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Old 09-11-2016, 08:40 PM   #1
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Adding an outside kitchen

My 88 Southwind Fleetwood does not have an outdoor kitchen, and since I make one each camping trip, I am thinking of building one into the storage compartment closest to the entrance door.

I am thinking of a section of counter that will come out straight for 6 feet or so from the basement storage compartment, and then pivot to back against the MH over the wheels. This will place the counter at a good height. I plan to put a sink on it, and have enough counter space for food prep, and perhaps a flat griddle (pancakes and the like). Also in this storage compartment, I am thinking I will place a small dorm type refer...

In order to do this, I may actually install an additional grey water tank. Mine currently is higher than the sink drain will be. I have my current tanks near and over the rear axle, so the bottom of the current tank will be about the same height as the surface of the counter. (maybe a bit higher)

If I add a new grey water tank for this sink, it will be outside and lower, just behind the axle. This tank will be the only one on the MH that is not winter worthy, as it will not be in an insulated basement compartment. My guess is this will not be an issue, as I will likely use the outdoor kitchen less in weather where that tank may freeze.

In looking at the other forum sections, there are a couple debates about outside kitchens on class A campers, but generally, they are few and far between. I guess some have a pump to get the water back up to the grey water tank, but I prefer gravity feed.

I suspect I may use my small Coleman grill on this arrangement, but I have no problem keeping this more portable, depending on wind and other weather factors. Mostly I want this for counter space and a sink.

Currently, I set up a table, for most of these same functions, but I set that table every trip. I like the idea of adding plumbing and the small refer.

So... Has anyone done this?
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:21 AM   #2
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I haven't done this, but it's an interesting idea. I've thought about the same thing, but haven't come up with a good solution. I think it's doable, just not sure how much work it will be and how much modification you will need to do to your motorhome.

I think using a grey water pump instead of an additional grey water tank will be easier. It will add less weight and be easier to plumb. I agree that gravity feed is attractive, but that will also involve water traps, etc. for the sink and some kind of valve to keep the grey water from sloshing out while driving.

Having space for anything straight 6 feet to slide out from underneath the motorhome might be hard. There is a lot of stuff underneath that has to be either moved or designed around. Have you thought about having a flat table top that mounts either to the wall or the rear end to fold down and then lift a smaller sink swing out of the storage compartment? The Southwind looks the rear is flat, and you could attach something in the same fashion as a spare on an SUV.

You might also find that there is unused space inside the rear cap where you could slide a long table in and out.

Another option is a table that fold up and pulls out of the rear storage compartment.

You might also consider a hybrid solution: Still having to set up your table with the sink in the old fashioned way, but do external hookups for water to the sink and grey water disposal. An external grey water tank that gets pumped over to the regular grey water tank when you're done with it. Add a slide out BBQ and you might be at a good level of setup.

Just some off the cuff thoughts. It will be interesting to see what you come up with.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:01 AM   #3
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I like your Idea it of an out side kitchen might be do able . I don't think a 6' section would work unless you broke it in half maybe 3' with a piano hinge so it folds on to each other to make it 6' an then comes out and pivot's. try drawing some thing up I'd like to see what you come up with.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:45 PM   #4
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The compartment I will use it the one under the kitchen, so plumbing is close. Also, this is one of the pass thru compartments, so I will have no problem with a straight 6 foot counter going in, I have about 8 feet inside this compartment.

Also, I wanted this one, as it is the one closest to the entrance door. On the curb side, I only have two compartments, one on either side of the door. The one forward of the door is fairly deep and square, but it is the 'trunk', in that it is where all the leveling blocks, spare oils and fuels and what not are kept. Also, it is only 20 inch cubed.

The one behind the door is the one I am speaking of, about 3 feet wide, and the center used to house the spare tire for the past 28 years. Since I have moved it to the 10" tall space behind driver's door, (over the propane tank) I have this space available.

Also, this space, and the area over the rear tires is still under the awning. Back, under the bedroom and beyond the awning, is another 10 inch door, but that one houses my fresh water tank, and has very little storage space.

The rear cap is flat, and while I could mount a table or something like that there, it would still be a folding table, and I currently use one in my compartment that will eventually be the kitchen.

Lastly, the plumbing is the key here. The sink is the only new thing I will be adding, as I have electrical on the side of the camper in that area already, and use a folding table to do exactly what this kitchen will do less the sink and the refer.

I think I will take some pics, and some measurements and post something this weekend... Thanks for all the good input and thoughts.
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:58 AM   #5
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Sounds like it's definitely doable with the space you have available. Pictures and measurements will help.

My immediate thought is to have a 4ft section on rails that slides through the compartment. The last 2ft can slide outside while the first 2ft are fixed to the rails. The 6 ft table top can then be mounted to a radial hinge (think Lazy Susan) to the end of the 4ft section. The table top has rollers on it that goes onto the rails that the 4ft section slides on, or a second set of rails. The table top has legs that you fold down when you pull it out. You will need to use the entire 8ft width of the compartment, but you get a table that is 6ft long and easy to set up and to store. The 4ft section if made correctly can support the end by the door, or you can have a single leg that fold down on the outside for stability.

The table top can have the sink permanently mounted into it. I'd get a small stainless one as it's easy to keep clean and doesn't weigh much.

Is the compartment winterized? If so, you could put a small grey water holding tank in there as long as it doesn't interfere with the sink. The key is getting the drainage right. The holding tank can then be pumped out to the main holding tanks or drained separately. I'd try to build a retractable or removable faucet by the sink so that the top of the table top is flush with the top of the storage compartment.

Starting to sound like a fun project. Wish I was there
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:18 AM   #6
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One more design thing that came to me after the last post is that you will want to make sure you can fold the legs up and down while the table top is still supported by the rails in the compartment. It will make it much easier to use.
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