Vanlife tips for young families with @borntobeadventurous
While I was pregnant with our second daughter, my nesting instinct drove us to buy our ’93 VW Eurovan Van. Now named Dusty we have explored and adventured on and off for almost 2 years with our two kids now aged 2 and 3. But when we first bought our van we felt uneasy with the way the car seats strapped in. While we knew that owning an older vehicle meant that it would not have the same safety measures as a newer ones, we also knew that the car seats should not be moving back and forth. We needed a solution and that solution was finding a way to install tethers. The search began and took us about 8 months to resolve to a place that we felt was good for our family.
Adventuring in our Dusty has given me a sense of nostalgia since I grew up camping in an orange '70s VW Van when I was young. I slept on a hammock up front, my brother and sister in the pop top and my parents on the bottom pull out bed. My older brother and sister would read me stories and we would always try to stay up a little later to eat one last s'more. These were memories that I cherished and wanted for my two children. I was not going to give up our dream of the Van Life because the seats were not safe. I had to find a solution.
We started to research for tether options to secure our car seats right after we bought our van. It was extremely hard to find a tether system that would work and then a company that would install them for us. We finally found a tether system for our '93 Eurovan that seemed like it would work but would require some drilling. Since our van at the time was still in Vancouver from our 1000 km move to Calgary we could not try to fix the problem ourselves. We decided to find a garage that would install them and this was not easy. After many phone calls, we finally we found a VW garage that would outfit our Dusty with the tether hardware.
After having the van in the shop for a day they realized that the tethers were meant for the middle seats and not for the back seats. We were once again left with no option for a tether for the car seats. We continued to use the lap seat belts but still felt incredibly uneasy about that option.
Once we returned from our epic West Coast adventure we started to do some more digging and we are so glad that we did! The '93 Eurovan was outfitted with an extremely simple way to attach a tether. It had the option to attach a small piece of hardware, that would become the tether, to the inside of the storage above the back bench seats. The solution was easy enough for us to install it ourselves within minutes and cost us only 7.99!! We were shocked that no one that we had talked too knew that our van had this option.
The car seats are now way more secure. We are so excited to continue exploring in Dusty this summer and hit the road for some epic adventures!
How have you outfitted your van to secure car seats in your VW or Van?! Send an email to BorntobeAdventurous@gmail.com to share your story with the option of filling out a questionnaire and help the Van Life community!!
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