RV Straight Talk with Jeff Johnston​


Q: “We plan to rent a motorhome and we have three kids, two of child safety seat age. We’re wondering about the rules for using child seats in an RV, is there anything else we need to know that’s different than driving in our car? – Danielle”.

A: The Department of Transportation (DOT) rules for taking kids along in an RV are the same as for driving a family car, plus a caveat. You need to use the age, weight and size appropriate car seats, all of that is the same. It is recommended that children under the age of 12, or in a car seat, should not ride in the front- facing passenger seat next to the driver, which is the only detail that is significantly different than traveling in a car.

The child safety seats need to be secured in a forward-facing seat such as a dinette seat. You need to remove or fold down the dinette table when doing this. Most motorhomes don’t come equipped with the industry-standard child seat securement connection points so the child seats need to be secured with the conventional safety belts included in the RV. Side-facing seats such as a sofa or individual loungers also have adult safety belts but the child seats need to be facing forward, so the side seats should not be used.

The kids will be tempted to get up and move around while traveling since it will seem like they’re in a house instead of a car. It’s always best and safest to keep them securely belted in while the motorhome is moving. If in doubt, the rental agency will be able to answer any questions of this type because young families are frequent customers for RV rentals. We hope you have a great time! – JJ