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Old 06-09-2010, 05:34 PM   #1
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Fleetwood Owners Club
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Talking Safety while having fun (newbie with lots of kids)

DH and I are newbies trying to find a way to get all of the DC buckled in safely while having fun while we travel. We have a 1995 SouthWind with a Chevy chasis.

Our MH has lapbelts in the sofa, recliner/swivel chair, and dinette...which means we cannot use any type of booster seat in those seats. I am hoping to get all the car seats installed on the sofa while the older kids sit at the dinnette. Our children are ages 13, 11, 8, 6, 3, 2, and 1 month old.

Anyone install lap/shoulder belts in any sofa seats? Would anyone care to share some example rules for RV'ing with the kiddoes? And also how do you keep it cool enough in the summer months while driving (while only using the A/C on the dash)?

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Old 06-09-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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Yikes! I can't begin to comment on the kid issue, but I suspect the only chance you have of keeping things cool is to run your generator while driving and use the coach A/C to keep thing cool. Your generator will likely draw less than 1 gallon per hour from the tank so your fuel mileage will not suffer too badly.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:20 PM   #3
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Thanks Bill! I had no idea you could run the generator while driving the coach...that would def make me a newbie!

Oh and most folks about pass out when they figure out that I have 7 kids, lol!
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:51 AM   #4
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wow you have inspired me! I have 2 kids and was wondering if I could rv with just 2. kudos! I assume you homeschool? we do.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:18 AM   #5
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Not sure you can safely do it.

I'm not sure you can travel with kids that young safely in an rv. I thought for the car seats to be effective they had to be in a certain position in the vehicle, not sideways. Young babies rear facing and then after they get bigger they can be front facing. Also as you mention you probably need the right type of seat belts.

One thing to think about until they get older is to have one of you drive the car seat requiring children in a vehicle following the motor home. The older kids can ride in the motorhome.

Another thing to think about is all the cabinets opening and stuff raining down on your babies in any type of emergency maneuver/collision. Might want to consider safety latches. My dogs hate it when we leave something on the counter/table or don't quite close a cabinet carefully and something comes raining down on them when we get under way. Thankfully they are in their crates so are protected from projectiles and the crates are seat belted to the floor so they can't become projectiles themselves in a crash.

When it is hot out we travel 100% of the time with the generator running/overhead AC going for the dogs and it works really well.

Honestly if it were me I'd keep all the kids in the follow vehicle. RVs don't have very good safety features like cars do. Their biggest advantage is their mass but that doesn't prevent all the cabinets from becoming detached or the walls/ceiling from caving in.

Best of luck,
Proud owner of 1994 Winnebago Brave 29RQ.
Chevy 454 on a P30 chassis.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:33 PM   #6
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We have been traveling fine with our kids since they were infants. Forward facing seats (like the dinette) can be used for car seats as you can use a lap only belt for infant-only, convertible, and forward-facing seats. We bought one that is rated to 60 lbs with the harness. Most are 40 lbs, but this is not enough if you are going to use it until your child is 8 and 5'7". Boosters cannot not be used with Lap Only belts. You could also use the passenger front seat if you don't have airbags. (Do any coaches have airbags?) Car seats cannot be used in sideways facing seats. So, the 3 youngest would go in the dinette seats and front passenger seats.

For the 6 year old, it depend the laws in the states you will visit. In NC, where I live, if a child is at least 4 and 40 lbs and there is no appropriate seat for a car seat, then they can ride with a lap only belt. I would recommend you google "Car seat law lap only NC" substituting your state for the NC and find your states rules. You can also stop in to your DMV or a fire station and get a copy of the law. I think AAA might have them, too. Also keep in mind that just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should. The 6 year old would be safer in a forward facing seat even if it is legal for them to sit in a lap only sideways facing seat.

I did find several sites that said that it is not permitted to put car seats in a rear facing dinette seat. Actually, they said rear facing station wagon seat. So only older kids who do not need a car seat can legally sit there.

Good luck finding places for everyone. RVing with kids is lots of fun!
Stewart, Brenda and kids
2008 Newmar Canyon Star 3410, now at a new home
2006 Roadtrek Versatile 210
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