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Old 10-19-2019, 01:51 PM   #1
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Driving Bus Home with Passengers

Hello Skoolie Fam!

I am planning on driving my bus home from Oregon to Florida and had a few questions that hopefully someone on here can answer. (I've done quite a bit of searching on here but haven't found what I need to know)

My family (3-4 people) are considering flying out and road tripping back with me. I no longer have seats in the bus as I never intended to transport more than myself before the bus has been converted. So, as it stands, the seats and the sub-flooring have been removed.
Edit: The bus is registered as a truck and is insured as a commercial for personal use vehicle.

My question: Would it be "legal" to have my family in the bus with air mattresses and camp chairs and what not, or would I need to grab a few bus seats and bolt them in to make it "legal"?

Thank you!
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Rhian View Post
Hello Skoolie Fam!

I am planning on driving my bus home from Oregon to Florida and had a few questions that hopefully someone on here can answer. (I've done quite a bit of searching on here but haven't found what I need to know)

My family (3-4 people) are considering flying out and road tripping back with me. I no longer have seats in the bus as I never intended to transport more than myself before the bus has been converted. So, as it stands, the seats and the sub-flooring have been removed.
Edit: The bus is registered as a truck and is insured as a commercial for personal use vehicle.

My question: Would it be "legal" to have my family in the bus with air mattresses and camp chairs and what not, or would I need to grab a few bus seats and bolt them in to make it "legal"?

Thank you!
Family= no problem. no commercial activity there.
Stranger or Friends = potential problem. One could potentially argue it is commercial activity.

At the end of the day, me personally, I would take the family and not even worry about it!
The fact that you are riding with family and that the seats are removed is prima facie - no commercial activity!

Enjoy your trip!
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:25 PM   #3
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I would put a few seats in. Just for safety. If you were stopped, it would seem a bit weird to try to explain...

From a safety perspective, if you needed to make a sharp turn, everyone would go rolling.

Comfort level:low

Just my $.02
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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Family= no problem. no commercial activity there.
Stranger or Friends = potential problem. One could potentially argue it is commercial activity.

At the end of the day, me personally, I would take the family and not even worry about it!
The fact that you are riding with family and that the seats are removed is prima facie - no commercial activity!

Enjoy your trip!
I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate the use of seat belts in a moving vehicle
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:29 PM   #5
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I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate the use of seat belts in a moving vehicle
........
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rhian View Post

I am planning on driving my bus home from Oregon to Florida....

My family (3-4 people) are considering flying out and road tripping back with me.

....or would I need to grab a few bus seats and bolt them in to make it "legal"?
From my reading on this site, I think you're okay if seating doesn't exceed 14-15.

Personally, I'd grab a bus seat and belt for each family member and bolt them in to make it 'safer'. And having their own seat for such a long trip would allow them to stretch out whenever they want.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:13 PM   #7
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I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate the use of seat belts in a moving vehicle

True but...Please show me pics of your RV with passenger seatbelts !

Heck, Many of the busses we buy do not have passenger seatbelts!
Many are still in use today!

We can flip this around all day and night but let's all be honest, we have all done it!

No seatbelts that is...

BTW, I was looking at this from a CDL license (passenger) perspective.

So let's make a long thread on never breaking the law!
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:15 PM   #8
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True but...Please show me pics of your RV with passenger seatbelts !
We can flip this around all day and night but let's all be honest, we have all done it!

No seatbelts that is...
So let's make a long thread on never breaking the law!
Whether we do it or not, the question was specifically one of "Legality"
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:43 PM   #9
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Whether we do it or not, the question was specifically one of "Legality"
Exactly.

And since we're talking about "endangering the life of a minor" not worthless hippies...

Seriously -- how old are the children? Mandatory child seat age?

Go to a pick n' pull junkyard and get a couple bucket seats ($30 to $40/ea) out of late 90's early 2000's Silverado or similar. These have built in shoulder belts. Usually leather heated seats too! Will be easy to bolt them down to some square tubing to get the height you need.
Third row seats of Exploders and Suburbans have built in belts as well.

If budget dictates you must be as ghetto af
At least go to a thrift store and buy a $30 dollar sofa that you can ratchet strap in place so your family won't roll over on every turn...
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:54 PM   #10
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seatbelts arent required in busses or RV except for the front seat as far as i know.. some states / distreicts require them in school busses but you arent running school routes and arent running a DOT number so doesnt apply..



I rode a greyhound a few years ago, no seatbelts.. no idea if they do now or not..



from a safety persoective i sure as heck wouldnt want my family riding on lawn chairs and air mattresses the whole trip..



even school busses without seat belts utilize compartmentalization which is the effect of a quickly slowing bus (either by brake or crash) shoves the passengers into the seat ahead of them and holds them there pretty decently for the brunt of the impact or panic stop..



school bus seats placed close enough together provide this effect.. seats spread too far apart dont...



its not just a trip for ice cream in the back of a pickup truck.. you are trekking across the country on some pretty busy highways...



is something likely to happen? probably not.. but safety equipment isnt built to be used on a regular basis.. its for that unlikely terrible scenerio none of us ever want ot think about..


-Christopher
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:58 PM   #11
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Folding chairs and bungee cords
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:23 PM   #12
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I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate the use of seat belts in a moving vehicle
Pennsylvania at least does not require seat belts for adults in the back of a motor home.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:34 PM   #13
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seatbelts arent required in busses or RV except for the front seat as far as i know.. some states / distreicts require them in school busses but you arent running school routes and arent running a DOT number so doesnt apply..



I rode a greyhound a few years ago, no seatbelts.. no idea if they do now or not..



from a safety persoective i sure as heck wouldnt want my family riding on lawn chairs and air mattresses the whole

even school busses without seat belts utilize compartmentalization which is the effect of a quickly slowing bus (either by brake or crash) shoves the passengers into the seat ahead of them and holds them there pretty decently for the brunt of the impact or panic stop..

school bus seats placed close enough together provide this effect.. seats spread too far apart dont...



its not just a trip for ice cream in the back of a pickup truck.. you are trekking across the country on some pretty busy highways...



is something likely to happen? probably not.. but safety equipment isnt built to be used on a regular basis.. its for that unlikely terrible scenerio none of us ever want ot think about..


-Christopher
BC now, and the rest of Canada soon to follow if they haven't already done so, require lap and shoulder belts in new or imported MH/conversions - looks like school buses will soon require them - it's become a hot political issue after a bus load of teen aged hockey players were killed in Saskatchewan - Tboned by a big rig that went through a stop sign -experts claim that more of the kids would have survived had they been wearing seat belts
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:18 PM   #14
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and that school bus debate has lived on for decades... everyone knows someone who has experienced both ways..



my grandmother re-married in the early 80s.. as a kid we had a family friend who sold bluebirds and used to show up to family gatherings.. he was for seat-belts as the movies they showed him depicted scenes of kids being tossed about in a bus crash somewhere out west where the bus rolled over down a hill....



on the otherside was my new aunt who her and her husband drove school bus for 25 years by then... she talked of an incident in her bus .. where the engine and dashboard area caught fire when she was loaded to capacity... the service door rendered useless as smoke billowed from the dash.. she spoke of a mess of squirming screaming elementary kids.. that she literally shoved tossed out the rear door to passers-by that stopped to help... having to unbuckle she figured half or more of the kids means not all wouldve made it out.. the bus was a burning inferno within 2 minutes of getting everyone off.. she said even without the belts the only thing that saved everyone was the fact all the windows were down because it was a hot day.. much ofthe smoke went out the windows and the kids were all attempting to stop drop and roll like they were taught to do in a fire.. now im guessing that much has progressed since that mid 1970s superior was built in terms of flame retardent seats and plastics. but still ,


which do you go with? the bus that rolled down a hill where kids were thrown out the windows and run over by their own bus because they werent belted in, or the bus that burned and everyone was saved because they werent belted in?
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
and that school bus debate has lived on for decades... everyone knows someone who has experienced both ways..



my grandmother re-married in the early 80s.. as a kid we had a family friend who sold bluebirds and used to show up to family gatherings.. he was for seat-belts as the movies they showed him depicted scenes of kids being tossed about in a bus crash somewhere out west where the bus rolled over down a hill....



on the otherside was my new aunt who her and her husband drove school bus for 25 years by then... she talked of an incident in her bus .. where the engine and dashboard area caught fire when she was loaded to capacity... the service door rendered useless as smoke billowed from the dash.. she spoke of a mess of squirming screaming elementary kids.. that she literally shoved tossed out the rear door to passers-by that stopped to help... having to unbuckle she figured half or more of the kids means not all wouldve made it out.. the bus was a burning inferno within 2 minutes of getting everyone off.. she said even without the belts the only thing that saved everyone was the fact all the windows were down because it was a hot day.. much ofthe smoke went out the windows and the kids were all attempting to stop drop and roll like they were taught to do in a fire.. now im guessing that much has progressed since that mid 1970s superior was built in terms of flame retardent seats and plastics. but still ,


which do you go with? the bus that rolled down a hill where kids were thrown out the windows and run over by their own bus because they werent belted in, or the bus that burned and everyone was saved because they werent belted in?
both points have validity
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:26 PM   #16
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I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate the use of seat belts in a moving vehicle
The law, here in the Washington, requires seat belt use in any vehicle equipped with seat belts from the factory.

The requirements for seat belts in a converted bus gets a little fuzzy. The vehicle was equipped with a drivers seat belt and none of the passenger seats equipped with seat belts. Then it was converted to an RV.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:40 PM   #17
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The law, here in the Washington, requires seat belt use in any vehicle equipped with seat belts from the factory.

The requirements for seat belts in a converted bus gets a little fuzzy. The vehicle was equipped with a drivers seat belt and none of the passenger seats equipped with seat belts. Then it was converted to an RV.

here it states seats must be equipped with a 3 point belt for imports from out of province and new conversions before they pass the safety test, let alone the MH designation - I have sort of a love/hate relationship with some of the laws here - on one hand they are spelled out plainly, on the other hand there is no wiggle room for someone who wants to do something a bit different
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:04 AM   #18
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Just as a point of reference:


Our bus came with a belt and shoulder harness for the driver. The front row of passenger seats were equipped with lap belts (two per side) ... a total of 4 passenger seat belts.


In its current configuration, our bus has three air-ride seats. The driver and "navigtor" sets have a shoulder harness. The third air-ride seat has a lap belt.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:44 AM   #19
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I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that doesn't mandate the use of seat belts in a moving vehicle
In FL anyone over 16 in the rear of an RV isn't required to have a seatbelt. The rear is defined by anywhere behind the driver.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
and that school bus debate has lived on for decades... everyone knows someone who has experienced both ways..



my grandmother re-married in the early 80s.. as a kid we had a family friend who sold bluebirds and used to show up to family gatherings.. he was for seat-belts as the movies they showed him depicted scenes of kids being tossed about in a bus crash somewhere out west where the bus rolled over down a hill....



on the otherside was my new aunt who her and her husband drove school bus for 25 years by then... she talked of an incident in her bus .. where the engine and dashboard area caught fire when she was loaded to capacity... the service door rendered useless as smoke billowed from the dash.. she spoke of a mess of squirming screaming elementary kids.. that she literally shoved tossed out the rear door to passers-by that stopped to help... having to unbuckle she figured half or more of the kids means not all wouldve made it out.. the bus was a burning inferno within 2 minutes of getting everyone off.. she said even without the belts the only thing that saved everyone was the fact all the windows were down because it was a hot day.. much ofthe smoke went out the windows and the kids were all attempting to stop drop and roll like they were taught to do in a fire.. now im guessing that much has progressed since that mid 1970s superior was built in terms of flame retardent seats and plastics. but still ,


which do you go with? the bus that rolled down a hill where kids were thrown out the windows and run over by their own bus because they werent belted in, or the bus that burned and everyone was saved because they werent belted in?

Kentucky learned this lesson the hard way. Google "Prestonsburg School Bus Disaster" (basically 27 deaths when a school bus went into a river) or "Carrollton School Bus Crash" (27 deaths when a retired school bus was struck by a pickup and caught fire). To this very day, Kentucky now requires more emergency exits on school buses than any other government entity in the world (or at least it did at last check, others may have followed suit).


Did anyone here know that the FAA requires airlines to be able to evacuate an aircraft, regardless of size and capacity, in under 90 seconds? (Yes, they actually hold drills for this, they are required to!) Sure, I'm all for safety and this seat belt debate has gone on for years, with valid points on both sides.


All this doesn't address the OP's issue, however. If it were me, I'd snag a couple seats and bolt 'em in, at which point I would consider it good. Portable folding seats might be fine for carrying a few dozen workers locally in an agricultural usage but not so much for a family on a long road trip.
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