Child seats: How to make them fit well ?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Ridgeway, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Having some challenges getting the child seats to fit well onto the bench seats in the MH. I have to say that the design of the MH bench seat is well adapted to be made up into a bed but pretty useless when it comes to installing a child seat.

    I'm tempted to make my own base cushion as this is the part that is very ineffective, anyone done that or adapted theirs ?

    Or any alternative methods to improve this ?
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    not advisable to fit child seats on the bench's...either forward, backward or sideways....they will never be safe. :Doh:

    as you say, the seats are just not suitable.
     
  3. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Where do you fit them then ? and surely 50% of MH's running around have child seats in at some point. I know that i'm a bit fussy when it comes to installing them as I tend to really get them tight in the car with almost no movement but in the MH I just couldn't find a good fit which is why I'm thinking about some mods
     
  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Two basic factors I think.

    1) As mentioned in the OP, the bench seats are a compromise between seat and bed.
    2) Whilst there is obviously a requirement by some owners to use child seats will it be anywhere near 50%?

    Go to a meet or camp site and the majority of people are adults. Where children are taken they tend to be old enough not to need a child seat. The manufacturers, as with any market, design their products for the majority of their customers. Whilst that does not help it is an explanation.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I'm past the point of needing them :Wink: but i guess a properly fitted child's booster seat cushion and 'baby' seat on that will be about as safe as it gets.

    as you say, its the base causing the problem, being at the wrong angle to the backrest but a booster will correct the angle.
     
  6. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    I think there's a market opportunity here, either seat adaptors or better still someone that sells bottom cushions that are adapted to accept child seats, even manufacturers could offer an option for this.

    Many many people here are using the MH with young children, we have many MH's in our village and most are with young families so it seems strange that the base seats are so poor, bed first, seat second i'd guess.

    Will try some DIY ideas, maybe even get the Singer out:Smile:
     
  7. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Years ago we used child seats on a bench seat. The child seat was designed to be restrained with either a 3 point or a 2 point lap harness. I would kneel in the seat and apply a lot of force to the belt so that it crushed the seat cushion and was very securely anchored, probably more so than some inertia setups. As secure as they were, its a compromise as the bench was side facing, just last year I passed on the sale my dream van, because it had a two settee setup and no forward facing belt for the child that stills travels with us.

    Some older vans have no proper restraints in the back but you might be breaking the law if an adult is using the modern safe 3 point system in the front while a child is in the back without proper restraint.
     
  8. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Best of luck with your DiY but best make sure (before plugging in the Singer :Smile:) that any modification won't fall foul of the MoT and that it complies with child seatbelt law.
     
  9. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    The laws it may flout are health and safety when I'm making mods, me and a Singer sewing machine:cry:

    Good point

    It will likely be cut outs in the lower cushion to pass the belt hooks through, this will stop the lower cushion from moving forwards as much (in theory)
     
  10. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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  11. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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  12. EthnGeoff

    EthnGeoff Funster

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    Is removing the cushion completely not an option, and fitting the child seat directly onto the timber bench?
    Geoff.
     
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  13. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Funster

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    Now that has me thinking:active:

    Maybe I could just strengthen the flimsy wooden seat bases and use as you say without cushions, then just add them at bedtime

    Definitely one to think about
     
  14. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    I would rather have a child un strapped travelling sideways than strapped in by a lap belt travelling.. carrying kids in a motorhome is dangerous full stop. Even with seatbelts at dining tables. Your as likely to get hit by a flying toaster or wiped out by a bottle of pop travelling at 60 mph.

    The safest way for you is to put the Wife in the back and the seat in the front with a proper 3 point belt.

    However, if you spend your life worrying about having an accident you would never travel in your motorhome. Look at the one they showed that in the crash test the, dining seats hit the tarmac through the wooden floor.

    Im still alive and my dad used to take me to school on the back of a Jawa 350 and I never wore a seatbelt till I was 30.:Eeek:
     
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  15. wasp

    wasp Funster

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    I think you will find anchoring the belts to something solid is going to be a problem, because all you are relying on is a bit of flimsy wood, normall belts are fixed to something solid like the body
     
  16. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    I don't know if you can still buy seatbelts as an accessory, as you could years ago when most cars didn't have them in the back unless you fitted them yourself. A child seat can be secured pretty well with a fixed seat belt done up very tight, but not much use with the inertia reel ones fitted to most vehicles these days.
     
  17. Travelbug1

    Travelbug1 Read Only Funster

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    This is exactly what we do, take the cushion off completely and then put the child seat onto the wooden base and use the lap belts to secure it- easy peasy!
     
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