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All front passenger seats can face rearward!
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:27 pm    Post subject: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

So, I was surprised to find that there is not a thread on this little-known Vanagon feature, because I am sure I learned it here years ago. However, I never verified it was true or possible until last weekend.

We have a tintop without swivel seats. I've often wished we had the swivels as we spend a fair amount of time camping in ours. Somewhere I have a vague impression that you could pull the front passenger seat off the track, flip the seat backward facing and slip it back on the track.

For years, I've simply forgotten I "knew" this but finally last weekend I verified it. It works and its actually quite quick once you've done it a couple times. So here's how you do it:

Unrecline the seat so the back is in the fully upright position - as far as it will go. Shove the seat forward on its tracks as far as it will go - hit the stop. FInd the small lever low on the side that releases the stop and push the seat forward further and remove it. Then spin it around and line up the seat tracks to push it on backward. Nevermind that the seat touches the dash and is not perfectly level yet - you can get it started on the tracks and then the seat can be lowered to properly level after an inch or so. Almost as if VW p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y measured things to make this possible. Voila! you have a rearward facing seat to hang out in!

If you have the adjustable armrests like we have, you will notice something else cool. If you now have the seat too close to the dash and try to close the door, the door handle will hit the armrest if its down. But it will clear with the seat close to the dash with the armrest up (where's the fun there?), or move the seat rearward a bit and you'll find that the armrest is now fully functional up or down. And you'll also note that with the armrest up, it perfectly mimics the angle of the door handle. Again, as if the engineers designed this feature intentionally.

So there you have it - all of you have rear-facing front passenger seats for camping!

Doug
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E1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

Very cool discovery, Doug, Thanks for sharing it!

We never once even turned ours around on the first van, but finally started with this one about two months ago. Only took about 69 months. Laughing

Remarkable feature, and we have the swivel bases. Makes the interior look much longer at camp, and what a cool place to hang out.
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0to60in6min
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

Quote:
all of you have rear-facing front passenger seats for camping!


my son did this 4 years ago when he got his tintop GL, all the time... since he's not on Samba he didn't share the tip, and I didn't neither because I though that everybody know about it.

thanks for doing it Doug... Very Happy
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

I didn't know this until a dabaron told me about him doing this. Pretty cool. The driver swivel is pretty useless. However the passenger seat facing backwards is 🔥
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:15 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

Great reminder Doug!

Turning the seat around is often mentioned in threads about installing a seat swivel mechanism .

For example........

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=465549

Dave
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:03 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

I did it for years too on the passenger seat when camping more than one night Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

spending some time to clean the grease out of the tracks really helps too. i've got dual swivels but they were pretty much useless until i completely removed them and cleaned them thoroughly. now the swivel and fore/aft adjustments are so easy. combined with installing non-Westy seats on the Westy swivel bases has made a dramatic change in the seating comfort with longer bolsters and thicker padding.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

Good tip!

I probably had a Vanagon for 17 years before I learned how to remove the front seats. It's surprising how easy it is to R&R. Now that I've got the solar controller, fuse panel, etc. mounted behind the driver's seat I remove it whenever I need to work on it.
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VWeGoBeachNow
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

Sweet! I will have to try this out. Thanks for the tip!
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

I'm not sure about weekenders which have a longer seat base. If anyone has tried this with those then let us know.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

if they can't you can always slide it in backwards from the rear if you pry up the bent down ends on the tracks. be fore warned, then a zealous passenger can slide right out when adjusting the seat

WestyBob wrote:
I'm not sure about weekenders which have a longer seat base. If anyone has tried this with those then let us know.
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

My 86 "weekender" seats slid off with no problems.

I must say that I never enjoyed the exercise of seat removal and would resist doing it frequently.

Dave
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

I tried this a few weeks ago after reading a post on it, and the angle my seat was allowing the tracks to mate with the base was justttttt not enough to get the seat started back in the tracks again . My issue was that even with the seat back fully upright, the dash prevented me from controlling the process with the back of the seat squashed into the dash.
Iíll have to try it again in a day or two . I have the old mustard vinyl stock seats, no arm rests either. Brick wall Brick wall Think Think
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
My 86 "weekender" seats slid off with no problems.

I must say that I never enjoyed the exercise of seat removal and would resist doing it frequently.

Dave


Mine come off easy too. I was talking about remounting backwards (clearance to the dash).
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

WestyBob wrote:
djkeev wrote:
My 86 "weekender" seats slid off with no problems.

I must say that I never enjoyed the exercise of seat removal and would resist doing it frequently.

Dave


Mine come off easy too. I was talking about remounting backwards (clearance to the dash).


Just pry up the rear stop tabs....
EZ install

Dave
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WestyBob
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:

Just pry up the rear stop tabs....
EZ install

Dave


So just to be clear, you have successfully tried this with a weekender seat ?
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

WestyBob wrote:
djkeev wrote:

Just pry up the rear stop tabs....
EZ install

Dave


So just to be clear, you have successfully tried this with a weekender seat ?



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

Wow! I've had a number of Vanagons over a period of 31 years now. Taken the seats out countless times and even removed Vanagon seat rails and mounted them on another set of seats. All this and I never even though about turning one around.

Thanks for teaching an old dog new tricks!

Jim
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: All front passenger seats can face rearward! Reply with quote

WestyBob wrote:
djkeev wrote:

Just pry up the rear stop tabs....
EZ install

Dave


So just to be clear, you have successfully tried this with a weekender seat ?

Yup. I used to turn the passenger seat around when we were camped for a weekend.

Put a swivel under that seat and now I'll spin it at lunch time!! Cool
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