Added some cute little cupboards

Here is a fun little project I did the last couple of days in the spare time.  As you have seen on this blog and on Curtis’ Carper’s blog, I had to build an “L” shaped box running down the passenger side of the van.  It was the best way to join the walls and ceiling.  I messed up the passenger side a little and the overhead compartment ended up bigger than I thought.  What a lot of wasted space!
Also, it seemed like in the morning, I could never find the remotes, the cell phone, etc.  What was needed was a little space for organization.  Space is at a premium.  It is great when you can reclaim some of that real estate!
Since the van now has a bulkhead, it seemed like a good idea to do something useful with the long overhead boxes.  It kind of fits with the theme of a vehicle such as a plane or a bus or perhaps a starship if you are a Trekker like me.
I made three little doors out of a piece of 1/2 thick wood.  Each door was 11″ long.  Why?  I couldn’t find the ruler so I had to use a piece of paper to cut three equal length boards!  Once I cut all the doors, I sanded the doors, painted them, and added the self closing hinges.  Then it was a matter of cutting three holes in the overhead boxes, sanding the edges, and painting them.
Rather than having the doors go to the edge of the boxes (on the bottom), I deliberately cut the openings to leave about a 3/4 inch lip.  Should the doors fly open, the lip (part of the overhead boxes) will keep stuff from flying out.  I added the cute little knobs.  Total cost – about $26.  The knobs and latches were about $20 and I think I paid $6 for the little board that was leftover from other stuff.
From left to right… Cupboard 1 (left) will hold spices and silverware.  Cupboard 2 (center) is for the remotes, chargers, etc.  Cupboard 3 will be for toiletries and hygiene products.  It is also a lot easier than stooping over looking for something; it frees up valuable under-the-bed space.  I can now carry more food under the bed. 
On the other side, the long box is the full length of the van.  I don’t plan to put any doors on it because it is a little smaller.  If space allows, I’m going to shove my fishing poles inside the little boxes from the back doors.  The fronts will be covered with either pictures, corkboard with pictures, or some other decorative stuff.
At first the van felt too… well… sterile.  Now it is getting more comfortable and homey.

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

2 Responses to Added some cute little cupboards

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I ran into your blog as part of my research with my own conversion and I really like these cabinets. Hopefully I’ll post my own project soon! I have a profile under chroma66 on

  2. Brad says:

    Thanks for the comment. I’m glad the post was of interest and will be sure to check out your profile.

    Did you see the incadescent light fixtures below the cupboards? I replaced them with 12V LED fixtures. The rest of the cupboards are still like you see them. They sure have come in handy!