Wasted hob space

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Feltwell, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

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    My van has the cooker and sink right next to each other with practically no worktop space, the sink has no integral draining board, so cooking tends to be a juggling act of opening and closing the covers over each of them to give somewhere to work. The bathroom sink ends up getting used to fill up the kettle quite often as it's not worth the hassle of clearing the sink cover in order to open it! We've a plastic draining board that has to sit on the closed hob cover when washing up, so blocking you from putting the kettle on, which is a MAJOR problem when I need tea!!

    I've seen on some vans that the glass lid over the gas hob is split in half, so you can have one side open to cook and use the other down as worktop space. Makes perfect sense - we've 4 burners on the hob and rarely use more than 2 at once.

    Has anyone (intentionally!) split the existing glass cover over their hob? It must be tempered glass, I wondered if a diamond bladed tile cutter - the table saw type, not score and snap! - would cut it, but I suspect it wouldn't without chipping it, so it would mean sourcing new glass.

    The glass itself is plain square, with a plain aluminium trim on the front that could be easily cut, and a hinge on the back that I presume could be cut into 2, providing it doesn't stop the spring mechanism from working. It's a SMEV cooker, annoyingly I can't see that they have any other models with a split lid that I could buy the parts from.

    The more I think about it, perhaps fabricating a stainless steel plate to go over 2 of the burners that can sit under the existing glass lid is a better idea!
     
  2. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

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    You need to check whether there is a cut off safety switch that is released by raising the lid as it might be on 1 side or both. If both, cutting the glass won't work as switch will not be released.

    I'd look at something to put on the 2 unused burners or some other safe alternative. It is always a juggle as there never seems enough room!

    Some vehicles we looked at had extra work space that was hinged from either the base units up to the worktop or down from top units. Maybe an alternative?
     
  3. Kim H

    Kim H Funster Life Member

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    I don't know whether this tip will be any good for you, but we had a similar problem re a draining board in our Hymer. Our solution (thanks to a friend that shared the tip) is to keep a tray in the top drawer underneath the hob. The size of the tray is quite crucial as it sits on top of the drawer contents on the metal struts and when you open the drawer it becomes and instant draining board which just requires a wipe down when you've finished washing up and close the drawer again with the tray still in situ. I haven't got a picture, but I think I've explained the concept :)
     
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  4. Feltwell

    Feltwell Funster

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    Great points from both of you, thanks. The lack of worktop space is the main design shortcoming of our van, but as with everything else in motorhome design it's a trade-off for more space elsewhere! I hadn't thought about gas cut-off on the hob lid. Alas under the hob is the grill, so nothing can go there - I do see what you mean though, if there was a drawer there that would be a great tip.

    Not much space to have any extra hinged worktop without blocking something, alas. I have mounted a modified towel rail on the wardrobe door which serves as a towel rail (funnily enough!) but also as a mounting point for our single dinette table if we really need extra worktop space when cooking, like in the picture below (hob cover needs a clean! :whistle:). It stops the fridge door opening fully, we don't use it that often but it is very useful occasionally.

    [​IMG]

    Something like the below might do the job, although it would be below the height of the adjoining worktop. I might get something made to suit - see how expensive it is.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hot-Pan-S...-Stainless-Steel-Chopping-Board-/291415030858
     
  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    A lot of MHs have small kitchens. I guess the designers expect you to either eat and cook outside, which you can in summer in southern Europe or go to a restaurant!

    Our MH has lots of work surface in the kichen and this was a major reason for choosing it but you can never have too much and we often set up a separate table to use as well. This might be an option for the OP but only if there is room.
     
  6. Oriel

    Oriel

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    A couple of thoughts... Could you make a lift up flap worktop to the left of your hob where the handle is? ... or..... Could you buy a chopping board of the size needed to straddle the gas jets and rest on the front/back edges of the hob? - wooden may be best or those tempered glass ones if you can get it to fit.
     
  7. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    This is what Ralph has done with Pug.
    http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/rb-panel-van-conversion-begins.100614/page-24
    It's half way down the page on the link above. There's a worktop space between the hob and sink . The hinges are really solid and sturdy.
    Theres the flap up table, as well as the glass lids on the sink and hob. Plenty space. More , Infact than our old Motorhome.
     
  8. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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  9. cruiser

    cruiser Funster Life Member

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    some good ideas on here thank you funsters.
     
  10. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    We had a similar problem. I try to remember to fill the flask with water before I start to cook ) otherwise Martin gets sent to get water from elsewhere. I use the dinette table as an additional worktop but we also have a curved unit under the sink and the door opens right out into the hab door. Martin made a top for this and it gives me a bit more space although lower than the work bench. When washing up I put a bowl on there with a drainer rack inside the bowl so the dishes drain into the bowl. Works great!

    Like most things it is a compromise and in a van less than 6m long there isn't a massive amount of space so every bit of space you have has to have several functions.

    I'm always wary of glass and heat so would go for an split cover that was heat resistant.
     
  11. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    We eased the problem by adding a shelf on the back of the divider between the kitchen and the front seating and also added a pullout shelf from under the sink image.jpg
     
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  12. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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    Your van must have other redeeming features though as they are all a compromise, and if it hasn't I would question whether you considered this during the purchase process.

    Ah now I see your photos I see it does have a table not too far away. My galley kitchen begins where the two forward facing passenger seats finish and I had made up a clip on shelf to sit above seated head height on the partition. This worked well when making 'dwinkies' or drying up or indeed when dishing up hot food. Sadly I let it go when I sold it and the new one has so much more room anyway.

    ps, just as scattycat has suggested above
     
  13. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    All the hobs with split glass lids I've seen state not to be used with either of the lids down.
    Our current van has virtualy no work top hou learn to adapt.
     
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