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I think this is easier than it's being made out to be. I don't think the captain's chairs have any sort of occupancy sensors. I had a friend in the back, and didn't notice that he didn't have a seatbelt on until halfway through the trip. The car never notified me. The only wiring you'd probably have is if the captain's chairs are heated in your model.
 

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The OP could, of course, CHEAT, by getting the 8 passenger, and then keeping the third row seat down. Sounds like he would have been a candidate for the rare, elusive, (ahem,) Tribeca 5-passenger (which has been our favorite Subaru so far).
If any Subaru corporate folks are listening, I think my ideal configuration would be a single captain's chair in the 2nd row, and no 3rd row seat at all. Like others, the reason is space for dogs and camping gear, not people. Folded seats are a waste of space - give me the height all the way to the actual floor instead.
 

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If any Subaru corporate folks are listening, I think my ideal configuration would be a single captain's chair in the 2nd row, and no 3rd row seat at all. Like others, the reason is space for dogs and camping gear, not people. Folded seats are a waste of space - give me the height all the way to the actual floor instead.
Beautiful plan, and would make packing some of my gear easier. I'm fortunate enough to have the rear view mirror cam, which helps when I pack to the ceiling, but...

...the spare tire and the gas tank take up the space under the rear cargo floor, so, a level floor would be level with the current cargo floor height. Sorry for the bad news. :crying:
 

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So a van...
A van with AWD, a lower center of gravity, better ground clearance, better looks, and all of the bells and whistles. Sold.

Subaru says its cars are "dog tested". Dogs aren't very good testers. Otherwise, there wouldn't be that big gap behind the second row when all of the seats are folded. A dog's leg will fall through that. As my wife pointed out, the dogs in the commercials are always in the front seats.

Removable seats would be an awesome option, the DogVan option.
 

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A van with AWD, a lower center of gravity, better ground clearance, better looks, and all of the bells and whistles. Sold.

Subaru says its cars are "dog tested". Dogs aren't very good testers. Otherwise, there wouldn't be that big gap behind the second row when all of the seats are folded. A dog's leg will fall through that. As my wife pointed out, the dogs in the commercials are always in the front seats.

Removable seats would be an awesome option, the DogVan option.
These already exist, but you need to look at the commercial offerings from Ford, Volvo, BMW, etc.
 

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I have actually looked into vans a bit for this reason. The problem seems to be that the middle ground isn't really addressed. You can get ground clearance, AWD, and towing ability in a FULL-sized van (most notably the M-B Sprinter for AWD that's stock, not an aftermarket modification), but the fuel economy of such a thing is terrible and that's about twice as big as I actually need. (I actually know a few people with Sprinters, Ford Transits, and Chevy Expresses for hauling dogs, but those are breeders with way more than I'll ever have.) On the other end, you get the right size and fuel economy in any number of minivans, but with terrible ground clearance, and usually without AWD or towing ability. There are also some question marks on safety, as a lot of vans fall into market segments that aren't required to go through the same crash testing.
 

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I have actually looked into vans a bit for this reason. The problem seems to be that the middle ground isn't really addressed. You can get ground clearance, AWD, and towing ability in a FULL-sized van (most notably the M-B Sprinter for AWD that's stock, not an aftermarket modification), but the fuel economy of such a thing is terrible and that's about twice as big as I actually need. (I actually know a few people with Sprinters, Ford Transits, and Chevy Expresses for hauling dogs, but those are breeders with way more than I'll ever have.) On the other end, you get the right size and fuel economy in any number of minivans, but with terrible ground clearance, and usually without AWD or towing ability. There are also some question marks on safety, as a lot of vans fall into market segments that aren't required to go through the same crash testing.
My solution to extra space was this little 32"x48" hitch platform. I won't be using the crate that's on it, but instead will be using a massive Pelican case that fits it nicely. Currently, I haven't yet had the need... but I have it.
 

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My solution to extra space was this little 32"x48" hitch platform. I won't be using the crate that's on it, but instead will be using a massive Pelican case that fits it nicely. Currently, I haven't yet had the need... but I have it.
Brand/link? Most of those are waaay narrower - 32" would be fantastic. Obviously you can't drive with a dog on that, so it doesn't totally solve the problem, but it would be handy for the extra crates needed for weight pull events.
 

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Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier and Pelican Case

Brand/link? Most of those are waaay narrower - 32" would be fantastic. Obviously you can't drive with a dog on that, so it doesn't totally solve the problem, but it would be handy for the extra crates needed for weight pull events.
Exactly my problem. But, already having the specific Pelican, I had to find one. I dug and dug and almost gave up, and then, viola! I found it!

Pro Series 1040100 Solo Black 48" x 32" Hitch Mounted Cargo Carrier
I find it to be very good quality, but you have to pay attention to how to put it together. :tango_face_wink:

It also supports having a ramp added to one side, which you can get separately:

With most of them being no more than 26", there was no way this was fitting:

Pelican 1690 Case With Foam (Black)
 

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I'm wondering if you had success in removing the 2nd row captains chairs? I just picked up my new Ascent today and immediately thought I wanted to get rid of those seats to make room for a dog crate and other gear.
 

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Posting to this old thread as I've been following to see if anyone had success.

2nd Row Captains chairs are very easy to remove.

Picked up a Limited with captains chairs yesterday, remove the 2nd row today to make room for my dogs. Total time 45 minutes. Took it for a drive and there were no issues with warning lights.
There are 9 bolts, two wiring harnesses (heated seats) and 8 plastic covers. The two covers near the seat belts were the most difficult to remove. Take your time an expect to use more force than the other 6 covers. I was really careful to make sure nothing broke on a car less than 24 hours old.
The nine bolts are 17mm and not torqued very tight. The seats were heavy and navigating them out is risky to make sure you don't bump into trim/doors/glass/etc.
I can try to answer questions or provide pics if requested.
 

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Posting to this old thread as I've been following to see if anyone had success.

2nd Row Captains chairs are very easy to remove.
............
I can try to answer questions or provide pics if requested.
Please do!

I imagine if I removed one second-row seat I could install some amenities there, like a small dinette, and use the Ascent as a modern-day VW Vanagon
 

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Posting to this old thread as I've been following to see if anyone had success.

2nd Row Captains chairs are very easy to remove.

Picked up a Limited with captains chairs yesterday, remove the 2nd row today to make room for my dogs. Total time 45 minutes. Took it for a drive and there were no issues with warning lights.
There are 9 bolts, two wiring harnesses (heated seats) and 8 plastic covers. The two covers near the seat belts were the most difficult to remove. Take your time an expect to use more force than the other 6 covers. I was really careful to make sure nothing broke on a car less than 24 hours old.
The nine bolts are 17mm and not torqued very tight. The seats were heavy and navigating them out is risky to make sure you don't bump into trim/doors/glass/etc.
I can try to answer questions or provide pics if requested.
Yes please post some pictures showing which plastic trim panels should be removed and where the bolts are. That would be great! My current plan is to remove the seat behind the drivers.
 

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Posting to this old thread as I've been following to see if anyone had success.

2nd Row Captains chairs are very easy to remove.

Picked up a Limited with captains chairs yesterday, remove the 2nd row today to make room for my dogs. Total time 45 minutes. Took it for a drive and there were no issues with warning lights.
There are 9 bolts, two wiring harnesses (heated seats) and 8 plastic covers. The two covers near the seat belts were the most difficult to remove. Take your time an expect to use more force than the other 6 covers. I was really careful to make sure nothing broke on a car less than 24 hours old.
The nine bolts are 17mm and not torqued very tight. The seats were heavy and navigating them out is risky to make sure you don't bump into trim/doors/glass/etc.
I can try to answer questions or provide pics if requested.
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posting remaining pictures, removed the drivers side rear captains seat in 2019 Ascent limited. Easy once you know which panels to remove. This seat had a total of 5 bolts and one wire harness connector. Let me know if you have questions. Not sure of forum process of image approval, will only allow limited pictures per reply. Will post rest of pics now. Once I see the posting, may add some words.
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