1st step was getting the sideboard in! This is a bog standard kitchen worktop. Fortunately one of friends had a whole worktop unused and going spare!

The first thing to do was strip out some of the ply lining, we’ve had the van for nearly two years at this point!
Then I attached a long aluminum right-angle directly to the wall of the van.

Once that was on and I had a couple of legs the whole sideboard was pretty rigid and looked good. 🙂
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I have also moved the control panel for the diesel heater that came with the van… this works really well apart from sounding like a jet engine when it is running! However in the winter it is amazing for heating the whole van in about 5 minutes! As I’m a little paranoid about safety I have fitted an additional gas, CO2 detector to go alongside the control panel.

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A lot more of the sideboard has been built now. It includes the gas cupboard and the battery compartment which are covered under the gas and electrics sections.

I did have a shelf along under the counter with plastic stacker boxes on…. but they were ugly!

Still not pretty but we’re getting there!


Don’t build the work top like I did… build it outside of the van as 1 unit and then lift it into place, that way if you need to take it out (to have the bottom of your van welded!) you can put it back in!!


OK so I’ve decided to redo the the worktop as I want to change the current cooker and sink.

I’m now looking for something like this instead…

So I’m going to try my local sawmill once I have the dimensions that I need.

The new worktop consists of 3 planks, my current idea is to get some dowel pins and pin and wood glue the planks together.

Yeah… this was a rubbish idea, I don’t have anything to ensure that the holes for the dowel are perfectly lined up so my test piece bowed and twisted. I think a better idea is to us battens underneath the planks and screw up into them.

I need to make the box frame of the current sideboard more sturdy as the new worktop is significantly thinner.

Update – Done! Basically made this a sideboard that slides into place and then attaches rather than being built onto the van body!

Treating the Worktop

Sand and oil the worktop. Not sure if I want to stain the wood first… at the moments its quite a bright pine colour and I quite like it but I’m not sure if I should stain it a different colour. Need to test on an off-cut first.