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  1. Default RV with most seating capacity

    Hi everyone - first off I want to say this is a great forum. I love the passion you all have to hit the open road and see America.

    In 2012 I'm hoping on taking my family - cousins, some aunts & uncles, my mother, grandmother, and sister on a cross country road trip from to New Jersey to California, with tons of stops along the way.

    I want to purchase an RV that we can all fit in so that we can actually spend time while on the road instead of in 2 or 3 cars. However, while doing research there doesn't seem to be any RVs that have a capacity to seat (with seatbelts) more than 4 or 6. I was hoping to find an RV model that can safely seat 10 people, no little kids so no need for booster seats or anything. Now I don't need to sleep 10 because most of us will be staying in hotels along the way.

    Does anyone know of a RV model that can seat at least 10? Or are there anyways to modify an RV to seat more safely?

    Thanks for your time and help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Welcome!

    I have no personal experience, but a Google search for "rv seats 10" comes up with this rental site. I know you are looking to buy, but they have a few models that seat 10, you may want to use that as a clue for finding suitable models to buy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Marketing Nonsense

    George, that was some good Googling... but it's all nonsense... that one one Class C shows a seating capacity for 10, but that's assuming that the vehicle is securely parked. Federal safety regulations require that everyone be securely fastened into seat belts and I've never seen any Class C that has more than four such seat placements.

    Even if one were to install seat belts on the couch and at the dinette, it would not be a pleasant traveling experience.

    You'd probably be better purchasing a retired bus and install seat belts -- plus bus chassis far exceed the life span of RVs. Some (custom-built) Class A motorhomes do have seating for ~12, and just about any class could be modified for this purpose. But a standard Class A, usually only has ~3 traveling seats.

    Here's an article that provides a good overview about the types of RV's you can find out there.


    And here's an article that looks at some of the considerations to take into account when considering purchasing.


    Mark

  4. Default

    Thanks glc for the search suggestion. The RVs on that site sounded great as I was reading how even the smaller models held a good amount of people. But then I looked closely at RV floorplans and saw where they indicated the locations of the seatbelts and it was a much smaller than the amount of people it can "seat." But thanks for the suggestion anyway. This shows me that I need to be careful when purchasing an RV.

    Thanks for your reply too Mark! I was hoping to purchase a Class A motorhome, but many that I was researching seatbelt in about 4 to 6. I guess my best bet is to get something customized or be lucky and find something that another family already customized. I'll also check out the links you provided.

    Appreciate all the help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default It's how many fixed seats.

    As I understand it, if you have a fixed seat for a passenger there is nothing to stop you from fitting a seat belt to each one. They would need to be securely fixed to the floor of the RV and not to a wooden part of the seat that could rip out on impact in an accident. It might be legal to fit them like that, but safety is paramount and most decent RV work shops or competent mechanic should be able to fit them securely. With a class 'C' you have 2 riding up front and you can have 4 belted in in the dinette area [2 forward and 2 rear facing]. You then have the sofa bed that could seat 3 people with belts fitted but that would be an area you would have to look into. [still only nine people though] I think it is within the law to secure people here [but it's for you too check] but my concern would be safety as seat belts are not really designed for travelling 'sideways'. Nothing is more important then safety, but if you are planning on longer road trips comfort will become a big issue, perhaps a class 'A' would offer more if it has the seating capacity needed, but I am unfamiliar with the lay out.

    If most of you will be staying in Motels then I have to agree a bus could be the best solution, especially if you factor in dropping some of your group at a Motel and then havin to find a campground.

  6. Default

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, you're correct, I need to look for fixed seats. I've seen that most RVs have additional seating but they're just like regular chairs at home. No seat belts and can easily fall over. Safety is top priority.

    Class A motorhome is probably my best bet to find the most seating and to be the most comfortable for all of us. Our trip will be from New Jersey to California with stops along the way. So it's a long trip. I'll also have to look into a bus or something other than an RV.

    Thanks for the tips.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-15-2011 at 09:26 PM. Reason: in-line quote not needed here

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Have you considered buying a standard long wheelbase 15 passenger van and using motels all the way? It would be a lot easier to sightsee (and get around cities) driving one of those instead of a class A or a bus.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Another point of view

    George, that's a good point considering they are thinking about motels the whole way.

    There are two more problems with the current plan... First, only a class A with basement storage is going to have sufficient cargo storage for 12+ people -- suitcases and etc. Class A's rarely fit well in motel lots -- it can work -- but it's trickier.

    More importantly, the trip is going to go smoother if you had two vehicles that would allow a little variety of seating arrangements. And for some general tips for planning extended family road trips, you might find this article (written by me) to be helpful.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default The bigger picture

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, you're correct, I need to look for fixed seats. I've seen that most RVs have additional seating but they're just like regular chairs at home.
    The seating arrangement in a class 'C' as I mentioned above are all fixed seats, but I will say that I still agree that some type of bus/passenger van would be a better alternative. RV's are designed for family's of up to 6 and buses/vans designed for ferrying 'human cargo'. I am not sure what your outlook is for the bigger picture but either option looks to be a very expensive one for a single cross country trip. It seems fun to start with to keep everyone together but in reality that can wear thin when different interests, noise levels etc come into play among the group. That's where travelling in separate groups and swapping around each day can be refreshing and more rewarding than being packed in a tin like sardines day after day. Luggage is also something of concern but a box trailer could be used I guess.

    Like I mentioned, it's the long term picture that is most important, but to see how things work out you might just be better off renting to start with or taking your 3 regular cars. If some want to camp and some not, then an RV and a Mini van could make a good combo.

  10. Default

    Hi glc – no I haven’t thought about doing that. It’s certainly an idea. However, I was hoping that after this “epic” cross country road trip that the RV that I purchase could be used for camping, with less people. So I wouldn’t want to purchase something that will only be used once.

    Hi Mark – thanks for bringing up the luggage concern. I didn’t even think of that but will need to keep it in mind when making a final decision.

    Hi Dave – You have some interesting thoughts. Like I told “glc” above, I’m also thinking long term. We’d like to use the RV for camping trips, with a smaller group.

    Thanks everyone again for giving me tips and important things to remember. There’s a lot I have to think about, which is fine because this trip probably won’t be happening until summer 2012.

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