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  1. #1
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    How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    I have 5 kids:
    7 yrs old 50lb, 50in
    6 yrs old 85 lbs, 48 in
    4 1/2 yrs old 35lbs ? in
    2 1/2 yr old 28lbs ? in
    10 month old 18 lbs ? in

    I cannot get their car seats to work in any configuration! We have various seats and for the last year they have been "rigged".
    How can I make it work or what vehicle would work for us?

    We have a bunch of seat options: 3 radians, 3 britax frontiers, 2 marathons, a graco saftey surround booster and another similar booster not sure name. They are both high back. The radians won't stay tight in 3 rd row because of the way the buckle stalks are. The frontiers don't fit with needing 3 in the back row. The booster has been rigged and I just found out that my dh has my son buckling the buckle
    Through the back of the seat. The 8th seat doesn't fit any seat and my ds (7yr) says it's too uncomfortable to sit in it.

    Any ideas? Would another vehicle work better? Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    The 2011+ Sienna gets no love around here. The 3rd row is just not very friendly for car seats.

    So to answer your last question, yes, an older Sienna or any Odyssey would work better, as well as some other options--I think some years of the Sedona work well, plus there are a bunch of older discontinued minivans.

    I hope someone can give you some ideas that might work in this vehicle so you don't have to get a different one. I don't think I've seen any mentions of the recent Sienna in the successful 3 across thread. My experience with the Sienna is limited to a test drive, during which I realized how dumb the one set of lower anchors was. I was leaning slightly toward the Sienna until I realized that. And I crossed it off the list as a result.

  4. #3
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    Is your 2.5 year old rear facing or forward facing?

  5. #4
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by flutie128 View Post
    Is your 2.5 year old rear facing or forward facing?
    Was rear but now forward facing because we can't get it to work at all Rf.

  6. #5
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    I have not seen the new model. So it doesn't work with 2 rear facing and 1 forward facing radian in the back row? Would using locking clips help?

  7. #6
    CPS Technician tl01's Avatar
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    Do you already own the Sienna or are you considering it?
    DS 7.5 years 71 lbs FFing in:
    a Frontier90, PWSGL 2013
    DS2 3.5 years 35 lbs FFing in:
    Foonf, Frontier 85, SureRide

  8. #7
    CPS Technician scoutingbear's Avatar
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    I have a 2013 Sienna and frequently have 6 kids in it.

    You have 3 tether anchors in that vehicle. 1 in the center(ish) of the third row, and one for each captains chair. Ideally the forward facing harnessed seats will go there.
    In the third row, you can fit a Frontier85 (not sure which ones you have but this is what I own and have used) in the center installed with seatbelt and using the top tether. You can then fit a radian on the driver side rear facing. It is tight. But it works. The trick is to install but not tighten each seat. Then tighten the seatbelts once both buckles are buckled. That will free up all of the split passenger side for a booster of your choosing. Narrower backs work better but I have done it with a parkway.

    In the captains chairs, it is your choice. I think we still need a rear facing seat? Put it on either side, just be careful that if it is on the driver side that you tuck away the seatbelt for the 8th seat so it doesn't become a strangulation hazard. The last captains chair is for whichever kid is left.

    If you do need to use the 8th seat, the bubble bum will actually fit there. My 65lb, 53" 7 year old does not quite 5 step there but almost. It will be the earliest spot your kids will 5 step in. I want to say that there are a couple of other seats that will fit there but then you can't move the captains chairs at all. I'd have to look back through pictures to find which ones did.
    Last edited by scoutingbear; 04-18-2014 at 11:37 PM.
    Karen
    A: 11 C: 9 M1: 5 M2: 6 months
    [SIZE="1"][COLOR="Black"]

  9. #8
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutingbear View Post
    I have a 2013 Sienna and frequently have 6 kids in it.

    You have 3 tether anchors in that vehicle. 1 in the center(ish) of the third row, and one for each captains chair. Ideally the forward facing harnessed seats will go there.
    In the third row, you can fit a Frontier85 (not sure which ones you have but this is what I own and have used) in the center installed with seatbelt and using the top tether. You can then fit a radian on the driver side rear facing. It is tight. But it works. The trick is to install but not tighten each seat. Then tighten the seatbelts once both buckles are buckled. That will free up all of the split passenger side for a booster of your choosing. Narrower backs work better but I have done it with a parkway.

    In the captains chairs, it is your choice. I think we still need a rear facing seat? Put it on either side, just be careful that if it is on the driver side that you tuck away the seatbelt for the 8th seat so it doesn't become a strangulation hazard. The last captains chair is for whichever kid is left.

    If you do need to use the 8th seat, the bubble bum will actually fit there. My 65lb, 53" 7 year old does not quite 5 step there but almost. It will be the earliest spot your kids will 5 step in. I want to say that there are a couple of other seats that will fit there but then you can't move the captains chairs at all. I'd have to look back through pictures to find which ones did.
    This should be posted as a sticky, or at least as part of a thread on how to make 5+ kids fit in the current gen of Siennas.

  10. #9
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    My husband too our van in and they said we need to have the FF seats share the tether and our RF in the 2nd row needs to use the tether behind the seat! I have always been told that's not right! Am I missing something? Thanks

  11. #10
    CPS Technician scoutingbear's Avatar
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    Your RF child does not need to use a tether. A small handful of manufacturers allow the use of a rear facing tether but it is not necessary and in your case it won't work to use up a tether that your FF children NEED.

    You are not able to share tether anchors for more than 1 harnessed FF (or RF) seat. With 5 kids, if you have at least 1 in a booster and 1 rear facing in the 3rd row, you have enough tethers for every FF child to have their own dedicated tether anchor.
    Karen
    A: 11 C: 9 M1: 5 M2: 6 months
    [SIZE="1"][COLOR="Black"]

  12. #11
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by scoutingbear View Post
    Your RF child does not need to use a tether. A small handful of manufacturers allow the use of a rear facing tether but it is not necessary and in your case it won't work to use up a tether that your FF children NEED.

    You are not able to share tether anchors for more than 1 harnessed FF (or RF) seat. With 5 kids, if you have at least 1 in a booster and 1 rear facing in the 3rd row, you have enough tethers for every FF child to have their own dedicated tether anchor.
    Thank you!

  13. #12
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    I can get radians in the third row by twisting the belt stalk. You can twist up to three complete turns, but usually two works well in the third row for me.

    Do you have the 6yo in a booster? At 85 pounds, maybe the incognito would help you get them all to fit easier. I'd try the Marathon in the center of the back row with two backless boosters on either side, or a backless on the driver's (smaller) side and a highback on the passenger's side.

    I have 5-6 kids in my '11 Sienna (same as the '13) semi-regularly now, but they're mostly 7-8yo's in boosters.
    Kelley - Mom to: DD1 4/25/2006, DS 8/9/08, DD2 9/10/09
    host mom to a 16yo Chinese foreign exchange student
    2011 Toyota Sienna, 2008 Chevrolet Aveo

  14. #13
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    Re: How to get a 2013 Toyota Sienna 8 passenger to work with 5 kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by kam1011 View Post
    I can get radians in the third row by twisting the belt stalk. You can twist up to three complete turns, but usually two works well in the third row for me.

    Do you have the 6yo in a booster? At 85 pounds, maybe the incognito would help you get them all to fit easier. I'd try the Marathon in the center of the back row with two backless boosters on either side, or a backless on the driver's (smaller) side and a highback on the passenger's side.

    I have 5-6 kids in my '11 Sienna (same as the '13) semi-regularly now, but they're mostly 7-8yo's in boosters.
    Thank you for the info and thank you for letting me know about the incognito! It seems like a great solution for my 85 lb'er!

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