Help Forum

Help requested posted on 10th July 2012:

VW camper Vans - Fitting child seats

Ihave been asked the question below by a memeber of the public. I'm really not sure what to advise, any ideas?

"Please advise if you have any information regarding fitting childs car seats, including booster seats with lap belts only in VW Type 2 Camper Vans. These vehicles have 3 lap belts on the rear seat and a lap and diagonal on the front passenger seat. The campers do not have airbags."

Julie Brown
Northamptonshire County Council

Reply to this request


Response posted on 10th July 2012 by:
Andrew Fraser
Falkirk Council
E: andrew.fraser@falkirk.gov.uk
T: 01324 504931

Fitting child seats

A starting point might be:

http://www.dvtani.gov.uk/uploads/publications/general/retrofit.pdf

... which applies to seat belts in such vehicles.

VW might be able to advise, or Danbury, perhaps.

Andrew.


Response posted on 11th July 2012 by:
alyson broome
Powys County Council
E: alyson.broome@powys.gov.uk
T: 01597 826979

Child seats

Britax have just released their new seat, the Britax Max-Way, http://www.britax.co.uk/car-seats/car-seats/max-way, which can be installed using a 2-point seatbelt. The seat is rearward facing for children up to 25kg (approx 6 years) but should only be fitted in vehicles that are on the approval list, which it looks like the camper van is not on.
Booster seats and any other type of seat should not be used with lap belts only so the advice there would be to not use any type of child seat at all. It all depends on the age and weight of the children, if only one of them required a group 0 or 1 child seat then the best place for this would be the front seat with the 3 point belt, with the remaining older children in the rear with lap belts only.
Hope this helps!


Response posted on 11th July 2012 by:
Michelle Owen
Wigan MBC
E: m.owen@wigan.gov.uk
T: 01942 489365

VW camper vans

Good Morning Julie,

We are one of the few Authorities that have a Car Seat Centre, from which we offer advice to the general public on all child car seat issues, including new seats, existing seats and bespoke seats for children with special needs.

The Summer months are usually very busy and we have had the odd VW camper van in our time.

Firstly, are the rear seats forward facing? In some camper vans these are side-ways and its important to know that child seats can not be used on side-facing seats.

Secondly, What ages/ height are the children? There are very few seats on the market that can be used with lap only belts and buying three new seats probably isn't something the family were planning on.

Infant carrier seats/ booster seats and booster cushions can NOT be used with lap only belts...But there are ways that everyone can travel safely without spending a fortune.

For example:
Infant carrier in the front passenger, stage 1 seats that can be fitted with lap belts (we hire these out) or the Romer vario is another option - a bumper cushion that can be used with a lap belt instead of using a booster seat.

You're welcome to pass the following numbers on to the family for further advice.

Wigan Road Safety (ourselves) 01942 488250/ 489365
In-Car Safety Centre (Milton Keynes) 01908 220909

Sorry to be so long-winded, hope this is of some help for you.
Kind regards,
Michelle


Response posted on 13th July 2012 by:
Edward Handley
Any other organisation
E: edward@wrrsconsultancy.co.uk
T: 0118 9888426

Seat belts in VW Camper vans

I agree with all the advice given above but I am concerned with the comments above which suggest that as child seats should not be used with lap belts, no seat or booster cushion should be used. It would be much worse to use nothing, so if an acceptable seat or booster cannot be fund children must not be carried in the camper. They certainly should not use a lap belt on its own.

Some VW and other campers have a rearward facing seat. Although it may not be recommended, I would not be unhappy to see a child safety seat or booster cushon used with a lap belt only on a rearward facing seat as in the event of a frontal collison the seat or booster would be held in place by the back of the seat. One vital point here though - the child's head must not under any circumstances come too high on or above the back of the seat as in this case even a minor collision could cause severe whiplash.

It w=could also be wirth looking at products from Multimac www.multimac.co.uk . They specialise in multiple seats so you can fit 3 or 4 small children across the back seat of a large car or MPV. Some of their products might be suitable for adapting a VW Camper


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