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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just bought a new (to us) minivan <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
It's a 2000 Mazda MPV LX.<br><br>
I'd like some advice on how to best place our seats. We have:<br>
*DS1, age 5.5, in a Monterey booster<br>
*DS2, age 3.5, in a Nautilus (harnessed)<br>
*DS3, age 10 months, currently in a Graco ComfortSport, but we're about to buy him a TrueFit.<br><br>
I found this link saying that car seats cannot be used in the 2nd row due to the type of seat belt:<br><a href="http://www.motorbeat.com/complaint/278478/" target="_blank">http://www.motorbeat.com/complaint/278478/</a><br><br>
Didn't think to research that first, but I think we will be okay if we put DS2 and DS3 in the 3rd row, and DS1 in the 2nd row, behind the driver, right?<br><br>
Also, can a child in a booster be placed in the 2nd row on the passenger side, if the vehicle seat is pushed to the center? (ie. forming a bench in the 2nd row, towards the driver's side, rather than 2 separate seats)<br><br>
Oh, one more question! There aren't any top tether anchors in the vehicle currently, so we'll be getting at least one installed asap. Anyone know the locations where the tether anchors can be installed? Are there 2 spots in the 3rd row (I hope)?<br><br>
Thank you!!<br><br>
edited to say: we aren't taking all the kids in it until we have a tether anchor installed for DS2's seat. I know that it is mandatory <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> So far only DS1 has been for a ride in the van.
 

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Don't worry about it. The problem wasn't the seatbelt, the problem was that the author didn't know what he was doing and filed a complaint rather than consulting a CPST to help him with his issue.<br><br>
There's nothing particularly special about that kind of seatbelt. It's common in many vehicles and definitely can be used to install child restraints.<br><br>
Top tether anchors can only be installed in the second row. The part number is LCY2-57-77X. You can buy the part (called a 'tether anchor kit') for 11-35 dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Maedze</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14716460"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There's nothing particularly special about that kind of seatbelt. It's common in many vehicles and definitely can be used to install child restraints.</div>
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Are you sure? The Nautilus manual says that it cannot be used with that type of seatbelt, and I'm sure that I've seen it in other manuals too. Under "Unsafe Vehicle Belt Systems" it lists "lap belts forward of the seat crease"... OH DEAR. DUH. Just answered my own question <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> That would apply to LAP belts, not 3-point belts, right. Duh.<br><br>
Why would Mazda say you can't put car seats in the 2nd row then?<br><br>
Sorry!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh - is there anything special we will need to do to install properly with those belts?<br><br>
So if we can only tether in the 2nd row, I guess we will put DS2 in the 2nd row behind the driver and put DS1 and DS3 in the 3rd row, until DS3 is forward facing (hopefully not for a long time!) and he will need a tether too at that point. I don't really want to use both 2nd row seats right now if we don't have to as it seems like it will block access to the 3rd row, but maybe we can just play around with it and see what works best.<br><br>
Thanks.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mama2Xander</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14716741"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you sure? The Nautilus manual says that it cannot be used with that type of seatbelt, and I'm sure that I've seen it in other manuals too. Under "Unsafe Vehicle Belt Systems" it lists "lap belts forward of the seat crease"... OH DEAR. DUH. Just answered my own question <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> That would apply to LAP belts, not 3-point belts, right. Duh.<br><br>
Sorry!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"></div>
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Well, even lap belts forward of the bight can be used on most car seats if the installer knows what s/he is doing.<br><br>
Sometimes it makes it more difficult but for the most part it's just technique.<br><br>
Almost all modern cars have seatbelts forward of the bight. It's a safety modification...it allows the belt to fit back seat riders better, keeping the lap belt low on the thighs rather than up on the tummy.<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about needing two top tether anchors...your 10 month old should be in a rear facing child restraint for at least another three years. By then your three year old should be fine in a booster <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Also, Mazda said no such thing about not using the second row. The author of that spectacularly stupid paragraph said it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
My guess is that he called Mazda ranting and raving and was sensibly told by the people on the other end of the line, "If you can't your seat installed correctly, don't put it there".<br><br>
Seats go just fine in the second row. Mazda most certainly does not prohibit it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Maedze</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14716779"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, even lap belts forward of the bight can be used on most car seats if the installer knows what s/he is doing.<br><br>
Sometimes it makes it more difficult but for the most part it's just technique.<br><br>
Almost all modern cars have seatbelts forward of the bight. It's a safety modification...it allows the belt to fit back seat riders better, keeping the lap belt low on the thighs rather than up on the tummy.<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about needing two top tether anchors...your 10 month old should be in a rear facing child restraint for at least another three years. By then your three year old should be fine in a booster <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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OK, thanks. We'll play around with the seats tonight and figure out the best placement. The tether anchor will be installed tomorrow. I just have to figure out what makes the most sense in terms of where to put DS3 so that it is relatively easy to buckle him in, but not blocking the other seats. We are new to this whole minivan thing, it's the first time we've had a vehicle that we can fit all 3 seats in, and neither of our families ever had a minivan <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Anyway, yeah, you're right it should be quite awhile before DS3 needs the tether... I HIGHLY doubt we will make it 3 more years though. My kids are all pretty big. DS2 who will be 3.5 next week is too big to RF and has been for some time now. I am hoping that a TrueFit will get DS3 to at least age 2.5 RF, but of course beyond that would be great. Oh, I really doubt DS2 will make it that long in the harness anyway. He's already close to needing the top slot on the Nautilus, so it should all work out.
 

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We had a Mazda MPV (man, I miss the dual remote powered sliding doors) and safely installed car seats in both the 2nd and 3rd row.<br><br>
Does yours have the two captain chairs that can be slided together, or apart (or one removed?) we found it easiest to have them pushed together with four small children -- except when they were fighting, DH would slide them apart in a matter of seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Drummer's Wife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14718884"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We had a Mazda MPV (man, I miss the dual remote powered sliding doors) and safely installed car seats in both the 2nd and 3rd row.<br><br>
Does yours have the two captain chairs that can be slided together, or apart (or one removed?) we found it easiest to have them pushed together with four small children -- except when they were fighting, DH would slide them apart in a matter of seconds.</div>
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Thanks - yes - the 2nd row has 2 seats which can either be separate or pushed together to form a bench (or removed if necessary).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Maedze</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14716779"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sometimes it makes it more difficult but for the most part it's just technique.</div>
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Sorry - just wondering if you (or anyone else) can share any tips on the right technique? DH was experimenting with the seats a bit today and said that the Nautilus has a LOT of play in it when installed in the 2nd row. He had the van parked at work though, and forgot to take the locking clip with him - would that be the problem? He had to leave the van at his work tonight and bring our car home to work on, so we can't try the seats out again right now. I am just worried about what to do about the tether etc - we have an appt tomorrow AM at the Mazda place.<br><br>
So if you really can only tether in the 2nd row, how do we get a good seatbelt install there?<br><br>
Argh. It installs nicely in the 3rd row, naturally <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
Please tell me this is going to work somehow... I am kind of freaking out that we just spent $215 on the Nautilus only a month ago and now it's not going to work in the new van!! This is all new to us, we never had any problems whatsoever getting good installs in our car. The Nautilus was rock solid in there.
 

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Shouldn't need a locking clip. No installation advice (sorry) But do have a recommendation for where to put everyone. When I had a minivan, and babysat my neice (in addition to my 2 children) I took out one of the captains chairs, and had one child in the captians chair on the opposite side from the door (this van only had one door, but I would just choose the one you use most) and the other 2 in the back. In your case, I'd put DS2 in the second row seat, so he can be tetered, and I'd put DS3 behind that seat RF, and DS1 on the opposite side of the back bench. Then you could climb all the way in the van (a plus in a colder climate) and buckle everyone in with the door closed. Another option would be to push the two middle seats together have DS2 and DS3 on that bench, and DS1 on the back bench on the side with the opening. You should be able to reach that seat fairly easily from the open door, and would be able to buckle DS3 easily, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>libranbutterfly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14721182"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In your case, I'd put DS2 in the second row seat, so he can be tetered, and I'd put DS3 behind that seat RF, and DS1 on the opposite side of the back bench.</div>
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THanks, I think that is what we will be doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, we definitely need some help with the install.<br><br>
With the Nautilus installed in the 2nd row, behind the driver's seat, it has about <b>4" of movement front-to-back at the side where the seat belt buckle is</b>. The side opposite of the buckle (ie. the side of the vehicle that the seat belt is coming from) is good. There is also a <b>generous 1" of movement side-to-side at the belt path</b>.<br><br>
I hope I am describing this well, let me know if it doesn't make sense.<br><br>
What do we do to fix this?
 

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No experience on the install of the Nautilus but I have a 2002 MPV and here's what we do for seating choices. We normally keep the 2nd row seat on the right side in the center position. This allows easy access to the 3rd row seat even when someone is sitting in that seat. Like a PP, if the kids start fighting, we just pull over and slide them apart. Also, when DSS 8 is sitting in the 3rd row on the far left (so behind the driver) and he needs help getting buckled, I just open the back gate and lean over the back seat. I LOVE my MPV and am so sad that I will have to replace it soon because the kids are getting too big!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mama2Xander</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14721800"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">OK, we definitely need some help with the install.<br><br>
With the Nautilus installed in the 2nd row, behind the driver's seat, it has about <b>4" of movement front-to-back at the side where the seat belt buckle is</b>. The side opposite of the buckle (ie. the side of the vehicle that the seat belt is coming from) is good. There is also a <b>generous 1" of movement side-to-side at the belt path</b>.<br><br>
I hope I am describing this well, let me know if it doesn't make sense.<br><br>
What do we do to fix this?</div>
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Makes perfect sense and it's a common (but easily fixable) install 'quirk' with the Nautilus.<br><br>
When you install the seat, instead of cramming it back into the bight of the vehicle seat (which is what people do sort of instinctually), try pulling the base of the Nautilus *away* from the bight of the vehicle seat just a bit (not more than an inch or so). Then get your knee in it and push straight down as you tighten the belt. That should get you a rock solid install <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Maedze</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14722025"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Makes perfect sense and it's a common (but easily fixable) install 'quirk' with the Nautilus.<br><br>
When you install the seat, instead of cramming it back into the bight of the vehicle seat (which is what people do sort of instinctually), try pulling the base of the Nautilus *away* from the bight of the vehicle seat just a bit (not more than an inch or so). Then get your knee in it and push straight down as you tighten the belt. That should get you a rock solid install <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Awesome, thanks! We'll try it when we get the van back from the repair place, hopefully later this afternoon.
 

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We currently drive a 2002 Mazda MPV and have 17 month old twins RF in Truefit's in the middle seats. They are pushed together to allow easier access to the back row where our two older children sit. The MPV is a "smaller" minivan which made carseat installation trickier for us.<br><br>
We got the Truefits when the babies were around 1 year so they could sit at a more upright angle. There was no way they could be installed at the indicated RF angle with the upper seatback on (over 22lbs). Your Ds3 is already 10 months so he could be more upright anyways. Just keep that in mind if you wanted the newborn angle. Also, we could never really fit the Truefit in the back row. It always seemed to rest against the seat in front even when that seat was pushed all the way forward. Plus it would be tricky to get a smaller child that can't get themselves in in that seat. We used to lift one baby in through the hatch when they were in the bucket seats. Even with the Truefit's RF in the middle there is just enough room for myself and dh in the front. I'm 5'9 and dh is 6' so we could use more room. We still have a while before we turn the younger two FF but we will definitely enjoy the extra room when we do.<br><br>
You might just want to check out the install with a Truefit before you actually purchase it.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>4Marmalade</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14725047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You might just want to check out the install with a Truefit before you actually purchase it.<br><br>
Good luck!</div>
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Thanks, I think that will definitely be a good idea. I was reading a bunch of posts yesterday on another forum and it seemed like quite a few people were saying that there wasn't a ton of room for the Truefit to fit RF. That's why I really want to buy a seat locally (rather than mail order). Our other option is the Complete Air. Price-wise I would rather go with the Truefit, since it's $100 less than the Complete Air, but we will get the CA if we need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Maedze</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14722025"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Makes perfect sense and it's a common (but easily fixable) install 'quirk' with the Nautilus.<br><br>
When you install the seat, instead of cramming it back into the bight of the vehicle seat (which is what people do sort of instinctually), try pulling the base of the Nautilus *away* from the bight of the vehicle seat just a bit (not more than an inch or so). Then get your knee in it and push straight down as you tighten the belt. That should get you a rock solid install <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Just wanted to let you know that this worked great <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Thanks very much!<br><br>
Still no tether though... we had an appt booked to have one put in, plus have some other stuff checked/fixed, and the Mazda place basically tried to scam us into a LOT of unnecessary work, and ended up not actually carrying the tether anchors anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> (Thank goodness we didn't listen to them or we would have wasted a lot of money. We had BCAA come and inspect the van this morning and there are a few relatively minor things that need fixing, but nothing like what we were originally quoted.)<br><br>
I am hoping we can get the repairs and tether sorted out next week. Then we need to try out some different seats for DS3 (we can now choose locally between the CA, TF, or the My Ride). Then we will be all set!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh - Maedze - I meant to post this link I came across:<br><a href="http://www.mpvclub.com/tsb.php?id=20" target="_blank">http://www.mpvclub.com/tsb.php?id=20</a><br><br>
Maybe that is what that other link was referring to?? Who knows. Our seat belts do have that issue (only going to 45 degrees) but it doesn't seem to cause a problem.
 
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