If you have a small kitchen, whether in your stick-and-brick home or in your RV, then you’re all too familiar with the frustration that kicks in when you try to prep food for a meal or see the dishes piling up toward the ceiling—because there’s nowhere else for them to go. With a small kitchen, you learn to get creative with how you do things. You look for storage in places you didn’t know existed, like hanging underneath cabinets or mounted on the inside of cabinet doors. Your kitchen starts to extend into other rooms out of necessity, like using the dining table for food prep or the sofa for a makeshift buffet line (but not when you’re having spaghetti!). If you’re interested in adding more countertop space to your RV’s kitchen check out these ideas for DIY countertop additions that are relatively simple and inexpensive.
This project is perfect if you want to add countertop space that can be raised when you want to use it and lowered when you want it out of the way. If you have space at the end of your countertop where you could add another piece, even if it’s just a foot longer, then this idea is doable for you. For the countertop extension piece you can purchase a small countertop piece from a home improvement store. Or you can look at a local home improvement donation center, like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, where people drop off items they’ve removed from their homes during a renovation, like doors, window frames, and, yes, countertops. The selection always varies and you never know what (inexpensive) gems you’ll find! If your RV came with a sink cover or two, you can always turn them into a countertop extension as well. The obvious benefit to using sink covers is that they most likely match your countertop, so the extension will look seamless.
To attach the countertop piece, you’ll want to use fold-down brackets, like these spring-loaded ones. The wall brace gets drilled into the side of your cabinet (under where your countertop will go), and the shelf brace attaches to the underside of the countertop extension. Simply pull it up and lock it into place when you need more food prep or clean up area, then lower it when you’re done with it.
Slide-Out Countertop Extension
If you have enough room between your countertop and a top drawer, you could install a sliding countertop extension that slides out when you need it, then back in when you’re done (now you see it, now you don’t!). In order for this to work, you’ll have to add drawer guides like these for the extension to slide out on and to support it when it’s extended. A lightweight countertop material would work best for this DIY mod so that it’s not too heavy when it’s pulled out for use. Since this project requires cutting into your RV’s cabinetry, make sure you feel comfortable doing it, or ask someone else who does.
If you hear words like install or drill in a DIY project and immediately think no way, then this countertop extension idea is for you. It’s so easy it’s almost instantaneous! Step 1—purchase one or two cutting boards with feet attached, like these. Step 2—set them on your RV’s cooktop. Done. Just set them up when you need them, then store them away in a cupboard or pantry when you don’t. The feet allow the range to breathe (important if it’s gas). No tools or handyman know-how required.
Not having much room to work in your kitchen can be so maddening. But don’t give in and resort to ordering out for every meal. Give one of these DIY countertop extension projects a try! You’ll be amazed at what a difference a little extra space will make!
Have you modified your RV’s kitchen countertop? Tell us about it in the comments below. Or, better yet, share pictures with us on our Facebook or Instagram pages.