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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering the addition of some rear seating in my camper conversion and wondering if anyone has had success in this endeavor. I'm thinking along the lines of a 2 person Sprinter seat. These seats, if you can find them, are terribly expensive, and I've heard a whisper that mounting extra seats might void the Dodge warranty. True? False? Seat recommendations and/or pictures?

I've attached one picture of what I'm thinking - this seat isn't mounted (yet), just sitting in my buddy's PM. I'm trying to steal it from him, but no luck yet.

3 goals:
1) extra seats for ski buddies (therefore, seat belts a must)
2) comfortable in-camp reading / movie watching chairs for 2 (this would be in addition to front seat spinners)
3) narrow enough (40-45 inches) to not take up the entire width of the van
 

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A couple of us on here have done seats. Sprinter seats work well as they have the seat belts built into it. Easily mounted in a PM.

Don't know where you are? There's a guy near Burlington VT who has a two seater for sale. Well maybe, the add is a month old. I bought his three seater. Black and grey - it works quite well with the black interior/seats in a PM.

Not sure about the warranty issue. Maybe something might be said if you go in with a rust claim around where the holes got drilled in the floor? Upfitters mount all sorts of items in vans and I've never heard any thing about warranty issues with that. I thought more about a potential insurance issues if someone got hurt while sitting in the seat... But upfitters turn vans into all kinds of multi-seaters. In the end I just did it, it won't be used that often except by my wife, myself and my dog anyway...

Good luck!
 

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For what it is worth, I have a seat from Freedman seat on order, it is their 3PT seat. Mine is supposed to be a 2 seater with integrated 3pt belts, double child latches, double armrests and will fold flat against the wall when not in use. The folding part doubles the price...but out the door, with shipping and custom fabric, was $1100. The non folding ones are about $500-600. So about the same as a used sprinter seat, but actually available and you can get whatever fabric your heart desires. I ended up ordering it from Suburban Seat (couldn't get freedman to ever call me back)...we will see how it goes, neither company seems great about communications in a timely manner!
 

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Keith, that's a nice looking seat/bed. Agree price is a little high. Also I'm not sure what could be placed behind seat that could be moved at night in order to open into a bed.

It reminds me a little of folding seats from decades ago that could be used in multiple positions. Two 2-person seat benches could face each other to form 4-person dinette, or they could both face forward to seat four during travel. Also they could fold flat to make bed for two.


Ford used narrow seats in compact vans, and Dodge wider seat benches for large vans that could seat three each. At least one RV equipment supplier made 4-person versions for aftermarket that were used on many applications. One thing they were missing was shoulder seat-belts. Something similar but modernized and improved in safety would be nice.
 

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I've looked long and hard for a US equivalent to the foldable bench seat with seat belts, but the USA RV market caters to big ass lazy-boy seats that you can't use with seat belts.

Note on the Schnierle seats that they are designed to be used with airline track, so that the seat can slide forward and back a bit.

So for instance, if a PM had gear in the back - and the seat just had enough space for legroom, you would slide it forward to fold the seat into a bed. Leg room is sacrificed, but that wouldn't be missed when sleeping.

I think a solution like this is great for 2 people (with gear in the back), and not really good for any more people (you'd be looking at an RV at that point).
 

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Keith, a Class B is an RV, isn't it? Just smaller than most in my opinion. I know many don't think a van makes into a "real" RV. Personally, I think it can be a great RV.

Anyway, I looked at company's website and found they also make seat without back panel. That would allow two seats, either facing forward or facing each other in dinette style, to seat four and fold flat to make a bed. Or is it meant to be a bed platform? That part is not entirely clear to me. I guess you could always use an air mattress if necessary.
 

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The seat Keith posted looks like any of the convertible bed/seats made for VW type vans. The problem is the back panel requires too much free space in the rear, which limits your options.

The most popular brands of these types of convertible bed/seats that would work well are made by Reimo and Scopema. Both are fully crash tested and approved in the UK, which probably adds to the outrageous prices. Click the videos to watch them in action: http://scopema.com/anglais/banquette.htm

Kiravans in the UK is a dealer you could contact for pricing. I'm sure it would be made to order: http://www.kiravans.co.uk/campervan-...der-seats.html


If you want rear seating you can either have sideways facing seats, which only require lap belts or forward facing seats, which need three point belts.
 

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The seat Keith posted looks like any of the convertible bed/seats made for VW type vans. The problem is the back panel requires too much free space in the rear, which limits your options.

The most popular brands of these types of convertible bed/seats that would work well are made by Reimo and Scopema. Both are fully crash tested and approved in the UK, which probably adds to the outrageous prices. Click the videos to watch them in action: http://scopema.com/anglais/banquette.htm.

.....cut......


Thanks for posting the link to Scopema seats. Like the previous ones Keith posted, they solve a major problem that other US seats I've seen don't address. Some of these seat models can be mounted behind the van's driver and passenger seat where they partially block the side door(s) but still leave plenty of room to get in between passenger seat and this new seat/bed. Yet at night since the seat cushion tumbles forward when converting to bed, the space between seats isn't wasted.

It appears there are two ways to avoid additional wasted space for sleeping at night. The bed length can be extended under a cabinet behind the seats. This was done by Westfalia on factory Sprinters. The open cubicle can be used to store bedding during day and at night it accommodates a persons legs from about knees down.

The other seat that also looks clever seems to extend in telescope fashion over driver and/or passenger seats. Making twin beds in front certainly can offer many possibilities for the rest of the van. Thanks again for posting.
 

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I will be installing seats in my PM. Is there anyway that is preferable? I see I should be able to catch the main chassis beam on each side of the floor, but what about in between?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Freedman Seating

For what it is worth, I have a seat from Freedman seat on order, it is their 3PT seat. Mine is supposed to be a 2 seater with integrated 3pt belts, double child latches, double armrests and will fold flat against the wall when not in use. The folding part doubles the price...but out the door, with shipping and custom fabric, was $1100. The non folding ones are about $500-600. So about the same as a used sprinter seat, but actually available and you can get whatever fabric your heart desires. I ended up ordering it from Suburban Seat (couldn't get freedman to ever call me back)...we will see how it goes, neither company seems great about communications in a timely manner!
riodeloso, thanks for the input. Has your seat arrived yet? It looks like the fold away seats could be ordered to flip and stow on either side of the van (mounted on either passenger or driver side) - did you inquire about this?

Starting to get pretty curious about installation - any tips or advice there? I've been told by an a conversion shop "yeah, no problem, we'll just bolt it in." Their confidence gave me some pause - seems like it should be more complicated than just a bolt through the floor..

Once you have it in, I sure would love to see a couple pictures!



Is anybody still looking for a sprinter two-seater?

http://providence.craigslist.org/pts/4741293154.html
makevx73 - thanks for the link. I'd probably scoop it up, though its a bit distant. If anyone is road-tripping from Providence to CO let me know!
 

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Flexible Seat Options

Good afternoon,

AbiliTrax offers a solution for your cargo vans in that you can add seating for three people using the Crew Van Package or six people using the Super Crew option. This includes a section of AbiliTrax floor, tracks, and your choice of seats. Seats are available in a quick disconnect 3PT with flip seats or in a "bolt-in" more economical option. All seats and floor systems are available through AbiliTrax retailers throughout the US and Canada. For more information or to locate a dealer, please contact AbiliTrax.

AbiliTrax
(800)500-6181
[email protected]
www.abilitrax.com
 

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For what it is worth, I have a seat from Freedman seat on order, it is their 3PT seat. Mine is supposed to be a 2 seater with integrated 3pt belts, double child latches, double armrests and will fold flat against the wall when not in use. The folding part doubles the price...but out the door, with shipping and custom fabric, was $1100. The non folding ones are about $500-600. So about the same as a used sprinter seat, but actually available and you can get whatever fabric your heart desires. I ended up ordering it from Suburban Seat (couldn't get freedman to ever call me back)...we will see how it goes, neither company seems great about communications in a timely manner!
Did you ever get the seat in and installed? Would be very interested in seeing some pics of the install. I was looking at this one: http://www.freedmanseating.com/images/uploads/files/Go-ES_Foldaway_Brochure_MERGEDcompressed.pdf

Thanks!
 

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We should also note that the euro seats come in two widths (roughly 4 & 6 feet widths), the thinner allowing for the traditional RV sink/stove/fridge combo.

Also, I have seen a hammock for the front seats on some euro RV sites. Don't know if I could really get a good nights sleep in one of those...

It appears there are two ways to avoid additional wasted space for sleeping at night. The bed length can be extended under a cabinet behind the seats. This was done by Westfalia on factory Sprinters. The open cubicle can be used to store bedding during day and at night it accommodates a persons legs from about knees down.

The other seat that also looks clever seems to extend in telescope fashion over driver and/or passenger seats. Making twin beds in front certainly can offer many possibilities for the rest of the van. Thanks again for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
crob - I ended up finding and purchasing a seat out of a late 90's VW, as the seat lays back flat, folds forward, has lap belts, is removable, and is quite comfortable. We've decided to mount the bench behind the driver's seat with the back against the van wall (passengers would be riding sideways, facing the sliding side door). We won't have additional passengers often, so when we do it shouldn't be a big deal for them to ride sideways. I also think lap belt only seats are no longer supposed to be forward facing, but am not 100% certain. In addition, we really like having the seat facing the door for when we're sitting in camp, post dinner, staring at the mountains. No pictures yet as the final mounting is yet to come - wall panels are being installed in the next couple weeks.
 

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Did you ever get the seat in and installed? Would be very interested in seeing some pics of the install. I was looking at this one: http://www.freedmanseating.com/images/uploads/files/Go-ES_Foldaway_Brochure_MERGEDcompressed.pdf

Thanks!
I purchased the Freedman 3PT foldaway double seat with armrests and double CRS hooks. Used black vinyl and charcoal olefin level 1 fabrics. The seat cost $789+ 40 for armrests + 64 for CRS hooks, $225 to ship from NJ to CA, ordered from Suburbanseats.com (I could never get Freedman to answer the phone!).

Here are some pics of the install...when I've got the wood floor in and finish the trim work, I'll make a proper thread. I based the reinforcement off testing Freedman did in a sprinter, but changed a few things (they had extra steel sheet metal welded over the whole cargo floor, I didn't; I also used thicker plywood because it came in T+G and had a sanded finish. The basic idea is I used 3/16"x6" steel plate as a bracket under the van, heavy duty logistics track (L-track in 7071 aluminum, bolted with grade 8 1/4-20 fasteners every 4" or so (depending on where I'd miss the van's frame), and 6x L-Track Double Lug Stud Fitting (I might add 2 more for extra margin of safety).

The seat is a bit snug for two large adults (and the armrest doesn't do much for me at 6'2", my 5'4" wife had no problems) but it folds up very easily, is very quiet (no rattles), and takes up very little room when stowed. I can move it back on the logistics track if I want full door access or easily remove it if needed.

One note: if I were to order this seat again, I would have gotten the opposite orientation (i.e., install on passenger side)...the underside of the van is MUCH less cluttered and would be easier for placing brackets.
 

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