4.5 yrs 40# - would you let sit sideways in RV van?

jrabbit

New member
She still sits in FF radian, and will probably continue til about 8, if she grows like her older sisters. My parents have a Sprinter Sportsmobile RV conversion van and want to take our kids for a day trip. It has 2 sideways couches in the back with lap belts.

A. Car seat sideways? Pretty sure that is not safe
B. no car seat. I hate to let her sit without a car seat ... I just get nervous
C. Say no. My parents think I am being overprotective ...
Thanks!
 

Jan06twinmom

New member
She still sits in FF radian, and will probably continue til about 8, if she grows like her older sisters. My parents have a Sprinter Sportsmobile RV conversion van and want to take our kids for a day trip. It has 2 sideways couches in the back with lap belts.

A. Car seat sideways? Pretty sure that is not safe
B. no car seat. I hate to let her sit without a car seat ... I just get nervous
C. Say no. My parents think I am being overprotective ...
Thanks!
C.

or D - Can you have your parents take your kids for a day trip using a different vehicle, possibly your vehicle so they can safely transport the children?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I wouldn't sit sideways in an RV myself. The main problem besides no car seat approving their use with sideways belts is they turn frontal crashes into the equivalent of more deadly side impact crashes. I'd say no.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
Well C isn't being over protective. She is too small/using to be without a car seat and there aren't any car seats that allow installation on a sideways facing seat. Not to mention you said it's a couch and car seats are only for installation on vehicle seats (and some on airplane seats), but not couches.

So you have to say no simply because there is no safe way to transport her in that vehicle.

There may be a D option I guess. If the van has a way to disable the passenger air bag with a key or switch (not just via sensor), her seat could be installed in the passenger seat. An adult could them ride on that lap belted couch...which isn't safe for them either due to lack of shoulder belt and sitting sideways...so it's a rather lame option but possibly an option.
 

TechnoGranola

Forum Ambassador
C or D, but I prefer Jan06twinmom's D to TechnoGranola's D.
I said it was a lame option. ;) I figured they would want the convenience of their RV machine on this trip, that is was some of the point of the trip. And since they would be fine with a child in no car seat or sitting sideways, they might even offer to sit there themselves. Which is why I mentioned it. She may want to be prepared for a response if they do offer.

OP, now that I reread the original post though, you said they want to take your kidS, plural. And you only mention the side facing couches. Where is your other child going to sit? Because the lap belt and side seat (and couch which is not designed like a vehicle seat) isn't safe for your other child either.
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
Wow. That video Brianna posted was terrifying. I don't speak German so I watched it on mute while I was nursing so as not to distract the baby. Anyone know why the lap belt stretched out like that?

I used to ride in my grandparents' RV all the time. We'd even make the beds and lie down while in motion. I guess in the back of my head I assumed it was like a train or bus -- that somehow seat belts were't necessary because of the size of the vehicle.

Are modern RVs built differently than the old school ones my grandparents and the OP's parents have? If not, then is it basically illegal for a child under the age of 8 to ride in one? Seems so crazy that these vehicles are supposedly family-oriented but can't accommodate car or booster seats.
 

LISmama810

Admin - CPS Technician
There are very few regulations regarding the building of RVs. Many modern RVs are basically steel frames with plywood and fiberglass thrown on top, with a whole bunch of projectiles thrown inside.

Something like a Sprinter that's built as an actual van might be sturdier, but the size alone isn't enough to protect improperly or non-restrained passengers.
 

Pixels

New member
Legality depends on the laws of the state. But generally, yes, it is illegal to transport kids in RVs except in the front passenger seat.
 

jrabbit

New member
Thanks for the feedback. We opted not to have the youngest ride. The older two are 9 and 13. It was a little worrisome when I realized they only have lap belts. This will NOT be a regular occurrence. (I have not watched the German video, and I don't think I can!)

The vehicle is a 2 year old van conversion. The back has two couches with four seat belts on each!! My mom is disabled, and this is their leisure vehicle for traveling with their dogs. She would not be inclined to sit in the back, and i wouldnt want my 9 year old in the front seat.

My family actually lives in an RV full time, but I quickly decided years ago that I would not be comfortable in a motor home, so we have a 1 ton pickup and a fifth wheel.
 

Brianna

New member
I would encourage you to watch the video if you're going to let them ride in it again, it is just crash test dummies. The dogs are loose in the vehicle? I would not be comfortable with that either. Anything unsecured in the vehicle including pets can become a projectile in a crash and has the potential to seriously injure any people in the vehicle.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Could you elaborate? What is illegal? I've never heard that before. Unsafe...yes. But illegal...no.
Because most states do not exempt RVs from their child restraint laws, and most RVs do not have any place other than the front seat where the child restraint is allowed to be installed by the child seat manufacturer.
 

cso1997

New member
Because most states do not exempt RVs from their child restraint laws, and most RVs do not have any place other than the front seat where the child restraint is allowed to be installed by the child seat manufacturer.
Oh, I thought most larger GVWR vehicles were exempt. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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