Making compartments in that big expansive shoe cupboard

Our van Elton, a Carado T449 has a great big cupboard just inside the door under the single seat – its billed as a shoe cupboard, but its a massive area, and we just don’t have that many shoes when we’re travelling, so we thought we’d make better us of the space.

We turned the big open area into smaller sections, so we could store – and find – some of our stuff much better. This was a really simple project, but now we have it, we get much better use of that big open space.

It was built using 5mm plywood. Strong enough, but nice and light.

The challenge for us was that our consumer box is in that cupboard to, so we needed to have the woodwork flexible enough that we could easily get to our RCDs if we needed to.

Picture 1 below, shows the big open space, and the consumer box against the outside wall. The first compartment has already been built in this picture on the left hand side, using simple screw/bracket fixings. There’s also a new four bottle wine store opposite the consumer box. The new compartment on the left is great for heavy items, tools, jack etc. that we don’t want to load up into the back of the van where we’re struggling to keep weight off of the rear axle. There’s a door on the right hand side (where the gloves are), that’s where we go in to get the shoes.

  Picture 1 – Stage 1 – has the first partition built on the left hand side and the wine store


Picture 2 below has a second smaller compartment built. The challenge here was having this easily removable if we wanted to get into the consumer unit. We used sticky velcro with the hooks on each sides of the joints, and then another piece of velcro between the joint, holding the pieces together. It works a treat and is dead easy to peel open the velcro and lift out that little section.


       Picture 2 – Stage 2 – a removable section added so we can get to the Consumer unit

Picture 3 below shows the final piece added, a shelf right across the open area for holding papers, maps etc. It needed some small supports added underneath the shelf to rest it on, you can see those in picture 2 above, It was a bit tricky cutting the sides of this shelf around the wires to make sure we could easily lift it out if we wanted to get underneath. The shelf has been built to leave the wine holes free so we can reach in and grab a bottle, or get to all of our maps and papers just by lifting up the seat.

          Picture 3 – stage 3, the final piece added, the top shelf for papers and maps etc.

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