/ Fitting Seatbelts For Child Seats In A Campervan
My folks have bought a camper van and would like to fit some seat belts for two child seats in the back so that they can take our boys away with them. Does anybody have any experience of fitting seat belts?
It is based on Renault Master LM35 DCI 120 S-A.
The layout is shown below.
But I'd like my boys to be wearing seat belts, even if the law says they don;t need them...
Yeah, we hired a van in Ireland with side facing seats with belts. Didn't instill much confidence as the seats slid around on the seat.
I have a 110 LandRover station wagon which in theory is a 12 seater (6 side facing bench seats in the back) Quite often now, insurers baulk at providing cover if the bench seats are still in place and legacy lap belts are still fitted
These kind of vans are designed for the retirement market for couples without kids on board
Thanks. Was trying to find somebody who had managed to modify the van in order to fit three-point anchor belts. I managed to do it years back in the back of a Maestro van. Got an engineers certificate to say they were safe, and the insurers insured it for 2 extra passengers. The issue here, as you have pointed out, is finding the attachment points...
ISTR it being the case that strapping people into side facing seats is dangerous because the body isn't meant to bend that way to absorb the shock, so back damage could occur, unless a fixed, full body harness is used, which would be quite uncomfortable.
Agreed - don't want side facing...
I opted for four point harnesses (race car type) for my kids and ended up building a sort of floor to ceiling roll cage in to provide something for the webbing to loop over before going down to the floor anchorages so that they wouldn't submarine or the loading wouldn't go down the spine. That was made out of 38mm rollcage tube
I have the same in the back of the 110 with the race car harnesses and a cross beam at the top behind the seat backs (seats fold forwards)
Whichever way you go it is a mission.
How many kids do you need to cater for?
I used them in my camper as it didn't have seat belts in the back.
Sounds like a mission indeed. Good food for thought. Thanks
Presumably this only works with a rigid seat?
With a bit more thought to the deign it would have been simple for the original converters to have provided 2 forward facing 3 point seatbelts.
It's a bit of a shoddy design, who has a van and never takes anyone else anywhere in the back? My parents G reg Elddis had 2 propped belts in the back and that was before they needed them. Their current Hymer has 2 in the back despite only being 3 birth.
No seatbelts would have been a deal breaker for me.
If it's just to fit child seats (ie for very young kids), could you find a child seat with isofix type fitting that only secures at the base and the structure for the belts is provided by the seat. You could then build a proper base in the seat to fit such a seat.
Obviously this will only work for as long as the kids are young and I don't know how the seat converts into the bed or what you have under the seat (probably something big and immovable like a water heater).
Thanks all. I reckon there's a solution somewhere in there.
The problem with a lot of these suggestions being, that if the seats aren't fitted to proper strong points and crash tested themselves, how do you know they are strong enough. A lot of transporters have been converted and have belts in the back, but there is only 1 seat/bed on the market that actually has undergone a crash test.
"how do you know they are strong enough?"
I guess you have to work to my dad's old saying, if you're not an engineer, over engineer.
Build it out of big chunky bits of steel with massive welds and cross your fingers.
One other way to look at it would be that, even if the seatbelts only slowed you down you'd be better that having nothing, as it currently is.
Hi Matt, I am doinga little bit of work in the camper industry but not on this subject, yet I do have to know about regulations etc.
When a seat is fitted with seat belts you have to have a metal supporting frame (this does not have to be crash tested) and the fixing points have to be reinforced through the subframe of the vehicle.
Putting seat belts in for you would not be the issue as it could be done even on the side facing seats. The issue you are going to have is the MOT. I understand that by law they are not needed but if they are fitted they have to be tested under MOT regulations and with the design of the vehicle, this would be the downfall. It would fail an MOT because of the seat belts.
You may be able to find a good converter that would be able to re-arange the design layout of the seats but this will come at a cost. When buying camper / motorhome they sell them as a 2 berth for a reason and that is that they will only be able to sleep and carry 2 people safely.
I am sorry if that is not what you wanted to hear but I am sure you will find it is correct.
I hope you somehow sort the issue out.
Last year I had a similar problem. I thought I was going to have to buy a new van but ended up getting a crash tested seat with integral seatbelt fitted by a company called Scotseats in Kilmarnock. They were happy to tweak the design to my specification and have fitters nationwide.
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