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securing one year old on front seat of ancient camper van

(10 Posts)
Eilatan Fri 04-Jul-08 22:15:52

Any suggestions/thoughts would be very gratefully received. We have a very old Talbot Express. Nightmare of a thing really but great for Festivals. When the little one was very tiny last year we secured him in his backward facing seat between us on the floor at the front with a series of straps and bungees. It sounds a bit haphazzard but it was actually very secure...more so that the 'stretching the seat belt round' car method I'd say, we went right down to Greenman fest in Wales (from Bedfordshire) and all was well. But now we have to use a front facing seat and it's more complicated. There's only two seats at the front and the seats in the van inself are wooden constructions that turn into beds. We're off to Latitude in 2 weeks time so it has to be sorted out. Or I'll drive up in my car as well...but I don't fancy this as a long term idea. We're gonna search scrap yards for a bigger front seat that both me (passenger) and the babe can sit on...him in his seat obviously. I think the law is that babies can sit in the front if there are no rear seats? well in this case there are no suitable rear seats. Does that sound correct? As I said any help most appreciated! Cheers!

NorthernLurker Fri 04-Jul-08 22:20:38

This is so not want you want to hear - but my reponse is why would you put your child in a vehicle which doesn't protect them as well as possible? It sounds like he's horribly vulnerable in it. I'm aware this is not a very logical response from me as I cycle nearly every day with my children and there's not protection there at all - but still.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 04-Jul-08 22:20:51

You can have 3 point seat belts attached to such seats, as long as they are foreward facing. We did this with our ancient ford transit autosleeper campervan last year. It cost us a couple of hundred, but the life and safety of your child is worth paying a little for, right?

Eilatan Sat 05-Jul-08 08:59:04

Hi Qunitessentialshadows (!) do you mean you attached the three point seat belts to the back seats?


Im my opinion, he isn't/wasn't horribly vulnerable....I'm the biggest worry guts in the world, I do a thousand risk assessments a day in my head, that have to be signed in triplcate by a committee that meets a thousand times a day before I've bathed and dressed him!

peasholme Sat 05-Jul-08 09:10:04

Might be cheaper to fit a 2 point (ie lap belt) which can secure a car seat in it. We just did this for a T25 rear seat and it wasn't that much.
Are you going to Green Man again this year? I thought the line up was disappointing (after loving last year) and this year we're going to Summer Sundae instead. Enjoy Latitude!

Eilatan Sat 05-Jul-08 17:59:04

Ta Peasholme. I reckon ur right

I think this year's line up is better...goes to show...not Pentangle tho!!! Which is being hailed by folkies as a bigger than Zeppelin reuninon. I think folk and jazz is like orange juice and milk and shouldn't be mixed!



QuintessentialShadows Sat 05-Jul-08 18:29:34

Yes, we had a 3 point fitted at the back seat. They made the attachment in the wood behind (fridge and overhead shelving cabinet) and on either side of the seat. It did not matter it could convert to a bed, as long as there were room for both the side attachments and the hig attachment above the shoulder.

Enjoy the festival. smile
(My dh cant wait to see Sex Pistols, 50Cent and Kaizer at a festival at our town at the end of august)

tigana Sat 05-Jul-08 18:47:28

We put ds in his front facing seat in the front of our camper. No other seatbelts in the back. But it is 3 seater upfront so I have somewhere to sit to - although - beware - a baby seat takes up more than 1 seat-space! So if your hips are any larger than a size 8, and you have anything approaching shoulders, you will be a little squished.
A 3 point in the back is probably better on a safety and comfort basis ( I do worry about ds sitting facing that big expanse of windscreen...)...but that will mean you may end up wandering around the (moving)camper between you and ds during the journey to pander to his every need as he will be too far away for the traditional 'twist-and-stretch' approach.

Eilatan Mon 07-Jul-08 09:16:33

QuintessentialShadows and tigana - very many thanks - I think we're going for the back seat option - although I would prefer him up front with me...on the other hand there is that big expanse of glass. Last year when he was just a few months, he just snoozed all the way, he's much more active now so I do worry about keeping him happy, all toys get thrown on the floor cos it's funny to see me pick them up. Are there baby Nintendos? wink.

Cheers again!

Skribble Sat 12-Jul-08 10:42:03

I would be wary about fitting either a two or three point belt to the wooden bench seats, the belts should be fitted to proper anchor points normally bolted the the body of the vehicle, not to the wooden bars of the seat.

THe makeshift arrangement you had the first time is highly illegal however safe you think it might have been.

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