The counter is large, especially compared to the 17B, but I knew I would be changing it. I had a few goals, no plastic screw covers on the backsplash, round sink, curved counter and drawers similar to our old 17B. Reace did a good job of preparing the counter so I could adapt it to my design.
This is what the counter looked like when I got it, the stove was connected and the waste drain and water lines were in place for the stock sink.
Determining the shape of the counter took a bit of time. I placed a cardboard shape on the counter while I worked on other things. This gave me a good idea how much space is needed in the hallway especially if one is at the pantry/prep counter and another is at the main counter. The hardest part was finding a reasonable priced round sink, eventually ended up with a one from Ikea (good and bad).
After I found a shape that was pleasing and would work with the sink, I added framing where needed to support the front edge and trim. I only modified the front corner and one upright of the original counter framing.
After all the framing was complete, I attached an oak panel to the front of the counter and trimmed it out.
The oak trim cut and steam bent to fit the various curves of the counter, then finished and attached with a pin nailer.
Next step was to figure out a way to hold the back splash in place without screws or glue. While our trailer was being built, I had noticed that a wood strip was glassed into the wall of the trailer to hold the screws for the stock backsplash. I was able to find some aluminum tile edging with an extra rib in it that could hold the top of the backsplash. This aluminum edging was screwed in to the glassed in strip of wood and along the wall at the end of the counter.
After making the top using 3/4 inch plywood with Formica attached and 1/2 inch plywood for the backsplash, the pieces were dry fitted together to make sure everything fits. The bottom of the backsplash is held in place by a rabbet cut into the back and side of the counter top. When the pieces are assembled, the backsplash is slid in first, then the countertop is slid in to secure the backsplash.
Aluminum edging (used for tile edging) is used to secure the top edge of the backsplash and the rabbet in edge of countertop is used to secure the bottom edge of the backsplash.
Before the countertop was finally installed, all the drawers supports and slides were made and installed.
Countertop is secured with metal brackets and screws from underneath. The faucet was found at the ReStore store.
The counter has 4 drawers, 3 pull-out bins below and one cupboard under the sink. The pull-out bin worked well in the old trailer, the more weight they held, the better they stay closed. The bins are hinged at the bottom front edge.
Bins ready to be installed.
Installing bins, drawers and door.
Finished drawers, lots of storage.
Retro aluminum was trim added to the counter edge. The trim is very easy to manipulate. I bent the trim to match the countertop’s shape and attached it with double sided automotive trim tape.
The good part was Ikea sink was the right size, right price, not too deep so it would work for this application. The bad part is the Ikea mounting system, it is useless and very lightweight. My only choice was to attach the sink with caulking, I just hope I never have to remove it.
After several months of using the trailer, I had the opportunity to upgrade the cooktop. I installed a 2 burner Dickinson Marine unit. I wanted a better burner that could be hot when needed, but could also simmer over a larger area than the stock cooktop. The cooktop also has electronic ignition, no more barbecue starters.
Although the unit is longer than the stock cooktop, therefore taking up more counter space, I think the reduction of counter space is offset by the extra counter we have by the fridge.
Installation was fairly easy with the right skills. The Dickinson stove is bigger, see blue tape in the photo above and the propane inlet is in a different position than the stock one. A new propane line was required.
The installed unit is flush with the counter top and comes with a built in cutting board.
A few months a go we purchased a small set of Magma nesting cookware. Nice stuff, but I do not think much of the bungee cord way of holding it together. No instructions on how to attach it and once on, it comes off too easily with any kind of vibration or touching it in the wrong place. I also want to secure the cookware so it doesn’t move about while traveling.
I added a thin slide out drawer/shelf with full extension drawer sliders in the cupboard under the sink. I then added a couple of chocks that fit the base of the cookware. Then to secure it in place, I replace that bungee thingy, I made a sling of polyester fabric that covers the top (like a hat) and is attached with Velcro on either side. The Velcro straps pass though a metal loops which are attached to the drawer.
New towel rail
Where to hang towels is a problem in trailers due to lack of space. In our house we have towel rails in the kitchen that follow the front edge of the counter, so I used the same idea in the trailer. The only challenge was the rail need to bend to follow the counters. This meant that the rail could not be round as it is difficult to follow the curve, so 1/4″ x 3/4″ aluminum bar was used. I made four brackets that bolt to the rail and screw to the underside of the counter.