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  1. #1
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    CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Ok - hopefully this isn't too confusing... I have a full size van with currently 3 kids in carseats across the 3rd row back bench. The van has 2 bucket seats in the front for driver/passenger, 2 bucket seats in the middle that are removeable, and a bench row in the back. Little guy is currently in his Snugride facing rear of course in row 3 (he's 19 pounds, 7 mos). He'll be moving into a bigger seat soon - we have a Cosco Alpha Omega he'll be using in the rear facing position. He has to be in row 2 now because in a full size van there is no side access to the 3rd row - if we put him in the Cosco in row 3 we'd have to basically shimmy him in and out every time from over the top of the seat which isn't very reasonable.

    So here's the question for the technical installers out there... our row 2 has these great bucket seats (now I'm talking about the actual car SEAT) that can be installed rear facing, so that whoever sits there, child, adult, etc can face each other while traveling. Is there any reason I can't install the Cosco CARSEAT front facing in the seat and install the SEAT rear facing so that my child is now rear facing? I figure it is easy to get him in & out, he has more leg room, AND he gets the added benefit of looking at his big brother and sister for entertainment. But if there are known safety concerns I'll have to go to a different plan. Hmm.

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    I get what you're asking, and no, it's not ok. None of the carseat manufacturers allow installation on a rearfacing vehicle seat, and no car manufacturers allow carseat installation on a rearfacing vehicle seat. We don't know if it's dangerous, but it's definitely not allowed by anyone.
    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
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Too bad because that sounded kind of cool!

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Niea's Avatar
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    You'll also find that your vehicle's instruction manual will probably explicitly state not to use any carseats if the vehicle seats are facing rearwards.

    So yeah, unfortunately not allowed by anyone.

  6. #5
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJack View Post
    Too bad because that sounded kind of cool!
    I remember thinking the same thing, when I thought about that for the first time. Too bad it's a no go. The rearward forces on a seat technically forward-facing are very different than if it were installed normally. I'm sure they haven't even tested them like that. I would love to have a van like that though! I would ride rear-facing all the time and let DH drive.
    DD - 7yrs

  7. #6
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    You mean rear facing seats like the new Dodge Caravans? Yeah, I don't think even those are allowed to have car seats in rear facing mode.

    What van do you have? You say full size van but it just sounds like a typical minivan. If you get more specific, maybe people on here can give you more suggestions?

  8. #7
    CPS Technician
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Growin up we had 2 full sized vans, but made before 1983. They were older, but the middle row of captain chairs would rotate to rearface and could be removed also. I don't know if newer full sized vans are made like that still.
    Stefanie

  9. #8
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Quote Originally Posted by codex57 View Post
    You mean rear facing seats like the new Dodge Caravans? Yeah, I don't think even those are allowed to have car seats in rear facing mode.
    But they do have a built in booster option
    I've always wondered what the vehicle manual says about using the vehicle seats RF with the built in booster.
    ~Laura™ mom to Seamus (6) in a Regent and Mickey (4) in a ff Myride. Due 6/26/11 with Abigail Tucker, patiently awaiting the install of her Myride.

  10. #9
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    well, based on the fact that no car manufacturer allows carseat installation with the seat of the car rearfacing, i'm sure the built in booster is also only to be used when the seat of the car is in the forward position...but not having the manual to look at, no clue.

  11. #10
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Quote Originally Posted by abharrington View Post
    well, based on the fact that no car manufacturer allows carseat installation with the seat of the car rearfacing, i'm sure the built in booster is also only to be used when the seat of the car is in the forward position...but not having the manual to look at, no clue.
    But carseat manufactuers don't allow it because they don't test it. I'd think that for the vehicle seats to be able to rearface they DO have to be crash tested in that positon.
    But not having the manual to look at, no clue here either.
    ~Laura™ mom to Seamus (6) in a Regent and Mickey (4) in a ff Myride. Due 6/26/11 with Abigail Tucker, patiently awaiting the install of her Myride.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician AdventureMom's Avatar
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    From their website:

    Child restraints must only be used when seats are in forward facing mode.
    The integrated harnesses are only offered on the third-row bench, which doesn't swivel.

    DS|2002|FF in Britax Frontier 85 and Graco TurboBooster
    DD|2007|FF in two Britax Frontier 85's

  13. #12
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Thanks for looking that up. Too bad you dashed my hopes.
    ~Laura™ mom to Seamus (6) in a Regent and Mickey (4) in a ff Myride. Due 6/26/11 with Abigail Tucker, patiently awaiting the install of her Myride.

  14. #13
    CPS Technician AdventureMom's Avatar
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Quote Originally Posted by Synchro246 View Post
    Thanks for looking that up. Too bad you dashed my hopes.
    Well, what I'm excited about is - being able to ride extended rear-facing! I just need to find someone with a 2008 Caravan...

    FYI, I downloaded the manual and checked out the Child Restraint section. Wow! They cover alot, although the weights are still old-school (RF until 20 lbs or use a convertible seat with higher RF limit for a child *under* a year who is more than 20 lbs; 5-pt harness convertibles for 20-40lbs, etc.). But they do talk about a child being able to properly sit with their knees bending over the seat before using a booster. They even go into detail about twisting the buckle stalks. AND - get this - they have the contact info for www.seatcheck.org and 1-866-seatcheck!

    Seems like they had some help writing that part of the manual - good for them! Too bad they didn't go into ERF...

    DS|2002|FF in Britax Frontier 85 and Graco TurboBooster
    DD|2007|FF in two Britax Frontier 85's

  15. #14
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    Re: CARSEAT rear facing vs car SEAT rear facing

    Thanks so much for the great info! I'll just face the bucket seat forward and install it properly. Too bad because it sure has a lot of benefits the other way. But of course better to be safe!

    My full size van is a Chevy conversion van - a Gladiator - the backseat converts into a full size bed for camping which is why we bought it but now we live in Alaska and can't leave our town without flying or by boat so (sigh) we have not really used it.

    Just as a FYI for those of you on the West coast - We just yesterday bought 2 Graco Nautilus' at Fred Meyer. They were priced 139.99 and with a 15% off anything in the baby dept. coupon I got them each for under $120. Wahoo! Check FM out if you have one nearby. I literally took them off the palette - they were not even unpacked and on the shelf yet!

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