Anyone actually put 8 in a suburban on a regular basis?

J-max

CPST Instructor
Right now I have 5 kids in the back of our 08 'burban. Third row has a FR90 and a Monterey, middle row as seatbelt user, Radian (soon to be nextfit), backless Monterey, currently. DD#2 (backless booster) does 5 step in the third row, but family harmony and her comfort have her in a booster in middle row.

We had planned on getting a new suburban when the 15s come out this summer, but now I am torn, on whether to continue with that plan or get something bigger (a big van, :eek:).

Our oldest is 15, and will be driving on her own this fall, and I am often going with just the 1 or 2 little that are not in school. and if DH is not with us, DD#1 can sit in the front. But we do travel as a family, and such.

So, I am just wondering if anyone actually has 6 kids in the back of a suburban, with at least 3 of those in carseats and 1 in a booster.

Any opinions, advise, etc?
 
ADS

Brigala

Well-known member
I don't know about a brand new 2015 Suburban. The pictures that I saw showed one of those giant hinges in the 3rd row that is likely to make one or more seats unusable.

2015-gmc-yukonxl-interior-overhead-600-001.jpg


My vote would be to keep the Suburban you have. You should be able to put a Radian or a SureRide and two Incognitos and/or 5-steppers across the 3rd row (not too sure about a Frontier though). And you can put 3 of anything or anybody across the 2nd row.
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
Ugg, that hinge may present a problem. A radian is a no go in the third row of the current model suburbans, both directions :( Never tried a sure ride, I think we have one as training set in our group, have to check it out.

We will be getting a new vehicle this year. I drive a lot of miles (we are 70+ miles to town), plus mine gets treated like a truck, so I am a little hard on them, lol.
 

mom of six

Active member
We do. We have a 2009 Suburban and 6 kids. There are days when it is a struggle but we are done having kids and didn't really want to take the leap to the mega van. We've only had it for 7 months and I have played with a lot of boosters and arrangements...

Here is how we roll right now...

2nd row DD2 in SB, DS2 in Harmony Defender harnessed, DD1 in SB
3rd row from passanger side DD4 in SB, DS1 in a Parkway booster, DD4 in a Probooster (this is a newer arrangement still to really be tested)

I struggle a lot with that third row. I wish the seat belts were evenly spaced back there. It would really help with car seats. My DD4 is only 6 but she is large so we have had her in a Harmony Cruz and have even tried the Safety 1st Incognito but I am just not ready to have her in a backless full time....

Generally we are all together only on Sundays for church. Otherwise Dad is at work or one sister or another stays home or can sit in the front seat. We have taken one road trip. In that case we had DD4 in a Parkway on the passenger side, DD3 in the middle in a SB, and DS1 on the drivers side in the Harmony Defender in booster mode. DD3 always complained that her shoulders were getting squished and the other two complained if she leaned on their seats...
 

mom of six

Active member
A radian is a no go in the third row of the current model suburbans, both directions :(

I was able to get my Radian in in the center of the third row. In the 2009 model they changed the seat belts of the third row so they lock at the latch plate rather than at the retractor. Using the forward-of-the-seat-bight trick with the recline foot down I was able to get a rock solid install pretty quickly. I think I had some twists in the buckle stalk but I cannot remember for sure...
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
I was able to get my Radian in in the center of the third row. In the 2009 model they changed the seat belts of the third row so they lock at the latch plate rather than at the retractor. Using the forward-of-the-seat-bight trick with the recline foot down I was able to get a rock solid install pretty quickly. I think I had some twists in the buckle stalk but I cannot remember for sure...

I knew they changed the locking mechanism, but haven't tried a radian in one of those yet. I am assuming it is FF? and when you pulled the front of the radian, it stayed in place? Every time I have thought I had a solid install there (no movement side to side and it appears front to back) but as soon as you put ANY tension on the front of the radian, it slips out of place and is no longer good side to side. If this works, that is awesome and I can't wait to try it in a 15!

Thanks!
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
We do. We have a 2009 Suburban and 6 kids. There are days when it is a struggle but we are done having kids and didn't really want to take the leap to the mega van. We've only had it for 7 months and I have played with a lot of boosters and arrangements...

Here is how we roll right now...

2nd row DD2 in SB, DS2 in Harmony Defender harnessed, DD1 in SB
3rd row from passanger side DD4 in SB, DS1 in a Parkway booster, DD4 in a Probooster (this is a newer arrangement still to really be tested)

I struggle a lot with that third row. I wish the seat belts were evenly spaced back there. It would really help with car seats. My DD4 is only 6 but she is large so we have had her in a Harmony Cruz and have even tried the Safety 1st Incognito but I am just not ready to have her in a backless full time....

Generally we are all together only on Sundays for church. Otherwise Dad is at work or one sister or another stays home or can sit in the front seat. We have taken one road trip. In that case we had DD4 in a Parkway on the passenger side, DD3 in the middle in a SB, and DS1 on the drivers side in the Harmony Defender in booster mode. DD3 always complained that her shoulders were getting squished and the other two complained if she leaned on their seats...

Thank you! This is exactly what I was hoping for :D You sound a lot like us and I am hoping I can make it work. This is our last baby and I really don't want a big van either ;)
 

mom of six

Active member
I knew they changed the locking mechanism, but haven't tried a radian in one of those yet. I am assuming it is FF? and when you pulled the front of the radian, it stayed in place? Every time I have thought I had a solid install there (no movement side to side and it appears front to back) but as soon as you put ANY tension on the front of the radian, it slips out of place and is no longer good side to side. If this works, that is awesome and I can't wait to try it in a 15!

Thanks!

Yes, FF.

To get the Radian to work I had to lower the recline foot and slide the bottom about 2-3 inches away from the seat bight. Then press down instead of back when tightening the belt. I think I twisted the buckle stock 2 full twists but I am not positive. I had to learn all these tricks when installing the Radians in my old 2003 Dodge caravan. I had the front and back sliding movement you described until I learned this trick. Now I can get them rock solid.


The trick in the 3rd row will be to get narrow boosters or narrow kids. The Montereys might work backless but definitely not in highback mode. Again, the biggest thing that bugs me is how close the center seat belt anchor point and buckle are to each other. DD3 said it squeezed her hips too much. However, in looking at that pic of the '15 they may have changed that...
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
Yes, FF.

To get the Radian to work I had to lower the recline foot and slide the bottom about 2-3 inches away from the seat bight. Then press down instead of back when tightening the belt. I think I twisted the buckle stock 2 full twists but I am not positive. I had to learn all these tricks when installing the Radians in my old 2003 Dodge caravan. I had the front and back sliding movement you described until I learned this trick. Now I can get them rock solid.


The trick in the 3rd row will be to get narrow boosters or narrow kids. The Montereys might work backless but definitely not in highback mode. Again, the biggest thing that bugs me is how close the center seat belt anchor point and buckle are to each other. DD3 said it squeezed her hips too much. However, in looking at that pic of the '15 they may have changed that...
Awesome to hear! It must have to do with the different buckle/retractors in the 09+. I have tried it with a few different radians in several different 06-08, along with a few other techs/instructors, all of us pretty well versed in radain installations.

I was thinking I will prbably end up with RF seats in the 2 center positions. Both my Aton (baseless) and the CCO fit in the 3rd row center with skinny seatbelt riders next to them, but I only have 1 seatbelt rider that fits there ATM. DD#3 is built like me and not her dad, and is a big girl, and DD#1 is already 5'7 and still growing, she is not comfortable back there for long, and the headrest is too low or her (but it looks like the 15 might have taller headrests.

But you give me confidence I might be able to do it :) The guys at our Chevy dealership are pretty good to me, and will let me come play seats in it (and maybe take it home to try), then know I am waiting for one :D

(now to just be sure baby #6 is not #6 and 7 in a couple of weeks and then I will be much more confident in making the vehicle decision!)
 

macmomma

New member
My Explorer has horrible hinges in the middle. I can fit a Chaperone, MR65 and a RF Radian there. I think I tried the Keyfit before and it also fit.
 

J-max

CPST Instructor
Our #'s 4 & 5 our twins so I know the feeling. Good luck.
There has been some discussion of that my last 2 appts. I am measuring big, which I have never done before and feeling tons of movement (like they can hardly catch a heartbeat, because there is so much movement) And I am very sure of my dates.
 

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