Building Vanlife Cabinets & Benches

Jess Jess
May 05, 2020

When planning our van build we knew we were going to need quality storage inside of our van. We really liked the look of overhead cabinets above the kitchenette to store our pots, pans, and dry foods. For our clothes we went with dual purpose storage benches. For us this is more than enough storage space and we opted not to put any additional cabinetry over our bed. If you have any questions about our build please leave a comment at the bottom of this post!

General Supplies

radio_button_checked Pocket Hole Jig
radio_button_checked Wood Screws
radio_button_checked Clamps
radio_button_checked Wood Glue
radio_button_checked Sander
radio_button_checked Tape Measurer
radio_button_checked Square Layout Tool
radio_button_checked DEWALT Drill
radio_button_checked Satin Interior Paint
radio_button_checked Circular Saw

Vanlife Cabinets


radio_button_checked Cabinet Hinges
radio_button_checked Cabinet Handles
radio_button_checked Struts
radio_button_checked L Brackets

Parker's dad helped us build the most beautiful cabinets with shaker doors to go above our kitchenette. We wanted our cabinets to go above our whole kitchenette as well as the bench so our dimensions were 80” x 16” x 12”. We put in additional LED lights under the cabinets and used gas struts to keep the cabinet doors up while we’re using them.

cabinet 1
cabinet 2
cabinet 3
cabinet 4
cabinets installed
cabinets installed
cabinets installed

Vanlife Benches


radio_button_checked Router
radio_button_checked Struts
radio_button_checked Piano Hinge
radio_button_checked High Density Foam Cushion
radio_button_checked Waterproof Canvas Fabric

Our benches are 18” x 26” x 21” and 18”x 32” x 21” though if we did it again we probably would make our side door bench longer. We used piano hinges and the gas struts for easy access! And Parker’s mom sewed us our lovely bench cushions. The high density foam is very comfortable.

Electrical Outlet


radio_button_checked Extension Cord
radio_button_checked Electrical Box
radio_button_checked Jig Saw
radio_button_checked Wire Stripper and Cutter
radio_button_checked Electrical Tape
radio_button_checked Outlet

We moved our AC inverter because it was bulky and in the way of our benches. When we moved it, we added an electrical outlet to our bench so we still had easy access to our outlet!

I was curious if the extra cabinets and benches were going to make our space feel smaller but it actually doesn’t at all. It feels more organized, cozy and complete.

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