Cupboard Creation

The whole extendy bed construction relies on having a cabinet on the other side of the van to hook onto. I wouldn’t normally have used such chunky wood for a bit of studwork cabinetry but as this bed may have two full size male humans sleeping on it, I thought I had better not skimp. It would truly suck if in the middle of the night there is a cracking sounds followed by to heavy bangs as we hit the floor.

Using chunky bits of wood for the cabinet gave me a follow on idea. Electrifying a water pump is a ball ache and then requires a proper sink with a drain and two water butts, one for clean and one grey water…. Just seems like a nightmare so I’ve decided to mount my water carrier high up in the van on this cabinet. This means I can simply have a tap spout on the neck of it and gravity supply my water into a washing up bowl! I think its going to work great, but I am a little nervous about that amount of weight, that high up in the van. In practice I may travel with the water butt on the floor and only put it up on the shelf when parked.

I sourced a water container from EBay; I am such an EBay addict at present. It carries a good 25L and comes with a normal screw top lid and a tap style lid so all bases are covered. I’ve made the tall cabinet just wide enough that it sits right up next to the wall and ceiling, so maximizing space in the cabin. I’ve made the strongest connection to the studwork possible and topped it off with a good bit of plywood as the shelf. I’m pretty confident this will be strong enough.

Next, while rooting around in the garage for various bits of wood to use I came across a square of chunky 22mm plywood. Amazingly it fitted EXACTLY in between the stud posts of my cabinet. So I have decided to make this into a laptop table, or extra work surface if I need it. I’ve found some more hinges and with a little trimming, its attached to the next shelf down. It works amazingly well and will be perfect for a small laptop while sitting on the edge of my bed. I just need a short length of cord to keep it suspended at the correct height and that will be done!

Finally, I’ve been keeping an eye out for something I could use as my main worktop. I’m no fan of the standard laminate worktops in kitchens. They look ok but are about 40mm thick MDF, so really heavy, and look a bit naff next to real wood, no matter how good the laminate is… So while visiting Mum & Dad I spotted a bit of polished wood at the back of Dads shed. He is a hoarder and has kept, mostly useless, stuff over the years but this might actually be useful. I think it used to be a side board because it’s got a dark stain and polish over it but it looks like solid wood to me and its lighter and thinner so that will be good for the van.

This worktop needed a bit of trimming to get rid of the tatty edges and make it fit the van. It’s a bit shorter than I would have liked but gives plenty of space to get in and out of the van. The Laptop table has set the height of the worktop so a bit more chunky stud work – keep the theme going – and its solidly attached. I’ve hung on to it and rocked the whole van so I’m happy its not going anywhere.