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Author Topic: Driver's seat: Ultraleather vs cloth?  (Read 5351 times)
belfert
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« on: July 03, 2009, 10:05:48 AM »

My driver's air ride seat got burned in a fire last week and needs new fabric.  I also discovered the frame in the back is cracked and wobbles back and forth, plus the air height adjustment barely works.  It is getting air.  So, I think a new driver's seat is in order.

What are the thoughts on Ultraleather versus cloth for a driver's seat?  One truck dealer had all leather seats on display, but the salesperson said a lot of drivers go back to cloth because leather can get hot on the back versus cloth.  Isn't Ultraleather supposed to be better in this regard?

I was at another truck parts place and they priced out a middle tier cloth seat from Seats Inc for $550.  I was looking at the display models and they had an Ultraleather model from the the next tier up for only $565.  I am thinking the Ultraleather seat would be easier to remove the desert dust.

The same dealer also had a cloth National 2000 series seat for just under $400 that might meet my needs, but it almost felt too narroow and I'm not a big guy.  My friends might have issues.  The Ultraleather seat seemed like it didn't have much support, but not sure how important that is.

I hate to spend a ton of money on a seat, but I don't know that fixing mine would be much less.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
John316
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 10:08:49 AM »

I have loved our ultraleather air ride seat, but I know that doesn't help you much.

What is this about a fire?

Expiring minds want to know...

God bless,

John
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 10:09:58 AM »

Personally I like leather but I think that is the key - it is a very personal choice.  I think in really hot weather that leather is less comfortable because it doesn't wick moisture away from your body but we try to avoid the really hot (and really cold) extremes.  For cold weather you absolutely need heaters in leather seats.  The reason I like it is because I tend to keep vehicles for a long time and leather wears so well.  In fact a leather seat isn't really properly broken in for about the first 100 thousand miles.  
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2009, 10:28:39 AM »

Try a salvage yard.  They have lots of choice/inventory these days.

I have gone with high end auto salvage seats.  I mated the seat to a plate and kept the elect power.  I did that for less than $100.  Toyota seats have been the very best and have support I find unparalleled and I have never been able to wear out that fabric.  I have leather seats in my current car and I truly love'em but they are DEEPLY dished and bolstered and hugely adjustable and.....they are made by Toy Corp.  Get Lexus if at all possible.  Those huge Cadillac eats that appear to be better than a Barco Lounger gave me a back ache after less than an hour.

HTH,

John
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 10:33:29 AM »

FWIW Brian ultraleather is a manufactured fabric.
I would go to a truck wrecking yard and look for a National Seat Backcyder model from a KW or Peterbuilt with air lumbar and some are made from real leather. 
No car seats for me in a bus even my Lexus seats are uncomfortable after a few hrs in the car buy a good seat you are not driving a car.   Good luck
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 11:01:52 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2009, 10:40:26 AM »

Brian this is one place I strongly urge you to spend the $ to buy the best! Look at all your options carefully and decide which is the most comfortable then go to a truck salvage yard and see what they have! The salvage unit should be NO MORE than 50% of new and will be a good value.
John also has a good suggestion for you on the car seat modified, but I know you are somewhat limited in fabrication ability's and help.

Remember that when you and your friends travel you like to go long distances straight thru and a comfortable seat is a must! It will help you be more relaxed in and out of the seat the whole trip!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2009, 11:52:03 AM »

I've retro-fitted luxury car seats into a variety of vehicles, and it would always be the first approach I would consider - I cannot really ever envisage spending the equivalent of $500-$600 dollars on a new seat in any situation. Having said that though, I have no experience with air-ride seats, so if you are looking for that type (and I am aware they are a very worthwhile thing to have) then the situation changes.

As far as car seats go, I currently have Chrylser Voyager seats in my bus, which are ok, but not brilliant - I mainly got them because they have armrests on both sides, which is very unusual in a car. Being from an MPV the Voyager seats also have a couple of extra functions which are useful in the bus - for instance, when camping I can turn the driver's seat around to use it as an extra seat in the lounge, or even fold the back down and use it as a table.

I had a very poor opinion of the seats in my Lexus, but conversely the seats in the BMW that replaced it (E38 7-series) are superb in all respects once you've got into them (they're a bit too deep to jump in and out of quickly). The BMW seats also have the nicest leather I've known, but as an overall package everything else pales in comparision to Range Rover seats in my opinion - I've fitted these to three vehicles, and also had one as an office chair for quite a while. Range Rover seats would be perfect for use in a bus I think - big and comfortable, but well shaped and supportive for long distances, and with all the adjustments you need including lumbar support and heating etc. The later versions had massage and cooling as well, but I've never had a set with those features myself.

I won't be surprised if I buy another set of Range Rover seats at some point to see if I could find a way of fitting a second armrest to them so I could put them in the bus - but before doing that I should try an air-ride seat on a long journey to see how that compares.

Jeremy

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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2009, 02:11:17 PM »

I love my cloth seats. I've had leather in my Corvettes, never really like it.  Cold in the winter, hot in the summer.  Give me cloth any day.

Bill
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2009, 03:07:18 PM »

Belfert,

I have a cloth seat and like it for overall usefullness and comfort. My PO had installed this seat, which was from Minn. I forget the mfr. name, but I can get same for you. I believe they were located in St. Cloud, not sure. This is a professional air ride seat and is the cat's behind.

I would suggest that you decide how you might coordinate with other colors & fabrics in the coach.

Good Luck


Gary P
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belfert
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2009, 03:32:43 PM »

I have loved our ultraleather air ride seat, but I know that doesn't help you much.

What is this about a fire?

I posted about the fire about 10 days ago when it happened.  Never got any pictures because my camera battery was dead.

My friend was welding and started a fire in the driver's area.  We had draped a painter's drop cloth over the seat, dash, and such.  My friend said he had used drop cloths for welding all the time.  The drop cloth started on fire and burned the driver's seat, seat belt, and panel behind the driver.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
belfert
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2009, 03:43:00 PM »

I didn't realize Ultraleather is a manufactured product.  I thought they did something to regular leather.  Anyhow, it seems to be better than normal leather and it is sure priced like it is better.  I have both an Ultraleather couch and a leather chair in the bus.  The Ultraleather is certainly nicer, but the real leather isn't bad either.

I really have desire to use a car seat as they don't ride as nice as a real truck seat in my opinion.  There is a truck salvage place locally, but I don't want to deal with smoking odors.  I'll have to see if I can get down there next week.

I may still fix my seat if there is a way to fix the air valve and the fabric is cheap enough.  The frame could probably be welded. (outside the bus!)
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2009, 04:56:30 PM »

You fix the smoking odours while the seat is out of the bus.

Liberal use of your favorite dish or laundry soap, mix strong with some water, soak it in heavy.

Work it into the fabric and the foam.

Let it sit.

Use more.

Repeat some more.

Garden hose to your heart's content.

You'd be shocked at what the dealers use the power washer for on the used cars and trucks before putting them out front...

Might not be a good strategy if the seat has electrical features built into the seat material, no way to tell if those bits have dried out.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2009, 05:12:25 PM »

I haven't driven 18 wheelers so I'm not familiar with their seats.  But the most comfortable driver seat I ever experienced was in a Ford Aerostar.  I could drive all day and be comfortable in it.  And just me personally, I tend to prefer cloth seats for long drives.
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oldmansax
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 05:13:04 PM »

I vote for cloth. I drove a lot of miles in trucks before AC & leather was always hot in summer and cold in winter.

TOM
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2009, 05:28:50 PM »

Thanks for the explanation belfert. I am not sure how I completely missed the whole thread??? Oh, well, I guess I need to take my head out of the sand Grin Grin Grin.

God bless,

John
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