Child car seats

Heather C.

New member
Looking for other parents to share their ideas and brands of car seats that work on the back bench with lap belts only. Anyone out there?
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Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

Heather C. Junior Member posted November 10, 2002 09:04 PM

We have a 90 Westy as our only car and are expecting a baby in a few months. Anyone know anything about carseats on the back bench in a rear facing position? Many car seats need both lap and sholder belt. Can I get a sholder belt added or welded in? Our local guy is no help.
Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!


Pat Generic Member posted November 11, 2002 12:46 PM

Car Seats


We have a 89 camper.When we needed the carseat, I installed a center seat belt and ran the car seat facing forward.The belt was about $20 and it worked great. The seat was a full size seat with the triple chest belt. Hope this helps.

Camper Member posted November 13, 2002 05:28 AM

baby seat

Hey there,

we have a 4 month old, we use the carrier/carseat made by evenflow. It allows the use of lap belt only. We have her setup on the rear lap belt closest to the closet, almost in centre of vehicle, safest place there is. When we took it to the local Automobile Club inspection they said it looked good and even gave us a hard foam sausage (4" diameter) to put below carrier for a more horizontal position..........seems to work just fine
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Capt. Mike

Dan H. Junior Member posted March 06, 2003 02:24 PM


I just bought a 2001 Westy Weekender. It seats 7 with the two rear facing jumper seats. I also have two young kids still in car seats. My question is, is it safe to put kids in car seats in these jumper seats. I have heard conflicting reports. Does anyone know?


Dan H.

TJ Hannink Member posted March 06, 2003 04:29 PM

re: Kids in Rear Facing Jumper Seats

I've always assumed that they are safer in the jumpseat(s) than on the rear bench. Most military aircraft face the passengers toward the rear of the plane, and most child car seats face rearward when installed for smaller children. Once their legs get too long, the car seat has to face forward.

I prefer when my 9 year old daughter sits in the jumpseat, but she likes the full width back seat, so she can stretch out. My german shepherd always rides in the jumpseat (even when my daughter is in it. :>

Good luck,

TJ Hannink
Goldibox - 1987 Vanagon Camper, Wolfsburg Edition
Winter Park, Florida


New member
Hi I have a 87 Westy in which I need to mount a tether anchor for a forward facing car seat (actually 2 for 2 seats). It appears this must be supplied by VW but I haven't found the parts yet. I will run off to the dealer on Monday but has anyone else mounted one? Any pitfalls?

Mike Duggan

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

Barry Chugg Junior Member Posted June 27, 2006 04:41 PM

My 1989 Westy does not seem to have a child seat teather. Has anyone out there overcome this problem for traveling with a child?

cambridge Junior Member Posted July 01, 2006 08:30 PM has a child seat teather that appears to be bolted in behind the bench seat. Might be uncomfortable to sleep on. I have seen others put a eye bolt in the back of the camper by drilling through the metal around the engine compartment and securing the bolt with silicone coated nuts to prevent slippage.
Greg Streppel

brianagon Junior Member Posted July 04, 2006 01:10 PM

My recently-purchased 1990 Westy also requires a child seat anchor. I took my van in today to get this done and I'll report back with the news once the job is finished.


New member
Well, I just got off the phone with the Ministry of Transportation (Ontario, Canada) and they stated that it is required by law to have a child seat teathered to the vehicle.

I then called my local VW dealerand they refused to put an anchor for the child seat in for me ( liability was their issue )

I then called the local RV gurus who were also stymied by my request for an anchor to be installed.They promised they'd get back to me tomorrow with an answer.


New member
Sorry, Westy Owners:

This will be my last reply to the toddler carseat dilemma.

After speaking to the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, I called Volkswagen's North American headquarters and I also e-mailed them my concerns about my local VW dealership NOT wanting to install an anchor bolt for the childseat.

Well, much to my dismay, VW's headquarters supported this move ! They said that the childseat issue has not been researched adequately and thus, they cannot install anchor bolts ( even though it's the law in many states and provinces ). I find this appalling and most-certainly will pursue this down the road. It's a complete neglect of their duty and as far as I'm concerned - they're remiss.

The solution? I was told by someone to find a mechanic who will do this " under the table "

Shame on VW !


Lake Effect

New member
I can see this thread hasn't been used in a while... I am in the market for a 75-79 Westy. I have three young children one in an actual carseat and two in booster seats. I'm aware I'm going to have to do some modifications to get the correct belts but am I going to realistically be able to put three childseats on the rear bench? I am buying for camping purposes but I also intend to have this be my daily driver so I can't skimp on this safety issue. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to Westy Tech for responding to me!

I did some searching around about what to do with this issue. I'm determined to be able to buy that westy I've dreamed about for as long as I can remember and if it's not safe for my kids it will be out. I found RideSafe Travel Vests. ( It's a travel vest that can work with just a lapbelt. It also only takes up as much room as the kid does so if the rear bench can fit my three little kids and I can get three seatbelts then it should work and be safe/safer than booster seats. It does however have a rear tether so I'm guessing some kind of modification will need to be done to secure that. I'd love to hear people's opinions on if this looks like a good solution or not.
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New member
I see that this thread is not live anymore i apologize for reviving this but if you still want some good aftermarket seat belt i know some and also it is in good quality and will not cost that much. If still interested and still needing it i'll gladly help :)
In my 84 Westy, I installed a bracket thing behind the rear bench for the child seat's central tie-down strap. About 12 inches aft of the seat back I drilled a hole through into the engine compartment, and then bolted the bracket there. When the child seat is belted in I then hook the tie-down strap to the bracket. The bracket is small enough not to be felt through the mattress when using it as a bed. Very simple, much safer than just the lap belt.


New member
Hi everyone, I'm debating a Westfalia for our family. I'll have a million questions if I follow through with this great idea I have. Since I am a CRST (Child Restraint Safety Technician-the Canadian version of a CPST), I have a few things to offer here before I ask all my own questions. I see this is an old thread that keeps getting re-visited, so thought it was a good place to continue!

The RiderSafe Vest is a great place to start when trying to fit more kids into a tight space. However, and this is the important part, they require a top tether anchor bolt. Or this TRU one. These are supposed to be specific to the make of your vehicle and installed by the dealership. Which if you continue reading this thread it sounds like many of the vw dealerships are refusing to do. You may (??) have more luck in Canada, as we require a top tether for all our car seats and I know many of the manufactures even have free/cheap programs to install those top tethers. Looks like VW has some sort of free American program, perhaps it just depends on who you ask... And, perhaps knowing the correct terminology.

It sounds like the 2001 Vanagons have the top tether installed or available to install. I'm a bit confused about the lack of them in general, I know my 1990 Ford Festiva had the holes pre-drilled and they supplied one w/ the car when new.

The vehicles will not have lower latch or UAS. Don't worry about it. As long as there is a lap belt, you can install certain car seats, certain ways. I'll explain more later.

Some of these vehicles have lap only belts. Some have lap shoulder belts. This makes a difference for which seat you can install.

What you can do, as is:
A rear facing car seat can be installed with a lap only belt. This includes a baby bucket or an older child's convertible (infant/child) seat. These now go to 35# to 50#, which still works for my 6 year old. There is a huge price range and there are height restrictions. They do not require a top tether. The first price is American, second is Canadian. All links are American, Canadians require seats purchased in Canada.
35# Scenera $40-80
40# Complete Air $150
45# Radian $200-300
50# Foonf $449

Next, if all you have in a lap belt and the child is past that 35-50# weight or just too tall for those seats. If you are American, you can still install a car seat w/ a lap only belt and no top tether. Technically, in Canada this is not permitted. You just want to pick a seat w/ *better* head excursion numbers (meaning the head moved less w/ out the top tether). The Graco Nautilus has among the best numbers. $129-$200.

If you do manage to get a top tether installed, you can go with the rider safe vest or a Frontier $200-300. The Frontier is currently the highest weight and height seat on the market. My almost 7yo has growing room if that helps any. In the US it has harness to 80# in Canada 65# and to a torso height of 20".

Next would come a booster and here is where you're going to run into the most problems. In most places kids require a booster until 4ft 9in and/or 9 years old, really they're safer until more like 12yo, but that's a different story for a different forum. ;) You can *not* use a booster seat with out a lap AND shoulder belt. So, you must get shoulder belts installed to use a booster. That may be easier for some than it sounds like the top tether anchor has been...Boosters can be used starting at 40# in most places (some 30#, it's not legal here).

Finally, you *must* install child restraints on a forward facing seat. So, those that have added jump seats, actually one of the safer places in the vehicle if added correctly, can not have a child restraint there. However, if there is no airbag, a booster seat can be put in the front passenger seat and mom/dad can sit in the RF jump seat.

Head rests are a *must*! If you don't have them, get them...

Now my question to all this! :cool:
Next, recommend seat belts are replaced at or around the 15 year mark, as the fibres start to break down. That would be my question to all this! How much does it cost to replace the seat belts in these older vehicles? Can you upgrade from a lap only to a lap and shoulder? And, what is with all the missing head rests and/or non-existent ones? When were head rests standard? How much does it cost to buy a new head rest if it's missing?