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Old 05-13-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
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Seatbelts regulations in class A motorhomes

so I have been scouring the internet for regulations in certain provinces and state. as we are taking a trip threw Alberta, Sask and into either Montana,North Dakota and into South Dakota. some say all must wear a seatbelt. some say only front 2 required ect. I've read someplace that everyone that has a seatbelt must use one. but my class A has the 2 front seats with belts and 2 threw the couch. not that I would really trust the lag bolts threw the floor on those anyway. but what if I travel with more then 4? as that is what the manufacture only put in. any help with finding out what are the actual regulations would be appreciated
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:50 PM   #2
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Manufacturers figure that , because the unit only sleeps four , that's what they allow seat belts for.

Your local RCMP office should clear things up for Canada travel , and an online search for individual state DOT regulations should help with the rest.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:03 PM   #3
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My Winnebago has either 5 or 6 seatbelts.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:47 PM   #4
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For whatever it's worth Forest River had a recall because they installed two too many seatbelts. That may be another factor in your decision. This affected their model 2016 GT3 30X3 units (32' 18,000 GVWR, supposedly sleeps 7 but only has 6 seatbelts)

June 9, 2016 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 16V419000
Vehicle may Exceed GVWR due to Extra Seat Belts

With the extra passengers, the GVWR may be exceeded and the vehicle may be overloaded, increasing the risk of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 16V419000

Manufacturer Forest River, Inc.

Components EQUIPMENT

Potential Number of Units Affected 9

Summary

Forest River, Inc. (Forest River) is recalling certain model year 2017 Georgetown motorhomes manufactured May 17, 2016, through May 9, 2016. These vehicles were accidentally equipped with two seat belt assemblies on the rear-facing dinette seat, allowing the vehicle to transport up to eight passengers instead of six passengers as the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) was based on.

Remedy

Forest River has notified owners, and dealers will remove the extra seat belt assemblies, free of charge. The recall began on July 5, 2016.
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:07 PM   #5
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Not sure about the what Canada requires but I'm pretty sure that most states only require seatbelts to be used in an RV for the cockpit occupants ...driver and passenger.

There was several discussions about the seat belt topic on this forum right after that accident in Washington state last year when two occupants were killed when their DP went off the road near Ellensburg but the driver and passenger (both belted) survived.

As you pointed out, it was also discussed about how effective seat belts would be if they were not anchored to the frame ...most are not.


...found one of the threads:

Fatal MH accident I90 Ellensburg, WA

eta: I don't think the above thread is the one where the seat belt issue was discussed but I'll keep looking as I think somebody posted a link as to the state laws regarding seat belt usage in an RV. As I say, I believe it was agreed that seat belts in an RV are only required for the driver and passenger. I'd be interested if, as you say, it said that if seat belts are available in the interior of the coach that they MUST be used. I don't remember that being addressed but I hope somebody can clarify that for you for the states in question. But as you say, seat belts more than likely would not be too much help in an accident like the one in Ellensburg Washington.

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Manufacturers figure that , because the unit only sleeps four , that's what they allow seat belts for.

Your local RCMP office should clear things up for Canada travel , and an online search for individual state DOT regulations should help with the rest.
I just counted mine, sleeps 7, has 7 seat belts, the dinette is plainly labeled not for use when driving and has no belts; oddly the seat cushions have slots in them for belts.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:39 PM   #7
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Mine has the 2 front captain's chairs, 1 on the lounge chair, 4 on the dinette, and 2 or 3 on the couch.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:35 AM   #8
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...what are the actual regulations would be appreciated
Are you interested in being complaint with regulations or being reasonably safe?

I studied this issue last year before taking our granddaughter in our Class A MH. At that time I found no cases of a child being killed in a Class A.

The basic problem is that you can not predict what kind of accident you will have.

There are some things in your control. Keeping the speed down. Good tires.
Not overloading. Clearly being retrained is at the top of my list.

My MH has seat belts for all seating that is securely bolted. If it did not and I had more passengers than belts, I would install more belts.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:38 AM   #9
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I've found what I posted before where somebody called me out on it as "how do you know the author has all the right information about the laws of each state?"

Well, obviously, I don't. As the saying goes, you can't take everything you read on the internet as the truth.

I suppose if one were to take some time to do research, they'd be able to confirm or not confirm the author's findings. And we also don't know, even if she knows what she's talking about, how up-to-date her finding are.

So with that disclaimer, here are the seat belt laws by state according to "Leah" who doesn't sound like she is necessarily an expert in the field but only "blogging" about it:

Things You Need To Know About RV Seat Belt Laws
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:44 AM   #10
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Ioddly the seat cushions have slots in them for belts.
My first MH had seat belts in the dinette, not that I would let anyone sit there while moving.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:49 AM   #11
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Mine has seat belts for 10. It has a lot to do with CCC. Some rvs are basically overloaded with just the main things. Some have lots left over. Just depends how your rv was designed.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:50 AM   #12
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Biggest problem with any motorhome is regardless if they are bolted in our not you can’t control the type of accident. We have a class C so obviously different but the seatbelts are in the couch next to the wall. Sounds great they are in there but sitting sideways is awful for a crash that your body is going front to rear. And god forbid someone plows into that side of the coach the fiberglass and aluminum frame is not stopping a car from going through you. I have thought about this a lot as I am driving and my family is in back. All I can do is do everything I can to make sure my coach is a safe as it can be and be vigilant of what’s going on around me. I have been boater all my life and you should always where your life jacket but in my experience it’s mainly just so your body can be found. See so many wrecks of a boat on boat accident nobody lives through those it’s just the chance you take unfortunately.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:33 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by theroc View Post

So with that disclaimer, here are the seat belt laws by state according to "Leah" who doesn't sound like she is necessarily an expert in the field but only "blogging" about it:

Things You Need To Know About RV Seat Belt Laws
I did my research at the time I posted a question here and this was one of the links posted.

"If you intend to carry children in your RV, always remember that child safety restraint systems should never be used in any rear-facing or bench-like seating."

This is only true in one type of accident.

Here is the rest of our story. We took our granddaughter camping. What a hoot. We had great time and thank God for all the videos and pictures. Rita passed in her sleep a few weeks later.

Later in the year our son was driving the family when he was rear ended by a texting driver who did not notice traffic stopping. Their van was totaled but they were fine.

The point is to evaluate risk while enjoying the RV lifestyle and not let irrational fear rule your life.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:18 AM   #14
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When I reinstalled my captains chairs after upholstery, I added 2 steel plates to spread the pulling force of seatbelts under the plywood floor (in the wheelwells). $10 maybe.
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