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Old 05-21-2023, 12:39 AM   #1
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Unbelievable design flaw in 2020 alpha wolf 26RL-L

My husband and I were trying to figure out what is behind the blank access panel under the stove. Shocked to find this completely open space. It left us both speechless. Why not put a drawer or cupboard here?
Ideas? We arenít sure how to make a door that would match if we add a drawer here.
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Old 05-21-2023, 01:35 AM   #2
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Is this your first RV?
Empty spaces, like this, have been common in the RV Industry for decades.

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Old 05-21-2023, 03:03 AM   #3
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I understand unused spaces under sinks but nothing this large in the kitchen.
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Old 05-21-2023, 05:29 AM   #4
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Our rig has a drawer in that space that matches the cook stove. It is storage for pots and pans. Unfortunately, most manufacturers take the cheap lazy route a lot of the time.
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Old 05-21-2023, 05:37 AM   #5
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Welcome.

My guess is the space was there for a larger stove but now they are smaller. But a design flaw no, typical wasted space yes.

I would make a door for the opening and close/ wall off the wiring so that it is not damaged by the items placed in there. If that is beyond your capabilities and you want to use the space you might find a small cabinet shop or find a woodworker that will make a door or drawer for the space.

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Old 05-21-2023, 06:07 AM   #6
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Our trailer has a drawer there and the water pump is behind/under the drawer.
We have a linen closet in our bathroom and there was a blank panel at the
bottom of that. I took a chance and knocked out the panel and discovered a space big enough for a small rectangular clothes basket. It's now used for dirty laundry.
Also had 2 blank panels - one on each side of bed under each (shirt hanger space/mini closet). I removed those and we now slide a bin into each one.
Instant sock/undies/T-shirt "drawer".

I totally agree the mfg should have given you a drawer or door under your
stove! Extra storage is where you find it!!
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Old 05-21-2023, 06:21 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum. I had a stove like yours but it was like a regular stove and had a drawer for pots and pans. As mentioned you can make a door for it and use for storage. Place a plastic box under there that will fit and maybe store your pots and pans there. Later RJD
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Old 05-21-2023, 06:21 AM   #8
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Our stove has a small angled cabinet under it and a passage for the wheel well and heater duct. Chances are the manufacturer just uses the same cabinet for many units and this creates anomalies like space not being used. The blank space in our trailer by the bed (under the mini closets) that KyDan talks about in his post is where our outdoor storage is.
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Old 05-21-2023, 06:22 AM   #9
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Our 2020 RVís cabinetry is mostly MDF wood covered with vinyl wrap. I ordered more of the wrap from Forest River through a dealer so I could build more matching shelves and another cabinet to make the interior more useful. Sometimes FR calls this wrap ďseam tapeĒ, and it may come in widths of 3, 12, 24, and maybe 48Ē. It may be too late for the manufacturer to still stock your color. Anyway that would probably be the best way to make a matching door or drawer front for that space.

As far as the empty space being a design flaw, no. FR saved money and still sold the unit. Win-win for them.
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Old 05-21-2023, 06:33 AM   #10
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Put hinged and a latch on the panel and ***Poof*** a cabinet.

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Old 05-21-2023, 01:55 PM   #11
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Unless you can get the material as others suggested, consider making the new door that contrasts! You have much more latitude than “kinda almost sorta matches if the light hits it right.”
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Old 05-21-2023, 03:38 PM   #12
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Cabinet maker

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Originally Posted by Oaklevel View Post
If that is beyond your capabilities and you want to use the space you might find a small cabinet shop or find a woodworker that will make a door or drawer for the space.

You can take an existing door with you when you visit the cabinet shop.

In order to block off the back wall, first figure out how far you must extend inward. Will a 1x2 (1-1/2") do it, or do you need a 1x3 (2-1/2")? Then get cut four blocks for the top, bottom, and sides. The blocks should extend most of the distance. Obviously, leave gaps for the wires and plumbing. Glue the blocks in place with hot-melt glue. Cut a panel to fit and screw it to the blocks with small wood screws.

With a cabinet that low, I would definitely put a drawer in it, instead. You will hate getting on your knees to use the cabinet. In that case, forget the back panel. Ask the cabinet maker to make a drawer with front panel matching the cabinets, and to install it.

Is there a cabinet door that's of similar size to the opening? Could you order one of those from Forest River and use it for a drawer front?

What are those two tabs on the sides extending into the opening? Do they perform any useful function? Could they be cut off? This will make the drawer-slide part easier and permit construction of a wider drawer.
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Old 05-23-2023, 12:25 PM   #13
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I must run, so I haven't read all the answers. At the risk of echoing others...

See all the wiring and gas line plumbing in the back of that space? THAT'S why.
Let's say you have a cast iron frying pan floating around in that space while rolling down the road...imagine the havoc with the wires and plumbing.

Solution?
  • add a barrier between the delicate bits at the back of the cabinet and the storage space you plan to create;
  • add cleats on either side of the space...preferably with screws penetrating from the "outside" of the space into the cleats;
  • add a panel to divide the space;
  • add a cabinet door or drawer that fits;
  • you might contact the manufacturer and ask if they have a door that would fit...or a drawer front. Use the color number/descriptor for your interior;
  • if not, see if you can get the matching paint/stain used on the cabinets, and commission or make one;
  • if no match, contrast is nice...and metal would be a good option.

At any rate, the reason is so you don't wreck what runs thru the space. Don't get me wrong...this is a nice rig. But not THAT nice that they'd bend over backwards to let you have your cake and eat it, too. If you want that space, it's on you. That mod will cost you 4 times as much as it would cost the manufacturer, but they applied that $20 elsewhere or took it out of the price...or put it in their pockets. It's NOT a design flaw. A design flaw is something that breaks or causes safety issues...like putting a cabinet door on that space without a barrier to keep your frying pan from punching a hole in your gas line.
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Old 05-29-2023, 07:58 PM   #14
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We found similar spots went to Lowes they have a matching handle put it in the middle of the panel then put Velcro on the panel works Great and looks like it was always there because of the matching handle.
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Old 05-29-2023, 11:57 PM   #15
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Whats above ?

I would check to make sure that when you turn the oven on that the heat from above won't damage anything or start a fire below. If all's clear there I would Still do a heat barrier between the oven and what I put in there.
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Old 05-30-2023, 07:46 AM   #16
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Why not find a basket that fits?
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Old 05-30-2023, 08:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck_S View Post
Put hinged and a latch on the panel and ***Poof*** a cabinet.

-- Chuck
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 05-30-2023, 11:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Deanowolf View Post
I would check to make sure that when you turn the oven on that the heat from above won't damage anything or start a fire below. If all's clear there I would Still do a heat barrier between the oven and what I put in there.
Good thought, but many of the ranges with ovens have cabinets below.
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Old 05-30-2023, 11:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenludwig View Post
We found similar spots went to Lowes they have a matching handle put it in the middle of the panel then put Velcro on the panel works Great and looks like it was always there because of the matching handle.
Great idea...just be sure to add a barrier in the back of the space to protect the vulnerable bits: propane hose, electrical wires, plumbing lines.
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Old 06-01-2023, 07:42 PM   #20
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Even easier. Make a panel, door whatever you want and cover it with black gloss automotive wrap available on Amazon for a couple of bucks. It will match your appliances exactly.
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