Here is how we built our sink & stove cabinet for our Ford Transit DIY camper van conversion!

A while ago, we brainstormed about our living requirements; below are the requirements specific to this cabinet:

  • Propane range (stove/oven) will be used
  • Pressurized Sink
  • The cabinet must be easy & quick to remove (we never know)
  • Big enough for storage, but not that big so it does not use all the “living room” space

 

TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: ~40-60 hours (This is approximate. Time has become a vague concept at this point. This cabinet was easier & faster to build than the Overhead Storage Cabinet, because there is less funky shapes to deal with.)

 

TOTAL COST : 280$ USD (approx. This exclude the sink and the propane range)

 

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and commit to buy one of the product linked, we will receive a commission fee. The price you pay remains the same, affiliate link or not. Buying through our affiliate links is a great way to say thanks if we were of any help in your van conversion! Alternatively, you can visit our Say Thanks! page.

 

 

MATERIAL:

 

TOOLS:

 

RESSOURCES:

 

PRE-REQUISITE:

 

Disclaimer

This is not a “How-To”.  This is a “how-we-did-it”, following our own requirements and using our own (limited) skills.

 

First of all, we modeled and located the sink & stove cabinet.

We used the cutout dimensions from the Atwood Range Manual:

Cutout dimensions of the 17″ Atwood range. Click to enlarge. This is extracted from the manual

This shows the Mr Heater BOSS portable propane shower and the Aquatainers for grey water and for winter water jug. The 3D interactive model can be seen and manipulated  here

 

Here we go!

 

We installed the bottom plywood panel. The wheel well & frame cutout was trimmed on the spot.

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion (1)

 

To join the frame, we used once again the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Mini as it makes the job easy and provide strong joints without fancy tools!

kreg-pocket-hole-mini-jig

kreg-pocket-hole-jig-mini

Buy it on Amazon

kreg-screw-chart-large

Choose the correct screw length. Click on image to enlarge.

  • The joints will be as straight as your cuts… our cuts were not perfect, but it’s OK; we straighten things up when we fastened the frame to the bottom & side panels.

 

And here is the frame!

 

We want the cabinet to be easy & quick to remove.

We located 2 existing holes in the van and we installed Plusnut in them. The cabinet will be fastened with these 2 accessible Plusnut (and 3 holes in the floor as well) through the back panel of the cabinet.

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion-(4)

 

Not familiar with Plusnut? That’s O.K.! Make yourself comfortable and read our Plusnut post:

single-plusnut-title

 

 

 

Thinsulate is doing a great job at insulation, but we still have some metal exposed. This metal is very conductive thermally, therefore we covered it with Low-E EZ-COOL.

You can see the EZ-Cool in the back. Meanwhile, we also started to prepare the wall for wood paneling and added the back panel of the cabinet

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion (5)

 

There is a big gap between the back panel and the Plusnut; we filled it with 1″ thick baltic birch plywood to avoid stressing the cabinet while torquing the bolt. Basically, this act as a big fat washer…

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion (4)

 

The frame is ready to receive the countertop!

We want a nice & clean cut, so we’re using our friend’s epic skills and epic tools…

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion

 

The countertop was then attached to the cabinet’s frame and the oven installed.

We were really into it, so we forgot to take pictures, but that’s pretty straightforward… we just screwed the countertop to the frame from below. Here is the result:

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion-(6-cropped)

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion-(6-cropped)

 

We then trimmed the countertop to receive the sink.

We wish the manufacturer instructions would include a 1:1 scale template of the cutout… the diagram is far from easy to understand, so we first made it in cardboard, tested it, then transferred the template to the countertop.

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (14)

Slowly making my way through…

 

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (15)

Yay!

 

We then added a “groove” around the cutout periphery

This is to ensure that the sink rest on its gasket (see a few pictures below) and is water-sealed.

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (16)

Groovy!

 

We applied Minwax Polyurethane on trimmed edges (as for all the countertop trimmed edges) to protect from water infiltration. (Varnish could be used as well)

 

Even with the template, it took some trial-and-error (a lot actually) to get the sink to sit perfectly…

 

We fixed the gasket around the sink periphery using vinyl adhesive strip (http://amzn.to/2llcIIO), then we applied GE Silicone II (http://amzn.to/2kPP7D6) between the gasket and the countertop to seal the deal.

WARNING: Silicone is a MESS to work with, you might come up with a better solution. If not, ensure to have towels and soapy water at proximity…

Gasket

Gasket cross-section (refer to sink manual)

 

The sink is fastened with four screws:
Dometic-VA7306-Sink-Install-(annotated)

The sink is fastened with four screws, then the screws are covered with a seal caps (not shown in this picture. keep reading!!). Buy this sink from eBay.

 

The sink basket was then installed

There seems to be two schools of thought:

  1. Use Plumber’s Putty (Pro = easy to remove, Con = I don’t have that at home right now)
  2. Use Silicone II (Pro = Leak is less likely + I have some at home right now, Con = very hard to remove)

Well, it looks like we will use Silicone:

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (21)

We applied a touch of Silicone. Buy this sink strainer from eBay.

 

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (22)

Then we added the plastic washer and the lock nut, and torqued.

 

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (23)

After torquing, we wiped the excess of Silicone. HAVE SOME TOWELS AND WATER HANDY, BECAUSE SILICONE IS MESSY TO WORK WITH!

 

Dometic VA7306 Sink Install (12)

Tadam!

 

We then added cedar doors to the cabinet:

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion (10)

 

We used 1/4″ semi-wrap overlay hinges (http://amzn.to/2lRFHaw):

  

 

We added some cedar finish as well on this side:

Sink-Stove-Cabinet-Van-Conversion (9)

 

 

We’re done, sweet!!

…actually, we still have to build storage (shelves, drawers, etc) but we will wait a bit later, until we really understand our needs and until we know exactly what will be stored in the cabinet.

The sink in action!

 

 

 

ON SECOND THOUGHT…

Again, we used cedar planks for finishing. We’re aware that this wood is VERY soft and will scratch very easily. Time will tell if we regret our decision!

 

 

NEXT STEPS:

  • Pressurized Water System (wait for it!)
  • Propane System (wait for it!)
  • Finish the wall with wood paneling (wait for it!)
  • Or, see a whole lot more in our Build Journal!

 

 

WANT MORE?

Check out our Build Journal, or learn everything about The Van.

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine, a couple dreaming of being on the move and we’re seeking for the ride of our life. We bought a Ford Transit van, we’re converting it to a campervan and we are now selling our house to make our dream a reality. We are sharing this in hope of inspiring and helping others to follow their dreams too!

 

 

CHEERS!

 

 

3 comments

  1. Comment by Ryan

    Ryan Reply March 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Sorry if I missed this, but did you guys contemplate an induction stovetop? I didn’t see it in your conversion notes…perhaps an over was a must?

    • Comment by Ryan

      Ryan Reply March 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      oven*

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply March 2, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Yes an oven was a must. We also wanted to minimize the electrical consumption and we don’t mind cooking with propane at all!

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