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  • Campervan Units (building of, materials)
  • Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    All you VW fans and van fanatics;

    About to redo the kitchen units in my camper, trying to look for alternatives to the expensive Vohringer plywood.

    If anyone has built their own from something else, it would be great to see some photos 🙂

    Premier Icon Blazin-saddles
    Free Member

    Mine are built from a lightweight poplar ply similar to Vohringer, if I was to rebuild now, not that there’s anything wrong with them, I think I’d probably build out of MDF and get them sprayed or lacquered to a high finish. Yes it’s heavier, but not that much. Can look really nice if done well and doesn’t need all the rubber knock on edging.

    I fit kitchens for a living and some of the finishes now coming through are inspiring.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    Following with baited breath.

    Pictures please!

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    My old unit was standard ply, undercoat and gloss paint and was never that impressed.

    I always thought MDF was a big ‘no no’ in campervans due to moisture but if it can be well sealed and takes a spray finish that could save a pile of cash!

    And cheaper for the inevitable mistakes as well…

    Premier Icon peakyblinder
    Free Member

    I’ve been told to go for marine ply – I have some mdf bodged into my berlin and its warped to death. Marine stuff handles moisture and doesn’t warp apparently.

    Been putting it off for 3 years now though!

    Premier Icon TheDTs
    Full Member

    Aluminium composite sheet? Good enough for the VW factory ones and Pendelino trains. Many finishes available, can be V grooved and folded to make nice edges & corners.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    What’s wrong with Carbon Fibre/Alu honeycomb sandwich? It’s for a VW after all.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Haven’t got the tools to fold metal sheet etc!

    Peakyblinder, I don’t think you need Marine Ply, its really expensive and quite rare. WBP is what most people use; ply with waterproof glue.

    Premier Icon TheDTs
    Full Member

    With the composite all you need is to route out the back with a V and fold by hand, very easy.

    Premier Icon sierrakilo
    Free Member

    made mine from 12 and 6 mm ply. Stone flake paint on the top surfaces and aluminium angle edging, Grey Carbon effect vinyl wrap on the sides and doors etc……. all designed to be cheap and cheerful as we didn’t really know the layout and design to specify, untill we have used the van in anger. we have Smev double burner and small grill underneath, and a great top loader fridge……the funny thing is that it has all held together and we are happy with the result after some 65 nights use over last 2.5 years.

    Slight modification this week is relocating gas bottle ( propane 3.9Kg )so that we can turn it on for the morning coffee brew without having to retract the rock n Roll bed .

    Premier Icon peakyblinder
    Free Member

    Ta’ will check WBP out then. I don’t need a lot just someone hacked a different hob into it in the past. Want to get it back looking OG westy.

    Now finding veneer that’s the same….

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    I use the composite ali sheets quite a lot. Its good stuff. I picked up.a load from bin at the local printers as it used for signs. You can buy it in a huge range of coloured finishes too. Trade names reynobond or dibond

    I built the cupboards for the loo in the house from recycled plastic sheet. Nice and light with a waterproof self coloured finish. Would be good for a camper.

    My camper is just marine ply and chipboard from the skip outside ikea It is a Mitsubishi though.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Full Member

    Liking the look of the composite sheet but still fairly pricey unfortunately.

    Currently leaning towards 15mm MDF as I can sand it to round off the edges of the doors etc, and then a Plastikote or equivalent satin spray paint to finish it off.

    And I can get all that fairly easily and local.

    Ikea have some nice looking units but it would get quite complicated as I need to build it in over a wheel arch, Propex heater and a huge Truma water heater that are both mated up to holes in the floor and wall, plus I have a cumbersome Waeco fridge that really needs a custom enclosure to hold it. Difficult to work out if the depth of the carcasses can be cut down without causing issues with drawer runners etc, so I think a ‘scratch built’ unit is going to cause less headaches.

    For a new conversion where I can build everything in around the units they look pretty good though.

    Premier Icon bugcab
    Free Member

    I saw somewhere a chap made his own lightweight composite kitchen units and doors. Superb finish, strong and light. Cut a frame out of ply 12mm I think, then covered it in thinner high quality 2mm panels creating hollow lightweight but thick and strong units. Think his efforts may even have been on a camper van conversion thread here.

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