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Old 03-08-2017, 03:51 PM   #21
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After sitting in some of the SMB captain's chairs, I just can't spend $2,500 EACH on the two that we need. They feel pretty cheap, and aren't something I'd be excited to spend long road trips in. I understand they've been crash tested by SMB, but they leave a lot to be desired in my opinion. Going to do what it takes to get some Toyota Sienna rear captain's chairs to mount in, instead.

I'm confirming with Brian what the price is to just have SMB put their captive nuts, reinforcing plate, and through holes in. He must be swamped, hard to get an email back lately.

Will have to make a couple custom plates to use the SMB bolt pattern to hold the sienna mounting rails. Should allow for quick disconnect of the body of the seat and the same un-bolting disconnect for the full assembly. Will likely have to shorten the rails since they won't be flush mounted to the floor.

Ordered these seats from a mobility van conversion company via ebay ($1,300 shipped) over the weekend - excited:


If it helps anyone in the future, the SMB seats are 24.3" deep x 27.3" wide while the sienna seats are 23" deep and 22" wide (I'm a little skeptical that width includes the arm-rests, should be OK though if they're a bit wider). Obviously the depth gets longer when you recline them - i'm not sure we'll have the space to get them all the way back with footrests out.

We're the next sprinter to go into production, just waiting for the van to make the trip from the Austin dealer to SMB.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:11 PM   #22
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michaelf -
Would you be willing to post your layout schematic, and expound a bit more on tradeoffs you are seeing with this? I have 2 kids, but like you I anticipate high value in having a vehicle that will seat 6. I've also lived out of duffels for years so am less perturbed by the thought of losing closet space, although that might change in practice.
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by michaelf View Post
We are going with a 2017 4x4 144" modified 50 layout with PH. The forward facing bench seat will extend the entire width of the van, no driver side cabinet. Kitchen placement will be the same as the 50. This allows for 4 forward seat belts on the bench seat and leaves the 'living room' area open. Seating for 6 total. BTW, I think in a few states it's illegal for minors to ride in side facing seats but I'd do some research first (for when the kids get older...someone is going to want to bring a friend along at some point).

I know we lack storage in this layout, but with the wife and 3 kids under 10y/o it's a flexible layout that makes it workable for family vacations and very roomy for when it's a me and buddy for a fishing trip or concert weekend. Huge downstairs bed and room upstairs as well. No porta potti, using that cabinet as a pantry. All other gear will go under the bed panel behind the gaucho or tied down using anchor points and d-rings. Makes getting to it a pain, but I know everything will get shuffled to it's rightful place when in camp. Also getting underfloor storage and Aluminess bumper/tire carrier/box. It's a give and take with storage, seating, accessibility to gear, etc.

Anyhow, welcome...and just a little extra info to help with the overload...
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:29 PM   #23
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mike, here's my tentative layout. Going to SMBW Friday for a final walk through and sign off on build plans. Biggest concern is access to items. I know there's quite a bit of room under the back bed panel for totes and duffels. It's "nice" to have a dedicated space for clothes and gear in a closet, but I'm willing to trade off the "niceness" for extra room to A) separate the kids on long drives and B) bring along a kid friend for family trips or an extra adult for non-family friendly trips. You can PM me to keep thread drift to a minimum if you have any other questions/comments/suggestions/concerns...but do it quick, getting ready to sign some final paperwork.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:53 PM   #24
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Thanks! Will do!
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:27 PM   #25
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Excalibur by Superior Seats is what I would like, but an anonymous reply to an inquiry I made to SMB West said they had never installed it and would not attempt to.



Jay Shapiro put these in his custom behemoth EcoRoamer:

http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...dition-Vehicle
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelf View Post
mike, here's my tentative layout. Going to SMBW Friday for a final walk through and sign off on build plans. Biggest concern is access to items. I know there's quite a bit of room under the back bed panel for totes and duffels. It's "nice" to have a dedicated space for clothes and gear in a closet, but I'm willing to trade off the "niceness" for extra room to A) separate the kids on long drives and B) bring along a kid friend for family trips or an extra adult for non-family friendly trips. You can PM me to keep thread drift to a minimum if you have any other questions/comments/suggestions/concerns...but do it quick, getting ready to sign some final paperwork.
Ya, I'm thinking the extra seating will trump gear storage during this season of life. We can always get a roof top carrier if we're in a pinch on longer trips. Excited to see your build come to life!
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:58 AM   #27
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I made to SMB West said they had never installed it and would not attempt to.
Paul here in Austin told me they will only do alternative seats if you can prove the seats passed crash testing in a sprinter (or your chassis of choice). I get it, would put a ton of risk on them to do so - would be nice if they had a liability waiver to allow it, though. Maybe that's not a realistic option, no idea.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:55 PM   #28
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It's at SMB!

Well, first check is written and SMB has our van here in Austin. Final option lock this Friday

Going to bring a sienna seat by tomorrow just to lay eyes on how it fits behind those front seats.

Trying to decide if I should have them do the wheels and tires or just go to discount tire… I think it would save about 1000 bucks... but it would be so nice to drive it off the lot looking sharp
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:31 AM   #29
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It would be more accurate to say the first of a series of checks - all of them money well spent! We jumped in Flint at 7:00 pm tonight and three hours later we are now parked for the night with the Bay Area and its traffic well behind us - a great start to our quick trip to Zion. Soon you will be doing the same!
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:07 PM   #30
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Pictures

First things first, a shot of the new van:



Was fun to take it for a spin. 4x4 went in and out first try. We got the first 2017 SMB Austin has received, came with the factory swivels.

First impressions are HOLY COW THIS THING IS BIG. Ha - I know we'll get used to it, just not used to having an enormous box over your shoulder.

I'm really liking those stock rims a lot...have to dig in on those tire threads to see what the compromise is with keeping them. Assuming tire width will be limited.

We got the laminate flooring in as well, all-in this will cost us $450 over the SMB standard floor to do (labor + laminate, net credits for deleting standard floor). Probably 80 - 100lbs of flooring will get used if I had to guess on what the additional weight is.

We went with Pergo Toffee Hickory (https://goo.gl/H2Hh4Z) after seeing it at Home Depot. The image on the HD website is a really poor representation, here's what it looks like next to the base of the Sienna seat:


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