How to Build a Portable Prep Table for Your RV Road Trip

Running water and a work surface for convenient outdoor cooking.

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Even when you’ve left behind the comforts of your kitchen, you still need to wash vegetables and season the steak before mealtime. This portable prep table makes those tasks a whole lot easier. The sink serves up running water, while the countertop gives you a convenient work surface. When you head for home, the whole thing folds up for easy transport. And when you get home, you just might find it perfect for the patio.

Tools Required

  • Basic hand tools
  • Circular saw
  • Drill/driver
  • Jigsaw

Tools You’ll Need:

Family Handyman

Family Handyman

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Build the Box

  • Arrange the box parts with the best-looking sides facing outward, and join the corners with trim-head screws.
  • Choose the top and the front of the box and label them to prevent confusion later.

Family Handyman/Thomas Fenenga

Step 2

Drill the Legs

  • A drill press is best for making the bolt holes in the legs. But if you don’t have one, a homemade drill guide will help you bore the holes straight. All you need are a couple of blocks cut at 90 degrees.

Family Handyman/Thomas Fenenga

Step 3

Drill the Bolt Holes

Assemble the leg sets.

  • Lay the longer set in the box against a 3/4-in. spacer.
  • Drill through the box, using the leg holes as a guide.
  • Bolt the legs to the box, then place the short legs on the long legs against a 1/2-in. spacer.
  • Slip 1/16-in. spacers between the legs, then drill and bolt the legs into place.

Family Handyman/Thomas Fenenga

Step 4

Install the Countertop

  • Place each 1-1/2-in. mending plate at an angle on the top of the box, and screw it into place.
  • Center the countertop and screw the plates to it. The plates will allow the top to move slightly as it shrinks and swells with changes in humidity.

Family Handyman/Thomas Fenenga

Step 5

Cut the Sink Hole

  • Place the sink upside down on the countertop and trace around it. Then mark your cutting lines 1/4 in. inside the traced lines.
  • Drill a starter hole and cut along the inner lines. Install the sink according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Pro tip: Drive a screw into the cutout to provide support as you finish the cut.

Family Handyman/Thomas Fenenga

Step 6

Plumb the Sink

This setup enables you to easily switch between two water supplies, for use away or at home.

  • The female garden hose adapter under the faucet can be connected to tubing that leads to a foot pump as shown, or it can connect to a garden hose and outdoor faucet.

Family Handyman