Drawer Dilemmas on the Road – What happens?

In a van conversion chances are you will add a draw in! But how to secure draws on the road? Is there a foolproof solution that won’t look like a last minute addition? YES there is!

While draws are great access in a kitchen – on the road they need to be secured!

We are big fans of simplicity and practicality. At the end of the day, most of the hacks and ideas in our van are born out of laziness (probably only second to necessity). We’ve seen so many people in Van Life that do what everyone else is doing, rather than check if something better suited to them is available.

One of the worst of these is child locks or latches for all your cupboards and drawers to keep them in place whilst you drive. Imagine having to go around your entire van individually latching every draw? Anyone who’s ever been in a child lock riddled house knows just how inconvenient these contraptions are.

Building our van, we wanted as minimal pack up and setup. Our whole process takes under 1 minute. We wanted our kitchen to function normally when parked without any hassle.

What’s the solution?

12V Electromagnets
Honestly, I haven’t seen these used in vans or caravans and I can’t believe how the major conversion companies haven’t clicked on to the idea. These are definitely one of our top game changers in terms of devices and hacks.

Electromagnet
Backing plate for the electromagnet on the cupboard door edge.

They come as two components. A metal backing plate to attach to your drawer or cupboard door and an electromagnet that is fixed to the back side.
We have them installed on all of our kitchen drawers, cupboards and under-bed storage on one single circuit.

When we want to drive, we simply flick a switch and Bob’s your uncle, everything is locked.
This is also an incredible security feature, especially if the switch isn’t obvious! The electromagnets we use have a 60kg pull rating. That means you have to just about hang off them with all your weight to open the draw, I’ve tried, I’m not skinny and its pretty hard to open.

We labelled the switch on our DC Switch Board as “Hazards”. No thief is going to figure out how to open the drawers. It’s a great alternative to having to find room to floor mount a safe when space is at a premium.

If you really want to go the extra mile you could also wire them into your vehicles ignition so they only activate when driving, so you’ll never forget to switch them on. You could also easily wire them with a Sonoff WiFi chip into your WiFi network as we mention in our article about Creating the Smart Van Home

Click here for the 12V Electromagnets we use in our van build. From experience thus far we can highly recommend these for your go-to driving drawer dilemma solution!

Published by Chris Hayward

Tour Guide, Professional Adventurer and the first person in history to ascend Australia's longest river. Chris has harnessed his life of adventure and turned it into a life on the road in a custom built Mercedes Sprinter Van Home

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