Grand Caravan not great for booster seats?

rgraves

New member
I've heard through a couple people that Grand Caravans aren't great for booster seats in the 3rd row. We have a 2013 GCV and need to put one of our kids in a booster on the passenger side.

Can anyone comment as to if this is true and, if so, why? Are there any booster seats that are recommended over others for the GCV?

Thanks
 
ADS

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
The Kiddy boosters work. A few others do ok. Backless boosters won't work and belt-only riders won't work there. The belt is so far away from the body it goes way off the shoulder. And because of that it pulls out of or gets tangled in most belt guides. Short term I've used a TurboBooster there but it continually pulled out and I had to fix it frequently.
 

oddduck

Active member
Hey,

I drive a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan and have 2 booster aged kids. High back boosters are a must outboard, but even high backs often have issues with the seat belt retracting.

By far, the best booster I've came across is the Evenflo Amp/Big Kid. Graco Turbobooster is hit and miss, it will often work on one click, but not the next. Diono Monterey is a miss on the lower settings (rubs hard on the foam), but on higher clicks up it retracts well. I've heard good things regarding the Britax Parkway, but I've not personally tried it.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
The Evenflo Spectrum, a new booster, has 21.5" top belt guide heights and works well in that position.

How old and tall and heavy is the child?

Wendy
 

rgraves

New member
Thanks for the quick replies. Definitely looking at highback boosters right now.

Our booster seat child is 6yrs old, around 45lbs. Forget the height off hand but I'm going to verify it before we buy the seat.

Right now my short list is:
- Evenflo Big Kid
- Evenflo Spectrum
- Graco TurboBooster
- Britax Parkway SG-L (we like Britax, but I'm concerned the SecureGuard clip may be hard for our daughter to use)

If the seats have belt guides built in and are adjustable, shouldn't that help ensure the belts touch their shoulders?
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
You would think, but no. Sometimes the belt gets caught in the guide and it won't retract at all.

The SecureGuard clip is optional.

Wendy
 

rgraves

New member
I like that the Turbobooster has an expiry date of 10yrs, whereas the other ones I've seen are only 6yrs. Are the hassles with the Turbobooster annoying enough to not buy it?

We have a 3yr old we are moving to the 3rd row so I was thinking about putting him in the Britax Frontier CT we have for now and our 6yr old in the booster on the passenger side. The Frontier can use the lower anchors (which are off-center) until he is 40lbs, at which point I may need to get a convertable seat for him since using the seatbelt with the Frontier requires it to be in the center of the 3rd row (and not enough room for the booster).
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I forgot all about the Spectrum.

Boosters are mostly cheap enough I wouldn't sweat that 4 years. I used the Turbo for a week and got frustrated (it was a "we got stuck with this on vacation and need to make it work" situation.) I would certainly choose another booster that worked better if at all possible. Also, the Turbo is outgrown significantly before the Spectrum (2 or more years' difference for most kids.)
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Ok, I've had a report from another tech friend that she just tried the Spectrum in a Town and Country and it didn't allow the belt to retract in those positions. So exercise caution there.
 

rgraves

New member
Any idea why the belt couldn't retract? My guess is that the Turbobooster is the best bet right now, or possibly the Britax Parkway SGL. Has either worked decent enough to provide proper safety in that car and enough head protection?
 
Last edited:

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
The same reason as the Turbo. It wants to pull out because of the position.

They are safe to use- you do need to make sure to keep the belt In the guide and check that it's tight each time the child rides. You will just have to be more vigilant and it takes a bit of time to deal with.
 

rgraves

New member
Thanks everyone.

Has anyone had experience with a booster in the Grand Caravan that doesn't have an issue with the belt coming out of the guide?
 

rgraves

New member
Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I took our 6yr old out on Saturday to test the booster seats. We ended up going with the Britax Parkway SGL. I found it worked the best with the seat belt.

I appreciate all the suggestions and advice!
 

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