Teardrop: Front Upper Cabinets

— on November 2, 2017 by in Teardrop Camper

The front of the teardrop is curved. About mid way up this curve I wanted to add cabinets. The top of the lower storage area will act as a counter. This is similar to how a kitchen works with lower cabinets, a counter top, then a gap and finally upper cabinets.

Teardrop Camper - Front Cabinets - Contoured to Shape

Cabinet Carcasses

Creating the sides of these cabinets was easier than it might appear. I cut rough panels from 1/2″ plywood, screwed them together to the wall of the trailer in the right position and then used a straight bit with a bearing on the router to cut them to exact fit.

One thing I’m getting good at during this build is using the router for various tasks. A while back I bought a good 2hp Porter Cable router and never used it much. I’m getting my monies worth now though, and buying bits frequently.

The horizontal elements are installed with simple shallow dados with glue. Once installed the carcasses are screwed to the side wall and rest on the top of the upper front bulkhead. This makes them more stable than if they hung off one side alone cantilevered out with no back to keep them square.

Teardrop Camper - Front Cabinet Detail

Teardrop Camper - Front Cabinet Detail

Flexible Doors

With both cabinet carcasses built, it was time to turn my attention to the face frames. We want flexibility. That means some times we will want open shelves, and other time, closed spaces. Rather than adding the complexity of a door with hinges, I decided to go with a slide in panel set in the face frame.

Teardrop Camper -Slide in Cabinet Doors

To make these, I had to notch and dado the various parts of the face frames before assembly. Other than that complication, the face frames are assembled using pocket hole screws from poplar. The doors are 1/4 inch birch plywood. When not in use, they can be stashed almost anywhere. They are also trivial to recreate if ever damaged or lost.

Movable Shelf

Beside the face frames, I added some holes for shelf pegs between the cabinets and built a shelf. The depth of this area narrows as you get higher so it isn’t possible to build a perfect shelf. When it is lower, there will be a gap between it and the ceiling. Adding the holes now will allow me to build other shelves later on if we need them also.

Teardrop Camper - Front cross shelf.

These cabinets are small. I envision them being used to story small items like toiletries, guide books and other every day items. The shelf will be useful for other small items such as phones, car keys and head lamps. The shelf will be removed for travel since it just sits on shelf pegs.

Teardrop Camper - Front cross shelf.

Before I permanently installed all of this work, I removed the upper front bulkhead and cut holes in it for 120V outlets.