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Old 03-23-2012, 07:14 AM   #1
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Sideways seating and seat belts

Hi;

Does anyone know if they still build RVs with sideways seating with seat belts?

ie can the kids sit across the table from each other, with belts on, while the RV moves from adventure to adventure.

If not in modern RVs when did it end?

Vague and specific recollections invited. Large, cold beverage of choice available!

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:04 AM   #2
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

I built my own interior and used this method. In an accident an SMB or any of our vans for that matter are going to be a junk show, as long you can avoid being ejected I think you are doing alright. Of course this is a minimalist type approach, some may argue the DOT has regs and such you need to follow, but none of us would have legal vehicles if we listened to all the rules.

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

I believe any SMB built with sideways seating (many floorplans) will have seatbelts on those seats.

Mine certainly does.

Mike
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

For me and my family, especially with a young child, sideways seating was never an option we considered, for both comfort (too easy for many people to get motion sickness looking sideways out of a moving vehicle) and for safety. While it may be permissible to have passengers sit sideways, I never felt at ease with that configuration in the event of an accident.

AFIK, many RVs are made with sideways seating, so I have to think it's legal. The other cosiderations are up to you.


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Old 03-23-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

I have the two couches that make into a queen bed in the back of my van, and each couch has 3 lapbelts.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Sideways seating and seat belts

Yes, it's in many modern RVs, and SMBs, with belts. Also in many class C motor homes with the couch longways behind the driver seat, often in a slide.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:04 PM   #7
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

It'd seem to me that in a serious crash you're as likely to roll or get hit from the side as you are to run into something front-2-back. In which case having a shoulder belt or even a 5point system would be more important than which way your seat is facing to start with.

For fender benders I worry more about the hard surfaces. For example in my rb50-type layout I worry that the drivers side bench seat passenger might come forward onto the sharp corner to the galley. I've wondered about a way to pad that spot or install a shoulder harness for that seat.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

http://www.ehow.com/about_5426906_diffe ... dents.html

"According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16.1 percent of crashes in the U.S. are runoffs (single car leaving the road).

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2.3 percent of crashes in the U.S. are rollovers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2 percent of crashes in the U.S. are head-on collisions. [Another site states that this 2% results in 10% of all car accident deaths]

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28.9 percent of crashes in the U.S. are side-impact crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29.6 percent of crashes in the U.S. are rear-impact crashes."

From the above and since most of the above involve two vehicles... your chance of front or rear damage is 2-3 times as likely as side damage (for every car hit in the side via "t-bone" there is a car that does the hitting). For every car re-ended there is a car getting front end damage.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

I have a 1990 Ford E 250 SMB. It is the version with the bed in the rear of the van. It does't convert into anything, just a bed with storage underneath (I have no idea on the name of the conversion kit). I have a 1 year old son and I would like to fit a car seat in but there are no belts in the back. Any ideas/modifications out there??

Is it legal to turn the co-pilot seat around and then strap in the care seat? I really want to make this work without sacrificing anyone's safety.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Sideways seating and seat belts

Quote:
Originally Posted by tadams
I have a 1990 Ford E 250 SMB. It is the version with the bed in the rear of the van. It does't convert into anything, just a bed with storage underneath (I have no idea on the name of the conversion kit). I have a 1 year old son and I would like to fit a car seat in but there are no belts in the back. Any ideas/modifications out there??

Is it legal to turn the co-pilot seat around and then strap in the care seat? I really want to make this work without sacrificing anyone's safety.
Photos?

First off, you shouldn't just attach a carseat or belts to wood in the back. It's probably not going to help anything to just have the appearance of being attached.

Do you even have a passenger airbag? That's the only reason you wouldn't leave the passenger seat forward facing as far as I know (the car seat itself is a different story). With no rear seating, such as a pickup or my Jeep with removed rear seat, I believe you are legally allowed to place the car seat in front, or the center if there are no airbag disabling options.

As for turning the seat, my van specifically states the passenger seat is to be used in the forward facing position only during travel. For one the seatbelt wouldn't work, but I'm not sure if that's the only reason for the stickers.

There has been some discussion about making a floor mount near the front seats, specifically for a car seat. Somewhere... heck maybe this thread. You could also look at adding a captain's chair with belt, depending on your layout.

Anyway, I'd start at one of these places: http://www.seatcheck.org/ and get their opinion on what is best and legal, and go from there. It would be great if there is a known option that hasn't come up yet.

If it was me, I'd be looking at another van that has appropriate seating and belts, not just for the carseat now but the future.
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