I am putting together the plans for my campervan conversion. I will buy a cargo van and turn it into a campervan. One of the things I am going to need is a kitchen. Various setups have been built by campervan owners.
While web surfing for something entirely different, I stumbled across a “all-in-one” compact kitchen. The price was prohibitive for my budget. The unit doesn’t come with an oven or a freezer, two things I really want.
While looking at my plans, I knew I could design my own mini kitchen. I can have a small stove, oven, refrigerator/freezer and sink all in one custom unit.
You will need:
- · General woodworking tools
- · One heavy-duty surge protector
- · Small RV sink
- · Faucet- this can be a hand pump or regular faucet, plumbing
- · 12-volt water pump if using regular faucet**
- · Fresh water container**
- · Gray water container**
- · One each two burner induction or flat burner stove, countertop model
- · One three-foot cubic foot refrigerator with freezer
- · One toaster oven or microwave
- · Countertop
- · One sheet ½” plywood
- · Wire shelving to fit if desired
The ** symbol is for items for campervans. The sink can be attached to existing plumbing lines.
Use this mini kitchen in weekend cabins, RV’s, campervans, tiny houses and more. It can also be used in case of a disaster. Keep in mind that the appliances are small. You will still be able to cook dinner and wash up afterward.
You can change these plans to suit your needs.
Measure your cooktop, sink and refrigerator. Add enough width to allow movement between the sink and stove. You will need a separate prep area.
Measure the height of the refrigerator. Add the height of the cooktop plus four inches. This is the height of the countertop.
Decide whether you want your refrigerator on the right or left. Place your cook top on that side. The sink will be mounted on the other side.
Regarding the sink, if you are mounting this in a travel trailer or a campervan that has a freshwater tank with a 12-volt water pump, you will hook the plumbing up to the existing lines. If you are planning to add tanks, consult a manual on designing a water system and install it.
Build your outer cabinet. Use the countertop of your choice. Cut openings in the back for electrical cords and to provide ventilation for the refrigerator.
Install the sink, faucet and the cooktop. On the side opposite the refrigerator, decide if you want pantry space or to install a microwave or toaster oven. You can have a full kitchen of small appliances.
If you are using a hand pump faucet, you will need fresh water and gray water tanks. Five-gallon bottles can fit in the space. They can also be removed for filling or emptying. Ensure the lids allow water to enter or exit the bottles. You will also need to provide ventilation so water can flow.
You can add a stove vent between the stove and the sink. Ensure water will not enter the vent from the counter or under the sink. The vent pipe must go to the outside of the van, RV or cabin.
In a campervan, you can extend the cabinet’s width and create a pantry space.
Plug the appliances into the heavy-duty surge protector power strip. If you are using shore power hookups, no inverter is necessary. If you are using battery power, you will need an inverter.
Install the mini kitchen in your chosen space.
You can customize the cabinet to fit in a corner, an island or against a wall. Since you are designing your own kitchen, you can have the unit you want. If you do not have any woodworking skills, you can hire a friend who does have them.
- · Install a mini kitchen in your outdoor room or patio. You can also install it in a basement recreational room.
- · Find the cooktop and stove vent at RV supply stores online or in big box stores. You can also look on Ebay or Craigslist to try to find used, working units to help cut costs.
- · Small sinks can be found under the name RV sinks or bar sinks. You can also use metal bowls and a hole saw to create the opening for a drain.
- · You can also install a propane two-burner stovetop. The tank will fit inside the cabinet.
I know I’m going to enjoy my campervan’s custom mini kitchen.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse forms of DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.