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  1. #1
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    What can you tether to in a car besides an official carseat tether anchor?

    Another tether question. Don't jump on me if this is a bad idea!

    Is it safe to tether a carseat to an anchor for latching in movable seats in a minivan? We have a 2002 Dodge Caravan with a bench seat for three, but only one anchor bolt for tethering carseats. I am having difficulty getting others added, and realized that there are numerous anchors (metal loops kind of) in the floor for switching the seats. Essentially if you switch the two-person and the three-person bench seats, they anchor/latch to different anchors in the floor, always leaving some free. It seems that if they are strong enough to hold a bench seat in place, they ought to be attached to the frame of the vehicle well enough to anchor a carseat to. Am I right?

    We are looking for creative seating arrangements as we add an infant and a grandparent to the seating mix.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    hehe, you just answered the question I posted on your other thread. I know that with RF seats you can tether to any non-moving part that is bolted to the car (like front seat tracks and seatbelt stalks) so I think you would be right to assume that one of those seat attachment hooks would be fine. The Regent doesn't come with a D-ring loop, but you can order one from Britax and it will help you attach to these kinds of thinks. One of the techs will give a definite yeah or neah. So I guess that you had allready thought of getting a tether installed, since you said you're having trouble getting that done.?

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your quick answers, gwenvet. You know, I'm afraid I got the idea from RFing Britax tethering. Hmm. Now I'll have to wait and see whether techs say it is okay FFing. At least from the floor bolts....

  5. #4
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    No, you cannot tether a FF seat to anything but an approved tether anchor, and you absolutely cannot use a d-ring to do it.
    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
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    Okay, here's my stupid question: Why not? (I mean with the regular tether hook; I'm not sure what gwenvet meant by a D-ring instead.) It just seems like if anything a heavy metal anchor used to connect a seat to the frame of the car would be even more secure than a thinner loop they put on the seat itself for carseat anchoring. I understand your answer was unequivocal; I'm just trying to understand why besides that "that's what the rules say." Thanks for explaining if you know. And thanks as usual for all your car and carseat knowledge.

  7. #6
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    Sorry, double post.

  8. #7
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    The D-ring is the part that's used for a rearfacing britax only. It's a strap, not all metal, that ties around a solid part of the car for rearfacing tethering, which exerts much much much much much less force than a forward facing seat
    The doofy honda dealer that sold me my minivan assured me the bar under the captain's chair was the top tether... it's so thick that the little clip for the tether won't even close... scary... I knew so much more than he did :P
    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

  9. #8
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    The main reason is "Because Britax and the car company says not to".

    It's not crash tested - so while it could be fine, we have no way of knowing if that's the case.

    If you have a 3rd row you can tether to a third row seatbelt. That's what I do in my Suburban - I tether the MA to the 3rd row lapbelt.
    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

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Ok, so I don't mean to be contrary here, but what's the difference between tethering to a 3rd row seatbelt and tethering to a seat attachment bolted to the car's floor? Maybe the answer is that it's because that has been crash tested but again, like MexicoMom, just trying to understand WHY.

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    There is probably no difference.. actually if you were to crash test (care to sacrifice your car and car seat to test?) it'd probably be a better point to anchor down to the floor than on a seatbelt... I think the seatbelt would stretch too far and the tether would also stretch, and you'd get lots more movement.

    Anyhow, the WHY is because nobody wants to take each of those cars and each brand of seat and test them all out. Britax uses the generic crash sled to test the seat, and the auto manu. uses their own vehicles to test each car and each anchor point. SO the auto and car seat manu. all write their manuals and say "this way" so that our happy society doesn't have something unwritten to sue over. Also, not following "this way" means you can't sue them if you do use the floor and the seat doesn't work properly.

    My husband is working on a project with an E-One vehicle. It's essentially an oversize ambulance that cost millions to assemble (including all the $$$ stuff inside - lots of computers and tech things). This vehicle has 2 lap/shoulder belts in the front driver compartment, no center belt. There is a laptop mounted in the center seat (it's a bench, so technically there could be a person there)... in the back (the ambulance box where patients go) they have completely modified it with 5 computer stations that each have chairs bolted down. There are no restraints in the back, no handles to hold on, nothing. There is one BIG sign in the driver compartment that states "This vehicle may only be used to transport two people" and another one in the back that states "No passengers may ride in this compartment" - now we know it's an ambulance base, that has been modified, so why not put in seatbelts for those 5 positions? Because E-One (and my husband's client) don't want to spend another million $$ to build one of these things just to crash test the seats as configured. SO to use the darn thing they have to put 2 people up front and the others have to ride in a car instead of in the vehicle.

    Sure, the auto manus COULD spend a few extra cars in crash testing, but they don't want to "waste" the extra money either. And the sled that the car seat folks test on is a basic bench with standard LATCH attachments and seatbelts... they'd have to create a new sled that was like a car/van with seats that came out and had anchors in the bottom to use instead... it's much MUCH easier to just say "this way" because that's the way the sled is built.

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy
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    Adding... So if you think it's safer, and you're willing to bet your child on it, go and use the floor anchor.

    I made my "parental decision" and tether my RF dd to the seat she rides on. In the 2nd row of a Caravan she is tethered to the bar under the front of the seat that connects the spots where the seat snaps into the floor of the car. I could probably also make the tether longer and run it under the seat to the lower anchor behind the seat, but I don't. I could also tether her forward to the front row of the van, but I don't. She's tethered in a way that used to be allowed by Britax. They no longer allow it.

    Technically I should move the tether back to under the first row, and I'm likely voiding my warranty on the seat (and any Britax liabilty if the seat malfunctions) by tethering it to the seat she's on... and once I figure out seat placement, I probably will go tether her to the 1st row, in the meantime I guess I'm taking a risk.

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    I was just reading because I was curious. My son is almost ready to go ff in his marathon (he's 31lbs) and right now I have him tethered to the seat he is in. We have a 2003 Honda Odyssey and the anchor for the tethers for the middle row captains seats are under the seats. You are supposed to anchor the carseat under the seat it is sitting in. This is currently where he is tethered. Should I move the tether under the front seat?

  14. #13
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Tethering to the 3rd row seatbelt is tested and approved. No other alternative method is. As a technician I cannot recommend tethering to anything else and if you came through a checkpoint with me I would STRONGLY discourage tethering to anything other than a 3rd row seatbelt or official tether anchor.
    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
    Carseat Crazy
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    Amaris, yah, Britax used to allow tethering to the seat the child is on, but they changed that recently? - I think my manual allows it, but the current ones don't? Or maybe it was just policy on the phone, and not in the manual... I know it's been discussed her a ton.

    Anyone actually know? I'll look in my manual this week when I move dd's seat back to the passenger side...

    ETA I just read the Wizard manual on the britax website.. it doesn't say you CAN or CAN'T tether to the seat the child is on for RF (though it does show the Aussie method being tethered to the same seat..) It does say in big bold letters that when FF you can't tether to anything but an approved tether anchor. No mention of using a 3rd row seatbelt..

    What it does say is that you can tether to the seat leg or seatbelt point... but wouldn't that be more stress than the seatbelt is tested for? If someone were in the front passenger seat using the seatbelt and you tethered to the seatbelt bolt, then you are putting more stress on that bolt than it was designed for? That seems like a bad idea too..

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Qarin's Avatar
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    I've never heard of tethering a forward facing seat to the seatbelt of a seat behind that seat- where can I read about this? This would be great for me with our Wizard in our 1998 Oldsmobile Silhouette.

  17. #16
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    It's in my LATCh manual, but other than that I'm not sure where you'd find the information.
    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

  18. #17
    Senior Community Member Amaris's Avatar
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    In our manual it showed the aussie method of tethering to the seat the Marathon was in, that's why I assumed it was safe to tether this way.

  19. #18
    Carseat Crazy
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    So do you just fasten the seatbelt and then fold it a bit to get the tether hook over the belt and that's it?
    C.

  20. #19
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qarin View Post
    I've never heard of tethering a forward facing seat to the seatbelt of a seat behind that seat- where can I read about this? This would be great for me with our Wizard in our 1998 Oldsmobile Silhouette.
    I used to have a 98 chevy venture that I am certain is just another name for the silhouette. In my manual, I could tether a second row seat to the bolt that was holding the third row seat belt (lap/shoulder near the floor). I just had to push up a sleeve and find it near the floor. There was a big hole in the middle of the bolt to tether to. Depending on the seat you have, though, you might not be able to reach it. The evenflo we had, did not have a long enough tether (so we bought a marathon that does!) Our Graco's tether was long enough, too. HTH


    CCO 4/15

  21. #20
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    I have pics of my seat tethered to a third row seatbelt, but on the library computer I can't upload any pics.

    I have done it two ways, but I always use the center lapbelt in the third row, since it's useless to me anyways, and it's the seatbelt most directly behind the carseat in the second row. The first way I've done it is to hook the tether directly to the male end (metal tongue) of the lapbelt and tighten it down. The second way I've done it is to buckle the lapbelt and hook the tether clip around the lapbelt webbing. It's a bit harder to do it this way because you have to fold or roll the webbing to get it to fit, but I like it better because it seems to be straighter (behind the carseat). If I tethered it the first way it would start to pull the carseat to one side eventually.

    I also read about this method in the LATCH manual after some techs online told me about it.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

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