How can you install a fully functional kitchen inside a tiny electric vehicle? This sounds like a question never asked before in the history of mankind, but now it has been asked and answered by New Zealander Gavin Shoebridge, who has documented the daunting process on YouTube.
Gavin is just one of thousands of YouTube DIYers (Do-It-Yourselfers) sharing their ideas, successes and failures in making their lives better through innovation, hard work and sometimes a bit of functional silliness.
Shoebridge started the project by measuring the space between the back seat and the rear hatch door. His tiny four-door Peugeot doesn’t look like it could accommodate a fully functioning kitchen in it, but Gavin was undeterred.
First, he measured everything and headed out to the hardware store for his supplies. One trick he shows on his YouTube video is the use of cardboard cutouts to determine the proper size for contouring the sides of the kitchen.
Cardboard is much cheaper and more pliable than wood, which makes it the perfect material for making pattern templates before cutting the wood.
Even with this process, there was still a lot of trial and error, cutting and more cutting to get it right.
Shoebridge’s idea was to have a counter – or bench as he calls it – that would have a food prep space, a sink with running water and a small gas camping stove. Keeping the stove away from anything plastic was a key issue with his design.
For the sink, he used a metal mixing bowl and cut a hole for the drain as well as a hole in his counter that was smaller than the lip of the bowl. Underneath the counter and sink, he installed a 10-liter container to catch all liquids used in food preparation.
Also underneath the counter was a tiny refrigerator for cold storage as well as a storage with hinged cabinet doors for dry goods and other supplies.
“Making a car kitchen is hard if you want it to actually look like a real kitchen,” Gavin warns. To do that, he painted the kitchen frame along with the doors and put a woodgrain vinyl laminate on the countertop.
Running water for his sink involved the use of a windshield washer pump and a tube line to a container of fresh water under the counter and one to a faucet he’d installed on the sink.
“The whole car kitchen means that I can now enjoy the best parts of sleeping under the stars while camping, yet I get to keep the comforts of home when it’s time to eat or prepare meals or just brush my teeth.”
Gavin Shoebridge has a series of YouTube videos under the title of Kiwi EV adventures. His subjects range from installing a remote-controlled diesel heater, living with a Peugeot iOn electric car, and long-distance travel in your electric vehicle.