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Creative Vanlife Kitchen Setups Examples and Ideas

  • By Kate Moore
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Who doesn’t enjoy eating? In fact, I bet you do it every day. Aside from sleeping, cooking will probably be the most frequent activity in your van. It makes sense to plan a kitchen layout you’re excited to use.

Daydreaming about a future vanlife kitchen setup is fun, but keep in mind not all builds have to be extravagant. In fact, many of the vans pictured here are over-the-top fabulous! When it comes down to it, the main components in most kitchens are keeping food cold (with a cooler or refrigerator) and heating food up (with a practical fuel source). Even these items can be compromised.

That being said… who doesn’t want to dream!?

creative DIY campervan conversion kitchen build

Laia and Aitor travel through Portugal and Spain in their self-built Peugeot Boxer. We like the sink position of van kitchen. It’s also highly functional packing 70l of water and a hot water tank beneath the sink. You can check out more photos of their build on @thevaneffect.

cooking in a DIY campervan conversion kitchen

Betsy and Justin from @wandering.woods roll around in a self-converted sprinter van. They’ve travelled to over 45 countries in this vehicle. Our favorite thing about this build is the feel provided by the window.

They have managed to pack everything from a sink to an oven in a full kitchen setup. The oven is a camp chef deluxe that heats up food with propane fuel.

diy camper conversion kitchen layout

If you are willing to block off the cabin from the living area like @theserollinghills did, you can make lots of counter space. Matt and Liv have an electric water pump sink with storage space underneath to fit a cooler for cold food.

kitchen layout in a diy camper conversion

This 2012 Renault Master by @glamervanlucy has an eco-friendly tiny kitchen built in. They have an induction cooktop when hooked up to shore power, and a gas stove for off-grid camping. Their side-door refrigerator packs in the food, and they love their coffee! Every morning it is made off solar power using a Nespresso Creatista Plus.

camper van conversion interior by bwcdenver

@theambitiousblonde has a really modern interior built by @bwcdenver. This is built into a Mercedes Sprinter and is jam-packed with storage and runs entirely off solar power. We like the attention to detail in the cabinets’ wood grain.

Rustic reclaimed wood in a DIY camper conversion

@kimmexplores has a homey and rustic kitchen with plenty of space to keep food and accessories. This is a 2003 VW LT35 with a cool backsplash reclaimed wood interior.

living in a DIY campervan conversion

@livingbythemile has a super creative kitchen setup with cool graphics and all the bell and whistles. We love the way they were able to store the spices and towels off the counter but still within reach. The cook on a portable propane stove that can be brought indoors or outdoors.

camper kitchen set up in a DIY conversion build

This is another van build that utilized the space between the cab and living area. @camperdreamin built out their Opel to include a Waeco CRX80 fridge and propane stovetop.

living in a campervan conversion buildcooking food while camping in a diy camper kitchen @divineontheroad

Sydney from Divine on the Road built out a 2011 144″ Mercedes Sprinter. She keeps two induction stoves inside that run off solar power and a magic chef mini fridge for maximum cooking capacity. The magnetic knife holders and backsplash are two of the things that drew us to this build.

kitchen layout in a diy camper van build is another Mercedes Sprinter with a practical kitchen setup. The small propane stove leaves extra space for preparation and the organization of spices and knives keeps things tidy.

making food in a camper van conversion build kitchen

@noel_russ has a gorgeous van build with wood floors and cool grey cabinets. The left side of the countertop opens up hiding a top-open refrigerator underneath. There’s also a propane powered camp chef stove/oven combo and sink opposite the cutting board.

living in a campervan conversion full time

Craig and Hannah are from Europe and document their travel on @_lifeinthesimplelane_. They’ve made good use of space in their LDV Convoy. We like the solid wood setup complete with stovetop, refrigerator and a huge pantry!

Organized diy campervan conversion kitchen build for #vanlife

Haylie and Andrew from @adventuringtwo built a clean and simplistic kitchen setup in their Mercedes. The shelving on top is a great way to save counter space while traveling around Australia. They also built a vent fan right over the kitchen area for perfect ventilation while cooking.

colorful diy camper van conversion kitchen ideas

@dont_know_road has a cool pop of color in this sprinter van conversion. We like the backsplash and vibrance of the counters. They cook on a portable propane Coleman portable stovetop which can be used indoors and out.

building 12v lights into a diy campervan conversion build

@roaminginavan has an epic looking flat, modern kitchen built into a Ford Transit. This was built out by freedomvans and one of our favorite features are the decorative ventilation over the refrigerator and lighting under the shelves.

diy camper van kitchen by the ocean

@three_vanlifers from France like to cook with the outdoors in mind. This Opel van has a small refrigerator and a portable stove where they use an Omnia oven to cook cakes and bread!

camping kitchen setup in a diy camper

It’s important (and fun!) to remember that cooking doesn’t always have to occur in the confines of a van. The next few vanlifers, like @t4_ole have come up with creative and portable solutions to bring the kitchen outside. In this van build, a swinging cabinet opens up giving extra storage space and access to the Dometic refrigerator inside.

camping kitchen in the back of a diy camper conversion build

@peteramend has a similar build with drawers that slide out the back for a lot of cutting and cooking room. She uses a portable propane stovetop which is perfect for the outdoors.

pull out camper kitchen in a diy campervan conversion build
@vango_fitouts Custom Conversion

@vango_fitouts has built a number of vans in Sydney, Australia with unique kitchen setups. This one has a slide-out drawer with a Dometic 3 burner stove installed.

custom diy camper conversion build for camping kitchen
@vango_fitouts Custom Conversion

Another build from @vango_fitouts shows a slide-out kitchen setup with a portable propane stove for cooking. We like the idea of spending more time out in nature, especially if you are living the van life in a place with lots of sun!

We hope these ideas inspire you to come up with some cool kitchen setups of your own. If you have a unique buildout to share send us your pics and they may be featured!

Kate is the lead content creator for and has spent over two years living in a camper van conversion. She has traveled through 48 US states and writes about van life, camping and RV living.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Oh hey! haha we’ve just seen that we are in this article. Thank you for having our kitchen in it 😉

  2. Very good information on kitchen setup during camping. Really your ideas very helpful and found it useful.

    Thanks for your good share.

  3. I’m new at this and want to meet suv life’s or just people who live in their van, suv, or camper can you give me some advice, because I will be leaving Washington State at the end of the month and would like someone to travel with so can you help me

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