Monday, August 5, 2013

Car seat drama continues

Today was the day we met with Kelly, the car seat guru from SafeKids.  We met her in the parking lot of Panera and provided entertainment for the people streaming in and out at lunch today.  We even had a guy come over and ask if he could help us. =)  Once again we spent an hour trying to get our three Graco SnugRides safely installed in the back of the Rav.  Kelly also brought along a Chicco KeyFit and an Evenflo seat to try in combination with the Snugrides.  We thought maybe if we got one seat that was a little higher or lower then the handles wouldn't be as much of a problem, but we weren't able to find a combo that quite worked.  For about 5 minutes we thought we had it, but we had to have the outside two seats angled a bit.  The bases were snug, but Kelly wanted to run it by a colleague so she texted her some pictures.  Sadly, her colleague agreed with our concerns about the angle (something about the rebound angles).

So it looks like we're back to the starting blocks on this.  We're going to go ahead and order three Keyfits to see if that will work.  We are also setting up another visit with Kelly who is going to find her Combi Corcorro and some Diono Radians for us to try in combination with the Keyfits.  And, if all of this fails, then it's time to look at cars.  Michelle and I started doing some initial research in case this eventuality comes to pass.  I think we mentioned in the last post that we were thinking about a used Highlander Hybrid but we've never actually seen one in person.  So, after eating a delicious dinner of sweet corn brown rice risotto, we decided to make a quick run to the local Toyota dealer to see one in person.  We did check one out and you could definitely see the extra four inches of width in the backseat.   But it is big...or at least it feels like it to us!  Jerry, our nice and not so skeezy salesman did tell us how much he appreciates his Sienna minivan though. =)   Both seat 7-8...Sienna's gas mileage is only like 21mpg while the Highlander Hybrid gets closer to 30... (here are pics for comparison)

Before we left the house I'd done some research on the gas mileage and back seat hip widths on a handful of cars.  I noticed that the Prius V hasd an extra inch of hip width and obviously gets way better gas mileage, so while we were at the dealership I thought we'd check it out.  The backseat did indeed look wider to both of us so I asked for a measuring tape.  In the Rav, on both sides there are little plastic pieces that force the outside carseats to be pushed in.  I measured the distance between those pieces in the Rav and it was 39 inches.  Then I measured that same distance in the Prius V and it was 44 inches!  The hip width (between the door handles) is only an inch bigger, but the useable width of the backseat is almost 5 inches wider in car seat terms.  Soooo IF the new car seat options don't work as well as we want them too in the Rav, it looks like the Prius V is a real contender for our next vehicle.  Here's a picture of a Prius V...

Now, before you all leave comments about how we're going to need a minivan or a bigger SUV with more seats for our kids' friends...I want you to know that we know that!  But that is an "eventually" reality and not something we're worried about in the next few years.  We have been a one car family for a few years now and we like it (most of the time).  But we realize that might not be a forever thing, so once Michelle is done with school and has a "real job," and we become a two car family, THEN we can look at vehicles with room for more passengers.  So we have thought about it, and are still thinking about it..  .And we would ideally just be able to save money and keep the Rav...but we will see.  We also want to make sure our babies are safe and that we don't drive ourselves nuts trying to get them in and out of the car.  Any of our readers have a family member or good friend who is a Toyota Dealear?!  Or might have seen a 2012 Prius V Two (ideally in this gray color) for sale near you?! =)  (option two is obviously better if you live in driving distance of us!)


  1. We totally do not subscribe to the "You're going to *have* to get a minivan so that you can truck your kids and their friends with you," philosophy. Three kids in a Subaru Outback. And when that one dies, we've totally got our eye on the Prius V. (In Europe that model seats 7!!! WTF?)

    I do not like driving minivans; they are too big and make me very uncomfortable.

    Hang in there. BTW, I did a bit of research about using infant seats without their bases, and it turns out that they are actually somewhat SAFER when used that way. Might be worth trying the two outer seats in their bases and the middle one without the base to get some varying heights in there?

    Love you, Gina

  2. :) I like the expanding options. And you guys make do with less all the time. Trust your gut!

  3. Mari! This is my first comment but I've been reading all along :) Can't wait to come see your family of 5 this Christmas! As for toyota dealers, don't know a dealer but over the years my whole family has bought many camry's and a sienna (and 1 honda accord) from Gus at traditional auto. He's always given us good deals. Call him up and say Dan O'Brien's daughter referred you... he can start keeping an eye out for a used highlander or sienna! 814-234-8202


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