Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Where Oh Where Has My Counterspace Gone?

    Since I do a lot of cooking while travelling in my RV, I like to have lots of counter space. Unfortunately, my RV is small so counter space is limited. For the most part, I work around this. Back in the day, when referring to V8 engine power, folks used to say there is no substitute for cubic inches! In this case there really isn't any substitute for square inches!  What can you do? Well, there are a few things beside being better organized.

Let's take a look at a few of them.
First off, you can add a stove-top cover. These will really give you a larger work space for prep. The only issue being, you cannot use the stove when it's sitting on top! Well, you can, but it would be bad. When you are dealing with tight spaces you have to become creative. Sometimes, I prep or store my prep ingredients here then move everything off when I am ready to use the cooktop. It works, but is a bit more hassle.

If you want play...sometimes you gotta pay!
All Covers In Place

Secondly, you can add sink covers. If your RV, like mine has a double sink, and you aren't actually washing the dishes, these will cover one or both sinks. This way you can use the extra space for prep work or whatever you like. I tripled my counter space with these! Usually I leave the right one off and use the increased counter space on the left. 
If you look closely towards the back, you'll see even my garbage can has a matching cover. I do put stuff on there when cooking, but something about using the lid of the garbage can for food prep.... I simply use the space for tools and...well garbage! Peels, pits, meat trimmings, etc. You can just lift up the cover and slide the trash into....well... the trash!

Counter Extension, Folded
Counter Extension, Open
Next up is a counter extension. This is really the best way to extend an existing counter. They lie flat against the side of the counter until needed. You simply pull up on the extra counter and then press a latching up underneath. Believe me, it's much simpler done than said! It doesn't make any noise when travelling, which is one of my pet peeves! And it doubles my main prep counter space. This doesn't come without a price though. When opened it reduces my main entry door opening by about a third. You can still get in and out, but it's now a bit of an obstacle. Since I am usually (OK, always) the one cooking and I am usually alone, this really isn't an issue at all. These are available online to be retrofitted to your counter. They come in plastic, Formica(!), laminates and plain or stained wood.

All of this simply proves that some creative thinking and some slight changes in behavior can go a long way towards making your RV cooking experience much more enjoyable. I don't think twice if I'll have enough counter space to prepare and cook a, rather elaborate meal. It's fun! And relaxing.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Hey Rick, thanks for the tip. Do you think that it maybe possible for you to have a link for the place(s) where you purchased the materials for the counters? Sometimes it is easier for us just to click on the link. Many thanks from a faithful reader.

    Teaneck, NJ

  2. Luis,
    I wish it were that easy! First, thanks for reading!
    usually, i just buy the supplies at a Lowes or Home Depot style shop. The brand is Corian. On the other hand, you can find the counterspace extensions at most RV Surplus places or RV junkyards. They were fitted quite often in the 80's and 90's. The bracket is here:

    Hope that helps!

    Rich "The Wanderman"

  3. I have a small kitchen in my sticks & bricks house and I use cutting boards over my double sink. One board for each sink. You can buy cutting boards that "hook" over the sides of the sink, or just lay whatever you have on top of the sink. In the RV I cut a board the size of stove top and lay it over the stove, and use an electric skillet for most of the cooking, instead of using propane. Use coffee pot to heat water. Possibly use slow cooker for a meal prepared in AM.

    1. Anon,
      Perfect! Organized space makes for carefree relaxed cooking!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

  4. I usually have the table set up for meals, right across from my galley, so that becomes part of my prep area. Once things are cooking, I can clean up and set the table for the meal. It is nice to have everything all cleaned up, no mess to look at when we are enjoying our feast.

    1. Sunny One,
      That sounds like a great floorplan. My table is really too far away from the main galley area to use effectively for prep. I do set the finished items on there like salads and appetizers to keep more open space available.

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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