Swivel Seats Review & Comparison | Transit, Sprinter, or ProMaster Van

Swivel Seats Review & Comparison | Transit, Sprinter, or ProMaster Van

Swivel-Seat-Review-(Ford Transit, Sprinter Van,Ram ProMaster)
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Here we are searching for the best swivel seat for the Ford Transit, Sprinter van, or Ram ProMaster! In this real-world review, we compare the most popular swivel models available on the market today: Scopema, Amazing Auto, SwivelsRus and DiscountVanTruck. Our comparison criterias for selecting the best swivel to buy are: height, weight, installation, operation, wobble and squeaking.

After 4 years of full time Vanlife, it’s fair to say that swivel seats play an essential role in our tiny home on wheels. We use them constantly every day, pretty much every time we park the van! No doubt, adding swivel seats is a great way to create extra living space and boost the comfort of a camper van.

Faroutride Van Interior Swivels
We use the driver and passenger swivels many times each day in our Ford Transit.
Swivel Van Seat Ski Snowboard Ford Transit
There’s nothing like putting the ski boots in the comfort of your van!

As we are writing these lines, we are getting reading to start our second van conversion in our new Ford Transit we just got. So it’s time to check out the latest and greatest swivels. Only two swivels can stay in the van with us, let’s find out which ones!

1. Summary


Swivel-Seat-Comparison-Table-Van
Swivel seat comparison table

We spent several months with the swivels in this review, and the Scopema (which we spent years with) is our favorite of all! It performs better in every way, except for the price tag (you get what you pay for!). This is what we installed in our van, and it’s there to stay. Scopema is definitely the benchmark, and no one was able to copy it properly so far.​ Keep reading for more details and comparison!

Scopema Swivel Seat Adapter
(Ford Transit, Sprinter Van, Ram ProMaster)
the-swivel-shop_logo (Scopema Swivel Seat for Transit, Sprinter, ProMaster)

Get 5% Discount with “FarOutRide” Coupon at Checkout!


2. Height


Adding an aftermarket swivel seat increases the driver/passenger height, thus impacting the driving posture and ergonomics. Poor posture and ergonomics can lead to discomfort in the short term, but can also lead to developing postural distortions or compensatory body patterning in the long run. Height is the first item reviewed as we think it is the most decisive criteria that defines the best swivel. 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:

SWIVEL HEIGHT
Scopema7/8″ 1
Amazing Auto1-1/4″ 2
SwivelsRus 2-1/8″
DiscountVanTruck1-3/4″

Swivel-Added-Height-(Scopema,-Amazing-Auto,-etc)
Swivel seats height
  1. ProMaster: the Scopema ships with two spacing bars. These must be installed to prevent interference with the seat belt buckle, but this bumps the added height up to 1.5″. ProMaster swivel users have found a workaround to bring the added height down to 1.0″: ProMaster Scopema Modification.
  2. Ford Transit with 10-Way power seats: Any aftermarket swivels can be added with the 10-way power seats, but you will have to trim the lower part of the outside trim piece that houses the seat controls (it doesn’t clear during the rotation). Amazing Auto offers 2 models made specifically for the Transit 10-way power seats: the height is 1-3/4″ (instead of 1-1/4″) and no trimming is required.

How much does it make a difference? We had the SwivelsRus on the driver side of our Transit 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 ergonomic driving position… it’s VERY noticeable and makes a huge difference!

Height Winner:

Scopema


3. Weight


Weight and weight distribution play a critical role in your vehicle handling. Indeed, getting closer to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) affects the vehicle dynamic performance and safety. While the contribution of the swivel seats to the final total weight can appear insignificant at first sight, weight adds up surprisingly fast in a van conversion (see our Van Conversion Weight Summary) and care should be taken at every steps to minimize the final weight. That being said, we weighted each swivel and they’re all quite similar; no big deal here:

SWIVELWEIGHT
Scopema 30 lbs
Amazing Auto28 lbs
SwivelsRus 22 lbs
DiscountVanTruck~40 lbs
Weight Winner:

SwivelsRus


4. Installation


First of all, we have a full write-up on how to install a swivel seat in a Ford Transit (passenger & driver):

Installing a swivel seat in a Ford Transit, Sprinter van, or Ram ProMaster is pretty straightforward, but devil is in the details… below are some small quirks, specific to each model, that challenged us during the installation.

Discount Van Truck

1- The hole pattern did not match the factory seat pedestal, so we had to elongate one of the holes. And that’s not just us, several people made the same complaint, and we’re not sure if it has been fixed or not:

Van Conversion Swivel, supra zoom in

2- The center hole of the DiscountVanTruck swivel is not large enough to route the airbag wiring harness; the harness has to be disassembled (each wire must be disconnected from the harness, using pointed tweezers) and re-assembled to achieve that (and requires disconnecting the van battery).

Van Conversion Swivel, harness is passed

3- With the dual AGM batteries option (Ford Transit), it is not possible to install the DiscountVanTruck swivel seat because the big bolt in the center interferes with the batteries. DiscountVanTruck advertises the swivel as “Passenger side”, so we don’t blame them for this.

Scopema & Amazing Auto

Low height comes at a price: because the Scopema & Amazing Auto sit low, the electrical harness (driver side only) has to be relocated. That being said, it’s super easy and takes just a few minutes (as described thoroughly in our Ford Transit Swivel Installation article):

Swivel Driver - Harness Rerouting - Ford Transit (1 of 6)
Swivel Driver - Harness Rerouting - Ford Transit (After)
Scopema, Amazing Auto & SwivelsRus

On the passenger side, the baby seat anchor interferes with the rotation and has to be trimmed (with a hack saw and then touch up with Rust-Oleum):

Ford Transit Swivel Baby Anchor
Ford Transit Swivel Baby Anchor Trimmed
Installation Winner:

SwivelsRUs


5. Operation


Here are our notes on how the swivels operate:

  • Scopema: 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.
  • Amazing Auto:
    • The rotation is VERY hard to perform, it takes a lot of force (high friction). We suspect that after some time the nylon shim (the white thingy) eventually wears out and it gets easier. But out of the box, that swivel don’t really want to swivel!
    • Per design, the seat locks when it’s rotated 180° (facing back) and 135°. This is intentional, but we personally think it is not necessary and it gets really irritating having to pull the lever during the rotation. UPDATE 10/2022: From what we heard, the locks were deleted on the newer model!
    • The offset design is what sets the Amazing Auto apart from the others contenders. Because the rotation is off-centered, the seat gets away from the door and the dash during the rotation. As a result there is no need to incline or move the seat during the rotation, and it does not leave marks on the door.
  • SwivelsRUs: The rotation is easily performed (medium friction). No squeaking sound. The lever is compact.
  • DiscountVanTruck: There is some resistance (friction) when rotating the seat; it takes more effort compared to other swivels. The lever is longer so more cumbersome than other swivels.
Operation Winner:

Scopema


6. Wobble (Rattle)


If you grab the seat and shake it (without someone sitting on it), it’s quite surprising to see how it much wobbles there is after the addition of a swivel adapter (any of them). But don’t worry, that wobble is actually not noticeable 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 for each swivel seat:

SwivelWobble
ScopemaMedium
Amazing AutoMedium
SwivelsRus Medium
DiscountVanTruckLow
Wobble Winner:

Discount Van Truck


7. Squeaking


There are multiple sources of squeaking in a camper van (cabinets, paneling, etc.) and for some people, fighting this noise can easily turn into an obsession. A swivel can be a source of squeaking, but fortunately none of the swivels in this review developed it during our test. (we did have a squeaking swivel in the past, but this model is discontinued)

SwivelSqueaking
ScopemaNo
Amazing AutoNo
SwivelsRus No
DiscountVanTruckNo

8. Cost


Cost is subject to change and might be different than the table below. Last cost update: January 2022.

SwivelCost
Scopema$399
Amazing Auto$199
SwivelsRus $329
DiscountVanTruck$229

9. Our Pick


Scopema

The Scopema swivel is our favorite or all. We think it’s worth paying a little more and get a good ergonomic driving posture and a nice/smooth operation. It’s a high quality product, and you won’t look back in the long run!

the-swivel-shop_logo (Scopema Swivel Seat for Transit, Sprinter, ProMaster)

Get 5% Discount with “FarOutRide” Coupon at Checkout!

Other contenders:

  • Amazing Auto
    • Offset rotation and lower cost sets it apart, but there’s way too much friction during rotation and the 135° & 180° lock mechanism (see Section 5. Operation) is very annoying and unnecessary.
  • SwivelsRus: The added height is just too much.
  • DiscountVanTruck: The small center hole is a deal breaker.

Resources:


10. Notes on The Ford Transit, Sprinter Van and Ram ProMaster


Below are some notes specific to van models. Please let us know (in the comments) if we forgot anything!

Ford Transit

  • Factory Swivel Seat: As mentioned in our Ford Transit Order Guide, the Transit can be order with swivel seats option from the factory. Note that this option will cost more than installing aftermarket swivels. Also, it was reported that a warning alarm is enabled when the key is in the ignition and the seat is not facing forward (this is a safety feature, but can be annoying if you simply want to listen to music when parked). Also, take note that the factory swivels are not offset (you can’t perform a rotation without moving/inclining the seat, similarly to most aftermarket options). At last, the engine won’t start if a seat is not locked in forward position.
  • 10-Way Power Seats: Aftermarket swivels can be added with the 10-way power seats. Note that you will have trim the lower part of the outside trim piece that houses the seat controls.

Ram ProMaster

  • Height: As noted above in the height section, the Scopema ships with two spacing bars. These must be installed to prevent interference with the seat belt buckle, but this bumps the added height up to 1.5″. ProMaster swivel users have found a workaround to bring the added height down to 1.0″: ProMaster Scopema Modification.

Sprinter Van

  • Nothing to report at the moment.

That’s it folks, see you on the road!

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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. 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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16 thoughts on “Swivel Seats Review & Comparison | Transit, Sprinter, or ProMaster Van”

  1. If your 6’7” and your hips are lower then your knees in the stock seating height would you go with SwivelsRus to get all the height you can.

    Reply
  2. Salut ca va…

    Je suis vos aventures. Je possède la même van que votre première. Même dimension même kit. By the Way, je suis tombé sur votre site en road trip au States alors qu’on revenait au Québec dans une tempête de neige. Nous avons procédé a votre upgrade de Pneus Tout terrain. L tout a fonctionné du premier coup, c’est la qu’on a compris que vous étiez vraiment des fins connaisseurs. Merci pour ce upgrade.
    Revenons au seat swivel…

    J’ai vu que vous coupez l’extrémité des rails pour ne pas endommage les garnitures de portes lorsque vous faites la rotation. J’imagine que c’est lorsque vous tournes les banc la porte fermé ?

    DANS VOTRE VIDEO : Vous assemblez le banc sans démontrer l’étape de couper le rail en 45 degrés.
    J’ai remarqué que vous installez le banc sur le DEUXIEME TROUS de la rail. Est-ce justement pour éviter d’avoir a couper le rail en 45 degrés ?

    Je compte installer bientôt … J’attends vos détails. Merci

    Je continue de suivre vos aventures avec beaucoup d’interêts …

    Reply
    • C’est vrai il manque l’étape de la coupe. On a utilisé un Dremel, rien de bien compliqué.
      Je ne sais plus trop exactement pourquoi on a utilisé le 2e trou, mais nous avons coupé au 45 de toute facon.
      Sur notre première van, nous n’avions pas coupé au 45 et ça laisse des marques sur la porte; rien de trop sévère par compte.

      Au plaisir, antoine

      Reply
  3. I have a 2005 Ford Transit LWB van. Can my front passenger seat be converted into a swivel and if so is it legal in Australia.

    Reply
  4. Will the Scopema swivel work on a 2021 Transit with 10 way power seats. Apart for the side trimming have you noticed any issues with the drive motor or electrical harness binding when operating the seat?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  5. I have a 2015 Ram Promaster, kitted up to a Pleasureway Class B RV. The seats don’t swivle and just want to convert the passenger seat. Pleasureway suggested the following components: Scopema front passenger seat swivel adaptor (raises the seat approx. 1.25″) and a Promaster lowered seat base (Says this base is approx. 1.57″ lower than stock seat base)
    So if both are installed, the overall height would be lower?? Are you familiar with this combination?

    Reply
  6. I have a 2016 Transit with the emergency brake situated butt-up against the driver’s seat. I don’t see one in your photos. Wouldn’t that cause a problem?

    Reply
  7. Thank you for the review, as always! In terms of safety certifications, are these brands all certified by Transport Canada? Or is that not necessary (for insurance and other purposes) and other certifications can substitute the Transport Canada approval? Thanks!

    Reply

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