Swivel Seats for Van Reviewed | Side-By-Side Comparison

Swivel Seats for Van Reviewed | Side-By-Side Comparison

Swivel-Seat-Review-Heading-1920-px (Transit, Sprinter, ProMaster van)

Looking for the best swivel seat for your Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, or Ram 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!

*We tested the swivel seats in our Ford Transit, but similar results are to be expected for a Sprinter or a Promaster van.

The test was performed from our high-tech laboratory under a controlled environment:
Swivel Seat Promaster Sprinter Transit van Scopema

1- Jumping to conclusions

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!
Faroutride Van Interior Swivels
Swivel Van Seat Ski Snowboard Ford Transit

We spent several months with each of these swivels, and the Scopema is the clear winner by a large margin! 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.

Scopema Swivel Seat

(Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Ram ProMaster)

2- Added Height

Adding a swivel seat adapter increases the driver/passenger height, and it affects the ergonomic/comfort; that's especially important for the driver side. This is the first item we review as we think added height is 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:

SWIVELADDED HEIGHT
Scopema7/8″ (22mm)*
SwissTech1-1/8″ (28mm)
DiscountVanTruck1-3/4″ (42mm)
SwivelsRus2-1/8″ (53mm)
Van-Swivels-Added-Height-(600px)

*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.

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.

Added Height Winner:

Scopema

3- 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.

SWIVELWEIGHT
SwivelsRus22lbs (measured)
ScopemaFeels like 30lbs
SwissTechFeels like 35lbs
DiscountVanTruckFeels like 40lbs

Added Weight Winner:

Swivelsrus

4- Installation

Driver Side Swivel Seat Installation and lowering the e-brake

Passenger Side Swivel Seat Installation

Installing a swivel seat in a Transit, Sprinter, or ProMaster van is pretty straightforward, but the devil is in the details... below 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 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- 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 you to disconnect the van battery as well to prevent short circuit):

Van Conversion Swivel, harness is passed

Scopema & SwissTech

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

Scopema, SwissTech & SwivelsRus

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
Ford Transit Swivel Baby Anchor Trimmed

Installation Winner:

Swivelsrus

5- Operation

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. Note: The rotation cannot be performed both ways, so it's important to order/install the proper side (driver VS passenger).

SwissTech

Similar to the Scopema, but with a little more friction and occasional squeaks.

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.

Operation Winner:

Scopema

6- Wobble (Freeplay)

If you grab the seat and shake it (without someone sitting on it), it's quite shocking to see how badly 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:

SWIVELWobble
SwivelsRusMedium
ScopemaMedium-High
SwissTechHigh*
DiscountVanTruckLow

*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.

Wobble Winner:

DiscountVanTruck

7- Squeaking

Over time, our SwissTech has developed a squeaking sound. It can be heard with a person sitting on it, or not, and that's quite annoying.

SWIVELSqueaking
SwivelsRusNo
ScopemaNo
SwissTechYes
DiscountVanTruckNo

8- 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 😂 )

Scopema Swivel Seat

(Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Ram ProMaster)

*SwissTech is no longer made, so we’d go for the Scopema instead…

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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!