RV seats have become more comfortable, but there are times when it isn’t enough. If you’re Rving with an infant who needs a car seat for instance, what should you do? Don’t worry as we have the top RV seating ideas that will show you how it is done.
Simple RV Seating Ideas
Where To Place Car Seats Safely In RVs
There is this belief that you cannot or should not use car seats in an RV as it is dangerous for kids. But while there are challenges to setting up a car seat in an RV, that doesn’t mean you cannot use them.
Problem 1 – Car Seats Have To Be Bolted To The Chassis Facing Forward
The first issue is you need an RV that has a seat which faces forward. Many RVs do have forward facing seats, but what if yours faces the side?
You have two options. The first is to put your kid on this seat. Another option is to sit them on the passenger seat while turning off the air bags. If you cannot turn the air bags it is better to sit the child on the seat that faces the side.
Check the seat belts before you purchase an RV. Newer RVs have the seat belts bolted onto the chassis, but others are fastened onto a metal on the seat buckle.
Problem 2 RV Seat Belts Have Never Been Crash Tested
This is simply not true. All the major RV manufacturers test the seat belts for crashes. You can find information on this in the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s official website.
Problem 3 – Items Will Fly If There Is A Crash
Yes this can happen, but this is true not just for RVs but other vehicles if there’s a serious accident. But if you’re just driving around, items should not fly off as RVs have locking systems in place.
Before you drive, make sure all the cabinets in your RV are closed so the items don’t fall off. While you’re at it, learn as much as you can about the seats and the other safety features on the RV. The most ideal seats for your child is a seat in the back that faces forward.
The RV must be crash tested and made from durable parts. As to which RV type is best for kids, it’s matter of personal opinion, though many like to go with Class B RVs or fifth wheels that may be towed.
To summarize the best RV seats for a child are:
- Rear seat facing the side with lap belt
- Rear seat facing the side with belt bolted to chassis
- Rear seat facing forward with lap belt
- Rear seat facing facing forward airbags shut off
- Rear seat facing forward with belt bolted on chassis
Types of RV Chairs
1. Captain Chairs
The captain’s chair is probably the most important seat on the RV, at least for the driver and co-pilot. If you’re going to drive for hours then you’ll need some comfortable seats to relax on later. In addition to comfort you also have to pick one that is the right size and shape.
Class A Captain Chairs
Parallel to your RV’s floor, Class A captain’s chairs have many functions such as a dining room chair, for watching TV or if you need a swiveling seat. These also serve as the focal point in your RV’s living room. Class A seats come with several features including a massage, heat or recline. Some even have remote control functions as well.
Class C Captain Chairs
These are the smaller versions of the Class A captain’s chairs. They don’t have the recline but still comfortable. While Class A captain’s chairs are on the same plane as the interior floor, Class C chairs are positioned in the interior cab, down a step.
Class A and Class C are available in a variety of materials like polyurethane and vinyl fabric, polyurethane in ultraleather or haloleather. The top section is usually made from heavy duty but soft leather.
Those are the basic features of Class A and Class C chairs, but you may also get another such as the following.
- Build in massage
- Heated seats
- Remote slide and swivel
- Remote swivel
- Power or manual lumbar
- Adjustable arms
The price tag varies, and the more features on the seat the more expensive it is. The least expensive are in the $350 – $500 range while the average chairs are in the $500-$900 range. The highest quality seats cost $900 and up.
No matter which class you choose, buy only from a reputable buyer to ensure the seats are built in accordance with industry safety standards. Make sure also the seats are designed for your RV so there won’t be any problems with fitting and other measurements.
3. RV Sofa
This is where most of your guests will use so it must be comfortable and made from durable materials. Some sofas are convertible to beds, and it’s a good option if you’ve got children or people coming over. But if it’s just you and your partner, then a simple sofa will do fine.
You can lift up an easy sofa and pull it out to reveal a bed. This is not where you’d want to sleep regularly, but it will do in a pinch. There are a lot of these available that you can check out online.
This couch can be turned into a bed, albeit a bit narrow. Sofa sleepers require around 86 inches of ground clearance. While sofa sleepers have uses, they do take up some space so you have to consider that. These sofa sleepers also use queen size mattresses so you you’ll need to consider that as well.
Jacknife sofas are commonly found in Class C motor homes. They are also used in travel trailers and can be used as beds.
Fold And Tumble Sofa Sleeper
These are popular among RVers because of the integrated inflatable mattress and it’s bigger than other RV beds. If you’ve got queen sheets they’ll fit in nicely. If it sounds like a sofa sleeper there are similarities. The difference however, is that fold and tumble sofa sleepers are 10 inches more compact.
Custom Lounges And Sectionals
If you want your sofas lounges and seats to be of a particular size, shape and style, there are some companies that offer custom designs. Prices and options vary, but if you want a certain type of lounge you can have it for a price.
4. RV Recliners
These recliners are available in a wide array of sizes and shapes. They’re also made from various materials that will satisfy your requirements. Some of these recliners also have a storage compartment or a fold down drink folder.
With a recliner you don’t have to have a sofa. Some of these even have remote massage to relax you after hours of driving.
Since these recliners are available in various styles and compact sizes, it is suitable for RVs where space is limited. There are actually recliners small enough to go through a 30 inch opening.
5. Non-Traditional RV Furniture
So far we have gone through the typical RV furniture and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you want to try something different, there are custom and specialized furniture for RVs. Unlike regular furnishings, these are built with RVs in mind so you don’t have to worry about if it will fit or not.
In some cases you may need to modify your RV to make a particular furniture fit. Make sure you know what you’re doing. Be careful not to damage any of the pipes, wires or ducts when you do your renovation.
6. More Tips On Buying RV Seats
There is no need to make a wholesale change. Look carefully as all you may need is just a change of covers. If you’re looking for an aesthetic change, start with the simple things like replacing pillow covers, curtains etc. Sometimes all you need to do is change the colors or patterns.
When deciding what sofa or seats to buy, look at the specs carefully. This isn’t just about making sure the seats fit but ensure there is space for you to move around. Do the calculations before you buy any new seats.
And remember that replacing sofas, lounges and seats is just one step. If you really want to give your RV a new look, consider upgrading the other furniture and even getting a new paint job. Don’t forget that lights play an important role too in setting up mood and atmosphere.
Seats are among the most important parts of an RV, but we don’t really pay much attention to them unless it’s uncomfortable. Whether the seat is for a child or an adult, you cannot ignore the seats on your RV especially if you have to drive for hours. The more you know about RV seats the more you’ll be able to customize it.