Quick change cabinets

Our cabinets can be bolted in and out of the van as we need them. The plan is to keep them in place most of the time, but it’s great to be able to reconfigure the van as we need it.

We collected our new air ride driver and passenger seats from the shipping terminal rather than paying an additional $95 to have them driven 45 minutes to our house. That meant we had to take out the cabinets so that the pallet that the seats were on could fit in to the sliding door area.

Seats being put into the van by a forklift truck

We just put the cabinets back in again ready for our next trip. While they were out, we added countertops and painted the aluminum corners black to better match the look of the rest of the van.

12v TruckFridge in cabinet

It takes about 30 minutes to remove all of the cabinets. The fridge (six screws) and microwave (three screws) have to come out of their surrounds, and we have to take a couple of drawers off their quick-release sliders. That gives us access to the two wall bolts and two floor bolts per cabinet.

Cabinet floor bolts

Once the nuts are unscrewed from the bolts, the bolts clip out of the Steadymate L-track and the cabinet is free.

Plow bolt for cabinet fixing in l-track

At that point, the cabinets can each be lifted out of the van and stored. They are not light – it’s a two-person job – but they are maneuverable.

12 Replies to “Quick change cabinets”

  1. Amazing build. Great write up. I use you as one of my go to resources as I build. Was wondering where you found your l-track mesh bags?

  2. Where did you find the extra long fastening bolts for the l-track? All the stock bolts are only 1 in long which is too short.

    1. Mark, we got our bolts from Tacoma Screw. They will deliver, or you can pick the stuff up if you have a local store.

      #216-407-1 M6-1.0 x 30mm (1-3/16″) Metric Flat Head Socket Cap Screws — Type A2 Stainless, Coarse, 100/PKG
      #218-106-1 M6 (1/4″)-1.0 Metric Full Nylon Insert Lock Nuts — Type A2 Stainless Steel, Coarse, 100/PKG
      #130-306-6 1/4″ x 1-1/4″ 100% Melt/Mfg Domestic Fender Washers – 304 Stainless Steel, 100/PKG

      I’ve listed the 30mm bolts (just over 1″) but we also used 50mm bolts to go through the floor.
      The metric stainless bolts have a slightly different countersink angle to the imperial ones, but for the types of uses most people put L-track to, it’s probably not a big issue. Use a good grease or anti-seize on the threads and between the bolt head and the aluminum track. You want to prevent thread galling with the stainless bolts and nuts, and galvanic corrosion between the stainless bolts and the aluminum L-track.

      I don’t think Tacoma Screw sell imperial-unit stainless flat head screws. At least, they didn’t when we bought ours. And anyway, it’s a metric van, right?

  3. I should have checked the website prior to responding. Looks like the parts you listed were for attaching the L-Track to the van. What I am looking for is a longer bold for the l-track that is then used to fasten the cabinets to the l-track. It looks like you took a standard L-Track Threaded Stud Fitting and replaced the bolt with a new longer bolt (with the square fitting between the bolt head and the start of the threading).

    1. Ah, yes – sorry Mark. Those are Plow bolts. They have a flat head, a square section just under the head, and then the threaded portion. They are similar to carriage bolts but without the domed head.

      If you find one with the same thread size as the L-track bolts you should be fine. Sorry, I don’t have a link for those. We found them at our local hardware store.

  4. Thanks for sharing your build with us; it’s been a great resource for ideas. Can you share your plans for the 80/20 cabinet build details for your refrigerator? I read your link for the sink cabinet, but trying to figure out how you built the drawer above the refrigerator. I’m planning on using 80/20 for all my cabinets. Thanks again. Dave

    1. Dave, our refrigerator cabinet is not built out of 80/20. We plan on rebuilding it soon, and we’ll share the plans when we do. Drawers are an issue when you’re using 80/20!

    1. Keith, we did make it (with help from a cabinet maker neighbor) but we don’t make any components to sell, if that’s what you mean.

      We’ve subsequently replaced all the cabinetry with very similar units made from 80/20 aluminum extrusions and bamboo panels. I keep meaning to post about that and perhaps share the design plans we used.

Leave a Reply