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Old 01-09-2016, 10:55 PM   #1
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Our Solera now has four seat belts at the dining table

Both our grandkids sit at the table when we travel together. The previous arrangement of have only two seat belts available right next to each other had draw backs. I decided that the grandkids should not sit next to each other for the sanity of the DW and Paw Paw, me. I researched the various posts on the Forest River and Sprinter forums. One solution suggested welding a piece of metal, yada, yada, yada. Weight considerations and others nixed that. One person said a dealer would install seatbelt with carriage bolts through the floor. That will not work because the slide-out has a tight underneath fit and will not slide with any size bolt stub protruding. (I tried every type of bolt know to man and GOD.) Besides, the seat belts anchor would only be as strong as the little portion of the head of the bolt protruding over the width of the bolt, i.e. a negligible piece. The epiphany hit on the fourth and last trial with bolts.
I had already removed the panel cover over the seat and had removed the drawer. The subwoofer is under that seat. I cut out a piece of carpet 4" X 24" from the edge of the subwoofer and along the wall. I could not get any farther from the wall as I did not want to interfere with the drawer. I cleaned up the flooring from which the carpet had been removed. I then put liquid steel on the floor and on a piece of 2X4 hardwood. I screwed the wood into the floor with screws. I then put liquid steel on top of that 2x4 and on a second piece the same size. I then screwed the second piece into the piece screwed into the floor. I waited 24 hours. I bought two airplane seat belts and PepBoys. I fastened those to the top of the 2X4s with 3 ˝" X ˝" lag screws. I used washers on both sides of the seat belt attachment points. I then cut the panel cover to match the other side and fastened to panel with the same screws I had removed. The new seat belts are as secure as the floor.
I think I probably reinvented the wheel, but I think the new seat belts could only be more secure if welded to the frame.
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:01 AM   #2
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My only concern is the lag bolts. Through bolts with fender washers and nuts are much stronger. I have seen lag bolts fail and pull out with enough force.
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:33 PM   #3
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I've considered this option myself, but I have to ask if this setup is legal? I don't know if you can allow people to ride backward in a private vehicle?
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Old 01-16-2016, 12:42 PM   #4
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Don't know if the law has changed, but I used to own a couple of MBZ station wagons with the third row facing backwards.
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:43 PM   #5
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I know they had station wagons like that, but how long ago was that? I don't think they had seat belt laws back then.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:56 PM   #6
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This was a 1994 Mercedes. My kids rode back there with the seat belt laws. Mercedes is known for safety, they wouldn't have done them if they were unsafe. My two MBZ wagons both saved my life in two bad accidents....I still like Mercedes which is why I bought the Sprinter!
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:03 PM   #7
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You can still get the " E " class wagon, with a rear facing jumper!


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Old 01-17-2016, 04:37 PM   #8
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jngspencer,
After I realized there was no way to come up from the outside, I considered putting bolts other than carriage bolts in. The amount of wood that is added is controlled by operation of the drawer. I did not want to lose use of the drawer. It is quite tight in there. The biggest piece of wood that fit was a 2X4. I could have counter-sunk the bolts and washers through the added wood up from the floor. However doing that would have required an almost 3/4" shallow hole, leaving just a half-an-inch of wood on each side of the counter-sunk washer and bolt. In my opinion this would have weakened the wood too much.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:54 PM   #9
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Carriage bolts are ok. Your original post said lag bolts, which are not ok for seat belts. Glad to hear you used the carriage bolts!
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Old 01-22-2016, 06:28 PM   #10
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Our Solera now has four seat belts at the dining table

Carriage bolts require a nut on the far end? Sounds like lag bolts to me.


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