THIS MOD PERTAINS TO ONE REAR FACING INFANT CAR SEAT AND ONE FORWARD FACING CAR SEAT. PUT THE FORWARD FACING ONE BEHIND THE DRIVER AND THE REAR ONE BEHIND THE PASSENGER.
In 2010 with my first kid, I had a rear facing car seat in a double cab, and it's a no brainier that you you put in the middle of the back seat to make it fit the best. however with two car seats one forward facing and the second one rear facing, the rear facing one is a pain in the ass because it takes up so much room that my front passenger seat was a joke.
After a theory and some analysis I took out the rear passenger seat back from my truck, and earned 4 inches of extra leg room for my front passenger. Car seat is secure and uncompromised. Damned rear facing car seat takes up an obscene amount of room.
This was a compromise, because in doing so I sacrificed the back passenger and the middle seat. So in a pinch I can still legally carry 3 adults if I remove the forward facing car seat (behind the driver) and replace the head rest.
It's two 12mm bolts that are removed to take the seat back out. I also had to take out the center seat belt. It is anchored with a single 14mm bolt in the center bottom of the cab. I replaced the bolt and torqued to factory specs. I found the directions in the Factory Service Manual. Basically fold the seat bottoms up and then fold the seat back down, remove the plastic covers from the corners by prying them up and then remove the bolts. It's very easy.
I used a blanket to fill the void and build a flat base for the car seat base. This is a car-seat-manufacturer approved method of install. The factory seat belt anchor system is retained when the seat back is removed. The alternate seat-base-with-built-in-clip-in-system is not retained as the hooks are part of the seat back. I did not care about that, as the room was critical and the seat belt system works.
Final Install as pictured from the drivers seat
A Complete view of the back seat of the double cab
After using this system for a couple weeks I am very happy. The only drawback I've detected so far is that It can be a bit cramped when putting the infant in or taking the infant out of the car seat while the seat is in the base. Putting the car seat in the base or taking the car seat out the base is still very easy.
When my second kid is old or big enough to go forward facing I'll put the seat back back into the truck. Probably in a year or so... Last time we waited until our kid screamed at us each time we put her into the rear facing one and that's when we knew we had to get the forward facing one.
Overall I'm very happy about how this mod has turned out.
If anyone out there reading this thinks what I've done is wrong and I'm going to burn in hell or something, I'm really not at all that interested in hearing from you and I would prefer you just keep your comments to yourself. However, if you have some constructive criticism and want to comment I'm open to discussion.
If you like what you have seen here give it a try. I say go for it and I hope I have helped someone out there.
Also, In theory, it would be possible to do the reverse and take out the seat back from the drivers side back seat. The advantage here is that you'd only be sacrificing one seat and not the middle seat as well like I did. For us it just made more sense to have the toddler behind the driver and the infant on the passenger side.