diameter drop-in stainless steel sink - $37
Duo Strainer - $9
EZ-FLO 10796LF Single Basin Faucet - $20
Manual Freshwater Galley Foot Pump - $48
Desert Patrol 6-Gallon Water Jugs - $37 (for
5-gallon pail with cover - $5
clear hose, 10 feet - $10
hose, 2 feet - $8
Drink Holders 3.5” diameter - $28 (for 10)
Grommet Outlet with 2 AC Outlets and 2 USB
Ports -- $23.99
life on earth depends, directly or indirectly,
So far, I’ve been a carpenter, an electrician,
an auto body worker, and a painter.
Let’s try plumbing!
How hard can it be, right?
To be fair, this is hardly what would properly
be termed “plumbing.”
Water will be moving from one place
to another through enclosed tubes, so,
technically, it qualifies as plumbing.
It will only move a total of maybe
eight feet from start to end, so no big whoop. But
it’s more plumbing that I’ve ever done before!
In the current configuration, the best
location for a sink is between the bed and the
passenger side sliding door.
A frame of 2x4’s, 33” wide by 18”
deep by 29”
high is a perfect fit.
I keep the depth to a minimum to
preserve precious open floor space.
The water jugs will fit snugly in the 15”
between the front and back horizontal studs,
so they won’t slide and tumble around (which
The 18” top leaves plenty of room for the
small 13” round sink.
The simple one-lead faucet fits in
the corner near the door.
As a bonus, I decided to sink (pun intended) a
couple of recessed 3.5” diameter cups through
One would be next to the sink, to
hold, I dunno, toothpaste, toothbrush,
that kinda stuff.
The other is at the front back
perfect drink holder for when I’m fatassing in
The original plan had this whole assembly
built right up against the wheel well cage
that the bed rests on.
That would provide a lot more
stability, but it would also
create a scrunch for the bedding.
Leaving a 2” (or so) gap there leaves
room for the sheets and comforter(s) to fall
neatly into place.
I’m sure that gap will come in handy
for something slim.
As for the height of the ensemble, 29” sits it
right along the somewhat-recessed bottom of
the “waist” of the van:
that thick horizontal rib below the
And that’s where I started, by attaching a 30”
stud (2x4) to that recessed, flat metal
There were openings in it, so, just
like with the cabinets above, I opted to bolt
the stud into the frame.
Four 2.5” bolts hold that thing
That 2x4 is the anchor, not the sink assembly
That came next.
I laid a 33” stud against the anchor
stud and secured it with dual 2.5” screws at 5
not going anywhere.
From there, I laid/stood all the pre-cut wood
to make sure they would all line up correctly
and began attaching them to the floor and to
I used a crapload of various ZMax
corner braces, securing each with six screws. On
the floor, I used ½” screws because the
plywood is ¾” thick.
For stud-to-stud, I used 1” screws
for greater strength.
Content that the frame was solid, I added the
¾” Sande plywood top.
I had already stained it (cognac, to
match the cabinet trim), so it was a simple
matter of attaching it from underneath with a
few more ZMax’s and ½” screws.
By this time, I had trekked up to Brian’s
Mainland Workshop for multiple reasons, only
one of which was that he knows more about
plumbing than I do.
The other reasons were all much more
But we did set to the task to knock it out of
the way and give the beer more of a
A sink requires holes:
in this case, an 11” one for the
drop-in bowl itself, a 1” one for the faucet,
and a few optional mediums.
I was getting hole happy.
I used the hole saw to cut out the 1”
hole, the four 3.25”-diameter hole saw for my
black aluminum recessed holders, and three
more of the same size within an 11” circle for
the drop-in sink itself.
They served as starting points for
the jigsaw, which did a pretty good job, but
not exactly spot-on the line in places.
The rim covered the roughness anyhow,
so no biggie.
We surrounded the rim with caulk,
inserted the sink, and tucked a bead of clear
silicone around and under the rim.
We had to use Brian’s small Dremel sanding
gizmos to widen the cup holes out to the 3.33”
that they apparently needed.
That took much longer than we
expected, but we were soon able to press/pound
them into place.
Likewise with the faucet hole.
I then decided that a polyurethane coating
(matte finish) on the top of the sink counter
would be dang good idea.
Anything that would deter water from
damaging a plywood sink counter might be
It brushed on easily and dried
astoundingly fast, so I applied a second coat. I
chose matte finish to better blend with the
We then filled up the 6-gallon water jugs and
let them stand in the sunshine for a couple of
hours to make sure there were no pinhole
passed the test, so I hefted them back into
the van (filled, they weigh 48 pounds each). They
are a perfect fit; I have no worry about them
tipping or toppling.
We clamped 5’ of the 1” hose to the faucet and
inserted the other 5’ into the neck of the
I was ready to clamp the free ends of
both to the foot pump and close the circuit,
but… I couldn’t find the pump!
knew I had packed the damn thing, but it was
nowhere to be found.
did it go??
The pump presented another problem too:
where should it go?
The most practical location would be
at the front of the little space between the
sink box and the wheel well box.
It would be easy to run the hoses
through the open side, and I would not have to
cut through any of the framing 2x4s or to
interfere with the doors.
The downside to that was that the sink was on
the left side of the box and the pump would be
on the right,
a whole 33” away.
I have long legs, so it shouldn’t
really be an issue, just a tad awkward.
But, anyway, with no pump to attach, we
proclaimed ourselves finished and hit the
fridge on the way to the pool.
(Well, I found the pump after I got back home. I
had packed it, but it had tumbled out of the
box that I expected it to be in.
I found it when I was clearing out
the other side to build the desk/dresser.)
The 1” hose I bought was not especially
flexible, and it was also quite bit larger
than the post on the pump itself.
My screw-clamps would only close it
so far with the flathead screwdriver.
Fortunately, I had a 5/16” nut driver
with which I could grind that thing down to
I tested it before I secured it to
It worked great!
I can’t exactly call it “running
water”; it’s not like the smooth flow of a
siphon, but you get a good sploosh out of each
But the water has to go somewhere when yer
done with it, duddinit?
I bought some pretty thick, rigid
reinforced hose – only about 4 feet of it –
with the intention of somehow securing it
to/through the lid of the 5-gallon bucket,
then maybe add a spigot and hose down though
the floor to drain it without having to haul
the bucket out.
That seemed like a real lot of effort though,
so I held off till I was more in the mood and
started working on the driver side desk.
Meanwhile, I was in AutoZone and saw this long
black funnel with a deep and reasonably wide
bowl and a hard-plastic, semi-flexible hose. Heyyy,
wait a tick!
That just might be my so-lution.
I made the impulse buy and took it out show
was a bunch of random crap in the 5-gallon
orange Home Depot bucket, so I pulled it all
out and put on the lid.
It sealed really tight.
My razor cutter did a nice job of
slicing a reasonably round hole in the center
recess of the lid.
It was just slightly narrower than
the end of the hose, but just big enough that
I could jam the hose through the non-rigid
The funnel stood up perfectly under the
drain with no tape or fasteners of any kind
and it was pretty much watertight.
Maybe I’ll add the drain hose through the
floor some day.
We’ll see how much I actually use the
sink and how much of an issue it is to dump
the gray water.
I’m also thinking about doing a 2-gallon gas
can instead of the orange bucket.
It would give me more space, and it
would be a lot easier to take out and dump. We
I like it as is.
If I start liking it less, I might
make some changes.
There was still one concern.
I worried that the tall 6-gallon
water jugs might topple during a sudden sharp
full jug would lurch almost 50 pounds against
those thin doors, and I did not see that
I looked at a 36” strap of 1x3 that I had
lying nearby and thought, “That dog will
laid it in diagonally -- without fastening it
to anything -- and it was held nicely in place
by the frame and the jug itself.
I just lift it out to remove the
Last thing to do was to enclose the frame. Originally,
I thought that sliding doors, like on the
cabinets above, would work, but – two things –
first, they wouldn’t slide open wide enough to
remove the 6-gallon jugs easily (though I
could just remove the doors too, I reckon),
and second, I could easily picture destroying
that bottom track with 48-pounds of water
container when I’m trying to put one of those
suckers back in.
So, hinges it would be!
The side panel next to the sliding van door
was a simple slab of ¼” cedar plywood screwed
into the 2x4’s.
The doors would be the same material,
but I was concerned about warping, so I cut up
a few of my 1x3’s and created a frame for the
inside to give the panel some rigidity.
They also give me something to screw
my door latch into, though I hadn’t yet
decided what that would be.
I chose black hinges, in a rather traditional
didn’t think gold looked good with cedar and
had decided long ago that Maxx would be
I considered silver, to match the
puck lights, but I didn’t see any silver ones
at HD that day.
Anyway, the black hinges would
complement the black drink holders, as well as
the black power outlets that I’d be
Rather than try to recess the doors, which I
felt was a fast track to failure, I laser-cut
a 1”-wide cedar strip for each of the front
upright 2x4’s so the door would sit flush with
assure that all four pieces be aligned
properly, I used blue painter’s tape to hold
those strips and the two doors exactly where I
With them stuck like that, it was
cake to screw and hinge them into their
correct positions on the first try.
The right-hand stayed in place well, but the
left-hand door swung way too freely.
A latch of some kind was going to be
thought about some kind of magnet, but no
matter how I looked at it, I was going to have
to sink some screws from the inside out, and
with just a quarter inch of depth, it just
wasn’t going to work.
I decided on a slide bolt in the middle. It
didn’t work well at all.
sure it was my bad, but I deemed it not worth
So, I went to my go-to device, my laser, and
cut two 2” x 1” rectangles, two 2” x 2”
squares, and one 6” x 1” dog-bone shaped
use strong 2-sided tape to secure the
rectangles to the doors, more tape to attach
the squares to the rectangles, bottom-aligned. That
left a 1” high gap, exactly ¼” deep, into
which the dog-bone fit perfectly.
The curved outer ends hold it snugly
I lift up the bone and the doors open. And
no screws to mess with.
after a couple of weeks, the tape
began to weaken so I screwed the rectangles
Then one more idea hit me.
I already a DC/USB outlet with dimmer
switch on a temporary panel under the
cabinets, and I fully intended to keep that
when I finalized that wall, but I did not have
an AC power on this side of the van.
There was a long extension cord that
I had snaked through the upper recesses, over
the back doors and down by the bed.
It was functional but laaaame.
I had been looking for some kind of outlets to
put on the desk, whenever I got around to
that, and I found a really cool drop-in
grommet outlet with 2ACs and 2 USBs.
What a bonanza.
And I got to use the hole saw again!
Love that thing!
So, right beside the bedside drink holder, I
cut another 3.25 hole, and dropped the outlet
It’s actually not much more than a
specialized outlet on the end of a 6’
I stashed my existing e-cord within
the back corner panels and plugged this into
have AC power bedside.
And running water just an arm’s