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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my xle on Friday. Got my hitch and trailer wiring today and installed already. As I had all the rear trim out already, I saw that it looks very possible to make this happen. I know my kids would like it for longer trips. Anybody tried this and failed yet? Would like to learn from others if possible!
 

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looks like it would fit.. but here are a few things to think about. looks like you lose your spare tire.. also the 4.3 rear seats slide forward to gain access to 3rd row.. 4.4 dont do that.. so i would be a pain to get in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
looks like it would fit.. but here are a few things to think about. looks like you lose your spare tire.. also the 4.3 rear seats slide forward to gain access to 3rd row.. 4.4 dont do that.. so i would be a pain to get in.


I would never get in the rear seat. However, my kids would happily ride back there on long car rides.
 

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My biggest concern would be safety. The seats need to be firmly attached to provide appropriate support in an accident and form integral part of the restraint system. In an accident the forces involved can reach thousands of pounds and properly engineered anchor points are not easy to design. The same for seat belt anchor points.

Even if the space is adequate, would you put your children at risk of suffering a serious injury or dying due to improperly engineered (half-cooked) modification?

Moreover, your insurance company will probably deny any claims for medical expenses even in a minor accident - not only to anybody sitting in the (unauthorized) 3rd seat, but also to any passenger that suffer injuries due to passengers and objects placed on the 3rd row seat and not being properly secured, or the 3rd seat itself if it dislodges from its position.

If you really need a 3rd row seat, sell the RAV and buy a Highlander, a Pilot, a Nissan Rogue or any other 3-row CUV (or minivan). The few thousands dollars price difference between the RAV and the Highlander is not worth tens (or more) thousands of dollars of medical expenses in case of an accident, or even worse, the charge on your conscience if anybody dies or gets injured due to your "kludging".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Safety will be foremost in my mind if I go forward. There are several mounting points existing. If those are inadequate, I can certainly weld in some additional mounting points and/or brackets. There is easy access to the top of the "frame rails" once the interior trim is removed.

Ideally, however, there would be no welding or major modification so it would be reversible later. My brother in law has a 2010 with the 3rd row seat. Next time we get together, we will park them side by side and take some measurements to see if this is feasible.
 

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I believe the 3rd gen. RAV4 is taller in the rear. The 4th gen. has different/newer lines in the rear - it slopes down, at least it looks that way to me.
 

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The last row of seats would be far too near the rear and heaven help
passengers when you are rear ended. Also where will any luggage go
surely passengers won't be expected to carry it on their laps?
Sorry but I think it is a crazy idea for the reasons given by others in
above posts, .....although if you want to get rid of your kids..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Feel free to go on a campaign to rid the country of dangerous third gen rav4's with third row seats then! Being rear ended while in the third row seat is going to be far safer than getting T-boned in the second row seat. If my only concern in life was safety, I would probably drive my suburban all the time, or maybe just stay home.


Simply question of has anyone tried this. Obviously not, so I will take it from here. By the way, my kids also ride dirtbikes. Oh, the humanity!!!


PS... T'hat was sarcasm, intended in a friendly, funny manner. I truly appreciate that there are concerns.
 

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The last row of seats would be far too near the rear and heaven help
passengers when you are rear ended.
I hear this kind of talk all the time. what if you own a small car like a chevy spark where there isn't a large trunk. Are you doomed. Maybe we all need to be driving one ton pick up trucks in order to be safe. What if everyone is driving one ton pick ups now. Wouldn't that then level the playing field as far as potential energy of a head on crash goes, and now what. Maybe if then we all revert back to driving small cars again to start from square one. Now with every one driving small cars, I will get a one ton pick up so that I can have an advantage. And then , and then....Maybe it has something to do with our society being gentrified. Heck I am old enough to remember riding in the back on a pickup truck on the highway for HOURS. And I ride a motorcycle on occasions too, thus making my point of view on saftey invalid as I can be lumped in the "death wish" category by some.

As for the 3rd row in the 4.3, there is about 1.5 to 2' of space between the rear bumper and the seat bottom. When the seats are up there is a rather large cubby behind the 3rd row seat.

As for luggage. We do not use the 3rd row for extended trips that would require luggage. I have 2 small children, and when grandparents or friends visit it is more convenient to cram into one car for a short drive rather than to take two cars. A prime example was going to the baseball game two weekends ago. $11 parking for ONE car; 6 passengers; 45 min drive.

On the 4.3 there were many differences between the 3rd and non. I won't get into the details of the differences between none 3rd and 3rd row 4.3s as you 4.4s would have no interest. First off you are not able to buy the 3rd seats new from Toyota. There are close to 200 pieces and putting them together would cost something outrageous like $5-10K. The seats are rather complicated too, as there are various latches and spring loaded mechanisms. The most realistic way to do this would be to buy a 3rd row from a junker.

Another option would be to get a 3rd row seat from an aftermarket vendor. There are a couple. If you search in the 4.3 section there are several threads with links.
 

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Ok fine but as he was talking about a brand new 2015 RAV it can't be a 4.3 surely?

I have been rear ended twice in small cars during my long driving career and both times
if there had been passengers they would have been dead or seriously injured. All the
time people ignore simple common sense and ignore what could very well happen means
that it gives the law makers even more excuses to impose their solutions etc etc.
 

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And it's not just the seats, don't forget the seat belts need to be installed for it to be legal. There would need to be anchor points to attach the lap and shoulder belts which may not even exist on the 4.4.
 

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Nuts. 4.4 is just flat out not built properly for a third row. Just freaking buy a Taurus X (if you can't handle a mini van) or T. Sienna.
 
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