High rising Forward facing seat vs leftmost Headrest in 3rd row - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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High rising Forward facing seat vs leftmost Headrest in 3rd row

I currently have two kids, both in forward-facing Diono seats. They're narrow but high reaching, so I find the headrests to be quite inconvenient.

Since we're expecting a third child soon-ish, we went with the following setup:

Older kids on third row (Passenger position and the other midway position) using both LATCHes,
newbord on second row, driver's side,
Second row, passenger's side seat removed, to allow for more storage and easy access for both kids and parents. We'll be entering the van from the passengers side, where it's usually safer.

(Note: we have the hybrid model, if it makes any difference.)

So, my question is: How should I deal with the headrest(s) for the child seat that is located on the third row "driver-center" position? For now, I removed the center headrest and plan on folding the other third row headrests, but I worry this will create a bulge behind the child seats, which will make them unstable, especially for the one on the "driver-center" position.

What's your input?
(or heck, could they be removed altogether, without breaking things?)
Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-26-2017, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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For future reference, I ended up "fixing" the issue myself.
The kludge involves three pieces of PVC tubes with foam insulation, duct-taped together to form an equivalent rise to the folded headrest, tucked behind the child seat.
(used three smaller tubes instead of one to provide some stability.)

if need be, I can try to provide a picture of the contraption.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by A.B. View Post
For future reference, I ended up "fixing" the issue myself.
The kludge involves three pieces of PVC tubes with foam insulation, duct-taped together to form an equivalent rise to the folded headrest, tucked behind the child seat.
(used three smaller tubes instead of one to provide some stability.)

if need be, I can try to provide a picture of the contraption.
From the 2017 Pacific Owner's manual:
NOTE: If the folding, non-adjustable head restraint interferes
with the installation of the child restraint, the
head restraint may be folded and the child seat installed
in front of it.
I would be extremely wary of placing anything between the car seat and vehicle seat not explicitly approved by either the car seat and/or vehicle manufacturers - especially anything that alters the surface contact or seat position and thus could alter the physics of a crash. Chrysler approves of the configuration of the 3rd row headrest to be folded with a car seat installed. If you have any doubts as to the correctness or completeness of your particular installation, I very strongly advise reaching out to the car seat manufacturer's customer support team for guidance - Diono and Britax have both been excellent for us in the past with any questions or concerns we have had. Also, many areas offer free car seat installation inspections with certified installers either through police departments or other (typically) non-profit organizations. Please, do not take correct car seat installations lightly.

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Last edited by tsax6010; 09-27-2017 at 06:26 AM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:05 AM
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We just purchased a new convertible car seat for my son who outgrew his infant seat, and we ruled out Diono specifically for this reason. They are well regarded seats, but I think headrest interference is going to be a problem with just about any new car. Despite what the Pacifica owner's manual says, I think that installing the car seat with the headrest down is a last resort option. I tried that just to see if it worked and I noticed two downsides. First, I could not get the car seat to the proper recline angle without reclining the vehicle seat quite a ways back. Second, it was too easy to move the car seat left and right, it wasn't stable and secure enough for me.

Our choice came down to the Britax Boulevard and the Chicco NextFit. Both of these seats fit forward facing in the 2nd and 3rd row, with the backs of the car seats snugly against the vehicle seat back. We didn't have any problems with the headrests pushing the car seat away from the vehicle seat back, although we did raise the headrest by a notch in the second row. So my recommendation for anyone else who finds this thread is just buy a seat that fits.

I also don't understand why Chrysler located the latch anchors in between the left and center positions of the 3rd row. It's an awkward place. I would not use that position unless you really need to use the latch anchors for quick installation and removal of the car seat. Instead, I use seat belt installation with the car seat in the left seat.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 01:55 PM
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I also don't understand why Chrysler located the latch anchors in between the left and center positions of the 3rd row. It's an awkward place. I would not use that position unless you really need to use the latch anchors for quick installation and removal of the car seat. Instead, I use seat belt installation with the car seat in the left seat.
I was planning to use a seatbelt installation for two harnessed boosters in the far back as well. The latch positioning is very strange. The headrests and the seat belt buckles make it seem like a very challenging place to get a good installation.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 11:22 PM
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In my research, I've read, heard and discussed how to adjust child seats. I have found recommendations for a rolled up towel or pool noodle to help adjust child seat positions. I'm just a person on an internet forum telling you what I have found. It's up to you to look at the options and decide and research for yourself.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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After a lot of research, I ended up undoing my contraption, and installing the car seat fully on the driver's side, using seat belt installation. The seat on the passenger's side remains with LATCH installation, which makes one seat easily transferrable, when need be. Both have their headrests folded.

I did contact Diono (canada) about it, but the reply essentially summed up to "please refer to your vehichle's owner manual."
In the end, either lower anchors or seat belt installation is equally safe, provided they're correctly installed. (That latter point is why LATCH exists: to make a safe installation easier.) The seat belts in the pacifica seem to make it easy enough to pull them all through and engage their lock.
(of course, both top tethers are securely attached behind the benches.)

Plus, they're further apart now, which results in much quieter rides! Safety of passengers goes first through safety of the driver, after all.
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