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Old 05-23-2018, 06:02 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
Car Seats

We will have 5 kids in our Skoolie, ages 2, 2, 3, 4, 7 and want to be able to restrain them in car seats. The most obvious (and possibly safest) solution is to set up a whole bunch of forward-facing seats (bus, minivan, bucket, etc)

However, I would prefer not to use up that much floor space. (And it’s hard to find anything that looks “finished”). I have been brainstorming, but have not yet come up with an adequate solution. Suggestions are appreciated.

Some of my half-baked ideas so far:
1. Bucket seats on swivel mounts so they can be forward facing while moving (seats for 5 kids is a lot to fit in a design!)
2. Metal-framed couch or futon or vehicle bench seat facing sideway (with a very strong frame and side-impact rated car seats)
3. Car seats fastened directly to floor in the aisle, not in a seat at all
4. Some kind of dinette, with 2x car seats on the bench facing forward, and a custom adjustable back on the other bench seat (the seat back flips over to reverse the direction of the seat from rear-facing to forward-facing)

I’m not satisfied with any of those ideas. Any refinements or new ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:38 PM   #2
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seating

Freedmanseating they do seats for buses, shuttles, vans. I am ordering seats for my short bus that recline, have arm rests, integrated 3 point belts and car seat tether points.

They make bus seats that have built in booster seats and four or five point belts
for little ones. you can fold up the child seat part and have normal bench type bus seat. I plan on hauling grand children around for the next twenty years or so. I have my bus more for a bus kind of thing but some of the seats are face to face. some are sideways. some are face to back. They twin seats that fold up. go check out the company. many bus seats on ebay.

hope this helps you find your solution.

william
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:35 PM   #3
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Most car seats prohibit/advise against/ invalidate any warranty if installing sideways simply because they are not designed for it. I believe some state laws may also dictate the seats not be installed sideways.

We have two kinds of newer school bus seats with seat belts. One has three shoulder belts and I think with a very slim fitting car seat you might get three into it. We also have seats with integrated foldaway 5 point harnesses and two shoulder belts. These do sit very upright though if your smalls tend to fall asleep.

I’d try for two bus seats set as a dinette with a fold away table and install seats into that as needed for travel. I’d put the smallest 2/3 in car seats rear facing relative to travel and not to the seat orientation. The older ones in remaining spots.

Something like Cosco scenera or finale 2 in 1 are inexpensive, lightweight, pretty narrow fitting and stack together nicely for storage. We use them when we fly.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
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If I can find some time I’ll see how many car seats I can install on the bus seats we have.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:50 PM   #5
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No, I lied. You’d only get two car seats on a bench.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 452B05D2-8D2A-4DCF-82A2-2E3439684D62.jpg (234.7 KB, 14 views)
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
Freedmanseating they do seats for buses, shuttles, vans. I am ordering seats for my short bus that recline, have arm rests, integrated 3 point belts and car seat tether points.

They make bus seats that have built in booster seats and four or five point belts
for little ones. you can fold up the child seat part and have normal bench type bus seat. I plan on hauling grand children around for the next twenty years or so. I have my bus more for a bus kind of thing but some of the seats are face to face. some are sideways. some are face to back. They twin seats that fold up. go check out the company. many bus seats on ebay.

hope this helps you find your solution.

william
I like a lot of what Freedman makes, but it would be hard those here.

Part of my challenge is that I have limited options for used stuff. eBay shipping to Alaska is ridiculously expensive. On Craigslist, the selection is also limited, since Fairbanks is only 31,000 people, Anchorage is 6-1/2 hours away, and Juneau is only reachable by boat or plane (and even smaller than Fairbanks). The next nearest cities are Vancouver and Edmonton in Canada, 2000 miles away over bad roads. I spent a little time at one of the local junkyards - lots of schoolbus seats with built-in seatbelts, but I’m hoping for a seating idea that’s a little more like a living room than a school bus.

Keep the ideas coming - I may have to be more creative than most to get something I like.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:28 PM   #7
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Any thoughts on just anchoring the car seats direct on the floor? Under a certain weight, carseats can use the "Latch" system. After that, they need a seatbelt. Not sure if it would be safe without the seatback behind the car seat...

Obviously, this isnt a long-term solution, but would it work at all? Would it be safe?
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:23 AM   #8
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I'm pretty sure the seats need a backing to lean against if forward facing. Rear facing they don't really lean against anything. Make sure to use grade 8 bolts, washers and backing plates.

I read a bunch or RV articles about child deaths in RV wrecks before I went the bus route. The majority of death was from kids not being strapped in.

Anyways, in a pinch, I'm sure you could set up a latching system to the floor.
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:26 AM   #9
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Also, depending on the how much room you have, you could build a U shaped couch. The 2 year olds could be rear facing. The other 2 young ones forward. Then 2 van seats, one for oldest and one for passenger on the opposite side of the bus/across from couch. You could install a swivel base on the van seats so the become part of the living area when parked.
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
Also, depending on the how much room you have, you could build a U shaped couch. The 2 year olds could be rear facing. The other 2 young ones forward. Then 2 van seats, one for oldest and one for passenger on the opposite side of the bus/across from couch. You could install a swivel base on the van seats so the become part of the living area when parked.
I assume I'd need to have a welded frame for any seats I built myself. What other design considerations would I need?
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:27 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
seat options

Look at seats from suv that use three row seating, suburbans, toyota sienna, mazda 5 , minivans in general, pickup truck bench seats, Many of the 2nd rows
have what I think is usable for you. A minor accident is 10g's and time dependant, so if you can tear loose the baby seat.... you dont have it mounted well enough.
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Old 05-25-2018, 01:48 PM   #12
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I'm just going off of what my class c had. It did not have a strap frame. It was a dinette built out of 2x2s. It had seat belts.

I'll be building a couch from wood that is an L shape. I'll use new seat belts bolted to the floor and a rear latch bolted down.

I'm sure a steel frame will be stronger, but it is what it is. I'll only me doing about 60 mph anyway
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:26 PM   #13
Skoolie
 
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Current thought I'm playing around with:

Take the metal frames from two of my existing bus seats and build seats around them (new cushions, box in the bottom for storage, etc.), one facing forward and one back on the driver's side with about 5-1/2 feet between them. These are the emergency row seats, so the bottom flips up, even nicer for storage. With seatbelts added, each can have two car seats.

Between those two seats on the driver's side, a narrow bench with storage inside.

On the passenger side, two captains chairs on swivels that can be locked forward when driving (with car seats) or turned to the center when parked. One more car seat and an adult passenger can ride on these.

This leaves an area about 5-1/2 by 5-1/2 feet in the middle of open floorspace. We can put in a foldable table for mealtime or leave it open for kids playing.

Still developing the idea and not yet fully committed but I think it might work.

15273518219231149946191.jpg
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:58 AM   #14
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You could always try getting from someone who is scrapping all of their bus seats some CE White integrated child booster seats.


https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/9be95...660bb0c83a.pdf

Or find some ICS seats (integrated child seat) out of a Collins or Thomas.

https://www.safeguardseat.com/produc...ed-child-seat/
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:41 AM   #15
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Engine: Cat 3126
Hi,


I used rear bucket seats out of mini-vans. I had to weld frames out of angle iron, then bolted them directly through the floor frame members of the bus. I reused the bus seat belts and bolted them to the frame. By building your own seat bases, you also can achieve auditorium style seating, so each row is a few inches higher and everyone can see out the windshield. I was even able to save the cupholders, and the seats still recline.


Good Luck,







Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
We will have 5 kids in our Skoolie, ages 2, 2, 3, 4, 7 and want to be able to restrain them in car seats. The most obvious (and possibly safest) solution is to set up a whole bunch of forward-facing seats (bus, minivan, bucket, etc)

However, I would prefer not to use up that much floor space. (And it’s hard to find anything that looks “finished”). I have been brainstorming, but have not yet come up with an adequate solution. Suggestions are appreciated.

Some of my half-baked ideas so far:
1. Bucket seats on swivel mounts so they can be forward facing while moving (seats for 5 kids is a lot to fit in a design!)
2. Metal-framed couch or futon or vehicle bench seat facing sideway (with a very strong frame and side-impact rated car seats)
3. Car seats fastened directly to floor in the aisle, not in a seat at all
4. Some kind of dinette, with 2x car seats on the bench facing forward, and a custom adjustable back on the other bench seat (the seat back flips over to reverse the direction of the seat from rear-facing to forward-facing)

I’m not satisfied with any of those ideas. Any refinements or new ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:46 AM   #16
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Engine: Cat 3126
Hi, I used rear seats out of a mini-van. Welded my own bases out of angle iron, bolted directly through the bus floor framing, and reused the bus seat belts and bolted them to my new frames. Seats still recline, and I saved the cup holders.



http://www.skoolie.net/forums/member...cture14414.jpg



Good luck,
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:34 AM   #17
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: North Pole, AK
Posts: 235
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtrak RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
For a temporary solution, I found some of the SafeGuard Star Restraint systems at the local junkyard for cheap. Here's a link to a company selling them brand-new:
https://www.tacbusparts.com/sections...6&part_id=4033




They install on bus seats or, for that matter, any other kind of seats, in just a few seconds. The kids are really excited about it - the down side is there is almost no padding on the seat, so it gets uncomfortable after an hour or so.
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