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Air Bags will not work in Winnebago after new seats installed

We recently purchased a used 2005 Winnebago motor home that is built on a Ford 450 cab and chassis. The previous owner had replaced the stock front seats with a pair of air ride Knoedler brand, for a more comfortable ride. I noticed recently that the air bag trouble light stayed on, so I took it to an RV repair shop and asked them to investigate. They replied that unless the original manufacturer (Ford) seats are reinstalled, the sensors cannot be reconnected and I will have no air bag protection. My question is why can’t the circuit be made to stay connected the whole time? Is there a way of fixing this situation without putting an original set of seats back in?

Your truck has a seatbelt management system as well as driver and passenger side airbags. The seats had sensors to determine if there was someone sitting there and maybe how heavy they are. Since the seats are gone, so is the sensor. There may be a way to “hot wire” the sensor wires so the airbag light goes off but it is unlikely you’ll find a mechanic that will even try to do that. The risk of blowing the bags when they try as well as the huge liability for your safety in a crash is far too high for any reputable shop. Put the originals back in or live with the light and the knowledge that your safety systems will not work as designed. Sorry.

There must be a forum online somewhere where this question has been discussed and answered. It might take some serious searching, but it’s out there.

Mustangman is right there is too much liability in tampering with the system. Your best bet would be to contact Winnebago and see if they have a fix or install the factory seats.

You’re going to have to find out if the truck originally came with a passenger presence detection system and a seat belt pretensioner or if the fault is simply because the seat belt buckled switch is no longer there. The airbags were designed to only deploy safely if needed. Once the system is altered or tampered it goes into fault mode.

On the other hand, an E450 MoHo chassis has the law of inertia on its side. If you do rear end somebody, chances are it will be a much smaller lighter vehicle and you may never need the airbags anyway. Besides, the people/kids riding in the back of the coach won’t even be belted in at all, right?

Seat belt switch is not made and that cause the light. I don’t see a seat weight sensor.

OK @RWH‌, with the schematic @kfenimore posted it appears that the driver’s seat belt switch is the only missing component. So see if a factory buckle (the female end) is available and can be attached to your seat. That should solve your problem.

Just butt splice the seatbelt sensor wires together and enjoy your next trip!