Kitchenette Upgrade

When we purchased Shana her interior had been rebuilt with benches lining the interior. This presented an option for us to either rebuilt the interior like the original design or chart our own design. With a growing family and 58 years of innovation, we decided to design an interior to balance our budget and needs without sacrificing some of the original design elements.

We found a couple unconventional items to use in our design.

First, we found a 98″ Oak butcher block counter top at Ikea. Most of the interior wood was redone with red oak, so the oak countertop was a coordinating choice. No, it is not lightweight like most materials found in a camper, but sometimes aesthetic and durability ascend the list of priorities.

When it came time to install cabinets we quickly realized that standard kitchen cabinets would be costly, heavy and needing modification to fit over the wheel well. That is when the idea of a red tool chest went up for consideration. We found a Craftsman 52″ 8-Drawer Soft Close Top Chest with integrated electrical outlets (USB connections, too). Once again this is not the lightweight custom construction you’d find in most recreational vehicles. However, it fit atop the wheel wheel, offered plenty of drawer space and is extremely durable. Oh, and all 8 drawers have a single lock which is crucial when driving. Plus, it was made in the USA like Shana and is R-E-D!

Although we have the original Princess oven with stove, we opted out of using it in our design. It would have been the only item using propane gas and would require us to run gas lines as well as lug around a propane tank not to mention safety concerns of gas.

Shana came to us with an interior unit that tripled as an air conditioner, heater and dehumidifier. It is a similar unit to what you would find in a home vented through window. This unit was crucial for us acquiring Shana. Not only did it provide a comfortable sleeping temperature year-round, but unlike most RV units it was not installed atop Shana. A top unit on Shana would be a modern eyesore and it would make him impossible to fit in our carport. So, the kitchenette needed to house our unit.

Finally, we were able to use the finished oak plywood that were previously benches inside Shana. The cabinet facing and doors were made from these recycled pieces. And each door was finished with Liberty chrome self overlay hinges from Home Depot, Liberty double roller catches from Home Depot and chrome chevron cabinet pulls from Vintage Trailer Supply.

Checkout these before and after pictures: