At Pro Car Seat Safety, a division of Pro Consumer Safety, we often receive calls from parents asking about how to install a child restraint system (car seats) in a recreational vehicle (RV). Most parents are either planning a trip with a family member who owns an RV or are planning on renting an RV. They become quickly confused when they follow the RV owner's manual for child passenger safety or after rental company provides them with a copy of the State child passenger safety law.
RV's can present a false sense of security, due to their size, quality and even the seat belts on the bench and dinette seats. Here are just a few things to be aware of:
- Seat belts in the rear benches and dinette seats do not need to meet Federal seat belt requirements and RV's are not crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Child safety restraint systems (car seats and booster seats) are NEVER be used in rear-facing or side-facing bench seating in any RV.
- During a collision, wooden benches and cabinets can collapse and break apart, and equipment and storage materials can become projectiles causing injury to passengers.
What would an RV crash look like?
To give you an idea of what the inside of an RV would look like during a crash, see this video crash test from Bailey Motor Homes. This manufacturer is located in the United Kingdom, but provides an excellent example.
What options do you have to protect your child in an RV?
Pro Consumer Safety and Pro Car Seat Safety has 1) developed guidelines for parents to help keep children safe as passengers when using an RV and 2) established an RV "baby proofing" list.
Guidelines for parents:
Best allternatives to consider
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Baby-Proof your RV:
Practice "home safety" when on the road
For more information visit http://www.procarseatsafety.com/recreation-vehicles-rv.html or call 323-491-6197