Fitting a carseat in a pickup truck

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Can I put my 16-mo-old's car seat in my pickup?

April 2004

Our daughter is 16 months old, twentyish pounds and rides in a Britax Roundabout when she's in our car. My question is, can I put that Britax in my truck? It sure would be nice to have that flexibility. I have a 1994 Toyota pickup with an extra cab and no air bags. Can I put the carseat in the extra cab? Or can I put it in the front seat? Should it face forward or back? Or is putting a car seat in a pickup the ultimate no-no? zac

There are people in the county trained as car seat technicians who stay current on the complicated, changing issues around car seats. Try Barbara Cheatham in Alameda County at 618-2048, and also ask her about upcoming car seat check-ups scheduled in May at which someone can examine your installation and seat itself. happy travels. lyn
Yes, you can put the Roundabout in your Toyota pickup. You cannot, however, put it in the cab, or at least that was our experience. My partner has the same truck. We have the Roundabout in the front seat because the truck has no passenger- side airbag. The Berkeley Police Department checked it out and said it was fine. The seat is rear-facing until the child is one year old AND 20 pounds, so I think your seat can be forward- facing. When we use my partner's truck, I ride in the cab and our baby is in the carseat. Not very comfortable. But my partner picks our baby up from day care every day and she loves being in the front seat where she can look at her mommy. If you have any doubts about your seat installation, please make an appointment with the Berkeley PD -- they are very helpful. Noel
Sure, we'd all like to transport our kids in the center back seat of a Volvo, but that just isn't practical or affordable for many of us. I'm a single mom with a 1988 Ford Ranger (regular cab) and my kid has been in front with me from infant seat onward (i.e., 5 years). I had both the infant seat (backward) and the later Roundabout (forward) checked by police or CHP specialists at those free car seat things they do and both times was assured that a PROPERLY INSTALLED carseat in the passenger seat of an airbagless truck was fine (remember that those checks find up to 60 or 70 percent of parent installations are faulty!). The CHP officer actually said that my kid was probably safer in the front of my pickup in a head- on collision than a kid in the back of compact car--just think of that big engine between you and your front bumper. HOWEVER, since then I have read that EXTENDED CAB seats (I don't have them) are NOT safe for kids--whether in car seats or not I'm not sure--so that aspect bears more checking out before you put your precious cargo back there.
Safe Truck Drivin' Mama