New Dutch Door – Part II

Hello and welcome to the blog today!  Here’s an update on the Dutch door project for the van.   The pieces are now in place and I have some more cleaning and painting to do… but it works!

The top panel folds down into the dinner table you see in the second picture.  The table rests on a wooden box that houses paper towels.  I’m planning to add a USB port nearby for cell charging as well as a hook for keys.  The table top was made from four cheap stick-on vinyl floor tiles.  They won’t take the heat of a hot skillet but are find for hot food plates.

The coat hook will likely never hold a coat – or at least not often.  Besides being a place for the hat to hang, it doubles as a pull to lower the dinner table.

77 Dutch Door

If you look closely, you can see the point of a cat ear on the lower panel. There is enough room between the chair and the door for the kitty to pass through.


I originally stained the lower portion of the door a rich brown color… but it was just too dark.  Instead, a tan color was chosen.  I still like the dark door bottom and plan to keep the two pieces different colors.  The contrast is kind of fun.

With everything assembled, it was time to try the new dinner table.

8_Dutch Door Kitchen Table

This was actually an experiment!

I chose a chuck eye steak for the stress test.   This cut is not quite as tender or flavorful as a ribeye.  Chuck eye requires more seasoning but if done right, is pretty darned good and a lot cheaper.  Despite the weight of the meal and steak cutting motion, the table was very solid.  It was nice to wipe the table surface off and fold it away.

A big thanks, by the way, to Pleinguy from PleinAirJourney When we met last year he had suggested something like this.  The dinner table / computer desk will be very handy!

That’s about it for now.  I might be doing some camping toward the end of the week, depending on the volatile Iowa weather.

Take care.  Safe and happy travels!

Brad and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa


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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"

6 Responses to New Dutch Door – Part II

  1. Laurie Stewart says:

    what did you cover the table top ( cab side ) with?

    • VanTrekker says:

      Vinyl stick-on floor tiles. They only need to handle serving temperature food and should do the job just fine. They’re easy to clean up, too. I’ll edit the post to add that info.

  2. Jo says:

    Really nice job Brad. You so good and this design and do stuff. Of course your dinner looks yummy as always.

    Hope the weather allows you to go camping.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Thanks for the note Jo. It’s fun to find things that work and save space, too. Wednesday looks like 73 degrees – an all time high for the month of February but by Saturday the high might only be 28. Oh well, winter has to have one last blast. 🙂 Take care and thanks for the note! 🙂

  3. Pleinguy says:

    Love the door-table combo! How about a photo from a little distance showing the table down in front of the chair?

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Pleinguy! I will do just that. The van is going camping tomorrow near Clinton, Iowa. I hope to visit a sawmill museum after lunch. I’m planning to shoot a video of the features of the van. I held off on doing the far away shot until the door jamb was painted. I’ll get one of those shots in showing the table over the chair. 🙂