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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > Retrofit Seat Belts in a PW Plateau

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CASERTA

Ottawa

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Posted: 06/03/12 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am looking at buying a 2008 PW Plateau on a 2007 chassis. I was surprised to find that the vehicle did not have seat belts on the rear electric sofa. Can anyone comment whether or not seat belts can be retrofitted on the Sprinter. As well can anyone comment as to why the seat belts were not provided by PW. Is it possible that there was a concern over the GVWR. Thanks.

NewsW

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Posted: 06/03/12 04:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many reasons.

If the manufacturer of the coach provided seat belts and made the seats "legal", they have to certificate it accordingly.

Most likely, the electric sofa is not certificateable as a passenger seat.

It is possible to retrofit --- but you are on your own for engineering, safety and no matter what you do, the seats cannot be made certificateable if they are not designed from the word go for the application.

IIRC, seat belts have to be secured with reinforcements to the floor.

Shoulder bets -- same thing -- see how the Sprinter passenger does it.

And yes, there is probably a GAWR / GVWR concern as well --- weigh it and see how much overhead you have to work with.

Davydd

Minnesota

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Posted: 06/03/12 04:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2005 Pleasure-way Plateau had the seat belts on the electric sofa. The only electric sofa seats I never saw seat belts on were the first year of the Airstream Interstates. In checking my Minneapolis RV show photos from 2008 here is a Pleasure-way Plateau with seat belts. The shoulder belts show. There should be belts bolted to the floor for shoulder lap belts on the side and just a lap belt in the middle. It could be the previous owner simply removed them.

http://gallery.me.com/davydd#100057/IMG_2033&bgcolor=black


Davydd
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter B Camper Van
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CASERTA

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Posted: 06/03/12 06:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I see the seat belts in the photo but I went through the 2008 quite thoroughly and I actualy took it to an RV dealer to have the RV checked out. It is in great shape but there is no indication that there was ever any seat or shoulder belts ever present in the vehicle. It was the first one this particular dealer had seen without the rear belts. I am hesitant to buy the vehicle if I could not occasionly safely/ legally drive with some additional passengers. If anyone has bought a Sprinter with a similar defecientcy, I wouls appreciate to know if they were able to make the necessary modifications. Also, if anyone is living with no rear seatbelts, I would also welcome your observations. Thanks for any and all comments.

Davydd

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Posted: 06/03/12 08:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here is another view of the lap belt on the Pleasure-way.

http://gallery.me.com/davydd#100057/IMG_2038&bgcolor=black

The seat belts are Pleasure-way's custom addition not Mercedes Benz's. Since your model is the same as current models it would seem Pleasure-way through its dealer could supply you with and install the seat belts if you wanted them. The owner who originally bought the P-W may have requested they not be installed as they do represent a nuisance when trying to store things under the sofa.

Do you need them? Yes, especially if you are going to haul kids around who need car seats and booster seats. We don't often do that anymore now that the novelty of riding in our B has worn off with our families. However we did make a thousand mile trip and back from Wisconsin to Virgina with our son and two grandsons last July with this setup. That was the last time we used them. Note there is no head restraint for adults.



NewsW

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Posted: 06/03/12 09:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CASERTA wrote:

I see the seat belts in the photo but I went through the 2008 quite thoroughly and I actualy took it to an RV dealer to have the RV checked out. It is in great shape but there is no indication that there was ever any seat or shoulder belts ever present in the vehicle. It was the first one this particular dealer had seen without the rear belts. I am hesitant to buy the vehicle if I could not occasionly safely/ legally drive with some additional passengers. If anyone has bought a Sprinter with a similar defecientcy, I wouls appreciate to know if they were able to make the necessary modifications. Also, if anyone is living with no rear seatbelts, I would also welcome your observations. Thanks for any and all comments.



It is very common for RVs to come with no seatbelts in many seats, and then for the belts to be added "aftermarket" (whether dealer, repair shop or the owner themselves).

Many people turn a blind eye to the rules that govern complete vehicle manufacturers, who are very tightly regulated.

There are not many good options --- you can reject an RV because it doesn't have the belts, but there is also no assurance that ones that come with belts are done by the certificating manufacturer and done to the relevant FMVSS / DOT rule.

It certainly is better to have a sub standard belt (which has to be engineered for fairly hefty passengers vs. children), than to have no belt at all if you put children in the back.

But don't mistake the add on belts for serious crash protection offered in a state-of-the-art minivan or like vehicle built by a major maker.

I know I am not being very helpful, and I know what I would do in your shoes (add them as best as they can be added, with the help of some engineers), but there is no good answer.

Good luck.

SkipJ

Michigan

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Posted: 06/04/12 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dealers don't want to be exposed to the liability, does the manufacturer have a factory service center you can take it to?
SkipJ


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ffjeff

Coloma, CA

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Posted: 06/04/12 08:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oor 2006 Pleasureway Plateau also came with factory rear seat belts. I would sugggestcall Pleasureway for assistance. You can also copy thebody builder manual from Dodge or MB on line.
The mounting hard points for the belts appear to be from Dodge/MB.

markopolo

New Brunswick

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Posted: 06/04/12 10:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The missing rear seat belts might be because it is a Canadian and not a U.S. version.

I looked through the specifications of the Roadtrek RS-Adventurous on the Roadtrek website and the U.S. model with the power sofa comes with two rear set belts. The Canadian model with the power sofa does not have any rear seat belts listed. It states zero rear seat belts.

I'm just guessing that Pleasure-Way may do the same thing on their built for Canada models.


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B Traveler

Iowa

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Posted: 06/03/12 07:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 2007 Great West Van (on a Ford chassis) has 3 sets of seatbelts on the rear electric sofa.


2007 Great West Van Classic


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