View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?
Drawers 18 52.94%
Hinged Door (vertical) 8 23.53%
Hinged Door (horizontal) 3 8.82%
Sliding Door 4 11.76%
Open shelves 1 2.94%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

I'd like to take a poll from everyone who has experience in their SMB's in regards to storage cabinets. I have the storage cabinet sizes and locations designed, but I'm looking for your opinions for the "finished" side where the doors or drawers are, and what you prefer, what works for you (or didn't work for you), and some reasons for your pro/con list....

Do you prefer drawers of various sizes for all your stuff, like utensils, clothing, etc? Do you think the drawer slides hold up sufficiently to the typical abuse SMB's take?

Do you prefer doors that swing open on vertical hinges, where the storage space could be larger than drawers? Of course, you need space in front of the cabinet for the door to swing out to the left or right.

Do you prefer doors that swing open on horizontal hinges, where the door opens up or down in a horizontal plane? Would a door that opens down be too much weight on the hinges if it were left hanging open? How would you keep a door that opens up, open?

Do you prefer doors that slide on tracks to the left or right, where you don't need any "space" to allow for a swinging door at all?

Do you prefer not to have any doors on your cabinets, but more open shelves where you can see all your stuff? I'm guessing some sort of securing method would have to be used, like a netting, or bungee cords, etc.


I left the poll open for up to 2 options, in case you like a combination of cabinet types.

So, please let me hear what you have to say about your cabinets! Pro's, con's, what you'd do differently, what you like, what you hate...

Thank you for your input!
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

I like drawers with full length slides for easy access to the way back. Actually made and added a drawer on slides to an open cabinet with door.

Doors that hinge vertically and swing to the side get out of the way when I am getting into a storage space. All of our closet spaces are filled with storage bins that nearly fill the space. Similar to a drawer on slides, but easily removable for packing in the house and transfer to the van. Even the under couch area is filled with removable bins.

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #3
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

I maxed out on drawers

easier access imho

6 drawers

one closet door
one potty door
one drop down door under micro, floor level
one set double doors over fridge (large opening)
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

Just my opinion but...
What I like the least is the sliding doors, or the sliding panels that are in the 50 plan for the tall cabinets. They really limit your access. On the other hand, they do tend stay shut.

What I would avoid is the hardware I have. It is the push and turn type. Its all plastic.



Definitely don't go with the type on the left.

On washboard roads they continually go out of adjustment. The plastic strike is not very strong and have broken a couple of them. If you load up the drawers, the weight of the load combined with the smallest amount of play in the strike cracks the plastic.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

One big drawer is all we have, but it's good to be able to configure containers, with our without the toaster or just put one big item in.

Second was horizontal hinged cabinets, because if you make them open to flat you have any number of additional work surfaces when open (like the door pantry) and space is always at a premium.

I also prefer the black round lever hardware. The push button type charlie56 shows seem to always be mismatched, in that there is always a drawer or two with the button out, and another or three with the buttons in.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

Cabinet, drawer, and shelving selections should always be based on the specific design layout.

My van has everything but the sliding door style. No push button knobs - all flush latch style.

Functions to consider:
secure (lockable and/or at least putting things out of sight and holds items in place)
easy direct access to stored items
flexible configuration (adjustable shelves, removable containers, etc.)
aesthetically pleasing appearance
no interferences (with your head or knees, other furniture, van parts)
no pinch points (danger to little fingers)
maximum use of space
well lit
strong enough to avoid damage

No one type will fit all needs... so think about your particular use - go through the motions to simulate the process of use, and then decide what meets most of your demands.
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:32 PM   #7
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

We have all of the above. We have one 5 drawer cabinet with push button knobs/locks. We have 3 small open storage bins with lips to keep the stuff in and like them.

Many of our larger hinged doors are double hinged so that the doors fold in half and out of the way.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

For us, drawers are the only way to go. This config has been the most successful and we 'lived' in it for 6 weeks. Full length sliders, heavy duty with recessed ship latches. I had a traditional RB50 floor plan from smb before I gutted the van. These are pictures of the 'prototype' cabinets that we built from ikea wooden box's and marine ply with laminate. On the passenger side we have 8 drawers for various height as well as two 'cubbies' in the very back. On the drivers side we have a large 'tuffy' lockable that is bolted through the van floor from the inside for secure storage. The 20 Gal water tank and furnace are also under the sofa/bed. The galley configuration is still a work in progress. The fridge is definitely in the right place and we like the drawers we have. We may change the 'drinking water' storage and also the 'shoe storage' cubbies for more sliders. FWIW there is a 2 burner stove and sink in the galley. All of this is still prototype to be make final this winter with some cabinet projects but I am already much lighter than what was there from SMB and will lighten again when i build final.

in short.. DRAWERS DRAWERS DRAWERS and more DRAWERS.. oh and did i say I think DRAWERS are a good idea :-)
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

Mind if I ask where you got the recessed black drawer latches?
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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Re: Cabinet Question: Drawers, Hinged/Sliding Doors, Open, etc?

They are SOUTHCO latches.. You can pick them up at good marine stores or lots of places on line.

Try http://www.reidsupply.com/GrpResults.as ... d=10022569
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