Car Seat Help for VW Bus

M

Marie M

Guest
We purchased at VW bus and are having a new back seat installed. All the seats that are made for this are bench seats with lap belts only. I have one child in a backless booster, and another in a 5 point harness but is technically big enough for a high back booster (I prefer a 5 point harness as long as possible).

I'm at a loss on how to figure out the safest way to install a new rear seat that will also allow the safest use of carseats for this specific situation. Unfortunately, I don't think a shoulder belt is possible as the metal roof is too thin to properly anchor the shoulder strap.

I can't be the only person to want to safely drive my growing kids around in a VW bus. Any help is much appreciate!

Thank you!!

Below is the only thing I found that *might* work.

https://www.safeguardseat.com/products/star/
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Hello Marie,

Unfortunately, in many classic cars, there is simply no way to safely restrain passengers. Due to the lack of modern safety features such as crumple zones, high strength steel, airbags, top tether anchors for forward-facing child restraints and others, all passengers are at much greater risk in a crash. Of course, that is a risk adults may be willing to take for ourselves to zip around in that old Model T, GTO or Barracuda every once in a while:)

Without a shoulder belt or top tether anchor available, your options are very limited for children. The SafeGuard Star system is a suitable restraint for school buses when no seatbelts are available. School bus seats are very well reinforced, however. You would need to contact IMMI/SafeGuard to determine the suitability for a passenger vehicle of any kind.

I have been in a similar situation in the past. I would not let my young children ride in a classic car on a daily basis, even if a suitable child safety seat could be installed correctly. For an every once in a while ride, perhaps the risk is acceptable to a parent, but only you could make that choice for your children of course. If a suitable child safety seat cannot be installed correctly, then I would say a child should not ride in that vehicle at all. I note that even some new custom passenger vans have similar issues with rear seating being completely incompatible with some child safety seats.

I hope someone else may have a better idea for you! There might be a way to install a custom top tether anchor that may give you more options, but honestly I'm not sure an anchor could even be securely installed in this vehicle and it is unlikely you would find a mechanic willing to do this for liability reasons. The same issue applies to replacement rear seats:-(



We purchased at VW bus and are having a new back seat installed. All the seats that are made for this are bench seats with lap belts only. I have one child in a backless booster, and another in a 5 point harness but is technically big enough for a high back booster (I prefer a 5 point harness as long as possible).

I'm at a loss on how to figure out the safest way to install a new rear seat that will also allow the safest use of carseats for this specific situation. Unfortunately, I don't think a shoulder belt is possible as the metal roof is too thin to properly anchor the shoulder strap.

I can't be the only person to want to safely drive my growing kids around in a VW bus. Any help is much appreciate!

Thank you!!

Below is the only thing I found that *might* work.

https://www.safeguardseat.com/products/star/
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Hello Marie,

Unfortunately, in many classic cars, there is simply no way to safely restrain passengers. Due to the lack of modern safety features such as crumple zones, high strength steel, airbags, top tether anchors for forward-facing child restraints and others, all passengers are at much greater risk in a crash. Of course, that is a risk adults may be willing to take for ourselves to zip around in that old Model T, GTO or Barracuda every once in a while:)

Without a shoulder belt or top tether anchor available, your options are very limited for children. The SafeGuard Star system is a suitable restraint for school buses when no seatbelts are available. School bus seats are very well reinforced, however. You would need to contact IMMI/SafeGuard to determine the suitability for a passenger vehicle of any kind.

I have been in a similar situation in the past. I would not let my young children ride in a classic car on a daily basis, even if a suitable child safety seat could be installed correctly. For an every once in a while ride, perhaps the risk is acceptable to a parent, but only you could make that choice for your children of course. If a suitable child safety seat cannot be installed correctly, then I would say a child should not ride in that vehicle at all. I note that even some new custom passenger vans have similar issues with rear seating being completely incompatible with some child safety seats.

I hope someone else may have a better idea for you! There might be a way to install a custom top tether anchor that may give you more options, but honestly I'm not sure an anchor could even be securely installed in this vehicle and it is unlikely you would find a mechanic willing to do this for liability reasons. The same issue applies to replacement rear seats:-(
Of note, the Safeguard STAR and other cam wrap systems can only be used on a reinforced school bus seat that meets federal school bus standards. If your bus seats don't meet that standard that's a no-go.

You mention the ceiling won't support an anchor; would the floor support a heavy duty tether anchor? The Ez-On 86-Y attaches to a lap belt and comes with a heavy duty tether anchor. It can be used from 66-168 lbs (below that with a booster.) Once the anchor is installed you would have torso restraint for a long while, though head support might be an issue. These are things you would have to weigh when making choices. https://www.ezonpro.com/our-products/conversion-vests/item-86y-car-cam/
 

KristenT-SafeKeeper

CPST Instructor
We purchased at VW bus and are having a new back seat installed. All the seats that are made for this are bench seats with lap belts only. I have one child in a backless booster, and another in a 5 point harness but is technically big enough for a high back booster (I prefer a 5 point harness as long as possible).

I'm at a loss on how to figure out the safest way to install a new rear seat that will also allow the safest use of carseats for this specific situation. Unfortunately, I don't think a shoulder belt is possible as the metal roof is too thin to properly anchor the shoulder strap.

I can't be the only person to want to safely drive my growing kids around in a VW bus. Any help is much appreciate!

Thank you!!

Below is the only thing I found that *might* work.

https://www.safeguardseat.com/products/star/
What year is it?
 

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