Urgent question: Camping car (autocamper / motorhome), 5 places on the Carte Grise - but is it good enough?


(Ditte Jakobsen) #1

Hi all


Have been flying under the radar a bit - but am back, ready to meet the new year ... in a camping car!


Am eye-balling a camping car on Le Bon Coin. It has 5 places on its carte grise, but I think it only has to seats with seatbelts (the driver and passenger seat). It is an old car from 1980 and the owner tells me it is ok to drive old campers like that with passengers in the back (without seatbelts).


While he might be right, I do not want to do that. I therefore have two questions I hope somebody might be able to either answer - or to direct me to where I should look for the relevant information:


1. Is it true? If an old camping car has 5 places on its Carte Grise, can I then legally drive with 3 non-seat-belted people in the back (of I should want to do that)?


2. If I want to install seatbelts, would it change anything of the legality of the camping car?


Looking forward to some clever answers from all you knowing people on Survive France.


Best,


Ditte



(Mike Staubes) #2

Working on your answer. Where are you located? France (carte gris)? Email me at mstaubes@mac.com, please.


(Lyndsay McDermid) #3

Hi there, sorry to jump on this thread, but have been searching the internet for an answer to my question and I just can't find it, we have a T25 with 2 seats on the carte gris but we are a family of six so want to add the seat in the back and the two rear facing, we can get the seats no problem either second hand or new but it's how to get the carte gris changed? Do any of you know if this is possible? We will need it to be properly insured I guess. I am going to look for the VW group on here too.. thank you in anticipation! :)


(Mike Staubes) #4

Excellent info, Theo. I'm researching problems with changing the carte gris where it specifies the number of seats. My T25 states two passengers. Wonder what it would take to get certificate of conformance to add three more seat belts. The logic makes me crazy: The children were killed by the collision but your camping car was in conformance. More research.


(Theo Fruendt) #5

Assuming it is a T3 Camper, then this would be legal for TÜV, not sure about CT... The points where you can mount the belts are marked in red. They are as standard built into in the chassis, so they do not effect the bed and they are secure... Fact is no belts: passengers are not insured. If there is written 5 people, the insurance will say, but there where no belts and belts are a rule. Just do what Mike Staubes writes.


(Mike Staubes) #6

I just remembered Ditte Jakobsen that we met at James Higginson's mansion. I was running an errand for James. If still in Capbreton drop an email for a RDV and lets talk VW's. There are several VW mechanics who can help with the seat belts if you want me to check on prices in Dax. Also recall there are special rules if the van is over 30 years old when it comes to control technique checks. I am driving a 1984 VW Transporter and love it. Just went camping last week (January 2014) and it was very cold inside (4 degrees C) and I was comfortable in my sleeping bag and a blanket. Getting out of bed was not good, however. A very good observation about the engine being warm when you looked at the van. VWs have a characteristic that they run better when warmed-up. As you know the first several minutes after starting the VW may sound a little rough but eventually gets better. Next time ask them not to do a warm-up and instead do it yourself. What a good tip for our readers. Thanks. Mike


(Ditte Jakobsen) #7

Thank you for your quick replies.

We went to look at the car (this one: http://www.leboncoin.fr/caravaning/602059188.htm?ca=2_s) with the thought of either doing a scoop or ... not. It was not! The car was sweet, but there was something fishy about their stories about the car, the price vs. what he had said he had done of improvements and the engine had been running a long time before we came, which is obviously also not a good sign. Furthermore it would difficult, as mentioned here, to find secure anchorage points to retrofit seatbelts - but is that not an issue in all old campers?

Anyway, I am hooked. This will be the year to learn all about retrofitting seatbelts - and maybe investing in a car.

I will join the camper group - we actually do have a VW transporter, but we are now a family of five and it is simply to small.

Best

Ditte


(Roger Thomas) #8

Historically you may carry four passengers plus the driver, the other three would be carried in the rear. it wasn't until the 1990's that Camping cars were fitted with rear belts and early ones like my Hymer were only then fitted with lap belts.

As for retrofitting belts, that would not change your situation provided that you only fit up to three belts in the rear, what is problematical is whether you can find secure anchorages for them.


(Mike Staubes) #9

I drive a 1984 VW camper with only two belts. The rear seat rolls into a bed. Every Control Technique inspection has been satisfactory. However, please install seat belts no matter what the situation. In france there are several places that sell seat belts and many in Britain. In France see www.mecatechnic.com and www.serial-kombi.com (they speak/write english at serial-kombi) for belts then take the parts to a reputable mechanic. Search around the area where you live for a mechanic. You may need to fabricate anchor points in the VW but it still worth the effort. Finally, I just created a group for VW Campers on SFN. Please join the group. Below is a photo of my GPS-piggie taking a little nap on the bed; had a busy day guiding me around France.


(vic evans) #10

HI ditte. Not an Eriba by any chance. I looked at one a while ago with similar arrangements. It would have been great for the two of us plus pooch but no belts for rear passengers. I test drove it with my missus & mutt in the back & after 10 minutes of her being unrestrained & flung all over the place we knocked it on the head! Far too uncomfortable & dangerous. I looked to see if belts could have been fitted in the rear but it wasn't really practical as the seats were sideways facing as part of a rear dinnette & restraint would have been inaffective. I was told it was legal to drive with unbelted passengers but it would have been a nightmare! I'm sure the usual vehicle suspects here will be able to help you re. the legal bit:-)