fitting seatbelts

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Mummylonglegs, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Mummylonglegs

    Mummylonglegs Read Only Funster

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    Hi - new poster here and rather nervous, having read another related thread, that I will be flamed for posting what I am about to... but here goes;

    We have just bought a Renault Trafic converted by auto sleeper. We have 3 kids and found it INCREDIBLY difficult to buy a campervan that had more than 2 seats in the back - but eventually we found one. However, although it has 3 seats in the back, it only has 2 lapbelts - having the 3rd fitted will be what we do first before we take the kids out in it.

    All belts in the back are lapbelts and we were thinking of converting them (if possible) to 3 point belts. However, I read on this other thread that fitting normal seat belts to a side facing seat was very dangerous. 2 of the 3 seats in the back are side facing. What do you suggest?
     
  2. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    You are right you wont like this.
    If it was me i would be changing the van for one which has the proper seatbelts fitted, perhaps a four seater dinnette area with the correct belts fitted. You dont say how old your children are, or the age of the van. One hopes to get through life without an RTA but if you should be unfortunate and get involved in one lap belts will offer no protection in reality other than to keep the persons bottom half of their body in place whilst the top half is slammed about. A three point belt on a side seat could in an accident cut into a persons neck if the vehicle is involved in a frontal impact accident.

    Not going to 'slate' you, the amount of motorhomes out there that are 4 or 6 berth yet only have 'proper' seatbelts for 2 or 3 persons is unbelivable considering the amount of time our seatbelt laws have been in place, and when choosing one people are mainly looking for a layout that suits their needs/usage rather than how many seats have belts.
    There are now a lot more families using motorhomes than there used to be, a motorhome used to be the vehicle of choice for those whose family had flown the nest, and then just 2 or 3 belts were fine.

    Sorry i know this doesnt really help you

    Welcome to the forum hopefully someone will come along and offer an alternative suggestion
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    First no-one gets flamed on FUN. Bit of "Grumpy Old Man at Work" sometimes but if you want flamed you'll have to go to the Dark Side.

    Sideways belts. Well just think about it. They are designed to take deceleration fore/aft. But think of it sideways, get hit the wrong way and that diagonal will catch on the neck and snap it, the neck that is not the belt.

    To assess the risk sat in lap belts think what the head can hit in all possible impact directions. Anything sharp ?

    But it gets worse. Coachbuilts are as strong as eggboxes. Once the box breaks at a corner it collapses, folds. You could ask "do you want people strapped vertically as the box folds round them?". If yours is a PVC then you are stronger.

    So I don't think there is a totally satisfactory answer to your question, motorhomes will never be anything like as safe as cars.

    Life is a risk. Usually we win, some poor souls get stuffed.
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi firstly you do not want to fit 3 point seatbelts to any side facing seats for the reason Brian (hilldweller ) says :Eeek: You do not require them legally in a van that is pre 2007. :thumb: It is a fairly simple straight forward job to fit lap-belts once you have identified a suitable fixing point
    terry
     
  5. Mummylonglegs

    Mummylonglegs Read Only Funster

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    scary posts. Feel sick at the thought of head snapping off. God.

    However, did go into this knowing the old egg box thing and will put a kid in passenger seat and front face the smallers... Will take the risk in the side seats with my neck being sheared off.

    Just out of interest - is it even worth getting lap belts? And who would I get to fit them - am presuming (erroniously?) that my local mechanic could do this?
     
  6. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    My opinion for what its worth
    Lab belts are believed to cause there own problems/injuries
    However any restraint has to be better than non:thumb:
    Wise move with positioning the little ones
    Any competent mechanic will be able to fit one for you
    Geo
     
  7. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    My vote is YES.

    If the driver hits something head on or just brakes hard an unrestrained adult tearing down the middle inside can do a whole lot of damage to anyone that gets in the way. With a belt on, even if you get damaged you won't crush one of the kids.

    A rear shunt might be a bit less violet because it will crumple more than the front. Unless it's an HGV as in the M6 crash of last year and the back was pushed all the way to the front.

    Are we going to photographic evidence of these long legs ?
     
  8. violet

    violet Read Only Funster

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    Hi and welcome.
    If two of the seats are side facing then does that mean there is only one forward facing seat in the back ? If so then will one child have to sit facing sideways.? There are very stringent regulations regarding exactly the type of safety seating that children under twelve have to have.
    We once looked at a new motorhome with sideways seats and were blithely told by the salesforce that they could easily fit 3 point belts on to these. Luckily we checked, and didn't go back. When we recently bought our new van we were told that it would be easy to fit a 3rd seatbelt in the back. We bought it and no-one would fit a belt for us ..... they wouldn't take the responsibility.
    Did the dealer you bought from know you needed to seat three children?
    violet
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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  10. violet

    violet Read Only Funster

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    A good link Hildweller. It may also be sensible for the OP to check with their insurance company.
    Can anyone tell me the position as regards the 'number of seats' on the registration document? If it says 4 can one then put a 5th person in, say 3 children on an unbelted double seat? Or is 4 the maximum number? Also if manufacturers have stated that some seats are not for travel then they won't have seatbelts. I suppose these can't be used.
    It is all quite complex.
    violet
     
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