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  1. #1
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    Apr 2017
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    Tether anchor retrofit kit discontinued for 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, now what?!

    Hi there,
    We recently were donated a van through a local ministry because we have 2 kids (our son is 3, our daughter is 18 months) and one due in August. Our son has Autism and since our other van died in January, we haven't been able to get him to his therapies. They gave us a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan and we are so very thankful, but we've hit a big bump with the van not having tether anchors. When we brought the van into the Dodge dealership to be retrofit with tether anchors we were informed the kits were discontinued! We asked for their advice on what our next step should be and they just said to have someone "weld something on". I called the number on the TSB for the retrofit and they said to contact local car seat safety techs because they "weren't safety experts" and couldn't give safety advice. We really need this van to work out and be safe, are there any universal anchor kits that are safe? What are our options? Both the dealership and the manufacturer don't seem willing to help us and we're lost! Thank you so much for any ideas and advice!!

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: Tether anchor retrofit kit discontinued for 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, now what?!

    How big are your children? What car seats do you have right now? My first choice would be just to rear face everyone as long as possible. No need for tether anchors for rear facers.

    Next thought: do you need to keep other rear seating positions open for anyone else? Some car seats allow tethering to the seat belt in the row behind the car seat.

    Related thought: have the seat belts been replaced? On a 20+ year old vehicle, they should be.

  4. #3
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    Re: Tether anchor retrofit kit discontinued for 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, now what?!

    Both of my children are in the Evenflo SafeMax convertible car seats. Keeping everyone backwards facing was my first thought, too. But, my son is 44.5" tall and barely 35 lbs. He is above the height recommendations for backwards facing the seat. My daughter is only 31.5" tall and 23 lbs, so she can stay rear facing for awhile. For now we only need one seat in the 3rd row open for our nephew, but once the new baby is born both rows would be filled. We also really don't have the resources to buy new seats that might go higher for backwards facing heights.

    I'm not sure about the seatbelts. It was donated, but the belts look surprisingly lightly used. They actually look better than the seat belts in our van that died and it was an '04 Kia Sedona. Would the dealership be able to check anything to be able to tell if the seatbelts have been replaced? Thank you so much for your help and ideas! I really appreciate it!

  5. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Tether anchor retrofit kit discontinued for 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, now what?!

    Britax and EZ-On make tether anchor kits which, while technically only approved for their seats, are an option I'd consider in your situation. (Ez-on has approved use with other seats on a case by case basis.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 14, Bridget, 12, Maggie, 10, Katie Sue, 5
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  6. #5
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    Re: Tether anchor retrofit kit discontinued for 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, now what?!

    Did you ever find a solution to this? I have the same van and I'm in the same exact situation.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    9

    Re: Tether anchor retrofit kit discontinued for 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan, now what?!

    As far as I know, the best option is still what ketchupqueen suggested - using an aftermarket tether kit like EZ-On's tether anchor kit. It's not perfect, but I'd have no qualms with it myself if there wasn't a manufacturer's version available.

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