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2019 Ram PM 3500 High Top 159" WB EXT
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Discussion Starter #1
Disclaimer: this is gonna be a whiney post.

I flew to another state to pick up my new PM and drove over 1k miles back home, so I was able to get intimately familiar with driving comfort on a long drive. The seats are very uncomfortable, I have the 6-way adjustable driver/pass seats and both of us were uncomfortable. The seats are not soft at all - doesn't surprise me as I'm sure they're built for durability not comfort. The steering wheel is not telescopic so can't position it at all. The pedals are so far forward that they're almost right under the steering wheel (even with steering wheel at max extension). So my legs/feet are angled sharply (if that makes sense) compared to a normal car/truck. To even have my hands at the top of the steering wheel I have to extend my arms fully and sit quite upright. So I'm extending my arms as far as I can, yet my feet at angled sharply because the foot pedals are so far forward. Also door is far enough away from my left arm that I can't rest it on there while driving, I saw someone else installed an arm rest on the left side of the driver's seat, might have to look into that. Steering wheel is a very hard material too, again I guess for durability and not comfort.

I'm a pretty normal sized guy, 6 ft. Does anyone else have these issues or is it just me? If so, any remedies? I'm thinking maybe a memory foam or gel seat cushion.
 

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Yes, it's more like sitting in a dining room chair than in a vehicle. Kinda like a UPS truck.
I have a bad back and tried the gel seat cushion. It made my leg go numb.
I got the van last Oct and did a 2 week road trip in June (5600 mi.)
I was never comfortable that whole time until half way through our trip when I had a mini nervous breakdown and just tried every position the seat could do and threw the stupid seat cushion in back.
I ended up tilting the seat bottom back slightly, which elevated my legs enough that I could move forward enough to reach the wheel comfortably. The only thing I didn't like is my knees are a bit closer to the dash, but not hitting. Had to take the house keys off the ring so they don't bang on my knee, which would trigger another nervous breakdown.
My arms seem a little long for my height (5'10") so I'm comfortable driving with my elbows at my side and holding the lower half of the wheel. I didn't like the wheel angle for a long time, but after driving for long stretches on the trip, I liked holding the top of the wheel and leaning forward to stretch my lower back now and then.
That last position with the seat bottom tilted back has been working out. No more numb leg and don't need the cushion.
You're a few inches taller and might not have orangutan arms, so what I did may or may not help. You might just have to mess with it till you get it right. Once you do, the seats aren't that bad.
 

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My back and a$$ were sore after about 4 hrs into and 8 hr drive when I picked mine up. Pretend you're driving a bus and you should keep your hands on the lower half of the steering wheel.

Anyway once you get used to it, it's comfortable.
 

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I lost 35 pounds and now the old 12-16 hours drive straight through Road Warrior butt is too bony.

Now I swap the tilt of the seat base to spread my weight onto my thighs for a while to ease up on the affected nerves then rock it back to a new comfortable position.

What was really hard was switching to the lower seat bases & swivel adapter after 15,000 miles, I'd found a sweet spot and the change erased it. Maybe that is something to add to the 'must-do' list of new owners - do not let your bottom become friends with stock seats IF you intend to go swivel...
 

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2019 Ram PM 3500 High Top 159" WB EXT
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Discussion Starter #5
Glad it's not just me. I haven't been browsing the forums for a long time but hadn't seen any mention of this topic, so thought I might have been crazy. Will have to keep adjusting until I find something that works for me.
 

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Maybe because I'm the same height as @RnR but I echo his thoughts. I was worried about the comfort of the seats at first but after some fiddling, I was able to find a nice combo. The seats are firm but when you get used to it, it's completely fine for long drives.

I come from a minivan with comfy seats that have more padding, and are cloth, and thus they felt comfortable immediately the 1st time I got in it.

The PM's seat was not immediately comfortable and so I had impure thoughts about buying and hacking in the same seats as my minivan. But I gave the PM seats a chance and now I'm thinking that for long drives, I like the firmer seats more. Sure, you don't sink in and be wrapped up as much as with a more padded seat, but I find that on long drives, I like to shift positions and so a firmer seat allows you to do that better.

Another thing is those 3 cupholders at the bottom of the console. I removed them and now I have room to move my right foot into when the cruise control is on. I'm very happy I did this. You'll have to fashion yourself a new cupholder though. I hacked one into the dash(!)

I say spend some time in the seat. I think you'll be fine.
 

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Wonder if the PM was originally designed for shorter people. ;) My 6'1" husband finds the seat more uncomfortable than I (4'11") do. We got the six-way adjustable seats so my feet would reach the floor, and with the front tiled down all the way and the back all the way up, it's a comfy position for me. Husband would prefer a deeper seat with more thigh support, but it's not that bothersome.
 

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The Promaster has a very upright seating position that requires some getting used to. If you're used to a seating position where you're able to lean back, one hand on the wheel, arm on the rest and relax it's going to be slightly difficult transition period (At least it was for me coming from a decade of driving a Ford van). :) After a month or two I got used to it, and actually like it now.


By the way, the steering wheel is telescopic (AT least on mine it is) it just doesn't have a tilt option. I do wish it tilted a bit and have considered modifying it to do so (Supposedly with some spacers on the bolts you can get it to drop back a few inches).
 

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Many of us feel your pain, as it were. If you search here there are some threads describing how you can lower the wheel a bit with some spacers, if that type of modification is acceptable to you. YMMV but one thing I have found is DO NOT use the dead pedal to rest your left foot. Because of the upright driving position, the dead pedal places your foot in an unnatural position, as opposed to a car where the dead pedal helps put your foot back into a natural position. It feels ok at first but on long drives quickly fatigues your leg. Just leave your foot flat on the floor. Also, fiddle with the seat height and tilt so you are not putting excess pressure on the back of your legs, you want your feet to be able to rest on the floor.
 

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Yeah, it's not obvious, but the steering wheel does telescope! The lock lever is inside the cubbie hole directly under the steering column (watch your knuckles).

You are not alone. "Delivery van" seating takes some getting used to after driving a car for years. But the 6-way seat adjustments help you find your sweet spot. Van seats are much higher off the floor than your typical car, so your legs don't stretch out forward as much. Like @RnR said, it's more like sitting in a dining room chair. It's a different driving dynamic that takes some getting used to.

Of the two of us, my wife had the most seat trouble initially. She has always hated bucket seats -- "why do they have to make the d*** bucket so small!". The PM also seems to have unusually deep buckets. She has always filled up seat buckets with cushions or pillows. She has longer legs and has her seat raised up. But she also develops SI-joint back trouble if she sits for very long with her thighs at less than 90-degrees to her torso, so she lowers the front of the seat a little relative to the rear. She also likes the seat-back angle near vertical. And she prefers her own lumbar pillow. It took some experimenting with all 6 adjustments, but she's been happy with it for several years now.

I, on the other hand, have short legs. I have my seat all the way down, front and back. And I have to sit fairly close to the dash to reach the pedals comfortably. The built-in lumber works good for me. I find frequent small lumber adjustments help on long trips. The seats are definitely a bit hard, but I'm used to it now. Hang in there and keep experimenting.
 

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We found it uncomfortable at first, but now like it. I have chronic episodic neck pain and our first drive really triggered some bad bouts, but now we've adapted. There are two of us. We are both 5'5," so your approach may differ--height, leg length, injuries, etc all play a role. We have the factory swivel seats. We did the following:
1. We needed to raise the floor about 1 to 1.5", which we did with some very thick floor mats fixed in place.
2. We found that moving the steering wheel out (toward your belly) helped.
3. We found that focusing on posture really helped. This includes keeping the seat back in a pretty upright position and reminding ourselves to support ourselves with our core muscles. We REMOVED the armrests, because they seemed to encourage "resting" or slouching. Keeping the shoulders relaxed and dropping the hands to 4 and 8 helped. Keeping both hands on the wheel helped.
4. We change the position of the back some while using it, to increase variety and prevent posture laziness
5. I use, as needed, an inflatable lumbar support. These are cheap on amazon. They use a squeeze bulb just like on a blood-pressure cuff. You can inflate/deflate while driving. (I sometimes bring mine into a restaurant when we're on the road--when you're short, those booths can be killer to sit in.)
6. Since there are two of us, we switch every few hours.

I know this sounds preachy, and I don't mean it too--but we seriously found that an upright posture with semi-automatic attention to core support made a huge difference. Personally, I now much prefer driving the van to driving our other vehicle, a Subaru Outback. I don't know if there is much you can take away from this except that experimentation and experience helps, and that attention to posture helps too. It took some time, but now it feels great.
 

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I love the seats and seating position in my PM. I have driven cross country twice, and find it fine for many hours on the road. I do tend to put my foot up on the left side arm rest (over where the power mirror knob would be if I had them).
 

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2018 Promaster, 1500, 136 WB, Ducka You Head Lowla Bridgeada Roof
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Disclaimer: this is gonna be a whiney post.

I flew to another state to pick up my new PM and drove over 1k miles back home, so I was able to get intimately familiar with driving comfort on a long drive. The seats are very uncomfortable, I have the 6-way adjustable driver/pass seats and both of us were uncomfortable. The seats are not soft at all - doesn't surprise me as I'm sure they're built for durability not comfort. The steering wheel is not telescopic so can't position it at all. The pedals are so far forward that they're almost right under the steering wheel (even with steering wheel at max extension). So my legs/feet are angled sharply (if that makes sense) compared to a normal car/truck. To even have my hands at the top of the steering wheel I have to extend my arms fully and sit quite upright. So I'm extending my arms as far as I can, yet my feet at angled sharply because the foot pedals are so far forward. Also door is far enough away from my left arm that I can't rest it on there while driving, I saw someone else installed an arm rest on the left side of the driver's seat, might have to look into that. Steering wheel is a very hard material too, again I guess for durability and not comfort.

I'm a pretty normal sized guy, 6 ft. Does anyone else have these issues or is it just me? If so, any remedies? I'm thinking maybe a memory foam or gel seat cushion.
You go right ahead and whine, NZchill! Like others said, it's not easy for some of us to go from driving cushy cars to driving a bread truck. (That's the way I feel when I sit in it!) And, everyone has different coping abilities and sensory levels - we don't know what it feels like to live in another's body. If it bothers you, it's real for you.

At around 2 hours or so, I'm ready to call it quits - everything hurts, I have to stretch my legs and back. My butt hurts, my tailbone hurts, back of my thighs...now THAT'S whining. :sneaky: I have a hard time letting my arms drop to my sides for long - the blood pools up in my hands and makes them swell! whine It's good advice from @vlouish, however, if you can do it some of the time though - relaxes your shoulders. Relaxing your shoulders tricks your brain into thinking you are relaxed overall.

I'm going to try one of those wood beaded massager car seat thingies old-school style, even though it looks like torture. Just what I need at 5' - to make the seat any higher than it is. whine If that doesn't work, I'm going to unzip the cover off the seat and chop the foam up. 🔪🔪🔪 I figure if I score it like one does to the top of a ham, it will break down a bit and soften. (This is the Mrs writing - there's no way in **** the Mr will let me do that, but I'm just sayin'...a sore butt can make people do crazy things!)

I was thinking the whole time that we'd swap these out for comfy rv style captain's chairs, until I found out the side curtain airbag is in the seat and it can't be done. sigh whine

Hang in there and stretch out at rest stops as much as you can. At least you can come here to kvetch about it - we got your back! 💕 (Sorry for the pun, and that was Yiddish for whine.)
 

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“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche ;-)
Well, sometimes it just kills us slower. Or it makes us grumpy. Or have very expensive old-age maladies. Or cause us to make stupid decisions. Or make silly proclamations about things that don't kill us making us stronger. So I think Nietzsche was kind of simplifying things. In fact, I think he got this one completely wrong!
 

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Probably more accurate to say, what doesn't kill us, makes us smarter.
But, when I think about it,....that's rarely the case either.
 

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Never believed that statement either but a series of very difficult challenges in my life showed me how very true it can be. Eventually of course, a that will come along that will kill me.

And to put it in perspective, we're talking about a van seat, not cancer, a gunshot wound or a heart attack.
 

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Disclaimer: this is gonna be a whiney post.

I flew to another state to pick up my new PM and drove over 1k miles back home, so I was able to get intimately familiar with driving comfort on a long drive. The seats are very uncomfortable, I have the 6-way adjustable driver/pass seats and both of us were uncomfortable. The seats are not soft at all - doesn't surprise me as I'm sure they're built for durability not comfort. The steering wheel is not telescopic so can't position it at all. The pedals are so far forward that they're almost right under the steering wheel (even with steering wheel at max extension). So my legs/feet are angled sharply (if that makes sense) compared to a normal car/truck. To even have my hands at the top of the steering wheel I have to extend my arms fully and sit quite upright. So I'm extending my arms as far as I can, yet my feet at angled sharply because the foot pedals are so far forward. Also door is far enough away from my left arm that I can't rest it on there while driving, I saw someone else installed an arm rest on the left side of the driver's seat, might have to look into that. Steering wheel is a very hard material too, again I guess for durability and not comfort.

I'm a pretty normal sized guy, 6 ft. Does anyone else have these issues or is it just me? If so, any remedies? I'm thinking maybe a memory foam or gel seat cushion.
Greetings,

I highly recommend tilting the steering wheel down with 2 - 1/4" spacers under the dash. The procedure is on this forum, just search for it.

The three stalks on the steering wheel take some time to get used to. By tilking the wheel you will more naturally grip the wheel at the top rather than the bottom as you do now. This will you to more naturally find the turning signals.

It's quite a difference in driving a Promaster, than say a small sedan. You are sitting much more upright and using different muscles. Like others, I'm finding I like the seats more and more, particularly on longer trips.
 

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Greetings,

I highly recommend tilting the steering wheel down with 2 - 1/4" spacers under the dash. The procedure is on this forum, just search for it.
Are you still able to telescope the steering wheel after doing that? If so, then we may try it out!
 
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