One of the questions we get all the time is about adding additional seating to a Sprinter cargo van. This a confusing topic since all Sprinter van seating is not the same. We hope this article helps to provide a bit of clarity.
The restraint requirements in passenger vehicles compared to recreational vehicles (RVs) and buses are different. The Department of Transportation doesn’t require the same stringent pull-testing on seating in RVs and buses as they do in passenger vehicles. There are options from many manufacturers that meet the RV and bus certification, but not the passenger vehicle requirements. Some Sprinter van conversion companies will install these seats into their conversions, and they may be perfectly legal based on the converted vehicle being considered a RV. However, not all converted Sprinter vans are considered RVs, and the definition of an RV is uniquely defined by each state. For more specific information on RV criteria contact your state DMV.
As a Sprinter van conversion company performing van conversions for customers throughout the United States we decided not to get involved in the unique RV definitions of every state. Additionally, as a van owner you could find yourself in a challenging situation if you ultimately decide to sell the vehicle. The buyer may or may not be able to properly register the vehicle in their state of residence as an RV depending on the state’s definition of an RV and your van’s configuration. So, the solution from a safety and regulatory standpoint is to install DOT passenger vehicle pull-tested seating in all van conversions.
The challenge with this type of seating is that there are fewer options, and it is often expensive as an aftermarket installation. At Esplori, we choose to only install DOT passenger approved seating in all Esplori converted vans. This means that every Esplori van can be registered in all 50 states in the US and will meet the safety requirements for transporting people, including children, safely.
So what do we install? We have chosen to install a flooring system that accommodates captain’s chairs or a bench seat. The bench seat converts to a bed, and the captain’s chairs are installed and removed without tools via a quick release system. These two seating options tend to meet the needs of most of our customers and allow for flexible configurations. The removable seats allow for reconfiguring of the van for extended trips or around town travel. The bench seat provides a comfortable sleeping option and expands the number of people the van can transport and sleep.
Contact us for pricing for your van.