May 12 , 2020
Old campers like this 1972 Avion always present challenges for those looking to rehab or refurbish them. In this instance, we focused our upgrade efforts on making sure our beverages stayed cool and were always nearby.
We replaced the Avion’s old stock refrigerator with a smaller, more efficient version and installed it on the opposite side of the living space. But with the camper’s old refrigerator gone, its access and venting door left us with a big, empty hole on the side of the unit.
We decided to give the wasted space a creative new purpose that would also add maximum convenience. We built a lidded box/table just inside the door to house a cooler that slides out when you’re having fun outside and slides back in when you’re done.
The cooler sits on a platform that’s mounted on heavy-duty 32-in. drawer slides. No need to heft a cooler full of ice or step inside to crack a fresh beverage. Just open the door and pull the cooler out whenever you’re thirsty.
A couple of final touches rounded out our camper cooler project.
“We installed a new lock on the door to protect your beverages, and also so it doesn’t fly out when you’re going down the road,” says Family Handyman senior editor Brad Holden. “We’ve also got a handy bottle opener right next to [the door] so you don’t even have to take a step to open your beverage.”