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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of a low-line MH with rear twin beds and a lounge area with two proper lounge bench type seats which convert to either two more single beds or a decent double. I know the Autocruise Augusta will fit the bill - but are there any others?
 

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Hi georgiemac!

Your request has me confused and worried! :? It sounds like you want to sleep more than just the two folk who would occupy the rear singles.

You also want the option of having two more singles or a double at the front, YET, by having "two proper lounge bench type seats" you are removing the option of carrying passengers as bench seats don't have seat belts.

Please help me to understand. :oops: Thanks. :wink:
 

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Hymer B654 has drop down double bed above the cab, a rear double bed and two sofa's... one L shaped one a smaller bench... I don't think this makes a bed though!

wilse
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks uncle Norm hadn't thought of that -doh!! have to stick with my Miama then, nothing wrong with it, just thought we would like to have a lounge rather than a dining area and maybe if we needed it, to take some friends with us - so its either leave friends at home or stay as we are. May have a look at the HYmer but don't really want an overcab bed - Thanks
 

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Is my memory playing tricks or am I right in thinking that there are a few converters who offer dinette front facing rear seats that can be converted to an L/bench shape layout when on a pitch, giving the best of both worlds.

Autosleepers offer something like that (but don't offer the rear layout you're looking) for and possibly Autotrail among their multiplicity of options or maybe it's some of the continentals.

Somebody will either confirm or tell me I'm an idiot for even dreaming it. :wink: :lol:

SDA
 

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UncleNorm said:
Hi georgiemac!

Your request has me confused and worried! :? It sounds like you want to sleep more than just the two folk who would occupy the rear singles.

You also want the option of having two more singles or a double at the front, YET, by having "two proper lounge bench type seats" you are removing the option of carrying passengers as bench seats don't have seat belts.

Please help me to understand. :oops: Thanks. :wink:
Its not illegal to carry passengers on bench seats without seat belts. I occasionally do it.

peedee
 

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peedee said:
UncleNorm said:
Hi georgiemac!

Your request has me confused and worried! :? It sounds like you want to sleep more than just the two folk who would occupy the rear singles.

You also want the option of having two more singles or a double at the front, YET, by having "two proper lounge bench type seats" you are removing the option of carrying passengers as bench seats don't have seat belts.

Please help me to understand. :oops: Thanks. :wink:
Its not illegal to carry passengers on bench seats without seat belts. I occasionally do it.

peedee
Heres the offish details on seatbelts in the rear of vans. Clear as mud, but sounds like if the police consider you are carrying people in a dangerous manner they can choose to prosecute under existing powers.

' The information below relates to the fitting of seatbelts and the wearing of seatbelts by adults. There is specific legislation, introduced in 2006, concerning the carrying of children in vehicles. Rather than trying to present all the somewhat complicated regulations here, please see: www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/children/childincar?page=FAQ

For vehicles built up to October 2007 there was no legal requirement to have seat belts fitted to side-facing seats or seats that make up the accommodation area in motor caravans.
Regulation 46 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended, states motor caravans first used on or after 1st April 1982 but before 1 October 1988 shall be equipped with anchorage points for the driver's seat and specified passenger seat (if any); and for motor caravans first used on or after 1st October 1988 shall be equipped with anchorage points for the driver's seat and any forward-facing front seat.
You can download a copy of the SI at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2001/20011043.htm.
However, this did not preclude manufacturers fitting seat belts to forward facing or rearward facing seats within the accommodation area if they wished to do so.
Where seat belts are fitted they must be worn.

Seats in the rear of a campervan/motorhome did not, prior to October 2007, require seatbelts (whether forward, rearward or sideways facing) and it is not illegal to carry unrestrained passengers in them while travelling, providing the vehicle is not overloaded. It is not something we would recommend, however.

Although current seat belt wearing regulations do not prohibit carrying more passengers in vehicles than there are seat belts available, the police may prosecute drivers for carrying passengers in a manner that may injure someone.
We would advise that no-one should be carried in any unbelted seat in the rear of a motorhome.

An EU Directive (2005/40/EC) on the installation of seat belts required that from 20 October 2007 new vehicles have to have seat belts fitted on all seats except those seats intended solely for use when the vehicle is stationary.

The original advice given to us by the DfT was that, where seat belts are fitted, from May 2009, the seat belt wearing Directive would prevent more passengers being carried than there are seat belts in the rear of vehicles. This would have meant that from May 2009, in any vehicle of whatever age, where seat belts are fitted in the rear, more passengers may not be carried in the rear than there are seat belts available.

They now tell us:

"There will be no change in the regulations in May - our lawyers tell us that is not necessary because the existing regulations already adequately deal with the requirements of the seat belt wearing Directive. Our earlier view that we would need to change the regulations was mistaken."

"Seat belt wearing regulations cannot apply in seats where seat belts are not fitted. Therefore there can be no specific prohibition on using such seats even if other seats in the rear of the vehicle have seat belts fitted. Specifically, the regulations exempt passengers from using a seat belt if a seat belt is not "available". If all the seats with belts are already occupied, then seat belts are clearly not "available" and the remaining passengers can use the seats without belts."

The advisability of carrying unrestrained passengers is another matter, to quote the DfT spokesman:

'... the police can already act where people in the rear of any vehicle are considered to be carried in a dangerous manner because they are unrestrained. [Owners] should beware of unbelted passengers. In a crash, they can injure others in the vehicle ...'.

In addition to considering the legal and safety issues involved, owners who intend to carry passengers in unbelted seats must check with their insurers to confirm that this is acceptable to them.

Our advice is that, regardless of the letter of the law, all passengers should wear seat belts.'

SDA
 

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Seat belts or not

:D Ciao tutti, very interesting points about the EU directives. Am in the process of re registering my motorhome with Italian plates. When first registered in France in 2002, it was specified as registered to carry 6 people i.e. driver with seat belt, cab passenger with seat belt, 2 forward facing bench seat passengers with seat belts, and 2 rear facing bench seat passengers WITHOUT seat belts. When registered in UK the actual number of passengers was not an issue, just the weight.
Now, in Italy, have already been told it will only be able to carry 4 PASSENGERS WITH SEATBELTS, i.e. driver, cab passenger, and 2 forward facing bench seat passengers with seatbelts. The 2 rear facing dinette bench seats can only be used when stationary; unless I have belts fitted.
saluti,
eddied
 

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As clear as mud Andy. I look at this way, I am not driving around looking for an accident and for occasional use I don't see a problem. However if seating was to be for regular use then I agree it is not wise to go down the route of not having sufficient safe seating and it is my understanding that all forward facing seats on new vehicles are now fitted with belts.

peedee

ps its all a bit of a joke really because the first thing that would probably break loose in an accident is the oven and fridge!
 

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peedee said:
As clear as mud Andy. I look at this way, I am not driving around looking for an accident and for occasional use I don't see a problem. However if seating was to be for regular use then I agree it is not wise to go down the route of not having sufficient safe seating and it is my understanding that all forward facing seats on new vehicles are now fitted with belts.

peedee
There ain't too many people around who go looking for accidents, luckily. But quite a few find accidents who aren't looking for them.

Trouble is accidents are accidental and can happen accidentally on a short or long run or even in between.

What would worry me would be the reaction of the insurance company who always seem to look for an 'out' if they can.

Then you could be really s****ed.

SDA
 

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peedee said:
ps its all a bit of a joke really because the first thing that would probably break loose in an accident is the oven and fridge!
Yes, you're right Pete. Makes a bit of a nonsense of the regulations.

locovan said:
We have Lap belts on our bench seat in our Autotrail. Can other motorhomes have them fitted?
I'm pretty sure you can do anything you want, but the question would be how difficult it would be. The installer would need to find secure mounting points on the chassis, and it depends on whether anything (like water tanks, lockers etc) is in the way.

Gerald
 

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locovan said:
We have Lap belts on our bench seat in our Autotrail.
Can other motorhomes have them fitted?
If you look at previous posts on the subject of belts I think you'll find that if they are sideways facing benches they're a no no for belted or unbelted travel. If I recall correctly travelling sideways in an accident is quite the most dangerous position as the body isn't as flexible side to side as it is front to back, if you see what I mean.

I also think that recent EU regs insist that belts, when fitted, meet stringent strength tests which are virtually impossible to achieve unless inorporated at the design stage. Ad hoc fitting just won't do. Now whether this ruling is just for new vans from a certain date or for new belt installations in any vans I'm not sure.

As I've said earlier though the thing to worry about is whether your insurance company will play ball if the worst happens.

I would say it's best to check with them and be guided by their advice. Get it in writing and then they can't wriggle.

SDA
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is a very interesting debate - being an emergency nurse practitioner, I know something about injuries from belted and unbelted accidents (now called incidents -apparently a lawyer questioned the validity of the word accident - as in 'if it was an accident there is no-one at fault') and can verify that lap belts can cause serious abdomnal injuries especially in children - we are right to be wary of them. I think I will re-think my plans - I don't relish the thought of any passengers becoming projectiles.
 

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I did inquire at the time I purchased my motorhome about belts for sideways facing seats and was told there was no where strong enough to legally fix them.

I only occasional carry extra people and if it is my grandchildren I make them sit with their backs against the cab bulkhead and feet up on the bench seats. i.e. it is then a backward facing seat.

In the event of an incident, I would be more worried about flying ovens and fridges and tinned food though!

peedee
 

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Has anyone ever done any proper research on injuries in motorhome accidents and whether the apochryphal stories of flying fridges (and ovens if you have one) are reality.

One would hope that part of the general tightening of construction techniques would lead towards unburstable roof lockers etc.

Indeed I thought the EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval scheme was heading the motorhome industry's way but we've heard very little about it recently. As someone said on here way back the chassis cab meets all the safety rules but then converters fit a lightly constructed box on the back and place safety belted seats inside. Sure they may be fixed down properly but where are the deformable crumple zones and side wall strengthening bars they have in cars?

Luckily motorhome accidents are rare but just one could be catastrophic for the rear occupants compared to a similar accident with a car.

Swift (and maybe others) have adopted Type Approval systems for seat belt fixings but nothing seems to be said or published about other safety factors. Whether this is because nothing is happening or whether the converters hope it'll go away I'm not too sure. Certainly the costs of making a camper as safe as a car would be enormous, but so would the costs of being sued for death and injury if clever lawyers take cases to court based on converters not providing levels of inherent safety not in line with those provided by other forms of transport.

SDA
 
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