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Old 11-19-2009, 12:47 AM   #1
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Seat Belts

planning my build, read a bunch and Iam I seeing right, that only people next to the driver have to have a seat belts on. It'll be my wife and two kids, any ideas? thanks
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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Re: Seat Belts

Not sure how that works for a bus but I know that in some states anything classified as a RV (class c and a) require everyone in the vehicle to have a seatbelt on no matter where they are. Best check the states you will be in vs the title you will have on the converted bus.

We plan on keeping a couple of the seats and buying at least lap belts for passengers and the kids (two of 'em), though we plan to switch out the bus seats for far more comfortable ones down the road.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:24 AM   #3
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Re: Seat Belts

This is a fascinating topic DIY schoolbus conversions for living quarters. Is anybody interested in having their story published by a national news organization? I'm a writer and would love to do a story on you, if possible. I'm particularly interested in people who have retrofitted their buses as a home due to economic reasons or just to save money (and have let the house go).
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: Seat Belts

I'm reusing the existing schoolbus seats to make two booths in the front of the bus. The seats already have lap belts, so that will provide legal seating for 4 people. The beds in the back will also fold in such a way as to serve as seating during travel, and I am considering rigging seatbelts up to these as well, but have not yet worked out the details of how this will be rigged up, and how I will get the seatbelts out of the way when it is in "bed" mode. Anyway, the beds will add another 6 people to the seating capacity. So I will be able to haul 11 people including driver, all with seat belts.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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Re: Seat Belts

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Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
...The beds in the back will also fold in such a way as to serve as seating during travel, and I am considering rigging seatbelts up to these as well, but have not yet worked out the details of how this will be rigged up, and how I will get the seatbelts out of the way when it is in "bed" mode...
Not sure how your chair rails are configured or how you plan to "mattress" the couch-bed, but you may be able to bolt the seat belts to the chair rails, then just stow them between the mattress & wall when in "bed" mode...just a thought.
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: Seat Belts

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
...The beds in the back will also fold in such a way as to serve as seating during travel, and I am considering rigging seatbelts up to these as well, but have not yet worked out the details of how this will be rigged up, and how I will get the seatbelts out of the way when it is in "bed" mode...
Not sure how your chair rails are configured or how you plan to "mattress" the couch-bed, but you may be able to bolt the seat belts to the chair rails, then just stow them between the mattress & wall when in "bed" mode...just a thought.
To do that, my mattress would have to be split in the middle. I'm not sure if I will take that approach, though if it's going to double as a bench seat, that is the most practical and stable option I can think of. The other option I've been considering is to have the bed stationary, with a normal mattress, and then have a moveable backrest that slides out from the wall so the bench seat is not too deep to sit on. In that case, the seatbelts would be attached to the moveable backrest. Even if the backrest is reasonably well secured when in place, this would not be the most secure option in an accident. Although the advantage would be that people have a buffer area between them and the wall during an accident, the disadvantage is wasted space behind the backrests, and forcing people to sit right in front of each other. My general seating strategy with kids is to keep them as far apart as possible!
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:18 PM   #7
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Re: Seat Belts

Perhaps you could use 2 foam cushions per couch-bed, 1 as the seat cushion, 1 as the backrest cushion, that would form the 'full' mattress when the couch is converted to a bed for sleeping, similar to travel trailer dinettes that morph into sleeping areas?
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Old 11-19-2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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Re: Seat Belts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
Perhaps you could use 2 foam cushions per couch-bed, 1 as the seat cushion, 1 as the backrest cushion, that would form the 'full' mattress when the couch is converted to a bed for sleeping, similar to travel trailer dinettes that morph into sleeping areas?
Right; that's what I was thinking for option 1. I just think it would be less comfy as a bed since there would be a split down the middle of the two cusions. I suppose I could have a "topper" of sorts, a thinner foam pad that would go on top of the whole bed and thus bridge the gap, but get stowed during transit. It would just increase the time it takes to deal with the couch-to-bed conversion each night.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:06 PM   #9
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Re: Seat Belts

My dad went to the auto parts store almost 40 years ago and bought a set of belts. When I was 10, I didn't bother putting mine on for a simple 1-mile trip back from a milk run to the local farm. The car door next to me popped open while rounding an outside corner, and it took all my clawing at the vinyl to avoid being sucked out. Lesson learned. I've also been in a handful of crashes. I insist on always wearing a belt, and would want one available for all my passengers who wanted one, whether it was legally required or not.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
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Re: Seat Belts

I remember seeing someone who used a futon for their bed, and had holes made in the mattress and new fabric sown in to allow for the seatbelt ends to fit through. They said that it didn't do much to change the feel of the mattress as they just took a big knife and slid it straight through to make the hole.
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