Every now and again you come across a product that, when you look at it for the first time, you are not really quite sure what to make of it. That was our first impression on seeing the very cleverly Australian designed Clearview pantry kitchen, and after initially installing it in one of the TURAS Land Rovers and deploying it for the first time our reaction was WOW how can so much be stored in a unit this size. The Clearview pantry Kitchen is now available through the Netherland based Adventure Trucks who are the European distributors for a number of Clearview products amongst other 4WD related products.
The Clearview pantry kitchen may not for everyone but if you are one of those campers who loves cooking while camping and like to be well organised by having easy access to your grub, well this is a very innovative idea indeed. For testing purposes, we decided to install the Clearview pantry kitchen into the back of the smallest of the TURAS Camping & 4WD vehicles, the short wheelbase Land Rover 90, we did this deliberately just to see how well it fitted and worked in a smaller 4WD.
The compact fold-out design of the pantry/kitchen features modular components which maximise the space inside of your 4WD. The modular design incorporates dual work platforms with additional sliding sink platform and collapsible nine litre washing basin allowing you to wash up your dishes after a hearty meal. All of the parts are removable making it easy to maintain and clean.
Like all Clearview products the unit is of a very high quality featuring a powder coated aluminium body and lid construction with stainless steel fasteners; powder coated zinc-alloy hinges and locks, and a brushed-finish sliding platforms.
The quality is something you will immediately notice when you open it up for the first time.The sliding platform is 570mm long by x 345mm wide and sink platform that incorporates the practical 9 litre collapsible silicone sink is mounted on 450mm slide rails with a lock in/lock out function. The unit also holds an impressive 74 litres of storage that can be accessed via the front access door or a top-access opening which is very handy for getting to your food and cooking ingredients particularly when you have your stove or burner on. The total weight of the kitchen is approximately 23kg.
The unit comes fully assembled and is designed to fit on the Clearview Easy Slide (ES-100) and Clearview Expanda Fridge Slide (both sold separately). Installing the unit and attaching it to the slide is very straightforward.
Over the last couple of weeks we have used this unit on a number of short trips that included a couple of coastal fishing trips and winter camping trip in the mountains. The unit has remained in the short wheelbase Land Rover Defender and when deployed it has become a magnet for the TURAS team to congregate around when we are either having a coffee, roadside snack or cooking up our camp dinner.
Ideally it would, without a doubt, fit better in one of the larger vehicles but so far it has worked and served its purpose well in the back of the 90. Some of the practicalities of the unit includes the 72 Litres of Storage that it holds also the fact that the unit slides out and acts as a kitchen to both prepare and cook your food is a great addition to the camp set up, and by default as highlighted
above when fully deployed it has become the meeting place to gather and chat when either having a coffee in the morning or having a quick lunch by the side of the road. One of the other things that we liked about it was how quick it can be set up, this is a big plus when getting into camp late and when time is not always on your side, it’s a s simple as folding out and away you go, in under 30 seconds you will have a fully functional kitchen with a built-in sink.
We have also used the pantry kitchen on a few fishing trips and it has been very useful for sorting out the fishing tackle, gutting fish and generally allowing you to better organise yourself. On the down side if you drive a smaller 4WD like a Land Rover 90 it does take up a fair bit of space in the back and will probably prevent you from adding a second slide to hold your fridge freezer. To overcome this we placed our fridge freezer behind the driver’s seat. Also if you are not really interested in camp cooking it probably will have less appeal. Combining the Kitchen Pantry with a slide will also add extra weight to your vehicle.
Overall, we loved it, by using the full 72 litres of available space in the pantry it justifies taking the space in the back of your 4WD and if you have a bigger 4WD you will have no problem in installing a second slide alongside it to hold you your fridge freezer, giving you the best of both worlds. The fishermen amongst us have found this unit to be very useful for going on short weekend fishing and camping trips, offering an instantly assembled camp kitchen and worktop with sink that proved to be the perfect solution when gutting and cleaning fish. We also found that when we travelled on group trips with a couple of vehicles the one with the Pantry Kitchen was the go-to place for a cup of coffee, sandwich or dinner. So, if are thinking about installing one in the back of your 4WD you will be expected to provide hot refreshments, snacks and dinner for your friends and family, but isn’t cooking outdoors all part of the enjoyment of going camping.