My preferred spot for cooking from the beginning of our trip has been on the winch. It is always there and we don’t have to hang up the aluminum shelf. If there is a strong side wind I can hang up this shelf on either side of the Land Cruiser so that we’ll be cooking out of the wind.
Our first encounter with an overlander that used a kitchen in the back was up in the Himalayas of India. We were instantly smitten by the simplicity and sturdy solution these Swiss had made on the rear door of their 6×6 Pinzgauer. The Coleman Stove (find it here) folds nicely inside a sleeve and stays attached to the rear door. However, the Pinzgauer door is a wide, one-piece door so it has plenty of space to stick a kitchen to it. By contrast, our ambulance doors are narrow and have limited space behind them.
We met Rob at the Overland Reunion 2014 and look what he built on the rear door of his 70 series. Still a bit too big for our narrow doors, but this is close to what we had in mind.
Recently, when camping in Peru, on a hill overlooking Mancor at Kontiki Hostel. The wind was blowing full force around the Land Cruiser and I could neither cook on the winch nor the sides. The only option was to turn around the car or to cook at the back somehow. Fortunately, I spotted an apparently forgotten workmate a few meters away and placed it directly under the left rear door. A perfect fit and a good work height for the Coleman stove (find it here).
It reminded me to a similar setup Luis and Lacey of Lost World Expedition used at the back of their 60 series and how convenient all that looked. [image below by Lost World Expedition]
After a few days Juerg, the owner of Kontiki Hostel, came looking for his workmate and I got stuck with the wind blowing all over the place again. I started thinking in earnest on how to make a hinging platform of some sorts on the left rear ambulance door.
I didn’t start sketching as I normally do but lifted the Coleman stove and placed it with one edge on the Spare Tire Carrier Cushion while holding it with one hand on the opposite top end. Then the gears in my brain started working and everything fell into place. Low and behold my simple Hanging Kitchen solution.
Two simple hooks that had been lying around for the last eight years finally came in handy.
Here is a view from the bottom where you can clearly see its hanging. I connected two hooks with a piece of cord that I run through the rear door handle and voilà. I hope you find this simple solution easy to incorporate in your vehicle. Let me know in the comment section below what your solution is.
By the way, here is more about what we like – and don’t like – about our Coleman Stove.