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Old 01-28-2021, 02:02 PM   #11
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Thanks for the comments. I flirt with the idea of selling it and buying something that has already been converted but I think I'm just going to keep my 7.3 RB van for now which is a passenger and already has 2nd row captain's seats. I'll figure out something temporary. I dig the CCV Westy-y layout so maybe that can be my goal down the road.
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Old 01-28-2021, 02:33 PM   #12
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Safety aside (and I really don't think sitting side-facing is going to be a good idea in a front or rear-end collision), I can say from all the experience of my youth that riding side-facing SUUUUUCKS. Also riding that far way from the main cabin also SUCKs. It's isolating and in most cases puts you beyond the reach of the HVAC system.

My whole rig philosophy is guided by my negative experiences riding in the back of the small RVs and campervans I grew up in. I build an RB/Westy style layout in a very short wheelbase van for a lot of reasons, but not the least of which is so that our kiddo gets the benefit of A/C and can actually, you know, talk to us while en-route.
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Old 01-28-2021, 04:16 PM   #13
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I had a G30 2WD Chevy for years when my 2 daughters were in grade school. The pullout bed was a sidewise couch and seating when on the road. I installed lap belts and required that they be used when going through towns and on city freeways but it was far from ideal. As was previously suggested, drive like a bus driver and understand the value of your passenger load.
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Old 01-28-2021, 06:03 PM   #14
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I wonder if the stock, retractable, rear shoulder/lap belts (if you have them) would work for side seats. You'd have to make sure the shoulder part went over the forward shoulder. I don't know if that would be a problem or not. They'd been removed in my wheelchair van but I have a full set that I got when I bought a couple of bench seats.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:29 PM   #15
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I suspect they'd only work for the very back position on the Gaucho benches, as you probably have windows across the center part of those benches, so no place to secure the top part of the belts.
This reminds me that Volvo's not-so-subtle solution to that problem, on their 240 wagons, was a metal bar across the window to attach the shoulder anchor to.

I'm not sure a shoulder belt is going to help that much in a side-facing seat, though. Maybe if you roll or get T-boned.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:49 PM   #16
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Mine are designed to come up through a slot in the stock plastic panels, up to a bracket above the window. Clearly this would only be the case with vans that were originally passenger vans. Here's a link to a photo (not mine):

http://momentcar.com/image-modelYear...03-10.jpg.html
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:54 PM   #17
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I also found this which refers to using either Type 1 or Type 2 seat belts on side-facing seats. Type 1 is a lap belt. Type 2 is a combo lap/shoulder belt:

https://one.nhtsa.gov/Laws-&-Regulations/Seat-Belts
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:32 PM   #18
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FYI, my kids absolutely hated the sideways benches in our Sportsmobile. Hated them. They just aren't comfortable for anyone......ever.

Also, if you are thinking old school like me and don't even care if the rear passengers are belted then an old SMB with weird seating might work. However, if you are comparing it to any other vehicle on the road built in the last 10 years they they are woefully unsafe.

If you want to carry kids and safety is important buy a Transit or Sprinter with those new fangled removable uber safe seating with integrated belts.
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Old 01-29-2021, 07:13 PM   #19
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If you want to carry kids and safety is important buy a Transit or Sprinter with those new fangled removable uber safe seating with integrated belts.
That's another issue, isn't it? Even with forward-facing seats, a vehicle designed in 1975 is not going to be anywhere near as safe as something modern.
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:28 AM   #20
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It's very true and I think that more people should know this. I say this not because I agree with them. Seems like 99% of parents these days disagree with me. I'm perfectly happy to throw my kids in the back of a van or motorhome for a trip and seat belts are rarely mentioned. They are free to roam. If we are in heavy traffic or bad weather I ask them to sit awhile and buckle up. Otherwise, enjoy the trip!

Give me liberty or give me death I guess. I couldn't put kids in a straight jacket for a 2 week trip in the van. I do agree that people should do what they feel is best for their kids. I feel my way is best for my kids, or it was. We all lived.
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