Mod #47: Counter Extension
Submitted on: 07/24/08
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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.
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.
If 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.
To 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
Finishing Butcher Blocks and Cutting Boards