14 Campervan Kitchen Design Ideas for Van Life

36303 shares Having a van kitchen you enjoy is a huge consideration for your van build. We kept it simple in our Chevy Astro van,…

Having a van kitchen you enjoy is a huge consideration for your van build. We kept it simple in our Chevy Astro van, using a one-burner stove and an outdoor table for our cooking. In our upcoming Sprinter van conversion, we’ll get a little bit more elaborate for indoor cooking.

You can either build your own DIY campervan kitchen or buy a van kitchen unit from a manufacturer that’s an easy plug-and-play install. Getting a custom conversion? Use these van kitchen ideas as inspiration.

Here are 17 van kitchen ideas to take your van cooking to the next level. First, we’ll show you a bunch of camper van kitchen ideas, then point you to prebuilt kitchen units you can purchase.

Also, be sure to check out this post: 13 kitchen essentials you’ll want in your campervan

Van Kitchen Layout Ideas

Here are some super cool and inspiring camper van kitchen layouts for you to take a look at it. These are a combination of both professional and DIY van builds.

Off Highway Vans

Small kitchen unit in a campervan behind driver's seat
Photo: Off Highway Vans

If you’re into a super minimalistic van kitchen design, this type of tiny kitchenette might be just what you’re looking for.

We love how this campervan kitchen from Off Road Vans maximizes space with a fold-out table, perfect for meal prep. The large sink has a cover (typical of RV sinks), which expands counter space when you don’t need running water.

The kitchen also includes a front-loading fridge right beneath the sink.

Wandering Woods DIY Campervan Kitchen

Woman standing in front of her campervan kitchen
Photo: WanderingWoods.org

Betsy and Justin Woods of WanderingWoods.org have a gorgeous van kitchen in their 2005 Sprinter, which used to be a FedEx delivery vehicle.

This campervan kitchen is a van lifer’s dream, with a beautiful large countertop for food prep, tons of storage, a deep sink and an oven! Yes, that’s right, the Woods’ can bake pizzas, cookies and bread right inside their campervan. How cozy would that be on a rainy day.

This is a great example of a good van life kitchen if you have a longer van with extra interior space.

Camp Chef Outdoor Camp Oven
Size: 31
Weight: 37.1 pounds
Features: Stainless steel construction - 7,500 BTU's per burner, Oven 3,000 BTU's
  • Can be adapted to indoor use
  • Includes two burners and an oven
  • Fits 9×13 baking dish
  • Small enough to be built into a van conversion
  • Affordable
  • Temperature control issues
  • Unreliable thermostat
  • Requires ventilation
  • Ignition problems
  • Rattles when you’re driving

Chef Adam Glick’s DIY Campervan

This simple campervan kitchen has an awesome pull down faucet

Adam Glick is a professional chef, so having a spacious and well-thought-out van kitchen was very important to his diy build.

Adam’s Ford Transit campervan has a recessed 2- burner propane stove, a deep kitchen with an extendable faucet, and plenty of storage space.

We love the craftsmanship in this build, but don’t worry, you don’t have to do something quite this fancy.

You can check out Adam’s entire line of folding camping knives here.

@RogerCrespo’s DIY Van

This campervan kitchen idea uses the width of your van rather than the length. I’ve seen this type of campervan kitchen on all sorts of vans, down to a small VW bus.

This van kitchen has all the essentials you’ll need for a hearty meal while living the van life, including a sink, faucet, two-burner stove and even a collapsible dish tub!

What we don’t particularly like about this campervan kitchen design is that you have to go outside your van to get into the front driver’s seat. This doesn’t bode well if you need to drive away quickly in an emergency!

This campervan kitchen idea uses the width of your van rather than the length. I’ve seen this type of campervan kitchen on all sorts of vans, down to a small VW bus.

This van kitchen has all the essentials you’ll need for a hearty meal while living the van life, including a sink, faucet, two-burner stove and even a collapsible dish tub!

Kate & Ben’s $50 DIY Campervan Kitchen

Kate and Ben of Two Wandering Soles now have TWO DIY van conversions under their belts. Their first van life rig was a simple conversion with a $50 van kitchen.

I love this as it goes to show you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get out there on the road cooking in your van.

Their simple van kitchen layout featured a 2-burner Coleman stove, a small cutting board, a working sink and a water container.

If you want to learn more about building an affordable camper van kitchen, check out their blog post: DIY Campervan Kitchen for Less than $50

Kate and Ben also have a number of awesome van build courses. Make sure you check them out to get help with electrical, flooring, insulation, and more!

Van Conversion Academy

Kate and Ben of Two Wandering Soles have built TWO vans and put together an extensive course on building your own van. Here's some of what you'll get:

  • How to create a floor plan that fits your needs
  • Fan and window installation
  • Sound dampening, insulation and sub-floor
  • Electrical and solar
  • And so much more!

We also like that you can buy individual components from Kate and Ben if you just need help with one part of your van build process.

Far Out Ride’s Ford Transit DIY van kitchen

Woman sitting in a bed way behind her van kitchenette
Photo: Far Out Ride

Antoine and Isabelle of Far Out Ride transformed a Ford Transit cargo van into a super cute tiny home on wheels.

We love their kitchen design – tons of counter space, a three-burner propane range with oven and sink with running water. There’s also tons of counterspace on the opposite side of the van, great for more complicated cooking projects on the road.

A huge cabinet on front of the van kitchenette stores water jugs and is finished with beautiful cedar planking.

Antoine and Isabelle estimate the total time it took for them to create their kitchen system was between 40 and 60 hours.

You can download Far Out Ride’s water system diagram below and also check out their entire Van Build series for tips on building out a Ford Transit. https://faroutride.com/van-build/ 

Printable Water Diagram for Van Builds

If you need help putting together the components of your van's water system, check out this printable water system diagram. The van builders over at Far Out Ride of a wealth of knowledge about DIY campervans. Their guide is helpful and affordable.

Slide Out Drawer Kitchen System by Contravans

Van kitchen with two large sliding drawers
Photo: Contravans

If you have a smaller van with limited space, we love this slide-out kitchen idea by Contravans.

In their NV200 conversions, Contravans installs two large drawers that stay under the bed until needed. When you want to cook, just pull out the drawer and set up your portable cookstove. (We like this single-burner Jetboil stove, which has great simmer control)

This system doesn’t have running water or a sink, but who cares if you’re out enjoying the great outdoors? This is a great-space saving kitchen idea for campervans.

Side slide-out campervan kitchen

Side slide-out campervan kitchen

I love the counter space in this slide-out van kitchen. It’s a simple DIY design that fits a one-burner stove and a cutting board, perfect for preparing a small meal.

This is another example of a space-saving kitchen if you have a smaller campervan.

The only downside of this campervan kitchen is you’ll need a van awning if you want to cook in bad weather.

VanCraft’s Luxury Van Kitchen

This is a super fancy van kitchen for a long wheelbase Sprinter van

 If you want some luxury campervan kitchen build-out ideas, check out this fancy kitchen by Van Craft. This is a phenomenal-looking, stream-lined kitchen in the longest wheelbase Sprinter van, at 170″. 

You’ll have plenty of room in this cute van kitchen for cooking, baking, storage and refrigeration.

Why would you need a house if you have a campervan like this?

Incredibly Simple Chevy Astro Van Cooking System

woman cooking at an outdoor kitchen in a campsite

While I won’t call what we have in our Chevy Astro van a kitchen per see, I just wanted to show you that you really don’t even NEED a kitchen in your camper van to cook good meals.

When it’s rainy outside, we put a cutting board down on a footstool, put up our single-burner Jetboil stove, and start cooking! We are sure to leave windows cracked and our Fantastic Fan running to pull out any carbon monoxide fumes. We cut and prepare food on a similar cutting board on the other footstool.

During nice days, our entire cooking unit is portable! We set up a GSI folding table outside and cook in the great outdoors.

This has worked for us for several years, and doesn’t require any installation or building.

Camper Van Kitchens for Sale

If you don’t feel like DIY van kitchen construction, there are plenty of van kitchens for sale.

All you have to do is purchase the kitchen system and install it yourself. No cutting wood or making drawers. These are easy peasy solutions for the DIY van lifer!

Flatline van kitchen attached to Adventure Wagon kit
Adventure Wagon Interior Kit with Flatline Galley

Keep in mind that many of these van kitchenettes for sale install really easily with the Adventure Wagon Interior Kit. These interior kits offer a track system that allow you to secure kitchens, cabinets, beds and more!

Learn more about Adventure Wagon’s Interior Kits.

Trail Kitchens Campervan Kitchen Unit
  • Price: $2,665
  • Dimensions: 33.0 x 17.0 x 40.5 (T x D x W, inches) 
  • Weight: 115 pounds

The easiest way for outdoor enthusiasts to customize their DIY van conversion is with a complete cooking setup from Trail Kitchens.

The TK Campervan Kitchen system includes a marine-grade water storage tank, 14 gallons in capacity and holds up to 18 liters when the included ‘EZ Fill’ cap is installed, can withstand high pressures of 125 PSI.

With connections at both ends, you can choose where best to mount it inside the vehicle, or mount it externally if preferred.

There is an additional tap connection with a military-style bayonet connection for external quick-disconnect or a ½ inch threaded connector that will screw into existing plumbing fittings on kitchen appliances such as microwaves and dishwashers too.

We love that this van kitchen works both inside or outside your van!

Titan Vans Sprinter Kitchen
  • Price: $1,295
  • Dimensions: L 45" W 20.88" H 34.9"
  • Weight: 150 pounds

The Titan Vans Sprinter Van Kitchen is your perfect companion on the open road. This kit has everything you need to make delicious meals, store vital supplies, and stay comfortable during your adventures–all while fulfilling your desire for a home-cooked meal no matter where you are.

Though this kit doesn’t come pre-assembled, it does include all of the materials necessary for assembly as well as an instruction manual that walks you through every step of the process.

The unfinished Baltic birch plywood provides an empty slate for whichever stain you choose.

There isn’t a fridge included with the Titan van kitchen kit. The company recommends the Isotherm Cruise 130 Elegance and Truck fridge TF 130.

Flatline Van's 41" Galley
  • Price: $2,850
  • Dimensions: 36" H 21.5" Deep 41" Wide

The 41″ Flatline Van Company Kitchen Galley from the Craft Series is the perfect upgrade to turn your van into the perfect getaway space. You can buy versions for either the Mercedes Sprinter or the Ford Transit.

This plug ‘n play Flatline van kitchen comes in three different colors: bamboo with matte black finish, aluminum with matte gray gloss white powder coat, or sleek brushed steel with glossy white paint on the inside walls so you can add beautiful carbon fiber accents anywhere

Flatline engineers its galley drawers to last – each drawer has premium recessed drawer slides that ensure they glide smoothly open and close without any sticking or dragging even if your cargo is heavier than it should be.

This van kitchen unit also doesn’t come with a fridge. It’s made to fit either the Engel SR70 Fridge-Freezer or the Isotherm Drawer 65.

Is the 41″ camper van kitchen too big for you? Flatline also offers a sleek 24″ kitchen unit.

RB Components 48" Galley
  • Price: $3,088
  • Dimensions: W 50" H 37" Depth 25"

The RB Components 48″ Van Galley is an alternative to Flatline’s Craft Series van galley. This unit comes in two different colors, bamboo or aluminum.

This van kitchen doesn’t include any drawers, but does come with a large store cabinet with interior shelving.

You’ll also get a NorcoldNR751 fridge with this van kitchen, which differentiates it from some of the others on our list.

RB Components offers a large variety of van kitchens. Different sizes, with or without a kitchen sink, with our without wood countertops, etc.

Considerations for your Van Kitchen

When putting together your ideas for the perfect campervan kitchen, there are some things you should think about.

Your Van Kitchen Needs to be Well Ventilated

If you’re going to be cooking in your van kitchen, it should have proper ventilation so all of the smells and smoke don’t build up.

Cooking inside a small space also results in condensation, which isn’t good for you van’s walls and ceiling.

Your van should have one or two rooftop vents (MaxxAir or Fantastic Fan) depending on the size of your rig. These vents suck cooking smells and moisture right out of your van.

When cooking on a nice day, you should definitely have your slider door opened or cook outside.

Most Versatile
Maxxair MaxxFan
  • 10 fan speeds
  • Adds 12" to van roof profile
  • Fits in 14x14 opening
  • Electric lid opening with remote control (some models)
  • Rain cover - can operate while driving or raining
  • 5 pounds
  • Twin lifting arms give fan extra stability

Propane vs Induction Cooktops

Induction cooking is a safe and fast way to prepare food in your campervan. Plus it’s environmentally-friendly – you don’t have to rely on fossil fuels like propane.

Induction cooktops are 110 volts and require significant power to operate. You’ll need a robust solar and battery bank system for the required wattage for cooking.

On the contrary, using a one or two burner propane stove doesn’t require a solar setup. You can use 1-pound propane bottles, but we’d recommend having a larger, refillable tank mounted inside or outside your van.

Refillable propane tanks are way cheaper and more enviromentally-friendly than throw away bottles.

Front Loading vs Top Loading Fridges

One big consideration for your campervan kitchen is whether you want a top-loading fridge (like most coolers), or a front-loading fridge.

A top door van fridge is the most energy-efficient of them all.

These fridges do require you to stack food, but also retain cold air better than a front-loader. That’s because not as much air escapes when you’re opening this box-style fridge from the top because cold air usually lingers down at the bottom.

Top door fridges are compact, some can be used as a seat, and they’re easy to install. This 12-volt refrigerator can fit between the two front seats of your vehicle, and all you have to do is pop open the top to grab a cold drink.

Some people do like the side door fridge because it fits better with their particular campervan kitchen design. It’s easier to grab food and drinks than with a top-door 12v fridge. Plus, you can put a side-loading fridge right next to your slider door for easy access to grab a beer, snack or sparkling water.

Check out our top picks for the best 12-volt top-loading refrigerators here.

Pressurized Water Pump vs Mechanical Foot Pump

We mostly see campervan kitchenettes with pressurized water pumps, which uses energy from your electrical system.

There is another option! You can install a foot pump, which is a mechanical mechanism you depress with your foot. Each time you depress the pump, water comes out of your sink.

This is what we use on our sailboat, as we like to use as few electronics as possible when off-grid.

Conclusion on Campervan Kitchen Designs

One of the most important things to consider when vanning is where you will cook.

A van kitchen needs proper ventilation, so if cooking inside a small space or on nice days outside are not an option for you then think about getting one or two rooftop vents (MaxxAir or Fantastic Fan).

If considering induction cooking, it’s best if your van has solar power and battery bank system with 110 volts.

You can also install a foot pump which uses mechanical water pumping rather than electricity for more off-grid living.

Some people like side door fridges because they fit better in their van but top loading 12v fridge is the easiest way to grab food and drinks quickly without opening up larger doors that may let out cold air from your refrigerator! It all depends on your van and campervan kitchen design.

We hope all these ideas and considerations help you with your van build.

Other van build stories to check out:

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  1. For the second kitchen, is that a potty? If so, where can I get one?

  2. It is! I know little potties like that are sold on Amazon. I actually need to write a post about little campervan potties like this, but try looking around on Amazon and see what you find!

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  4. Annette Choti says:

    I have to admit I’m a long time reader, first time commenter onyour site haha! Thank you for this great blog post! We are figuring out the kitchen situation in our conversion van build now and this is so helpful!!! Thank you!

    1. Hi Annette! I love your guys site 🙂 I pin your stuff when I can. I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

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