Caravan Rental with 7 people

Dillipop

Well-known member
We will be renting a van in January and I want to plan for us getting a caravan as the rental. We will have 3 adults, a 100 lb 5'9" teen, an average sized 12 year old using the regular seat, an 8 year old with a backless booster (cosco topside or mifold), and 3 year old (forward or rearfacing).

We can bring either the topside or the mifold or both for the 8 year old. I also have a RSTV we could use.

For the 3 year old, I have an extend2fit or BLVD that I can use either rear or forward facing. He is under 40 pounds currently. I could also bring our classic marathon if I can make it work forward, as he's past rearfacing. Last I checked, he also fits in our Combi coccoro forward facing, so it is also an option.

Have the third row seatbelts gotten any better in the 18/19 model years? What are the chances we get a caravan, pretty high? If the belts are still awful, how should we seat everyone?
 
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jjordan

Moderator
When I checked into renting a van for next summer, I found that Enterprise has a category of 8 passenger vans and it seems like for those you are likely to get Kia/Odyssey/Sienna, and otherwise (with a regular minivan rental) you're likely to get a Caravan/T&C. Maybe you can call the rental location and see what vans they typically have and try to feel out the chance that you will get something else.

If you *do* get a Caravan, I've heard the third row is not much improved, though tbh I haven't seen it for myself. Assuming the worst I would try to put the 3 year old and two adults back there since adults are theoretically safest with poor belt fit. The teen could go in the passenger seat and the 12 and 8 year olds in captain's chairs. In real life I would expect to get some pushback from the adults who are asked to ride in the back so in reality I think you would be pressured/expected to put the three youngest ones back there.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
To warn you: the belts have not gotten better AND the back seat is narrow.

We BARELY fit an RSTV, 5 stepper center, and Midpoint in the rental we just had.

I think your best bet if you have a caravan is RSTV for 8 year old (assuming it fits), 12 year old, and bring a narrower, compact seat to RF 3 year old.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
To warn you: the belts have not gotten better AND the back seat is narrow.

We BARELY fit an RSTV, 5 stepper center, and Midpoint in the rental we just had.

I think your best bet if you have a caravan is RSTV for 8 year old (assuming it fits), 12 year old, and bring a narrower, compact seat to RF 3 year old.
We have both a small (which I believe is too short now) and a large RSTV2, I think. The one with the tether ability. Will the RSTV negate the ill effects of the outboard seatbelt?

I will be the adult that would need to sit in the back row if needed. I am plump, so belt fit might not be too bad. We really only have to make a 1 hour trip with all 7 people in the car. After that, at least 1 adult will move to another vehicle for the remainder of the trip.

And which convertible would you recommend I take? He has outgrown the scenera next by height, I believe. I have a Clicktight BLVD or an extend 2 fit with high enough weight limits to accommodate him rearfacing. He's about 36 pounds right now. I believe he was under 40 inches at his last visit. I prefer not to buy a new seat for 1 trip but might be able to borrow one.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I think of the 2 the Boulevard might take a little less side to side space? If you can find something narrower it would help though.

The RSTV is what used in that spot I've heard from others they've had fit approved there as well. It seems to work well.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
I think of the 2 the Boulevard might take a little less side to side space? If you can find something narrower it would help though.

The RSTV is what used in that spot I've heard from others they've had fit approved there as well. It seems to work well.
I have a foonf as well but I am NOT hauling that beast with the recline block and rebound bar.

I’ll see if anyone I know has a sure ride I can borrow.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
And the side seat can not use the center tether anchor, correct? And they haven’t added more even though the Pacifica did, right?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I have a foonf as well but I am NOT hauling that beast with the recline block and rebound bar.

I’ll see if anyone I know has a sure ride I can borrow.
I think a Boulevard would actually be better to sit next to than a SureRide maybe? If anyone had a Complete Air that would be nice.

And the side seat can not use the center tether anchor, correct? And they haven’t added more even though the Pacifica did, right?
Correct and correct. And so much promises of discontinuing the Caravan in favor. Sigh.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
I think a Boulevard would actually be better to sit next to than a SureRide maybe? If anyone had a Complete Air that would be nice.



Correct and correct. And so much promises of discontinuing the Caravan in favor. Sigh.

Other seats I should try to find to borrow? Narrow, lightweight, at least 40 lbs rearfacing? I'll have to double check to see if the Next is really outgrown, as that one would be ideal.

Thankfully, my brother will move to another vehicle after our first hour long ride, so we'll be able to spread out a bit.
 

laurengt

New member
I have a 2016 caravan and here’s what I’d do:

3rd row: the teen, 12yo and 3 yo (RF in Center)
2nd row: 8yo and adult
Front: 2 adults

Any average size adult will be pretty scrunched in the back seat for any extended period of time. (It’s tight back there, but doable if the 2nd row is slid to its most forward position.) Boosters of any kind are hard to manage in the 3rd row too.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
I have a 2016 caravan and here’s what I’d do:

3rd row: the teen, 12yo and 3 yo (RF in Center)
2nd row: 8yo and adult
Front: 2 adults

Any average size adult will be pretty scrunched in the back seat for any extended period of time. (It’s tight back there, but doable if the 2nd row is slid to its most forward position.) Boosters of any kind are hard to manage in the 3rd row too.
Will the seatbelts actually touch the teens in the back row though? They are super skinny and I know one of the reasons backless boosters don’t work is that the belt is too far forward of the seat to adequately restrain people.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
Update- I weighed the youngest and he weighed in at 34.4 lbs, so I decided to take the roundabout classic we have. I figured we’d make sure to keep shoes off and make sure his diaper was dry at all times if we HAD to rear face it. Almost couldn’t get it out of the airline seat on the first flight, used an extender to fix that on the second flight.

Got to the rental place and had the choice between 2 GC’s and a Pacifica. We jumped at the Pacifica! The guy figured we just take the GC and was surprised we had a preference.

The belt geometry is way better in the Pacifica. And 2 tethers in the third row!!! We did 3 year old forward passenger outboard, ridesafer center for the 8 year old, 15 year old driver side for the ride we had to have 7 people. It was tight but doable.

I don’t love the Pacifica and would probably never buy one , unless it was the hybrid but it has been a good rental.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
I'm glad it worked out! Was it the SUV Pacifica or the minivan Pacifica? Based on the guy being surprised you chose it, I'm guessing SUV?

Minivan. I don’t think the SUV has been made in many years.

I think he was mostly surprised because I was so quick to choose the Pacifica. And it was further away in the lot. I think he was just surprised I was so decisive. Most people would have just grabbed the GC and been on their way.
 

jjordan

Moderator
Minivan. I don’t think the SUV has been made in many years.

I think he was mostly surprised because I was so quick to choose the Pacifica. And it was further away in the lot. I think he was just surprised I was so decisive. Most people would have just grabbed the GC and been on their way.
You're right, I was thinking that since the minivan started in 2015 that the SUV ended with the previous model year (2014), when in actuality there was a break with no Pacificas of any sort being made.

Dh was similarly surprised when I put my foot down about renting a GC for a big road trip we're taking in the summer. Most people think that basically all minivans are the same!
 

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