Roll around kitchen

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Texas Gypsy

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2023
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I have a shuttle bus with a working handicap lift (big reason I bought it). I had one of those 💡 epiphanies! Instead of taking up permanent space in the bus....why not put the kitchen on wheels and roll it in and out with assistance of the lift! I snowbird so follow nice weather

I have a roll around cart at home that I use to move things around the house. I have trouble walking and I'm in a wheelchair if I'm up more than a few minutes. So looking at that cart is when the 💡 appeared. It's big enough for cooking appliances. Just so happens that Tractor Supply has Blackstone grills on a great sale right now. So I went and got a 17 inch propane grill. The cart is 30 inches in length. That gives me plenty of room to either put a couple of burners beside it or a propane deep fryer! I have always wanted an actual restaurant style deep fryer!!
Propane bottle would go underneath on the bottom rack (remove middle rack). Bound to be something useful I can use the rest of that space for.

I have several adjustable height folding tables that can be used for prep space.
I can easily fit 2 of these carts inside of my bus while moving. Any suggestions on what to do with the 2nd cart? I've thought about getting a butcher block for half of it.

Suggestions on an easy to put up pop up tent for my outdoor kitchen? I do mean easy! I lose my breath with a minimum of effort (danged pills). Any suggestions welcome.
I have a AC200P Bluetti solar generator and 2 2000 watt Predator generators with the connection kit. So power isn't a problem if you have gadgets to suggest 😁
This is the cart I have.


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It is great that you want to travel in a van while disabled and that is certainly possible.

Unfortunately you have not accounted for a few essentials. Popup tents have to be staked down, even a small 7x6 foot sided one has 7 stakes and 3 guy ropes to keep it held in position. Unless you stake out two corners on one side before yo begin trying to erect it the task is a bit like wrestling an alligator and involves a lot of body movements with arms and legs. They will tumble away in a wind gust if you do not stake them
down. It is amusing to see that happen. Mine did it one time so I quickly learned themethod of staking one side down before popping up the tent. Setting them up requires standing up to lift the center of the roof and walking around them, it involves pushing and pulling on each side to put them up and take them down. Then when it is down you have to get on the ground, fold the tent, put straps around it and get it into the zippered bag.

Another factor is the ground where you camp is likely to be too tough or too soft to roll a cart across. The Blackstone grill and propane tanks add a lot of weight to the cart. The desert and forest ground is a totally different surface situation than rolling a cart across your kitchen floor.

You just might manage to get a rolling cart into an outdoor kitchen with all terrain tires but they do not make those for your cart system.

You also are going to need all terrain wheel chair tires.

But I have camped with one of the HOWA caravans with a woman who was in a wheelchair who traveled with a large Bell tent that she could setup on her own. I know she did end up modifying her wheel chair with all terrain tires and a small motor to make it much easier to move around in the dirt. If anyone could tell you how to manage this lifestyle with accurate information and tips it would be “Sarah Meg Hart”. she is on Facebook. You can reach out to connect with her that way. Having a mentor will be invaluable at the beginning and save you much money, time and frustration. Plus you will have a new friend who really gets exactly what you are facing. Sarah is a very gentle, funny, socially outgoing and kindhearted woman.
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I can stand up and walk for a couple of minutes. I just have to sit down and rest a while then I can do a bit more.
I plan to have the kitchen area right next to the vehicle so not like I'm moving the cart very far.
I get that a pop up tent takes effort to put up and take down. I am looking for the easiest one or an alternative recommendation. Not st all opposed to a better option.
There is the brand Clam which is reliable. There are now others brands of that style which are also reliable and less expensive. The small 6’x6’ osize will be lighter in weight and easy for you to manage. For an outdoor kitchen you need to purchase side panels to keep the rain out because there will be rainy days. But when you choose a tent there is an essential feature on the tent that is needed to keep the rain out and that is along the upper edge of the tent there has to be a little flap that covers over the top edge of the side panel. Not all of the popup tents have that. So I am posting two photos to reference when you make a choice. The photos show an angled vies with the screen front entrance and on of the sides.

On the green tent look at the top edge of the wall and you will see 3 black areas of Velcro. That means if you can see the Velcro there is no upper protective flap to keep the rain out when attaching the optional side panels that protect from wind and rain.

On the photo with the grey tent look up
On the side that is not the tent front and you will not see those three black velcro stops, if you look very closely towards the corner you can tell there is a fabric flap cover all along that edge.

No matter what brand of popup you choose, there are less expensive ones than Clam, you will want to have that extra protective flap at the roofline and also buy side panels.
Could you have one of the RV awning things that is permanently attached to the side/top of your van that works with a little remote control? I'm with you I don't want to cook inside...
^^^ What vanbrat is saying. These are great additions that make comfort and expand living space. (you may be able to find or make mosquito net screens to attach to the edges of the awning) As for the moveable kitchen, I like the idea if you can do it. In Ohio the bed, kitchen, and refrigeration have to be permanently attached to the vehicle if the rig is licensed as a "House Vehicle" (used like an RV) You may want to look into the guide lines for your state.

Still, I think it's a great idea to be able to cook where it's cooler.

For the Cart, could folding "wing panels" be attached to one end and one side ? This could expand prep space. A lower fold out on the other side could serve as a dining table. (or even used for a laptop later)

Does the cart have one or more wheels with a lock ? It would be a nice safety feature especially if you are going to be using a deep fryer. I have a "Fry Daddy" I've carried along in the past but now own an "Air Fryer" and am trying to decide which I like better.

How large of a deep fryer are you considering ? I would suggest a large funnel to go with it so you could pour the oil back into the bottle once cooled so you wouldn't be traveling with the fryer full of oil. When I was a kid my father and I deep fried in a large sauce pan that he found a wire mesh liner to use with it. He always used Peanut Oil claiming it didn't oxidize as fast with use or go rancid as quickly. Today I'd use Canola as it is cheaper and more easily found at stores like Aldi's.
While you can certainly cook under an awning the screen room tents offer a lot more protection from wind and flies. But of course there are also some screen rooms that attach underneath of awnings.

Freestanding screen rooms have the advantage of being left in place if you have errands to run.
From what you said, it'll be an indoor kitchen that you can take outside when the weather is nice. So really it sounds like you might need some shade and possibly some light wind protection.

If that's the case, you can even get an umbrella that could attach to the cart with an adjustable stalk.

For wind, assuming you're smart enough not to take the kitchen outside to cook in high winds (and you are), maybe some standard folding wind blockers that you can attach to the cart. Keep it simple, and integrated. They can attach to the corner supports.

As mentioned, an upgrade to the wheels would be a good move. Maybe some knobby casters with a wider wheel. Also consider an integrated stabilizer kickstands for the cart, as it will be top heavy. And/or put something heavy on the bottom shelf as ballast.

The more you can integrate into the cart itself, the simpler and quicker it is to set up and tear down.

I used to dj and do sound support. My systems were set up for quick setup and teardown. I could be fully set up in 15 minutes from parking my car is needed. And depending if I was putting it away properly, or in a hurry, I could have everything in the vehicle in 10-15 minutes. Friends in the same business took a minimum of 30 minutes on either side.

Being fully integrated makes a difference.

Set up electrical on the cart. Whether it's just a 6 pack zip tied somewhere or more involved. Have an idea of what power you need where and plan for it.

Hell, you can keep the propane on the lower shelf if it'll fit. If not, set up lines so it's a quick connect when ready.

There's a lot you can do. But do what you can to keep it simple in practice, and you'll really love it. If it's clunky and time consuming, you might cook inside more than you would otherwise.

Just thoughts. Take what you will, or nothing at all. :)

By the way, I think this is an awesome idea. However your set it up, I'm excited to see the results. I imagine at some point you'll end up with a sturdier cart. But the one you have is a great start.
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I've often contemplated adding a fold-up shelf to the outside of my van. I don't like the idea of cooking inside either, the steam and grease spatters are not appealing. It would be easy for me to just cart my portable stove outside.

As much as I have valued my CLAM. I am thinking of ways to get along without it. They are really not meant for long-term set-up, and the mods you need to make to them take up a fair amount of time and continuing maintenance. If I could rig an easily collapsible awning, that might work just as well.

While I do cook, especially breakfast, a lot of my eating does not involve cooking.
If you put an awning on the lift (right) side of the bus, that could shade things nicely depending on how you're parked.

Maybe even some quick connects for propane, electricity, and water if you were inclined. I really like that rig.
I have considered putting an awning on but I am unable to do it myself. I'm fed up with trying to hire help. Also I tend to stay in the desert and sudden winds and dust devils love destroying them. If the wind destroys a pop up least it didn't rip holes in the side of my vehicle while it was being blown into the next county 😁

I've been looking for a propane deep fryer but not having any luck finding one that isn't a double basket commercial fryer. I think I'm going to put a 2 burner propane stove on the other part of the cart and call it good. I'd really like to find one of the Japanese frying pots with the drain rack in Southern size 🤣

I'll be getting the title transferred to an RV title in Texas. Very little has to actually be installed to qualify. So a portable kitchen isn't a problem.....besides, we understand BBQ!

I agree with your Dad about the peanut oil
Screen locked up and wouldn't let me finish.
I do agree about the screening being better on a pop up tent. Danged flies are vicious at times.

I'm not actually installing any plumbing so no need for quick connects. I plan to have a propane bottle on the bottom rack of the cart. I don't need heat because I drive south until I see palm trees 🌴🌴🌴😎

I have not yet figured out where I'm going to put the fresh water tank but I am really tempted to just keep a haul tank in the back of the truck. I'll be pulling my Chevy on a car hauler behind it. Yep I'm going to shorten the back porch on the bus before I try that.
Only hole I may put in would be for a sink drain out to a greywater evaporator. I use a rechargeable camp shower in a pop up.
Keeps a lot of moisture out of my sleeping space by not cooking or showering inside. 6 Quart Stainless Steel Stove Top Deep Fryer

KOMONG Tempura Deep Frying Pot 3.4L, 304 Stainless Steel Deep Fryer pot with Fahrenheit Thermometer and Oil Draining Rack for Tempura chips, Fish, and Chicken
You found a decent sized Japanese fry pot! Just wish it was less expensive 😳. I added it to my wish list to think about.

I like the stainless steel pot with the basket too but it looks like I'd have to hold it over the pot to let it drip. My muscles cramp and lock up quickly so I don't think that one will work

Thank you for looking!
My kitchen is in the back of my van with a good thin wall between it and the rest of my van. No smelly grease or yuk gets into my sleep area. I do have to keep my fridge thing up front when driving as the cord doesn't reach the outlet, but it works and the 'counter, is just a bit taller than the one I have at home. I measured and made it myself (looks like it too) but the small ice chest and the water jugs and all the other appliances fit under it too. Very compact. The dishes, pots and pans, and groceries all fit in the upper shelves. I even have 2 hidden cabinets that I can hide 'stuff' in. Only to open them all the shelves need to be emptied. Mostly they stay empty. I have an awning I made and attach with super commercial grade velcro that I can use over the top if it is raining, but if it is really stormy, we eat out at a restaurant. Not always much of a wild woods girl... I have a fold up table to use for prep and washing up and 3 dish pans and a drainer for clean up. My water jugs work with gravity and no pump needed. If I want hot water, I have to heat it myself... For bugs I use citronella incense or spray stuff. I often carry a easy up thing to cover any picnic table but it is a pain to put up and down. If we are staying someplace for a few days it also covers everything on the table when lowered and bungy corded to the table. But again it is a pain to put up and down and doesn't really work in the wind.
Be sure you focus on having an indoor space to cook. It is how you heat your space on cool/cold mornings and evenings.