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Old 07-25-2009, 07:05 AM   #1
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Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,650
Microwave move & more storage!

We moved up in size to our current 25' Rockwood Ultra Lite
from a nice little Shadow Cruiser T189. That little trailer
was well laid out and we actually had MORE cabinet
storage in it than our Rocky!

The folks at Forest River seem to have paid little or no
attention to maximizing cabinet space.
Examples include tiny drawers under the bed and dinette
seating areas. The drawer is MUCH smaller than the space
it occupies but since it's a drawer, the space around it
is not easily accessible.

The cabinets over the dinette, over the bed and over
the sofa all have only 2 doors when 3 are called for.
This leaves large areas where you have to "reach around
the corner" to access them.
There are also MANY areas in cabinets, under the sofa,
under the fridge where they've "protected this wire or that
flex duct with a panel that is just screwed to the floor.
BUT I have discovered most that in most of them the wire
or flex duct can be moved as much as several inches and
the panels then can be moved or re-moved to gain valuable
storage space.
Even our "night stands" next to the bed were "dummy".
That means they were simply built with no access to the
bread box size storage area they sat in. We've removed
the ends of both of them and now use slide in storage
bins there. The tops are still there and since they were
carpeted inside removing the front and sliding in 2 storage
bins was easy.

OK-- on to the reason for this post.
Our microwave was installed over the sink with a cabinet
next to the wall. This wall is the bathroom so we quickly
learned that if the cabinet door was left open and someone
tried to open the bathroom door the doors would collide!
Also and more importantly- for some unknown reason
the walled off nearly 1/4 of this cabinet area as wasted
space next to the microwave!
See photo below for original configuration.
I had already removed the microwave (MW) before I grabbed
my camera so you'll just have to imagine the MW in the
opening as original.

Note how they walled off the center section- giving the
space to the MW leaving a rather small area for storage.
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:25 AM   #2
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Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,650
Microwave move

I removed the screws around the face plate on the MW and
pulled it out of the hole.
That's easy!!
With the MW out I found the outlet mounted in the middle
section on the back wall but it had plenty of extra wire!!
I removed the left cabinet door and then proceeded to
remove the front stiles and the blank center panel.
I also removed the inside floor (NOT the outside floor).
I also removed the wall that divided the left (cup and
saucer) section from the right MW section.

Before removing any front stiles I sketched the MW opening
so I'd know how big it needed to be.
The disassembly was fairly easy working from inside
the MW side of the cabinets.

I re-mounted the front stiles in their new locations and
then placed the plywood sub floor in the left side.
The MW sits on a couple layers of cheap plywood.
I glued and screwed them into their new home and
slid in the MW and screwed it back in place.
I was able to mount the outlet down low at the rear corner
of the MW on the back wall. (Not shown).

After the MW was securely in it's new home it was fairly
simple to finish the inside work. The blank wall was stapled
to some little scrap 3/4 by 3/4 sticks. I just pulled
out the staples, remounted the sticks in their new location
close to the side of the MW and then stuck the dividing
wall back inside the cabinet and screwed it to the "sticks".
I ran out to Home Depot and purchased 1/4 sheet (2 by 4 feet) of
5/16 maple "good on one side" plywood for the new
larger cabinet inside floor.

After screwing in the new floor, I re-mounted the cabinet
door and hardware. The visible screw holes are hidden by
the closed door and since these photos where taken,
I've puttied the holes so they are not nearly as visible with
the door open.

Bottom line-- this project took about 5 hours and I was
slow and methodical. Not all that much skill involved.
A DIY job for most reasonably skilled handy persons!

My wife is thrilled to have more dish storage and now
the cabinet door can be open and still access the bathroom.
We aren't in the habit of leaving the MW door open so
that is not going to be much of an issue.

Here's the final pictures.
Top photo-- cabinets as built by FR with microwave removed.
Wiring note-- the outlet had extra wire and was stuck
on the back wall. I simply laid the wire under the cabinet
sub floor and placed the outlet behind the microwave.
I didn't even have to disconnect the outlet to make this
2nd photo-- microwave moved to the left side.
3rd photo-- center section now "belongs" to the
accessible cabinet storage on the right.
bottom photo-- time for a cold one!!
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Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:38 AM   #3
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Location: Prairieville, Louisiana
Posts: 1,927
Nice job, Dan....

Looks professionally done.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 104
KyDan - Very nice job. If interested, we can send you pictures of mods we've done in our current camper to better utilize the storage space. We had a Rockwood 2502 for less than a year when it was wrecked. That was not a pretty site...someone ran into the back of the camper while we were slowing down due to stopped traffic ahead of us.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Nice work. Forest River does waste valuable storage space with lazy cabinet layout. I've just started reclaiming some of it in our Lexington. In '03 the 235 didn't have any basement storage so we lack for tool/hose storage. The drawer under the fridge was 8" x 16" x 18", a total volume of about 1 1/4 cubic feet in a space that was just over 6 cubic feet. I pulled the drawer and cabinet framing, lined the interior with plywood, built some slab doors and now have a large cab. for tools hoses etc.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:41 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 125
Great use of space with the microwave switch! You gave me an idea of opening a blank dummy spacer in my upper cabinet to see if there is storage behind it.

I had a tiny cabinet under my stove that was too shallow to fit anything usefull, until now. After hours of figuring out what would fit in the 16x8x4.5 space, I got to work in the wood shop and fabed a liquor bottle holder. It fits 3 round and 1 square bottles. Made from MDF, felt and a base of minicell foam for the bottles to sit on in transet, it is now my most used cabenet in the trailer! My wife is so thankful to have a place to store her favorite bottle of moscato without the fear of breakage.
Tony Z
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:37 PM   #7
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Tomorrow I will be looking at my 21SS Roo in a whole new way. Thanks!


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