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Old 09-09-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

Hello All,

I'm starting to look for an SMB for my family and I have a few questions about adding cabinets/appliances to a Sportsmobile.

One of the SMB's I've found is pretty bare bones and is listed on CL as well as the member classifieds. viewtopic.php?f=34&t=11572

I like the fact that its pretty empty inside so I can also use it as a utility vehicle (home depot runs, etc). If I were to purchase this SMB or one like it, I would only want to add a small cabinet for a sink and fridge towards the front of the van (behind drivers seat). I did a search on google but I couldnt really find a place that sells what I'm looking for. I havent done all the research to find out what all would be required to install these items, so any info would be appreciated. If its cost prohibitive or would require extensive modification, I would probably just pass and buy one thats a little more "complete".

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:47 PM   #2
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

There are a few different routes you could go. The first would be to go to an upfitter (SMB, Van Specialties, etc) and have them build the cabinet that you want to hold the exact things you want. Another option would be to either get something from IKEA or perhaps a vanity from a local re-store that you could make work. While this option would be pretty economical, you end up with something that is not exactly fit to the space and wind up eating up critical space that could be used for something else.

The other option of course is to build something yourself. You can always build something cheap and easy to make sure you like the configuration before refining too. While some homebuilt interiors are done VERY nicely, you have to be careful about just plunking in a lot of big boxes as you can waste interior space very quickly.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
There are a few different routes you could go. The first would be to go to an upfitter (SMB, Van Specialties, etc) and have them build the cabinet that you want to hold the exact things you want. Another option would be to either get something from IKEA or perhaps a vanity from a local re-store that you could make work. While this option would be pretty economical, you end up with something that is not exactly fit to the space and wind up eating up critical space that could be used for something else.

The other option of course is to build something yourself. You can always build something cheap and easy to make sure you like the configuration before refining too. While some homebuilt interiors are done VERY nicely, you have to be careful about just plunking in a lot of big boxes as you can waste interior space very quickly.

Thanks for your help rockbender. If I were to do install a cabinet, I would probably try to do it myself rather than have SMB or other company fit something in. I was hoping to find a resource online that sold RV cabinets or something that I would be able to make work.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:36 PM   #4
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

As for appliance, you have to think about all the systems that are involved with the things you'd like to add.

For a sink, that means that you want to have running water, right? Now you need a place to put the water that goes down the drain. This could be as easy as building a cabinet with two five gallon containers in it - use a manual pump to get water out of one and then let it drain into the other one acting as your gray water which you could empty. Now if you want more capacity, or drains, or city hookups... now you're adding complexity which adds cost.

Want a fridge? You could go with a 12V fridge or a 3-way (ie, 12v, 120V, propane) but each one needs additional systems added in: propane, house battery, solar, etc.

It seems overwhelming, but start looking at some of the homebuilds to get an idea of what is involved and what you might be looking for. Also, do a search for 'transformer' and you'll find some cool cabinets that may be what you're after.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

I doubt you will find a cabinet ready to install. Generally, each cabinet is custom built for the application. Different vans, different locations in the van, even the interior finishing will change the fit of the cabinet. Even moving a cabinet a few inches inside the van can change the fit of the cabinet to the wall.

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Old 09-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

There are standard cabinets availble for inside the vans. They are steel and made for tradesmen to carry tools and parts. Lots of options available. However it didn't look to me like they were the right size and shape for RV use.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
There are a few different routes you could go. The first would be to go to an upfitter (SMB, Van Specialties, etc) and have them build the cabinet that you want to hold the exact things you want. Another option would be to either get something from IKEA or perhaps a vanity from a local re-store that you could make work. While this option would be pretty economical, you end up with something that is not exactly fit to the space and wind up eating up critical space that could be used for something else.

The other option of course is to build something yourself. You can always build something cheap and easy to make sure you like the configuration before refining too. While some homebuilt interiors are done VERY nicely, you have to be careful about just plunking in a lot of big boxes as you can waste interior space very quickly.

Thanks for your help rockbender. If I were to do install a cabinet, I would probably try to do it myself rather than have SMB or other company fit something in. I was hoping to find a resource online that sold RV cabinets or something that I would be able to make work.
I have seen some tastefully modded and fitted vanities/cabinets from box stores. It will cost A LOT to have someone build some, plus the travel if you aren't near a van specific shop. I would just take rockbender's advice and wade through the homebuild section for awhile. Many of us, like myself, can just about tell you the layout of almost every van listed there, so if you can tell us a little more specifically what you're aiming for, we may can shortcut you to some examples.
For instance, is this the kind of front cabinet you are looking for?



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Old 09-09-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

You might shop around. I know this guy does custom work but it depends where you're located. I know he's more price valued than some shops.

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #9
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

I'm a cabinetmaker and have done a few different projects for people with vans. Call around to some shops in your area and you might find someone willing to make exactly what you want for not a lot of money. Contact smaller shops or if you know a contractor they might be able to steer you to someone. Another possibility is go to a lumber yard and ask for some names of finish carpenters or custom cabinetmakers. Your local tradesmen will appreciate it and will give you just what you want. Most Ikea or factory cabinets are junk and will fall apart in a vehicle.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #10
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Re: Where to buy cabinets/appliances?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redtop
I'm a cabinetmaker and have done a few different projects for people with vans. Call around to some shops in your area and you might find someone willing to make exactly what you want for not a lot of money. Contact smaller shops or if you know a contractor they might be able to steer you to someone. Another possibility is go to a lumber yard and ask for some names of finish carpenters or custom cabinetmakers. Your local tradesmen will appreciate it and will give you just what you want. Most Ikea or factory cabinets are junk and will fall apart in a vehicle.

That is a good idea!!! I have been thinking about contacting a cabinet maker for just that. Now that my plumbing and electrical are almost done I am planning on having a upholstery place do the ceilings, walls and floor. I will then put my plumbing back in and have a cabinet maker box it up with some shelves and then build the bench\bed seats. Finally I will go back to the upholstery shop and have them finish up everything.
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