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Discussion Starter #1
It is the 2nd row chair behind the driver's seat. The tether is wrapped down under the front of the 2nd row chair in which the car seat is placed. Is this okay, or does it need to be tethered to some structural part of the driver's seat?

Anita
 

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I can't quite picture what you are describing, but it sounds incorrect.

The tether should go over the back of the 2nd row seat (under the headrest) and should be attached to the anchor point underneath the seat. If this is still unclear, look it up in the manual and it will show you where to attach it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please note that this Roundabout is rear-facing, so I think I only have two choices for the tether - under the seat holding the carseat (which I have done) or under the driver's seat.

I suppose I could tether in what is called the Swedish method, but I think it would be hard to get my daughter in and out of the carseat that way.

Anita
 

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I have our Roundabout tethered to the hook that is attached to the bottom of the seat. When I try to move the Roundabout, the whole van shakes right with it - there is no wiggle room for the Roundabout at all with the tether snugged tight.

I believe this is the correct hookup, as I went to a carseat check recently and they gave me a gold star for my hookup.

It appears that Cavalier is an expert in this field...maybe he can verify this setup for you.

-Erik
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aparsa:
It is the 2nd row chair behind the driver's seat. The tether is wrapped down under the front of the 2nd row chair in which the car seat is placed. Is this okay, or does it need to be tethered to some structural part of the driver's seat?

Anita
</font>
It sounds like you have it correct. Technically, you can also rout it over the top of the seat and then down to the same anchor, though it probably wont be long enough.

Try these links for some photos and info:
http://photos.yahoo.com/tcaviller
http://www.car-safety.org/latch.html
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by eslayter:
I have our Roundabout tethered to the hook that is attached to the bottom of the seat. When I try to move the Roundabout, the whole van shakes right with it - there is no wiggle room for the Roundabout at all with the tether snugged tight.

I believe this is the correct hookup, as I went to a carseat check recently and they gave me a gold star for my hookup.

It appears that Cavalier is an expert in this field...maybe he can verify this setup for you.

-Erik
</font>
Thanks for the kind words:) I don't know if I qualify as an expert, but I am a trained Child Passenger Safety Technician and have a reasonable amount of experience. I also have a site on carseats at http://www.car-safety.org and one on the Odyssey at http://www.car-safety.org/odyssey.html . Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have our Roundabout tethered to the hook that is attached to the bottom of the seat.

Erik - is your Roundabout rear-facing?
 

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Try these links for some photos and info:
http://photos.yahoo.com/tcaviller

Caviller - Thanks for the response and photos. Your photo of the Britax swedish method is exactly how I have mine set up, so I feel comfortable that I've done it right. The photo raised another question though - the Britax in your photo is tipped back quite a lot, while I have the base flush against the seat. Do I need to tip and prop the base as you show?

Many thanks - Anita
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now I'm responding to my own posts


I checked the Britax manual and it says
"The bottom surface of the Roundabout's base should be horizontal" and also "Caution: do not raise the base beyond horizontal; this could reduce the protection to your child."

So I think mine is installed correctly.

Again, thanks. Anita
 

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Egad! I've uploaded the wrong picture:) This photos does have a bit more recline for when our child was an infant. In the case of the Roundabout, it is sometimes a parental choice to decide whether to stick with the Britax recommendation, or the general recommendation that infants should have a 45 degree recline until they have adequate head support (usually 6-8 months or something). I decided to recline it a bit more. Now that our child is a bit older, I have reduced the recline to where the base is indeed horizontal. I will upload the correct photo! Thanks!

Incidentally, when in doubt, the best advice is to stick with that in the owners manual, as you did.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aparsa:
I have our Roundabout tethered to the hook that is attached to the bottom of the seat.

Erik - is your Roundabout rear-facing?

</font>
We now have our roundabout front facing, but did have it rear facing when we first purchased the odyssey. When I had it rear facing, I ran the tether down the front of the seat and hooked it to the hook attached to the bottom of the seat.

Now that it's front facing, I go over the back of the seat to the same hook.

I had a carseat technician at a safety check recommend (when rear facing) putting a piece of foam (like those long foam pieces that kids hit each other with at the pool) cut in half under the base to cause a greater recline for the baby seat. This recommendation appears to be in line with what Cavaller recommends for the 45 degree recline.

My non-expert opinion is that if when you shake the babyseat, the seat its mounted in and the van should move in tandem as if the babyseat is attached right to the frame of the car.

-Erik
 

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The general rule is that there should be no more than an inch of movement front-to-back or side-to-side when grabbing the carseat at the base where the seatbelt is routed.

An installation where the whole vehicle moves when you try to move the carseat is very good.

Foam pool noodles are fine to adjust the recline of a rear-facing seat, as are tightly rolled towels.


Britax is a little different with their recommendations on the proper recline. The mention not raising the base beyond horizontal, yet elsewhere they mention using the tether to get the 45 degree angle. On my Roundabout, when the base is horizontal the recline is not quite 45 degrees. At a recent conference, they also mentioned that they do not recommend that you prop up the seat rear-facing with noodles or towels, but that you may "fill in the gap" with a noodle or towel when you have the proper recline. Some of the conference atendees gave them some flak on that one.

So, while I would recommend for others to follow the manual, I made a parental choice to use a rolled towel to get a 45 degree recline when our daughter was an infant.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 07-24-2001).]
 

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Roundabout mounting - tips and questions

Caviller (and anyone else with an opinion),
I'm new to the forum, and joined in part to ask the following question. I'm guessing I've found the right person to ask...

I have 2 new Britax Roundabouts facing rearward in the middle row of my 2002 Ody. I used a short section of 2x4 board, wrapped in a towel, under the front of each car seat to get the 'horizontal' mounting. This is very solid and seems to work much better than those foam 'noodles' whch seem to compress over time and lose their effectiveness. I then ran the tether under the front of the van seat, as opposed to over the back, to make it easier to get the twins in and out. Is this OK? The only problem I see is that the strap is running tightened against the seat cushion, which seams to give after time, causing me to need to retighten occasionally. It seemed to me at the time that running the tether over the back of the van seat would pull the car seatback more upright, reducing the recline, which seems marginal already. As it is, I find my 9 month olds head tending to bob slightly forward and to the side a bit more than I would like when they're asleep. Running the strap under the front of the van seat seems to have the opposite affect, actually improving the recline.

Here's my question: The seats are not advertised as LATCH compatible. At the advice of the Babies-r-us guy, I bought a LATCH kit from another vendor (either CosCo or Evenflo, I can't remember). This seems to work fine, and I can't see any logical reason why it wouldn't be OK. I simply run the LATCH belt through the same openings the seat belt would run through, attach it to the LATCH hooks, and tighten the heck out of it. Very easy, and with the LATCH belt pulling down on the front of the car seat, and the tether pulling down on the back, the seat is extremely solid, with zero movement. I chose LATCH because it allows me to slide the second row seats together, without the seatbelt getting in the way of entering the third row, which I constantly use. I am concerned because I've seen a warning somewhere that says "never use another manufacturers LATCH kit on your car seat", combined with the fact that the Britax is not considered LATCH compatible. Do you think I'm OK with this installation (from both a legal and practical standpoint)? I'm guessing to make the seats compatible, all Britax needs to do is come out with their own kit. All the kits are basicaly the same, just a section of seatbelt with a hook on each end and a buckle of some kind for tightening.

Please let me know your thoughts as soon as possible.
LOVE the van!! (02EX, GG, mudflaps, no other accesories--for now... 7K miles, no major issues)
Thanks,
twinboys
 

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Twinboys-

Some answers for you-

First, we don't recommend boards for getting the recline on rear-facing carseats. In extreme cases, they can become dangerous projectiles. Foam pool noodles are recommended for most applications, but for Britax the best way is to use the versa-tether to get the correct recline as you noticed. I have routed my tether the same way as you did, though both methods are acceptable for different purposes.

At 9 months, your twins don't need a 45 degree recline like newborns do. In fact, less recline is a bit safer. Most experts recommend 30-35 degrees as a good compromise for safety and comfort.

As for the LATCH kit, we never recommend the use of a product not recommended by the manufacturer of the carseat. Unless Britax approves it, I wouldn't recommend it. While it seems simple, at the minimum the configuration is untested, and at worst there could be some unknown incompatibility issue. The kits can and do vary, with the length of the hooks, the position of the adjusters and design of the clamps. In fact, some of the kits specifically exclude various models from their own manufacturer for compatability concerns. If you think you've covered all the bases and don't mind using it at your own risk, then it's certainly a parental decision you can make, and there should not be any legal issues, either. On the other hand, I own all 4 currently marketed LATCH kits, and haven't even tried them on my Roundabout for curiousity. I decided convenience wasn't worth the risk, even if it was a very small risk. I'm surprised the Babies R Us employee made that recommendation; that's a serious liability issue:)

You've probably seen my Odyssey link already, but if not it may have some more information for you:

http://www.car-safety.org/odyssey.html


Feel free to ask any questions you like. I can also field carseat questions not related to the Odyssey at http://www.car-seat.org
 
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