Question about installing car seat
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Thread: Question about installing car seat

  1. #1
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Question about installing car seat

    We need to install our child's car seat in the CR-V, and I am thoroughly confused by the Honda owner's manual. We would ideally like to put the seat in the center and might do a seatbelt install (since we read that Honda's LATCH limit is 40 pounds). But I am totally confused by the whole "detachable anchor" thing for the center seatbelt--it says "If you intend to install a child seat in the center seating position of the rear seat, make sure the detachable seat belt anchor is securely latched." Do you just have to plug the latches from the ceiling into the seat buckle?

    I know it would be easier to install the seat on one of the sides, but I feel it is safer to install it in the center. The car seat is a Britax Boulevard CS.

    Does anyone have experience installing a convertible seat in the CR-V? Where did you put it? Did you use LATCH or did you do a seat belt installation? Any information would be appreciated.
    Last edited by mirkwoodchik; 02-08-2011 at 02:22 AM.

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  3. #2
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Just put one in a few weeks ago - on the passenger side using the LATCH system - pretty easy. I think it's safer on the side than in the middle of the back seat, but just my preference. Install took 5 minutes - 3 connections and done.

  4. #3
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    The detachable seat belt anchor might be referring to the fact that the center seatbelt is a two buckle system. You need to buckle the end of the belt into the proper anchor in order for it to function properly as a lap-shoulder combination.

    Don't forget the rear top tether for the car seat itself!

    Also, I don't think the 40 lb limitation is due to the anchor itself... When LATCH was originally "invented", the straps and hardware itself was usually only rated to 40 lbs, as car seats back then were only rated to that weight of child also. Since then, car seats design has improved such that weight limits have jumped to 80-100 lbs. I don't know about Britax, but some companies have beefed up their latch straps and hardware to rate to 80 lbs.

    I'm surprised Honda actually lists a rating- I believe the anchors in the vehicles themselves are probably extremely robust, and can probably handle a collision involving several hundred pounds. Most car manufacturers defer the rating to the car seat manufacturer. I actually haven't checked the manual for that- my son was in a belt-positioning high-back booster by the time we got our CRV.
    Last edited by mtlcrv; 02-08-2011 at 12:20 PM.

  5. #4
    crv|oc Rank: Junior
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    Why would you ever use a seatbelt installation with LATCH. The anchors are so quick and easy to use and it seems FAR more secure. I'm pretty sure being more secure was the reason for their design as much as convenience.

    I place the car seat on the drivers side. With it on the drivers side, its' only occupies the smaller of the split benches, so I can fold the other 2/3rds. also, 2 adults can still squeeze into the remaining 2 rear seats if needed for shorter trips. In the middle, I don't think an adult can sit on either side. the benches can't fold down at all. So the whole back seat is lost. Also on the drivers side so I have easy access on my side of the vehcile when picking up and dropping off my daughter.

    As for safety... the car seats have so much protection themselves along with the cars structural protection, that I think it's irrelevant. It's the force of the impact (how fast you stop) and how you impact fixed objects while stopping that is the greatest risk, not protrusions into the pasenger compartment. Besides, if the side of the car is smashed in, the car seat will be pushed inward with the bench or break free.

    The rating for the car seat is based on a combination of the belt strength and buckle strength along with the latch anchor clips and belts as well as the strength of the plastic shell where it attaches to the anchors.

    Also consider that above 40lbs the straps may be too narrow to distribute the load safely. A 5 point harness will almost always be better than a 3 point belt, but a child and adult need relatively wide belts.
    Last edited by motoguy128; 02-08-2011 at 12:51 PM.
    2009 Honda CR-V EX 4WD (Royal Blue)
    2008 Nissan Altima 2.5SL CVT (Silver)
    2007 BMW R1200RT (Blue)

  6. #5
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    Hi everyone, thanks for your replies.

    All vehicles have a LATCH weight limit. Most are 48 pounds. Honda's is 40 pounds--you are supposed to switch to a seat belt installation when your child reaches that weight limit. It is independent of the weight limits for your car seat and has only to do with the LATCH system.

    Also, according to carseat.org (and many other sources), the safest position for a carseat is in the center of the rear seat, so long as you can achieve a snug install. So that is why we want to put the seat in the center.

    My child will be in her car seat or a booster with a five-point harness and a tether until she reaches the weight limit for those seats--that's not even a question!

    Also, all of the car seat safety experts seem to agree that both methods of installation (LATCH and seat belt) are equally safe. LATCH is supposed to be easier and more convenient, but is not inherently safer, according to everything I have read (and we have done a LOT of research).

    As for why we would use the seatbelt instead of latch: my child is nearing 40 pounds and we don't take the seat in and out of the car so it's not like we have to do it repeatedly. Both LATCH and seat belt installations are very easy with our carseat. As long as the seat is installed correctly and snugly, that's what matters most to me.

    I am mostly just confused about the seat belt anchor thing for the center, but I will figure it out.

  7. #6
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    I just checked through my 09 manual and it doesn't list a weight for LATCH use. There are strap/hardware systems rated for 80 lbs and above but I think Britax tells you to assume a 40 lb limit.

    Regardless, like I said above, the seat belt anchor thing has to do with the fact that there are two buckles. The end of it has to be in the proper anchor buckle before you can properly use it as a lap/shoulder combination. In my 09 manual, it refers to the center seatbelt page and calls the end buckle itself the seat belt anchor, page 71 I believe, for the 09 manual. I'm surprised it's so different between the 09 and 11 manual.

    I don't know about your area, but our fire departments around here will install or check the installation of car seats free if you just drop by and ask.

  8. #7
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    What year CRV?

    In my 05, the shoulder belt for the centre seat needs to be rolled up and clicked into its base - up on the headliner.

    I have a hard time believing the latch setup isnt the strongest. Feed the lapbelt thru the base if that what makes you happy. Unlikely that it will taught enough for your preferences, latch is much easier to secure...
    Todd

  9. #8
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    It's a 2011 CRV.

    Whether the LATCH system is stronger or not, I can't say. The seat belt experts consistently say that whatever way you can get the snuggest fit is the best (and usually that is easier with the LATCH system) and to try LATCH first. But the point is that the Honda LATCH limit is 40 pounds, and I'm not going to disregard that limit. While I doubt it would fail with a 50 pound child, I am the type of person who follows a manufacturer's instructions. My car seat says the child can rear face until 35 pounds, so at 35 pounds, we are turning the seat around. If Honda says the LATCH limit is 40 pounds, then we will use a seatbelt installation at 40 pounds.

  10. #9
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    I just spoke to Honda and the representative said there is no published weight limit for their LATCH system and not to exceed the weight limit for the seat itself.

    Very interesting. The "40 pound Honda LATCH weight limit" is all over the place and I have heard it quoted directly from car seat safety technicians, so I'm a little puzzled as to where that information is coming from.

    Thank you to all of you for your replies and feedback.

  11. #10
    crv|oc Rank: Member
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    This is from my Britax manual:

    "Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual or contact the vehicle manufacturer for the maximum weight rating for their LATCH anchors. Use vehicle belt (not LATCH connectors) for installations with children who weigh more than the vehicle LATCH anchor limit. Unless specified otherwise by the vehicle manufacturer, assume a
    40 lb (18.1 kg) child is the vehicle LATCH anchor limit."

    Anyway! As parents, we all just do our best to make informed decisions. I've been trying to discover the truth behind this "LATCH limit" thing and I didn't mean to add my own confusion to the discussion!

    You guys are great.

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