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Old 07-01-2017, 11:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Mini-Van Removable Seats

Tried to post this earlier and the computer crashed part way through, so I don't think it posted, so I apologize if I double post. I am planning to convert a 7 window dog nose for road trips with some friends and maybe with kids in a few years. In the mean time, I am doing some of the planning work since I won't be able to convince my wife to buy a bus unless I have at least a partial plan. One major thing I've been trying to figure out is the passenger seat. I have read a few threads on the subject, and most people seem to put it behind the steps. I want to try to make it even with the drivers seat. Has anyone tried one of the stow and go mini-van seats that can fold down when not in use? I am envisioning one that would fold down over the stairs, clipping into a ring on the other side of the steps, and fold up when not in use (just like my mom's mini-van), but I don't know how practical this is. I am also wondering about a removable bench seat for passengers further back that can face forward when driving and be moved against a wall/stowed when not driving. Personally get car sick when riding sideways, and its easier to see the scenery when you can see out the windshield. Has anyone tried this, and if so, how hard was it to install the rings for the latches? I can't find much on this. Thanks
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Old 07-02-2017, 02:38 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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I REALLY hope someone answers you on this! I've been thinking the same thing, but perhaps using a fold and tumble style that would at least fold up flat against the dash so that people can get up and down the stairs. From what I've seen, the 2016 Dodge Durango has this fold and tumble feature in its second row captain's seats, but I'm imagining that acquiring these might be cost prohibitive. I'm doing this conversion for my mom, so seat comfort is really important, as is the ability to actually chat with her passenger while driving (meaning I'd really need the passenger's seat to be even with the driver's seat).
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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I DID THAT! yep… I took the back seat from a very old (first gen dodge) minivan which has integrated seat belts (3) and mounted it sideways along the wall behind the steps. I mounted the seat base to a sturdy wooden base, then bolted the base to the deck of the bus. I did it this way because it's not meant to be bolted down, but latch-removeable… I had to engineer a way to fix the frame to the wooden base using d-rings looped over the latch hooks in the back, then thru-bolts securing the front frame brackets. (still with me?) That left me with a seat mounted to a base that I could move into place and EASILY mount the base to my deck… there was simply no way to get under the seat (due to clearance) and satisfactorily and safely do the deck bolts. This also allowed me to slide shims under the front brackets to tilt the seat back just a few degrees. I had to do this because the rear hooks, when hooking into the original vehicle, were below the flush deck, and my bus deck doesn't have recesses latches like the van… so it would have tilted forward enough to be uncomfortable.

The seatbelt in the center has both ends… the belts to the r/l have one end each, and on either end of the bench is the attached (factory) corresponding end in a plastic sleeve. It is secure, and I have every reason to believe that it qualifies as street legal.

There were different vans and suburban seat options at the junk yard! But size, attached belts, and color all fell into place for me. Oh, and the back folds down still so I have an additional flat surface with a hard plastic platform for ??? use I need. I don't think anyone ever even sat in this seat… It's in perf condition.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:48 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Oh… and it cost me $54… cash (how the f they came up with $54 I'll never know, but I started thinking I paid 10 cents a pound because that thing was heeeeaaaavvvy! haha But it is comfy!
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