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Adding an extra seat to a van?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My twins are due in March & dd is 2 1/2. Our van (Toyota Sienna) has just 2 seats in the middle row, which mean dd will need to move to the very back.

I thought I remembered seeing some sort of extra seat that you could purchase to install in vans.....maybe at The Right Start or somewhere like that. Does anyone know of anything like this??

We've looked into trading in the van for the Sienna model that has 3 middle seats, but we would lose a ton of money doing that, so it's not an option. It just makes me sad to put my little girl so far in the back & I'm trying to find other ideas. ???
post #2 of 12
We've been looking at vans and 3 middle seats is an important feature for me. If I remember correctly, only some of the models can do that. I would call the parts department of a Toyota dealership and ask them.
post #3 of 12
One thing to consider, is that the "third seat" may not be wide enough for a car seat. We got one with our Odyssey and it doesn't fit a regular sized person, let alone a carseat.
When my twins were born we had a Dodge, and we couldn't fit 3 carseats even on the 3-person bench seat. So we had to move ds (3) to the "way back". We did it before the twins came, and tried to make it seem like he had "graduated" to a cooler seat, with a better view, etc. When the girls were born he got a kick out of being able to see their faces while we drove. He often gave "reports" on who was sleeping, who looked happy, etc.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Jane. Good points. Dh & I were talking last night about moving dd soon to the "way back" and I hadn't thought about the benefit of her being able to see the babies' faces. I guess we'll give it a try. I'll have to find some sort of seat-back organizer or something for her to keep her snacks, blankie, etc. where she can reach them herself.

Miriam, I hope you can find something that fits 3 in the middle. I can see how that would be super important to you. Good luck!
post #5 of 12
We just purchased the 8 passenger Sienna today and we got 2 carseats in the 2 smaller middle seats, so you should be able to do 3-depending on your particular carseats and their width. We are gonna have 4 in carseats soon, so our toddlers are gonna go to the back soon anyway . I have not heard of adding a seat to the 7 passenger one, but check with Toyota. Good luck!
post #6 of 12
My ds felt soooo far away in the very back at first, but now it is normal. In some ways it is kind of nice. He can't hit the babies and bother them and if he wants me to pick something up for his I am way too far away and he just has to wait instead of me trying to pick up his toy while I am driving.
post #7 of 12
Another thought (we have the 8-pass. Sienna) is that it might not work out for her to have access to the babies - she might hand them a snack, for instance. I moved DS to the back middle about 6 months ago b/c the middle seat is the safest and with the middle row center seat moved up he had enough room for his long legs.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! You have made me see the error of my thinking I hadn't thought of the downside of trying to squish all 3 of them into the middle. We moved dd to the way back last night & she was totally fine with it. Made a big deal about her having her own window & cup holders, etc. She loved it. Problem solved (never really was a problem, huh?). Thanks again!
post #9 of 12
This is a bit off-topic, but kind of along the same lines...
We have an 18 mo. old DD who wil be 2 when the twins are born. We're pretty much resigned to the idea of "having" to get a minivan, since our Toyota Highlander might possibly accomodate her Britax marathon and two infant seats, but definitely will not fit three Marathons, when the twins are old enought to move up to them. How do you like your Siennas? They are on our short (very short!) list of vehicles to look at. We do lots of trips to the mountains, esp. in winter, so we will be looking at the AWD models. I'm not aware of any other minivans with this option, besides the Sienna (and we LOVE our Toyotas here, so I'm reluctant to consider other makes). Let me know how you like your vans!
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sorry....I just saw your post. We like our Sienna a lot, although we have already had to have a couple repairs done & have only had it a few months. I don't think that's usual, though, as my parents also have one & they haven't had any problems (in a longer time period). I know a couple people that have Honda Odysseys, too, and like them, but I don't know if they have an AWD version. Ours is not AWD, either. And this is the first van we've had, so I probably am not the best person to "review" it! Good luck with your decision. I hate buying & maintaining vehicles.
post #11 of 12
We just sold our two cars to buy one very fine Honda Odyssey (I am *so* happy to now be a one-car family... took a lot of convincing for DH but we did it ... anyway... back on topic). It doesn't have AWD but does have this thing called automatic stability control which is useful in snowy driving. We just drove through a pretty bad snow storm today and it handled beautifully. I don't know all the details, but it'd be worth look at/asking about while you search.

It also has a removable 8th seat connecting the two captains seats in the middle (although it isn't suitable for a carseat -- so we put DS in the "way back" and although it's hard to hear him over the cry of the babes sometimes, he likes the view, gives us a play by play of the girls, etc.) -- it also has SO many safety features, really good gas mileage for a minivan, etc. Can't say enough good about it.
post #12 of 12
Another vote for the Honda Odyssey. We bought ours in anticipation of our twins and it is the nicest car I've ever owned. Totally doesn't matter that I'm driving a minivan - this thing is AWESOME! I also think they (personally) look a bit nicer then the Sienna, which we checked out too, but that's a shallow reason I suppose. We'll be moving our 2 older dd's to the way back this week. The older one is not happy about it, but maybe once she's back there she'll be okay. My only concern is that we can barely hear her in the middle row and now there's no chance we'll hear what she's trying to tell us (when we ask her to speak up she just gets extra quiet - of course she's extra loud when we wish she wasn't ).
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