When it comes to traveling, campervans can be an affordable way to hit the road and experience the outdoors. However, if you really want control over your RVing journey, you can buy campervan conversion kits and build your rig yourself.
If you go that route, you need to be sure that you install all the right amenities. One crucial element is the campervan kitchen pod, which allows you to prepare all your meals.
Whether you’re in the middle of a new build or thinking about starting one, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven kitchen pods for a DIY camper van build.
What is a Camper Van Kitchen Pod?
A kitchen pod for a camper van is a self-contained unit that includes essentials for food preparation. Sometimes, a pod is bare-bones, meaning that you have to install everything yourself. In other cases, the pod has everything you need.
As we’ll discuss, the core elements of a kitchen pod are:
- Sink and Faucet
- Counter Space
- Storage Cabinets
- Water Tanks
- Stove (Sometimes)
If your pod doesn’t have a stove, you might need to buy a separate unit to make meals on the road. Otherwise, you may be able to install a stovetop on a base model with no amenities.
Top Seven Campervan Kitchen Pods
Titan DIY Kitchen Kit
- Size: 45″
- Comes With: Stainless Steel Sink, Two 6-Gallon Tanks
If you’re converting a Sprinter van to a camper, you can buy this DIY kitchen kit from Titan. Unlike the other pods we’ve seen, you have to build this campervan kitchen pod yourself, but as a result, you can save a lot of money. That said, you still have to supply your own fridge and stove, so plan accordingly.
This kit fits most Sprinter van models, although you might want to check with Titan to ensure it will work for your specific van. You can also buy a side table so that you have more space for food preparation and storage.
The camper van kitchen pod includes:
- The frame.
- A stainless steel sink.
- Marine-grade water tanks (six gallons each).
- Tubes to connect the tanks to the sink.
There is an opening for a 12-volt fridge, and Titan recommends either the Isotherm Cruise 130 or the Truck Fridge TF 130. However, once you have your campervan kitchen pod installed, you can pick any refrigerator that fits.
The wood is untreated birch plywood, so you’ll either have to install countertops or stain the wood so that it won’t rot or warp. If you put your own countertops and have the right machinery, you can cut out a stove or cutting board section.
Flatline Van Co. Kitchen Pod
- Size: 41″
- Comes With: N/A
Another of our favorite campervan kitchen pods comes from Flatline Van Company, and it’s another bare-bones model that doesn’t come with many amenities. However, the materials of this pod are durable and reliable, so it should last years before having to fix or replace.
The walls of the Flatline campervan kitchen pod are powder-coated aluminum, and the pod comes with slide-out drawers for extra storage space. The galley has a solid bamboo countertop and bamboo inside the drawers. Unfortunately, this campervan kitchen doesn’t come with a sink, but it’s easy to install one yourself. Even better, once you cut out the square from the counter, you can use it as a sink cover to expand your counter space when you don’t need water.
The pod also has a space for a fridge. Although it’s designed for the Engel SR70 Fridge-Freezer, you can use any refrigerator that fits.
One other minor feature we like is the design of the drawer handles. They don’t stick out – instead, you just push the top, and the handle pops out. This design helps prevent any accidental bumps or handle-related injuries.
RB Components Kitchen Pod
- Size: 56″
- Comes With: Stainless Steel Countertops, Refrigerator, Sink
At 56 inches, this is the largest campervan kitchen pod on this list. So, the pod offers the most storage and counter space, making it highly versatile for food preparation and other tasks. This model also includes a Norcold refrigerator, although you can adjust the bottom of the fridge compartment if you want to replace it with something else.
When it comes to food prep, this kitchen pod comes with a stainless steel sink and a two-inch backsplash. This way, you can make all kinds of dishes without creating a huge mess. The countertop itself is also stainless steel for easier maintenance and cleaning.
As far as the water supply, you have to hook up your own tanks. Also, this unit doesn’t come with a stove, so you have to bring your own when traveling.
Trail Kitchens Van Kitchen Pod
- Size: 40.5″
- Comes With: Sink/Stove Combo, Expandable Stainless Steel Counters
One of the main reasons to build a camper van is to figure out creative ways of providing all the modern amenities in such a small space. Fortunately, the Trail Kitchens campervan kitchen pod is an all-in-one unit, ensuring that you’re always ready to prepare and cook any dish.
The central element that makes the Trail Kitchens pod stand out is the removable sink/stove combo unit. You can pull this section out to cook outside the van, which is often safer since there’s better ventilation. That said, if it’s pouring rain or snowing outside, you can still use the two-burner stove inside the van.
The removable unit has expandable stainless steel countertops to make it easier to prep your meals. Once you’re finished, you can collapse everything and put the whole piece back inside the pod.
The sink uses a 14-gallon marine-grade water system and an extra-long flexible hose for added convenience. If you buy the optional water heater, you can use the hose for showers and cleaning as necessary.
Cascade Campers Kitchen Pod
- Size: 42″
- Comes With: Stove, Sink, Five-Gallon Water Tank
Cascade Campers is one of the top companies offering campervan conversions, although they mainly specialize in converting the RAM Promaster van. That said, this kitchen pod is compact enough to work in most vehicles, whether it’s a Sprinter van or something else.
At 42 inches long and 32 inches high, this van kitchen pod is a bit shorter than others. The manufacturer recommends installing it on other storage cabinets to bring the whole thing up and make it easier on your back. However, the dimensions and materials of this pod help reduce its cost to make it as affordable as possible.
For cooking, the pod comes with a dual-fuel camp stove in the sliding drawer section. You don’t even have to take it out to cook, and there’s extra space for another stove if you need more burners. The stainless steel sink connects to a fresh and gray water tank, each holding five gallons. Or, you can buy two freshwater tanks and connect the unit to a separate drainage system.
Affordability is a significant selling point of this camper van kitchen pod since Cascade Campers uses milk crates for storage and plywood for the countertops. So, although this pod won’t look as flashy or expensive as others, it gets the job done and will cost a lot less.
Infinity Galley by Infinity Vans
- Size: 42″
- Comes With: Induction Stove, Drawers, Fridge And Sink Cut-outs
Infinity Vans are a company based in Santa Rosa, California, which makes kits for Sprinter van conversions. Its galley is lightweight, compact and functional. It’s designed to accommodate a sink, big fridge and stovetop. For storage, you can use five decent-size drawers.
This galley unit is more costly than other models we looked at. This is because it’s a product mainly aimed at professional installers. The sink and fridge aren’t included in the price.
Lost Hiway Slim Line Galley
- Size: 46″
- Comes With: Sink, Faucet, Foot Pump
This large but slim galley is made by Lost Hiway Customs and is compatible with Sprinter, Transit and Promaster vans. It’s made in Hesperia, California.
The worktop is rather large, allowing you to easily cook and chop at the same time. The sink is compact but spacious. The galley features three drawers and one cabinet, as well as a cargo net pouch. At the bottom, you’ll find a fridge cut-out. Inside it, there’s a locking door slide, which allows you to pull the fridge out to open it from the top. The cupboard under the sink can fit two 5-gallon water tanks. The stove top isn’t included in the price.
This unit is good value for money, as it’s one of the largest around and is sold at a reasonable price. It’s sturdy and maintenance-free, as it does not need any power to operate. At the back of the furniture, you will find two mounting slots, so you can securely fix it in place.
The Lost Hiway SL Galley features a number of custom components; for this reason, manufacturing and shipping takes longer.
Veritas Vans Van Galley
- Size: 34.75″ or 58″
- Comes With: drawers, countertop, flip-up countertop end
Veritas Vans create handmade van galleys out of San Luis Obispo, California. They ain’t cheap, but they look like real kitchens.
Their Sprinter Van Galley is suitable for Mercedes Sprinters from 2007 to 2022+ and comes in four options: long, long with countertop, short, and short with countertop. The short one doesn’t have room for a fridge, but all versions feature six drawers and a cabinet.
The structure is made out of Russian birchwood and can accommodate a two-burner electric stove, a 4.6 cubic feet size fridge, and a sink. It comes unpainted, so you’ll need to apply your preferred finish.
The beautiful solid walnut countertop is pretty long, but you can also add a flip-up end to it.
How to Choose a Kitchen Pod
Now that we’ve seen the top seven campervan kitchens, let’s dive into the specific features to pay attention to when making a final purchase decision.
When converting a campervan, you must be hyperaware of everything you install. With so little real estate available, every inch counts. So, when comparing different kitchen pods, you have to pay attention to the height, width, and depth. Also, don’t forget that you’ll need to remove the water tanks to empty, refill, and clean them.
Sometimes, RVers prefer to install a kitchen galley next to the van’s sliding door. This option makes it much easier to access the tanks and perform routine maintenance. Also, in the case of the Trail Kitchens pod, having the unit next to the door allows you to pull out the sink/stove combo more efficiently.
As we mentioned, most kitchen pods come with a sink, refrigerator, and storage compartments. However, depending on your build, you may not need all of these amenities. For example, if you’re planning to install a separate fridge elsewhere in the van, there’s no reason to include it with the galley. Instead, you can use that space for storage or something else.
Another point to consider is whether you can adjust your campervan kitchen galley yourself or if you need a pre-built model. For example, if you can cut and shape the materials on your own, you can create a fully customized pod that fits everything you need and more. On the other hand, if you don’t have tools or a workshop, you have to find a pre-made model that accommodates your specific needs.
Since you’re going through the trouble of building your own camper van, you want to make sure that each piece will hold up for as long as possible. So, while you can save lots of money by buying a plywood kitchen pod, how long will it last?
That said, you can stain and treat plywood to protect it from wear and tear, but it still won’t last as long as powder-coated metal. Overall, stainless steel is the best material, but it also costs a lot more. So, you have to weigh the pros and cons versus your budget.
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