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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Niea's Avatar
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    carseats in motorhomes

    My ILs have a motorhome and have asked us to take a trip with them sometime. The thing I'm most concerned about is how to transport DD. It's a smallish motorhome and I think that the only seats that have seatbelts are the side-facing ones. But I also know it's a no-no to install a carseat on a side-facing seat. . .what do I do??

    I'll double check the seatbelt situation in the mean-time.

    Oh, and kinda as an off-shoot question. . .what about the rest of us? I know that ILs will expect us to just sit around the table playing cards, eating, etc during the 8hr trip. And they'll probably think I'm nutso for wanting to bring a carseat and strapping DD in. But I am correct that riding freely in the back of a motorhome while cruising down the interstate isn't the most safe thing, correct?

    What do other people do?

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Starlight's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Drive in a different vehicle behind the motorhome.

    Or, pull a travel trailer or 5th wheel with a "safe" vehicle.

    I would never put my kids carseats in a motorhome, or drive in one.

    The number of projectiles alone, not to even start on the safety of the seatbelts, whether on forward, rear, or side facing seats, is enough to keep me out of motorhomes.
    Mom to a Crew! Boys 10, 6, 4 and 2 and Girls 9 and 2!
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  4. #3
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Quote Originally Posted by starlight View Post
    Drive in a different vehicle behind the motorhome.

    Or, pull a travel trailer or 5th wheel with a "safe" vehicle.

    I would never put my kids carseats in a motorhome, or drive in one.

    The number of projectiles alone, not to even start on the safety of the seatbelts, whether on forward, rear, or side facing seats, is enough to keep me out of motorhomes.
    Ditto!

    The only safe spot(s) in a motor home are the front seats.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    My parents also have an RV -- the only way my child or I will ride in it is if there are only 2 occupants total & both are belted in the front seats ... nothing else is safe (except renting a large truck to hook up a camper & many are just as spacious as many RVs + up to 6 passengers can all be safe): even if my kid is buckled properly in the cocaptain chair next to the driver, thousands of pounds of force would fly at my child in a crash (100# body weight unrestrained passenger * 30 MPH = 3000# force)! If I am that unrestrained passenger then that's ensuring my daughter living life without a mother (or at least a severely handicapped one) if we crash That's not a risk I'm willing to bet against since the other seatbelt anchors are not bolted into the frame as is required for lightweight family vehicles I'm not magic or psychic. I cannot predict crashes nor control other vehicle drivers' behaviors.
    Last edited by Victorious4; 03-07-2007 at 12:18 AM.
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
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  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Is there a specific law about children riding in motorhomes unrestrained?

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Starlight's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    The same carseat laws apply.

    Many states require proper use, which would restrict you from using side facing seats, since no vehicle manufacturers allow the use of carseats on side facing seats.
    Mom to a Crew! Boys 10, 6, 4 and 2 and Girls 9 and 2!
    Don't ask me if I'm having more, I may be tempted to say yes!

  8. #7
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    I don't know of a law excluding motorhomes specifically -- I imagine that where there are proper use clauses or the like then an officer would write a ticket ... but I can also guess that some officers in other areas might excuse it (perhaps, ironically, states requiring children to ride in the backseat would excuse a child restraint in a RV ) I just don't know for sure: am also interested in a more definite answer
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
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  9. #8
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    Lightbulb Re: carseats in motorhomes

    I grew up traveling in Rv's and Campers... I have never even thought of this issue, Yet I agree that there is a risk in rideing in such vehicles! While I was reading this thread I thought... What about a bus ... a school bus or a city bus... maybe even a subway or any rail transportation! Children ride in these all the time and as for myself I have never clicked a buckle in city transportation ! Just a thought that poped into my head!
    Kristen
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  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    DH and I have talked about this one as we looked into buying an older motorhome and we said we would have to install seatbelts. I think they had a seat that faced forward. I did not ever feel comfortable with the idea of that and I felt sorry for my son feeling strapped in if other adults wanted to rome around. I don't see us letting other do that but still, the thought occurred to me.

    This is the reason we bought a minivan. It is not as big as a motorhome and doesn't have a fridge, but we decided we could still use it very well for our family when going on trips and camping. We talked about folding the middle seat over to make it a table for the kids if they wanted to eat inside, or if it was wet outside. They do make small fridges that plug into car outlets. We would also tie a trap to the roof rack then out over the sliding door to have more shaded area like most RVs have.

    I personally have always wondered about the laws on this, esp. after seeing so many shows on tv showing people riding in them and eating/working like it is just a house, and it isn't. They scare me. I would try and find a way not to ride in one. I understand now nutty that might look or the inconvience but it would be safer, just in case something were to happen.

  11. #10
    CPS Technician Starlight's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    You drive in the truck (or suburban, whatever) and at gas stations and such, unbuckle, hop out, use your trailer. Friends did it at Christmas w/ a travel trailer and 2 kids (for a month long trip across the south, IIRC) and had a blast.

    It isn't safe for anybody to walk around while the vehicle is moving, children or not. There's an older British commercial on carseat safety that shows an unrestrained teen becoming a projectile and slamming his mother into the windscreen/shield and killing her. Why would you want to be that dude?
    Last edited by Starlight; 04-04-2008 at 09:49 PM.
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  12. #11
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Quote Originally Posted by kpayne View Post
    I grew up traveling in Rv's and Campers... I have never even thought of this issue, Yet I agree that there is a risk in rideing in such vehicles! While I was reading this thread I thought... What about a bus ... a school bus or a city bus... maybe even a subway or any rail transportation! Children ride in these all the time and as for myself I have never clicked a buckle in city transportation ! Just a thought that poped into my head!
    School buses are designed for safety without seatbelts, believe it or not. First, the color of school buses is unique; no other vehicle is allowed to use the same color, so they are noticeable on the road. Second, the seats on school buses are designed with something called "compartmentalization" in mind. In a crash, the seatbacks will contain children very well (children over age six, at least). Small school buses are required to have belts, because those small buses routinely transport preschool-aged kids, for whom compartmentalization is not a good method of protection.

    Subways and rail lines, well, they rarely crash! City buses scare me, personally.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Niea's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Wow, thanks for all the responses!

    It's funny, but I've always thought the idea of roaming around in a moving motorhome was unsafe, but people around me have managed to convince me I was nutso. But it's good to hear that I'm not. Somehow people think that RVs and motorhomes are exempt from crashes, or something.

    To be perfectly honest, I hate hate hate driving long distances (my max limit is 4 hrs). So the only way that I'd willingly go on an 8-10 hr car trip, in my mind, would be in a motorhome where I could basically "live" like I do in my house during that time. But since it's so unsafe -- I'll skip that too!

    Right now I think I'll choose to just fly us all to the destination, then just stay with them once they are parked at the campground. They tow a smaller vehicle so we can definitely put a carseat in there for driving around town once we're there.

    And in the future if they decide to go camping at a nearby destination, I think we'll just opt to drive our own vehicle there.


    Also, the thing that actually reminded me to ask this question was I was watching this show on TV last night on Discovery Health about a family that has 15 kids (about half of them should be harnessed or boostered). They were all taking a vacation and had a huge RV -- 4 of the boys were in carseats strapped in the side-facing seats!!! Nevermind the fact that the seats looked old and one of the boys straps were so twisted that they were like a thin rope Anyway, watching the show and seeing all those kids walking around the motorhome and the young ones strapped on the side just reminded me to ask about my own situation.

    Thanks for the very honest answers, I do appreciate it

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Is that the Duggars? I think quite a few members of this board has emailed Discovery Health about the show, and possibly even emailed the Duggars through their webpage, but had no response.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  15. #14
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    One thing I wish I could have shipped back with us was a European travel trailer. They can be lightweight enough that VW Golfs easily pulled them! DH helped maneuver some around the campgrounds we stayed at and was suprised to discover that he could push one completely by himself. There were all sorts of sizes, but on average, the largest were designed to be pulled by V-6 wagons/sedans or minivans. They could sleep 4-6 people depending on options and adding the extensions would make a very nice covered or closed-in terrace to eat & cook out on. I liked the idea of driving safe in my car and then having a little home to live out of whenever we stopped. DH thought it was a great idea too.

    I would love to have a trailer like this -- easily stored, pulled & not needing a whopping 5th wheel hookup on a large p/u truck. The idea of driving around in a car when it's not pulling is much freer than a large SUV or Truck. We could also see ourselves being able to afford this type of set up. Unfortunately, with the electrical differences and other issues we weren't allowed to bring one back
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
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  16. #15
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    We want a pop-up tent/trailer. They are pretty lightweight, friends of ours have an older one that we really like. They pull it with a Subaru Outback. I think we could do it with a car.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  17. #16
    CPS Technician Niea's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbunny View Post
    Is that the Duggars? I think quite a few members of this board has emailed Discovery Health about the show, and possibly even emailed the Duggars through their webpage, but had no response.
    Yup, that's them!

    Seemed sad to me. . they had all these kids, they seemed happy and well-cared for, and they were all going on a family vacation. Yet somehow, they were all traveling unsafely! And then it bugs me more that it was aired without any consideration.

  18. #17
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganthe View Post
    One thing I wish I could have shipped back with us was a European travel trailer. They can be lightweight enough that VW Golfs easily pulled them! DH helped maneuver some around the campgrounds we stayed at and was suprised to discover that he could push one completely by himself. There were all sorts of sizes, but on average, the largest were designed to be pulled by V-6 wagons/sedans or minivans. They could sleep 4-6 people depending on options and adding the extensions would make a very nice covered or closed-in terrace to eat & cook out on. I liked the idea of driving safe in my car and then having a little home to live out of whenever we stopped. DH thought it was a great idea too.

    I would love to have a trailer like this -- easily stored, pulled & not needing a whopping 5th wheel hookup on a large p/u truck. The idea of driving around in a car when it's not pulling is much freer than a large SUV or Truck. We could also see ourselves being able to afford this type of set up. Unfortunately, with the electrical differences and other issues we weren't allowed to bring one back
    Sounds like a T@B. http://www.tab-rv.com/ We would love one of those! Super cool.
    DS1 9 yo 75+ lbs 5pt in a Frontier
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  19. #18
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: carseats in motorhomes

    Quote Originally Posted by tchrgrrl View Post
    Sounds like a T@B. http://www.tab-rv.com/ We would love one of those! Super cool.
    We saw those when we were looking for something similar in the US. They're a teardrop style and much smaller than a regular trailer.
    Abbey Vogue is one of the brands we saw being towed around by a car. Hobby was another manufacturer. It's hard to tell on the internet. If we returned, we'd likely look at one to be able to travel affordably.
    No more tents
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

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