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Discussion Starter #1
Custom seat configurations in a Trafic minibus - looking to carry people & bicycles.

Hello forumites,

newbie here.

I am currently looking for a new vehicle - I'm a keen cyclist, so am looking for a van type vehicle, that can move 4-5 people, and 4-5 full sized, fully assembled bikes.
Luggage would not be a lot, and I always have a roof box in the unlikely event there is not enough space.

I have carried out a fair amount of research, and the current favourite is a Renault Trafic minibus (The type with individual seats - Fast Track I think they are called?)
Or a Renault Trafic that has been converted for wheelchair access.

My thinking behind this, is that both of these types seem to have individual seats, as opposed to an combined row of 3, and so gives ultimate flexibility.
My plan would then be to have 3 seats at the front (The types of passenger seat where you can fit two passengers) and then run 2 at the back, line astern - if that makes sense.
So the idea would be to have 3 seats down the right hand side - back row\middle row\drivers seat.
And then simply the dual passenger seat at the front.

This would then yield a large volume of space in the middle and passenger side of the vehicle, and provide ample room for full sized bikes - I would need to work out how to anchor them securely, but that is a bridge to cross at a later date, and potentially an easier task with a wheelchair designed vehicle, as some of them have a recessed floor, and mounting\anchor fixing points already installed.
This setup would allow me to get away with a SWB vehicle, which would be advantageous, as we are town dwellers, so only marginally longer and wider than our current Volvo V70.

Does anyone have any opinions on whether what I have in mind makes sense, and or any suggestions as to pitfalls I may have missed?

Are these vans generally reliable?

I'd be looking at, I believe, a 2.0 115bhp diesel lump.

Also, I noticed that the wheelchair vehicles seem to often have very low mileage, and I could be wrong here, but I would assume might have been driven more gently than a stock minibus.

This is the kind of interior seating system I am thinking of - the below is not wheel chair converted, and has a flat floor:


oooh, and also, is there any advantages, or disadvantages between twin rear doors, or a one piece tailgate?
Thinking with regards to flexibility, ease of use, security and water tightness - excuse my ignorance here, completely new to the world of vans!

Thanks in advance, all feedback gratefully received!

Dan
 

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Re: Custom seat configurations in a Trafic minibus - looking to carry people & bicycl

What you are suggesting is more or less what I do with my Kia when I need to get something bigger in..... 'Er Indoors can easily fill the thing on one trip to Ikea.
Two seats out on one side and can still carry 4 with various flat packs, doors, whatever slotted in alongside.

The seats you show are adjustable and presumably removable from the tracks so should not be an issue, just need somewhere to store the spare seats.
I'd be thinking on whether I could get hold of a couple of scrap seats to take the base/track fixings off to make an internal bike rack.

Motability would be a good choice for low mileage but check whether the tracks and seating still give you what you need.
I've looked at a couple of converted low mileage Sedonas but have lost the rear row of seats and no way to reconfigure.

Doors.
Both options will have come out of the factory sealed and watertight.
After that it is down to use and wear and tear.
Check seals not torn and locking mechanism pulls doors in solid

Some of our guys have also swapped driver's seat (and passenger) for more comfortable ones, they will have options if you do go down the route.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)
Thankyou DD,

I'm guessing yours is a Sedona?

I'm not totally au fait with this kind of seating, but have seen it referred to as 'Fast Track' so assumed, as you have, that you can basically move the seats, within reason whereever you want them, as long as they have a relevant track to sit in.
Hopefully it is a fairly straight forward locking mechanism which can be operated by hand, but even if it takes tools, that's not the end of the world if it's not too labour intensive - duly noted on the seat storage requirement.

That's a top idea re some scrap seat frames to use as bike racks, or something to secure them to for the journey - like that idea a lot, and likely not that expensive especially if the seats are worn and shot to pieces.
Being totally new to the van scene, I have no idea how many of these parts proliferate with other brands and are generic, or are specific to brands and models - I mean I know this van design is shared with Vauxhall and Nissan, but I guess the fasttrack design might be quite bespoke.

The motability ones I have seen, don't necessarily have the same flexibility, in that I'm not sure they even have the tracks, but they do have seats mounted on each edge:


Admittedly that would make the biek rack on seat frame thing not an option though.........

Thanks for the heads up on the doors too :)


Oh and just to add, a quick google would suggest the 'Fast Track' designation seems likely to be 'Unwin safety track'
https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=unwin+safety+track&_sacat=0

Anyone know anything about them?

Appears that IF it has the quick release system, it's an absolute doddle.


Cheers

Dan
 

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Re: Custom seat configurations in a Trafic minibus - looking to carry people & bicycl

I have that Unwin tracking in a Transit I used as a wheelchair-accessible taxi, I can carry 8 passengers (+ driver) or up to about 5 passengers + a wheelchair. Each seat has its seatbelt fixed to it, so it is completely self-contained. I got a booking to take 6 businessmen-type guys to a meeting in Fife, so I configured it like a railway carriage, with 3 seats facing forwards and 3 backwards, and fixed our kitchen table to the floor in the middle using the wheelchair anchorages....

The taxi was converted from a plain white (secondhand) van by this company Scotseats: Bespoke Seating for the Transport and Marine Market | Scotseats cost was something like £7k in 2008. They make the seats and bond the flooring to the van's floor. (fitting windows and trimming the inside was included in that price).
 

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Re: Custom seat configurations in a Trafic minibus - looking to carry people & bicycl

Don't get the Motability one, if you intend to fit a towbar.
Tailgate, infinitely better. Keeps one dry while loading. More secure too. Peel & steal less likely if side door has windows.
 

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Re: Custom seat configurations in a Trafic minibus - looking to carry people & bicycl

My camper has two short lengths of that Unwins tracking (didn't know what it was called before) as a previous owner had a wheelchair user. But it does sit proud of the floor and not nice and flat rebated into the floorpan like some factory installed systems. It probably won't bother you for your uses but these strips are uncomfortable if you are standing around the floor area or if you are carrying furniture etc they can dig in and scratch/dent panels so need to be covered over beforehand.
I didn't know you could buy that tracking at an affordable price .... now its giving me ideas for moveable seating in the camper too.
 
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