Many RVers travel part-time with their kids and grandkids. This means they are looking for RVs with seat belts to keep everyone secure and safe while driving. RVs do come with these devices, just not as many as you may want.
There seem to be very few models that have seat belts for every passenger. RV companies sometimes leave seat belts off many chairs so they do not appear safe when driving. The Roller Team 600 is one Class C series that has 6 seat belts.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can find an RV in the size you need with the number of seat belts you require.
They have to have them. All 50 states have laws about seat belts and those laws do not exclude RVs. Who wears seat belts is the main issue as not all 50 states require all passengers to wear seat belts when the RV is in motion.
Alaska seems to be the only state that does not require anyone other than the front seat occupants to wear a seat belt. There are states that say all occupants or they may say front seat occupants and children under the age of 18 or 17.
Still, more states will say front seat occupants and children between the ages of 4 to 15, 4 to 10, 4 to 16, 6 to 12, and so on. The fines for not wearing a seat belt vary between states as well. The highest fine we saw was $200 and that was in Texas but their fine range started at $25.
Oregon, Washington, & Rhode Island have the highest fines, $94, $101, & $75 respectively. The majority of states do not go above $50 with many at the $25 to $30 level. Depending on how many kids will travel with you, you will need seat belts for everyone.
This will depend on the floor plan more than anything else. Also, it will depend on the size of the RV as smaller vehicles will not have as many seats as larger ones.
There is supposed to be a federal law requiring seat belts in motorhomes for everyone inside. But that law is for motorhomes built after a certain year. New Hampshire’s law makes that year 1968. That law is only for front-seat passengers.
There is a regulation called RVIA that stipulates how many seat belts a motorhome must have. However, that regulation has been modified several times over the years so you will get RVs with 2, 5, 6, 8, and possibly 10 seats with seat belts.
What number your RV will have will depend a lot on the RV brand building the model. Of course, 5th wheels and trailers do not have seat belts as no one is supposed to be riding in the trailer when it is being towed.
You can look up your state’s requirements as the RVs sold in your state should have to meet those requirements. This means that the same model and year of RV may have different number of seat belts
Yes and no. Each state gets to make its own rules for its territory and citizens. While federal laws exist, the states are still free to regulate who has to wear a seat belt and who doesn’t.
At the time of this writing, 21 states required that all occupants have to wear seat belts. That leaves 29 with different regulations. Some of those states will include teenagers in with children and some will exclude teenagers after a certain age.
The bottom boundary for children varies between states as well. Some states will use 4, 6, 7, or even 8 as the lowest required age for a seat belt. Then other states will say 18, 17, 16, or 15 and under must wear seat belts.
You will have to check the state you are living in to see what is required on this topic. MO., KS., ID., PA., SC., VT., WI.,& Arizona have the lowest fines if caught. Those states only charge $10 for not wearing a seat belt.
The next lowest states are GA., CO., & AK., which charge $15. Utah starts at $15 and goes up from there. TN. starts at $10 and goes up to $20. Most states are not charging a lot for not wearing a seat belt but it is best to avoid paying those fines.
Most likely, only the Class B RVs will have seat belts for car seats. That is because they tend to weigh less than 10,000 pounds. We mention that weight because it is the benchmark for crash testing.
If a vehicle weighs under 10,000 pounds, according to federal law, then it must be crash tested and subject to all federal seat belt laws. If the vehicle is over 10,000 pounds it is not required to be crash tested and thus excluded from federal seat belt laws.
Most Class A and C RVs weigh more than 10,000 pounds. Then, most state laws say that the car seat is supposed to be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you do not want to break the law, then you cannot install a car seat on a side or rear-facing seat.
But this is not the only issue you have to face with an RV and seat belt. Many seats with belts are near pieces of furniture that can come apart in an accident. When you strap into a seat near a dinette, etc., you are essentially locking them in a position to be hurt by items that will fall apart very quickly.
The best advice given on the seat belt topic is that since seat belt laws vary, it is best to follow the state with the strictest laws to be safe when you cross state lines.
This means that you may have to add some seatbelts to your Class C or A RV to make it compliant with that strict law. The problem with adding seat belts is that there is no industry-wide standard or regulation to meet for testing anyways.
The other problem is anchoring those new seat belts. Most RVs come with a wood floor and that is not always the best material or strongest material to anchor anything to.
Yes, you can add seat belts to your RV and there are a lot of companies that will do the work for you. However, you will need to make sure they anchor those additions to the right material to make sure they are safe to use.
When it comes to RVs and seat belts, there are a lot of gray areas that cover this topic. People do not think that side facing seats are safe when the RV is in motion. So adding seat belts to those seats may be a waste of time in some states.
However, you are free to add seatbelts to those seats if you want them there.
Yes, they are, and generally, except for the front seats, this is the only version RV makers will install on their models. There may be RV models that have over the shoulder straps installed as well as lap belts.
Those designs may be by a dinette that has one wall behind it and the seats are facing forward. But whether they are safe or not remains to be seen as wood walls in RVs are not exactly thick and strong.
According to one source, there are 28 states that do not require anyone but the front seat occupants to wear a seat belt while driving. We can debate the wisdom of those states until the cows come home at night.
Everyone is going to have their own opinion on this topic. This is a conversation that you have to decide which is best for your family. There are pros and cons for both sides of the debate and that is a topic for another day.
Finding more than a lap belt in the passenger seats in the back of your RV will be a pleasant surprise to many. But RV makers will go the cheapest route possible so lap belts may be the only thing you will get.
These two models Elddis Autoquest 100 and the Compass Avantgarde 100 may have the required 5 seatbelts. The problem is that no one lists or names any models that come with 5 seatbelts.
You may have to look at Class B RVs to find a few models, like the T5/T6/Transit that have 5 seat belts. Class C and A RVs may only have 2 or they may have 6+ seatbelts depending on their size and floorplan.
Smaller Class Cs may have them as well but you would have to look at each model individually to see how many are inside. The new 2022 Chausson Motorhomes advertise that SOME of their RVs have 5 seat belts but we looked and not all of them do.
We looked at their brochure and only 2 of their models have that number of seatbelts. It is going to be hard to find and you may have to talk to dealers to see if they even have any in stock.
One dealer told a prospective buyer that he was asking for something that does not exist. Because at least 28 states do not require passengers to wear a seat belt, you may not find any with 5 in your state.
In fact, you may not find any with more than 5 either. It is going to be a difficult search for this number of seat belts. They may be in models you do not want.
The size will matter here. The shorter the RV the less likely you will find 6 seatbelts installed. There are a couple we found right away- Jayco 22J, the Coachman Prism 2300, and then you can try the Rollerteam Autoroller 500, 600, & 700 series. They are supposed to have 6 seatbelts in those models.
Also, you can check the Hymer C524. However, those last two brands were taken from a British RV discussion forum that came up in our search. Keep in mind what we stated earlier.
Any RV weighing more than 10,000 pounds does not have to meet federal seatbelt laws. That means finding seatbelts in the rear of any RV is not going to be common. RV makers will only meet what they have to and save money by excluding features they do not have to install.
Plus, each state will have its own rules most of which do not require seat belts in the rear area unless the seats are forward-facing. If you find an RV with 6 seatbelts and it has the floor plan you want, then you should buy that model. You may not find the same combination at other dealers.
Like the 5 seat belt plan, you may have to search diligently to find a model that meets this requirement. There may be a lot more but also like the 5 seatbelt option, only offered on a minimum of RV series or models.
There are some but this search may be as tough as the previous two sections. It would depend on the size of the RV and the RV maker and how many models they offer with 7 seatbelts.
In our research, the specific names of these models are not popping but they may be named in RV discussion forums. Or you have to go through all the brochures of all the RV makers to find 1 or 2 models that have them as a standard feature.
We say that because even the ads we have seen rarely mention the number of seatbelts in the RVs the dealers are selling. It is possible that 7 seatbelts is an optional feature and you may find a specific motorhome with this number of seatbelts.
But that number will not be found in the other RVs in that model offering. It is a one off addition because the buyers have a large families. Then due to the exclusions n both federal and state laws, RV makers just may not add any in.
We have come across owners who say they have a certain number of seatbelts but they do not name their RV. In other words, these models may exist but no one is mentioning their model number or even brand.
Everything said in the previous 3 sections applies here as well. We had one owner state that he had 10 seatbelts in his RV but he did not name the brand or the model, and he did not mention the year it was made.
That is another issue in this search. You may have to go back 5, 10, or even 20 years to find an RV with the number of seatbelts you require. It is hard to say if RV makers are putting more than 2 seatbelts in their models due to the federal law exclusion.
Plus, 8 seatbelt RVs may be unique and not produced in any large number as the demand is not there. RV makers won’t make a lot of models with 5, 6, 7, or 8+ seat belts as no one is asking for that number of seatbelts.
It will be rare to find any with 8 seatbelts factory installed.
There is nothing stopping you from upgrading your RV to the desired number of seatbelts. You can ask professionals to do it but they may refuse on the grounds of responsibility. They do not want to be responsible if anything happens and a child gets injured.
This leaves this project up to you to do. To make sure you get it right, read up on where seatbelts should be secured as well as other regulations they must meet. Attaching them to weak wood surfaces is not going to be a good idea.
There is work involved in this task and lots to know.
Finding more than 2 seatbelts in RVs can be done. But the more you want, the rarer those RVs will be. You should only find seat belts on the front-facing seats as these are designated as travel seats.
Side and rear-facing seats shouldn’t have them as they are not designated travel seats. The number of seat belts your RV has will depend on the state not federal laws.
Add your own if you do not think your RV is safe enough.