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Car Seats for Cars with Lap belts only
We have one Britax for our Subaru. We now need a second car seat to put into our 87 VW Vanagon Westfalia. It has only lap belts. Also, there is no point on the floor to tie the seat into (as was done with the seat in the Subaru). I am looking for other Westie/Vanagon owners who have experience (positive or negative) with seats. Thanks. Keith
You didn't indicate the size of your child, but since there is no way to retrofit the seats for headrests you need either a shoulder belt and a BPB or a Britax SE (I think now they are called Husky's) which will allow you to use the lapbelts in a carseat that goes to 80lb.
As for tethers, I retrofit our GL in the ''backback'' - but for the Westy, I bolted another seatbelt to one of the (used) seatbelt bolts and used it to tether to. Some people weld a bolt in the back compartment - not on the engine lid cover but to the frame. Also, when you retrofit the shoulderbelt on the one side, you'll have to pull the panel - you should find a number of holes in the frame there that you can bolt an anchor to.
It should be easy enough but a little time consuming - I did it enormously pregnant.
Can anyone recommend a booster seat for a 40-pound child for use in a car that has only lapbelts in the rear seat? Katie
My 1988 Toyota Corolla doesn't have shoulder belts in the rear or air bags anywhere. Toyota, two local Toyota dealerships, and Henry Chin's auto shop in Berkeley (recommended to me for possible retrofitting by Christian at Rockridge Kids) all said either the car couldn't be retrofitted for shoulder belts or they didn't know how to do it, whether parts were available, etc. Henry Chin has retrofitted other cars, though, so it's worth a shot, even if you have another 88 Corolla--individual cars vary in terms of rear seat construction, etc. I inferred, if it wasn't stated directly, from an NHTSA leaflet that all cars could be retrofitted, but that appears to be untrue.
The Super Elite, which I thought would be the answer to my dilemma, is not available (according to several local stores I've called (including Darla's), the Britax website, and a customer service representative at Britax with whom I spoke last week) and won't be until the summer of 2002, if ever. One salesman told me he thought it would never be available.
So, the two options that are available to me are the Britax laptop in the rear seat or a regular booster in the front passenger seat. Both the Rockridge Kids experts and the car seat expert at Berkeley P.D. thought a booster in the front passenger seat was safer than the laptop because the laptop does not restrain the upper body at all. So that's what I'll do while I seriously contemplate a new car. Hope this is useful.
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