Stove and Overhead Kitchen Storage

Stove Storage

One of our favorite aspects of our kitchen is that we can put the stove away, storing it in the bedframe, just below the bedside cabinets. Whenever we need it, we slide it out onto the counter. When we don’t, we can use the entire counter space.

Out of ½” birch veneer, we cut a shelf that the stove would fit on which was then attached to the 2×3” pine studs of the bedframe under the bedplatform (below the bedside cabinets). It is basically an extention of the counter top, extending below the bedframe.

In order for the stove to fit below the space, we replaced one of the 2×3 pine studs to make the opening larger. After cutting the 2×3” out, we put a 1×3”pine stud in its place (using a pocket hole jig we attached it to the vertical 2×3” studs) and then reinforced it further with an aluminum L strut. The storage area is slightly lower than the counter (about ¼”) to prevent the stove from easily sliding out while driving. We put some rubber on the bottom of the shelf to prevent sliding while driving – although the stove is not secured down, we have had no issues of it sliding out while driving thus far.

Storage compartment

Storage compartment

Kitchen Overhead Storage

Next we did the over head kitchen storage. The construction for this was very similar to that of the bed-side storage cabinets.

Dimensioning

The key consideration for the overhead storage was its depth. We didn’t want to hit our heads every time we were leaning over the kitchen counter. Our goal was to create storage for large, light items. Smaller things are difficult to store in the overhead compartment because it’s difficult to look into them. In the end we decided to make the storage roughly 12” deep and 12” high. The cabinets run over almost the entire kitchen counter, at 54” long. We decided on open cabinets instead of doors for simplicity.

Completed overhead storage view

Completed overhead storage view

Construction

We decided to break the entire cabinet space down into 3 equal sections of 18”. Based on this, we cut 3 panels out of ½” birch veneer that would be both compartment dividers and supports – similar to how we built the bedside storage, running along the ceiling and the wall. Using the same ‘technique’ as we used for the bedside storage, we traced these panels individually. For the bottom of the shelf, we needed one large rectangular panel at 54”x11 ½’. For the front, we would need 2 rectangular pieces at top and bottom – the bottom is 3” high to keep things from falling out, and the top is 1″.

In order not to hit our heads, we rounded the bottom edge of the cabinet using a router. It makes a big difference.

Lastly, we added bookcase LED lighting from IKEA. They’re a bit brighter than the ones that we used for the rest of the van, but it’s nice to have for the kitchen work space.

 

Overhead storage

Overhead storage

As supports for the frame, we used 1×3 pine struts that run horizontally along the top front and top back of the shelf. We adjusted the compartment dividers to accommodate the 1×3 struts, and joined the bottom of the shelf, dividers, and pine struts using pocket screws. Once complete, we used self-tapping sheet metal screws to attach the pine struts to the van frame. It’s braced with an L-bracket from underneath for extra support.

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Frontal view

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The completed construction

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L-bracket support

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Your blogs are great and the insight you’ve provided was helpful in getting me started down the rabbit hole! Safe travels back north.

  2. Hi Jakob
    Great info!
    Have you had any problems with the Kitchen Overhead Storage staying in place? Do you feel the self tapping sheet metal screws are sufficient. About how many screws did you use.

    Thanks
    Bill

  3. Hi Jakob
    Great Info!!
    Have you had any issues with your kitchen overhead storage staying attached. Are the self tapping sheet metal screws sufficient?? About how many screws did you use to attach.

    Thanks
    Bill

    • We haven’t had any issues with using sheet metal screws, despite a ton of bumpy roads and storing books in the cabinets. I believe we used 2 or 3 sheet metal screws to attach to the body (they are surprisingly strong!), but in addition the overhead storage framing is part of the storage compartments next to our bed. I think you can see it in some of the pictures – basically one of the horizontal 1×3 studs that we used to support the storage compartments next to the bed extends further forward to support the storage compartments. Again, 50k miles later we haven’t had any problems.

      • Thanks Jakob,

        I was about to use RivNut instead of self-tapping sheet metal screws because I was afraid it would come off while driving on wash board.

        p.s: my bed frame is built with 3/4 plywood instead of 2X3…it makes it easier to install the tracks for the drawers 🙂

        Stef.

        • Stephane,

          Hope it saved you some time and frustration! It’s a good idea to check on the screws every now and then to make sure everything is secure, although we never had an issue.

          3/4 plywood sounds like a good idea – email me some pictures if you have them, I’d be curious to see what you came up with. jakob@sprintervandiaries.com

    • We started the trip using 1lb propane bottles and then later fitted a 10lbs propane tank in our kitchen cabinet… Ideally you would want a vented propane locker.

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