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Old 08-30-2020, 12:39 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose 3800FC
Engine: 7.6L DT466 with Allison MD 3060
Passenger seating and floor planning

Looking at conversion threads, I notice most builds do not have passenger seats with seat belts. Are they not required? On Facebook I came across a couple of nice leather seats out of a large conversion van and was able to get both for like $25.00. Very nice and clean, without a mark on them. Thinking we would need a seat with seat belts, I was planning on using them as two passenger seats, putting one on each side behind the driver's seat. However, I had also wanted to put a couch on either side, but if I use these seats will only have space for one. Do we really have to have the passenger seats? How are people getting by without them?

Our bus is a 37' FE flat nosed International, but I am having trouble getting things to fit. A few days ago I got a great deal on two live edge oak slabs I want to use for kitchen countertops (2"6'x26" and 2"8'x32"-35 1/2"---both for $150.00). I know I would have to cut an edge off both to make the 25" width I would need for countertops, but they are also too long to fit into any floor plan I can come up with, but are so pretty I hate to cut them and waste that extra length. Also because our bus is a FE flatnose, we have that huge doghouse as you walk in taking up most of the front of the bus.
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:15 AM   #2
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You can add seatbelts.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:29 AM   #3
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https://rvshare.com/blog/things-need...eat-belt-laws/

FWIW I think a lot of builds here have at least one forward-facing proper passenger seat with three-point restraint. I have a double seat with integrated shoulder belts from a Ford transit van myself, something I heartily recommend ... avoiding entirely since the seats are so tiny.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:12 AM   #4
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I'm still just a lurker, but I'm considering leaving one bench behind the driver with a fold up table tray for eating, computer, etc... and using 2 benches at the front to make a dining area. Seatbelts can be included if you want.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:36 AM   #5
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U-pull n' Pay junkyards are an inexpensive source of used seats.

Several SUV's have rear seats with built in shoulder belts.
Most all of these style seats fold fwd, or flat in some way or can be designed for complete removal when not needed while driving.

What you do is really a factor of what you need you didn't say how many passengers you typically will have with you when traveling. Do you need seats you can properly hook up child restraint seats to?

Will you spend more time traveling or tiny-home mode?
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post

Our bus is a 37' FE flat nosed International, but I am having trouble getting things to fit. A few days ago I got a great deal on two live edge oak slabs I want to use for kitchen countertops (2"6'x26" and 2"8'x32"-35 1/2"---both for $150.00). I know I would have to cut an edge off both to make the 25" width I would need for countertops, but they are also too long to fit into any floor plan I can come up with, but are so pretty I hate to cut them and waste that extra length. Also because our bus is a FE flatnose, we have that huge doghouse as you walk in taking up most of the front of the bus.
Hang onto those cut-offs for the countertops and use them in other parts of the bus. Tables, cover for the doghouse, shelving, custom dashboard, etc. We have cherry countertops and found that the cutout for our sink was just the right size for a flip-down table.
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Old 08-30-2020, 10:04 AM   #7
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Are seat belts required? I don't know----

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Old 08-31-2020, 02:25 AM   #8
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
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Year: 2002
Coachwork: International (Navistar)
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose 3800FC
Engine: 7.6L DT466 with Allison MD 3060
It will be mainly my husband and me traveling, but will occasionally have one of the grandkids with us, (youngest is 9 y/o). It seems like a forward facing seat with seatbelts should be required, but almost all the buses I am seeing on you tube and also in the conversion threads here don't seem to have them and I am curious as to why not. I do have the van seats I mentioned in my original post. They appear very comfortable, can be mounted on a swivel, and have seat belts. They will just take up alot of space and it seems most people are choosing not to use them. Our other option is not to use them and just attach seat belts to the couch. However, it seems like it would be safer to have a forward facing seat with seatbelts than a sideways facing seat with a seat belt.

Just FYI: we have a 37' 2002 Texas bus and it did not come with seatbelts, so the school district in Leonard, Texas did not deem them necessary. Personally though I think I would prefer the added safety.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan View Post
I'm still just a lurker, but I'm considering leaving one bench behind the driver with a fold up table tray for eating, computer, etc... and using 2 benches at the front to make a dining area. Seatbelts can be included if you want.

some do repurpose school bus seats for that.. they arent the most comfortable for long haul rides. but as a dinette t osit and eat at they ar perfect.. they dont fold so if you want a convertible dinette, school bus seats wont work..



seatbelts can be tied through the floor with seat belt washers.. and at the top go into the bus ribs likr the driver seatbelt does.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:50 AM   #10
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Join Date: Aug 2020
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Pretty cool vid on the crash. All I can see are the people and seat backs moving. The rest of the bus shell didn't even flex! I can see an RV just shifting forward some in the same type of crash.
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