Installing a car seat on the floor of a van?

U

Unregistered

Guest
I have not done this, but I was wondering if it is safe to install an extra seatbelt (bolted directly to the floor of a minivan, say) and install a car seat onto the floor that way? Sounds a bit unconventional to me, but would there be a safety issue with it?

Thanks for any ideas!
 
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Sceason1972

New member
My first thought is that cars and car seats are not tested that way - so you woudl essentialy be using your child as a crash test dummy.

Also, isn't the vehicle seat itself part of the whole system? I don't see how you could safely install a car seat with out it resting against a vehicle seat.
 

Patriot201

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
I agree with the PP. That sounds risky. Like the PP said, your child would be a crash test dummy. Not good.

I would consider installing a belt of some type to tie down cargo, but not carseats.



Perhaps a tech who knows more about this will come along and will give a definitive answer.
 

BookMama

Moderator
Hi there! :) Thanks for coming to car-seat.org to ask your question.

As tempting as it may be to install your car seats directly on the vehicle floor, it's definitely a no-go. Car seats are intended to be installed only on vehicle seats (and only on forward-facing vehicle seats at that). This information is included in your car seat manual, probably in the first 1/4 or so of the manual. (Your vehicle manual should address child restraint installation as well.)

In addition to it being "against the manual," your car seats simply haven't been tested that way, as Sceason mentioned. There's no way for us to know how they would work in a crash - how they would protect your children in a crash. The only way to know for sure how it will work is to test it in an actual crash - and by then it would be too late. :(

Is there a particular reason that you've asked this question? Do you have a cargo van, for instance, with no vehicle seats? Let us know your situation and we may be able to help you find a solution.

I hope that answers your question. Please let us know if you have other questions. :thumbsup:
 

Starlight

Senior Community Member
but would there be a safety issue with it?

ummm, yeah.

a. it's not tested that way.
b. in general, carseats are installed on seats that are firmly and securely installed to the frame of the vehicle.
c. it's not tested that way.
d. simply installing a seat on the floor messes with the way the seats hit... like, if you just install a seat on the floor in between the others, then you don't allow enough room for standard movement (approx 32")...

So, yes, there are loads of safety issues with it, and it's a very very bad idea.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Thanks for all your quick responses, most of which were very gentle in the negative response. I appreciate that.

Of course I wouldn't want my child to be the "crash test dummy" to test this. That's exactly why I'm asking for input!

Our 96 Honda Odyssey only seats 6. (Two bucket seats in middle row, one 2-seater bench in back.) We already have 4 children and are expecting a 5th. We were trying to come up with a way to hold off on a new (to us) bigger vehicle.

As I typed in my original question, I thought up a few of your actual responses myself, but I wanted to have some additional input. By the way, starlightCPST, what did you mean by "enough room for standard movement (approx 32")?" It doesn't feel like there is that much space anywhere in our little van!
 

tanyaandallie

Senior Community Member
The 95 Odyssey doesn't have a 3 seater bench in the back? I didn't realize that.

Honestly, if you are going to have 5 children and you have a vehicle with only 6 seats, you really need to get a new vehicle. There are just not any safe ways to alter a vehicle.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
The 95 Odyssey doesn't have a 3 seater bench in the back? I didn't realize that.
The first generation Odyssey (95, 96, 97) is very small and has only 2 seats in the back.
You can find then with a 3-seater bench in the middle, but the other configuration is two captain's chairs. That is what we have. Thus, it seats only 6.
Honestly, if you are going to have 5 children and you have a vehicle with only 6 seats, you really need to get a new vehicle. There are just not any safe ways to alter a vehicle.
No kidding.
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
I have no idea if this would be possible for a '96 Odyssey, but have you looked into whether your second row captain's chairs could be swapped out for a second row 3-seater bench from Honda, or parted out perhaps from another '96 Ody from an auto salvage yard? If possible, it might be more economical than another 7-passenger vehicle. :twocents:
 

Connor's Mom

New member
I have no idea if this would be possible for a '96 Odyssey, but have you looked into whether your second row captain's chairs could be swapped out for a second row 3-seater bench from Honda, or parted out perhaps from another '96 Ody from an auto salvage yard? If possible, it might be more economical than another 7-passenger vehicle. :twocents:

That is what I was going to suggest too. :thumbsup:
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
I have no idea if this would be possible for a '96 Odyssey, but have you looked into whether your second row captain's chairs could be swapped out for a second row 3-seater bench from Honda, or parted out perhaps from another '96 Ody from an auto salvage yard? If possible, it might be more economical than another 7-passenger vehicle. :twocents:

That's an option we are pursuing.
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
Fingers crossed it will be a workable solution for you, and please keep us posted.
 
J

John

Guest
If it's bolted to the frame of the vehicle, and the car seat is strapped in to it, it's exactly the same.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
If it's bolted to the frame of the vehicle, and the car seat is strapped in to it, it's exactly the same.

Definitely not exactly the same, as it would not be tested in any way for meeting necessary standards under crash forces. You would be putting a lot of faith into the quality of the installation and parts used.
 
D

Deb

Guest
Hi there! :) Thanks for coming to car-seat.org to ask your question.

As tempting as it may be to install your car seats directly on the vehicle floor, it's definitely a no-go. Car seats are intended to be installed only on vehicle seats (and only on forward-facing vehicle seats at that). This information is included in your car seat manual, probably in the first 1/4 or so of the manual. (Your vehicle manual should address child restraint installation as well.)

In addition to it being "against the manual," your car seats simply haven't been tested that way, as Sceason mentioned. There's no way for us to know how they would work in a crash - how they would protect your children in a crash. The only way to know for sure how it will work is to test it in an actual crash - and by then it would be too late. :(

Is there a particular reason that you've asked this question? Do you have a cargo van, for instance, with no vehicle seats? Let us know your situation and we may be able to help you find a solution.

I hope that answers your question. Please let us know if you have other questions. 👍
I am wondering also as I sm hoping to take a cargo van turn into sleep camper. It has no back seat but I was hoping to be able to take my grandson using his high back 5 point booster. Any ideas?
Hi there! :) Thanks for coming to car-seat.org to ask your question.

As tempting as it may be to install your car seats directly on the vehicle floor, it's definitely a no-go. Car seats are intended to be installed only on vehicle seats (and only on forward-facing vehicle seats at that). This information is included in your car seat manual, probably in the first 1/4 or so of the manual. (Your vehicle manual should address child restraint installation as well.)

In addition to it being "against the manual," your car seats simply haven't been tested that way, as Sceason mentioned. There's no way for us to know how they would work in a crash - how they would protect your children in a crash. The only way to know for sure how it will work is to test it in an actual crash - and by then it would be too late. :(

Is there a particular reason that you've asked this question? Do you have a cargo van, for instance, with no vehicle seats? Let us know your situation and we may be able to help you find a solution.

I hope that answers your question. Please let us know if you have other questions. 👍
Hi I was hoping to find a way to secure a high back 5 point booster in my semi converted camper cargo van that does not have a back seat so I can take him camping with me. Any ideas!
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Hi Deb,

Unfortunately, with no back seat, there is no way to use any type of car seat at all. Car seat manufacturer instructions are very specific to the types of vehicle seats and seatbelts required for use. Custom vans, RVs, campers and similar vehicles can be very problematic for child safety seats and in some cases there is no safe way to transport a child in them :-(
 
R

Rachael B

Guest
Hi there! :) Thanks for coming to car-seat.org to ask your question.

As tempting as it may be to install your car seats directly on the vehicle floor, it's definitely a no-go. Car seats are intended to be installed only on vehicle seats (and only on forward-facing vehicle seats at that). This information is included in your car seat manual, probably in the first 1/4 or so of the manual. (Your vehicle manual should address child restraint installation as well.)

In addition to it being "against the manual," your car seats simply haven't been tested that way, as Sceason mentioned. There's no way for us to know how they would work in a crash - how they would protect your children in a crash. The only way to know for sure how it will work is to test it in an actual crash - and by then it would be too late. :(

Is there a particular reason that you've asked this question? Do you have a cargo van, for instance, with no vehicle seats? Let us know your situation and we may be able to help you find a solution.

I hope that answers your question. Please let us know if you have other questions. 👍
Hi BookMama— if you don’t mind I’d like to ask a few questions of my own. In regards to your question about why someone would want to ask about installing directly to the floor of the van.. in my families circumstances we have a passenger van that has been converted. The only seats that remain in our van are the two pilot chairs.. for driver and passenger. When we gutted our van the bench seats were destroyed and we also didn’t know we had a little one coming along within the next couple of years sooo as you can see we weren’t thinking potential carseat at the time.
How might be the best way to go about incorporating a car seat? Would we need to have an actual seat installed after all? We’d definitely have to do some alterations as we’ve got sub flooring and insulation and shelving already packed in there. Of course we want to do the safe thing. I wonder if a makeshift platform that can safely fasten the base to this rear facing of course and behind our pilot chairs would be an option?
Appreciate the feed back.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Hi BookMama— if you don’t mind I’d like to ask a few questions of my own. In regards to your question about why someone would want to ask about installing directly to the floor of the van.. in my families circumstances we have a passenger van that has been converted. The only seats that remain in our van are the two pilot chairs.. for driver and passenger. When we gutted our van the bench seats were destroyed and we also didn’t know we had a little one coming along within the next couple of years sooo as you can see we weren’t thinking potential carseat at the time.
How might be the best way to go about incorporating a car seat? Would we need to have an actual seat installed after all? We’d definitely have to do some alterations as we’ve got sub flooring and insulation and shelving already packed in there. Of course we want to do the safe thing. I wonder if a makeshift platform that can safely fasten the base to this rear facing of course and behind our pilot chairs would be an option?
Appreciate the feed back.

I apologize but Bookmama's post is from 13 years ago and she is not available to reply.

To install a car seat, you would need to install an actual forward-facing vehicle seat with a seatbelt or LATCH system that is compliant with the required seating systems listed in the car seat owner's manual. I am not aware of any car seat manual that would allow installation on a makeshift setup in an RV, custom van or similar vehicle.
 

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