Swivel x Cabinets Pt. 7, Day 21

January 6, 2021

The following might be one of my favorite modifications to the van — maybe because it was my gift to Pa for Christmas!

This passenger seat swivel base gives so much more function to the seat as it allows it to rotate around and lock at 90, 135, and 180 degrees. With the only drawback of an added 1.25" in height (negligible!), a full turn of the seat opens up so many possibilities when it comes to #vanlife.

I read that swivels for both the driver and passenger seats cost $1,385 when purchased as a factory option. This blew my mind and set me on the hunt for a safe and wallet-friendly aftermarket alternative. Our swivel base was purchased from Amazing Auto LLC at a very reasonable price point.. totaling less than half as compared to other third party options, even with the shipping factored in. The addition of great reviews and a couple of handy online install tutorials made this an easy buy. Unfortunately, a driver’s seat swivel is not part of our build vision as directly behind the captain’s chair will be the bathroom.

Before & After. Swag.

With the install of the swivel base only taking one hour, the rest of the workday was dedicated to finishing up all the components of the cabinetry. We installed the drawer slides and fashioned the remaining doors/drawer faces for the driver’s and passenger side cabinet. Peep the results.


Driver’s side cabinet:

Wooden countertop is all that is missing.

Passenger side cabinet:

Ready for the sink (left countertop) and fridge (bottom right space).

I figure that the lower cabinets will be FINALLY finished after one more day of work. Aside from a few coats of paint.. hinges, latches, and countertops are all that’s left! Has eight days of cabinetry really yielded such beautiful results?

Today marks three weeks of dedicated work on the van conversion! Over those 21 days, a total of 93 collective man hours were spent installing $2798.25 worth of building materials:

If I had to guess, we are probably about 50% done with the whole project! I’m happy that lots of the recent work was able to be done in the garage, rather than inside the van, as the New England weather has been pretty bitter. Although much of the van still has not been built, I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have found that discussing our workday goals beforehand results in focused, fast-paced productivity. I hope to continue this pace through the next 14 workdays in order to fulfill my New Year’s resolution of completing the project within a total 5-week period. Don’t forget to follow the build on Instagram: @themagnomobile to see if we make it!

DAY 21: Swivel material, cost, install hours

  • (1) Passenger swivel base/bracket: $234.00 ($199.00 + $35.00 shipping), Amazing Auto LLC
  • 1 Hour of work

Day 21: Cabinets materials, cost, and build/install hours

  • (5) 18” Bottom mount slide set: $6.98/ea., Home Depot
  • (1) 3/4" 2'x4' Birch plywood: $27.49, Home Depot
  • (1) 1"x5" 8' Pine board: $15.56, Home Depot
  • (1) 1"x2" 8' Pine board: $6.15, Home Depot
  • 5.5mm 4'x8' Plywood: left over from Day 14 cabinetry, no cost incurred
  • 4 Hours of work

A work in progress / The story of a 2020 Ford Transit’s metamorphosis into a fully equipped conversion van / IG: TheMagnoMobile