillow, I guess this all depends on how it used, and critically how it will get used. If it puts the child in such a position that the seat belt will be pushed out of position or not function correctly, then no, I would not use it. However if it does not interfere with the belt path/position or seat being used then it is likely ok given of course it gets used in the same fashion every journey. Loose items such as pillows can slip out of position or get squashed into gaps and seat bights and that could cause a problem. I think a technician here on the forum could advise more extensively on this.
I hope that helps in some way and perhaps provides a few options.