Old forum Archive
This is where all the topics from the old forum that was shutdown are saved in a read-only forum. You can refer to it on this forum by using a link or copying the data over.
http://archive.aluminiumcamperforum.com/

Author Topic: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top  (Read 378 times)

Fatdog2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • TV and RV:
      Ram 1500

    • LivinLite 21BHS
    • View Profile
21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« on: October 13, 2021, 06:06:46 PM »
Hi everyone, I wanted to show some of the 21BHS modifications that I have down over the past 2 years or more. We took out the bunks and put in a cloth covered hanging closet after I made a box for water heater and piping with a removable slide in access panel. The area next to the wall and sink plumbing and wheel well, that was under the bottom bunk, I made a box with tilt access door. I installed Ikea shelf unit on top of the box. We use cloth covered boxes to store stuff and place them on the shelf unit. Strong bungy cords keep everything tied into the shelf unit.
I finished up our Countertop replacement and leaf drop countertop this past year. I used Baltic Birch plywood. The bottom is sealed in Epoxy and top was done in varnish, but it turned to yellow. I stripped off the varnish and spayed clear lacquer. The edge was rounded off to get a nice edge.  I got new Metal triangle folding brackets for the Leaf drop countertop, which work great. The leaf countertop is much bigger than OEM and gives some nice room for food prep and washing dishes.
I also removed the OEM dinette and installed two Ikea lounge chairs. I cut down the mounting feet for the chairs to get the right height when sitting on the slide out platform. The platform is covered in carpet and has brackets and straps to hold the chairs down while camper is moving.
I made some leg rests out of black cutting boards, hinges and legs off of an Ikea single plastic seat. The leg rest is hinged to the bottom edge of the chairs. I made some faux leather cushions for leg rest. When not in use the legs fold up and leg rest drops straight down.
The side tables and center table for each chair was made out of cutting boards, cut down to fit, and cover in epoxy resin. They are great to place for a drink. 
We put a 40 TV on the kitchen counter over the sink and sound bar behind the chairs on the slide out box which makes for a nice stadium seating. The sound bar is great as we can hear it over the A/C Unit which is loud when the fan is running. At some point I would like to find a quitter unit where the fan isnt so loud. If thats even possible.
Ikea LED white strip lighting system, 110V to 12V. I installed a 110v outlet under the lower shelf, but I probably could have found a 12v circuit with an inline fuse and cut off the 110v converter. It worked out and it really made finding stuff in the cabinets easier.
 Removing the dinette gave us more room and to make a larger drop leaf countertop. We can also walk to the bathroom with the slide all the way in if we need to when traveling or to get to the fridge.  It fits our needs, and we really love the Livin Lite camper. 
I did everything with skill saw and carbide tip blade to cut the aluminum, and compound miter saw. Cutting the aluminum I went slow on the cuts. It does shoot aluminum shaving everywhere, and lot of use with the shop vac.  It was a fun job and I just took my time with it all. If you have any question let me know.
Thanks for reading... 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 06:27:03 PM by Fatdog2 »

Merlin

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1310
  • Karma: +23/-0
    • TV and RV:
      2017 Land Cruiser

    • 2015 Camplite 16TBS
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 08:32:57 PM »
Thanks for the ideas! I had not thought of looking at IKEA for slide out seating. Im still on the hunt for comfortable seating in place of the sofa/bed I have that was an LL fail. At least cutting aluminum is less sparky than cutting steel.  :o
Michigan

Lily

  • Premium Member
  • Jr. Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • TV and RV:
      2020 Ridgeline

    • Camplite 21rbs
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 08:37:14 PM »
Very nice work.  Like the idea & look of the theater seating across from the 40 tv + sound bar! Wondering if anyone has modified the ceiling mounted bedside cabinets that hang down & overlap the sides of the bed (our 2017rbs has them on both sides.)  Head/elbow bangers that make sleeping cramped & dangerous.  It appears the cabinets have full-welded aluminum frames that are bolted to the exterior walls and integral to the entire cabinetry.  Love our Camplite but hoping to sleep better w/o the full side cabinets. Thanks for any help.

Fatdog2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • TV and RV:
      Ram 1500

    • LivinLite 21BHS
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2021, 12:10:48 PM »
I removed the hang down closet that was next to our bed. The cabinets are screwed to the ceiling and to each other. I had to disconnect the lighting electrical connections and get the wiring out of the way. I unscrewed the closet cabinet from the clothes cabinet and then pulled down the closet cabinet. It's a tight fit. Once I got it down I took the door off and all the trim pieces. Then using a stiff paint scraper I carefully ran it down the edge of the wood grain foam board. They use double sided tape to hold it on and it's really sticky. Once I got it apart I cut the long section of the fame work off and made the box as close to the same size as the other cabinet. I had a piece of aluminum angle stock that I cut down in strips and used rivets to  to mend the bottom aluminum base framing together to make the bottom. You can see them in the picture.  I didn't have an aluminum welding equipment to weld them and it worked just fine. I figured it just holding clothes and light items. The stytro-foam between the inside bottom and outside bottom just gives the aluminum sheeting some support. That's how they filled in the void on the bunk beds too.  I also had some aluminum sheeting left over from the bunk beds and skinned the  inside to make the bottom of the box. I cut the wood grain skin to fit the box and the bottom. Then I trimmed it out with black angle aluminum pieces. I reinstalled the box and screwed the cabinets back together hooked up the lights.  I used a sharp scraper to carefully cut the caulking on the wall, then got some almond caulking and touched up the seam where the cabinet was against the wall.
I put the door in to open to the right which gets it out of the way when you want to get into the cabinet. I also turned the other two cabinet doors so the drop open instead of opening up as originally installed, much easier and I didn't want to drill keepers into the ceiling for the doors.
We cut some foam to fill in between the bed then the side shelf by the bed to have it at the same height of the mattress and covered it with pillow cases. We can sleep all the way into the corner. The wall still looks nice and the room is nice. Hope this gives you some ideas. If you have wood cabinet like they did in the newer camper then it would be even easier. Not that this was hard as it's very doable. I love that the camper can be easily modified even with the aluminum framing. If you have any questions let me know.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 12:16:05 PM by Fatdog2 »

Fatdog2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • TV and RV:
      Ram 1500

    • LivinLite 21BHS
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 12:31:18 PM »
Lily, I forgot to mention that I took the original clothes cabinet door and cut it down the fit the new door opening size of the box. If I remember right the frame work is caulked to the skin of the door material. I used a sharp razor blade knife to cut the caulk and disassemble the frame work from the door skin. there are rivets and screws in the edge of the door trim that hold an internal L shaped splice which holds the trim together.  Then I cut the door skin down to the right size to fit the door frame opening with the frame work for the door.  The door frame I cut on a compound miter saw using 2x4 to hold the angle aluminum against the saw fence and cut slowly. That way the blade doesn't grab the aluminum and tear it up. I cut the angles for the door trim then reinstalled the metal L pieces and screwed the frame together. I took some time to get the door apart, just keep at it.  Unfortunately I don't have any picture of the door disassemble or assembly. If I find any other pictures of the door frame work I'll post them.

Lily

  • Premium Member
  • Jr. Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • TV and RV:
      2020 Ridgeline

    • Camplite 21rbs
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2021, 03:41:33 PM »
Thanks for your reply, Fatdog!  Looks like you did a fantastic job.  We have long cabinets on both sides of the bed.  I will look again but the end cabinet framing appears to have been welded to the center cabinet framing rather than screwed together.  That would require cutting the framing apart in place which Id rather not do.  But your work is inspiring me to consider trying.  Will post results if attempted. Were headed South for a couple of weeks to SC before cold weather sets in. Hopefully will store the camper near Charleston & avoid having to winterize this year.  Maybe even go West for some winter getaway.  Happy camping!

Fatdog2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • TV and RV:
      Ram 1500

    • LivinLite 21BHS
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2021, 11:48:50 AM »
Thank you for the complements. Just a thought, you could take the entire cabinet system, remove all the doors to make it lighter to handle. Then disassemble the black trim frame work on the long clothes closets and cut and remove the foam wood panels. Then cut the frame work on the long cabinets to the bottom of the short cabinets with an oscillating tool,  with a metal blade attachment. That way you keep all the cabinets welded together, and just cut off the bottom. Then make the floor for the new boxes and cover it and trim it. You could get some aluminum flat stock from Home Depot paint it gloss black and then use double sided tape or even screws to screw it to the bottom of the cabinet to cover the bottom seam of the cut wood grain panel. I'm sure you can do it with a little help getting the cabinet system out of the camper. Then you can really see what it would take to custom make it to your needs. Have fun and safe travels.   

Lily

  • Premium Member
  • Jr. Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 50
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • TV and RV:
      2020 Ridgeline

    • Camplite 21rbs
    • View Profile
Re: 21 BHS Dinnette change and new counter top
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2021, 04:10:49 PM »
Good suggestions & will consider it for a Spring project.  Will post pics if attempted.  Thanks again.