Living full time in a 20 year old camper has just a few drawbacks, each camper layout design is unique and presents a set of problems that might not exist in another design, but the other design will have different layout issues. There is no such thing as the perfect mass produced RV, but with a little bit of planning and designing a camper can be reformed into the perfect living space.
In our 2001 Springdale the kitchen was obviously designed by someone who never prepared their own meal in life, no counter space, no prep space. There was 12 inches of counter space beside the big ugly sink, but that was over by the door, as far from the stove as possible. Between the sink and stove there was less than 2 inches of counter space. So really it is was just a big, wide, ugly, shallow sink that spit water across the room like holding a spoon under a faucet and the stove taking up every useable inch of counter top.
We bought the camper knowing that we would be selling our 2500 square foot home and 6 acres near the beach, to begin living the full time RV life. Residing full time in a 200 square foot camper, made it a must to have a useable kitchen for preparing meals and cleaning up afterward. The desire to install a new, modern looking counter top with a deep single bay sink, became a goal for Tracey almost immediately after purchasing the camper. Starting the project we really didn't know what to expect, there are so many horror stories out there about building and construction methods used in RV manufacturing. Was the counter top screwed down, stapled down or a combination of both with a lot of glue? We really had no clue, so we simply took a hammer and hit the corner from underneath, luckily there was no glue, but they didn't spare any staples. 10 minutes later and we had the old counter top off. Let me add, the cabinets look like cabinets from the front, but they are not built like cabinets at all, without the counter top holding it all together, we had to be very careful with the remaining flimsy shell.
The replacement counter top was a 74" x 25" solid butcher block we purchased at Home Depot. It was simply irresistible sitting there on the shelf staring at us. Once we got it home, the reality of having to make precision cuts on this beautiful piece of wood began to sink in. Cutting for length wasn't scary, cutting out the hole for the sink was!
We finally got up the nerve and made the cuts, I really don't know why we were so concerned, using the template, everything came out perfect. So with the cuts done we secured the new counter top to the base "cabinets" with screws from underneath. Tracey then slowly and methodically hand rubbed 4 coats of butcher block oils and sealer into the new counter top, we let it dry overnight and finished up the next morning by installing the new sink, faucet and drains. Eventually we will replace the stove with something a little more modern looking, but for now it looks amazing framed by the butcher block counter. We now have 25 inches of prep space between the sink and the stove, Tracey made our first meal of spaghetti, garlic bread and salad, the additional prep space made meal prep enjoyable again. We have many other upgrade projects coming up. Join and follow our blog or watch the upgrades on video at our YouTube channel.: TangoRomeo87 YouTube.
Links for the sink and the duck strainers: The exact sink is no longer available but this one has the same dimensions and includes a cutting board, roll up dish drain and other cool stuff. Amazon - 25" Sink Kit
The duck strainers are very useful. We've been asked about them so much on social media that we added a link here. Amazon - Kitchen sink food strainers