What to do with your 3-person passenger seat bench when it’s not in the van

The bench seats in a Sprinter are burly. They are designed to keep three passengers safe in a crash, so they are heavy and sturdy.

We move our seat out of the van every now and again, either when we’re working on the interior or when we need to carry oversize objects.

What we needed was a way to get the seat from the van to wherever we want to store it, and also a way to make sure the seat can be easily moved by just one person if it’s in the way of other stuff we need.

The seat base isn’t very stable because it’s designed to latch into clips in the floor rather than be free standing. The whole seat is heavy to move around.

Our solution was to find a utility cart that the seat legs fit on to. We line the cart up next to the sliding door of the van, and carry the seat straight out onto the cart. After we’ve strapped it down, it’s easy to maneuver and store wherever we want.

Three-person bench seat strapped to utility cart for transportation
Three-person bench seat strapped to utility cart for transportation

Getting the seat in and out is still much easier as a two-person job but the loose seat is very easy for one person to move around on the cart if it’s blocking access to stuff in our garage.

Update: There’s a 2014 post on the Sprinter Forum by a Sprinter owner who uses a Cherry Picker (engine crane) to lift all three bench seats in and out of a passenger van. That probably makes it just about a 1-person job.

8 Replies to “What to do with your 3-person passenger seat bench when it’s not in the van”

  1. The extra seat makes a great couch. Someone was trying to get rid of theirs and I took it off there hands. My place is small and I got no kids so it works great for me.

      1. I know! He said he was trying to sell it. One person wanted to barter half the price. His wife said I want it gone. New couch! I like your screen idea and am working on mine currently. However I’ve discovered the magnets I’m using are only magnetized on one side. I’ve got them all glued onto my van. Just finished sewing the screens and gluing the other magnets. Tried it out and now I’m sad. Another day. I have lots of magnets thankfully.

    1. What did you do to the bottom to make is sturdy as a couch? I am looking to make some kind of base I can set the seat into when we go camping to have a couch on the go.

      1. Lindsay, we haven’t ever used the bench as a couch. We just strap it down to the cart. We don’t ever try sitting on it while it’s out of the van. I don’t know whether ywamer1 will respond, but here’s my thoughts.

        If you’re planning on using the bench out of the van while you’re camping, it’s important not to damage the base of the legs because those need to be able to clip in to the retaining plates properly.

        About the only thing I could think of would be to buy three extra retaining plates and recess those into a wood panel. Then you could clip the bench into them when you remove it from the van.

        BUT the bench is heavy to take in and out regularly, and would be really high off the ground when it’s removed from the van. You might just be better off taking some folding camp chairs with you and using those instead.

        1. This is probably too late to be helpful, but I just routed some holes in a 2×4 to make sleds for our seat – we leave it in the van, but rotate it against the drivers side wall to free up space and make a nice “couch” when we’re in camp mode. This would not work for outside as the seat would roll backwards without the wall behind it.

          When I get a chance I plan on using the third row seat plates on a 2×4 to make it more stable and easier to move – as you suggest.

          1. Nice idea! I’m guessing if you used the seat plates and extended the 2x4s far enough behind the seat, it would have enough stability to be freestanding – even though it would probably have to sit quite a distance away from any wall!

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