We used extruded aluminum for multiple reasons, but our first reason was because of its durability and strength. In comparison to wood, 80/20 alloy is much easier to get high-strength cabinets and framing than its predecessor.
One of my favorite things about working with 80/20 was being able to change things on the fly. For example, when we built the kitchen drawers we were able to easily slide the support beams up and down the side rails to get them to match the height we needed, whereas with wood it would have been much more difficult and time-consuming if we had made a mistake. We were trying to achieve a certain look and the alloy framing really helped make it feel unique. The 80/20 is dead silent while driving as well, after our first 5+ hour drive we were super impressed with how quiet the back was.
We used the L brackets for areas that we thought would need the most structural support ie; the couch/seating area, mounts to the wall, and lower beams. The hidden corner brackets were great for keeping the open cabinets looking super clean and for sliding wood in between the 80/20 T-slots for a really nice look. One super important thing to note that goes for ALL the brackets is to use blue lock-tite on all the screws/threads to prevent them from wiggling loose while we're driving.
Cutting the material was super easy with the correct blade, we used the Diablo Non-Ferrous blade to cut the 80/20 and it made for perfect and clean cuts throughout.
Building with 80/20 was probably one of the easier materials to work with. Neither of us had experience building cabinets and with the 80/20 brackets, everything ends up becoming exactly square and precise. If a mistake is made or a piece needs to be moved it can be easily adjusted by loosening the bolts.
This camper build hasn't been my first time converting a vehicle, so I had some ideas and changes I wanted to make for this camper. My first priority was that the couch has to be comfortable! I wanted to have a big platform and instead of a backrest I will do big movable pillows so you're able to position everything to your liking. The L shape was also part of the comfort factor. Having that corner made it a much larger area to sit in. I went with 5" thick quality foam cushions for the seats which I’m very happy with.
For the sides of the kitchen, tall-standing cabinet, and shelves, we decided to use ¼ inch plywood to slot in between the T-slots of the 80/20 to give them a super unique look. It really helps give a finished look to the cabinets we are really happy with!
Overall we were very impressed with how sleek everything turned out. At first, I was only going to build with the regular slotted 80/20 but, after doing more research I really started to like the look of the smooth-sided 80/20. It took a bit more planning to figure out which side of the smooth 80/20 needed to face out. In the end, it was giving Scandinavian vibes which I’m all for!
Envisioning a similar setup? Explore your possibilities by arranging an online consultation here or, for a hands-on experience, schedule an in-person meeting at our showroom in Abbotsford, BC here. Feel free to share your design concepts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out via phone at 604-607-6443. We're eager to assist you!
Rocky Mountain Motion Control wants to thank Brittany Gustafson for sharing her build. Check out her social media here.