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The Kitchen

The kitchenThe kitchen takes up more or less half of the width in the back of the campervan It is based on the Smev 911 Sink/Double burner unit. I purchased the unit from Klassic VW Kampers and I also bought the connecting kit. Having said that, I still have most of the connecting parts left over!

The first job was to work out the size and shape that the unit was to be. Starting with cardboard boxes, a basic design started to take shape. Next we built a frame from 2cm square wood. Well, we did that a couple of times until we got the layout we wanted. Narrow enough to allow for a reasonable bed space, wide enough not to set fire to the wall when we finally lit the burner.

Tip!

Read the safety notes that come with the burner units. They will give dimensions regarding the spacing required around burners. At the end of the day, we had to compromise. I always intended to have a heat/splash guard to protect or it just about works out OK. If in any doubt, contact a qualified gas installer/inspector to do the gas connections. Your insurance company may insist on it.

The kitchen unit frameNext we put a temporary top on, roughly cut out where the sink and burner would go. Then added temporary sides and a front. This was made from a cheap chip-board. This is because we didn't know where the doors would go until the unit was more or less in place. We always intended building a frame which was secured to the van floor and side wall, and then "hang" the more expensive outer wood once we had a template.

The design allowed for the gas cylinder to be in it's own locker at the lowest part of the kitchen unit. It is essential to make a vent hole through the floor of this compartment to vent out to the open air. Any escaping gas will fall like water to the lowest point as it is heavier than air, and the hole in the floor allows any escaping gas to be vented out.

Once we were happy with where the doors would be, then the chipboard template was delivered to Si Thompson at Damselfly Interiors. He transformed our very very rough templates into the beautify finished product you see in the photos. (See the gallery below).

I bought a nice tap that includes a micro switch. This turns the pump on in the main water tank (see the water section). The sink was connected up to the drain pipe that drains through one of two holes that where already in the floor of the van (see the floor section). The gas supply goes down from the burner unit to the Camping Gaz cylinder that is strapped into it's own, vented compartment.

Tip

Cover any vent holes through the floor of the van with a fine gauze. Otherwise you will find all the creepy-crawlies will find their way into your bed at night!!

UpdateThe splash-guard/heat shield actually belongs to a stand-up cooking double burner. The very kind chap in the Caravan Accessory Shop in West Runton (North Norfolk) was good enough to have a dig around and found this for me. It has 3 sides that hinge around the cooking stove with a hole in the middle of the back for the gas hose to come through (I guess). Removing the left wing left me with an ideal size/shape guard. The guard has little legs/pins that stick down into the wooden kitchen top holding it in place at cooking time (the curtains go to be back of the passenger seat to keep them out of the way). The whole thing lifts off and folds away when traveling.

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