When we first got the r.v., we just placed the car seats in the dinette area to get an idea of how they would be set up.
They fit well (we had measured them all prior to buying), but we were both concerned about the possibility of the seats bouncing around due to the thick, plush cushions used on the dinette. A larger concern was the seat belts, which were not locking belts like we were used to. Lap belts are great, but they just don't cinch tightly enough for our comfort.
First, we removed the cushions. By placing the seats directly on the wood, we would increase the proximity of the seats to the latches, making a much tighter fit. Because I was concerned about the seats marking up the wood, I purchased some rubber mats (sold at Anna's Linens for $12 each, listed as play mats) and cut them to size. They were simply to protect the r.v. wood behind and under the car seats.
Then, we looked at the mechanics under the seats, and we liked what we saw!
Since our "baby" L sleeps on this dinette bed each night, it is a bit of a pain to remove & re-install the car seats when we drive anywhere on the trips. But our kids won't be young for long, and it is worth it (in our opinion) to have them safe and secure while we travel. We have a pretty good system now for removing and installing the seats, so it goes pretty quickly. Once we are settled in a campsite, we store the car seats on the driver & passenger seats so they are up and out of our way. Works great for us! Hope this has helped for those of you with little kids, or helped made those of you without little kids grateful to not have to deal with this extra hassle. hee hee.
We were able to replace the lap belts with seat belt extenders (which came with each of our car seats). You can also purchase these online for about $13, or call your car seat manufacturer to purchase the exact ones for your seats. The latch system works with these straps, and each latch will attach to one strap which is then bolted to the floor of the r.v.
|We used a hole-saw to drill holes for the car seat extender straps to come through (see round holes on top left). We left one lap belt in place in case an adult is sitting at the dinette with the kids.|
|Finally, we can tether the seat to it's anchor on the floor below. Tight as can be!|