Installing 3 car seats - UPDATED #12

Discussion in 'Pregnancy Help' started by miss_bossy18, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Sooo...we have a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan. We wanted to install both of the girls' car seats in the back row, keep the middle row seat behind the passenger in the stow & go position, and the baby's car seat in the middle row seat behind the driver. We park on the street so accessing car seats from the driver's side isn't spectacularly safe. Anyway, after reading through the owner's manual of the vehicle & the installation instructions of the car seat, it seemed like we should be able to install one car seat in the back row in the LATCH position & the other car seat with the shoulder/lap belt. However, you're supposed to still attach the top tether strap to an anchor point. As far as I can figure out, the back row only has ONE top tether strap anchor point. I thought maybe I was missing something, so I called the Chrysler Customer Service department and they basically said, sorry, can't help you. And so far as I've been able to figure out at this point, no one in the City of Calgary (not the fire department, police department or health services) offers car seat installation. I'm very frustrated right now. I know we can install the seats in the 3 LATCH positions (one in the back row, two in the middle row) but it's going to be so incredibly awkward getting everyone buckled each time, especially in the winter. :gah: Okay, vent over.
  2. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    You don't absolutely have to have the tether strap when you use the seatbelt to buckle a carseat in. It's recommended but if you don't have an anchor, there isn't much you can do. Both our older vehicles didn't have the anchor points for the carseats (and it was pre-latch days). We just used the seatbelt and tightened it down as much as we could, that thing wasn't moving at all!!

    Oh, did you ask Chrysler if they can install another anchor point for you?? I've heard of some companies doing that. Not sure if they can/would though.
  3. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I was perusing trying to see if I could find any other way for you to buckle the kids in. But maybe if you ask over there they can help you figure out another tether in the back....dunno if they can or not ;)
  4. Tamaralynn

    Tamaralynn Well-Known Member

    I know you don't specially have to anchor it if it in in by a shoulder belt. I don't have a dodge, I am a Honda person, but I know that if I go to a dealership I can buy another anchor to install in the van. Maybe it does have the ability for the 2 anchors in the back, but you need to buy the second one?
  5. Tamaralynn

    Tamaralynn Well-Known Member

    Does Calgary run a Healthy Babies Program? Ontario does, and they work with Tim Hortons at Carseat installation clinics and spot checks, it's actually how I got the twins their convertibles, Tim Hortons Donated them to me, they would know how to install.
  6. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think you can pay a consultant to install carseats here.. I can't think of the name right now (nor do I have time to google at the moment!) But, the website helped me find anchor points for rear facing in the oddyssey, so I'd definitely check that out! They have just about every possible configuration in there.

    Thought of it:

    And edited again.. they have a clinic at Toys R Us not far from you tomorrow at 10 am!
  7. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    I would look into having another one installed. Also, I remember my dodge grand caravan, the anchor points were almost hidden behind the seats at the bottom. It took me forever to find them. Good luck.
  8. monie rose

    monie rose Well-Known Member

    If you are using the van's seatbelts for the carseats you do not need to use the anchors. Plus, it states to not use both systems to hold the carseats in. Just one or the other. Plus when you are rear-facing you cannot use the back tether strap.

    I have the 2002 model.
  9. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    ^agree:) I have a Town and Country but I know they are practically the same van. We have our passenger side middle seat in the stow and go and have Hannah behind the driver. The boys are both in the back and their carseats only have the seatbelts. After you install it, make sure its super tight down to the seat (My DH practically shoves himself into the carseat), make sure the seatbelt goes into the "locked" position. As for accessing carseats from the driver side--even though Hannah sits there I hardly ever take her in/out from there. I make the boys get in the passenger side and then I go in behind them to buckle Hannah in and block the boys from getting out;)
  10. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    With my T&C, I put the twins in the back (both using seat belts to hold the car seats in) and put Evan in the middle passenger side.
  11. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think this is why I'm confused - both the vehicle manual AND the car seat manual clearly state that all forward facing car seats MUST be top tethered, whether installed with the LATCH system or the seat belt, but there's no where on the back row of the vehicle to anchor the darn thing, except in the LATCH position. Serious design flaw if you ask me! :laughing: Anyway, I've found a certified car seat technician who is coming to the house tonight to help us get everything sorted out. She'll talk us through correct installation & use of the seats. I just hope I don't find out I've been putting the girls in incorrectly for 3 years! Oi.
  12. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    UPDATE: So, the car seat tech visit went really well! Thankfully, we have been using the car seats correctly for the last 3 years (phew!). She said she almost never gets to say it but we could even loosen their harness straps by just a smidge. We were able to install the car seats in more or less the positions we wanted - what we ended up with was one forward facing seat in the middle row behind the driver, the middle row seat behind the passenger is in the stow & go position, the other forward facing seat is in the back row in the LATCH position and the baby's rear facing seat is installed in the back row with the seat belt & a locking clip. :good: I also asked her about the top tethers & the reason for the confusion is that in Canada it's law that all forward facing seats must be top tethered whether installed with LATCH or the seat belt, however in the States, it's still optional. Anyway, if we eventually want to put two forward facing seats in the back row, we will have to get a retrofit part to anchor the top tether, but we'll worry about that when we get there. With 3 older kids, it may not be as much of a pain having 2 in the middle row & 1 in the back. Thanks everyone for your ideas & suggestions! Much appreciated.
  13. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Awesome!! I was hoping you would update on what you found out!! :D

    I'm pretty sure we over tighten the twins down sometimes, you can tell by the gasping for breath and blue tinged lips! :lol:
  14. june07girl

    june07girl Well-Known Member

    This is a good update and thanks for posting as we have a 2008 Grand Caravan. We had hoped to put the girls in the back FF and the baby in the middle row RF, guess we will have to look at adding that top tether strap. Do you think the bucket seat will fit RF in the middle?
  15. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think so - unless you or your partner have really long legs & need the front seats pretty far back. I'm not sure how things are elsewhere, but the tech said that in Calgary few of the Dodge dealerships know about the part or how to install it so she have us paperwork to give them if we decide to get it done.
  16. june07girl

    june07girl Well-Known Member

    No, we have pretty short legs so we should be okay. I will do a bit more research and see if I can find a tech here in Edmonton and get this sorted out sometime after the holidays. I still have time....right....;)
  17. june07girl

    june07girl Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to update on this in case anyone else is in the similar situation.

    We had to order 2 more tether anchors from the local Dodge dealership at a cost of $174/each plus installation. They installed in the back row driver side and back row passenger side. This is the only way we can have our two FF seats in the back row, we have the Britax Frontier XT so they are too large to be side-by-side. Now our van has 5 tether anchors and 3 seats that are LATCH compatible.

    It's so silly that vans don't come with 5 tether anchors in Canada since it is mandatory that all FF seats are top tethered.
  18. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    No kidding!

    I'm glad you were able to find someone to install the part. :good:
  19. 4jsinPA

    4jsinPA Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Glad you found something that worked!! We have a 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan and had 4 carseats in it. We had a heck of a time figuring out where to put all four seats. I thought we tethered the ones in the back, I wonder if they used to have anchors back there?
  20. ONEmomTOruleTHEMall

    ONEmomTOruleTHEMall New Member

    Hi there, I know this is an old post. I'm wondering if anyone was able to find a dealer in Calgary to install the additional tethers anchors???

    Right now I have 2 in boosters and 2 FF. One of the FF has hit the Latch/Tether weight restriction of 65 lbs due to his diono carseat being so heavy. Anyways, trying to make a long story short, I'm restricted on seat placement, and would love to be able to put 3FF in the 3rd row if it's possible so I can open up a 2nd row seat for my teenager. Wishful thinking?!?
  21. Threeiscompany

    Threeiscompany New Member

    Did anyone who happened to get the additional tether installed still have it and no longer need it? I could really use one and can't seem to find it anywhere.
Similar Threads Forum Date
Practically new expensive twin stroller system and car seats The First Year Jul 16, 2016
5 to 6 kids need some suggestions on carseats.. General Sep 15, 2015
convertible car seats The First Year Feb 26, 2015
Booster seats General Feb 16, 2015
Really need some help with car seats! General Feb 20, 2014

Share This Page