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Dogs-Life
08-24-2007, 09:07 PM
I have been reading articles on the forum for over a year and especially enjoy reading about ways members have modified their trailers. I'm planning of making another modification to my Sundance and wanted to run it by the members to see if anyone has already done this or if they have suggestions.

We have the Sundance 2900 RK and have an exterior compartment door that provides access under the kitchen countertop. While at a trailer show we noticed that one the competitor's products had a similar layout and they had an access door cut through the countertop and a wastebasket was in the compartment. I have partitioned the access compartment and have placed a wastebasket under the counter. I plan to cut a rectangular opening through the top of the counter and hinge the removed section to the existing counter. I thought I would add a piece of plywood under the counter with a slightly smaller rectangular opening as stop for the access door.

Has anyone tried this yet and if so, do you have any suggestions. My initial thought was to just have a small finger hole to reach in to open the hinged door, but also was considering a push and release latch to pop the door open. I have been putting this off for almost a year, trying to figure the best way to do it since it requires cutting into the countertop. I'm hoping to get other opinions on a better solution.

Thanks,

ct0218
08-24-2007, 09:36 PM
I'm not familiar with the Sundance counter tops--what are they made of? Certain materials require certain procedures, and as a builder I can tell you it is usually not as easy as most would think. If Corian it must be routed, not cut with a jig saw, etc., and must have a minimum 3/4 inch radius in the corners. The cutout will be approximately 1/2 inch smaller all around, and lots of luck hingeing. The screw holes would have to be drilled, threaded, and the screws epoxied in. If laminate the raw edge of the substrate will be exposed (most likely particle board) and when it gets wet a few times it will swell up. Notice I didn't say if it gets wet. Not likely that this would be a successful project with either, but a trained solid surface fabricator could work it out with the Corian. It would require a sink cutout from Heartlands fabricator to make the lift-up top since routing removes too much material. I'm a trained fabricator and the time, effort and overall frustration required to do this far outweigh the benefits in my opinion.

Dogs-Life
08-24-2007, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. It is a laminate over a particle board and your warning about getting wet is well taken. I was planning to add some type of edging to cover the raw edges, but will now consider something that will protect it from water. The good news is that the opening will be quite a ways from the sink.

ct0218
08-24-2007, 09:56 PM
Good news that the water isn't close. The best bet would be some 2 part epoxy thinned 25% with acetone and carefully applied, several coats, so that the epoxy penetrates deep and then seals the particle board. Rough it up slightly with 80 grit paper and use heat sensitive edge banding to cover that exposed edge. A regular iron without steam can activate the adhesive. You will still have to be careful about water though.

Dogs-Life
08-25-2007, 02:39 PM
Thanks for the suggestion! This is very helpful and will probably save me from a lot of future grief. I think I'll also coat the bottom of the countertop, around the opening, before I put the stop on. I'll get some epoxy and acetone when I'm out getting the hinge.

I got a chance to read your reply last night just as the thunderstorms were rolling in. I decided to shutdown the computer and come back today to say thanks. We lost some electronics a couple of years ago due to a close lightening stike and now I disconnect when storms approach.

ct0218
08-25-2007, 03:02 PM
Glad I could help, and sorry to hear of your surge problems. I believe in surge suppressors--I have them on the incoming power line to the coach, and a whole house suppressor and individual suppressors on sensitive items in my home. Seems everything these days have pc boards and microprocessors, and it doesn't take much to blow them out.