DC Rear Cab Configuration

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
Well in June with the expected arrival of our new expedition partner, it is time to re-configure the rear plaform to allow, "gasp," a baby seat!

I would like to keep the Engel in the cab, but do not care to have the entire rear seat in. Any brilliant ideas?


Here is a picture of our current configuration:


It is made from Plywood and covered with the cheapest carpet from Home depot. I was able to use all the existing seat holes to mount the wood, and the rear shelf utilized the existing hole that held the hooks in place.



The Engel Slide (slides out the door) is currently on the driver side, and slides out. I would prefer to have my "kitchen" set up on that side.



Any Ideas?
 

Mlachica

TheRAMadaINN on Instagram
First and Foremost. Congratulations! :jump: Are you going to find out what the sex is?

Safety is a big thing for me, especially when it comes to loved one's. That's why I got a snorkel...But ideally I'd keep my kid in the center of the rear (away from the doors incase of side impact). If that's not possible I'd use a bucket seat that would utilize factory seat buckles.
 

FlyingWen

Explorer
Safety Snorkel????? HA

Mlachica said:
Safety is a big thing for me, especially when it comes to loved one's. That's why I got a snorkel...
Butthead! I knew it was only a matter of time before someone brought up the "safety" snorkel!

Unless you are tying the child to the snorkel.. you know to keep him/her away from the dangers of other drivers, then I don't see how a snorkel is a safety item. Sure when baby Wil releases the taco's brakes and slides into a lake with Papa Wil clinging to the rear bumper :)wavey:), then I will feel the need to buy a snorkel.

I expected better of you Mark...... ;) LOL

PS: I want to find out the sex and Wil does not...
 

bigreen505

Expedition Leader
First of all CONGRATULATIONS!!! :jump:

Understand that you will be in carseat land for a very long time. Consider adding some LATCH points where you actually bolt them into metal. Go visit your friendly local Toyota dealer, measure where they are located on a new vehicle and see how much it costs to order a set.

To address Marks point directly, I will take a LATCH system over a seat belt because they are more secure and it is very easy to remove and replace the carseat and get it appropriately tight. Seat belts and car seats are just a bad combination until you get to booster seats.
 
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kcowyo

ExPo Original
Anyone who plans for their child's safety around their mods, should more closely reexamine their priorities.

Safety is never relative when it comes to children and "reasonably safe" doesn't cut it.

Congratulations Wil & Wendy on your impending arrival -
 

Willman

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
CONGRATULATIONS Wil!!!!!:victory:

As far as the rear seat area....I would put back the small part of the backseat for the little one!

;)
 

Bergger

Explorer
kcowyo said:
Anyone who plans for their child's safety around their mods, should more closely reexamine their priorities.

Safety is never relative when it comes to children and "reasonably safe" doesn't cut it.

Congratulations Wil & Wendy on your impending arrival -
First of all Congrats! I agree with above. I think you may have a hard time doing this safely. Owning a double cab my self you have to mount the whole lower seat, its not split like the seatback. I would be very hesitant doing a custom set up. The factory seat was designed/tested to accomodate all kinds of car seats. I would not mess with that. Also I'm not sure how much room your Engle takes up and how much room it will leave for the little one. With the fridge in will you be able to easily reach back to the little guy, or girl. For the next few years you'll be doing a lot of reaching back there passing off juice boxes, toys and all kinds of stuff. For safety factors I would simply re-install the factory seat and just mount the fridge in the bed when you go camping.
 

OutbacKamper

Supporting Sponsor
I don't know if this would work in your Toyota, but in my F350 I added a subframe to the stock seat mounts and then added a single bucket seat to the subframe. The seat can be mounted in any position (L,Centre,R) and uses the stock seatbelts (they are bolted to the floor, not the seat). The bucket seat is higher than the stock seat because of the subframe, but works fine for kids, it actually lets them see outside better. Then I added a cargo flatform and tiedown points to the platform.



Cheers
Mark
 

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
OutbacKamper said:
I don't know if this would work in your Toyota, but in my F350 I added a subframe to the stock seat mounts and then added a single bucket seat to the subframe. The seat can be mounted in any position (L,Centre,R) and uses the stock seatbelts (they are bolted to the floor, not the seat). The bucket seat is higher than the stock seat because of the subframe, but works fine for kids, it actually lets them see outside better. Then I added a cargo flatform and tiedown points to the platform.



Cheers
Mark
Mark-
That looks awesome! My main idea is to do something similar, but worry if it compromises safety. I would love to do a "jump seat" configuration, where the rear would be one seat (thinking middle) and the two surroundings could be something else.

Great ideas and discussion... keep it rolling!
 

jeffryscott

2006 Rally Course Champion: Expedition Trophy
Congrats Wil and Wen, another expedition friend with a kid. I would probably try to keep as much stuff out of the cab as possible - just too much to fly around if anything happens. One of the leading causes of injuries in accidents in SUVS, (and for arguments sake, I'll call your truck an SUV because of how you have the back area kitted out) is crap flying around that isn't secured (I know you'd secure stuff, but ... (when you have kids, there are always a lot of buts (and butts).

Congrats again,

Jeff

(Oh, and the Snorkel is a HUGE safety consideration. I'm trying to talk my wife into that on the new 4Runner, she hated it on the Suzuki).
 

OutbacKamper

Supporting Sponsor
flyingwil said:
My main idea is to do something similar, but worry if it compromises safety.
In my case although the seat anchors may not be as strong as those on the stock seat, the stock seatbelts are retained and they are securely bolted throught the floor in the stock location. I don't think that safety is really much of an issue. In a serious accident even if some or all of the seat bolts failed, the seat belt would still hold the passenger in place. All the cargo beside the rear bucket seat is securely anchored and tied down. This set-up is only for extended trips, for ever day use the stock seat bolts into place once the subframe is removed.



Cheers
Mark
 

Grim Reaper

Expedition Leader
Couple observations from a daddy of two.

You want the kiddo to the right of the driver seat. That allows you to reach back and get to them if they get in trouble. Center is nice if you can swing it for both mom and dad to have easy access while rolling but its a REAL pain in the butt when dealing with a car seat if you block both sides like I think you are thinking about doing. You will end up having to twist unnatural ways to operate that seat. The side bolsters that you have to lift them over will do a number on you. At the door opening is MUCH easier to work the seat and easier on your back as they get bigger.

Car seat design pretty well sucks....they are safe but they are not easy to maneuver and operate. You are going to go through two seats (configurations) in the next 2-3 years. The rear facing is the bigger problem. Again you want it passengerside because in your truck you may have to move the front seat forward some to allow room for the cradle.

I know my buddy with a Jeep Cherokee did not have enough room to have the rear facing in the back seat. You may well have the same problem, The front seat had to be slid so far forward the average adult could not ride in it comfortably. They didn't have a passengerside air bag so the seat went up front and the passenger rode in the back. Honestly thats not bad set up if you have removable headrests. The back seat passenger will be facing the little one and will have great fun making faces at them. Just MAKE SURE THE PASSENGER AIR BAG IS DISCONNECTED IF THEY HAVE TO RIDE FRONT SEAT!

Now you will be tempted (and you mother in-law in particular) is going to want to get this monster set up of stroller, car seat configuration that takes a crane to move and several hundred bucks....skip it. The first seat get the style with the quick disconnect carrier in the car and the flip up shade. They fit nicely on a grocery cart. By the time they out grow that seat and are ready for a stroller they will be big enough for a compact "umbrella stroller". We wore out 2 umbrella stroller each kid. The Big monster stroller never got used for the second kid..in fact we got rid of it when they were a year old because we were tired of all the space it took up.

Yeah that big stroller is "pretty" but it ads and extra 20-30lb of mass to push around AND it promotes carrying too much crap with you in the form of a 40lb diaper bag. It takes up HUGE space in the car. It literally filed the truck of our Accord so you could only get a few things when shopping unless you packed the back seat.

One or two bottles, 2-3 diapers is more then enough for a 3-4 hours out and about. Keep some extra stuff in the car for"in case" and call it good. Travel light, you really don't need nearly as much as you think. When they are that young they spend most of their time sleeping. You don't need but one or two small toys that can ride in the cradle/carrier with them.

Ohhhhhhhh NO NOISY TOYS! My mom loved buying the loud toys...we got her back by constantly forgetting to take them home from her house and letting her live with the noise pollution when they visited or putting Duct tape over the speakers. Very distracting while driving. Nice quite rattle..the big plastic key rings and they are fine for the first year. It takes less to amuse them then it does the mother-in-law.

Somehow becoming a grandmother removes all memory of actually having to haul kids around. They have this weird desire to buy very expensive junk that you will find is not worth the hassle. SO RIGHT NOW go talk the mommy to be and discuss what you really feel is reasonable and then go pound your decisions into your moms heads to try and avoid the "you don't like the $600 stroller I bought for you" whine you will get if you don't show up with it at her house every time you visit and use it for the 20ft between your car and her front door.


Hay...congradualtions...being a daddy kicks ass! :jump:
 
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jim65wagon

TundraBird1
Grim Reaper said:
Couple observations from a daddy of two.

You want the kiddo to the right of the driver seat. That allows you to reach back and get to them if they get in trouble. Center is nice if you can swing it for both mom and dad to have easy access while rolling but its a REAL pain in the butt when dealing with a car seat if you block both sides like I think you are thinking about doing. You will end up having to twist unnatural ways to operate that seat. The side bolsters that you have to lift them over will do a number on you. At the door opening is MUCH easier to work the seat and easier on your back as they get bigger.

Car seat design pretty well sucks....they are safe but they are not easy to maneuver and operate. You are going to go through two seats (configurations) in the next 2-3 years. The rear facing is the bigger problem. Again you want it passengerside because in your truck you may have to move the front seat forward some to allow room for the cradle.

I know my buddy with a Jeep Cherokee did not have enough room to have the rear facing in the back seat. You may well have the same problem, The front seat had to be slid so far forward the average adult could not ride in it comfortably. They didn't have a passengerside air bag so the seat went up front and the passenger rode in the back. Honestly thats not bad set up if you have removable headrests. The back seat passenger will be facing the little one and will have great fun making faces at them. Just MAKE SURE THE PASSENGER AIR BAG IS DISCONNECTED IF THEY HAVE TO RIDE FRONT SEAT!

Now you will be tempted (and you mother in-law in particular) is going to want to get this monster set up of stroller, car seat configuration that takes a crane to move and several hundred bucks....skip it. The first seat get the style with the quick disconnect carrier in the car and the flip up shade. They fit nicely on a grocery cart. By the time they out grow that seat and are ready for a stroller they will be big enough for a compact "umbrella stroller". We wore out 2 umbrella stroller each kid. The Big monster stroller never got used for the second kid..in fact we got rid of it when they were a year old because we were tired of all the space it took up.

Yeah that big stroller is "pretty" but it ads and extra 20-30lb of mass to push around AND it promotes carrying too much crap with you in the form of a 40lb diaper bag. It takes up HUGE space in the car. It literally filed the truck of our Accord so you could only get a few things when shopping unless you packed the back seat.

One or two bottles, 2-3 diapers is more then enough for a 3-4 hours out and about. Keep some extra stuff in the car for"in case" and call it good. Travel light, you really don't need nearly as much as you think. When they are that young they spend most of their time sleeping. You don't need but one or two small toys that can ride in the cradle/carrier with them.

Ohhhhhhhh NO NOISY TOYS! My mom loved buying the loud toys...we got her back by constantly forgetting to take them home from her house and letting her live with the noise pollution when they visited or putting Duct tape over the speakers. Very distracting while driving. Nice quite rattle..the big plastic key rings and they are fine for the first year. It takes less to amuse them then it does the mother-in-law.

Somehow becoming a grandmother removes all memory of actually having to haul kids around. They have this weird desire to buy very expensive junk that you will find is not worth the hassle. SO RIGHT NOW go talk the mommy to be and discuss what you really feel is reasonable and then go pound your decisions into your moms heads to try and avoid the "you don't like the $600 stroller I bought for you" whine you will get if you don't show up with it at her house every time you visit and use it for the 20ft between your car and her front door.


Hay...congradualtions...being a daddy kicks ass! :jump:
It's the toughest job you'll ever love! On the stroller side of things; you will end up with one so you may as well find one that fits your lifestyle. We had one with 10" offroad, knobby treaded tires. It could go down almost any trail you would want to go down with a baby in tow. If you ever plan on a stroller and there is the possibility of an "off pavement" drive, skip the standard 2-3" wheeled variety and get one that will roll over some good terrain, without you (and it will be you) carrying the baby and the stroller and whatever else may be involved in the "expedition".
Congrats to you both!
 

FlyingWen

Explorer
jim65wagon said:
On the stroller side of things; you will end up with one so you may as well find one that fits your lifestyle. We had one with 10" offroad, knobby treaded tires.
Wil has paid more attention to the shocks on a stroller then to other aspects. My family all work in the airline industry, so when we purchase something (stroller, seat etc) we make sure it is easy to travel with. I am in the market for an Xterra, so the Taco rear config would onlybe used occasionally while on camping trips.

Thanks everyone for the input... we are in for a ride! :yikes:
 

Mlachica

TheRAMadaINN on Instagram
If at all possible, I think it is really important to have the child in the middle of the vehicle. Especially as they get a little older. In any accident it's highly likely that the child will experience a head impact while sitting on the driver or passenger side. I've heard of a few kids dying because they were not sitting in the middle. Car seat or not - it's safer in the middle. Sometimes this isn't possible, but when it is - it is your safest option.

And when using a rear facing car seat, it fits better in the middle. Then you don't have either front seat pushed forward.

This may spoil your plans for keeping the fridge inside but like it was said earlier, it's one less potential projectile.
 
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