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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys
I'm new to this forum as just purchased a promaster 159" and planning on converting to camper van.

My question is what are the legal requirements for adding seats or a bench forward facing with seatbelts to a cargo van? Am I covered through ICBC incase of accident. Can you bolt seats to chassis DIY and legally covered?

Many thanks
 

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Ours is only a two seater, so I did not look into it. SteveSS is currently away, but he may be able to fill you in as he went thru the ICBC hoops.
 

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Hi. I don鈥檛 know what ICBC is but I spoke to my insurance carrier and they said that they cover any seating with restraints. To state their case, they mentioned that even if you are unbuckled in a normal vehicle and get in an accident, they cover it, even if it is illegal. Makes sense to me. I went with ford transit seats, made a custom steel bracket to raise the seat an additional 6 in, and bolted the steel frame through the van floor with steel channel backing and grade 8 bolts. Way over engineered. Feels safe though for my 4 year old!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Scott, thanks for your reply.

So ICBC is the government car insurance that you have to take to insure your vehicle. I asked the.insurance a few weeks back and they were unsure of the whole thing. Since then I've spoken to the vehicle inspector that oversees the inspectors , so the.vehicle Spector's boss lol and he said that unless the seats were fitted by manufacturer or by a certified installer that the seats would be covered .

So basically if I installed seats like you described I would be liable for medical bills of person who were in seat at time of car accident.

I have also found that only one company in Canada are fully certified with crash test reports and full liability if an accident was to happen. So 2 seats similar to transit seats , with all the necessary sub structure would be a total cost of $4100 CAD dollars ...... A crazy price but at least I would be covered by insurance

I'm still looking around to see if there is any other alternatives as that is a huge cost that I didn't consider during my van build. If anyone has any further info in Canada it would be much appreciated

Thanks
 

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Hi from the UK

This organisation based in poland do a crash tested seat farme for about 700 euros . It flatpacks so if shipped by boat shouldn't be too expensive. It is actually used by the big german conversters they just fit foam etc and cover it. There is also a german similar design but i cannot find their details. It doesn't flatpack but has a really great floor attacment for the promaster

 

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Hi. I don鈥檛 know what ICBC is but I spoke to my insurance carrier and they said that they cover any seating with restraints. To state their case, they mentioned that even if you are unbuckled in a normal vehicle and get in an accident, they cover it, even if it is illegal. Makes sense to me. I went with ford transit seats, made a custom steel bracket to raise the seat an additional 6 in, and bolted the steel frame through the van floor with steel channel backing and grade 8 bolts. Way over engineered. Feels safe though for my 4 year old!
Hey Scott,
Curious what insurance carrier it was? Thinking of doing the same to our new 159WB and adding another seat. Also if anyone knows an outfiitter in Oregon that could install seats legally as well it would be greatly appriciated.
Thanks
 

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IMHO,

Not to question anyone's DIY install but, every insurance company I've spoken to (in the US) has said that "unless installed by a certified upfitter" the van would not be insurable, OR, if insured, the liability for someone hurt in one of those seats would not be covered.

I've asked at a number of RV shows where there are insurance booths set up. Many companies (Progessive, Geico, Allstate, Lib Mut, etc.) stated that although the insurance sales agent may say it's covered, the claims people may disagree at accident time.

OR, they will pay the claim for injured parties, then sue the person who installed for improper installation, thereby transferring the liability to the installer... in a DIY install - You!

Add seating for kids to the mix, and it gets even more complex! In most states, there are not a lot of rules about adults behind the front seats.

One of the biggest issues is not just the seats, but the finished areas inside the van. Upfitter companies I spoke with would only add seats to a factory window Promaster, because it has trim pieces inside that protect passengers in the back area. So seats added to a cargo van add additional complexity from a technical, legal and insurance perspective.

Don't shoot the messenger - your results may vary. I profess no legal or insurance background, no professional upfitter experience, or any seat install-related expertise.. just sharing my research.

Josh,

Try looking for airport van installers or handicapped-accessible upfitters. Some may be willing to do an install, and have documentation to prove their certification.
 

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I wholeheartedly agree with Ed. The insurance companies will deny claim if someone gets injured in a modified van. Just 'cause they insure you, doesn't mean they really know what you have insured. I used to do forensics on defective appliances for the insurance companies. They had to find liability in whoever made the dishwasher, fridge, propane tank or whatever that caused a claim that they paid out. It's crazy.
 

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Thanks to the others鈥 more recent responses. I definitely defer to them. It appears to be tricky indeed. I have no fear that the seats or mounting will fail. I do think that (1) a side impact is untested in my rig and so there is unknown risk (my van does not have factory windows) and (2) all the other stuff (eg cabinetry, unsecured loads, etc.) flying around poses a serious risk. I work to reduce (2) (I use 80/20 as my build material) and live with (1). Per this thread, I鈥檒l take it to an upfitter sometime soon to get their expertise to reduce both risks...
 

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Does anyone know if you were to install a seat in a cargo van like this, are you required to also have a window next to the seat?
 

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@Josh T.
FMVSS is a place to start.
I haven't found in writing that it's required, I think it's more of a selling point, who's going to buy a vehicle with no windows for the rear passengers.
One argument might be the window is needed for first responders or a way to egress a vehicle, but I don't see anything on the topic one way or another.
Anyway apparently in Michigan a van if a rear seat needs a window to be registered as a passenger vehicle.
In NY there are van's that are parkway approved because they have a rear seat and window.
Indiana doesn't care passenger or truck.
 

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Yea, it has a window on the passenger slide slider. But not on the drivers side wall, which is where we are putting the seat. That was my main concern with first responders be able to access someone in case of emergency. Didnt really think about the selling point but you're right that would be something to consider.
 

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I have put a 3rd seat in my van. Its a sensitive topic around here.
Its your van and your loved ones. Do what you feel best is for you.

If you would like more information on how I have mine bolted to the chassis, I will happily get you those photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah I'm pretty sure I have it all firgured out but it would not harm to have some photos . Thanks
 
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