After a camper van trip, we normally empty the van of perishable food, clothes that need washing etc. We always say that we’ll clean it and vacuum the carpets etc. but we never do, until it’s time to go away again. It’s just us. I’m sure everyone else is much more diligent.

Anyway, after our last trip, we did actually clean the interior and once the carpets were out, I noticed that the handle of the passenger swivel seat was missing. Instead of an east-to-grip plastic handle, there was just a piece of sharp looking metal sticking out of the side of the seat, just waiting to embed itself in our ankles. It still worked and would swivel the seat, but it was uncomfortable and painful to use. Even Sara complained – so that meant I needed to fix it.

At first, I thought that the missing handle must be in the van somewhere and hunted for it, even opening some of the cupboards and cubby-holes that I had forgotten existed. I found the tool kit under the seat, and then realised that we had 3 fire extinguishers (I had obviously forgotten about the first two). But no seat handle. In the end I decided to buy one online. I put in ‘seat handle’. No good. Lots of items that did not resemble our missing handle. I tried various other search terms and then gave up.

A few weeks later, and getting ready for a camper van day trip, I spotted the ugly metal thing sticking out of the seat and looked all round the van again, trying to find the missing handle. Then I found it! Wedged under the back of the seat. Unfortunately a piece had broken off, which I tried to glue back on. Then I compared it to the handle on the other seat and realised that a chunk of it was still missing.

I remembered that someone had suggested using Google Lens to find things that defy description… So I took a picture of the remaining handle using Google Lens and immediately found a pair of new and improved handles from a company called SMW Engineering. So I ordered some. They arrived a couple of days later and I fitted them. Easy to fit, look great, are less obtrusive than the original ones. Maybe I should have asked for them in grey, but too late now. We’ll see how they perform. All in all though, very pleased with the fact that I managed to find them.


And yes, I know that the side of the seat needs a good clean. (My Meguiars Quik Detailer should see to that.)