Memories are made when gathered around the table.
For quite a long time we weren't really sure what we wanted the dining area to look like. We thought about building only one bench with a table but in the end we managed to fit a dining area with two benches opposing each other into the space we had available.
The dining area now consists of a table mounted on the wall beneath the window that can be slid back and forth between the benches, one bench behind the driver's seat with two storage compartments underneath it where we keep the garbage bin and other stuff and another bench adjacent to the bed that holds the portable toilette on one side and the body battery, fuse box and battery charger on the other side.
These are the materials we used for the two benches and the table:
- pinewood 15 mm thick
- strips of wood
- silver push-lock knob
- 2 small brass hinges
- furniture connectors
- dark grey t-profile edgings for 15 mm plate thickness, with lip
- slide bar for the table
- table leg with adjusting screw
- hardwood floor finish
As it can be seen on the post's main picture the space under the bench behind the driver's seat does not have a hatch in front of it but is open. The original plan was to store the cooler down there and - since the Waeco CDF-16 opens to the top - to pull it out of the space under the bench to open the hatch on the top. However, we found that there was enough space behind the passenger bench seat to just have the cooler standing in the living area. This way we don't have to pull it out from under the bench everytime we need to get something from the cooler. Also, we are able to use the space under the bench for a small garbage bin with a lid and other stuff that we just throw in there like toilet paper or small water bottles.
Behind this bench there is a 10 cm ledge where the driver's and passenger seat are mounted on. Of course, this ledge is not straight, this would have been too easy, but bends where it meats the side panel. This is why we divided the space beneath the bench and the compartment adjacent to the side panel can be accessed from under the table and fits a 5 liter water canister - which was totally on purpose.
The second bench also has two compartments. The first one has a hatch secured with a push-lock knob and holds the portable toilet. When needed, the hatch opens to approximately 180 degrees and the toilet can be pulled out - very carefully so that no water spills out.
The second compartment - and this can be seen on the main picture again - holds the core parts of the electrics: the body battery (secured by a wooden strip tailored to the outlines of the battery), the fuse box and the battery charger (on the picture the grey longish thingy right above the battery). Of course, the space in the compartment has been perfectly measured and calculated and couldn't fit better - or tighter.
All parts of the benches and of the tables have been treated with two coats of hardwood floor finish and the edges of the table got covered by t-profile edgings with a lip to prevent anything from falling off the table. Not while driving, though.
When we installed the window and the side bar we screwed a 3 cm thick wooden strip to the back of the side panel at the height we wanted the table to be. So, we could screw the slide bar to the side bar and to the thicker strip of wood to hold it tight. The we just had to fix the sliders to the end of the table and screw a hole into the slide bar where the neutral positioning of the table should be so that the sliders can click into place. The last step was to just screw the table leg to the table leg and voilà - the dining area was finished.