The Ultimate Campervan Sink Guide for DIY Van Life [2021]

It might come as a surprise but there’s a lot of things to look for when choosing a campervan sink! We’ve tested out the best products though to bring you this expert van life DIY build guide!

Living in the woods is all fun and games until it’s time to wash the dishes. If you’ve never thanked your lucky stars for your house’s unlimited water supply and drainage abilities, you’ll gain a whole new perspective after one weekend washing up in the river.

Without the right kitchen sink in your camper van conversion, you’ll be at the mercy of campground bathrooms or the great outdoors, which is as impractical as it is unethical.

If you want to live the van life full time, you’ll have to find the proper sink and plumbing to do your dirty work. Ideally, your camper van sink will make efficient use of your water system and provide value beyond washing up.

PRODUCT

WHAT WE LIKE

THINGS TO CONSIDER

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RUVATI WORKSTATION

EDITOR'S CHOICE

  • Versatile

  • Plenty of space

  • Comes with cutting board

  • Expensive

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BURNER SINK COMBO

  • Stove and sink

  • Protective lid

  • Affordable and efficient

  • Small space for cooking and washing

  • No faucet included

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DOMETIC ROUND SINK

  • Simple yet practical

  • Efficient water use

  • Affordable

  • Quite small

  • Not available on Amazon

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KINGSTON BRASS

  • Durable build

  • Stainless steel

  • Easy for DIY people to install

  • No faucet

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AMBASSADOR HALF SPHERE

  • Lightest and smallest sink out there

  • Marine and RV suitable

  • Great shape for small spaces

  • Small diameter

  • No faucet

Space is a luxury no van conversion can afford to waste. To make things easier, we’ve thrown together a sink buying guide that will highlight the best camper van kitchen sink options on the market.

To do more with less, consult this guide to find the sink that makes the most out of your water tank.

The Best Campervan Sink Options for 2021

The best sink built for four wheels will fit above a cabinet without a maniacal install process.

We looked for sinks that give you plenty of sizes to wash the dishes without taking up too much countertop space.

If you’re looking to build your own van and don’t want to do your cleaning in a bucket, this

Ruvati Workstation – Editor’s Choice 

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Every product you install in your camper van should fill multiple roles, especially if it will take up valuable kitchen cabinet space.

That’s why we firmly believe this workstation is well worth the high price. Many RV cutting boards are built to fit into sinks, but not many sinks are built to support chopping blocks.

Even though this sink fits twice the use into half the space, designers certainly took no half-measures.

A rigid plywood cutting board compliments the brushed stainless steel design that looks good in any van conversion.

Built with RV kitchens in mind, this container isn’t even two feet long, but the added accessories give you miles of value.

Your sink probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when budgeting out your vanlife, but spending a bit of extra money to spend less time in the dish pit will pay dividends.

Make the most out of your build by getting twice the work done in half the space.

PROS

  • Versatile
  • Plenty of space for dishes
  • Comes with a cutting board

CONS

  • Expensive

Burner Sink Combo – Most Versatile 

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There are small sinks, and then there’s this. A combination stovetop and sink that lets you cook an entire meal in one cabinet.

This sink is best for the smallest Class B campers who are looking to make every foot count.

Besides making it easy to get hot water, the main benefit of this sink is the small footprint.

Combing two appliances into one space certainly comes with some drawbacks.

Cooking an entire meal on these two small burners isn’t a recipe for gourmet cuisine. But let’s be honest; most of the meals we make while camping are all in one pot anyways.

On some smaller camper van conversions, space is more important than style. With a decent water pump and tubing system plus this appliance gives you a stove and sink in one container.

That free space is worth its weight in gold.

This sink can work with all sorts of DIY water tank systems, but you’ll need to add your own hose or faucet.

You can go from boiling to scrubbing in 3.5 seconds and lock everything in place while in motion, thanks to the tempered glass lid. All you have to do is add running water.

PROS

  • Stove and sink
  • Protective lid
  • Affordable and efficient

CONS

  • Small space for cooking and washing
  • No faucet included

Dometic Round Sink – Best Budget Sink With Tap Faucet

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If you’re not yet familiar with the Dometic brand name (you should be in the van life space), allow me to introduce you two with their incredibly-designed sink.

Dometic has their hands on every RV appliance you could dream up and have consistently provided high-quality options that don’t break the bank.

Everything from van refrigeration to toilets has been made more affordable by the company, and this sink continues that tradition.

A faucet and nearly two-foot drain bowl fit into the tiniest of cabinets, and it’s capable of using any water system.

With everything you need to get the dishes done and nothing you don’t, this sink makes it easy on your mind and plumbing.

The best time to install this accessible sink was long ago, but the second-best time is now.

PROS

  • Simple yet practical
  • Efficient water use
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Quite small
  • Not available on Amazon

Kingston Brass – Best Budget Sink

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For a truly grassroots approach, cut a hole and fill it with this Kingston sink. It won’t get any more straightforward than this, large and wide opening made of brushed stainless brass built to last.

If your vanlife is only missing a washing hole, there’s no need to go for all the extra bells and whistles.

Its simplicity makes it great for foot pump faucets and a truly DIY kitchen.

Hooking up this sink near a 12v pump will keep the noise levels down, as the container is connected to the cabinet through a robust brushed nickel separating layer.

That thick soundproof undercoating protects your drain from spills and ensures the hole connects to your sink plumbing hose for years to come.

PROS

  • Durable build
  • Stainless steel
  • Easy for DIY people to install

CONS

  • No faucet

Ambassador Half Sphere – Best Compact Sink 

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Favored by monohull sailors and brought over onto dry land, this stainless steel marine quality sink is accustomed to tight spaces.

The curved design lets it fit in even the tiniest cabinet spaces without sacrificing your ability to wash up.

Not only is it small in size, but it also weighs less than 3 pounds.

It’s perfect for barebones water systems, as the bowled design won’t let you waste hot water.

With the smallest weight and diameter of any sink on our list, this sink would find a place in camper vans of all sizes.

While you may notice the small size when washing dishes now and then if space is a premium in your build, this sink is ready to work.

PROS

  • Lightest and smallest sink out there
  • Marine and RV suitable
  • Great shape for small spaces

CONS

  • Small diameter
  • No faucet

Choosing the Best Campervan Sink

With sinks of all shapes and sizes, it can seem overwhelming trying to make sure the bowl you install is the best fit for your Van.

Take a long hard look at your water tank, cabinet build, and pump options to get a better idea of what will fit in your system.

Ultimately, the best campervan sink for your needs is the one that can be cut and slipped into your pre-existing build with ease.

The benefits of a fancy sink don’t outweigh the pains of redoing your entire kitchen just to make it fit.

Ask yourself these questions to help narrow down the possibilities and understand what role your sink would play.

Best Campervan Sink
A van sink can be as fancy or simple as you like.

What Pump Style Should I use?

Your pumping ability will be defined by your battery power and water tank, as well as your enthusiasm towards crawling around installing wires.

Manual

For a power-free pump, several different manually powered methods will get your water flowing. You can use your hands or feet as manual pumps that generate airflow to suck water through your faucets.

Dishwashing is made for foot pumps, as having to scrub with one hand and pump with the other gets old quickly.

Hand pumps often come with their own faucets and attach to the top opening of your water container.

Foot pumps can stay out of the way until you need to use them and connect your water to your sink with two hoses.

Living in a van full-time is enough justification for upgrading your pump with battery power. Still, for campers without extreme RV demands, the simplicity a manual pump makes possible is hard to pass up.

If you are employing a manual pump in your campervan sink, chances are you won’t have a water heater or any other accessories attached. In this case, there’s no need to get fancy with your faucet and bowl.

Stick to the most straightforward and most affordable camper van kitchen sink options if you’re pairing them with a manual pump.

Sink with Dishes in van
A sink is so much better than using a bucket in your van.

12V

Two wires and a few screws will be enough to steadily pump hot water into your sink as long as your tank can last. Modern plumbing systems can churn out 3.5 gallons of water per minute without lifting a finger.

All this water can be yours for less than five amps of power, which any of the cheapest coach batteries on the market are more than capable of providing.

If you have a 12v water pump in your van already or are planning on installing one with your sink, you’ll have loads more options when shopping for sinks.

Gravity-Fed

Don’t get your hopes up too high; this is exactly what it sounds like. A gravity-fed pump system simply involves putting your water tank above your sink.

With this pump system, you can wash your dishes simply by turning on your water tank spigot and let gravity take care of the rest.

A full water container is not a light object, and you won’t be able to have a gravity-fed pump system that holds much more than 10 gallons of water.

If your sink is being fed water off of gravity, make sure you go for the smallest sink possible to make every drop count.

Sink in Marlee
Here’s our sink inside Marlee. Having an oversized sink has been very handy.

What is my Water System capable of?

The best 12V pump’s on the market will provide gallons of water a minute, but can your water tank hold up?

It may not seem like you’re using much water while washing dishes, but it quickly adds up. A 50 gallon supply will last for about 15-20 minutes of water flow while dishwashing.

Further confounding the issue is your greywater tank. It doesn’t matter how much freshwater you can hold if you’re greywater maxes out at 2 gallons.

To avoid running out of water and having to wait until you get home to wash up, size out your sink based on where the water you’ll be using comes from.

A vanlife done on an unlimited budget should undoubtedly feature a fresh and grey water tank large enough for you to use whatever sink you want.

However, If your DIY style involves three 5 gallon water jugs taped together, there’s no need to install a large sink in your kitchen.

How Can I Install my Sink?

The ultimate DIY determiner is how to install the dang thing. Understand each step of the installation process before you commit to a certain style of sink to save few headaches, and several trips to the hardware store, down the line.

Every sink out there that isn’t a plastic bucket masquerading as a camper van sink would require a few holes and tubing to install, but none will demand much more work than that.

Water Pump

Hooking up your pump should be more connecting than installing. If you have a 12V pump, look for a tucked-away corner where the pump is out of sight and out of mind to screw it down and run one wire to a switch and the other to your battery set up.

Then run tubing from your water tank to your sink tap.

Manual pumps are installed in the same way, and some are even easier to hook up as they attach directly to the water source.

Sink and Cooker Combo
You can even find sink and gas cooker combos to save space.

Faucet

Vanlife should be less complicated. An easy way to skip this step is to purchase a sink with a nozzle already equipped. It means one less hole drilled and one less tool used.

If you have no choice, make sure the tubing and plywood you drill to shape out your sink bowl would support a separate hole for the faucet and connect your water pump accordingly.

Sink

There is no such thing as a sink you won’t have to work to accommodate. No matter which bowl you choose, you’ll have to cut adjustments into your cabinet and counters to properly fit the bowl and drain.

To fit the bowl and drain properly make sure you have enough undercabinet space to accommodate the depth of your bowl with some room to spare and your camper van has the counter space to spare for the sink’s diameter.

Conclusion

This buying guide has laid out all the options. Now there’s a decision to be made.

Whether you want a compact sink that can work with a foot pump or a multifunctional container that maximizes your cabinet, any option on this list would be a great DIY sink project that can be cut, fit, and installed on a weekend.

Find the size that works best with your plywood, and start getting the drain hose lined up.

Ruvati Workstation Camper Van Sink

EDITOR’S CHOICE:

RUVATI WORKSTATION

Sometimes getting a higher quality product is entirely worth it, and when it comes to the Ruvati Workstation the leap is justified.

This feature-packed sink comes with an in-built wood chopping board, stainless steel colander and is very lightweight – perfect for van life.

You won’t find a better camper van sink on the market than this for your van build.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase a product we recommend using the links in this article, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We promise to use this pocket money to buy lots of coffee and fuel for the campervan to keep us enjoying #VanLife for just a little longer. We appreciate your support, and only recommend products we know and trust. Thank you friends!

About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd - Van Life Theory

Hi! We're Alesha and Jarryd, the founders of Van Life Theory! We're currently travelling around Australia in our 2008 Mercedes Sprinter campervan and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow along on our Instagram and YouTube!

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