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Old 06-17-2019, 05:42 PM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
Findlay , Ohio
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1971 Magic Chef Oven How-To (AKA Ovens for Dummies)

First step is admitting my complete ignorance in this, which is like 98%.

I want to see if my oven works and if not, why not.

The previous owner said it did not work.

There was a very very small amount of mercury in the bottom of it when I got it. Otherwise, I haven't done a thing (except remove the mercury).

Any hints/suggestions on what to do next?

Yes, there is a gas line (working) that goes to the oven.

I'll start with an exterior and interior picture.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:45 PM   #2
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1971 31' Sovereign
Palm Desert , California
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There’s a small amount of mercury in the thermostat so if it has leaked out your thermostat is bad. There are places that will rebuild them but it will set you back a couple hundred dollars.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:59 PM   #3
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Sorry I don't have a suggestion on testing the stove, but I do suggest you find a way to ensure all mercury traces have been removed before firing it up.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:54 PM   #4
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Make sure the gas is on. Turn the knob to pilot. Press and hold, light with a lighter. Hold for about 30 seconds until warm so the pilot light stays lit. Turn the thermostat up and the flame should travel right to left along the burner tube. Except it probably won’t if the thermostat has leaked mercury.
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:35 PM   #5
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Thank you thus far. I was able to keep the pilot lit without much difficulty. When I turn the temperature to any setting, nothing happens. Does this mean the thermostat is broken?
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhitaker View Post
Thank you thus far. I was able to keep the pilot lit without much difficulty. When I turn the temperature to any setting, nothing happens. Does this mean the thermostat is broken?


Based on CaCraig’s reply, I would say yes.

The oven is nice to have, but now you need to decide whether to repair or replace.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:14 AM   #7
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1972 23' Safari
Placitas , New Mexico
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Get Rid of It

The Magic Chef oven in my 1972 Safari literally blew up in my face twice when I tried to light the pilot--fried bangs and singed eyebrows. Plus, the thermostat never worked and it would get hot enough to fire pottery.

I liked the vintage look but it's not like it was one of those ones that was a cool retro color. I finally got a Suburban replacement that fits that odd-sized opening. Having a safe cooking appliance is really important. Actually, I got 3 Suburbans since the first two had pilots that wouldn't light and I had to send them back. (Note: Don't buy from eBay.) The new Suburban is black--which I don't like--but it's safe. No pilot for the burners which I like. It works ok. I use an oven thermometer and it takes a really long time to heat up. I put pizza stones in the bottom to help it maintain an even temperature.

Messing around with a vintage stove is risky business unless you're an expert.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu_Hwy_Lady View Post
The Magic Chef oven in my 1972 Safari literally blew up in my face twice when I tried to light the pilot--fried bangs and singed eyebrows. Plus, the thermostat never worked and it would get hot enough to fire pottery.

I liked the vintage look but it's not like it was one of those ones that was a cool retro color. I finally got a Suburban replacement that fits that odd-sized opening. Having a safe cooking appliance is really important. Actually, I got 3 Suburbans since the first two had pilots that wouldn't light and I had to send them back. (Note: Don't buy from eBay.) The new Suburban is black--which I don't like--but it's safe. No pilot for the burners which I like. It works ok. I use an oven thermometer and it takes a really long time to heat up. I put pizza stones in the bottom to help it maintain an even temperature.

Messing around with a vintage stove is risky business unless you're an expert.


gONNA HAFTA AGREE WITH BLUE HIWAY LADY ! Get a new oven. I spent $200 getting my pilot assembly rebuilt at the recommended place and it was a waste of money....better yet, consider getting one of those cool slide out dishwashers to put in its place,,,,thats where I am at now....
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:12 PM   #9
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You could probably find a replacement oven for cheaper than a repair, if you're not too concerned with keeping everything original.

I never used the oven on my Magic Chef stove, so when I did a complete galley remodel last year, I replaced it and installed an drop-in surface range (top burners only) that has a cool glass top that closes flush with the counter top.

Would a microwave there be better use of the space for you? Some love to do baking whilst camping. Others, like me, never do.
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Old 06-18-2019, 09:26 PM   #10
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We used the oven regularly in our old Overlander. It was nice to be able to heat up a pizza without needing an electric connection. The microwave in our new trailer is nice, but I’m not sure which is the better option.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:27 AM   #11
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1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
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Find a used oven at a rv salvage yard. Use it for parts I have had 4 70s oven's in different trailers and motor homes, they all worked. I like having an oven i don’t need a microwave. But that’s just the way we do it.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:43 PM   #12
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Heinsburg , AB
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bwhitaker, I have just removed a like new magic chef from my '72 overlander (rather camp than cook). Let me know if you're interested.
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