Swivel Seats Battle!
Looking for the best swivel seat for your Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter or Dodge ProMaster van? In this real-world review (we live full-time in our campervan and use the swivels everyday), we compare four different popular models: Scopema, Swisstech, SwivelsRus and DiscountVanTruck. Only two swivels can stay in the van with us, let’s find out which ones!
Note: The test is perform in a Ford Transit, but similar results are expected in other vans.
BUY SCOPEMA SWIVELS HERE:
- Ford Transit 2015+ Driver Scopema Swivel: Buy on eBay
- Ford Transit 2015+ Passenger Scopema Swivel: Buy on eBay
- Mercedes Sprinter 2007-2018 Driver Scopema Swivel: Buy on eBay
- Mercedes Metris 2015+ Driver Scopema Swivel: Buy on eBay
- Mercedes Metris 2015+ Passenger Scopema Swivel: Buy on eBay
Adding a swivel seat adapter increases the driver/passenger height and it could affect the ergonomic/comfort; that’s especially important for the driver side. This is the first item we review as we think it’s the most decisive factor.
The swivel seat adapter is inserted between the factory seat and the factory seat base. Therefore, the thickness of the adapter equals the added height:
How much does it make a difference? We had the SwivelsRus on the driver side for over two years and swapped it for the Scopema (1-1/4″ lower): we went from a kind-of-awkward-but-that’s-OK driving position (hard to reach the pedals without hitting our knees on the dash) back to a “normal” driving position… it’s VERY noticeable and makes a huge difference! However, it’s not as noticeable on the passenger side.
We don’t carry a scale in the van, but we have fisherman’s blood in our veins; we can precisely guesstimate the weight of anything the size of a fish. We were born like that.
|Scopema||Feels like 30lbs|
|Swisstech||Feels like 35lbs|
|DiscountVanTruck||Feels like 40lbs|
Installing a swivel seat is pretty straightforward, but devil’s in the details… here are the small quirks, specific to each model, that will make your job more difficult (and how to mitigate them):
(See our Passenger Swivel Seat Installation Article on how we mitigated these issues.)
Swisstech & Scopema:
1- Low added height comes with a price: if, like us, you have the Ford Transit with the dual batteries (driver side), it’s a bit more work to make room for the swivel plate. We had to re-route the wiring harness and trim some sections of the plastic cover as shown below (click to enlarge):
Swisstech, Scopema & SwivelsRus:
1- On the passenger side, the baby seat anchor interferes with the rotation and has to be trimmed (we used a small metal hand-saw):
Scopema and Swisstech:
The rotation is very easily performed (very low friction); it feels like it’s on bearings! No squeaking sound. We like that the lever is slightly recessed and is pulled in the same direction as the rotation; it’s more intuitive that way.
Note: The rotation cannot be performed both ways, so it’s important to order/install the proper side (driver VS passenger).
The rotation is easily performed (medium friction). No squeaking sound. The lever is compact.
There is some resistance (friction) when rotating the seat; it takes more effort compared to other swivels. The rotation also produces some squeaking sound. The lever is longer, so more cumbersome than other swivels.
Winner: Scopema and Swisstech
If you grab the seat and shake it (without someone sitting on it), it’s quite shocking to see how bad it wobbles after the addition of a swivel plate (any of them). But don’t worry, you don’t feel the wobble when driving (or co-piloting); therefore we don’t think it’s a decisive factor. That being said, here is how we would describe the wobble:
*The wobble on the Swisstech cannot be felt or heard if occupied. However if the Swisstech is installed as a passenger seat and no one’s sitting on it, the wobble can be heard on rough back-roads. At least that was the case with the one we sampled.
And the winner is…
Here is our Top 4:
Scopema is our favorite of all! We think it’s worth paying a little more to get a good ergonomic driving position and a nice/smooth operation. It’s a high quality product and you won’t look back! (full disclosure: you WILL look back when rotating the seat 😂 )
Where to buy
Unfortunately, it seems that swivels are often out-of-stock; especially the Scopema… So check often and order it as soon as you can!
*SCOPEMA AVAILABILITY (as of January 24):
1 DRIVER SIDE IN STOCK. PARTY’S ALMOST OVER FOR NOW!
Our job is done! We are keeping the Scopema as our driver swivel and the Swisstech as our passenger swivel 🙂
You might be interested in the full installation procedure:
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Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!
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