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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this has been answered already. I have searched the forum and didn't find my answer. I know that all of the PMCs arrive set up a wagons with rear seats as well as headliners and rear airbags. I read that the dealers strip items from a wagon to convert it into a cargo van. I am considering getting a PMC and I am seeing plenty of wagons, but only a few cargo vans available locally.

I wouldn't mind owning rear seats for the few times I may need them, but I would hope that they are easily removed as needed.
How easy is it to remove and re-install the rear seats? Are any special tools needed, or just a socket wrench?

Is there anything else that I will want to remove to gain more cargo capacity? Do the headliner and carpeted floor significantly reduce the usable vertical clearance? Do they provide any insulation or noise reduction that would warrant leaving them in place?

Is there any reason to dismantle the airbags if I don't have passengers in the back? Beside the airbags, carpet, headliner and seats, what else comes with a wagon but not a cargo van? Is there any other good reason not to buy a wagon if I really just need a cargo van?

Thanks in advance for any information that will help me select the right vehicle.
 

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The wagon also has bulky plastic parts in the back that wrap around the wheel wells and provide basically zero function. There are spaces in them to fit speakers, and I guess if you got the option for extra speakers, that's where they would go. But if you get the wagon without rear speakers, the plastic stuff in the back is really just wasted space. (the plastic actually narrows the cargo space. 48.5" between the wheel wells, but more like 47" between the plastic parts.)

There's an additional tonneau cover part you can get that attaches to the rear plastic and hides cargo, but you could fabricate your own fairly easily if you're handy.

I pulled all the extra plastic out and covered the holes with plywood, and covered the carpet as well. Smooth plywood seemed like a more durable and versatile surface for my needs.




As for your questions on removal of seats... I haven't done it, but I think I remember others previously saying it was just a couple of bolts to take them out. I don't know anything about airbags. The headliner and carpet don't seem to be very intrusive, and I would imagine they do a lot to reduce noise, and provide a little insulation. I have never felt compelled to rip out headliner or carpet.

The rear seatbelt assembly is kind of large. It's never been a problem to me, but they do take up space. So if you're worried about maximizing cargo space, it's something to think about.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info and the photos. It looks like you gain alot of usable space by removing the plastic pieces over the wheel wells. I will want as much interior space as possible.
Easy removal of the rear seats would be great. I could see leaving 1 seat out permanently, but throwing 1 rear seat in when I am not camping.
I am still debating between a PMC and a 118" wheelbase Promaster, but if I get the PMC, I will need to maximize the space for comfortable 3 season camping with my dog here in the Pacific Northwest.
Thanks again!
 

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If you do it like that^^^ you can get a full-size mattress in above the wheel wells. On the downside, you'd have to climb out of the van to get anything. If it's just you and your dog, you could probably put a twin on one side, and have a bunch of storage under the bed, with the other side completely open. Then you could have access to the underbed storage while you're still in the van. That would be pretty awesome.

Take out the wide folding seat, leave the skinny one. You can make a set of plywood boxes that go into the van to hold up the mattress, and store things underneath. Bonus points if the boxes fit inside each other so you can take them out and pack them away easily.

In order to fit a full-length mattress, you would need to either have the folding seat removed, have it folded down low, or put the bed up above the seat. It would probably be easiest to just have the seat folded low, and not flipped forward, but you would lose out on some storage.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
MJAB,That is a Ququq, right? Those things are pretty awesome.
I don't know if they are available in the US, but they would be a great portable camper set up for a PMC.
At 2200 Euros, they are expensive for what you get, but for folks with the money, they could be an awesome option.
http://newatlas.com/ququq-van-camper-one-minute/28009/
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Heartless Machine,
Nice job on the graphics for the bed/storage box. Your design is pretty much what I was planning.
The small space in the PMC doesn't leave many other options for how to set up a bed. It looks like I could fit in there with my bike but it wouldn't leave much room for the dog. Maybe he will want to use the front passenger seat as his dog bed.
I like the idea of nest-able boxes that would also work as a bed frame. I dont have much spare room in the garage, so something nest-able or a flat-pak design that assembled quickly into a camper would be great. I am not much of a builder, so I am hoping that more companies will come up with options to compete with Wayfare Vans modular camper kits.
I have been leaning towards getting a Promaster 118wb the last few days as I think about all the stuff I could fit inside. I am 5'7" so I should be able to sleep sideways in a Promaster which would leave an actual living area and plenty of storage while the bed is set up. I wouldn't be able to stand upright, but I won't have to crawl around.
Back to some more research before I make a commitment.
Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Removing Rear Seat

Taking rear seats out is easy (3 bolts per seat, 15mm socket), but putting the double seat back in takes some effort.
 

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Taking rear seats out is easy (3 bolts per seat, 15mm socket), but putting the double seat back in takes some effort.
Yes, so easy to remove, but sometimes a pain to put back...the last time I took mine out, I had the seat in the wrong position, which made it so hard to re-install the seat. Just gotta remember to not fold the seat all the way forward when removing, that's all.
It is so much easier with 2 people. fold the seat forward to remove the rear bolt under the seat. Put the seat back down, remove the 2 front bolts. Lift, and carry out.
Reverse the order to re-install.
Really...that's it. :)
 

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MJAB,That is a Ququq, right? Those things are pretty awesome.
I don't know if they are available in the US, but they would be a great portable camper set up for a PMC.
At 2200 Euros, they are expensive for what you get, but for folks with the money, they could be an awesome option.
http://newatlas.com/ququq-van-camper-one-minute/28009/
There are many different companies that propose similar solutions. Many appear very similar since they use same base design.
One with some patience and some tools, or a friend with the tools, can do similar products, even well finished at a not high cost.

For the boxes that can be full extration are used the sliders used for kitchen as well as all other hardware used for kitchens and furnitures. That are "Euro style" ones, in Europe we have vast selection of hardware for kitchens and furnitures, but also can be found in U.S.A..
Not all have some quality and also for same hardware prices range is very wide. For example in RV shop usually are higher in price.

For borders are used, for example rubber, pvc, ... T molds. That can be found from suppliers of companies that do stands for fairs, bars/shops customized furnitures, ....
Also for panels are good solution are HPL panels (high pressure laminate, also known as Formica, plywood panels), the ones decorated.
Sometimes companies have scraps, half panels or panels after they finish a work or being en of series, that are given away for very low prices.

Hereafter can be found two example of longitudinal solution as proposed by HeartlessMachine.
In this one there are many photos, the owner use it also to transport a motorbike :)
The vehicle is a Fiat Ducato Maxi (Maxi = long wheelbase), it is like the Ram Promaster City, but this version is passenger version, so has a different tailgate, more insulation, more supple rear suspension (but less cargo capacity) and different interior materials in some parts.
http://allestimenticampervan.blogspot.it/p/foto-interni-doblo.html

This one instead is based on an older version of Fiat Doblò, with shorter wheelbase and internal space.
All can be removed to return to 5 seats version (he says at the end of the video), not very elegant, but some interesting ideas.
 
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