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 > Class A Coach with 4 proper seats w/ seatbelts?

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MrWizard

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Posted: 06/11/18 10:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

quite a few 'A's have 3-seats
a second seat behind the co-pilot, that swvels and has a seatbelt
usually a fold down tablet between them

i'm sitting there right now as i type this

but '4' is a rare thing, you can always buy one with the floor space
remove the oem sofa, install a smaller sofa/love seat ? and add the fourth seat
its not difficult to drill four holes and bolt it down, and two more for the belt anchors


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msturtz

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Posted: 06/11/18 10:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a lot of misinformation an misunderstanding about Class A motorhomes. First off is physics. Class A motorhomes are on light medium duty all the way up to heavy duty chassis. The weight class ranges from GCWR of 26,000# to 80,0000#. This means you are larger and heavier than most other vehicles. The only things heavier and larger are commercial vehicles. While there have been accidents that have involved Class A motorhomes that have struck commercial vehicles but in general the accidents involve much smaller vehicles. The net effect of this is the smaller vehicle will be at a significant mass disadvantage and in general the motorhome occupants will be safer. Modern motorhomes include seatbelts in usually the dinette as well as the sofa. The idea is to keep the person from being tossed forward into something. But keep in mind that large Class A motorhomes cannot and will not stop as fast as a car or truck unless you hit a immovable object such as a concrete wall or similar object. Most accidents involve two vehicles not a wall. There were some older motorhome designs that did not include rollover protection. I don't know of any that do not include it now. I have seen some bad rollover accidents involving Class A motorhomes and they don't collapse in on the occupants. Now compare this to a Class 2 - 3 truck towing a large 5th wheel. The truck's safety systems are designed to protect the occupants in a crash at the vehicle's GVWR not GCWR. The complicating factor is if you are towing a heavy 5th wheel trailer significantly complicates the safety margin. You are still in a light duty Class 2 - 3 truck but are towing a 10,000# - 20,000# massive 5th wheel that dwarfs the vehicle base weight. All choices have pros and cons. I have owned towable units, Class C motorhomes and now our short Class A diesel pusher. We have twin 5 year old kids and a 13 year old. We have car seats installed for the twins and expect our 13 year old to use a seat belt. Just to put a little more context on who I am. I also have a Commercial Driver's license, including passenger and school bus endorsements. I have worked for the last 20 years at a heavy truck manufacturer that manufactures trucks from Class 5 to 8. It never ceases to amaze me to watch people pulling a 15,000 - 20,000# 5th wheel behind a Class 2 - 3 truck. Just because the OEM says you can technically "do" it does not mean that it is as safe in an accident that an unloaded truck would be. You have a lot of mass trying to still move in the same direction and the relatively light truck is simply along for the ride. If a 5th wheel were what I wanted based on my family's needs I would tow it with a Class 5 - 7 truck modified with rear truck seats in a modified sleeper compartment for safety. I would also have a headache rack installed to prevent the 5th wheel from crashing through the truck during an accident. I believe based on my experience that my kids are safer in our class A than in a 1 ton truck towing a 5th wheel or class C motorhome.


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rgatijnet1

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Posted: 06/12/18 05:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As mentioned, Safari made one in the 2007-2009 era that was a 40' toy hauler with four captains chairs. The toy hauler section in the back had TWO queen sized drop down beds as well as a queen size drop down bed in the front. This model came with a front diesel engine. It was the Safari Simba line of coaches.
Here is a link to one:Safari Simba

wa8yxm

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Posted: 06/12/18 06:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do not know of anyone who makes a Motor home with 4 FRONT FAXING seats but most larger motor homes do have 4 seat belts. two are side facing.

The 4 Year old should be OK in a side facing seat as is your co-pilot. The 2 year old may need to be in the passenger seat (not sure) been 36 years since I had to worry about a 2 year old.


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FormerBoater

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Posted: 06/12/18 07:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our Eagle has seatbelts galore....3 on the couch and 2 on the J-lounger in addition to the front 2 seats.

This is a 20 year old coach, so I would expect that all American Coaches would have these seat belts as standard equipment.


Dave
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Mile High

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Posted: 06/12/18 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seat belts are only part of it, what about air bags?

Our class A has seat belts on the side facing couch, but because of the side force on the passenger in a collision, I think they may even do more harm than good.

We had a 5th wheel and crew cab truck when the kids were small. The cab may have had all the safety equipment, but that 17,000 lb 5er was coming in the cab in a forward collision and no cowboy rack was going to stop it. I really always kind of cringed at the thought of that and never really felt we would have a chance.

I watched on the "Big Time RV" TV show about some folks with the exact same concern you are having. They settled on a large Class B that had 4 forward facing high back automotive seats and the van had airbags in the front if I remember. The back seats turned to face a table when parked.


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D.E.Bishop

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Posted: 06/12/18 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I too feel you are looking at buying and modifying. Our rig has to captains chairs, sofa, swivel rocker recliner and the dinette. In my never to be humble opinion, if you had swivel rocker for the kids, they couldn't see as much as if sitting on the sofa or dinette.

The visibility from the rocker sucks, even if it is considered legal because it has a seatbelt, there are no side airbags. Which is proper safety? Both the sofa and the dinette have better visibility that a proper chair.

Personally I think your chasing after something that not only doesn't exist but will not provide what you are looking for.


"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson

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mkiidaddy

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Posted: 06/12/18 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, it may not be realistic as you say.

We feel like we need a Class A because it will be a home away from home for possibly months. So, it's a bit more than just camping.

So, we're starting to consider that maybe we need to have Mommy just drive the Toad separately with kids in tow, and Daddy will drive the coach. We plan on short (less than 8-10 hour) hops between destinations and longer stays (1-2 weeks) at each, so maybe this is not such a big concession... not being together in the Coach when traveling.

The fuel costs will be more, but it would save the Coach from having to tow the Toad... so maybe that cost is mitigated somewhat.

Any other variables in that plan that we're not considering?

bwg

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Posted: 06/12/18 08:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From 2007 to 2010 or 11 Newmar offered a model much as you're looking for, the Allstar line. Check their brochure archives for those model years and look at the models 4154, 3959 and 3951, both have permenant sleeping arrangements for 4, and offered permenant seating for 4 in captains chairs. Not sure of your budget, but these would probably work for you.
Bruce

msturtz

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Posted: 06/12/18 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mkiidaddy wrote:

Yes, it may not be realistic as you say.

We feel like we need a Class A because it will be a home away from home for possibly months. So, it's a bit more than just camping.

So, we're starting to consider that maybe we need to have Mommy just drive the Toad separately with kids in tow, and Daddy will drive the coach. We plan on short (less than 8-10 hour) hops between destinations and longer stays (1-2 weeks) at each, so maybe this is not such a big concession... not being together in the Coach when traveling.

The fuel costs will be more, but it would save the Coach from having to tow the Toad... so maybe that cost is mitigated somewhat.

Any other variables in that plan that we're not considering?

The reason we switched from a towable to a motorhome was when our twins were born. Initially it was on the road diaper changes every 1 - 2 hours and or my wife or daughter needing to use the restroom. A towable became untenable. We had several other benefits because our twins were preemies we had a very strict feeding schedule. With the motorhome my wife could feed them while under way. Potty training our twins was a breeze compared to when we had a towable. We also have less "are we there yet" going on because the kids can easily see outside, watch TV, or play with their devices. We basically tour around in the motorhome sometimes even on day trips. It's just too convenient to have a restroom and food onboard rather than being forced to purchase it on the road.

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