Faced with a 1,200+ mile drive into rural Canada for a family wedding, my husband and I excitedly reserved an RV. We had visions of the snerds playing, eating, or sleeping freely in the back as we logged the miles.
As our departure neared, we did some research and re-considered this laissez-faire approach to seatbelts. Of course seatbelts are still required in an RV, and of course in an RV you’re still traveling at 70 MPH, and, of course, the safest place for children is in a car seat. (I soon learned, not only due to the risk of an accident, but also because the RV rocks and sways so much that you can’t really move around while it’s driving).
But that’s when it got tricky: there was no good place to install the car seats. There were sideways facing seats, but warnings right on the car seats poo-poo’ed that plan. There’s a “dinette” table with bench seats, but the car seats wouldn’t fit unless we removed the table (which is what we did), but we couldn’t fit two car seats on the same side, so they needed to face each other (within kicking reach, we soon learned). Also, none of these seats had anything but a lapbelt, and no car seat anchors. In addition, the seats themselves aren’t anchored to the RV in anyway, so the entire seat could move in a collision. I started to wonder if kids –or anyone really– is safe in an RV.
I tried to do a little research into the general safety of RV’s, but most of the results were of a guy in Boston who suffered a “medical condition” and drove his RV into a swimming pool (he lived). Not helpful to us.
In the end, we required the snerds be in their car seats, and were actually surprised how easily they agreed (albeit watching videos– click here for my guilt on that). The exception was occasional breaks risking their lives to use the bathroom while we were en route. Then we stopped in Niagara Falls. After parking the RV at a campground we hopped the shuttle bus to the falls and promptly discovered the bus didn’t offer seat belts at all. So after all the seat belt debate in the RV, we still took the snerds’ lives in our hands (or, rather, our laps) for the next 20 minutes… and the falls were amazing.
P.S. no more bats in the house, but now we do have mice. Sigh.