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Old 09-02-2009, 12:42 AM   #1
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Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

As you might have heard we (TwoLost) just added a sweet addition to our family. We've got the travel bug and I'll soon be applying for a passport for our little one. I was hoping someone might be able to give me some advice as to the logistics and legality of installing a rear facing car seat in our Sportsmobile. We would be using our goucho for this purpose as we don't have captains chairs in the back. With our custom configuration our goucho backs up to the driver's side of our Sportsmobile. Is it feasible to place our rear facing carseat here? Thanks for any input you can give us.

Mrs. TwoLost
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:10 AM   #2
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

if the gaucho is a sideways seat, I do not believe it would be legal for the car seat(may be wrong). The best seat would be a capt chair/ passengers seat. If that is the safest seat then the law would rather you have the child in it, and mom gets the gaucho.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

The one for sure thing is not to use pass. front seat. It is not equipted with an airbag turn off. And can cause serious injury. Your gaucho is no diffrent than any other bench seat. If it is only lap belt use that make sure there is no movement in the seat when installed. Good luck
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

Spurious nailed that. I forgot that the van (unlike my trucks) does not have the ability to turn off the airbag. If the gaucho is sideways, I would go to the CHP and ask.
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

We ended up installing a third captain's chair for our little one. Some friends have a sideways goucho and have had two captain's chairs installed on the passenger side for their kids. They researched fastening the car seats to the sideways goucho, and for safety reasons (and legal?) they decided to go with captain's chairs.
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Old 09-02-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

We were faced with the issue of taking a grandchild with us when I had really only designed the van seating two. We have two caption chairs up front and I installed a forward facing seat belt on the end of a bench. I used two 3 inch heavy fender washers on the exterior when attaching the belt bolts (attachment points were also close to underbody cross member). I felt reasonably safe using the extra seat but I really did not want to put a grandchild in an untested design.

We applied for and got a NHSA waver to get the airbag on the front passenger seat deactivated when transporting a child. They are easy to get. The waver was free and took a few weeks to get a reply after mailing in the correct form. My local Chev. dealership does not install deactivation switches (I think it is a GM driven policy) even with the NHSA waver (I found that some Chrysler dealers do on their products only). Found a local company on the Internet that did come out to the house and installed the switch for ~$300. When we transport a grandchild they ride in the deactivated front passenger seat with the correct child seat and my wife or I ride using the seat belt I installed.

As far as I know ALL states have seatbelt laws that require children under a specific age to be properly constrained in any seating position (front or rear) when being transported in a motor vehicle. Adults? Some states require only adults in front seats to be buckled up and others require them to be buckled up front or rear. As far as I know none specify that the belts must be OEM installed. They just have to be there.

I would ask SMB if their goucho is designed for children. Does it have seat belts today? Both my kids very much prefer the childrens seats that attach to the floor mounting points and not just held in by seatbelts. Those designs do move around A LOT less and exist because they ARE safer.

What ever you chose to do make sure it IS BULLET PROOF. You do not want to be second guessing yourself if an accident happens and a little one gets hurt.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:29 PM   #7
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

Thanks so much everyone for your responses so far. Our research continues and we'll update this thread with any new information we find.

Mrs. TwoLost
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

My brother uses a side facing gaucho with two car seats for his kids. He and my sister in law do everything by the book and they did a lot of research on the legality (in Indiana) and the safety (even beyond the law) before buying the SMB.

All I know is they use it, and to give you an idea of how cautious they are they threw out ALL of the kids Mattel brand toys when the lead paint recall came out (whereas, I have a Sarge on my desk I chew when I'm bored).

If I could get the rat bast... uh, my dear brother, to participate in the forum he could share more details. Ah well.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:40 PM   #9
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

Rules will vary somewhat from state to state but I expect they will all be in compliance with FMVSS.

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/Cars/rules/rul ... lRule.html

A surprising note is that it appears car seat use is not required in vehicles over 8500 lbs: "...NHTSA has decided to limit the applicability of the rule to passenger cars and to MPVs and trucks with a GVWR of 3,856 kg (8,500 lb) or less..." [Above link, Section VII, letter F.] Obviously I would still use a seat but I guess it could be used as a ticket defense if it ever came to that...

BITBURGER had latch tiedowns installed on his bench seat (I'm sure the construction is the same as a gauhco, just sideways.)

The same NHTSA website above shows that latch tiedowns should withstand 1190 lbs of force: "...tested separately by applying a force of 5,300 N (1,190 lb) to the anchorage in the forward horizontal direction parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal axis..." [Above link, Section VII, letter I.]

Here's NY's law for anybody interested: http://www.nysgtsc.state.ny.us/seat-vt.htm
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:07 PM   #10
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Re: Advice on installing a car seat using goucho seat in our SMB

I don't see anything being wrong with a car-seat on the Goucho, specially in your set up. Since the Goucho is located directly behind the driver, it is easy to tend to the little one when she needs anything. When she starts to use a front facing car-seat, just make sure to install a 3 point harness system. We use the Britax Marathon, and IMHO, they are worth the $$$. Our little one sat comfortably for 12 hrs with-out any complaints in one of our trips. Mrs. Surfgeek is still writing a list of things we bring on our trips and tips on keeping the little one happy, healthy, and safe during our adventures. I will email them to you when she finishes.

Cheers
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