When Buying A Van Parents Should Get in the Back Seat First!

Sponsored post – Thank you to cars.com for sponsoring this post! Our kids want to save other kids from some torture!

While we have been parents now for over 18 years and our youngest is only 2 years old we have only actually purchased a few vehicles. Some better, some not so great. With so many kids one would think we would know for sure the things we need when shopping. We however got caught up in things this last time and dropped the ball. After talking to many readers on social media about our issues the last few years with the mistakes we made, we wanted to be sure to share our experience with other parents!

Buying van parent advice

 The next time we buy a family van we will get in the back seat first!

So the first issue we noticed after we signed all the papers was that the van we actually got didn’t come with tinted windows. Sure we made sure it was hands free bluetooth cell service and a back up camera, but it was also a fish bowl. Not only does the sun shine harshly on us all inside, with a baby in a car seat looking up, it really bothers her and being so little there isn’t much she can do about it. She got to really hating car trips. Even with a window shade, it didn’t help. Also, everyone could see into our van, this made it a break in danger and also there was just no privacy. I missed the privacy of nursing my babies with tinted windows. Kids doing a quick change of clothing in the back was just not possible! Had we though done a test drive with the package we would end up buying and been in the back seat we might have noticed just how big an issue not getting tinted windows actually is for the kids.

The bigger issues though was when we found out that there was no rear AC or Heat. With 5 kids back there, this matters. In the deep south things get very hot and sometimes very cold but goodness the kids felt tormented as they waited for the AC to hit them, and it never really did. We had no idea this would be such an issue and had no idea we needed to make sure the van had these features. For some reason we expected them to be standard as they just had been in our other vans. The kids are not letting us live this one down! We purchased a long cloth elephant trunk looking things to bring the AC from the front of the van to the back, it isn’t a great solution but it is an affordable one. The kids argue over who gets it first though. Getting in the back before purchasing would have saved a lot of headaches, very literally!

Car Seat Install

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

 The last thing that would have helped us would have been getting in the back and feeling the space ourselves and moving car seats back there. While the car seats fit the new van, there was less space than the last one. This was specially hard on our growing son that was stuck between 2 of them. Cars.com is a great place to get help figuring out how car seats fit best and how they fit in certain vans and cars! Had we done better research, our kids might still love long trips. Whether you’ve looked at purchasing a car, renting a car, or driven a car, Cars.com has a lot of great information! As we look into trading in our van, we know some of the things we will for sure make sure a new van has. We will be getting in the back First!

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