I did as much research on choosing the fridge as anything else. And I mean A LOT! I knew I wanted a front-open fridge. A lot of builds I came across have the top-openers and I did not want one of those. Engel seemed to be one of the most trusted brands for top-openers. Other brands I was between included Dometic, Norcold, Isotherm, & Nova Kool. I came very close to going with a Nova Kool fridge but after reading and reading, Engel seemed like the most trustworthy brand overall. The couple bad reviews I read about it state that it is very loud. I agree completely. That is my only complaint with this fridge. I need white noise to drown it out when I'm sleeping. Otherwise, it's been a gem.
Product Link: Engel SB70F Front Open Fridge
It may not be the prettiest sink, but is certainly functional and fits our needs. It's also very cost-effective! This sink was only $50 and fits very well. I chose it not only because of the price, but it provides us with a small sink to maximize counter space. If you're going to have more counter space in your van, then I'd go for a larger sink.
Product Link: 15" x 15" Bar Sink
I wasn't super excited about spending more on a faucet than a sink but that's just the way it is. I really wanted a nice looking faucet and something that had a pull-out sprayer. So far, it's been a great faucet! On Amazon, it was highly reviewed and the price was reasonable compared to similar competitors.
Product Link: Facuet with Pull Down Sprayer
Yes, $390 is quite expensive for a stove but it has been worth every penny. This stove runs on denatured alcohol as opposed to propane or electricity. This means I don't have to carry a large propane tank in my van. It also means I can cook even if my battery is dead. In my research, I read that it is a safer alternative to propane (honestly, I don't remember why). It is as simple as pouring the alcohol into a canister and lighting it with a match. If you're building your van, definitely consider this stove. I highly recommend it.
Product Link: Dometic Origo 4100 Alcohol Stove
Water Pump [$58]
After a quick Amazon search, Shurflo seemed like the company to go with. My only choice was do I go with one that is 3g/min or 1g/min. I had no idea what that would look like when I turn on the sink. It turns out this one lets out good pressure but it is not too much. Seems to be working pretty good so far...can't complain!
Product Link: Shurflo Pump (3g/min)
Water Jugs [$20 each]
This was more difficult of a purchase than it should have been. I went through 3 different jugs before finally finding the right ones. I originally ordered these humongous cylindrical 15 gallon jugs so we could have an ample amount of water in the van (one tank for the white water and one for grey). As the build continued to the kitchen area, it was realized that these were way too big. I first replaced them with the Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container which I was happy with for over a year. Recently, I decided to rearrange under the sink to allow for more white water, as I originally intended. I kept the 7-gallon container I linked above for the grey tank, but I switched my white water tanks to the Reliance Products Jumbo-Tainer 7 Gallon Jerry Can Style Rigid Water Container. These can sit upright, allowing me to have 2 of them without taking up much more space than the square container. This allows me to have 14 gallons of white water and a 7.5 gallon grey tank. So far, I find this to be as good of a setup as possible and it gives me room to still fit other things under the sink!
1. Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container
2. Reliance Products Jumbo-Tainer 7 Gallon Jerry Can Style Rigid Water Container
Knife Set [$27]
Not too much to say here. I wanted a knife set that I could stick to the wall using a magnet. I got the magnet strip below for very cheap from Harbor Freight Tools and bought this knife set, hoping it would be magnetic and stay even while the van is driving. I have gone over some big bumps, even having things fall out of the overhead cabinets once or twice and have NEVER had the knives fall off. As far as the knives go, they've been perfect for our intermittent needs but we don't use them on a daily basis since we are not living in the van.
Side Note: We used one of the knives to cut watermelon at the rehearsal dinner before our wedding and it got misplaced, hence why we only have 4 knives in our 5-piece knife set :(
Product Link: Home Hero 5-Piece Knife Set
Spice Rack [$14]
After a year of owning the van, I decided I wanted to add a small spice rack to the wall above the sink. This has made it more convenient to store oils, spices, and condiments without taking up space in the overhead cabinets. After thorough searching on Amazon, this twin pack seemed to be the best thing for the van. The only problem I had was with some of the stuff falling out. This was an easy solution. It's not pictured but I took a small bungee cord and put it above the center bar on each rack. That seems to have solved the problem so far!
Product Link: Spice Rack
Paper Towel Holder [$14]
Finally something that didn't take a lot of research. Not much to say here. It has been great. Fit perfectly above the sink and doesn't get it the way. The only trick here (and I learned the hard way) is to use a paperclip or a small clamp to hold the paper towels in place after use. Before I realized this, I was driving with the window open after using the paper towels and the entire paper towel roll unraveled!
Product Link: Paper Towel Holder