Your motorhome may need a new set of cabinets from time to time, depending on how often you travel and use your kitchen. Replacing cabinets can be tricky because all cabinets must be secured and reinforced to allow for the motorhome moving over bumps and rough roads and handling sudden stops. Shifting may occur in the flooring and the walls, so tightening down nuts, bolts and screws are essential to keeping everything in place. Ideally, you can replace old cabinets with new ones exactly the same size in height and depth.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Paper diagram of current cabinet and appliance placement
- Ready-made cabinets
- Plywood or laminated shelving
- Shelf pegs
- Sliding door bolts
- Rubber shelf matting
Measure the cabinets already in place as well as the total available area to be used. You may have to use different-sized cabinets if you can't replace the old ones with the same size. Observe construction, such as adjustable shelving, and where original holding screws are placed. Note how countertops are installed, because you will want to replace those, too.
Purchase laminated cabinets rather than cheap wood or particle-board cabinets from a local home improvement store if you have a small RV that opens up. Laminated wood is a great cabinet material for its ease of keeping clean with a simple wipe-down. Laminated wood weathers different climates and humidity better than wood or particle board, especially if you like to spend significant time at the seacoast. For larger RVs with central air and heat, use any strong wood you like, since weather outside will not matter when you have climate control inside.
Remove your old cabinets, noting how each one was installed, and replace with a new cabinet. Secure with bolts to the flooring. If replacing a sink cabinet, make sure pipes and hoses have free access underneath and through the back before bolting down. Once your cabinets are in, take a measure of the cabinets' top dimension and either purchase a laminate countertop and cut the sinkhole yourself, or order it from a home-improvement store and have it cut for you.
Add in more shelving as needed by adding in holes on each side and resting shelves on shelf pins. Alternately, you can glue, then nail on ledges on each side, then just slide the shelf on top of them. Put in a restrainer nail at the back wall to hold down the shelf so it doesn't tip. Use sliding bolts on cabinet door fronts to hold doors shut while the RV is moving. Add rubber shelving sheets to keep items from slipping around, particularly your plates and cups.
Tips & Warnings
- Note where each installation bolt and screw goes in the original cabinet so you can replicate it during new cabinet installation.
- Organization is paramount in tight places, so add cabinets and drawers to any unused spaces. You can build your own by creating a plywood box, adding sliding shelves, and your own makeshift door with hinges. Then stain or paint it.
- Add in cabinet shelf dividers to keep things from shifting around too much. If taking your china dishes, build plate slots to hold each piece separately and pad the back wall and front doors. Otherwise, only use plastic and other unbreakable items for cooking and eating.
- If traveling with breakable items, use a plastic tote and pack each piece with padding. Then store in a closet.
- RV-Boondocking The Good Life: Bead Storage Cabinet
- RV Renovators: Renovation: RV Cabinets
- "Cabinets and Shelves": Better Homes and Gardens: 2007
- Photo Credit Andy Reynolds/Lifesize/Getty Images Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
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