two little girls in car seats in the winnabego solis

Buckling Up Kids in an RV
Important considerations for keeping your family safe when on the road.
By: GoLife Staff

For many RV owners, traveling in your rolling home is a beloved family activity. That also means doing your best to make sure everyone in your RV is safe while on the road – which should always include getting everyone buckled in. 

These days, most people are aware that not all seatbelts are created equally. So, what should you look for when it comes to seatbelts in a motorhome? 

What Kind of Seatbelts to Look for in Your Motorhome?

When buckling up kids in a motorhome, your main considerations will usually be:

  • How many seatbelts are available?
  • What direction do the seats face? 
  • What kind of seatbelts are included?
  • Is there a safe option for a car seat?

Three-point seatbelts – with a strap that goes across your lap as well as your body – are often the standard for safety in most vehicles. Having front-facing seats is also ideal, and many RV dinettes offer those front-facing seats with secure seatbelts already installed. Multiple Class B vans even have dedicated front-facing passenger seats behind the driver and co-pilot.

Parents of young children will also be concerned with whether there are LATCH systems or anchors for safely securing car seats. Luckily, many newer RV models have these included, but it is still a good idea to confirm and make sure the setup will work for your needs.

For example, while traveling in a Winnebago Forza, Heath and Alyssa Padgett used the anchors near the front-facing dinette seating area to secure their baby’s car seat. In this article about tips for RVing with a baby, Alyssa notes that it is important to make sure there is enough room for the car seat to be buckled in safely and face the right direction. For them, this meant lowering the table to have enough room. But the lowered table ended up being a great place for storing snacks and toys!

Alyssa also notes the importance of not opening any cabinets above where the baby is seated while they are strapped in because things may have shifted and could fall down on top of them. 

Of course, if you have a towable RV, you will simply want to use the vehicle you are towing your travel trailer with to buckle in kids of all ages since you should never leave people or pets in a moving travel trailer!

5 Great Family-Friendly Winnebago Motorhomes

Winnebago’s lineup includes many different options depending on the needs of your family. Here are some of the recent models that include safe options for installing a car seat and/or front-facing secure seatbelts for multiple passengers. 

  • Solis: Dinette seating includes three-point seatbelts. There is also a child seat tether anchor but it is only available with the sofa/bed option.
  • Solis Pocket: Front-facing dinette includes a three-point seatbelt and a child seat tether anchor.
  • EKKO: Front-facing dinette with three-point seatbelts, as well as upper and lower child seat anchors.
  • Forza: Includes cab seat with three-point seatbelts and a child seat tether anchor in forward-facing dinette seat. 
  • Adventurer: Includes cab seat with three-point seatbelts and a child seat tether anchor in forward-facing dinette seat.

Of course, these are just a few options! When searching for your next RV on Winnebago.com, be sure to check the specifications for seatbelt and safety information.

Insights for Picking the Best RV for Traveling with Kids

To help offer a better look at what the decision process is like for finding an RV that can safely (and happily!) allow the whole family to travel together, we asked Katie Chatwin – mom of three and Winnebago Solis owner – to share what she looked for while RV shopping:

“When we were shopping for an RV, the quality and quantity of seatbelts was the number one deciding factor. As a family of five, with three kids all in car seats, we started at seatbelts. Also note: all seatbelts are not created equal. 

The Solis was wonderful because it has the two passenger seats right behind the driver. These seatbelts are fastened to the frame of the seats/van frame and work perfectly for a rear-facing infant car seat, or toddler convertible car seat. The seatbelts are the safest you can get. They are very secure, don’t wobble, and there is safely room for two. 

It’s great because there is a window right there for the kiddos to look out of, two USB outlets for devices, and a 110v for our beloved heating blanket. We have also used a behind-the-seat organizer for coloring books, crayons, toys, and other miscellaneous kid items. The table is another great feature for having the kids be able to eat, draw, or play while driving and still be safely buckled in their seats. 

We chose to order the Solis with the sofa bed in the back versus the murphy bed because we needed the two extra seatbelts that particular model provided. The older kids like to sit in the back in their booster seats. The back seat does offer a car seat latch on the floor of the Solis, however, I have found the length a little challenging and prefer using the younger car seats with the seatbelts up front. They are much more secure. 

The same great features as the front are in the backseat and provide all the power for their devices via USB charging stations. The two windows to look for wildlife during our trips are also fantastic for ventilation. I have also installed a smart TV in the rear of the Solis to make it a little more family friendly and to ensure they stayed buckled during long road trips, camping nights, or just waiting for practice to be over with. 

On the market, I could not find another B class of campervans that provided the seatbelts necessary for our everyday needs, camping adventures, and growing family.”

If you are searching for a safe and comfortable motorhome for your family, we hope this article helped to inform and inspire you! And if you already travel as a family in an RV, we’d love to know any tips you have in the comments …

Comments

User commented on May 22, 2022 11:26 AM
Unfortunately, we don't have one of the above listed Class C RVs by your company. We have the 32 ft Minnie Winnie K with circular dinette and sofa hideaway bed. Our granddaughter(2) and grandson (5) will be traveling with us this summer. We are trying to decide where the best place to anchor both seats. Would under the best place be on the sofa, using the the two seat belts which are anchored to the floor? We really need an answer.
User commented on May 22, 2022 7:16 PM
Too bad there’s not a safe child seat with a Navion or view? Seems like a big mistake to me.
User commented on May 23, 2022 1:04 PM
What options are there for updating a Minnie Winnie with three point safety belts?
User commented on May 24, 2022 9:05 AM
I left a comment on Sunday but it doesn't appear here so I'm not sure if anyone has read it and can answer my question. It is wonderful that Winnebago has other options and campers with seat belts for children. However, my husband and I have a 32 foot Minnie Winnie with a fold out sofa bed behind the driver and then a circular Dinette with only one hook up for a car seat. We are the grandparents and are taking our two year old and five year old grandchildren with us on a trip this summer. We are looking for the best possible placement of their two car seats. And what positions for that camper would you suggest is the best placement for the car seats? Underneath the sofa, there are two seat belts anchored to the floor which can go through the back of their car seats and snuggly pull them and then they'll have their 5-point harness seat belts on. We are really looking for a solution to this problem. Traveling Grandparents [email protected]
User commented on May 26, 2022 10:03 PM
Can I have seat belts installed on my dinnete seats in my Travato?