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Installing a child's car seat in PC2100

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RheaNL

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Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« on: May 15, 2017, 08:46:34 am »
There are several additional seat belts (dinette and couch) in the PC 2100, but none seem sufficient to anchor a child's car seat.
Has anyone added anchors or other style belts so a car seat can be used in the PC? All ideas, thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.
My granddaughter has been promised an RV camping trip as a reward for potty training and we are getting there quicker than anticipated--a good thing I guess.
Thanks, Nicki

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jatrax

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Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 01:46:20 pm »
In our 2552 we had PC install a third captains chair for that purpose in lieu of the Eurochair.  In the 2100 you might have to install the child seat in the passenger seat and have the ousted adult use the seat belts in the back.

As I understand it the child seat must be installed front to back not sideways so the couch is out.  Dinette might also be an issue because there is not enough room, unless perhaps you remove the table.  And then I do not think the seat belts there are setup with the child seat connectors.

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 02:10:49 pm »
The front Ford/Sprinter passenger seat will be your safest place for a child seat but only if you can turn off the front passenger air bag.  With our old Toyota/RV, when our kids were small, they loved being in the passenger seat via child safety seat.

If you resort to mounting the seat in back, then I suggest to utilize the dinette bench facing forward so the driver can interact with the child.  The rear view mirror & a vanity mirror helps in conversation with her and is also great to keep an eye on her.  Try to set it up so your granddaughter can look out the dinette window and watch the world go by as well as watch Grandpa or Grandma drive.  You can come up with a very secure method to mount the seat utilizing one or both seat belts for the base, and buy a 3rd seat belt on the internet or from a junk yard for the top mount.  Bolt it through the floor with a solid thick steel plate on the underside of the floor so it will never pull out in an accident.  Bring it up and over the backrest structure of the dinette bench with attachment to the top/center of the seat.  When done, you'll have to assure that seat isn't going anywhere.  You just might have to reinforce the backrest structure to make sure it won't fold or break up during an accident.  At least a variety of that has been going through my head with our granddaughter.  We do have the 3rd captain seat and will add a "D" ring to the floor to mount the seat back up and over the backrest.
 But I'd like some options in case one isn't working friendly enough.

As jatrax says, you may have to take the dinette table out or set it up as a bed.  And do NOT sit the child facing sideways, via the couch.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 02:23:38 pm by ron.dittmer »
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Barry-Sue

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Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 02:26:05 pm »
Nicki,

We had the same issue after promising camping trips to the youngsters so I arranged for short trips close to home on several occasions and I drove them in a separate vehicle.  Being somewhat close to home, if at all possible, allowed for visitors at night and we had some great campfires with the whole family while the youngsters got to camp with us.  We didn't want to take the chance of installing a child's car seat in a non-approved way.

Sue
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 02:47:47 pm by Barry-Sue »
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Pax

Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 04:35:56 pm »
Regarding use of the cab area passengers seat for a child's seat.... I've posted some of the details here before (use search), but essentially:

- Although Ford provides an optional (i.e.: option) switch to turn off the passengers air bag, it isn't provided by Phoenix on their stock chassis.
- There is a legal method to retrofit the RV to have this switch installed by Ford after the fact.
- A letter needs to be sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which we did, describing the situation/circumstance and requesting an approval for Ford to install the switch.
- They review the letter and approve or deny the request (they approved ours and sent us the approval letter for Ford)
- You bring the letter to a Ford dealer and request installation of the switch (relatively cheap switch and installation cost).......which we did.
- Problem solved!  Oops...not so fast.  No Ford dealer we asked would install the switch, even with the written blessing of the NTSB, citing possible liability issues. 
- Your experience may vary in your neck of the woods.

    - Mike

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2 Frazzled

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Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 07:13:13 am »
Check the instructions for your specific model of child safety seat. Many don't really use the shoulder strap - it is secured down across the lap to keep it out of the way. My granddaughters safety seat had a five point harness as part of the seat. The seat was secured to the vehicle with the lap belt - and REALLY cinched down to prevent movement. IF the car was equipped with the additional strap that comes over the top of the seat back, that could be clipped on also but was not required. Not all vehicles or seat positions have those so many car seats do not rely on them. The standard seat belt shoulder strap only came into play when we converted the car seat to a booster seat. If your grandchild's car seat is similar to ours (or if you buy one with the same set up), then the front facing dinette seat with standard lap belt should work without alteration.

If the child is very young, the non-driving adult should sit with the child to help with entertainment. There are many magnet travel sets and games that keep all the pieces pretty much in one place. We used a DVD player and headphones on a long air trip so Chloe could watch movies (< 2 yrs old at the time) but these days you might be able to get what you need at your library. Ours have pre-loaded tablets (no wifi needed to play) with lots of games, play aways (audio books that you plug headphones/earbuds in) and lots of kids books on CD. Chloe likes to get the book and the CD so that she can follow the story while it reads to her (though she objects to some of the voices - the deep, gruff voiced guy speaking as a girl was especially grating to her). I recommend a "kid bag" that the child has free access to with all the travel toys you take. You can include a no spill cup and snacks. Chloe LOVED being in charge of "HER STUFF". Avoid crayons and other things that roll off the table unless you want to play pick up repeatedly during the trip. Now that Chloe is bigger, she uses a lap desk from Michael's that has two deep pockets on each side so her book, water pouch, drawing supplies, earbuds, etc., stay in the table. It didn't fit over the arms of her full car seat though so it wouldn't work for that. A car seat cup holder WILL hold crayons and such in a paper cup. 

Enjoy the grandchild journey! Chloe considers the PC to be HER camper-house and loves traveling in it. Read up on Fairy Houses before you go. That was Chloe's first activity when we hit camp - scope out a good "building site" and gather materials; pine cones, acorns, pine needles, rocks, sticks, moss, cool leaves, etc. We've left fairy houses in many campgrounds in many states throughout the north east US.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
Travel Blog: Spiritofthewoods.net

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RheaNL

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Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 10:54:06 am »
      Didn't mean to drop this thread but have been doing more research. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and input. The problem with the dinette seat is that the seat cushion is not secured which makes me very uncomfortable.  Also, the way the seat belt is installed, one piece is behind the furnace and any stress could damage the furnace.
       The decision for the maiden trip with granddaughter in tow is to go about 45 minutes away (not hard since we live in the Rocky Mountains) and she will have to ride in the car--even though she thought the potty training deal was that she could drive the RV.
       I am looking at having the table folded down, removing the cushion, doing more to secure the seat belt so that it won't put any pressure on the furnace and then screwing down a piece of heavy plywood. I would then make a separate cushion for dining when the car seat is not secured. The compartment under that seat has the furnace so not cutting off access to any sizeable storage.
      Once that all happens, if it works, I will post photos.

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RheaNL

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Re: Installing a child's car seat in PC2100
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2017, 03:57:06 pm »
The rest of the story....
Sorry it took so long to get around to this, but we had a great three generation girls RV trip. Even though the granddaughter was very insistent that the deal was she ( a 2 1/2 year old.....who knew?) ride IN the RV, my daughter, who is a pediatric nurse and certified car seat installer, had final say. We used the knee wall behind the passenger seat which was very sturdy. I installed a 1/2" board securely screwed to the frame with the seat belt coming through two slots. Then put in three heavy duty eye-bolts to secure the front and over the back belts supplied with the seat. As my daughetr said, if it comes loose we are in much bigger trouble. Gave her a basket of travel supplies, taught her how to use the various shades on the window, added a lap desk for her activities and she was good to go.