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Hey guys, I have been reading up about taking out the front passenger seat and how that messes up the airbags and stuff. I don't really care about that to much. I'm going to be trying to live in my element, at least during the cold months out of the year so I am planning to take out that front passenger seat. Does anyone have pictures or measurements of how it looks without the front passenger seat? As long as I have a 6' 5 inch area to stretch out my legs then I am fine. One seat length across should be more than enough room for my body to sleep.
 

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Taking out the front passenger seat would not be very smart. You say you
dont car about the airbags?? Well with the front seat out, the air bags will
either NOT work or NOT work properly. Living in your E is fine, a few people
on here have done it or are doing it. NONE of them have taken out the front
seats. If you get into any kind of collision, are you willing to NOT have the air
bags work?? You do realize that the front seats fold flat and the rear seats
fold flat and make a bed?? You can also build a platform in the rear and have
enough room to lay out. Here is a thread on SEVERAL home made platforms
for the rear of the E. Some have the rear seats, some remove them completely.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62469

Good luck.
 

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its also not legal as far as i know. i believe the only vehicles that can remove the front seat are those classified as buses. better off folding it back and building a removable platform above it
 

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its also not legal as far as i know. i believe the only vehicles that can remove the front seat are those classified as buses. better off folding it back and building a removable platform above it
The biggest issue I see, is remembering to disconnect the battery before removing and after re-installing the front passenger seat.

Buses don't ever have a front passenger seat to remove. Take a look at the UPS trucks and the older milk wagon style trucks the US Postal Service uses, which aren't classified as buses, but trucks and light trucks. The only time a missing front passenger seat might be a legal issue in a private vehicle would be if the front seat back was part of the mandated passenger restraint system for the rear passenger seat, which it isn't.

It would be simpler though, to just use the existing seats as a bed, as the designers intended. Level it off with pillows, foam or an air mattress and 6'-5" shouldn't be an issue.
 

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The biggest issue I see, is remembering to disconnect the battery before removing and after re-installing the front passenger seat.

Buses don't ever have a front passenger seat to remove. Take a look at the UPS trucks and the older milk wagon style trucks the US Postal Service uses, which aren't classified as buses, but trucks and light trucks. The only time a missing front passenger seat might be a legal issue in a private vehicle would be if the front seat back was part of the mandated passenger restraint system for the rear passenger seat, which it isn't.

It would be simpler though, to just use the existing seats as a bed, as the designers intended. Level it off with pillows, foam or an air mattress and 6'-5" shouldn't be an issue.
in new york they have vans and some larger SUVs that can be classified as buses. they make street pickups. however they have to remove the passenger seat
 

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It's true that vehicles licensed in New York as commercial buses don't have a front passenger seat.

But although they may share a body type with a standard SUV or van, I think that you'll find that the vehicles you describe, have been purpose-built prior to private sale, not converted afterward.

And it doesn't mean that only a bus can not have a front passenger seat.

Here's a car that can't have a front passenger seat (U.S. Patent 6,328,121):


http://www.commutercars.com/
 

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Should really be able to.

With all due respect to the other posters here, it's ridiculous that an Element owner can't safely remove the front passenger seat without compromising the airbag safety for the driver.

For one thing, while it may be possible to have an elevated platform resting on the front passenger seat, that makes the sleeper far more visible to outside observers, while also greatly reducing headroom. It's simply not the same -- or as nice -- as being able to sleep near the floor level, largely hidden away from prying eyes, with much more privacy. And requires an additional, weighty, unnecessary apparatus.

For another, it's really no one else's business if an outright owner wants to modify their Element in this way. No reason for the government to get involved.

I'd have to say Honda majorly dropped the ball by not having an SRS system that works independently for each front seat. And I suspect it probably does. After all, the driver's airbag would presumably still work even if the passenger refused to put his seatbelt on. Anything else would be nonsensical.
 

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P.S.: As noted elsewhere, one could theoretically unbolt the passenger seat, but leave it plugged in, and possibly move it further up several inches. And maybe even remove the top half of the seat, creating more space. This would presumably avoid the SRS issue. It might also be possible to modify the tracks such that it simply slides up further, given most drivers the few extra inches they need to stretch out in the back.

However, it would definitely be better if one could simply remove that seat, especially when taking extended solo road trips. It would give you so much room to stretch out, even if a small cooler was also placed there. And make the habit so much more usable and comfortable as a result.

(This would also allow the driver to simply pull over and get into the back to sleep, etc., without having to exit or unlock the car.)

Given the extent to which many have owners have explored camping mods -- where every extra inch is important -- I'm surprised that more people haven't protested this issue. Especially since many long-term campers are solo. And extra people could comfortably sit on a mattress in the back anyway.
 

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Here's a link to a wheelchair-modified Element where the front passenger seat was clearly removed. http://centralmich.craigslist.org/cto/5014200355.html

So it's certainly doable, and presumably safely.

I do like the idea of making the SRS think the seat is connected. Theoretically, one could simply tear the related wiring out of the front passenger seat (or out of an extra one found at a junkyard), and plug it in, correct? Because the wiring itself *Would* be connected. (Along with any electrical signal. Unless there's a sideairbag in there that sends the signal.)

I also think my idea of simply relocating the seat forward would work. Along with possibly creating a swivel, where the front passenger seat could turn around and face the back. Which would be good for the camper option. (You could then face someone laying down in the camper. Or simply face your bed when reading. And use the seat space to place a cooler, etc.)

But I keep coming back to the idea of that seat being gone entirely, and how much frigging space the Element would have then. It could be transformed into a true camper at that point. One where you could easily stretch out with 8 feet of room. One where you could put a cooler and/or other important items in that spot And one where you could easily get into bed without leaving or unlocking the car.

Ah....
 

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i dont' think its legal to drive aroudn without a front passenger seat unless you are classified as a "bus" of course its doable... but you might get a ticket

:: edit ::
i was SURE that i had read something about removing the passenger seat years ago, but i've been searching and i can't find the legality of it anywhere. i might have it backwards, where if you want to be classified as a bus you HAVE to remove the front passenger seat.

i guess the main issue with this would be that you'd have to remove it before the trip, since you probably won't want to remove it when i you get to the destination. also, you have to disconnect the battery before you remove the seat and use whatever you would use to make the airbags thing they're still intact, or you will trip the sensor and will have to get it reset at the dealer
 

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I like the swiveling seat idea!!

Thanks. The swivel-seat idea comes from some of the old VW Campers that had this option for both front seats.

Which raises the possiblity of having a swivel for the driver's seat as well, which would arguably give you even more living room when in camper mode.

The key problem with this (I assume) is that a swiveling seat is less safe in the even of a crash -- with the belts and bags requiring you to be properly located to be properly protected. And even I would want the driver's seat to be generally safe.

However, maybe a swivel could still be combined with a strong locking mechanism, so that this isn't an issue.
 

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i dont' think its legal to drive aroudn without a front passenger seat unless you are classified as a "bus" of course its doable... but you might get a ticket

:: edit ::
i was SURE that i had read something about removing the passenger seat years ago, but i've been searching and i can't find the legality of it anywhere. i might have it backwards, where if you want to be classified as a bus you HAVE to remove the front passenger seat.

i guess the main issue with this would be that you'd have to remove it before the trip, since you probably won't want to remove it when i you get to the destination. also, you have to disconnect the battery before you remove the seat and use whatever you would use to make the airbags thing they're still intact, or you will trip the sensor and will have to get it reset at the dealer

Generally speaking, yes. However, I would probably keep the passenger seat out all the time, using the Element primarily as a dedicated camper/outdoor vehicle. (Again, passengers could simply sit on a mattress in the back. After all, back-seat passengers aren't even required to wear belts, right?)

The sensor light, per-se, doesn't necessarily bother me that much. The idea of the driver's airbag not working does more (although I again grew up without airbags). But I really don't understand why the passenger seat being disconnected would interfere with the driver's airbag. After all, that seems like a major design flaw, that an issue with the passenger airbag would also mess up the driver's airbag.

But again, there's hopefully a way to dummy this up, so the car doesn't realize the passenger seat is out.
 

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Swivel passenger seat in an Element

Here is a thread with one of our members who actual put a swivel seat base from a VW in his E. With the slope of the E floor it's at a bit of a strange angle when swiveled around. Still really cool though.

The idea of removing the front passenger seat completely is intriguing, but road trips are usually more fun with someone else. It really would free up a huge amount of space in the Element.

Swivel seat out of a Vanagon
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76935&highlight=swivel+seat&page=2
 

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i guess a workaround to not having a front seat could be to leave one of the rear seats in the car and fold it up at the destination.. as long as you dont' mind playing chauffeur for the duration of the trip
 
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