Camping Kitchen

Introduction

06/18/12

Back in my younger days I tried to pack light when I went camping. Post kids I "gadget'ed it up" a bit to increase the probability everybody would have a fun time (i.e. huge family tent, big rain tarp, brought along bicycles, two full coolers full of ice, and a trailer to haul it all). Over the 2011/2012 winter I decided a camping kitchen would make food prep and clean up less of a chore.















Materials

I basically used the cheapest pine lumber I could find, including some bundles of "firewood" that were on sale at Menards. Those small pieces were useful on the internal supports and some of the external spacers. The exception to this were the boards for the legs. For the legs I picked up some select boards which where much straighter than the construction lumber.



For the finish I used whatever stain I had left over in the garage from previous projects. I didn't have enough of one color to finish the entire project so a few of the pieces were darker. After the stain was dry I put about three coats of polyurethane on to help protect the wood on damp nights and heavy dish washing duty.


For the sinks I got a couple of Rubermaid(tm) dish pans off of Amazon. Looking back if I could have found some small metal sinks about the same size I would have sprung for those.


The faucet is some CPVC pipe, single turn valve, and misc plastic adapters. To get the arc on the CPVC I put a two foot piece of pipe in the oven till it got pliable. Then I bent it around a plastic jug that had about the right sized arc.  


I bought some over sized thick plastic cutting boards to use as covers for the sinks when not in use. This would expand the usable food prep area pre-meal when the sinks are not in use anyway. Surprisingly most of my normal woodworking tools (table saw, hole saw, jig saw) all worked well on the cutting boards. 







Construction

The base structure size was based on a 2' x 4' piece of plywood with a 1"x4" frame. I thought 24" was a bit tall for the depth so I cut it down to 20 inches. The 20" was enough to cover the depth of the dish pans. This would be the main area that housed the sinks and the legs when folded. 

To expand the working area I attached a three foot and one foot fold out section which attached to the main four foot section via hinges. This gave me a seven foot by two foot section when all sections were unfolded. 

For the most part the whole construction was cut to fit. I would check the folding mechanisms to make sure they would fit occasionally during the process and ran into a few surprises where I had to rework a few of the pieces.  

For hardware I picked up whatever hinges and bracket supports seemed like they would fit. I ended up using lots of left over hardware I had laying around in my workshop.

By the time I was done with the build it was a bit heaver than I had planned (80 pounds or so) but still manageable.

Operation

Click on a picture to zoom in.

 
The table in its folded, mobile state. 
 
The first step is to place the table on the ground with the long side down so the fold out sections can be opened, which allows the legs to fold out. 
Once all the legs are out the front hands can be used to flip the table up onto its legs. 
At this point the diagonal support for the smaller one foot section can be clicked into place. 
At this point the table is basically stable. So the back windbreak/spice rack can be flipped up. The two supports for the water jug can also be unfolded.
This is a good point to put the water jug in place and hook up the hose.
Next step is to hook up the under sink drying rack and drainage hose. I bring along an old five gallon pail to collect the gray water.

At this point the table is basically set up. The first thing I normally do is put a garbage bag in the holder. The sooner its in place the easier it is to keep the campsite tidy.
Once the table is setup I unpack a bunch of stuff from my pantry containers. Any food items get put away to the car at night so they don't attract raccoons. The rest of the gears stays out for the duration of the camp.  


Future Improvements

I think I am going to look at replacing the plastic dish pans with real sinks. The dishpans are not designed to make the water flow to the center and down the drain like a real sink. This results in pools of water around the bottom edges of the dish pans. 


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William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
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William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
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William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:01 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
ą
William Kranz,
Jun 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
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