Town & Country and 4 kids - ideas?

6lilbits

New member
We just bought a 2011 Town & Country and traded in our 2004 Honda Odyssey. The back seat in this new van is slightly narrower. I have our 16 month old in myride65 RF right behind the driver seat. My 3 other kids have rotated to the other captains seat because they all want to be next to "baby". Currently, my oldest, 8 y/o, is in the captains seat in a Turbobooster without highback. My 2 other (4 and 6 year olds) are in the back in Nautilus', the 4 y/o is strapped in and the 6 y/o is using as a highback booster. With these two seats in back, there is no room for anyone to sit in the middle (even though that middle seat is quite narrow to begin with).
Does anyone else have a Town & Country or in a similar situation? I looked at the 6 y/o's seat belt and the lap belt seems a little high, not exactly on hips, so I'm thinking I should get him a new high back booster. I would like a good one that is narrower, if possible. Ideally, I would like to get a new one for the 4 y/o - she is close to 50 pounds and tall for her age so she could be in a highback booster too.
Any ideas? Advice? I admit, I am new to all this carseats stuff and don't know many of the abbreviations, so forgive my ignorance. Also, we are not very rich so $200 seats are not an option (I will have a hard enough time convincing hubby that I want to spend any money on new carseats - he doesn't agree that carseats should have expiration dates:0
Thank you!
 

aept

New member
I have a 2010 dodge grand caravan which is very very similar on the inside to your van.

I think keeping the 8 year old in his backless TB in the captains chair is a good idea. The third row outboard (outside) seats in our kind of van have the shoulder belt coming from the side of the van and most kids end up with the shoulder belt hovering in front of their chest (not good!) instead of wrapping nicely across their collarbone/shoulder area.

I would attempt to keep the 6 year old in a booster on the passenger side third row. Try the Evenflo AMP high back for an inexpensive option that supposedly works well with the shoulder belt there.
Feel free to post pics of his fit in the nautilus for us to critique.

Depending on the size of the 4 year old I might try to use the offset center latch spirit so that you can also make use of the top tether for the nautilus that you use with the harness. Is the 4 year old light enough to use latch?
 

6lilbits

New member
Thank you! 4 y/o is close to 50 pounds so I'm thinking she is not light enough for the latch. I had originally had her in that spot with the latch but then there is no room for another person to sit back there. We are going to NC from IL this summer and I would like to be able to go back there if 16 month old needs me (13 hours).
I was looking at the best bests for boosters from the iihs. i will see if the Evenflo you mentioned is on there.
 

aept

New member
Ok, definitely need to use a seatbelt installation for the 4 year old, not Latch :) I guess you will need to use one of the outboard seats and have her be untethered. It's not the best, but I guess would prefer untethered FF harness to being too young/immature and in a booster.

When looking at boosters, the key to getting a good match with those shoulder belts is to check where the little guide for the seatbelt is near the head/shoulder part of the high back booster. (The little slot thingy that you thread the shoulder part of the seatbelt through.)

In a booster like my (older, but not expired!) Britax parkway, the belt guide is pretty flat against the back of the seat. It is parallel to the seat back. It does not work outboard in that third row because the belt gets tangled and hangs up. This can cause it to not tighten enough around the child, and to not retract back well once they have buckled themselves in.

In a booster like our recaro vivo, the shoulder belt guide on the head/neck area of the booster is perpendicular to the back. It is lined up very well for the seatbelt coming from the side of the van. It retracts pretty well. So the vivo is a good fit there. However it has been discontinued, which is why I mentioned the AMP as I heard it fits similarly and would be reasonably priced. :)
 

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