The Hanging Wonder – Cooking on the Road Reinvented


At the beginning of the trip, my preferred spot for cooking on the road was the winch, on which I put our Coleman petrol stove.

The winch was always there and so, often we wouldn’t need to hang up the aluminum shelf on the side that we used for cooking on the road for a number of years. It was a convenient solution.

However, when there was a strong side wind, I did hang up this aluminum shelf on either side of the Land Cruiser, so that our cooking on the road could be done out of the wind.

Meanwhile, we were wondering how to attach the Coleman Stove to the rear of the Land Cruiser so we’d be able to do our roadside cooking there.

Overlanders’ Solutions for Cooking on the Road

Our first encounter with an overlander who used their overland kitchen in the rear was 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.

Their Coleman Stove (find it here)  folded nicely inside a sleeve and stayed attached to the rear door. However, the Pinzgauer door was a wide, one-piece door so it had plenty of space to stick an overland kitchen to.

Read More: The Land Cruiser’s Ins & Outs

We like Rob’s solution for storing and using the Coleman stove.
Swiss 6x6 Pinzgauer cooking [©photocoen]
Swiss 6×6 Pinzgauer cooking

On the other hand, the ambulance doors of our Land Cruiser are narrow and have limited space behind them.

We met Rob at the Overland Reunion in the Netherlands. Look what he built on the rear door of his 70 series! Still a bit too big for our narrow doors, but this was close to what we had in mind.

Finding a New Solution for Easy Cooking on the Road

When camping in Peru, we stood 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 the Land Cruiser around 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 them here).

Overland Cooking Equipment

(click on the images to check them out)

Coleman Stove

Pressure Cooker

Global knives

Products from Amazon

Workmate solution [©photocoen]
Lost World Expedition's kitchen [©LostWorldExpedition]
Lost World Expedition’s kitchen. @LostWorldExpedition

It reminded me of a similar setup that Luis and Lacey of Lost World Expedition used at the back of their 60 series. How convenient all that looked.

After a couple of days Juerg, the owner of Kontiki Hostel, came looking for his workmate. I got stuck cooking with the wind blowing all over the place once more.

I started thinking in earnest on how to make a hinging platform of some sorts on the left rear ambulance door.

Read More: Why we Cook on Gasoline – Our Coleman Stove

Cooking on the road with the Coleman suspended in mid air [©photocoen]

How to Cook at the Rear of the Land Cruiser?

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 was in place!

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. Cooking on the road has never been simpler!

I hope you find this simple solution easy to incorporate in your vehicle as well.

Easy cooking on the road thanks to two simple hooks and a paracord

Cooking on the Road Protected from the Elements

My creativity went up another notch when, years later, I designed a simple, low budget awning to hang at the rear of the Land Cruiser.

We can now cook on the road while protected from sun and rain. How cool is that!

Read More: How to Make your Own Low-budget Awning

DIY Awning Land Cruiser (©Coen Wubbels)
In bad weather…

Tips, Suggestions, Feedback?

Let me know in the comment section below what your creative cooking-on-the-road solutions are.

(Originally published in 2014 / updated in 2019. And yes, we still use this setup and love it!)

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7 thoughts on “The Hanging Wonder – Cooking on the Road Reinvented”

  1. The hanging stove idea is perfectly valid, and is used by sport climbers. I would suggest to you, tho, that anything you use to hang your flaming stove from your precious vehicle with should be melt-proof. People who use hanging stoves prefer small diameter braided cables (couple millimeters in diameter), with crimped swedges to form loops and join different lines.
    More car campers need to discover self leveling hanging stoves, in my opinion.

  2. Just another safety tip: If you need the extinguisher, because the stove felt or something is burning on it, the flames could be too close to grab it.
    As you’re using it without any concern since a while, it might just be an overwaning about this (occupational hazard, sorry 😉 ), but if it would be possible to find a place on the opposite side, grabbing it would be even easier 😉
    Nothing to say about the vacuum bottle ^^

    • You’re totally right about this. We meanwhile changed the system. Smaller extinguishers, but one on the other side and another one in the front of the car.

  3. Realy enjoy your articles. Would be very interested to hear your opinions on the old vintage coleman stove you used to use vs the new coleman stove. How would you compare them performance durability rust resistance ect… if you could own either of them in like new condition what would you choose?

    • Heya Mike, interesting question. If you would place the two of them in front of me, and they would be in mint condition, or new. I would certainly choose the old red tank type. I believe the metal box is better made and had less rust issues. Also the old type generator was much simpler to take apart. The spring could enter and exit on both sides of the tube. Somehow I like the new pump, as it twists to open instead of the old spring clip. But I’m not sure if it is easier to replace the rubber cup on the newer one. I can’t remember exactly.

      I hope that helps. What do you use?

      • I have an older coleman 426 3 burner but am looking to get a 413 or newer model 414 thats the 2 burner model with extra spacing between the burners i like my 3 burner model but have found i dont need more than 2 burners and the 3 burners are sometimes too close together. I know the old units are good but wonderdd about the new ones and knowing you have use old styke and new in real world conditions value you opinion. Thanks


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