Friday, July 7, 2017


I'm publishing this short post for one reason, and one reason only:  To show you how it really can take an hour to sink just two screws while working within the restricted confines of an Airstream Interstate.

Let me back up for context.

Some forum guy, I forget who, had the brilliant idea to mount his paper towel holder under his galley cabinetry instead of above it, as would usually be done with any kitchen area.  It was one of those moments when I wanted to say,"Slap me for not thinking of it first".  I don't want my paper towels hanging above in the galley itself, permanently visible in a micro-space.  Number one, it's dangerous around an open-flame stove.  Number two, it would make me feel like I'm once again a 15-year-old short-order cook and waitress in a tiny take-out burger joint.  Those were good years in my life, but I don't wish revisit the feel of them.

The trick to this project was to find just the right minimalist paper towel rod, and mount it on the underside of the counter area, not on the exterior wall.
Here's my definition of "just right minimalist" - the Goldilocks paper towel bar, an Umbra product from Container Store
The hard part was getting it mounted.
In order for this to work, the attachment holes had to be positioned mid-way between the stove's gas line and the suspended metal mesh basket I use for my collapsible silicone water bucket and ten-inch frying pan (silver mesh at left).
Getting those holes drilled upside-down, all the way to the very back of the cabinet, required some gyrations.
I took an ottoman from the house and placed it across the aisle in front of the refrigerator cavity which right now does not have a fridge in it.
This would be funnier if it hadn't been 96 degrees out with 65% relative humidity as I was struggling to operate a conventional drill and an impact drill above my head in a confined space.  
I didn't absolutely need to stick my feet out the fridge vent, but it made for easier access than being bunched up.  I'm glad I did this little job while the fridge cavity was empty.

It literally took me an hour to get this paper towel rod in place.  The sheet of plywood into which it is screwed is only an eighth inch thick, but there's a metal plate on the back of it to serve as a fire stop for the propane stove.  I used half-inch number eight metal screws, and in order to penetrate that upper plate without tearing everything apart, I had to gradually drill pilot holes wider and wider.  But I finally got it done, well-centered between the gas line and the hanging metal mesh basket to the left.

The lower blue basket holds my cooking pots, toaster, and other miscellaneous kitchen supplies. 
The paper towels can be taken off easily without removing the whole roll from the holder because there's a stopper thing at the end of the rod.
Even fat rolls can be accommodated.
Thus ends another mini-exercise of the camper van mantra - not a single inch of space wasted.
I don't want to know anything about that other system.  I just want an efficient camper van.  

No comments:

Post a Comment