Some light interior remodeling

Post project writeups, ideas, DIY mods and off the shelf modifications and improvements. Also "Known Issues" and their resolutions.
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

IMG_20210608_051120_1.jpg
Hah! Yeah right. Go big or go home. This thread will be a write up of the modifications I am making to my chinook. At the end of July, I will be moving out of my house and into the chinook full time. The stock layout is okay, just not for me.

First thing I decided to do was get rid of the fridge. I generally don't like using propane except for cooking. I will be spending most of my time at campgrounds plugged into shore power so the old fridge had to go. It didn't work all that well anyway. Not to mention it sticks out so far into the hallway I have to turn sideways to enter the chinook.
IMG_20210607_154857_6.jpg
IMG_20210607_160838_0.jpg
I slid the fridge out about halfway and out came the sawzall. I read Blue mention that he just cut his in half, and seeing as how I wasn't planning on keeping the fridge anyways, I decided to do the same.

Next step was to remove all the mdf faces of the cabinets and trim the vertical pieces (bulkheads?) back to flush with the generator box. The plan here is to give me 5 or 6 more inches in the entrance way. I want the face of the refrigerator cabinet to plane in flush with the face of the closet immediately to the right of the door.

IMG_20210608_031355_0.jpg
chin_k
**Forum Contributor**
Posts: 1793
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Location: Southern CA

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by chin_k »

Watching.

You have a garage tall enough to pull the Chinook inside? Nice! I am jealous!
2000 Concourse dinette, on 2000 6.8L Ford E350 Triton V-10 Chassis (built in 1999)
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

IMG_20210608_042208_7 (1).jpg
I ended up completely removing the mdf piece that made up the right side of the fridge cabinet/left side of the closet. It wasn't all that difficult to remove and proved much easier to trim on my workbench. The plywood piece to the left of the fridge I had to trim in place. In order to get nice straight lines, I used a 24" square that I placed on the floor and ran up the side of the generator box. Luckily the generator box was perfectly square to the floor on my chinook so this made easy work of the layout.

Once everything was trimmed to where I wanted it, I started working on new cabinet faces. I decided to use baltic birch, cabinet grade plywood. I love the light color, and the modern sleek look it has. Really solid, great stuff to build cabinets with too. I used the old closet face piece to trace the profile lines of the rear of the chinook. Took about 6 or 7 trips in and out of the chinook to get it just right, but it's just how I want it now.


IMG_20210608_101815_8.jpg
I don't have a picture of it yet, but I also got the closet door cut, also out of baltic birch. It is absolutely amazing how much roomier walking into the chinook feels without the fridge sticking out so far. Speaking of the fridge, I am not going to put the fridge back here. This space will now be a stack of drawers with either shelves or a cabinet space up top. The stock fridge is way too big for me, and even in my house I never use the freezer.

Next thing I did was jump over to the stove area. I removed the stove and cabinet and got to work on making something new. I removed the lounge chair next to the stove, removed the cabinet it sits on, and build a new base cabinet that sits directly on top of the wheel well. On top of this cabinet, I will place my new fridge. For my fridge, I will be using a 3.5 cubic foot chest freezer with an external Johnson controls thermometer to turn it into a refrigerator. This is more space than I will ever need and since I am a solo traveler, I don't need two lounge chairs.
IMG_20210609_194155_3.jpg
You can also see where I temporarily mocked up the counter top for the oven. Both the sink cabinet and the stove cabinet sit WAY too low for me. I don't like having to bend over to use these appliances. The freezer/fridge I will be using is 32 inches tall. Sitting on top of a 6" base cabinet, this puts the top of the fridge at 38". I will be making a new cabinet for the stove to match this height. This is a much more comfortable height for me. I can stand straight up and use them. In the picture you see, the counter top is at 42", so it is slightly higher than it will end up when completed.

You may be thinking to yourself "why would you put your fridge right in front of the window? Isn't it going to cover up some of the window?" The answer is yes. And when I move over to the other side and raise the kitchen sink cabinet up, it will DEFINITELY cover quite a bit of the window. This is a non issue for me. I am eventually, probably early next year, going to go the route that willywalderbeast went. I will be removing the windows, fiberglass the openings, and install arctic tern windows. These windows will be more forward than the stock ones and my cabinets will no longer interfere with the windows. I am not a fan of the stock windows at all.

I don't actually have my fridge yet, so I will be waiting until then to build my stove cabinet to make sure I can flush everything out perfectly. Since I've hit a temporary dead end for now, I jumped up top and started working on a new overhead cabinet where the microwave used to be. Again, even in my house I have never used the microwave so I just decided to scrap this as well. I started building a new cabinet to match the angled cabinets above the dinette. The 3/4 plywood is a little thicker than the mdf, so the faces don't plane out very well. This is no big deal to me because eventually I will be replacing the slanted mdf cabinet faces with baltic birch plywood as well.
IMG_20210609_194116_2.jpg
This is where I quit for the day. Overall, for about 12 hours of work, I am happy with the progress I've made. Next step will be to cut down, reflare, and cap the propane line for the fridge. Then I will build the cabinet for the stove and finish out the overhead cabinet. I will have to extend the propane line for the stove so it reaches the new height of the stove. After that I will finish facing out the old fridge cabinet and start building drawers. Once that is done I will finish installing my lifeproof vinyl flooring. I'll make sure to keep the pictures coming.
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

chin_k wrote: June 9th, 2021, 4:22 pm Watching.

You have a garage tall enough to pull the Chinook inside? Nice! I am jealous!
Yep. 34x34 garage with 14 foot ceilings. Pretty awesome. It will be the only thing I miss about having a house.
Stan Watkins
Posts: 35
Joined: February 12th, 2021, 9:23 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Stan Watkins »

You've got mad skills ( emphasis on Mad ) lol. I like the layout of my 99 Concourse with the exception of the sink area. At 5'8" , I have to stoop to do dishes and I can't imagine what taller people go through. Four or six more inches in height would give more storage and less back pain. Yes , the window would be partially blocked , but the breeze wouldn't be impeded. Keep us updated. Thanks.
1999 Concourse Ford E350
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

Raising up the stove cabinet is a huge win/win for me. Not only do I get a more comfortable counter height, but that useless space beneath the stock oven cabinet will now have room for 2 small drawers or one really big drawer. Thats a gigantic plus for me. Moving the fridge over where the club chair was will also give me more space than I could ever need where the old fridge was.
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

I didn't get much done on the chinook. I'll show some pictures of what I did though.

I cut down the propane line for the fridge, installed a new flare nut, flared it with a pipe flaring tool, and installed a plug for that line. I still need to check for leaks, which I will do once I get the stove line extended to the proper height.
IMG_20210610_202325_1.jpg
Flaring copper line is pretty simple. Exactly the same process as flaring brake or clutch line. Cut the line, place a new flare nut on, put the crimp tool on the line, and crimp it. Easy peasy.
IMG_20210610_202541_4.jpg
I also cut the stove line and added an extension piece. I'll leave this one like this until I have my final height for the stove.
IMG_20210610_202941_3.jpg
IMG_20210610_203321_8.jpg
Last edited by Steeldriver17 on June 10th, 2021, 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

Jumping over to the couch/bed area. The previous owner had installed a platform bed. It stuck really far out into the aisle. It WAS comfortable, but it was too obtrusive. I wanted something similar to the VW vanagon westfalia I had, and lucky for me, I still had a set of rock n' roll bed hinges from an old VW bus.
60986d52baadb13c34270f0d.jpg
60986d53933abb63eb6ea104.jpg
I removed all of this work. I cut down the plywood to the sizes I wanted for the couch. After these were cut, I had to make some side pieces for the hinges to attach to. I did this by using cardboard templates. I took the cardboard, set it where I wanted the side pieces to be, and proceeded to trim a little bit, test fit, trim a little more, test fit again, about 30 times to get just the right fit. Once I was satisfied with the cardboard template, I traced them onto some wood and cut them out. I made them in a way that they would mount directly to the 2x4 that was original to the stock couch. They also mounted with some wood cleats to the floor.

Once these pieces were in place and square with eachother, I installed the hinges as well as the plywood bases for the cushions. The hinges required a bit of metal fabrication to make them work in the chinook, but about 30 minutes with a grinder and a welder and I was all set. Installing the plywood bases for the cushions was quite a challenge by myself but I got it done. Next step was to cut the foam. The mattress the previous owner was of very high quality, very dense 4" foam. It was very comfortable as I prefer a really stiff mattress. I went out and bought an electric bread knife to make clean cuts on the foam. Once the pieces were cut, I removed the plywood bases from the chinook, glued down the foam, and stapled fabric stretched over the foam to the plywood. I used the mattress cover that came with the mattress. I just cut it to fit the new pieces.

Then it was back into the chinook for installation. Once everything was installed to where I was satisfied with it, I installed a plywood piece across the front of the side pieces to enclose the bed. This created another huge storage space under the bed. The rock and roll bed is great and very comfortable as both a couch and a bed. A nice feature of these hinges is the bottom of the couch can be hinged up to access the storage underneath.

Here's some pictures:
IMG_20210610_204554_8.jpg
IMG_20210610_204623_1.jpg
Steeldriver17
Posts: 22
Joined: May 7th, 2021, 1:36 pm

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by Steeldriver17 »

IMG_20210610_204708_7.jpg
I didn't go with baltic birch for the front piece of the bed. Plywood is very expensive right now and I had some scrap half inch sanded plywood in the garage. It doesn't match, and sort of bothers me so I may replace it with baltic birch at some point in the future.

As you can see from the previous pictures, I finished out the front area of the camper with some vinyl plank flooring. The brand is lifeproof from home depot and it is 100% waterproof. The stuff installed really easily and looks fantastic. I am very happy with it. It is a slightly grayish color.
IMG_20210610_204215_2.jpg
User avatar
terriv
Posts: 15
Joined: August 2nd, 2020, 1:18 pm
Location: Central Oregon

Re: Some light interior remodeling

Post by terriv »

The only thang "light" about this interior remodeling is the snazzy Baltic birch color!

Keep the pics & informative information coming. WOW!
1999 Concourse Dinette
Go Wagon
Post Reply