The Chrysler Minivan Fan Club Forums banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ultimate Guide To Seat Swapping In 2008-2016 Grand Caravan, Town & County & Routan

Hello! So this is my first post here, and ought to be a Duesey! I will surely be posting other questions, but hopefully this will be a good one to kick off with!

So I've been reading stuff on this board for a bit now as I was researching vehicles, and I finally ended up making a purchase. I snagged a 2009 VW Routan SEL Premium. I tried out some Odysseys, and was surprised by how lacking in features they were all the way up through 2010. Beyond that was more than I wanted to spend, so I didn't even look but hopefully they had built in MPG estimation, automatic head lights, auxiliary audio inputs, etc by then! I really wanted to like it, mainly because of the 3rd jump seat in the 2nd row that gives you a legal 8th passenger in a pinch, but that one little seat wasn't enough to overcome a few other gripes...

Anyway, I decided one of the Dodge varieties would work just fine after being unimpressed with the Honda. I wasn't fond of the look of the Dodge, and was hoping for a Town & Country, but the VW was what was available in the area and hit all the major criteria I had, and I like the styling on the VW version well enough. It's a pretty darn nice van if I do say so myself :)

The downside of this has been that the 2009-2010 Routan had, in my opinion, the very worst middle row seats out of ANY of the ones available in any of the Gen 5 vans. They can't fold into the floor. They don't do the coooool swivel thing. They don't slide like 2011-2014 Routan seats. Supposedly the cushiest of all the seats to sit in, but I don't really care about long duration ride comfort in the middle row for my usage.

Thus began my seat swapping research. I am trying to decide what I might want to swap in, but have a few holes in my knowledge. I looked at pictures to try to figure out some stuff, I found a lot of info in various places in text form, but it was very scattered as info from forums often is... So my OCD took over from there! Haha! Below is my list of all seats, and their basic characteristics as I know them. I figure doing a thorough job and filling in all the blanks may well make this a great thread for future researchers as well.

Although I mostly care about the middle row, I do have one question regarding the 3rd row as well which I will tack onto the bottom. I will update characteristics/known facts as they are mentioned in later posts to the first post, ultimately perhaps making this the "ultimate guide" to seats for this generation. Since they're still making the Gen 5 Grand Caravan (For how long though? Nobody knows.) they could theoretically do another update that adds new options to this list, but I doubt that anything major will happen.

Without further adieu The Ultimate Guide To Seat Swapping!

2008-2010 Dodge And Chrysler Stow N Go Bucket Seats


Stationary with no sliding. They fold forward to allow people to enter the 3rd row, and ultimately fold into the floor compartments.

Available in cloth, leather, and possibly vinyl (leatherette) for fleet options. Heated seats optional. There may be different grades of leather between Dodge vs T&C, as well as special version of covering options (contrast stitching, suede, perforations etc) available.

If swapping to these from a bench seat you need to get an extra nut for these and the different brackets. You also need to swap to the 3 panel floor pieces that covers the storage compartments from the 2 panel version found in bench seat configurations.

2011-2016+ Dodge And Chrysler Stow N Go Bucket Seats

Essentially the same as the 2008-2010, but they now fold easier with a single lever pull, and have slightly different styling.

Available in cloth, leather, and possibly vinyl (leatherette) for fleet options. Heated seats optional. There may be different grades of leather between Dodge vs T&C, as well as special version of covering options (contrast stitching, suede, perforations etc) available.

2008-2010 Dodge And Chrysler Swivel N Go Bucket Seats (Discontinued for 2011 and beyond)


Stationary with no sliding. These seats allow the 2nd row bench seats to be flipped around to face the 3rd row. They do not fold into the floor. I believe the backs fold down, but the rear of the seats do not lift off the floor to fully "flip" the seat forward? Or maybe they do? These may be thicker padding and cushier like the Routan seats since they do not need to be thin to fold into the floor, is this correct???

Available in cloth, leather, and possibly vinyl (leatherette) for fleet options. Heated seats optional. There may be different grades of leather between Dodge vs T&C, as well as special version of covering options (contrast stitching, suede, perforations etc) available.

These should swap with no additional parts other than the seat with vans that came with Stow N Go seats I believe. Vans equipped with these also came with a table top that could be placed in between the 2nd and 3rd row. Not sure if the mounting point for the table can be installed into a non Swivel N Go van.

2008-2010 Dodge And Chrysler 2nd Row Bench Seats


They appear to be stationary with no sliding function, only folding flat over onto itself, and are mounted off center to allow easier entrance from the passenger side sliding door. They do not appear to fully flip forward to expand cargo space behind them? Is that accurate?

They were only available in basic models, so I believe they only came in cloth, although vinyl (leatherette) may have been available as a fleet option.

I believe one would need different brackets if swapping from bucket seats, but could retain the 3 fold floor cover.

If they do have a slide forward/backward function I would be very interested to know this, but pictures do not seem to indicate this unless the lever on the side actuates the sliding as well as back folding in one motion.

2011-2016+ Dodge And Chrysler 2nd Row Bench Seats


These appear to be the same as above, but with slightly different styling.

2009-2010 VW Routan 2nd Row Bucket Seats

Stationary with no sliding. They fold forward to allow passengers to enter the 3rd row, and flip forward once folded in half as well, but do not fold into the floor or swivel to face backwards. They are said to be the cushiest of all the 2nd row seats in terms of comfort.

Available in cloth, vinyl (leatherette) for sure, and leather. Heated seats optional.

I don't believe bracket switching needs to happen in order to swap between regular Stow N Go seats and these (correct me if I'm wrong please!), but you need the 3 fold floor covering if you want to replace these seats with Stow N Go.

2011-2014 VW Routan 2nd Row Bucket Seats


They added the ability to slide the whole seat forward and backward with a slide bar under the seat, which would make the legroom more adjustable as well as make it easier for people to enter the 3rd row. They also still fold forward to allow passengers to enter the 3rd row, and still do not fold into the floor.

Available in cloth, vinyl (leatherette) for sure, and leather. Heated seats optional.

I don't believe bracket switching needs to happen in order to swap between regular Stow N Go seats and these, but you need the 3 fold floor covering if you want to replace these seats with Stow N Go.

As far as I have noted these are THE ONLY variety of seat in 5th generation vans that slide forward and backwards to adjust leg room/make entry into the 3rd row easier.

Out of curiosity, how much does the seat base really eat into additional 3rd row leg room when you have these seats slid forward? Does it nearly negate any gains, or with the seats forward is there a lot of extra knee room in back?

Routan 2nd Row Bench Seat


I do not believe the Routan was ever offered with a bench seat.


2008-2016 ALL VARIETIES 3rd Row 60/40 Bench Seat

Essentially the same for all years, other than styling/covering options. There was a manually folding seat, and a power folding seat on higher end models.

I am curious if the brackets/everything else allow one to easily swap in a manual seat into one originally equipped with power seats. I have power folding in my Routan, but it's already acting a little glitchy, and I know it will break outright sooner or later. In some ways I prefer the idea of having the manually folding seats in there, and may well swap them if the power folding ever fails me completely. Any details on this would be AWESOME!

BONUS INFO:
I read in some thread that the 2nd row seats are also technically swappable with 4th Generation vans. I don't know about the 3rd row. Not sure why anybody would want to swap 4th gen seats in as the cloth/design wouldn't match, but there it is for anybody who may be in a pinch.
That's it! Please help me fill in the blanks on things I am unsure of, and correct me if I stated anything that is wrong. It seems there is a lot of interest in swapping seats around to suit people's particular uses, but the info is very scattered. I feel like this could be a popular thread for people.

End Of Main Post, my particular questions for myself to follow!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
As far as things go for me I would love confirmation on the fact that none of the other seat options slide forward/backward. My older/other van (2006 Ford Freestar) has a 2nd row bench that slides, as well as a back that folds flat. Since it is also offset to one side, all you have to do is slide it forward for people to hop in back, no back folding is usually needed. It's super easy and convenient.

Faaar better way to do it vs flipping the back down, and then still having to climb over the edge of a seat IMO. Don't know how/why Dodge seems to have bungled that point on these since they have so many other thoughtful/practical touches throughout. (For that matter why don't they offer a 3 seat 2nd row??? That's really the biggest theoretical gripe I have, and it makes a fella wonder how many Honda's and Toyota's are sold on that basis alone. But I digress...) I was really hoping in my research I would find that the later Stow N Go seats slid, but that doesn't appear to be the case...

So it appears that for me it's a question of deciding: 1. Do I want to be able to fold them into the floor once in a blue moon, or 2. Do I want people to be able to get in and out of the vehicle constantly in an easier fashion. I'm somewhat torn. The 2011+ Routan seats sound kind of appealing, but Stow N Go would surely be highly useful from time to time... Likewise, if the bench seat slides I would almost be inclined to get one of those and have it custom recovered in a closely matching leather as bucket vs bench is of little difference to me... Easy in and out is kind of my biggest factor. Decisions, decisions.

I guess the only other immediate question I have is has anyone ever compared the Routan Grey leather seats to the color found on Dodges/Chryslers just in case I do decide to go the Stow N Go route? I recall seeing in passing people saying the interior colors are "unique" for the Routan, and some of them certainly seem to be, but the more generic colors seems to be quite similar. I didn't have a chance to compare a Dodge side by side with the Routan, but from memory when I test drove a couple vehicles the Grey ones in particular seemed pretty close... Since I have grey interior that's the one I'm most interested in knowing about :)

Thanks for checking out my thread, and I look forward to getting some clarifications from other owners out there and will update this first post accordingly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I have a 2011 and my 2nd row Stow N Go seats slide back and forth a little. I think it's meant for adjusting the legroom of the passenger in the seat, not as a way to get in and out of the 3rd row more easily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Good job OP on the research. There are some threads in the Routan section at VWVortex about converting 2nd row to Chryco's Stow n Go. You got mostly everything correct. The 2011+ Chryco 2nd row Stow n' Go seats also slide back and forth like the 2011-12 Routs, except of course the Chryco's stow away unlike VW. And yes, you need to upgrade the trap door to accommodate the seats under the floor.

Also, there's a bit more than just styling differences with the 2011+ 2nd row seats, compared to 2008-10 for both Chryco and VW. Apparently noticeably more comfortable seats 2011+. The seatbelt latches are different too, so if you are upgrading from 2009-10 second row to 2011+ Stow n' Go, you also have to replace the seatbelt hanging on the wall of the van or it won't latch to the receptacle in the seats.

The VW colors are slightly different on both interiors and exteriors, so you won't get a perfect match. But the beiges and grays interior seats are close enough that you can't really tell if you do convert. I believe Chrysler offered a dark and lighter gray seat, but I can't remember which one more closely matches the VW interior gray color. Check the Routan threads on Vortex.

You can pick up the Chrysler seats fairly inexpensively from handicap conversion shops, but the freight shipping is about the same cost as the seats so it gets spendy. Should be <$1k out the door though. Rollx Vans (in Minnesota?) used to have an ebay store and sold them as conversion kits with the 3-piece trap door and bolts and everything needed for the conversion. I don't see their ebay store any longer, but you might be able to google and give them a call. Or look at your local handicap van conversion shops.

As to the 3rd row bench seat, I had to have the motor on the 40% side replaced at the dealership under a 3rd party extended warranty, and it was expensive. I don't have the dealership invoice in front of me (can look it up later when I am at home), but it was a lot. I don't know what is involved in converting to manual, but I believe I read somewhere on the Routan forums on Vortex that it was about the same cost to convert the entire 3rd row to manual as it is to replace a single motor on one side of the power folding seats. Now that I am out of warranty, my plan is to convert to manual if/when the power motor goes out again.
 

·
Registered
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4.0
Joined
·
582 Posts
Our 2009 Dodge GC also has the 2nd row Stow-N-Go seats that slide back and forth. We don't fold them forward to let the kids in the 3rd row, we just leave the right-side seat in the 2nd row slid most of the way back. The left-side 2nd row seat stays put as it has the child car seat anchored in place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
One more thing on the 3rd row. The 2011+ are different in that the head-rests don't just go up/down like with the 2008-10. On the 2011+ the headrests fold over forward all the way into the seat back for stowing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,833 Posts
2008-2010 Dodge And Chrysler Swivel N Go Bucket Seats (Discontinued for 2011 and beyond)

Stationary with no sliding. These seats allow the 2nd row bench seats to be flipped around to face the 3rd row. They do not fold into the floor. I believe the backs fold down, but the rear of the seats do not lift off the floor to fully "flip" the seat forward? Or maybe they do? These may be thicker padding and cushier like the Routan seats since they do not need to be thin to fold into the floor, is this correct???

Available in cloth, leather, and possibly vinyl (leatherette) for fleet options. Heated seats optional. There may be different grades of leather between Dodge vs T&C, as well as special version of covering options (contrast stitching, suede, perforations etc) available.

These should swap with no additional parts other than the seat with vans that came with Stow N Go seats I believe. Vans equipped with these also came with a table top that could be placed in between the 2nd and 3rd row. Not sure if the mounting point for the table can be installed into a non Swivel N Go van.


2011-2014 VW Routan 2nd Row Bucket Seats


They added the ability to slide the whole seat forward and backward with a slide bar under the seat, which would make the legroom more adjustable as well as make it easier for people to enter the 3rd row. They also still fold forward to allow passengers to enter the 3rd row, and still do not fold into the floor.

Available in cloth, vinyl (leatherette) for sure, and leather. Heated seats optional.

I don't believe bracket switching needs to happen in order to swap between regular Stow N Go seats and these, but you need the 3 fold floor covering if you want to replace these seats with Stow N Go.

As far as I have noted these are THE ONLY variety of seat in 5th generation vans that slide forward and backwards to adjust leg room/make entry into the 3rd row easier.

Out of curiosity, how much does the seat base really eat into additional 3rd row leg room when you have these seats slid forward? Does it nearly negate any gains, or with the seats forward is there a lot of extra knee room in back?
Welcome to the site RoutanVanMan.
Great first post..

I will add that after 2011 the swivel seats were gone but you could still get the fixed buckets on the Touring L and the Limited T&C only.

These seats are basically the same as the Routan seats in size and function.

The biggest advantage to having these seat slide forward is it allows you to recline the second row seats further because with the seat slid back the arm rests will hit the door opening when you try to recline too far.

We ordered the "Luxury buckets" as they are called because second row comfort on long trip is a big factor with our traveling van.
 

·
Super Moderator
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
Joined
·
2,138 Posts
2008-2010 Dodge And Chrysler Stow N Go Bucket Seats

Stationary with no sliding. They fold forward to allow people to enter the 3rd row, and ultimately fold into the floor compartments.
As has been stated above, the second row seats do slide.
 
  • Like
Reactions: UN4GTBL

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Good job OP on the research. There are some threads in the Routan section at VWVortex about converting 2nd row to Chryco's Stow n Go. You got mostly everything correct. The 2011+ Chryco 2nd row Stow n' Go seats also slide back and forth like the 2011-12 Routs, except of course the Chryco's stow away unlike VW. And yes, you need to upgrade the trap door to accommodate the seats under the floor.

Also, there's a bit more than just styling differences with the 2011+ 2nd row seats, compared to 2008-10 for both Chryco and VW. Apparently noticeably more comfortable seats 2011+. The seatbelt latches are different too, so if you are upgrading from 2009-10 second row to 2011+ Stow n' Go, you also have to replace the seatbelt hanging on the wall of the van or it won't latch to the receptacle in the seats.
Well who knew I missed so much?! I guess my excuse is that I only briefly looked at a single cloth Stow N Go van since I was looking for leather, and my conclusion they don't slide was largely based off of 1. Nobody explicitly mentioning it anywhere where I read things, and 2. In pictures they don't have the generic under the seat slide bar that most seats use to slide. I mainly poked around a 2008 GC with Swivel N Go, and of course the Routan I ended up buying, both of which do not slide. So I assumed incorrectly. Thanks for the info on the seatbelts needing to be swapped also, I don't recall having seen that anywhere, but is VERY useful to know.

The VW colors are slightly different on both interiors and exteriors, so you won't get a perfect match. But the beiges and grays interior seats are close enough that you can't really tell if you do convert. I believe Chrysler offered a dark and lighter gray seat, but I can't remember which one more closely matches the VW interior gray color. Check the Routan threads on Vortex.
I'm not positive if the Routan had a darker grey option as well, but mine is a pretty light grey. I do recall seeing one Dodge/Chrysler with the darker grey, but the GC I drove with the Swivel N Go had lighter looking grey, so was probably the lighter of the two.

You can pick up the Chrysler seats fairly inexpensively from handicap conversion shops, but the freight shipping is about the same cost as the seats so it gets spendy. Should be <$1k out the door though. Rollx Vans (in Minnesota?) used to have an ebay store and sold them as conversion kits with the 3-piece trap door and bolts and everything needed for the conversion. I don't see their ebay store any longer, but you might be able to google and give them a call. Or look at your local handicap van conversion shops.

As to the 3rd row bench seat, I had to have the motor on the 40% side replaced at the dealership under a 3rd party extended warranty, and it was expensive. I don't have the dealership invoice in front of me (can look it up later when I am at home), but it was a lot. I don't know what is involved in converting to manual, but I believe I read somewhere on the Routan forums on Vortex that it was about the same cost to convert the entire 3rd row to manual as it is to replace a single motor on one side of the power folding seats. Now that I am out of warranty, my plan is to convert to manual if/when the power motor goes out again.
I knew about the van conversion places as a good place to check in addition to regular junk yards, but I didn't think to look for a local one... There's a place about 35 minutes from my house, so once I figure out my perfect seat I think I'll have to give them a ring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Our 2009 Dodge GC also has the 2nd row Stow-N-Go seats that slide back and forth. We don't fold them forward to let the kids in the 3rd row, we just leave the right-side seat in the 2nd row slid most of the way back. The left-side 2nd row seat stays put as it has the child car seat anchored in place.
Awesome to know. So this raises a question for me. How much do they slide? The guy with the 2011 above said his slides "back and forth a little" so I'm curious if there is any difference in travel length between the 2 versions. Does it slide like 4 inches between the farthest point back vs farthest point forward? 1 foot? I would imagine probably somewhere between those two. Just wondering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
One more thing on the 3rd row. The 2011+ are different in that the head-rests don't just go up/down like with the 2008-10. On the 2011+ the headrests fold over forward all the way into the seat back for stowing.
Will add that to the fist post when I make the first round of edits to the info!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Welcome to the site RoutanVanMan.
Great first post..

I will add that after 2011 the swivel seats were gone but you could still get the fixed buckets on the Touring L and the Limited T&C only.

These seats are basically the same as the Routan seats in size and function.

The biggest advantage to having these seat slide forward is it allows you to recline the second row seats further because with the seat slid back the arm rests will hit the door opening when you try to recline too far.

We ordered the "Luxury buckets" as they are called because second row comfort on long trip is a big factor with our traveling van.
Awesome info, I was totally unaware they were offered. I will add them above when I make my first edit. Do you happen to know if these were offered on the GC as well? Also, were these offered in the 08-2010 vehicles? Or were these essentially the same as the Swivel N Go seats so they didn't offer both?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,833 Posts
They are only in the Touring L and Limited T&C, no GC and no cloth either.
As far as I know they were not offered when the swivel and go's were available.

As for editing your first post you will not be able to do that without a moderators help.
 

·
Super Moderator
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
Joined
·
2,138 Posts
...Does it slide like 4 inches between the farthest point back vs farthest point forward? 1 foot? I would imagine probably somewhere between those two. Just wondering.
On my 2009 the seat slides 4 inches.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Ok, I figured that's what you meant but wanted to be sure.

I just noticed there isn't an edit button for the first post! Well I guess I'll either have to let the thread as a whole just be the info, or maybe after all the little pieces have been filled in I can have a mod do an edit. It is a finite amount of stuff to figure out, and I feel like 90% of the things I wasn't sure on have already been answered in the couple posts so far. Whether or not the bench seat also slides since I was wrong about the Stow N Go might be the biggest "mystery" left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Well who knew I missed so much?!
I don't think you did!

You'll need to confirm the seatbelt latches are different between '08-10 and 2011+, but i recall reading that on the Routan forums. I filed that bit of info away in the back of my mind just in case I ever got around to doing the conversion myself. The handicap conversion places do convert some older vehicles (check out the RollX web-site), but you're likely to get better condition seats on the new(er) model years, so it might be worth trying it. Plus the 2011+ seats are more comfortable and stow away much easier than the '08-10.

For the power 3rd row seats, the 40% motor/hinge replacement was $601.46 incl. sales tax at my local VW dealership. I had a 3rd party warranty covering the cost, so I'm sure the dealership charged full book rate and retail price on parts, so that's probably on the higher-end of cost.
 

·
Registered
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4.0
Joined
·
582 Posts
Awesome to know. So this raises a question for me. How much do they slide? The guy with the 2011 above said his slides "back and forth a little" so I'm curious if there is any difference in travel length between the 2 versions. Does it slide like 4 inches between the farthest point back vs farthest point forward? 1 foot? I would imagine probably somewhere between those two. Just wondering.
I think between 4-6 inches. We have the newer vans at work (2013 models), so I should check them to see if they slide back and forth...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I don't think you did!

You'll need to confirm the seatbelt latches are different between '08-10 and 2011+, but i recall reading that on the Routan forums. I filed that bit of info away in the back of my mind just in case I ever got around to doing the conversion myself. The handicap conversion places do convert some older vehicles (check out the RollX web-site), but you're likely to get better condition seats on the new(er) model years, so it might be worth trying it. Plus the 2011+ seats are more comfortable and stow away much easier than the '08-10.

For the power 3rd row seats, the 40% motor/hinge replacement was $601.46 incl. sales tax at my local VW dealership. I had a 3rd party warranty covering the cost, so I'm sure the dealership charged full book rate and retail price on parts, so that's probably on the higher-end of cost.
Yeah, I will do some more googling and look at the threads on VW Vortex. I know I looked at one or two on there originally, and the seatbelt thing probably just slid by me.

That's a pretty pricey fix! You could definitely find a wrecking yard manual seat for less than that. They don't seem to be too uncommon either. Whether scoring some from a van conversion place or an regular scrap yard it shouldn't be tough to score one for way less than $600 bucks. www.car-part.com (which searches multiple salvage yards) pulled up a ton of 2nd row seats and 3rd row looking just now. They basically START at $400ish for 3rd rows, and some seem to drop as low as under $100 for both sides, although many sell one side at a time too. Shipping would probably be at least $150-200 from what I remember other people saying online. Local is always nice because seats cost so much to ship, so I think I will try the local salvage yards and van conversion place I found first.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top