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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    27

    2004 Dodge Sprinter - No Tethers

    We test drove a 2004 Dodge Sprinter today. It seats 10 with headrests and lap/shoulder belts in every seat. Due to its age, we can possibly afford it. We are a family of nine currently driving two vehicles. I have been stalking Craigslist for YEARS to find a large vehicle with headrests and lap/shoulder belts in all seats that we can actually afford. I was pretty excited to find this one.

    Problem #1: No tethers. I'm so bummed. My sole purpose in looking for an older Sprinter was for safety; I've had lots of chances to buy older Ford vans that have no headrests and/or plenty of lap-only belts. We've just stuck to driving two vehicles because everyone is in a proper seat/restraint. We cannot afford a Ford Transit or Nissan NV. I would love love love to have a Transit, but it is not to be.


    Problem #2: One of the headrests is loose - you can lift it off with little effort. Is this a big problem? Is it fixable?

    WWYD? My older kids are safer with this vehicle, but my youngers (esp those in forward-facing seats) are not. The babies (1 & 3) can rear face, but that won't last forever. The 5yo needs a tether for his Britax Frontier, and the 3yo will FF soon enough.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    ~Serina~
    Mom to 7: DD15, DD12, DS10 (Safety 1st Incognito), DS7 (Graco TurboBooster), DS5 (Britax Frontier G1.1), DD3 (Graco MyRide 65), DS1 (Cosco Scenera)

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    3,959

    Re: 2004 Dodge Sprinter - No Tethers

    A quick look through old posts seems to indicate the 2003-2006 Sprinter did not come equipped and can not be retrofitted with tether anchors. Due to the size of the vehicle, it is exempt from tether requirements.

    Dodge did add some latch and tether spots to the 2007+ model years.

    If you decide to go with the 2004, I personally would rearface any kid below 50 pounds in a Graco Extend2fit and hope they are large enough and mature enough to move straight to a booster from rearfacing. Another option would be to use a ride safer travel vest for any child who can't rearface or booster. It uses the seatbelt and doesn't need a tether.

    Another option would be to contact ez on harness products and ask them about using their heavy duty tether anchor in a sprinter. They should be able to tell you if it can be added and where it can go. Most, if not all, car seat manufacturers do not allow the use of an aftermarket anchor and I believe ez on only approves use with their products but I might consider making a parental decision to use it anyway. Or you could use one of their harness products with a highback booster, and follow all their rules. They should be able to tell you which boosters are compatible.


    CCO 4/15

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,158

    Re: 2004 Dodge Sprinter - No Tethers

    Everything Dillipop said, plus:

    1) You'd have one unused seat, right? There's something called a temporary tether where you tether to the seat belt in the seating position behind the restraint. I'm not sure whether Britax allows temporary tethering, but you might be able to use a different forward facing seat.

    2) For the headrest, I'd look at having it repaired. If that won't work, put a kid with a rear facing car seat or a booster that doesn't require a head restraint in that position.

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