Mod #47: Counter Extension

Mod #47: Counter Extension

Submitted on: 07/24/08

     Category: interior
Mod Rating: 12345

(23 ratings)

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Mod Description:

For some, a kitchen in an RV is considered a mere convenience. We’re camping, right? But for others, like full-timers, it becomes a major functional requirement. And having all the counter space you can get is high on the list of must-have features. Up until the last few years, RV manufacturers didn’t seem to get this simple concept. Now, for some reason, they seem to be offering foldable counter extensions as an option. But you can build your own and put it where you really need it, not where someone else thinks it should go.

Mod Difficulty:

There are basically two options for adding a counter extension: buy a ready-made kit, or buy the support parts and make the counter top yourself. The kit is pretty basic and should cover most needs. It generally consists of a piece of sealed oak, a piano hinge, and two drop-leaf table braces. These are designed to mount to the overhang of the counter top using the piano hinge and some even come pre-assembled for easy installation. Just pick a convenient place and attach using the provided hardware.

If you need a larger extension than the 12″ square one provided in the kit, then you will have to build one. If you are handy with basic wood-working tools, making the extension should be straightforward. But be aware that since the extension may come in to contact with food, you will have to seal it to prevent the wood from both breaking down and harboring bacteria. And make sure to use an appropriate sealer (see resources below).

Also consider the weight that the extension will bear. If the extension is longer than 12″, then you should consider using a drop-leg support rather than a drop-leaf brace. Some drop-legs are even adjustable, having a ball and detent to adjust the height with. These make for a more universal application but you can still build your own to the perfect length.

TipIf you have a foldable tray mounted to your bedroom wall (meant for a light TV) that you keep banging your head on, chances are you can use this for a counter extension. It may have the exact same hinges and hardware as the store-bought kits.

TipTo further increase counter space, you can buy or make butcher block cutting board that goes over the top of the stove burner grate. If you don’t use your burners often, this can give you much needed counter space.


ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
Camco 43421 RV Oak Accents Countertop Extension
Camco 43521 RV Oak Accents Stove Top Cutting Board

General Reference
Finishing Butcher Blocks and Cutting Boards

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5 Comments For This Mod

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  1. Debbie Flanigan

    Hey there,
    I am looking for a countertop extension that is completely removable. I want to find the same system like the one that attaches the outside grill to the side of the camper and adapt one to the kitchen base cabinet. I want to be able to slide on a countertop extension and be able to slide it off when not in use. The hinged countertop extensions won’t work for our small travel trailer as it would block cabinet doors and drawers when folded down and not in use. Any ideas or suggestions where to purchase parts will be appreciated!
    Happy trails!
    Debbie

  2. ModMyRV

    You might be able to use some of the bracketry from the outside grill setup. You can buy the slotted bracket that you could mount to the cabinet and you can also buy the collapsible bracket that slides in to the slotted bracket.

    All you would have to do then is to cut a piece wood to fit the collapsible bracket. You could use butcher block too but if you don’t, make sure you treat and coat the wood so it doesn’t grow bacteria.

    Here is a link to some parts that may help:

    http://www.rvqgrill.com/cart/Category.asp?cid=2

  3. rtfrench

    We refuse to have a TV in our RV’s, after all why do we go camping? (FTRVing is a different story, and I have one in my “work” trailer for when I have to be out of town for an extended period). That being said, I removed the TV shelf from the master bedroom and installed in on the cabinet next to the sink. I needed to relocate the support brackets to be able to hit the “meat” of the cabinet, but the result was exactly what we wanted. The laminate matches the counters, and should we ever decide to put a shelf back into the bedroom, I can always use a nice piece of shelf wood stained to match the cabinets in there.

  4. Onrecess

    The previous owners put the Camco in our GeorgieBoy 35. It looks like the picture in this mod, where the extension is on the counter end sticking out. You can see where they had to move it and it STILL only clears the fold out sofa bed if you hold the bed and push on it and slide it past. We like it and use it, but it makes it impractical for guests to put the bed out or in. I wouldn’t put it in, knowing this problem, but we like it enough to live with it. Check before you install one!

  5. jjinatx

    I just completed an extension that is completely removable, and very sturdy. No modifications to the countertop are necessary. It adds an “L” extension to the countertop, just in front of the right half of the double sink in our Koala 23CS. The TT countertop ends aout 6″ past the right side of the sink right at the bench for the dinette. The counter and bench form an “L” and the extension fits there.

    I started with a butcherblock snack tray from WalMart. I removed all of the leg hardware. Next, I added a triangular shaped support (10″ x 10″ x 1/2″ plywood with one corner cut off, attached with a piano hinge so it is foldable. I also attached a rubber bumper to the lower edge, and this contacts the back of the dinette bench. The extension actually rests on the top of the countertop and fits snug against the sink rim. I also added a wooden stop to the underside of the extension that butts up to the countertop edge molding, so the extension does not put any pressure on the sink itself. To firmly hold the extension, I added a toggle clamp to the bottom of the extension.

    To use it, you unfold the triangular support (furthest edge of the extension away from the countertop), open the toggle clamp,and place the extension in place. Holding it firmly against the counter top molding and the back of the dinette bench, reach under and engage the toggle clamp. The toggle clamp engages the countertop overhang and firmly clamps the extension to the countertop. As I said, this is very sturdy.

    Additional info. My countertop is only 1/2″ thick, but the bullnose molding is 1″. I did cut a strip of hardwood to fit snugly in the gap between the bullnose and the cabinet trim. This should probably be there anyway to support the bullnose. Mine is a pressure fit, but I could have used a couple of screws or glue to hold it in place, but found it unnecessary. It is totally inconspicuous. Also, mount the toggle clamp as close to the rear edge of the extension as possible, since this provides the most leverage against tipping on the front edge. If your dinette bench has a curved top, like mine does, you will need to add an appropriate spacer to the extension to keep the extension level with the countertop and prevent undue strain to the countertop edge.

    Let me know if you need more info or pics.

    -jj

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