Swivel-Seats-for-Van-Review-Comparison-(Heading-1200px)

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

 

 

The test was performed from our high-tech laboratory under controlled environment.

 

Faroutride Van Interior Swivels

Swivel Seats create a lot of space and play an essential role for comfort in our tiny home on wheels. They’re part of the van’s cabin, the dining room and the living room!

 

Added Height

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:

 

 

SWIVEL ADDED HEIGHT
Scopema 7/8″ (22mm)
Swisstech 1-1/8″ (28mm)
DiscountVanTruck 1-3/4″ (42mm)
SwivelsRus 2-1/8″ (53mm)

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.

 

Winner: Scopema

 

Added Weight

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.

SWIVEL WEIGHT
SwivelsRus 22lbs (measured)
Scopema Feels like 30lbs
Swisstech Feels like 35lbs
DiscountVanTruck Feels like 40lbs

 

Winner: SwivelsRus

 

Installation

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):

 

DiscountVanTruck:

1- The hole pattern was not right so we had to elongate one of the hole. And that’s not just us, several people made the same complain and we’re not sure if it has been fixed or not:
Van Conversion Swivel, supra zoom in

One out of the four holes doesn’t match the factory seat base…

2- In addition, the center hole of the DiscountVanTruck swivel is so small that it’s impossible to route the airbag wiring harness through the hole; the harness has to be disassembled and re-assembled to achieve that (requiring to disconnect the van battery as well to prevent short circuit):
Van Conversion Swivel, harness is passed

The center hole is too small; the harness has to be disassembled to route it through the hole.

(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):

Travois-Scopema-Wire-Re-Route
Scopema-Travois-Rib-Trim
Scopema Installed

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):

Ford Transit Swivel Baby Anchor

Before.

Ford Transit Swivel Baby Anchor Trimmed

After.

 

Winner: SwivelsRus

 

Operation

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).

 

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 rotation also produces some squeaking sound. The lever is longer, so more cumbersome than other swivels.

 

Winner: Scopema and Swisstech

 

Wobble (Freeplay)

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:

SWIVEL Wobble
SwivelsRus Medium
Scopema Medium-High
Swisstech High*
DiscountVanTruck Low

 

*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.

 

Winner: DiscountVanTruck

 

And the winner is…

Here is our Top 4:

  1. Scopema
  2. Swisstech
  3. SwivelsRus
  4. DiscountVanTruck

 

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!

SWIVEL Buy Link
Scopema*
  • 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
Swisstech eBay
SwivelsRus swivelsrus.com
DiscountVanTruck discountvantruck.com

 

*SCOPEMA AVAILABILITY (as of January 19th a.m.):

AVAILABLE NOW! GO GET IT!

 

 

Conclusion

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:

 

 


DISCLOSURE:

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ABOUT US

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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4 comments

  1. Comment by Bernard Dubuc

    Bernard Dubuc Reply January 19, 2019 at 2:32 pm

    I purchased the discountvan&trucks model along with their lowered bases, (This is for a Promaster 2018) The fit is perfect, The cabling for the airbags was a process, The swivel was a little too tight so I loosened it a bit and got rid of the skweek and made it a lot easier to operate, The draw back is that with the lowered bases the spare tire tool kit does not fit under the passenger seat anymore. Over all I’m pleased with it, Also the Plastic trims around the lowered bases does not fit anymore, which does not matter to me but could for someone else

  2. Comment by Andrew Chandler

    Andrew Chandler Reply January 19, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Thank you for this valuable information. I have the passenger SwivelsRus and don’t like the added height. What I DO like is that the hole in the center is very large and I can remove the jack through this hole (I relocated the jack a little bit inboard after adding the Webasto heater). Do you still have the jack under the passenger seat? Can you remove it with the Scopema? Thank you

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply January 19, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Yeah we still have the jack under the passenger side, but we need to remove the swivel plate to get it.

      Have a good one!

  3. Comment by Douglas Higbee

    Douglas Higbee Reply January 19, 2019 at 9:58 am

    Nice. As CEO of Eye-Ball-It Engineering I can appreciate your high-tech lab. Truth is, me, not born with the engineer-gene, have a Dickinson P9000 (9000btu) for heat in my MR-130. A full 1/4 of the inside is dedicated to a 40″ high double-bed ‘box’ that hinges up for access. Works great. The heater, mounted low as possible to the floor, against the wall behind the drivers seat draws air off the floor, via internal (pc) fan up and out. Well, not rocket science to figure out that a constant stream of cold air feeding the intake will make the heated air only so hot. Have a curtain too just an inch off the floor which permitted this (dopey) access of cold air to the heater so I made a 9″ wall out of that corrugated white board, covered it in a black fabric so I could trip over it but it kept all that cold air in the cab area that, of course, travels down, to the floor, and across to the warm area. Net is a +12-15 degree bump with the fan on. The real benefit is I don’t have to run the fan once the van had been run earlier, brought up to temp, and then maintained by the Dickinson. BTW…very stealth. No noise or thumping. Exhaust out the roof. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know about the benefit of the curtain but the wall is great. My floor is a minimal 1/2 polyiso with a plywood sheathing of like 5/32? and a thin in/outdoor carpet via 3m-90. 28 out and 73 is EZ to maintain. Real test for me is tomorrow here in CT with an expected low of 4, so we’ll see. Thanks for the swivel review. Mine is facing south too but permanent at the moment; four longer bolts and 3/4″ blocks to permit the mounting. What I am looking forward to is your other arm-rest installation so the passenger seat has both (wink-wink). Can it be done? If you want to sacrifice your driver-arm to the passenger side, well, hey, it’s OK with me. You two are Transit pioneers and this could be another first. The reason for the lack of swivel right now is the potential swap to that Nissan reclining/leg rest seat we see out there. If the front permits the room, and to swivel, and which swivel may be necessary. Anyway, way too long here of a comment- thoughts- so safe travels for now. Doug aka HackSaw

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