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Been working on my overhead cabinets all week. I've spent lots more time staring at the ceiling than actually building anything. Building around all the curves is beyond my skills. I decided to try my hand at upholstering to cover some of the curves. The results aren't prefect but not bad considering it was my first time.



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Hi Josh
How deep are your upper cabinets at the deepest (bottom) part? I didn't want ours to stick out too far since I'm trying to have an "open" feel. Yours look like they would fit that description. I like the contrast with the white and natural wood.
Thanks
Tom
 

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Hi Josh
How deep are your upper cabinets at the deepest (bottom) part? I didn't want ours to stick out too far since I'm trying to have an "open" feel. Yours look like they would fit that description. I like the contrast with the white and natural wood.
Thanks
Tom
Thanks! I'll get those measurements for you tomorrow.

Josh

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11" to 12" (outside) max is what you want for uppers. Keep in mind you need them wide enough inside to be useable. Check out standard size containers at Walmart, etc and keep their dimensions in mind.
 

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Mine are 10” wide by 14” tall and have proven useful. Lots of bookcases have 10” shelves so you could test fit in them. We have a set of plastic crates that fit inside perfectly and the Ms. puts her “things” in them. I just open the door and stuff my clothes in, then the case and camera, computers/iPads etc. She cares about her stuff and I care about expediency.
 
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Yep, about 8 1/2"



One of the things that bothered me about most of the factory vans is that they all felt very closed in as you walked down the aisle. Space in the center between cabinets is 56"

I stuck reflectix to the metal wall of the van, so I gained about an 1 1/2" by not putting wood on the inside wall. We use rubbermaid kitchen plastic tubs for some items back there.

Most our our camping is 2 or 3 nites... may be part of a 3 or 4 week trip, but camp in 2 nite segments along the way. So, we need less storage than multi week camping expeditions. Plus I have a lot of extra storage in the basement.

"I just open the door and stuff my clothes in"
... me too!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mine are 10” wide by 14” tall and have proven useful. Lots of bookcases have 10” shelves so you could test fit in them. We have a set of plastic crates that fit inside perfectly and the Ms. puts her “things” in them. I just open the door and stuff my clothes in, then the case and camera, computers/iPads etc. She cares about her stuff and I care about expediency.
Thanks RD. I really value your input. I was reading your post 79 in your build thread about the construction of your upper cabinets and have a few questions. For the roof support strip (trapezoidal 2x4)
how is it attached to the van? Riv nuts to the roof ribs? How is it attached to the van at the front where it comes up to the black foam pad behind the driver? Do your ceiling panels butt up to this roof support strip? I'm assuming that the interior back and top of your upper cabinets do not have a finished surface. I was following Gary BIS's plan for the install of the ceiling and wall panels so they will be the back and top of the cabinets. My plan was to install the top front cabinet support to the ceiling ribs before I put in the ceiling panels. The rive nuts would be countersunk in the support member so as to not interfere with the ceiling panels. There is a 1/2" x 3/4" hole in the roof ribs that appears about right to use for a rib nut attachment This placement would put the bottom front of the cabinet about 9 1/2" from the sidewall rib. Besides the riv nuts to the ceiling ribs I thought I would also attach the support to the roof with Loctite PL Premium 8X. Your thoughts on that.
You said that you attached the bottom 9 1/2" panel to the 2x2 side support with glue and brads. Is the 2x2 on the inside of the cabinet? At the bottom front corner you glued and bradded the side and bottom 1/2" plywood panels to each other.
I haven't used riv nuts before so that should be an interesting project.
I may have completely mis-read how you constructed your upper panels so feel free to correct my description. I have built several framed and frameless cabinets before but not with the challenges of installing them in a van.
Thanks
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, about 8 1/2"



One of the things that bothered me about most of the factory vans is that they all felt very closed in as you walked down the aisle. Space in the center between cabinets is 56"

I stuck reflectix to the metal wall of the van, so I gained about an 1 1/2" by not putting wood on the inside wall. We use rubbermaid kitchen plastic tubs for some items back there.

Most our our camping is 2 or 3 nites... may be part of a 3 or 4 week trip, but camp in 2 nite segments along the way. So, we need less storage than multi week camping expeditions. Plus I have a lot of extra storage in the basement.

"I just open the door and stuff my clothes in"
... me too!
Thank you proeddie
My build will not come close to the quality of yours and my wife says she can't wait 3 years for me to finish as we have been thinking and planning this for about that long. Started by looking at the Class B's and after reading about some of the issues people were having and the fact that we don't need all the stuff they pack into them decided to bite the bullet and do our own. Sound familiar? For me the planning is the toughest part. I just want to get building.
A few questions:
Just so I understand correctly, the 8 1/2"is to the bottom outside of the doors. So the inside useable depth of the cabinet itself is 7 3/4"? Plus the portion of the van up to the Reflectix. What is the height of the front of the cabinet?
I too like the open feel however I want to make sure the upper cabinet is functional as well, which is not an easy question to answer since we don't know at this point what we would be putting in there. We haven't had an RV before, except for a tent trailer many years ago, so we are at somewhat of a loss as to what we will be needing.
This post has been really helpful in showing all the various ideas and solutions people have come up with.
We just want to get on with it before father time comes a knocking!
Thanks for your input.
Tom
 

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Sp1500,

I don't want to detour JC's thread, so...

This post on my build thread will probably explain it the best.

https://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=323130&postcount=31

The bottom "shelf" of the top cabinets are only 5 1/2" wide, plus the 3/4" face, plus about 2" of depth to the sheet metal... makes the cabinets about 8" deep. Front face is 14" high, with doors at 11 1/4" high.

You can also see the top strip I built to hold the cabinet face to the ceiling...

They are narrow, but for our uses, plenty of room. I mentioned my basement... that makes a lot of difference, is easy to build, and offers huge amounts of storage... works great for us at 5'5", with plenty of headroom (3 or 4"). More info in my thread...
 

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Thanks RD. I really value your input. I was reading your post 79 in your build thread about the construction of your upper cabinets and have a few questions. For the roof support strip (trapezoidal 2x4)
how is it attached to the van? Riv nuts to the roof ribs? How is it attached to the van at the front where it comes up to the black foam pad behind the driver? Do your ceiling panels butt up to this roof support strip? I'm assuming that the interior back and top of your upper cabinets do not have a finished surface. I was following Gary BIS's plan for the install of the ceiling and wall panels so they will be the back and top of the cabinets. My plan was to install the top front cabinet support to the ceiling ribs before I put in the ceiling panels. The rive nuts would be countersunk in the support member so as to not interfere with the ceiling panels. There is a 1/2" x 3/4" hole in the roof ribs that appears about right to use for a rib nut attachment This placement would put the bottom front of the cabinet about 9 1/2" from the sidewall rib. Besides the riv nuts to the ceiling ribs I thought I would also attach the support to the roof with Loctite PL Premium 8X. Your thoughts on that.
You said that you attached the bottom 9 1/2" panel to the 2x2 side support with glue and brads. Is the 2x2 on the inside of the cabinet? At the bottom front corner you glued and bradded the side and bottom 1/2" plywood panels to each other.
I haven't used riv nuts before so that should be an interesting project.
I may have completely mis-read how you constructed your upper panels so feel free to correct my description. I have built several framed and frameless cabinets before but not with the challenges of installing them in a van.
Thanks
Tom
The construction is similar to Josh’s except the face and bottom is 1/2” hardwood plywood with the doors cut out instead of face frames. There is nothing wrong with Josh’s and Proeddie’s system. This is lighter, faster, and about as strong. I put the ceiling in after as there is very little to be gained by having it extend onto the cabinet.
The short answers:
Rivnuts about every three feet as the final cabinets are lightly loaded with clothes etc. The face of the cabinet runs beside the Trapazoid piece which is inside then it’s glued and brads.
The trapezoid piece started out as a 2X2 (1-1/2”) not 2X4 and butts up tp the foam block and then the plywood is coped to follow the foam at the front. There is no other front on the drivers side. There is a removable panel for access to the converter and wiring on the front bottom of the cabinet. I have used it many times to tweak the wiring, switches etc.
The cabinet faces are really held together by a liberal application of carpenter’s glue with brads to fix it while the glue drys. This is much stronger than the wood itself. The rivnutted pieces are inside the cabinets which have no backs and there is no 2X2 piece where the face and bottom meet just glue and brads. Internal framing is to be avoided! It was assembled in place with help from the Ms. and takes just a few minutes to assemble once the parts are test fitted. Wipe up the extra glue ASAP.
Give some thought to the position of the rive nuts as removing these cabinets can only be accomplished by removing the bolts. I did not put disconnects in the wiring in the cabinets as I was in a rush to leave but doing that I could remove 7 or 8 bolts and take the cabinets down. If I were doing it again the part of the cabinet that houses the electrical would be a separate section and be able to stay if all the others were taken out. Live and learn. In a 136 the driver’s side cabinet is almost exactly 10 feet so an 8 footer and a 2 footer would have made sense.
 

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Thanks! I'll get those measurements for you tomorrow.

Josh

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Hi Josh,

I’m currently in the process of building my upper cabinets and was just wondering how you secured yours to the chassis? From the photos it looks like you constructed them from 2 x 2s and secured with riv nuts? Thank you!
 

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Hi Josh,

I’m currently in the process of building my upper cabinets and was just wondering how you secured yours to the chassis? From the photos it looks like you constructed them from 2 x 2s and secured with riv nuts? Thank you!
1x2s and used small L brackets to attach them.

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And be sure they are shallow enough you don't hit your head bending over the sink to brush your teeth! DAMHIK. o_O
 
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