Camper Trailers Tech Tips

Ivo's Camper Trailer Kitchen





Ivo's Camper kitchen
from the netherlands


I'd like to share the design and build of my trailer kitchen with you. Last year my wife and I bought a new "River Camp" tent trailer of the Dutch brand "Aart Kok" The trailer is based on the Dutch "De Waard" tents There was the possibility to buy a kitchen option, but this was fixed on the trailer and positioned at the side of the tent. I like to cook and want to do this in front of the tent. I also wanted to have running water and enough worktop square feet. The only option was to design one myself.

I made a few specifications first:
- Must be detachable.
- Two burner hob.
- Must have room for all kitchen accessories like pots, pans, dishes etc.
- Running water.
- Loads of worktop.
- Must even fit inside the trailer.
- Must be fairly water resistant.
- My wife absolutely wanted a wood finish on the inside.
- Last but not least: as less weight as possible....this turned out to be the hardest to achieve.

First I decided how big it could be. Then I started the search for the hob, the water tank, the drawers and the sink. They all had to fit in!





The water tank gave me some headaches. I just could find the right size for the right room in the kitchen. I ended up with a 10 litre tank. This is enough for a day or two.

I foot switch for the pump reduces the water running time each time I use the tap.



I am not familiar with AutoCAD or other cad software so I designed the kitchen in MS paint. Because I wanted the kitchen to be sturdy I made it like a flight case with aluminium extrusions. The major parts are made of 9mm plywood, the others of 4mm. First I made the wooden box.

I both glued and screwed the parts together to make it real strong. I cut the holes for the handles, sink, hob, tap, locks etc. Then I used contact adhesive to cover the outside of the kitchen with HPL - High Pressure Laminate.



All the seams were carefully varnished to make them watertight. Then I mounted the extrusions and locks with silicone glue and rivets.

The drawers actually come from IKEA.  

I varnished all the wood faces multiple times.

Special project was the electric supply. I wanted the kitchen to have dual power possibility: by car battery or mains supply. The electric unit was born.

I used a laptop power supply to deliver 12 volts @ 5 Amps to drive the water pump and LED lighting. A relay automatically switches from battery to mains once mains is connected.

The gas tank on the picture is in fact not capable of delivering enough gas to keep the two burners running maximum: it simply freezes. I made a quick release solution so I can hook up a bigger tank and pressure reducer to overcome this problem.



The legs are a completely different story. They had to be extendable. It was not easy to make them. The hardest was to put them together. I don't have an aluminium welding option so I "soldered" the parts together with some special stuff that really does the job.

The legs are detachable from the kitchen as well to make it easier to put the additional rain cover over the kitchen while it is mounted on the trailer.


Once put together it looks like a closed box. Both front covers create loads of worktop area and I can choose which I want to use and attach to the kitchen.

More pictures can be found on

Thanks to Ivo Kouters in the The Netherlands for sharing this idea with us.


november 2011