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Old 06-04-2018, 07:27 PM   #1
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Car seat laws and booster seat question

So we just bought a 2015 Coachmen Leprechaun 32BH. I have 3 kids ages 10, 8 and 5 (almost 6). We live in FL and while only the 5 yr old HAS to be in a car seat in the car the 8 and 10 yr olds are in high back boosters as well. In the RV In FL I was planning to have the 5 yr old use her car seat at the table with the top tether anchor. The 8 and 10 yr olds will simply use lap belts. I was wondering what happens when we travel to other states? Do we follow our home state laws or the laws of the state we are currently? We will be going to TN and the law there says an 8 yr old has to be in a booster. I don't know where to put a booster for her. Boosters shouldn't be used with lap only belts and the front passenger seat air bag can not be turned off. Even though boosters need a shoulder belt would it still be safer to have her use the high back booster with a lap only belt in the dinette? I feel like at least it would protect some whip lash protection with the back behind her head should the worst happen. Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:14 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum its a great place to get your questions answered. The rules that apply to cars do not always extend to RVs so when doing your research try not to mix apples with oranges, you are correct states differ on their laws, I have never heard of someone being stopped in a RV for carseat or pax behind the front seats not being belted in. these are just my observations and should not be taken a law.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:07 AM   #3
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Let's start off with which do you feel is safer for her? Are you putting her at more risk with the booster with a lap belt only, or less? I don't know the size of your kid, the style of your booster, or the layout of your rig, so only you can really make that judgement call. For example, it might be that the booster is the difference between her head hitting the edge of the dinette (God forbid) or it clearing her. First and foremost it's important for your child to be safe.

Now, that doesn't mean it's not illegal. For that, you probably want to try calling TN directly, either whatever the equivalent of our Ministry of Transportation is that's there, or maybe a police station, to get their opinion, and provide the parameters. Get their take on it, it may be the publicly available resources are only a subset of the actual law and their might be a provision for non-shoulder belt applications. Or given the actual parameters of your actual application, maybe you can get them to send you some kind of exception in writing.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:32 AM   #4
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In Texas a RV does not meet the definition of passenger vehicle so the rules do not apply. I suggest calling the Tennessee State Police and inquiring there.
Interestingly Texas' suggested solution is to have someone else take the kids in a passenger vehicle and meet you at your destination!I
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:15 AM   #5
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I would be contacting a certified car seat safety person. If you’re on FB there’s a group called “Car Seats for the Littles” and they are a wealth of info.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:23 PM   #6
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I did contact the local car seat experts here but they really didn't know anything specif about RVs and would only tell me what I already knew. No facing sideways and so on. Since the 8 yr old doesn't have to be in a booster in FL they just said to have her sit in a seating position with a lap only belt.

As for the size of my 8 yr old, she is very tall (almost as much as her 10 yr old brother) and 70 lbs ( 10 lbs MORE than my super skinny 10 yr old ) I don't know exactly where the back of the dinette seat hits her but I'm going to guess mid back to shoulder area. I was in a car accident in high school and I remember the doctor specifically mentioning that when the head rest is positioned behind your head rather than below it provides much more protection. That logic was why I was considering using the Britax high back booster with a lap only belt. I figured her body is still strapped in the same way but at least there is something behind her head should something happen. Does that make sense?

Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:58 PM   #7
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Oh, if she's tall, that might be your answer to the legal concern. When I googled for TN's laws earlier, I saw that the booster only applies to 4' 9" or under. If she's over that, you don't have to worry about being illegal without the booster.

That just leaves the actual safety issue. This is where only you can determine which seems the safer arrangement, in the booster or out. Try her with and without the booster. Have her move around, bending forward, bending backwards, etc, to get a feel for where she contacts in both cases. Actually, I wouldn't limit it to her, have the 10 year old do this as well.

As far as the high backed booster acting as a headrest, the high back is separate from the seat back, and will move forward in a crash, hitting her unless it's a kind that tethers.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:51 PM   #8
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Seatbelt laws

I think it is interesting that we, as parents and grand-parents, are really concerned about the safety of our children and grand-children to the point that we research and try to solve how to make sure they are safe in our RVs.

The interesting thing is that most states do not require seatbelts for them in their school buses!!! Having said that, do whatever it takes to make them as safe as possible while traveling in your RV. Sounds like you are on the right track...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaadk View Post
Oh, if she's tall, that might be your answer to the legal concern. When I googled for TN's laws earlier, I saw that the booster only applies to 4' 9" or under. If she's over that, you don't have to worry about being illegal without the booster.

That just leaves the actual safety issue. This is where only you can determine which seems the safer arrangement, in the booster or out. Try her with and without the booster. Have her move around, bending forward, bending backwards, etc, to get a feel for where she contacts in both cases. Actually, I wouldn't limit it to her, have the 10 year old do this as well.

As far as the high backed booster acting as a headrest, the high back is separate from the seat back, and will move forward in a crash, hitting her unless it's a kind that tethers.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:54 AM   #9
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In TN only the front seat passengers need to be restrained, just like FL. I understand your concern, as this very subject is the only reason we do not own a MH despite the fact we love many other aspects of the Class A lifestyle. I found an article that lists states with no rear passenger restraint laws:

https://rvshare.com/blog/things-need...eat-belt-laws/

Hope this helps and if you use a car seat try to attach it to a seat bolted to the chassis if there is one.
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