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Old 01-13-2015, 09:23 PM   #1
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Car seats in motorhome

My wife and i have a 97 pacearrow vision, which we love. We bought it last january and have had nothing but fun with it since day one. We have a 18 month old daughter that has went everywhere with us. We would strap her car seat into the dinet set with her carseat facing the rear. Everything is fine and dandy. Well, now daughter number 2 will be here in March which leaves us in a pickle for seating. The dinet only has one seatbelt, the other is on the couch which faces the side of the motorhome. We can put the youngest daughters carseat in the dinet where she's facing the right direction, but that leaves the oldest in a carseat facing sideways. We're concerened in the event of an accident, the couch seat wont allow the car seat to properly secure her. Ive talked with a RV mechanic shop that said they could install another one in the dinet but said the wood probably wouldnt make a sufficient anchor. So, my question to you guys, have any of you added seatbelts, or have any other suggestions?
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:03 AM   #2
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Inmho, there are two ways to do it, anchor point through the floor and to the frame, or through the floor and through a metal back-up plate that is at least 6x6-ish in size. If only smaller back-up plates are used then it should be a 2-point attachment.

Useless unrelated to seat belt info: When my daughter was just a few days old we had her out overnight on the boat. Every time the I/O started up she fell asleep and slept the whole time underway.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:36 AM   #3
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We had a 94 pace arrow, and we put our two boys 3 and 5 side by side on the couch with the lap belts holding the car seats in. Made sure they were snug and they were rated for good side impact protection. I think with your kids, you never feel that they are "safe enough" but the miles/ time traveled are small compared to the family car, and I hoped that God forbid if we were in a crash, being in a big class A and not a sub compact would help. Drive defensively at or just below the speed limit, keep on top of maintenance and enjoy it.can hardly wait until we can afford another one. Upkeep on ours was getting too costly.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:43 PM   #4
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can hardly wait until we can afford another one. Upkeep on ours was getting too costly.
Kid or motorhome ?
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:10 PM   #5
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I see people saying "The car seat is designed to protect only when facing front or rear, not sideways.

But accidents come from all directions, You can get rear ended (or rear end someone) you can hit a fixed object, you can get "T Boned" or spin out and slam sideways into a telephone pole.

So the seats work when sideways.

At least the ones I have seen

Perhaps not as well as front/back but... You have what 12 tons of house wrapped around it, not 1 -2 tons of car,, So you are already better off in a sudden stop, and I've got what 10-12 feet of crush zone between where I'm sitting just now and the front, and the rest of 37 feet to the rear.

Bt if the RV gets T-Boned, I'm less than a foot from what hits me. THAT is where I need protection. And a couch monted seat will give just that.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
I see people saying "The car seat is designed to protect only when facing front or rear, not sideways.

But accidents come from all directions, You can get rear ended (or rear end someone) you can hit a fixed object, you can get "T Boned" or spin out and slam sideways into a telephone pole.

So the seats work when sideways.

At least the ones I have seen

Perhaps not as well as front/back but... You have what 12 tons of house wrapped around it, not 1 -2 tons of car,, So you are already better off in a sudden stop, and I've got what 10-12 feet of crush zone between where I'm sitting just now and the front, and the rest of 37 feet to the rear.

Bt if the RV gets T-Boned, I'm less than a foot from what hits me. THAT is where I need protection. And a couch monted seat will give just that.
While i agree the car seats are designed for a crash from sides as well, they're main function is to protect front and rear. The majority of crashes are from the front or rear so that's the manufactures main concern. It's not that im worried about my children being struck by an object, the sudden movement from side to side is. A child's body isnt developed enough to with stand those forces. Thats why the car seats are designed for rear facing, the momentum from the accident is carried through the car seat and the car seat will actually move up and away from the front seat. My oldest will be right at 2 when we start traveling again, which is more mind easing for the side belt on the couch cause her body will be more developed. I would still rather have another seatbelt installed in the dinet to allow her to be forward facing. I'll just have to call around and check some more for more installation ideas
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:43 PM   #7
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IMO, the ONLY safe place for a child seat in a motorhome is in a seat that is directly connected to the frame below.

Sideways is not a good idea.

Face the rear is not necessarily a good idea in an RV unless all the missile hazards have been removed.

Dinettes and couches, from what I have seen, have seat belts that are not safe at all. No way would my granddaughter get bolted into either of those spots, she only gets her seat strapped into the front passenger seat.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:13 PM   #8
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Car Seat Mount

My husband has devised a mount that bolts the car seat foundation to the frame below the sofa. The carseat faces to the rear. My son does clear the cabinets above of all contents and all the loose items in the cabin.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:08 PM   #9
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Contact the NTSB as well as the manufacture of your carseat for the best advice--I would want the experts advice.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #10
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Contact the NTSB as well as the manufacture of your carseat for the best advice--I would want the experts advice.
I'll bet that neither would offer an answer. I don't believe RVs/motorhomes have been tested for seatbelt safety. People just extrapolate rules for the car. The car seat people will/must stick to the documentation approved by their legal staff.
When my grandboys (twins) were two I secured their carseats to the couch with the waist belt and tethered the seatbelt to the couch frame. My intent was to make their ride comfortable. The danger in motorhome travel comes not from hitting the windshield, and not from being ejected from the vehicle; therefore, my concern was comfort and for safety I relied on the "law of the lugnuts". The vehicle with the most lugnuts wins.
JMHO
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:07 PM   #11
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I'll bet that neither would offer an answer. I don't believe RVs/motorhomes have been tested for seatbelt safety. People just extrapolate rules for the car. The car seat people will/must stick to the documentation approved by their legal staff.
When my grandboys (twins) were two I secured their carseats to the couch with the waist belt and tethered the seatbelt to the couch frame. My intent was to make their ride comfortable. The danger in motorhome travel comes not from hitting the windshield, and not from being ejected from the vehicle; therefore, my concern was comfort and for safety I relied on the "law of the lugnuts". The vehicle with the most lugnuts wins.
JMHO
The problem isn't going to be which vehicle wins. The problem is the sudden forces exerted on the child's body during impact. The motor home may appear to have little damage, but a 6 month old in the RV having forces slamming them sideways may cause damage to them. That's why all infant car seats are designed to be rear facing. Most manufactures even recommend leaving a child in a rear facing seat until the age of two (as long as height and weight permit) because that's when their body's are finally capable of withstanding the force of an impact.

My dinner dinet and couch seatbelts both anchor to the frame. I'll try and find a mechanic shop that will install another one the same way
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:24 AM   #12
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I realize it's not the 80's anymore but my grandmom has pictures of my mom holding me as an infant going down the highway in our old diplomat Mh. When I got older I used to sit on the motorbox next to our dog. With that said I would just strap the babys car seat in the best location and be done with it. If I had to make or mount a special seat belt I would but I would not pull my hair out and call the ntsb.

There are certain risks involved any time you but a baby in a car, truck or MH. Just drive safe.
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