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Old 03-27-2011, 05:32 PM   #1
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Are rear seat belts in a motorhome?

I'm selling my 1983 class C to a family with four children ages 11 to 15. There are no seatbelts installed in the rear. They are planning a cross country trip. Are seat belts required?

Fulltime workamper traveling with Toy Poodles Cricket and Liza and Standard Poodle Gable
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Hi decodancer,
My assumption is all states have the same seat belt laws. At a high level, they are not required. However, if the child is young enough to require a car seat, then the belt is required to securely fasten the car seat.

For me, I purchased two sets of seat belts and installed them in the forward facing seat of the dinette. This gives me seat belts for 8 people (driver included). That is what I need. Consider recommending the new owner do the same.

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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It is easy enough to install some belts. My opinion is I do not move the RV or truck untill all seat belts are locked in place.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:34 PM   #4
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I think most states require seatbelts in designated passenger positions in vehicles mfg'ered after a certain year. My Class A has 3 seatbelts on each of the 2 side-facing couches. I definitely would want seatbelts for passengers. If you install seatbelts in a dinette, make sure to anchor them to the floor or something else that will not break away in an accident.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by decodancer View Post
Are seat belts required?
YES! and worn.
Hal & Ginny Miller '04 Beaver Santiam PRT40
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
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The "house" is just that. There's no legal requirement for seat belts, as far as I know. Even the two front seats have very vague requirements. Our '02 has only lap belts for the two front seats. They're attached to the seats, not to vehicle structure.

We have belts (three) on the side-facing sofa behind the driver. They're attached to a very substantial-looking tubular steel beam, but the sofa is in the living room slide, so how good are they? There's also one lap belt on the barrel chair behind the front passenger. That one is firmly anchored to the sliding platform that the chair sits on.

There are no belts in the dinette, and the seats are placarded "Not for occupancy when vehicle is in motion". 90% of our travels are for me, DW and our two Labs. The dogs get their chest harnesses hooked to a seat belt, either on the barrel chair or the forward-most sofa belt. That way they can still see out and enjoy the trip.

Additional homo sapiens will need some review. my gut feel is that the aft-facing dinette is probaly the safest seat in the house, and I might add two belts to it, with the appropriate strengthening of attachment structure, etc. Useful to have an FAA DER in Payloads Structures for a son-in-law!
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by frankdamp

my gut feel is that the aft-facing dinette is probaly the safest seat in the house, and I might add two belts to it, with the appropriate strengthening of attachment structure, etc. Useful to have an FAA DER in Payloads Structures for a son-in-law!
Not positive but I believe Aft means facing the rear of the coach! Unless you have a high back chair all the way past the neck you need to face forward or sideways at worst to prevent serious if not life threatening injuries to the spine during sudden stops.

I know our coach has a max belted occupancy when moving of 7 on the sticker in the bedroom closet. # of seat belts Driver, passenger, recliner, 2 forward facing in dinette and 2 on sofa.

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
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As you can see, the rules are very complex. Federal DOT rules apply everywhere, but state laws vary. Generally, passenger car seat belt laws do not apply to large vehicles, where "large" is typically defined as over 8000 lb GVWR. School & city transit busses, for example, have no seat belts.

The dinette seats, sofa, etc. have no neck support and very little elsewhere, so belting into one is sort of an academic measure. And the dinette table is a hazard to anyone near it in an accident, as are the corners of furniture and cabinets.

I've been in a major motorhome accident and can testify that its shear size and weight does a lot to protect passengers. But I am also an advocate of seat belt use, so would suggest that the buyer add them wherever possible, on the theory that some protection is better than none at all.

Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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