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Where are the Seat Belts in My RV?
We all know that one of the neat things about an RV is the freedom of movement while driving. Your passengers can switch rooms or more ambitiously, raid the cupboards for food. I somehow neglected to realize that my children wouldn’t absolutely love this feature, too. With laws for children the way they are, kids are locked down in safety seats for the first 5 to 8 years of their life. Each time we drive we check each connection like a safety engineer checks an astronaut before lift off.
A motorhome has the complete opposite effect. It’s like a gigantic moving jungle gym. There are chairs, tables and beds to climb on. There are cupboards to dangerously explore. Then there is that over the cab bed. You have to climb up just to reach it.
My kids love this freedom, which scares me to death. I’m just waiting for one of them to fly out of the emergency exit window or open the side door while we are on the freeway. We lectured them on the last trip to stay on the back bed. That worked until one of them realized the joy of jumping on the bed while Daddy took turns or went over bumps. My wife hasn’t been able to sit next to me for more than five minutes due to managing the potential disasters of flying children.
All this has made me wonder where the seatbelts are. Sure I understand they will never get used, but I need something to tie my kids down to keep them from going into orbit on every turn or speed bump I go over. I’ve considered duct tape or rope. My wife has wisely counseled me that even a makeshift seat belt out of duct tape could be construed as child abuse.
I keep wondering though, how can I make this more safe for my kids and not take away their fun? I’ve realized my kids love my rv way more than I do. Sure I can lock them down, but do I want to? Last weekend, I was driving with my four year old watching the road ahead in the over the cab bed. All of sudden, he pops his head upside down right next to my ear and whispers, “I love you, daddy.” It’s hard to want to take that memory away.
Update: After my child did an scary, accidental back flip and dismount off the overhead head we went searching for the seat belts to the seats around the table. The previous owners had hidden them quite well. While my child landed the dismount with the accuracy of a Olympic gymnast, we figured one scratch was enough!