Cabinets and Storage

You will need places to put all your stuff. This is where cabinets are very useful. I had never worked with wood before, but it was a very rewarding experience.

Finished CabinetsFor my build, I opted to put drop down cabinets over the wheel well, a cabinet to house my fridge (Home Depot), and a slide out “pantry” (Ikea) next to it. In addition, I have clear plastic totes (Target) under the bed that I can slide around and remove. Upper cabinets would be nice too, but I nixed them (for now) so I could make the end of the ski season.

The tools I used:
Some sort of saw (Plunge cut, circular, table, etc)
Pneumatic Nailer (They make electric ones, and I suppose you could hammer in finishing nails yourself)
Cordless drill/driver (for screws)

The building supplies:
a big pack of long 1×2’s and thin wood paneling from my local lumber supply
Reclaimed solid wood shelves that I used for the lids
Stain and rub on polyurethane
Full length hinges (don’t cheap out here, I had to replace the cheap ones I tried to use)
Angle brackets to bolt the cabinets to the floor




The Build

1) Measure everything twice. Draw it out. What length boards do you need? How tall do you want things?
Tip: when planning the van cut things out of cardboard to get your floorplan right and make sure it’s not too crowded

2) Cut the 1×2’s and frame out your cabinets with them (basically build the outside of a box)

3) Screw the 1×2’s together using wood screws

4) Put them in the van and make sure they fit as expected

5) Cut the wood panels to size for the front and sides

6) Cut the lids to the correct size, remembering that they will have to open up and won’t take up the entire top width of your frame

7) Stain and apply poly coats to the cabinets and lids following the directions on the bottle

8) Attach the lids (with your hinges) and the sides (with finishing nails/staples) to the cabinets
Note: This is a good time to drill any holes you need to run wires, attach panels, etc.

9) Move the cabinets into your van, and secure them to the floor and walls with angle brackets and metal screws to the van