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Hello All,

Since my wife and I are expecting our first baby in Aug 2006, we will need to install a baby seat.

I know some of you have babies, so tell me, how easy or difficult is it to install a baby seat?
 

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I've only had to do it twice for my friends' kids -- one was a baby seat and one was a booster. Both a very simple procedure. The wide opening of the rear doors helps a lot and the LATCH system support in the RAV is a huge help for newer seats.

If the seat will be in the RAV for any extended amount of time, I recommend that you fold a towel and lay it across the bottom under the seat. That'll keep it from making long-lasting impressions on the leather or cloth surface it's pressing indentations into.
 
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thank karrock.

I'll let you know how it goes, when we get our Rav4 and the baby arrives. I actually find out later today, if it's a girl or boy as the ultrasound was inconclusive. As long as junior is healthy, I will be extremely happy.
 
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Welcome to the Daddy club!

My son is 10 months old and I just installed his Britax Roundabout carseat in our new RAV yesterday. This is a combo seat that you can turn around to face forward when the time comes. Currently ours is facing the rear which requires I use the seatbelts rather than the latch system. While I am pleased with the versatility the RAV offers for carseats, I have to admit that placing a carseat in the center position using the belts is a little awkward. But you can make it work safely but expect to loose the ability to freely fold down either side of the seats while the carrier is in place (in the center). At any rate, I will probably defer to the latch system once we face the seat forward.

Probably the best advice I can give is to be sure to have your carseat installation inspected by a certified carseat inspector. They have seen all sorts of installations/configurations and can help you be certain your seat is installed properly and your child is safe.

Remember, installing any carseat in any car for the first time is tricky but you know you're a dad when....

you spend 40 minutes grunting and breathing heavily in the backseat of your car.......and you're ALONE! :)
 
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Thanks Milagro,

Good advice. I almost coughed up my milk, when I read your post.

cheers,
vroom2grow
 
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Call your local Police Department or Township building, they usually always do it for free and correctly (just not every day so you need to know when to go).

From what Ive read, its the only way you should really do it. Alot of people try to install them themselves and its not the easiest thing to do (even if it seems, its probably not being done correctly) and chances are once you have the seat installed you are going to leave it there, so why not have it done correctly and safely the first time. :D
 
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First...congrats on your new baby! (or should I say, two new babies!)...

My baby is now nearly 15 years old...and I had to put her car seat into a two-door Monte Carlo! Talk about a pain!! Things should be pretty easy in the RAV compared to THAT. Like said above...police departments and fire departments...as well as Children's Hospitals...will be more than happy to make sure your seat is installed properly. I know they encourage that in our area. We also have safety fairs often, and they have experts on hand to help you.

FWIW...I ended up finding a carseat for my daughter that snapped into a base that was semi-permanently installed into the car. This was VERY nice...the seat just popped into the base. I did, however...always make sure the belt was tight and the position was correct. The seat then could be used as a baby carrier as well.
 

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Wow RAVishing,

Your baby is "15 years old" and you still put her into car seat. :?:

It's just so tempted to point it out, sorry. My bad month, maybe that's why I got a dent on my rav. :wink:


Congratulation vroom2grow! It better to buy the car seat and have it installed before the baby born. Most fire department can inspect it.

My son is almost 3 years old. The car seat is old type, so it doesn't have the LATCH system. I use the seat belt and the long belt at the back to tie the seat. Since the brace located at very low position, I have to slide the seat forward and slide back after installed.

TSQ
 
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tsq2006 said:
Wow RAVishing,

Your baby is "15 years old" and you still put her into car seat. :?:

It's just so tempted to point it out, sorry. My bad month, maybe that's why I got a dent on my RAV. :wink:
Hey...I'm on spring break this week, and so is my brain! I actually teach college! LOL! (Hmmm...maybe my students are rubbing off on me...not literally, of course)...
 
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What ever you do, make sure you muscle it to tight as much as possible as only reason I bought my wife's RAV4 is someone cut in right in front of her then my wife lost control over her car while trying to avoid collision with that car, went down the by pass(roughly 27ft high) then flipped foward landing on roof. Of course my 3 yr daughter had to be in the car too. It was britex car seat($300 something ouch) which I secured it very very tight. She didn't get hurt at all except little bruise on her forehead caused by flying objects. If I haven't tighten that up real tight, I don't know what would of happened as I read that most of the carseats out there are not properly secured. Oh, and yeah my wife civic is totalled lol. Very lucky!!

also I've notice that when I was installing carseat on Rav4, it leaned back too much. It's probably depends on what carseat you put on but at least britex on does. you probably want to put rolled towl or form they sell it in baby stores to raise up back side alittle. Hope you have good luck setting that up. :)
 
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It is a trial and error process best done in the driveway.

I did it for my 2 girls. If you have 1 child I always put the seat in the middle of the back seat. Not to one side. That way she was further from a potential impact point. Tightness of seat belt..... Thats crucial. I would kneel on the car seat and put my weight into the seat to compress it down and then fastem the seat belt. That way the seat is rock solid...My wide was not strong enough to do this.

Congrats to you and family..

Becks
 

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Sorry, resurrecting an old post....

I need to install a rear facing infant car seat into my new RAV. This seat is one of those with the detachable carrier with the base that stays in the car. You can either secure this base in through the traditional seat belt way, or you can use the LATCH belts.

My question is that I want to put this seat in the middle location, but there are only carseat anchors and LATCH tethers on the outer seats. Has anyone put their carseat in using the innermost LATCH tethers?

The manual for my Graco Safeseat says that the LATCH systems should not be used if the tethers are more than 11" apart. This seems to be just about where they are right now. I've attached my carseat in this location and it looks like it fits fine and is completely snug. I haven't had this checked out by anyone though.

So I guesss my question is, should I put the carseat in the center position as I described or just put the seat in the right or left side?

Any feedback?
 
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Barrance,

Sounds to like you have everything under control :D

I would keep the childs seat in the middle. The seat should NOT be able to rock from side to side without some effort.

Typicall y we used the car seat without the attached base for the stoller. Not sure if yours detaches. Some do.

If the childs seat was prone to be tilted fore or aft too far I would roll a bath towel up and use that under the seat to keep the seat in the correct pitch position (when child is in the seat her head was not tilted to far forward-toward fron of car or to upright-toward the rear o fthe car).


bEcKs :wink:
 

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Thanks. The seat does move, but that's when you physically push it left and right, otherwise, it feels quite snug. There's even a level indicator to let you know if you have the seat adjusted to the right angle and it looks like I'm okay.

Thanks for the info!
 

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Car set in middle

I am a carseat nazi and ALWAYS keep my baby in the middle of the back seat as it is the safest place in the car. That being said, when I got the RAV4 I started using the inner latch like the previous poster addressed. I recently learned this is a no no cause in an accident that twists the frame the car seat could rip in half. So I went to use the seatbelt in the middle. However, the buckle piece is so long it pulls the buckle into the back of the carseat which is also a no-no cause it would break like that up against the plastic. So what do you guys do? Do you know if toyota can shorten the belt so the buckle isn't so long?

Janet
 

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Sorry to resurrect this old post but I'm facing the exact same issue as the above poster: I installed the seat base in the middle of the back seat but the seatbelt stalk is so long that it makes contact with the base.

I got really excited when an earlier poster stated that he had used the inner LATCH system points to mount the base in the middle but the above poster shattered that hope.

Right now, I've got the seat mounted in the middle using the center seatbelt but it sort of sits off to the driver's side a bit (not quite in the exact center). It shifted in this direction when I cinched down the seatbelt really tight.

My wife has an appointment tomorrow with the certified inspector at our local fire station. When I made the appointment, the inspector told me that the majority of the seats they inspect are not correctly installed - I took this as a personal challenge! After following both the seat's manual in conjunction with the RAV4 manual, I'm still not sure it's installed right.

I've asked my wife to ask the inspector about using the LATCH points for the center. I'll post a report tomorrow with their answer.
 
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Toyman991 said:
Sorry to resurrect this old post but I'm facing the exact same issue as the above poster: I installed the seat base in the middle of the back seat but the seatbelt stalk is so long that it makes contact with the base.

I got really excited when an earlier poster stated that he had used the inner LATCH system points to mount the base in the middle but the above poster shattered that hope.

Right now, I've got the seat mounted in the middle using the center seatbelt but it sort of sits off to the driver's side a bit (not quite in the exact center). It shifted in this direction when I cinched down the seatbelt really tight.

My wife has an appointment tomorrow with the certified inspector at our local fire station. When I made the appointment, the inspector told me that the majority of the seats they inspect are not correctly installed - I took this as a personal challenge! After following both the seat's manual in conjunction with the RAV4 manual, I'm still not sure it's installed right.

I've asked my wife to ask the inspector about using the LATCH points for the center. I'll post a report tomorrow with their answer.
You absolutely cannot use the inner LATCH Anchors to install a Child restraint in the center rear. You can only do this if it specifies it in the vehicle owners manual. The Anchors have to be the same distance apart to do this. Not many vehicles have Latch Anchors in the center rear. Also, I looked at my center rear seating position and it looks pretty narrow. Good luck installing a seat there. As far as the webbing being too long, you can twist the buckle a maximum of 3 times without weakening the webbing.
 

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Mine is on the passenger side. Putting it in the middle wont allow you to use the LATCH anchors, plus the rear strap would attach to the roof, right in my line of sight for the rear view.
 

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Its ok for it to shift to drivers side a bit. As long as it is tight, secure, and sitting upright. They put the middle seat belt in so that you could use middle seat with the 40 split folded down. I use the middle position for my son's regent. The passenger backseat is still usuable but the drivers side backseat is not as there isn't a whole seat there with the regent being so big.

I'm curious if you are having an issue with the belt path being so wide for the middle position though. Can you secure the seat or base so that it doesnt' move side to side. The regent has a long belt path and being such a wide seat it works perfectly for the belt path being so wide. But when I had a normal size convertible seat I couldn't get it secure because no matter how tight it was there was still too much side to side movement simply based on how wide the belt path was.

Janet
 
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