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  1. #1
    CPS Technician emandbri's Avatar
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    New caravan with backward seats and table......

    I LOVE the idea of backwards seats (thought I know you can't use a car seat there though hopefully they will test them and you can use them in the future) but the table really concerns me, how can that possibly be safe?

    here is a video.

    The small print says to make sure to use seat belts when using the table and does say that child safety seats can only be installed in seats facing forward.


    http://www.dodge.com/en/2008/grand_c...erior/seating/

    Emily tech and mom to Jacob 16, Daniel 13, Benjamin 9, Elizabeth 6. Child care provider to 4 other kiddos.

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    I keep getting emails about it... I would LOVE to put Kar and Bitsy on the RF seats and Leah in the middle of the back row in her Signo (well, ff, once she's 35 pounds, of course!)....
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  4. #3
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    I've test driven this vehicle 3 seperate times and toured inside it extensively.

    If a child/adult is properly restrained, they will not come into contact with the table when it is installed. It locks into place quite well.

    The issue is actually being able to reach anything on the table without leaning out of position. I know as a parent I lean out of position to hand things to the kids all the time... I know, bad idea... but that is the reality of life.

    I can see us having the table installed with both boys in the 3rd row. The captain's chair would be turned RFing and on long trips dh can continue driving and I can go in the back to feed the boys lunch/supper while we drive. I would be the one reaching to hand them food (something I already do), only I would just be grabbing off the table and handing straight back to them instead of leaning around from the front seat to hand back to them... lesser of two evils, kwim?

    For the most part the table would be stored in the in-floor storage space. Once Aiden is in a booster, he can sit on the RFing captain's chair. Booster's are allowed on the RFing captain's chair... child restraints are not.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  5. #4
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post
    Booster's are allowed on the RFing captain's chair... child restraints are not.
    Are you sure? Because all the boosters we've ever had have specifically forbidden that.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  6. #5
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by skaterbabscpst View Post
    Are you sure? Because all the boosters we've ever had have specifically forbidden that.
    I should've clarified... sorry!

    The captain's chairs have an option to have an integrated booster on the swivel and go seats.

    If the booster you are using is not integrated, you would need to make sure that the booster manufacturer doesn't state that you can not use it on a RFing vehicle seat.

    I need to zip down to the dealership and pull out the owner's manual and double check again, but I'm pretty sure a booster is allowed as long as the booster allows it. That won't happen over the next two weeks though. I'm sick right now and we leave for Disney on Monday... think get better thoughts for me!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Sweet Mercies's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post
    The captain's chairs have an option to have an integrated booster on the swivel and go seats.
    What a great *added* feature!!!
    Melissa, CPST-I/SC
    DD-8y SK Monterey and ParkwaySG
    DS-5y Regent-Onyx and Frontier85
    DS2-1y RF Britax Marathon x 2
    Another surprise due 2/2012

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    I have been seeing this on TV and have wondered how safe it was. It was great looking though! I love the swivel seats for easy in and stuff.

    What I noticed in the video was the lack of headrests in the rear. Is this not dangerous??

  9. #8
    CPS Technician emandbri's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post

    If a child/adult is properly restrained, they will not come into contact with the table when it is installed. It locks into place quite well.
    I don't see how that is possible, have you seen this video of a crash test with a booster? If there was a table there there is no way it wouldn't be hit.

    http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_s...xicosirodi.mpg

    Emily tech and mom to Jacob 16, Daniel 13, Benjamin 9, Elizabeth 6. Child care provider to 4 other kiddos.

  10. #9
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    We played in one at an autoshow earlier this week. I couldn't believe how cramped and cheap it felt inside. I was surprised that the table is so small and cheesy looking plastic and would be too hard to reach to actually do anything on it. The captain's seats sit very low to the ground as well. I'm short and still found it uncomfortable and awkward.

    Another thing DH pointed out is that although there were 2 DVD screens in the one we looked at (it was a loaded SXT model), as far as we could tell, they both only faced the back.

    Safety issues aside (and I can't imagine I'd ever be comfortable driving down the road with that hard table up even if they say it's ok) I was just extremely underwhelmed.

  11. #10
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by emandbri View Post
    I don't see how that is possible, have you seen this video of a crash test with a booster? If there was a table there there is no way it wouldn't be hit.

    http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_s...xicosirodi.mpg
    Yes, I've seen that video. If you watch, you will see that the dummies head never leaves the vehicle seat space... since the table does not enter the vehicle seat space, I do not see a child's head coming into contact with the table... legs, probably... head, no.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  12. #11
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by sirrahn View Post
    The captain's seats sit very low to the ground as well. I'm short and still found it uncomfortable and awkward.
    What vehicle do you normally drive? All the minivans we've test driven lately have the same height/distance to the ground with regards to the captain's chairs. I didn't find any of them low to the ground.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member sirrahn's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post
    What vehicle do you normally drive? All the minivans we've test driven lately have the same height/distance to the ground with regards to the captain's chairs. I didn't find any of them low to the ground.
    I have an '04 Sienna.

    ETA, on the Dodge website, you can see in at least one of the pictures there are teenage looking girls sitting (I assume with their feet on the floor) in the captain's chairs with their knees sticking up above the vehicle seat. That's how I was.... my thighs could not sit straight unless I stuck my feet way out (and was then kicking DH who was in the 3rd row). I ride in the 2nd row of my Sienna fairly often and do not have that issue at all.

  14. #13
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    That is a good thing for the older kids who probably need a booster in other vehicles but could possibly get away without one here.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  15. #14
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by sirrahn View Post
    I have an '04 Sienna.

    ETA, on the Dodge website, you can see in at least one of the pictures there are teenage looking girls sitting (I assume with their feet on the floor) in the captain's chairs with their knees sticking up above the vehicle seat. That's how I was.... my thighs could not sit straight unless I stuck my feet way out (and was then kicking DH who was in the 3rd row). I ride in the 2nd row of my Sienna fairly often and do not have that issue at all.
    There is definitely leg room for only one person when the seats are facing each other. The other person needs to suck it up or be a tiny person in a carseat.

    I'm only 5'6", so maybe that's why I don't consider the height an issue? The length of leg room for the 3rd row is ridiculously short though when the captain's chair is as far back as it goes in the FFing position.

    I guess I don't really consider that an issue since we have young children and this vehicle will be long gone by the time I have teenagers... I'll be on to some sort of SUV/CUV by that point.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  16. #15
    CPS Advocate
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    I have personal experience with this kind of setup
    This is actually not a new idea. My mom's 92 chevy astro touring edition had seats you could pull a lever and swivel backwards and still be able to use the shoulderbelt correctly. The back row was electric and could lay completely flat into a bed, and you had the option of having a table in the middle like that one.
    We had that van until january 1st of this year, so almost 15 years. I spent a lot of time riding backwards and playing cards with my sis when we went on vacation lol!

    On a side note, did yall notice the girl in the AO. Her straps were straight, chestclip positioned properly, and it wasnt obvious if her shoulders were in line with the slots or not.
    “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes...
    That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away AND you have their shoes.”

  17. #16
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    They also show an older kid (6 maybe) in a low back booster with the seatbelt positioned properly. In fact all of the brochures and video I've seen lately have been correct use. Yay!

    They have a 2 - 3 year old in a bunch of pictures in their brochure in a MA with everything correctly positioned and tightened.
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  18. #17
    CPS Advocate
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post
    They also show an older kid (6 maybe) in a low back booster with the seatbelt positioned properly. In fact all of the brochures and video I've seen lately have been correct use. Yay!

    They have a 2 - 3 year old in a bunch of pictures in their brochure in a MA with everything correctly positioned and tightened.
    I noticed tose after I went browsing! kudos to them for reading the manual lol!
    “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes...
    That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away AND you have their shoes.”

  19. #18
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    The third row has head restraints, they just didn't raise them for the video... yeah, I guess it does look like a pretty small back seat when that dad is in there putting the table up
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  20. #19
    CPST Instructor
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    Re: New caravan with backward seats and table......

    One of the mom's at K2 preschool just got one. I had to gently remind her that should couldn't have dd in the 2nd row with the seat facing backwards like she had it. She was unaware of that requirement and was thankful for the info. I also told her to read her vehicles owners manual as it also stated in there about the same thing.
    Jenny
    Senior CPS Tech-Instructor & Mommy of 2 girls
    K1 12 yrs old- 61" & 100lbs in vehicle seat belt
    K2 10 yrs old- 59" & 92lbs in vehicle seat belt

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