Camco Deluxe Camping Kitchen Table with Sink Review

The Camco Deluxe Camp Kitchen with Sink (model 51097) is a popular camp kitchen with tons of good reviews - but be warned if you look it up on that many of the reviews are about an earlier model. This model is updated with a single side table, sink, and water-impervious materials.
Table of Contents

Here are some highlights:

  • 18.5 lbs
  • 33.5”L x 18.5” W x 5.8” H folded in carrying bag
  • 64.75” W x 34” H assembled
  • Large sink for dishes, fruit and veg washing, or ice and cold beverages
  • Large stainless steel countertop at good working height
  • Windbreak
  • Covered cabinet area with shelves and small vent
  • Height-adjustable feet

This model’s greatest features are its low weight, small packed size, and large sink, and ability to withstand rain or wet conditions. We would prefer that the windbreak cover the entire counter top and that the secondary table was at the same height as the main table. we love the stainless counter top, covered cabinet, and the lightweight fabric sink that folds up to almost nothing.

If you do meal prep before you whip your stove out this is a great camp kitchen if you need something that packs small and light and sets up quickly. Read on for more details.

Stainless Steel Countertop

Camco Camp Kitchen Windbreak
The windbreak is optional, meaning that you can set the kitchen up without it if you're camping in calm conditions.

The stainless table is a nice, big 32” x 17.5”. It has three things we love about it as a prep space: First, it’s set at a height of 34”, which is quite close to a standard kitchen counter height of 36”. We think this is the best height for a camp kitchen since it keeps your elbows out of the way (like when you work sitting at a picnic table) and it’s not so short that you work hunched over (like when you work standing at a picnic table).

Second, considering the packed size of this camp kitchen, it gives you a pretty large working surface for meal prep. It’s perfect for making sandwiches, chopping fruits and vegetables, and whatever else you need to do. If you need more space, you still have the “overflow” area of the smaller, lower side table.

The third thing we love is the stainless steel surface. Camco intends this to be where you place your stove, so having a metal surface is ideal for heat and fire resistance. We’ve found that plastic table tops, while impervious to most weather, will still scratch, discolor, or collect dirt and stains that are difficult to clean off. This stainless top will never have those issues and will always look good. If you’re rough with it or drop pots and pans on it, it will dent, but we think this stainless top will look better than a plastic top in the long run. It’s also easy to clean and disinfect. We would be a little worried about meat juices running into deep scratches in a plastic countertop, but stainless steel wipes off easily and is reliably disinfected.

One thing we don’t like quite as much is that cooking on this surface may put your stove above a normal home’s stove cooking height and puts the stove’s grill probably 3-5” above the stainless steel countertop. We like to have heights of cooking surfaces and their heights relative to each other similar to home. This makes things easier and safer. Some camp kitchens have a recessed area for the stove that sets the stove grill at approximately the height of the countertop.

A standard home countertop is 36” tall and the height difference between the countertop and the stove grills is around 0-2” depending on the type of stovetop. With the Camco kitchen, the countertop is at 34”, but the difference between the countertop and stove grill will be 3-5”. This might not bother you and we think that with a lot of use, this is something we’d get accustomed to. We think a slightly better arrangement would be to place the stove on the slightly lower side table. This would give you full use of the stainless steel countertop while cooking and put the stove grill near the height of the stainless countertop.

There are some complaints that the countertop is too slick. If your stove has metal feet, it may slide around a little. We’d suggest putting a silicone baking mat under your stoves feet. You can probably glue silicone pads to the underside of the feet with a high temperature glue.

The Windbreak

Camco Camp Kitchen Windbreak
The windbreak provides good coverage for the main countertop. We'd like to see a few spots for hanging utensils or a small spice rack.
Camco Camp Kitchen Left Side

We appreciate that the Camco camp kitchen has a windbreak. Your stove may or may not have a windbreak. Wind can make it hard to light your stove or keep the flame going, so you should have a windbreak either built in to your stove or your camp kitchen. We don’t see a windbreak as a negotiable item since you are bound to encounter strong wind somewhere that makes cooking frustrating. A windbreak is also nice to keep food wrappers from flapping like crazy and chip bags from flying away.

The Camco’s windbreak is pretty light. You don’t need to put it up and it’s not integral to the countertop. You snap it into place if you need it. The windbreak, as delivered, only has one function: blocking the wind. We would recommend mounting a paper towel holder, towel rack, or hooks to it to make it a little more multifunctional.

One of our gripes with this windbreak is the length. It only extends for about 80% of the stainless countertop’s length! This leaves about 7” of the countertop unprotected. Craziness. It also means that if you were counting on having a normal-height workspace next to your stove for a cutting board while you cook, it will now be bisected by one wing of the windbreak. Yes, you need the wing erected to keep the windbreak stable. It would have made a lot of sense to extend the windbreak out the full length of the countertop.

Aluminum and Plastic Side Section

Camco Camp Kitchen Low Workspace
This lower workspace is located next to the sink.

The side section really makes this camp kitchen a kitchen by adding extra functionality that isn’t provided by the main unit. Chiefly, the side section gives you a small extra table and the all-important sink. At 15.25” x 17.25” the side table is a little smaller than we’d like. It’s also about 5” lower than the main stainless table, which means it’ll be uncomfortable if you need to chop or prep on it while using your stove on the stainless cooking table.

Most stoves should give you a small space that you can use on the stainless countertop, but you might want to be a little more aware of the order in which you do things. If you plan to make scrambled eggs and bacon, then a watermelon, apple, canteloupe, and blueberry fruit cup for breakfast, will you have enough working room next to your stove to cut up your fruit while the bacon and eggs cook? Or do you put to your stove to the side and cut all your fruit first before cooking the bacon and eggs? And when do you make coffee? Take a look at the pictures of this camp kitchen and plan a meal to cook on it - what order do you cook things? Do you have enough space?

The space tradeoff is simply due to the design of the side table. The side table flips up and over the main countertop for storage.

The Sink

Camco Camp Kitchen Right Side

The sink on the Camco Deluxe Camp Kitchen is enormous! It measures 12” x 14” x 6” and holds a whopping 4.3 gallons. Since it’s fabric, it’s extremely light and it folds up. Sinks are often an awkward part of smaller camp kitchens because a hard sink makes packing the kitchen into a small space a difficult proposition because a hard sink has a fixed width and depth. This sink crushes down to almost nothing. You can basically wash anything you’d need to in this sink, large posts and pans are not a problem.

There are a few things we don’t like about this sink. It’s a few inches too low since it’s situated in the lower table. This could make doing the dishes a little uncomfortable for a taller person. At 4.3 gallons capacity and with water weighing 8 lbs per gallon, a full sink will weigh about 32 pounds! Yikes! Have fun getting rid of the water. There is no drain in the sink.

A hard plastic sink is also easy to dry. You can wipe it out with a towel and let it sit in the sun for a few minutes. We think this sink on a prolonged camping trip will be prone to holding moisture and being more difficult to dry. Now, if you pack the sink away wet, you’re just asking for a stinky, moldy, mildewy sink. This can be taken care of with a mild bleach solution, but if you’re in the boonies, make sure to properly dry your sink before packing up the kitchen.

The Undercounter Storage

Camco Camp Kitchen Fabric Shelf
The fabric cabinets fold up well and are lightweight.
Camco Camp Kitchen Cabinet Shelf

Under the stainless steel countertop, this camp kitchen has a divided storage cabinet made of nylon canvas. We’ve camped along some really dusty roads and trails. When it’s windy or you just get unlucky, we know what it’s like to everything be covered by a layer of dust from a passing 4x4. We distinctly remember a time when we were cruising some of the forest roads around the Rubicon Trail in an open Jeep. Dust was everywhere! This covered area will keep dust and pollen off your pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and food that is stored there.

There are two nylon doors on its front that close with zippers. If you need the doors out of the way, you can roll them to either side and secure them with velcro straps. The shelves inside seem a little saggy because of their cloth and plastic construction, but we think they’ll hold up okay.

On the side of the cabinet are a couple of pockets. These are handy, but we think that there could be a few more for utensils, plastic wrap, plastic bag storage, and that kind of thing.

The rear of the cabinet has a mesh panel. If you put wet dishes away here or maybe just some wet stuff after a rain, you could create a really humid area that would be ideal for mold growth. The mesh panel should resolve that by increasing airflow. One small issue with this is that rain could get in. If you leave camp and it rains, your cabinet could be wet. You may want to throw a tarp over the kitchen or just don’t keep vulnerable items in it if rain in in the forecast.

The Lantern Holder

The lantern holder is plenty sturdy and extends from 30” - 41” above the height of the stainless countertop. It’s nice to be able to adjust the height of the light to keep it from shining directly at eye-level into your eyes. Of course, the lantern holder is just a great thing to have around camp all during the night.

The Materials

Camco Camp Kitchen Folded for Transport
This kitchen folds into a relatively small package: 33.5”L x 18.5” W x 5.8” H. Because the sink is fabric, there is no hard plastic sink sticking out awkwardly.

This camp kitchen clocks in at a super light weight of 18.5 lbs. because of it’s materials. It’s made of stainless steel, aluminum, plastic, and nylon canvas. We love that there is no steel to rust. Even painted steel often starts to rust after significant use rubs off paint. You’ll want to avoid having sharp objects in the fabric sink to prevent popping through.

Portability and Assembly

This kitchen’s best feature is its portability. It folds down to 33.5” long x 18.5” wide x 5.8” high. Because of the way it’s designed and the collapsible sink, this kitchen folds down to a very compact package without any parts awkwardly sticking out. It has an extremely clean, slim form factor when it’s packed up into it’s black nylon carry bag. The carry bag has handles for easy transport. If you have a smaller vehicle, need every inch of space, or are tired of wrestling weirdly-shaped kitchens, this is a good choice.

Camco Camp Kitchen Carry Sack Front
Camco Camp Kitchen Carry Sack Top
Camco Camp Kitchen Carry Bag

It’s also extremely quick to put up. Most people should be able to set this up in 60 seconds or less. We think low setup time is crucial. On shorter trips, it might be a fun novelty to set up your new camp kitchen, but after a week, a five minute setup time will be a drag. All of the legs are adjustable so that you can setup easily on uneven ground. This adds some weight, but we think this is a feature that every camp kitchen should have.


Tyler Branham

Tyler came out of the womb with a Birfield in one hand and a stick of 6010 in the other, ready to weld any piece of trail-busted steel back together. He has wheeled, broken, and modified a variety of rigs, from Toyotas to Jeeps to Fords to Chevies. He likes doing long distance overland travel and would happily spend every night in the bed of a pickup under the stars.

Last updated: June 3, 2019