Our EKKO RV Galley Remodel – The Detailed Video


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I don’t think I’ve ever had more requests for a video than for this one.  People have been seeing our induction cooktop and deeper sink in the background of other videos and then wanting to know how I did it.  Well… now you’ll know.

 

To be completely honest, I wasn’t in the biggest rush to put this video together because the project wasn’t exactly easy.  I just didn’t believe that many people would be into laminating their own countertops and getting them CNC cut.  But who knows?  You all might just surprise me!

In broad strokes, the basic steps I go through in this video are:

  • Tearout of existing galley
  • Removal of propane line from inside and patching and plugging the propane openings and connections
  • Laminating a new countertop (twice!)
  • CNC routing of the countertop to match previous counter exactly
  • Install and trim work of counter
  • Upgrade electrical for induction install (partially completed during 20k project)
  • Install new sink
  • Install new drain piping
  • Install new faucets
  • Build and install new drawers
  • Install induction cooktop
  • General cleanup of wires, pipes, etc.

 

There are probably some steps I left out, but that’s mostly it.  Below you’ll find a few links to the products I installed.  (These are affiliate links.)

 

Random note… this is the second time I’ve installed that same model induction cooktop.  The first was in Lance!

After a super long video like that, I’m not sure what questions people will have, but if you saw a tool or technique or product you’d like to know more about, ask me a question below in the comments and I’ll do my best to get you an answer.

Enjoy!



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    40 thoughts on “Our EKKO RV Galley Remodel – The Detailed Video

    1. Pat Maundrell

      Nice job! I liked the idea of Flip Flopping the Cook Top and Sink, this makes sense. Assuming there was space, I would have preferred a Double Cook Top.
      I have never understood the trend to larger RV Sinks. Our 1989 Air stream had a small/shadow double sink which was perfect because it conserved water and let you have a rise and wash sink area in the sink. Ever since George from “Humble Road” installed one it seems everyone now needs one, I don’t get it, because now you use more Water and make more Gray Water, both are in sort supply!! Why?

      Reply
    2. Rob

      I have two questions…
      1. You do some amazing redesign work, so much so, that you make the EKKO a very desirable vehicle (not that I think it is a bad vehicle to begin with).
      So the question is… why hasn’t Winnebago hired you to design an outstanding product line… something that just blows away anything out there?
      2. Since you were a rocket scientist… why haven’t you made the EKKO my new flying car??
      Okay… second question’s a little silly, but the first one is serious… you could really do some good over at Winnebago!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Well, first – I appreciate the compliment. Thank you!
        As to working at Winnebago… have you ever been to Iowa in the winter?!!

        Seriously though, I share my mods with them when they ask. And I know they’re keeping an eye on what the user community does with the EKKO, just as they do with all their coaches. Depending on demand, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of my mods (and everyone else’s) wind up in future iterations of the EKKO.

        Reply
    3. Pierre Dehaze

      James,

      Great video, as always. I was waiting to see this one as I noticed the changes that had been done to the galley in earlier released videos.

      Your shop is awesome, my dream shop if I had the room for it.

      Keep those videos coming. I love watching and learning from you and Stef.
      Thank you.

      Reply
    4. Michelle Osborn

      Because life happens, I would buy a second induction top like your first one, because those glass tops break and what would be the odds that you can’t find one for that opening a year or two down the line? They may have different models with different measurements. I always do that just to be prepared. CHEAPER than doing another countertop.
      Did you run water in your sink? I would buy some sound deadening material (which you may already have) and apply it around the underneath of the sink and sides. You will be surprised by the difference in the sound.
      You did a nice job with the project. Have never seen someone use rubber for edge banding, but I like it. Did you seal it so water can’t get between the countertop or the rubber with silicone? The reason I ask is that I did not hear you say you were sealing the edges/backside of the plywood and if any water got in there, it would swell.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        That sink already had sound deadening material on the outside of it. (One of the reasons we went with that one.)
        The original countertop was not sealed around the front edges – and it was just particle board. I’m not too worried about swelling.
        Besides, if I ever need a new counter top or a new induction cooktop, I can just repeat the process. We’d probably want something different by that point anyway!

        Reply
    5. Leonard Sackett

      Have you ever weighed the pros and cons of routing the cook top opening with a lip so it is flush with the counter and sealing it with black or clear RTV? We also travel with a cat but keep a silicone pad over the cook top glass for protection. Will watch that.
      At present I am hard wiring in a 1500 watt heater into a new commercially built RV . Will use it when we have shore power. I “think” it could cut my propane use significantly and thereby reduce the number of propane refill station I have to locate to refill. I did install one in the Green TARDIS, our previous DIY RV. We used it for several months only when we were present. I then checked it out to make sure everything still looked as good as when I first installed it. We then felt safe on using it night unattended while sleeping.

      Again: Happy Travels and Stay Safe

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I did think of recessing the cooktop even further, but decided against it. Mainly, I was thinking that – no matter how tight the opening or how well I sealed it – crumbs or something would get in there and drive me bonkers. Either that or water.
        Also, if the cooktop ever goes bad (and I hear they sometimes do) it will be easier to remove with the top mounting by just sliding a razor under the lip to break the silicone.

        I just last month installed an electric heater in Number One for “plugged in” situations. It works well for us down into the 40s, and it’s been solid enough that we are comfortable sleeping with it running.

        Reply
      2. Leonard Sackett

        I installed a small commercial 1500w space heater with a steel case….no plastic. The shortcoming was I could not find one that had 750w/1500w settings. It would be nice to have something that can “chop” the incoming voltage to make the heater output variable from 0-1500w.
        We have had a heater (750w/1500w) for 21 years in our previous RV the Green TARDIS. Had a Sportsmobile canvas pop up top installed. Two heater on medium (~800w each) near the front and back kept the temperature inside fairly even on 10f-20f nights. To many air leaks for one heat source to keep the living area comfortable.
        My thinking at the present is two 1000w heaters with infinite adjustable heat would be the optimum design. One near the front and one near the back.

        Again
        Safe Travels

        Reply
    6. Kevin Scarbel

      Superb video James!

      Basically, you redesigned the kitchen they way it should have been done in the first place. Storage, the stove and the sink and faucets are vastly improved.

      Winnebago, are you listening? Make the “James-spec kitchen” the new standard, effective immediately.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’m sure Winnebago gets quite the earful about the mods I do…
        That said, they’re frequently improving and updating their rigs. We got – literally – the very first EKKO delivered to a customer.
        As the model progresses, I’d expect improvements and options to expand.

        Reply
    7. Gary

      James saw you were having issues cleaning up the excess silicon.
      Here’s a tip when calking or setting sinks with silicon.
      1. Apply Silicon as you did.
      2. BEFORE you wipe the excess that squeezes out. use a mister to spray the silicon and surrounding area with Isopropyl Alcohol. 70 or 90% doesn’t matter which.
      3. Wipe up the excess. Silicon will only stick to the areas it was on before you sprayed.
      I was taught this trick years ago by a contractor reworking the caulking around a bathroom tub.
      My understanding in plain water will work but the alcohol works as a wetting agent to better cover the area and evaporates faster.

      Reply
    8. Graham Smith

      James, classy work as usual. I’ve been waiting on this to ask a burning question. What are the dimensions of the original cutouts for the sink and stove? Some folks have been contemplating doing some work and would like to see what would fit the stock countertop.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        NOW you ask me…
        I discarded the original countertop, and I didn’t take the measurements of those cutouts (as I didn’t intend to use them again).
        You can see in the video that the stovetop cutout is a weird non-rectangular thing.
        The sink was close in size – but just a bit larger – than the recommended cutout for the induction cooktop.
        If I had known you wanted them, I could have measured them. Sorry!

        Reply
        1. Graham Smith

          Well darn, I was kind of afraid of that. When the “shower pump fairy” shows up at the dealer with the replacement parts, I can finally get it home and find out for myself. But it would be nice to be able to source some parts in advance if possible.

    9. Raynald Tremblay

      I was surprised to see Winnebago using a rubber propane hose simply run through the floor then connected to the stove: I thought that all propane lines had to be copper tubing!

      Reply
    10. Leonard Sackett

      4′ X 8′ sheet of Baltic Birch?? I have only gotten it in 5′ x 5′ sheets. Did not know you could get it in that larger size. Hmmmm. Oh, and at my local lumber yard the price has literally doubled in the last month 🙁 Will still use it on projects but will measure three times and cut once. Always like your posts. Have safe travels

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        5’ x 5’ is typical, but our local dealer had it in 4×8, so I got that.
        I just wish I hadn’t ruined that first piece…

        Reply
        1. Diane

          James, your wiring clean up is the way it should have come from the manufacturer, especially at that price point. We always love your videos. This one was awesome.
          Thanks for sharing.

    11. Robert S

      James you have a very unique way of determining what to clean…”what’s that…cheese ? No”…..
      🙂
      Thumbs up for the clean results btw !

      Reply
    12. Sean

      Love this mod and think it was extremely well thought out. Surprised induction is not more fully embraced by the industry yet for all the reasons you cited.

      That said, it looked like the fabrication of the replacement countertop was one of the more technical and involved portions of this mod…but a great way for you to use your incredible shop! What are your thoughts on using some other solid surface option to replace the countertop (i.e., Corian, quartz, whatever) which may be easier to order/fabricate?

      Thanks for all your incredible hard work on each video and really appreciate sharing so much.

      PS Hope to see you in Tampa next week at the show…beer is on me!

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I’ve used other solid surface materials in the past. There’s no reason they wouldn’t work. You’d just need to get someone to fabricate it for you.
        Those other materials do weigh more though, so there’s that to think of.
        And we are planning to be at the Tampa show, so swing by the Winnebago booth and say hi!

        Reply
        1. Scott

          I’ve never tried Quartz, but Corian is actually pretty easy to work with. I fabricated the countertops in our van using 1/2” Corian, and used a CNC router for the cutting and a round over bit in a hand router to put a small bullnose on the countertop edges and hole for under mount sink.
          I should think about reworking the countertop for an under-mount induction burner – right now we just use two small countertop ones.

        2. James - Post author

          I thought about an undermount sink, but didn’t like the thought of taking up even more space under the counter – even if it was just 3/4 of an inch. But I do think it would have looked cool, and been easier to clean.

    13. Erin Laine

      Enjoyed this video, good job! My RV has an induction cooktop and I was always concerned about something falling on it and cracking the glass so I bought a cutting board that fits over it. It has feet straddling it so it doesn’t slide off. This gives me more counter space when not using the stove as well. I side benefit is I can not accidentally turn on the stove.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I actually toyed with the idea of recessing the cooktop even further – making it completely flush with the top. But then I got worried that crumbs or something would collect in the tiny gap around the cooktop.
        The cutting board idea is a good one! I’ll ask Stef and see if she’d like something like that.
        (We’ve never been too worried about cracking the cooktop though. Maybe we’re naive?)

        Reply
    14. Roger Struthers

      That cook top is designed to be removed and used outside if needed. See the feet on the bottom. In addition it would have set lower on the counter top. No need to glue in down.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Uhhhh…
        Thanks, but… I’m well aware of what the feet are.
        We simply have no interest in using this cooktop outside, or having it take up our limited storage space, or in hearing it rattle around while driving.

        As far as mounting instructions, I find it’s always better and safer to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
        Instructions

        Reply
    15. Ernesto Alamo-Pinto

      Greetings… On this episode “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo98RhvmBkA” you held screws with your lips as you were under your RV, scary thing, I recommend a magnetic bracelet to hold screws, nails, etc… wouldn’t want to swallow any metals while trying to talk to your YouTube Subscribers; similar to this one in Amazon https://amzn.to/3ffdfK4
      OR perhaps build your own? Thx, just worried for you.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        I figured someone would notice that. I was super conscious of the screws while I was under there (just didn’t say anything about it).
        The wristband is a cool idea! I may have to get myself one. Thanks for the idea!

        Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Thanks!
        There are several similar sinks on Amazon. I don’t have experience with them, but they look the same in the pictures…

        Reply

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