Installed second-row captain's chair in EB Ford
Last week I took my "new" 98 EB SMB to Cyclevan in northern NJ to get a third captain's chair installed behind the passenger seat. I have a seven-year-old son and in Pennsylvania it's illegal to have him ride back on the side-facing dinette seats with only a lap belt (if he was 8 years old it would be legal, apparently).
We have a modified EB-22 layout, with dinette benches mid-van and the sink cabinet right inside the barn doors. Our van is all-electric, so no propane or stove to worry about. When I was looking for a used SMB I specifically wanted one that would have room to retrofit a third seat, even if it meant taking out a cabinet. Thankfully this van met that criteria.
I found a very nice captain's chair on Craigslist for $125, but had little luck finding a removable, swivel seat base anywhere online. It seems that you get removable bases and swivel bases, but not the two together. I called SMB North and they were also unwilling to sell me a base, even thought they had them. Finally, on a tip from this forum, I called Cyclevan in South River, NJ. I talked with the owner, Howard, and he said it was no problem to do. I ordered the parts from him (base and seatbelt) and set up an appointment to drive up to NJ, about an hour from my house in the Philadelphia area. Howard also had a very hard time finding the correct base, saying he had to call many sources to find one, which surprised him. I wonder if these are being phased out?
Anyway, on a Monday morning I headed up to Cyclevan and telecommuted from their small waiting room (free and fast wi-fi!), so I didn't have to miss a day of work. It took them about three hours to install the seat, which included removing some of the SMB trim panels and fabricating a panel to cover up a hole they had to cut for the seatbelt backing plate. While I was there I had them install a rear receiver hitch that I had picked up on CL the day before. Overall I was VERY pleased with Cyclevan's work and dealing with Howard and his crew. They did a very professional job and, although not cheap (a bit over $700, including the base, belt, install, and hitch install), I felt it was worth the $$ to make sure this was done right.
Before and after pics are below. Right now we have no sink, although I plan to make a very small sink cabinet and install it behind the third seat. We measured carefully and left just enough room for the width of the sink (12"). I'll post pics of that when I'm done.
Installed seat, including QR seatbelt to go with the removable base and chair.
This shows the custom panel Cyclevan made to cover up where they had to cut the paneling to install the seatbelt backing plate. I originally didn't even notice it until they pointed it out. It looks OEM.