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Discussion Starter #1
I've searched but not found any posts with cabinet sizes people are using. Trying to figure out what is the best height and depth for a cabinet behind my drivers seat. My cabinets in my house are 36 inches tall but that would slightly cover part of the window. Anyone else made one this tall? 18" deep is a must but I'm thinking about going 21". Anyone think this would be too much?

Josh
 

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Put the surface right under the window. The number of inches is irrelevant and will depend on floor thickness and window placement.

My counter is 21" out from the window. This means the body is about 18" because of the wall curvature. More than adequate.
 

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My galley which is on the slider side and extends into the doorway is 36” tall as that is a comfortable working height. I did not want to stoop. It is 22 inches deep (front to back) and 38” long. The dinette is on the opposite wall and extends 27 inches from the wall. That leaves about a 2’ isle/floor space. My overhead hanging cabinets are 15 inches top to bottom and 9 1/2” wide so they don’t intrude into the living space. To the rear of the dinette is the porta-potee cabinet and it is 17” out from the wall and 2 feet wide and 18” tall
Hope this helps. Covering part of the bottom of the windows should not be an issue, put a little storage nook down there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I know I can always rely on you two to help me out.

I think we're going with 36" tall. Maybe a little less since I'll have 1 1/4" of floor. I think I'll have a 41" long, 21" deep cabinet behind the driver's seat. A 17" wide cabinet floor to ceiling between that and the 48" bed. I'll have a 24"-27" wide galley cabinet covering about 12"-15" of the slider door opening. Don't know how deep it will be yet. I think it will have to be 18" for the sink.

Josh
 

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Standard kitchen cabs are 34 ½' high plus the countertop (usually 1 ½ inches more). Bathroom vanities are 31 ½' high plus the top. It's up to you. I'm short so I like a lower counter height personally. 21" deep is fine - standard width is 24" but this is a van and no appriances to consider plus the narrower cabinet gives a feeling of more spaciousness. I just built a new one for my kitchen in the van and made it 19" deep and 35" high.

Bottom line - do what makes you comfortable it what everyone else does ;)
 

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Yep, KOV's bottom line is really the right answer. Your van, your choices. Doesn't matter what anyone else does or thinks. Mock it up and see how it looks and feels.
 

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I think kitchen cabinets are closer to 30 - 31" high plus an 1 1/2" counter top ( 3/4" ply plus a 1 x 4 underneath around the perimeter for stiffness). And the cabinet sits on a 3 1/2 - 4 1/2" toe kick set in about 3" from the front of the cabinet so there is a place for your toes when standing at the counter. That adds up to the traditional 36" counter height.

You can make them any height or depth (mine are 22" deep) but the toe kick is pretty important to prevent back strain.

And it makes a nice place to run water lines and wiring. If you include a removable bottom in the cabinet it would provide access for maintenance or upgrades.
 

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Please don’t give KOV or some of the other long time builders here guesses on how cabinets are made, they know, trust me. MsNomer is right, build what suits you but there are reasons for the standard height. When you stand to cut, chop or prepare food you need to have the cabinet height ergonomically good. For the average person (5’5”-5’10”) 36” to the finished top works. If you are 6’+ perhaps a few inches higher and 5’ tall a bit lower perhaps 33-34. In a house we discourage odd heights as some fitting of other cabinets and appliances becomes problematic (a dishwasher in a 33” counter just doesn’t work) and because the house will sell sooner or later. and you don’t want to have to find tall or short buyers. I did not add a toe kick in the van. Interestingly my dinette table which would normally be 29” high is on a raised base of 7 inches so it matches the galley counter height which is good as we use it to prepare food on while standing on the floor not on the raised area. This was not an accident, plan your Van.
 

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Funny how I've bought cabinets for close to 50 years for the many houses I've built and every one was 34 ½" high plus the countertop!. I guess I need a new tape measure - all these years my trusty old one seems to have failed me!
 

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Actually, you're measuring different things. Gary is measuring from floor to under the counter. Btgregg is separating out the toe kick.

I don't have a toe kick, but you can bet your booties that if I had a toe kick, it would have a drawer! Way too much valuable space to waste in a van where every inch counts. Residential construction methods go only so far here.
 

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You can measure cabinets anyway you please but in the USA standard kitchen cabinets measure 24" deep by 34 ½ high plus 1 ½" for the countertop for a total of 36" high from the subfloor (usually) to the top of the countertop. Cabinets are usually (but not always) set on top of the finished floor underlayment not the finished floor so depending on the finished floor thickness (the finished height will be 36" less the finished flooring height. Whether or not there is a kickspace isn't relevant to the finish height of the countertop. Most kitchen cabinets have a 4" kickspace but as MsN says it's a waste of space in a camper van.

Once again - make the cabinet countertop whatever height pleases you and build the cabinet to fit underneath it. This isn't rocket science!
 

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Since the topic of cabinets came up I’ll raise an additional issue. How to keep them in place, especially in an accident. I thought long and hard about this when I was in the planning stage and came up with a simple physics answer.

My cabinets all extend to the origional van floor and have attachments to the tie down points the floor came with. My polyiso insulation and my plywood floor fit around the cabinet bases and the plywood then butts up against the van’s bulkhead. There is no way the cabinets can slide forward. They could tilt forward so the galley which holds 5 gallons of water is also attached to the C pillar (just to the aft of the sliding door), and near the galley’s top. The dinette with the battery box butts up against the raised floor which in turn butts against the bulkhead and it is also tied down to the floor. My overhead cabinets are attached to 2X2’s which are bolted to Rivnuts in the vans wall ribs and ceiling ribs.

Is this perfect? I don’t think so, but by applying a bit of science it is much better than sitting the cabinets on the floor and using a few screws and expecting them to withstand 20 or 30 g’s.

Please give the potential of a worse case scenario some planning, we all want to be safe and arrive uninjured.
 

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Since the topic of cabinets came up I’ll raise an additional issue. How to keep them in place, especially in an accident. I thought long and hard about this when I was in the planning stage and came up with a simple physics answer.

My cabinets all extend to the origional van floor and have attachments to the tie down points the floor came with. My polyiso insulation and my plywood floor fit around the cabinet bases and the plywood then butts up against the van’s bulkhead. There is no way the cabinets can slide forward. They could tilt forward so the galley which holds 5 gallons of water is also attached to the C pillar (just to the aft of the sliding door), and near the galley’s top. The dinette with the battery box butts up against the raised floor which in turn butts against the bulkhead and it is also tied down to the floor. My overhead cabinets are attached to 2X2’s which are bolted to Rivnuts in the vans wall ribs and ceiling ribs.

Is this perfect? I don’t think so, but by applying a bit of science it is much better than sitting the cabinets on the floor and using a few screws and expecting them to withstand 20 or 30 g’s.

Please give the potential of a worse case scenario some planning, we all want to be safe and arrive uninjured.
It's actually pretty easy to figure out what kind of attachment one needs for the cabinets. What were concerned about in a crash is shear strength in the forward direction of the attachment bolts and the cabinet itself.

About the max survivable crash G forces are 30. More than that an you're probably food for worms anyway. Cabinets with any kind of weight in them should be through bolted through the floor. You can figure out how many and what sized bolts by taking the weight of the cabinet and the contents and multiplying by 30 and then look up the shear strength of the fasteners you plan to use and use enough bolts to equal the 30x weight in shear. Also make sure to use large washers or metal plates under the floor since the sheet metal is very thin and could be the point of failure.

The cabinet itself is trickier and more guesswork but mortices or biscuit joints and plenty of glue is important. Think about bracing in the forward direction. Don't cheap out on the plywood either. Marine or multiply Baltic Birch is much stronger than the home Depot crap.

Batteries and water tanks should be in welded steel frames attached with plenty of through bolts. These items often weigh as much as a person. Don't skimp on the attachments.

Remember this isn't home construction. It has to survive crash. When in doubt over engineer it.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Put the surface right under the window. The number of inches is irrelevant and will depend on floor thickness and window placement.

My counter is 21" out from the window. This means the body is about 18" because of the wall curvature. More than adequate.
How wide are the boxes that you put your feet on when the seats are swiveled? I want to go ahead and build mine but I don't have my swivels yet so I don't know how much space I'm need for foot rests.

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Mine is 7” behind the passenger seat and isn't a box but is a shelf to allow storage of our crocks underneath. That is just barely enough to place your feet when swiveled. Think 10 perhaps of you have room? Behind our driver seat the dinette base is much wider of course.
 

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A drawer and a door with a built in toe kick.
 

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