Building the Kitchen (Part 1)

Building the Kitchen (Part 1)

May 12, 2015 Categories Camper Van

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This morning I started working on the plumbing for the kitchen. My setup is pretty simple and only requires one incoming water line, which then T’s off to form the cold water connection for my sink and one line that runs to the water heater. The water heater return line (hot water) runs back to the sink area where it becomes the hot water connection. That’s it. Boom. Done.

I ran out of pipe insulation near the end and there’s one pipe fitting I overlooked, so I’ll have to pick that stuff up later when I go to the store. Other than the sink having it’s own shutoff valves, I added a shutoff valve to the entire system. If I ever need to service the water heater, all I have to do is use the system shutoff valve to cut water to everything. I’m probably gonna add another shutoff valve directly after where water goes through the accumulator.

I began half ass working on the kitchen cabinet before realizing I couldn’t continue until I installed the flooring. Essentially, I made a couple boxes and stacked on top of each other to house my fridge and microwave.

Since I couldn’t do much without the floor in place, I took out the fridge and microwave frames and started on the flooring. The first step was rolling out some plastic to act as a vapor/moisture barrier.

With the plastic down, it was time for the underlayment to be added. Underlayment is just a thin foam that the floor “floats” on top of.

Now it was time to start laying down the wood flooring. The stuff I bought looks rustic and each board is just under 12″ wide, so it didn’t take too many boards to make it all the way across the van.

I’m only flooring the kitchen area right now. The only portion of the rear of the van that will get flooring is the 18″ walkway between the seating areas and that won’t get done until after the second seating area is built.

Now I could get back to the cabinets. I setup the frame that will be the bottom portion of the water heater cabinet as well as the right wall of the fridge housing. As usual, I made sure everything was square before I anchored it in place.

Next I added a sheet of 1/4″ OSB to the inside of the frame and used Liquid Nails to glue on carpeting to the inside of the cabinet, just like my other storage area. Almost all of my storage areas will be carpeted to hopefully reduce noise/rattle of objects inside it hitting the walls while driving. I also added some 1×2 strips along the top for the shelf to rest on. Nothing will be stored on the shelf, it just acts as a divider between the water heater and area below it.

Before I build too much more, I’m going to have to run my gas lines and test them for leaks. I honestly have never messed with propane appliances like this before and don’t know how I’m gonna do it yet. I have to run three separate appliances off of one propane tank, so I know I need at least two T’s in the line. Two of the appliances require a low pressure regulator (the stove and the water heater), whereas my portable heater doesn’t. Since the portable heater will only be used if it gets really cold, I don’t want to leave it connected the majority of time and need to make sure there’s a shutoff valve added to that line. I’m going to see what Home Depot has for gas line stuff and go from there.

Tomorrow the van goes in for its transmission service and radiator coolant flush, so I probably won’t do much, if any, work on it. I might head back out to the junk yard and get me a stock air intake system to get rid of the aftermarket, redneck setup someone has added to the engine. When things are held in place with duct tape and zip ties, it’s just not acceptable to me.

Continue on to part two.

5 thoughts on “Building the Kitchen (Part 1)”

David Michael · December 12, 2016

Great site. Thanks for the details. Geat work.

And…reading your summary feelings, I totally understand why you wish you had spent less time and money on the build and more time on traveling. Thse builds take much more time for the average person than they ever considered.

So…thanks. You can pat yourself on the back and say,”I accomplished a great van build and helped fellow wannabe vanners in the process.” Bravo!!!

David Michael · January 9, 2017

What are you using for a refrigerator? Does it include a freezer?
Details please. Size, cost, etc. Thanks.

Luke · January 26, 2017

I bought a simple “dorm” fridge from Walmart for around $60 or so. It was roughly 22″ wide, 24″ high, and 20″ deep. There wasn’t much of a freezer in it. I also ended up not even using it, as it consumed too much power. I kept a cooler full of ice to keep drinks in. All my food was non-perishable.

Alex · April 19, 2017

Since someone asked about the fridge, I found this one on Amazon. Its low watts and has a zero freezer, its slightly larger than the one he purchased, but the watt hours are much lower. you can find it here:

Renzo · November 8, 2020

“Nothing will be stored on the shelf, it just acts as a divider between the water heater and area below it.”
Let’s face it: ANY horizontal surface will be used because they are at a premium in any van build.
Thanks for your build blog-I’m following it closely

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