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Author Topic: Child restraint question  (Read 10128 times)

y2khardtop

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Child restraint question
« on: May 17, 2005, 09:03:16 PM »
Taking a trip with a 1-year old.  Obviously, I don't want to strap him into the front seat for the entire trip, and there are not seatbelts in the back.  Googling, seems like most states require children to be in restraints in motorhomes, but with no belts, and all of the seats mounted "sideways", what are we supposed to do?

Thanks!

Dave

Tom

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2005, 09:15:40 PM »
Dave,

You've asked a great question, and one I'll be interested in reading responses to.

I just got done buying and installing a child seat in the second row of our Suburban for our grandson. Hadn't thought far enough ahead to where he might be coming on RV trips with us. Like you, I'm having difficulty understanding how a child restraint seat could be mounted on the sideways-facing sofas in our coach.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2005, 07:05:32 AM »
Two suggestions... 1: Many modern motor homes do indeed have rear seat belts. Example, My Damon has seat bealts for the Driver and Front seat passengerr (of course) but what is not so obvious, espically in the show room, is the pair of seat belts on the convert-a-bed/couch,  So there are seat belts.

In addition if your Motor Home does not have seat belts check with either a good Motor Home Place or a Van Conversion place,  I once bought an older van (Just a van, not a "Class B" though it was partially converted (no kitchen or bath or other than engine heat, but the rear seats (benches) converted to bed or card table)  It had no rear belts.  Even if it had rear seats (Captains kind)  American Van (A Van Conversion place about a mile from where I live) installed rear belts for me, or sold them to me and I installed them, forget which

So you can have belts adde.

I'll likely be adding a belt to my Damon though it will be kind of different, won't know more till I take measurements
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

y2khardtop

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2005, 07:29:14 AM »
I definitely can add restraints, but we're picking the motorhome up in Florida, and driving it back to NC.  Hopefully, we'll get more responses, but just wondering what most people are doing.

This particular vehicle has 2 side-ways sofas, and one dining table.  Even if the table benches have belts, I'm not sure if the table collapese leaving enough room to mount the. 

Thanks for the comments thus far!

Tom

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2005, 07:37:05 AM »
I'm not sure that a child restraint seat mounted on a sideways facing sofa (such as we have) would be legal. In any event, although the coach is only a year old, neither sofa has the latch system that our Suburban has.
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BernieD

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2005, 08:53:45 AM »
I'm not sure that a child restraint seat mounted on a sideways facing sofa (such as we have) would be legal. In any event, although the coach is only a year old, neither sofa has the latch system that our Suburban has.

Tom

Both of the coaches we have had had seat belts on the sideways facing sofas. The Damon UltraSport also had seat belts on the recliner which was permanently attached to the floor. IIRC, there is some correlation between sleeping positions and number of seat belts, but I'm not sure.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Tom

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2005, 09:13:52 AM »
Thanks Bernie. One of our sofas has adult seat belts and the other doesn't. The "latch system" on the Suburban and many newer cars is a lot better than using a seat belt to anchor the child restraint seat. I'll probably have to look into having latch anchors installed on one of the sofas, but I still don't know if it will be safe or legal given that the sofa and restraint seat will be facing sideways.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2005, 01:39:11 PM »

Both of the coaches we have had had seat belts on the sideways facing sofas. The Damon UltraSport also had seat belts on the recliner which was permanently attached to the floor. IIRC, there is some correlation between sleeping positions and number of seat belts, but I'm not sure.

Yup, it's 1 to 1, they assume if you are sleeping in it you are riding in it so they have enough belts for you

I've seen a few which actually had more belts than beds (Example, a slightly longer Damon has 3 belts on the sideways facing couch)

I'd have to read a whole bunch of laws but I'm not sure (EMPHISIS NOT SURE) using the sideways seat would be illegal

However you could do what I plan on doing... Mount a television/monitor where someone sitting on said seat can easily see it (But the driver can't) and put the co-pilot there. put the child in the front seat (which likely won't have the LATCH system in a MH either) so long as there are no bombs in the dash, ur, they call them air bags, the bombs that is.

And though the LATCH system makes it EASIER to hook up a child seat.. There are alternatives,,,, When my child required such a seat the LATCH system was not yet invented
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Tom

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2005, 01:45:23 PM »
put the child in the front seat

I won't be doing that John.

Quote
When my child required such a seat the LATCH system was not yet invented

Same here, but the latch system is the best I've seen. Much better than trying to secure the seat with a seatbelt, although most new restraint seats come both ways.
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y2khardtop

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2005, 09:21:55 AM »
I guess the bottom line is this:  As far as you guys know, the law does require children to be in a restraint AT ALL TIMES in an RV.  I know people do what they do, but that is the law.  I searched many state websites, and a few list RV's as an exemption (like ambulances, etc), but most seem to require they be in a child seat. 

Thanks for all of the mounting advice, but just trying to digest the LAW at this point. 


John From Detroit

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2005, 10:47:37 AM »
I guess the bottom line is this:  As far as you guys know, the law does require children to be in a restraint AT ALL TIMES in an RV.

No, only when it's going down the road.. Ok, now the serious answer.

Though there are exceptions to most every law,,, This is one where I expcet you won't find many.  There is another law involved as well, (or two) one of them is a law of physics

In a motor home... There is a LOT of room between the back seat and the windshield, far more than in a car,,, This means that in a sudden stop situtation the child who is unrestrained will have a lot more time before he hits the windshield.. And though he won't "Build up a head of steam" (his speed will remain fairly constant over the course of the trip) the windshield will have more time to slow down, thus increasing the amount of impact and the amount of damage and greatly reducing the child's odds of walking away.

With a proper restraint... Well with a proper restraint the same law of physics works the other way around... There is more "Crumple zone" and more to crumple behind the child... Thus the maximum force on the child is reduced (though the time it's applied is increased) I suspect this will actually INCREASE the child's already excelent chances of walking away.

Fact, in 25 years of police dispatching I have seen and/or heard of many accidents (Yes a few I saw personally) where a child was in a proper child seat, or even just a seat belt if old enough and the parents were not.

Here is one I layed personal eyes on

A "Chevy Love" size pickup (did not notice the make but that's the size) had rolled, actuall damage to the vehicle was minor and it appeared it could have easily been driven from the scene (Body torqued a bit, mirrors busted, that's about all)

The vehicle was loaded with household goods and the load was not even lost (Well strapped down)  There was a child about 10ish in a proper seat belt (no child seat, just a belt) he had minor injuries consistant with flying glass... Kind of like razor nicks,  His Father, who had been driving, was not wearing his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle when it rolled,  Thus getting some far more serious (Broken bone type) injuries and a serious case of road rash (Skin torn off by friction as you slide down the pavement)

Mother was also not wearing her belt and was thus also thrown from the vehicle, however in the direciton it was rolling, Thus it rolled over her and crushed her to death.

Score, seat belts 1, Grim reaper 1.5

And folks wonder why I always buckel up

This is but one story, one I witnessed personally.. I have others,  some of those I saw close up as well, Some you should not read just after dinner... Trust me on that  Proper use of seat belts and/or child restraints greatly increase your odds of doing a walk away. EIGHT to one for belts,  Better than that for child seats (Which are miniture survival capsules) and about 1.1 to 1 for air bags (no significant increase)   Note, Air bags increase your odds of minor injuries as they blow up in your face  (Burns and/or impact damage)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Jim Godward

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2005, 04:43:21 PM »
>>but I still don't know if it will be safe or legal given that the sofa and restraint seat will be facing sideways.<<

The restraint seat is to be effective in ONE direction only and it is NOT sideways!  It should only be used in the direction it is designed for. 

As far as I am concerned, the sideways seat belts may make it legal but I would not allow anyone to use them- Newmar did not install any!  Thus in our MH we can seat 2 ONLY.

Others will have to travel in the Jeep while it is NOT a towed!  VBG

Just my opinion, YMMV,

Jim
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

blueblood

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 05:28:14 PM »
Sideway forces can and do kill one in an automobile without making physical contact with any object.. In fact, my nephew was killed last year in just such an accident. The doctors said the force resulted in his instant death; he was in a seat belt. That said, we traveled for several months last year with our 2 and 3 year old grandsons and put them in individual car seats belted to the couch with the couch belts. The seats had what I would call side head ears that would give some protection from a possible head-on on in motorhome but were meant for a car where they would provide some protection from a sideways hit. I see no difference in the two situations. I asked my police sources a short while ago about the legal and physical safety aspects. They didn't feel there were any legal aspects. However, they wanted to go check with the men who are in this all the time and promised to get back to me as soon as possible.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2005, 05:40:55 PM by blueblood »
Leo

Len and Jo

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 09:24:59 PM »
Got to think about it.  Yes, you must be legal with child restraint.  But also you MUST keep little ones who can not make decisions about safety safe.  Their little bodies and large heads are very fragile.  When my son was 14 and we took Scuba lessions and started diving together, I bought the BEST equipment our dive shop had.  Other levels probably would have been O.K. but if anything happened I wanted to know in the back of my mind that I had not cut any corners with his safety.
No matter if the law allows you to use the side benches, find some place to install a forward facing restraint system.  Little kids/babys can be enjured in accidents that might not enjure the adult body.  J.C. Whitney sells belts and I am sure auto supply stores do to.  Follow the directions, they are easy to install.  I have done it many times.  Just don't drill into the gas tank :-\
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Tom

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2005, 09:54:35 PM »
Thanks Len. My current thinking is that, unless I can permanently mount an extra forward-facing seat, I won't be installing a child restraint seat. We occasionally camp with our daughter, SIL and grandson, and they tow a trailer. In that case, there's no issue because there's a child restraint seat in the rear seat of their tow truck. I was merely looking ahead to when he might come without his parents.

At the other extreme, our oldest grandson is 18 and well over 6 feet tall. He'd probably like to put me in a child restraint seat  ;D
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John From Detroit

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2005, 05:06:21 AM »

The restraint seat is to be effective in ONE direction only and it is NOT sideways!  It should only be used in the direction it is designed for. 

Child restraints are effective in head on, rear end, side and rollover collisions.

About the only thing they are not rated for is a semi truck flying off an overpass and landing on top of you (and do not think that has not happened)   Some of them might even protect a child there.

That said, head on or rear end is the most LIKELY collision.. thus they are the ones that get the greatest level of protection (Viewed from the child's viewpoint)

Some of the collisions where children, properly restrained, came out alive, where as adults ... Well, it was a multiple funeral, were side and/or rollover
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

jwilds

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Re: Child restraint question
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2005, 11:33:00 PM »
Hi, I am in a similar situation as you are with the carseat problem.  We have a 2005 Minnie 31C. What I have done is remove the seat pads on the forward facing dinette seat.  There  are two lap belts there.  I use those belts to attach my Britax carseats in.  I use the non-slip fabric under the seats so they don't slide and to give a little pressure against the straps.   The girls have a portable DVD player that sits on the table (on that non-slip stuff) and everyone is pretty happy with it.    I am planning on trying to attach a tether type attachment to the floor under the seat and bring the tether up through it for additional stabilization. 

I hope that this helps. 

 

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