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Old 01-31-2023, 09:53 AM   #1
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Baby Seat Mounted Above Doghouse

I am about to purchase my first Class A after years of travel trailers. My family has three boys, ages 8, 6 and 3mo. My wife would like the baby to ride in a car seat near her where she can see/hear him. The car seat would need to be rear facing and attached to a solid base.

I was think of creating or fabricating a seat mount/bracket that mounts to the floor and installs over or behind the doghouse. I would use a takeout seat from a minivan, SUV or something similar. The entire mount/seat assembly would need to be removeable so that the doghouse can still be removed and/or accessed.

I would NOT mount the seat to the doghouse since it is fiberglass and would not support enough weight.

Any thoughts? Has anyone done something similar? Any suggestions/thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2023, 10:53 AM   #2
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The weight probably isn’t going to be the problem - the problem will be the loads placed against the anchor points, either at the floor or the doghouse cover and it’s anchoring points.

If you really want to go down this route, I would look at anchoring the bay seat to newly installed floor anchors made much like the seat anchors are in present day vehicles. Make certain the back side of the flooring as adequate backing to spread the impact load over a larger area, and make certain the flooring is both substantial enough to prevent anchor backing pull through and that it is securely a fixed to the coach chassis.

Take note of the anchoring for the driver and passenger seat, especially the structure under the flooring. Duplicate that as much as possible.
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Old 01-31-2023, 11:42 AM   #3
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Do not let my grandson, the fireman certified in baby seat securing in vehicles to ever see a setup like this. He would probably have a heart attack at his young age.

I don't think there is a safe way to do this and would recommend against it.
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Old 01-31-2023, 11:52 AM   #4
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Not safe on any level or excuse.

No child safety expert approves of even putting a child seat in the front. All required child seats shall be secured properly in a back seat of the vehicle.
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Old 01-31-2023, 11:55 AM   #5
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Our Daughter was only a couple of months old at her first ride in the motorhome. We have a dinette with seatbelts so we put her in the carseat on the rear facing side with table down. We swapped to the front facing side when she got older.

Oh, and this was our first child so you can bet we wanted to keep an eye on her while traveling. We never got nervous and actually felt better that she was away from the front of the motorhome where there actually isn't a whole lot of protection from a front end collision.
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Old 01-31-2023, 11:59 AM   #6
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And with the wide variety of baby monitors, I'm sure one could find one to send a signal to the front so the child can be monitored on a phone or tablet.

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Our Daughter was only a couple of months old at her first ride in the motorhome. We have a dinette with seatbelts so we put her in the carseat on the rear facing side with table down. We swapped to the front facing side when she got older.

Oh, and this was our first child so you can bet we wanted to keep an eye on her while traveling. We never got nervous and actually felt better that she was away from the front of the motorhome where there actually isn't a whole lot of protection from a front end collision.
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Old 01-31-2023, 12:01 PM   #7
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And with the wide variety of baby monitors, I'm sure one could find one to send a signal to the front so the child can be monitored on a phone or tablet.
Or in the OP's case, get the 8 year old boy to be the monitor.

But I do have to admit,, the dinette is right behind the driver's seat in out rig. Almost within arms reach of the passenger seat where my wife sits.
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Old 01-31-2023, 12:08 PM   #8
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Mudfrog has the correct suggestion.
I would not consider a child seat up front, no matter how much structure you erect the child is still in harms way.
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Old 01-31-2023, 12:17 PM   #9
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The doghouse area is ground zero for missile hazards in a sudden stop.
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Old 01-31-2023, 12:37 PM   #10
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That's exactly what I was thinking. Have you ever been in a sudden stop? I have. Things I thought were secured came flying up front. And not just the pillows off the couch. A pantry door came open from the force of the canned goods inside & many of those cans ended up in the cockpit.

No way would I put a baby seat on the doghouse or anywhere near the cockpit.
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Old 01-31-2023, 01:50 PM   #11
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So... on top of the doghouse is a bad idea because firemans, child safety experts and e-stop missiles.

How about behind the doghouse with the vehicle seat facing forward and the child seat facing rearward? The vehicle seat could be mounted to the floor in a manner described by MrMark. This offers some degree of protection from projectiles... Or is this also a hard no-go?

What about replacing the existing chair/recliner behind the codriver seat with a seat from a minivan, suv, etc?

RV is a Four Winds Hurricane 34B.
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Old 01-31-2023, 02:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathonM View Post
So... on top of the doghouse is a bad idea because firemans, child safety experts and e-stop missiles.

How about behind the doghouse with the vehicle seat facing forward and the child seat facing rearward? The vehicle seat could be mounted to the floor in a manner described by MrMark. This offers some degree of protection from projectiles... Or is this also a hard no-go?

What about replacing the existing chair/recliner behind the codriver seat with a seat from a minivan, suv, etc?

RV is a Four Winds Hurricane 34B.
Babies suffer broken necks when facing forward in headon crashes or sudden stops.
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Old 01-31-2023, 02:32 PM   #13
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Babies suffer broken necks when facing forward in headon crashes or sudden stops.
I aint that dumb. You misread it. Carseat will be rear facing - in a vehicle seat (or any seat in the RV) - that faces forward. Just like in a normal car.
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Old 01-31-2023, 02:39 PM   #14
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I aint that dumb. You misread it. Carseat will be rear facing in a vehicle seat (or any seat in the RV) that faces forward. Just like in a normal car.
First off, just realize we all care about your baby. Many of us are grandparents.

I honestly had never considered any aspect of traveling with a baby in a motorhome and in general, how well you can strap down a car seat. I am remembering many MHs I looked at with side facing seats with seatbelts, and now the thought of those is making my neck hurt.

I would be interested in how most motorhome owners with small children and infants make sure they are secure.

One of the things I have often noticed on basic passenger vehicles is how secure the seat must be to the floorboard in order to allow the seat to remain in position in a crash. How well can you guarantee a seat you add to your MH is secure enough to the floor. I understand you will not be able to conduct crash tests, those are pretty destructive in nature. I am just thinking the floorboard behind the doghouse was never constructed with the idea you would try to secure a seat to it.
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