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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been having this issue for a while and have not come to any great solution. I have 3 kids in carseats. Two forward facing, one rear facing. I have a toyota matrix and they dont' all fit well. They are all currently in the backseat but not well. Here's what they have:<br>
7 year old: turbo booster(but the backless kind. please don't flame, I know she needs a better seat which is why I'm posting) outboard position<br>
3 year old: radian 65 outboard position<br>
9 week old: radian 65(obviously rear facing) middle<br><br>
It's not working. the turbo booster is off center off the seat because the seats aren't wide enough. the radian is off center because the driver's seat pushes it to the side a little and the passengers seat needs to be folded down constantly. there's no latch hooks in the middle and the radian is too wide to use the latch hooks safely in the outboard position and the turbo booster doesn't fit in the middle with the radian outboard. So either way you go my kids aren't safe. So I was putting the baby in a graco infant seat we borrowed and the 7 year old in the front seat in the radian. it's legal in my state according to the state police website if every seat is taken in the back by a child in a carseat. But it's not feeling safe to me.<br><br><br>
What do I do? this belongs here because I have $6400.00 left on my loan on this car and my trade value is rated by kelly blue book around $8k. So I currently have a positive trade value but can't afford more than a $250 monthly payment and that's stretching it. And with gas what it is, I'm really worried. But I need a safe situation for my girls. Do I trade it in and try to get a better car? What car would still be okay on gas but big enough for all three kids? I don't want a 3rd radian if they still won't fit in my car well. And I can't afford a new car AND another radian. My income is okay for my bills but I AM single and only on one income and my ex won't help pay for another seat. I already asked him. What should I do? And does anyone have a car that's good on gas that fits 3 across the back seat? and what seats do you have?
 

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what kind of car do you have?
 

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The OP says she has a Toyota Matrix.<br><br>
Have you looked into an older Volvo Wagon with a 3rd row seat? I just bought a 1996 Volvo 850 for $6400 (82,000 miles, one owner, clean title ect..) out the door. Mine doesn't have a third row seat but many do. The seats are designed for kids so your 7 year old could sit back there or it has a built in booster seat in the middle back.<br><br>
Here are some pics of my car:<br><br><a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=21418&l=69b60&id=589417334" target="_blank">http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...0&id=589417334</a>
 

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I have a Toyota Sienna with the three seats in the middle row. I can easily fit three radians in the middle. That would however not be in your budget. I agree that you should look for something with a third row seat. The only other option I can think of would be three Sunshine Radians, but once again that would not be in the budget. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I've been wondering about this, too... I have a pontiac Vibe (it's exactly like the matrix) and two children, but I'm worried about what to do next. I am so annoyed and disappointed that there's no vans that are hybrid.... I'm really worried about the gas mileage thing. Not that we could really afford one, anyway...
 

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Maybe try different car seats. I only have 2 but now and then a friend and her son joins us in my car. One car seat and two boosters have to fit. I have 2 boosters of my own and my friend has 2 for her son. The first time we did this we spent quite some time trying different combinations until one worked. When I got a new car we had to do this all over again. Any chance you can try a bunch at a store?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well the problem is that the radian is the thinnest seat on the market, which is why I chose them. My oldest is 7 1/2. I dont' want to buy a $200 seat for her, ya know? They are only 15" across the base, which makes them the narrowest out there. BUT there is only 47" of hip room in the matrix which technically should make my two radians(30" together) and a graco turbo booster(17") fit but with the seat buckles and such it pushes them off kilter just a little but enough to make them unsafe. Even just 3 more inches of hip room would make a huge difference. But there's also the matter of the rear facing radian and the two front seats. That's why I'm sorta conflicted on how to do this.
 

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do the local police do a car seat check in your area? or the fire dept? there's a car seat certification class that they can take. and its not some stupid "watch a movie for 5 hours" type class. i was told that its a week long class, 9-5 each day. they might be able to figure something out.
 

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hugs. no advice <span style="color:#C0C0C0;">we are in the process of getting a bigger car to make room for the new babe.</span> nevermind on getting a bigger car the dude is being an a$$hole and wont stick to the initial agreement
 

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If you had a third radian would it work? Can you latch the two outboard Radians? How much do your 7 and 3 year old weigh?
 

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I'm in a similar situation. A new car is totally out of the question for now. But my 3 kids don't really fit in my little saturn. I currently have my youngest in a chicco keyfit in the middle, my middle child in a decathalon and my oldest in a graco safeseat booster. I have a decathalon (from the oldest) for when my son outgrows the infant seat. I hate the carseat situation. It is so hard to buckle the oldest into the booster because the seats are right against each other. I can't really afford to buy a bunch of new seats either. The decathalons are only 18 months old (bought them before I got pregnant with the youngest).
 

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How "wide" is your 7 year old. How heavy is your 3 year old?<br><br>
The Britax Bodyguard (which has been replaced) was adjustable down to 13" wide on the base. When DD had one (she was 5 at the time) we could have it all the way down to 13" with no problem.<br><br>
I do not know if there are any other boosters that adjustible w/the width. If you could get a Bodyguard and put it in the middle seat (I'm assuming the middle seat has a shoulder belt) with the Radian 65's on the sides--- both rear facing I would *think* it would fit.<br><br>
Also, how tall is your 7 year old? When will she be ready to be out of the booster. That will effect your long term plans.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>xmysticprincessx</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10746375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">do the local police do a car seat check in your area? or the fire dept? there's a car seat certification class that they can take. and its not some stupid "watch a movie for 5 hours" type class. i was told that its a week long class, 9-5 each day. they might be able to figure something out.</div>
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A group I am involved with does free car seat safety checks each year. We have several local polica officers that are trained to do the inspections. When you leave your seats will be installed correctly. If any of your seats are not correct for the child, or too old, they will GIVE you a new one. They have sponsors that support this. I would get online & find a safety inspection site in your area. Call teh police dept & ask. Is there a Children's hospital in your area? They usually have services like this. They will know what works for your vehicle. Good luck!
 

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I've got a vibe (same as matrix) and get three across. Two radians, one rear behind the passenger, one forward in the middle, then a high back booster. I have to buckle in the booster, ds can't reach it with where the radian is but that's the only issue I've had. I'll double check what model my booster is. Maybe move the two radians around and see if it frees up more space?
 

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Not sure if this was mentioned but have you tried the FPSV high back booster? It's narrower than the turbo boosters and they were pretty cheap at allbeebaby.com awhile ago (haven't checked recently though)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amj'smommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10748764"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not sure if this was mentioned but have you tried the FPSV high back booster? It's narrower than the turbo boosters and they were pretty cheap at allbeebaby.com awhile ago (haven't checked recently though)</div>
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This my thought too. It would put your dd in a high back booster and should give you a little more room to buckle. They were $29.99 and $39.99 at albeebaby.com last I checked.
 

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I've heard that the Parkway booster (made by Britax) can puzzle better then the Graco TB. They are the same width but the Parkway does not have arm rests, that can make a huge difference when it comes to puzzling seats. They are no longer made, but you can still find them.<br><br>
Go here, <a href="http://www.car-seat.org/index.php" target="_blank">http://www.car-seat.org/index.php</a> and post your car, seats, DC's stats and a tech can help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thank y9ou everyone. I just went to that site and posted the issue and I am waiting for a response. if that fails I'll take them to the police barracks tomorrow(when the 7 year old is in school so I don't have to transport her too) to get it looked at. I am having a lot of trouble with this and can't see a good way out.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Since this is the frugality and finanaces forum, I'll have to advocate NOT having any more car payments! Especially since you're a single mom, you should not be getting yourself into anymore debt. Just sell your car and buy another one with the profit and anything you have leftover. I have a Toyota Previa minivan (it's a '93, and these sell for around 1K-2K currently). I have 5 carseats in it. 2 boosters in the captain's chairs in the middle row, 2 toddler seats and 1 more high-back booster in the back row.<br><br>
Check cars.com for good deals on cars. It's a site where you can enter your zip code and how far you're willing to go for a car, and it'll match you up with cars to check out.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">. I have a Vibe and it is narrow back there with just two seats. Both of my seats are in the outboard position and I'm sure that nobody old enough to not need a car seat would actually fit in the middle nor would any other carseat or booster. DS1 has a Britax Husky which has got to be one of the biggest carseats on the planet, oh well.<br><br>
On the flip side I would be reluctant to trade in a car with such good reliability and crash ratings on something older and crappier just to fit better.<br><br>
I guess if you could find three seats that all fit I'd buy them. I'm pretty sure new seats would still be less expense and hassle than purchasing a different car. I think eventually (I know it's like 4 or 5 years way) with two <b>small</b> boosters and one older child in with just a seatbelt you'll ride pretty comfortable too (with one kid I rode in the back a lot and found it to be fine for my 5-7 self.)
 
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