Buying Older Model, Passenger Seating and Seat Belt Issues

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by FrCrilly, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. FrCrilly


    Mar 16, 2008
    Hi All,

    I’m researching to buy an older model motorhome (eg early 1990s). I have noticed that older models (that I have looked at) tend to have passenger seating around the table at the very back of the vehicle without any seat belts. I am concerned about this for 2 reasons:
    1. Seatbelts are nowadays required for all passengers.
    2. In the event of being rear ended in a traffic accident, there is a high risk of passenger injury (outside my control) when seats are positioned in the back.

    To proceed with buying the motorhome, I am looking for advice on how to address these concerns. Is it common for motorhome owners to install seatbelts themselves in their vehicles? Considering the height of a motorhome and the fact that there is bike rack on the back, are my back seated passengers at a similar risk to rear end collision injury as they would be if I was driving them in the back of a standard car?

    Any pointers from experienced motorhomers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for all responses.
  2. errpaul

    errpaul Funster

    Feb 27, 2009
    Hi there. It seems you're looking at the rear lounge layout. There are many different layout available and even at this age you can get belted seat at the front with a front dinette. This means te kitchen and 'bathroom' are at the back. It's a layout that feels smaller, but if you need seatbelts, as we do, (won't take the risk of not having kids belted in) then it's the best choice.
    Dependign on size the bigger vans have both rear lounge and front dinette, meaning belted seats at the front.

    If it hasn't got belts then you can carry pssengers, but obviously not in safety.

    If it hasn't got the belts from what we found out when we looked into it, it's not easy to get them fitted as they have to be connected in some way to the chassis. We were quoted from memory around £500 per belt:Eeek:
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    No they are not. A motorhome is nowhere as strong as a passenger car. In a big accident it will fall apart.

    UK law says that if no belts then just sit there and pray.

    Just imagine you hit something, standard motorway rear end, you stop very quickly, your passengers carry on the length of the van, hardly slowing except when they hit something then they hit you or carry on through the screen or both.

    Rear end shunt, you have a low chassis, on ours a low chassis extension just strong enough to carry the vertical weight. On top of this a scrappy bit of wooden framing and 2mm ply, thin alloy skin, it would no stop a Smart car. It would instantly collapse by about a metre before the main chassis was hit. So even if seat belts were fitted you as the driver are safer, your rear passengers are just tied down so the MH can hit them.

    If you want safety then maybe an RV is better, certainly you are sat higher on a massive chassis so the Smart would really come off worse.
  4. Terry

    Terry Funster Life Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    South yorks
    Hi FrCrilly, WELCOME :thumb:
    While I can share your concerns ( in my opinion ) if you are rear ended you are in a vehicle that is based on a van chassis which I would think is a lot heavier than any car :thumb: thus enabling it to with stand bumps better.I know about crumple zones etc, but what would you rather be in a mini or a large van ?You are probably more in danger from flying furniture etc
    You can retro fit seat belts provided you have proper fixing pionts.

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