Three Truck Camper Magazine readers share creative ways of creating and mounting countertop extensions in their truck campers. Flip for more counter space.
1. Countertop Extension As Work Space or Table
Submitted by: Charles Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB
My wife and I saw a need for increased counter space in our Chalet DS116RB. This new counter space would need to do double duty, acting as increased counter space as well as an additional table seating area when we have guests.
After considering all our options, we decided to build a flip-up table off the center island. This needed to be as big as possible, but be no longer than the island itself, and narrow enough to allow walking around it when up.
When complete, it was made out of beautiful bamboo, with a size of 20-inches by 35-inches, and folds away neatly when not needed.
This should greatly enhance our entertaining needs.
The cost was $60 for the three bamboo cutting boards (extremely rigid and well made), $10 for the 4-foot hinge, and $16 for the polyurethane.
2. Boat Table to Countertop Extension
Submitted by: John Ambrosius, 2015 Ram 3500, 2006 Lance 915
In our Lance 915, there was not enough counter space. We needed a place to prepare food, place washed dishes, etc. So, the old saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” came into play.
I ran across an old boat that was going to be scrapped. Like any old packrat, I took off all the cleats and a bunch of stainless screws. That’s when I saw the pot of gold – the table! As soon as I saw it, I immediately knew what to do with it. I took the table apart since this particular use could only use half of the table.
Above: The table and parts that he found on the old boat
I then ordered two folding brackets off eBay. After leveling the camper, I screwed the brackets to the camper. I made the new counter height the same as the one adjacent and allowed enough room to clear the outlet (and anything plugged into it, like a blender).
Above: The countertop brackets that were ordered off eBay
Note: I did have to lower the factory curtain one inch. I then put one screw on each bracket to the table. After lowering the table, I had to adjust one screw to make the table be plum in its down position (my OCD kicked in). Then I screwed in all the remaining screws into the tabletop. The table was an absolutely perfect fit!
Above: In the down position it covers the window
We have doubled our counter space and, in the down position, it covers the window and blocks light for sleeping and/or privacy. Being the table is teak trimmed and mica, it can get wet without regard.
This mod has been a great improvement. It’s being used all the time. The brackets are amazingly solid and easy to lift up and down. Click here for an eBay link to the brackets.
It took me about one hour to complete this mod and cost me $15. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy to medium as levels and hardware are involved.
3. Front Wall Mounted Countertop Extension
Submitted by: Frank Niehus, 2007 Ford 350, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150
Above: The Arctic Fox 1150’s extra countertop extension
The Arctic Fox 1150 has an extra countertop that is stored in the hanging closet. It’s very hard to remove and sometimes damages the door jambs and door. Like most people, we never used it. For us, it’s not worth getting it out and trying to put it back into a full clothes closet.
Above: Frank’s drawing of his solution
I came up with a pair of hinges with a 3-inch pin so the hinge will slide three inches. I put up the countertop like it’s designed. Then on the right end, I put a horizontal line on the wall with a light pencil mark for the height. I cut a piece of 3/4-inch by 1-inch wood and glued it to the back to make the countertop the same thickness as the other three sides.
I then fabricated a pair of hinges out of some scrap aluminum. I used a 1/4-inch aluminum pin welded to the plates so that they could slide three inches. Then I set the countertop on the end where I just glued the 3/4-inch piece of wood and screwed the pair of hinges to it.
I put the top in place by removing the rubber plug that aligns in the hole on the left and the two-piece bracket which held up the right side of the counter. Having it in place and aligning with that horizontal mark I put on the wall, I screwed the other half of the hinge on the wall above the window all the way to the left three inches.
Above: The countertop is on a hinge so that it can be stored on the front wall of the camper
Now I can slide the top to the right three inches to miss the step (for getting into bed) and the counter will now swing down in front of the window. I can now slide it three inches to the left behind the step and I remove the chrome leg under the top because I don’t need it anymore.
Above: The countertop in storage mode
In three seconds, I always have extra counter space and, in three seconds, I have it stored when going to bed. I don’t have the leg in the way to keep me from getting into the floor storage compartment. The slide will come within three-quarters of an inch of it when it’s up or down. I can leave it up while traveling if I want a view through the window. I can’t think of any negatives.
It took me an hour except for the fabrication and welding of hinges. It did not cost me anything because I used scrap material that was laying around. In my opinion, the skill level of this mod is medium.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.