FIAT - Additional Armrests

Jan 16, 2017
145
189
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
Hi, like many others I have a British Panel Van Conversion based on a FIAT DUCATO. If I understand the system (?), FIAT vans built for, and sold, in Britain are usually supplied with cab seats with one armrest and a lumbar support. But British supplied "standard" vans do have a longer warranty. This is why British PVCs have only one armrest - which I find a little disconcerting (too much wine and you have a 50/50 chance of falling of the chair!)

Regal Furnishers, the original furnishing suppliers for my one year old Vantage Med, can add a second matching armrest to each seat. As a result I will loose the adjustable lumbar support and the act of rotating the drivers seat will take a bit more juggling.

Has anyone had this modification done on a recent van and has it been a success?
I would really appreciate the feedback.

Thanks
 
Sep 26, 2013
3,157
3,133
Market Rasen
Funster No
28,295
MH
Self Build
Exp
Since 2003
My 2012 Peugeot came with one armrest on each seat which I removed which means that somewhere in my garage there is a pair of am rests. Don't know if they fit a Fiat but probably do so if anyone wants them let me know. In Spain until the end of March though.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
Waveski
Jan 16, 2017
145
189
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
Hi. I gave up trying to fit additional armrests. The drivers seat would not have been able to rotate; even if the steeing wheel was right forward the second armrest would have fouled by about 10mm. The passenger seat is probably doable but you may need to open the nearside door to rotate the seat??! I might pursue that option??
 

mikebeaches

LIFE MEMBER
Feb 22, 2010
4,134
4,953
Bristol
Funster No
10,377
MH
Rapido V68 Van Conversion
Exp
Since 2009
Hi. I gave up trying to fit additional armrests. The drivers seat would not have been able to rotate; even if the steeing wheel was right forward the second armrest would have fouled by about 10mm. The passenger seat is probably doable but you may need to open the nearside door to rotate the seat??! I might pursue that option??
I'm somewhat puzzled by this?

We are on our third van - X244/X250/X290 - and they have all had double armrests on each front seat. There has never been an issue with swivelling the seats. Yes, they need to be moved forward a little to facilitate turning, but the procedure soon becomes second nature and takes only moments.

Never have to open any doors. And we regularly spin the passenger seat round, perhaps three or four times a day, when stopping for coffee, lunch and other refreshments when on the road.

Surely the design of the above vans is all pretty standard apart from the fact some come with a single armrest on each front chair (which I wouldn'd consider having), or twin adjustable armrests?
 
Nov 9, 2015
329
333
Shenfield, Essex
Funster No
40,105
MH
Carthago Malibu PVC
Exp
35+ years mainly in VW's
My Malibu built on a 2016 Ducato has two armrests on each of the front seats. There is no need to open the front doors when swivelling either of the seats, it is just a simple matter of sliding the seats backwards then forwards as they are swivelled. It takes seconds and both seats swivel completely

Cheers

Trevor
 

Nasher

Free Member
May 6, 2016
2,094
7,240
Pontardawe
Funster No
42,923
MH
Pug Boxer
Exp
Since 2013
I only have the passenger seat swivel fitted to my van, but I can rotate it 360 no problem.

That said, I prefer the lumbar support, to the additional armrest....

Found this on Google, looks OK to me:
upload_2018-6-19_9-44-38.jpeg
 
OP
Waveski
Jan 16, 2017
145
189
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
I think??? That it depends on the specification of the seats. If they are Captain Seats; no problem they come with two armrests. If the base van is U.K. specification and supplied in the UK then they come with standard U.K. vanseats with one arm. Mine swivel no problem with one arm but it is problematical to fit a second arm to each seat??? It can be done but needs checking for each conversion.
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
11,198
32,819
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
Our last van (Chausson) had two arm rests on each seat. The current van (Sun Living by Adria) has one on each seat.

When driving the Chausson I felt as if I was further away from the side of the van than I do in the current van. I prefer to drive the current van as the spacial awareness of where the outside edge of the van is more intuitive for me.

The height and adjustment of the driver's (and navigator's) seats are more comfortable in the current van as well. The Chausson seats were higher from the floor and never felt 100% comfortable.

I often half turn the front seats, sit in one and put feet up on the other. :)

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jan 29, 2017
457
304
Gloucestershire
Funster No
47,109
MH
Lunar Champ H621
Exp
15yrs
I had a second armrest fitted to the drivers seat of our x244 as i found the door was too far away to be comfortable.
Yes there is a problem with the new rest fouling the steering wheel when I go to rotate the drivers seat but I simply adjust the seat back to lower the armrest so it goes round under the steering wheel. We did lose the adjustable lumbar support but a pump up one was fitted and has always worked well. This was all done by a firm around Taunton area about 10 years ago now. They had to strip all the seat out and weld the armrest onto the frame.
How time flies!
Mike & Ann
 
OP
Waveski
Jan 16, 2017
145
189
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
Eureka, thanks @Mike800966. I had been modelling an additional armrest using a piece of wood strapped to the seat with the new ‘arm’ upright. I had not thought of raking the drivers seat back forward; remodelled with the arm horizontal and it WORKS. Same with the passenger seat; with the new ‘arm’ horizontal it would now just clear the door internal trim and no need to crack the door open!!
I’m now going to go ahead with the update and will also try to replicate the lumbar in max support. I’ll report back when done.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
Waveski
Jan 16, 2017
145
189
Hillingdon
Funster No
46,924
MH
Vantage Med
Exp
Since 2017
Hi I have just had the two additional armrests fitted by Regal Furnishing, the original suppliers to Vantage Motorhomes. The have done a great job. The seats were removed from the van, stripped down to the skeleton frame and rebuilt with the matching additional arm.
One result of the modification is that the adjustable lumbar support is lost but they fix the lumbar at the position you had previously chosen. Both seats swivel, the near side seat moves as previous an does not foul the door trim.
The drivers seat movement is slightly constrained in sofar that the new arm needs to be down and pass underneath the steering wheel. For this to occur the steering wheel must be on its maximum’out’ setting and the seat must be set low. Neither of these settings are a problem for me as they are my usual adjustments.
The guys at Regall did mention that some of the Sevel vans can have different door trims which can interfere with the swivelling if some vans seats are similarly modified. My van is a 17 plate Fiat, a 14 plate Peugeot next to mine had the same internal door trim.
In conclusion it’s been a great modification for me and I thoroughly recommend Regal Furnishing for the job. They are also suppliers of original furnishing for Wildaxe and IH, they also work on all makes of motorhomes.
 

Jonno1103

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 27, 2017
819
836
Harrogate
Funster No
50,207
MH
F Line F70
Exp
Since 2012
It depends on the converter. Pre 2012 type approval many base vehicles had been imported as standard panel vans and the log book illustrated this which was a big problem for the smaller volume converters and encouraged poor PX values as there was no individual type approval.

Again pre 2012 many were standard vans sold to converters on a retail basis, i:e including VAT which was passed on to the consumer together with the further 20% added to the conversion.
I purchased a fully loaded auto Renault Master in 2012 for a professional bespoke conversion by a friend which would have retailed for more than £35k as it was for a PVC and imported as such it cost £23k

Now every panel van whether in large, small or singular volumes imported for PVC use is registered at birth as a motor caravan, come ready fitted with two 'captains chairs' and a battery splitter and the VAT is only added to the finished product.

Many smaller converters still insist on individual type approval as the inspection is far more strict, they'll even run their fingers along the edge of the open windows for snags and sharp edges. Larger volume converters and coachbuilders just submit images of their build process...
 
Top