Anyone ever done a carseat on a charter bus?


New member
My high school orchestra (I'm a teacher) is going to Florida for spring break. It is 22 hours on the bus. I am taking the almost 3 and 5 year olds with me. We drive all night going, and all night coming back. Due to the travel restriction on our work schedules, the kids have to ride the bus. Driving separately is not an option. I have to ride the bus, and DH can't drive all night that long by himself. So, though in my perfect world, we'd drive separately, that just isn't an option this time.

So...I was considering taking DFS's XTSL and using a nylon strap/winch to strap it to the seat so he could sleep RFing in it. Aside from (obviously) not being tested by the manufacturer, is there anything inherently dangerous in doing this? I am not interested in the crash worthiness--mostly that the seat doesn't fall over on ME, who will be sleeping next to him. Would tethering it be a good idea if there is a place? I also have a Frontier, Maestro, Marathon, and TFP if anyone thinks those might work better. Radian just seemed the narrowest.

Or, does anyone have any good ideas for keeping a G-J tube kid contained on a bus for a long time? He has to be contained while I am sleeping so he doesn't get tangled in his tube and yank it out of his belly somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Thanks for any ideas you can offer! Like I said, the ideal way would be to drive separately, but that isn't an option on this trip, so I need to create the safest I can given the parameters.


Senior Community Member
I don't think their are seatbelts on charter buses...atleast the ones I took when I was in high school didn't. So you wouldn't be able to install a car seat

and I don't think I would try to ratchet my seat down..


New member
Our high school has a charter bus for the football and volleyball teams and no they don't have seatbelts. Are you talking about strapping it to the seat with just the strap?


Senior Community Member
1st - call the charter bus company. Maybe they DO have seat belts or even LATCH anchors. . .

Otherwise, you need another person. Someone to help with driving and the kids.

Is a friend, relative, or current babysitter available to go along?
Orchestra parent? (I'm assuming there are chaparones in addition to school staff)
Orchestra alumni?
Student teacher?

There isn't an option for installing a CR when there are not seat belts or LATCH anchors.


New member
There is no one. He is foster and special needs with a feeding tube, so he can't be left alone overnight, let alone for a week. DH is not capable of driving 22 hours straight through for the trip. He can't take any extra time off work to leave early. I have to ride the bus since I'm the teacher. There are no orchestra parents willing to drive separately and none of them could deal with DFS anyway. We were happy to get them to just pay the $1000 to go on the trip, since I teach in an urban inner city school. I don't have anyone that could take a week off work and drive him from Indianapolis to Orlando and we can't afford to fly DH and DFS down.

We had hoped he would be adopted by now, so he could stay with grandma like our 10 month old is, but the court system is dragging its feet. We don't even go to TPR til Feb 29. We've had him since April 2009. It will be 35 months when we get to TPR. But, since adoption won't be final, he cannot be left overnight with anyone who isn't a licensed foster parent. There are no other foster parents in our county who know what to do with a G-J, and I'm not sending him to stay with strangers for a week.

So...I am out of options except for him to ride with us on the bus. I am just trying to make the bus as safe as it possibly can be for him.


New member
Well, here's my NON professional, car seat crazy person, advice and no flames please! First while I have to make it known that I fully believe in the proper use of car seats (as i know you do!), I will, with serious doubts, say this:

If you know that you're NOT gaining any safety measures as far as accidents are concerned and you're ONLY using it for his personal safety of health then I *might*. I'd really have to think about it though!! My questions to think about would be; what happens if there WERE an accident (knock on wood) and the weight of his car seat becomes a projectile to the other children? Is a latch strap going to hold? KWIM? Is there away you can bring a friend or a teachers aid to help you? Maybe take turns sleeping so one can be up with him and such? :) Just trying to help.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
Sorry there are no cut and dried answers for you :(

I'd first check w/ the charter bus company to see if they do have any buses capable of accommodating your special needs.

As far using car seats or not, even w/o seat belts I think I'd try to use car seats. There have been cases where even when improperly installed, the car seat still protected the child. (There have been infant seats that weren't buckled in at all that still saved the child's life.) I think they'd still provide some benefit for your child. When it comes to what to use to hold the seats in, that's a little more wishy washy. I know that SKJP/Diono allows use of their seats in non-standard situations such as on ambulance stretchers (those aren't really the same kind of seat belts as a regular vehicle seat belt) or side-facing ambulance seats (totally different crash dynamics going on there). You could try calling the car seat manufacturer to get their take on things. If you could find something that's rated for the weight of your child and the seat, that would IMO be better than nothing. As for the projectile risk... all the other teens and adults are going to be just as much of a projectile as a car seat and child, plus buses usually have tall seat belts that tend to keep passengers in their "compartment".

If you're really not comfy w/ any of that, does your FDS have to be RF? If not, perhaps you could get ahold of a SafeGuard STAR seat w/ the cam wrap system.


New member
on some charters, the front seats on the passenger side have seat belts because they dont have seats in front of them for compartmentalization.

maybe you can find out if this is the case with the bus you'll be on?
of course knowing how tricky a radian can be with installation, it might make the seat super reclined but bus seats tend to be pretty firm so that might help.


New member
I would definitely call the charter bus company. I have been on charter buses with both shoulder belts in every position and LATCH anchors in some positions. Also, I have been on charter buses that have shoulder belts for the front seat passenger-side passengers, like PP said, and that have a shoulder belt for the middle passenger in the back row (who does not have the benefit of compartmentalization since only the aisle is in front of them). So it's possible they may be able to accommodate your needs.


New member
Update: the bus we got has seatbelts. DD is in her Frontier and DFS is in his Maestro. Bliss. We have cupholders.

It also has electrical outlets and wifi...

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