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Old 02-22-2015, 04:56 PM   #1
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2006 19' Safari SE
2003 25' Classic
Anacortes , Washington
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Oven/Cooktop swap for Microwave

We have a '06 19' Bambi Safari which came with an gas oven/cooktop combination. We never use the oven other than as a storage area and a microwave would come in handy for the type of cooking we do on the road. This post concerns the removal of the oven/cooktop and the installation of a new SMEV 2 burner cooktop.

1. Removal of the oven.... easy to do once I realized there are just a few screws holding it into the slot in the cabinet. These one on the side of the cooktop. Our oven/cooktop was caulked around the edge the counter which made it appear there were other fasteners, but that was not the case. A call to Airstream technical service assured me that it was not glued in.

2. The countertop is held in with a multitude of screws. There were six "L" brackets, four under the sink and 2 on the far left side behind a panel. The most difficult were along the back edge where an aluminum bracket is riveted onto the wall then screwed to the bottom of the countertop.

3. A local laminate fabricator made a new counter top and cut out the holes for the sink, SMEV cooktop and faucet ($300). The SMEV cooktop does not come with a template, but the drawing for cutout is detailed enough to easily make one out of cardboard.

4. Buying the SMEV cooktop was one of the biggest challenges for this project. These cooktops are used in a number of the smaller Airstream models so we tried to buy it through the local AS dealer in Tucson (LazyDays). The first one was damaged (no apology from Lazydays!) and the second one they got appeared to be a model meant for Australia which is set up for a different gas pressure standard. I finally ended up getting one from Panther RV products in WA state. I think they may be the only other dealer for this cooktop. I highly recommend them. They were as good as Lazydays was bad! We picked the SMEV because when closed the area is almost even with the counter and in a small unit like ours, every inch of counter space is important. These cooktops are made in Italy and converted to US gas standards by Dometic (which owns the company). If you get one, the US model will have a regulator and the underside of the cooktop will be enclosed. Models for other countries require access to the underside of the burners and it is not enclosed.

5. Finding a microwave to fit the space available was a challenge. The space is only 21 3/16" wide which rules out most microwaves. Again, we took a clue from Airstream which has used a small Franklin Chef (model FR980B) in some of their models. However, Franklin Chef brand is now sold as Contoure and we were able to find one at RVuprgrades.com (Contoure RV980B .9 Cu Ft Microwave Oven). The oven is 20" wide, 0.9 cubic foot, 900 watts and comes with a trim/vent kit. We expect the microwave to be delivered this week. It has been on back order.

6. The power for the microwave (1350 watts) will come off a dedicated "microwave circuit) which leads to a plug on top of the refrigerator cabinet. Evidently, the designers though one could keep a small microwave on that cabinet. This is the only plug serviced by that 20 amp breaker. I plan to use this breaker for the plug I will later install behind the microwave.

Below are some pics. I'll post another installment when the microwave is done.

George
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Old 03-05-2015, 01:44 AM   #2
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2001 34' Excella S/O
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gosh we bought a stove at camping world. installed it ourselves. Now we have the stove top, cover, drawers with slides and convection oven to try and sell. Need anything? I wish I would have seen your post earlier.
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Old 03-05-2015, 01:45 AM   #3
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Is anyone interested in buying a stove top, drawers and a covection oven that we just removed from our 2001 Airstream? Make an offer
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Old 03-06-2015, 12:40 PM   #4
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Part 2... Installation of the microwave

As mentioned in my previous post, the space available for a microwave is very narrow which restricted our choice. We selected a Contoure RV980B 0.9 Cu Ft Microwave Oven which came with a trim kit and vent baffles. Installing the microwave involved fabricating a frame/shelf and wiring a 110v plug into the space behind the microwave.

Fabrication of the frame/shelf was made much easier with the help of a woodworker friend who introduced me to Kreg Pocket Hole screws. We first made a mock up of the frame using pine (see attached) and then built the actual frame out of clear alder which is a decent match for the wood finish in our Bambi. The shelf on which the microwave sits is 3/4" plywood and is attached to the frame via pocket hole screws. The back end of the shelf is supported by a piece of plywood which also serves as the back of the newly created shelf.

Fortunately, the cook top could be installed before the microwave since the latter easily slips into the frame without having to have access from above. The only tricky part about installing the cook top involved the TorX screw heads (#10) which when tightened secure the corners to the bottom of the counter top.

I do plan to apply some sort of finish to the alder, but I have not decided what to use as yet.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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Consider a very light natural stain followed by several coats of water based polyurethane varnish. Match the sheen of your original cabinets either gloss or satin poly. Sand with very fine paper or use a very fine scotchbrite pad. Don't use steel wool--it leaves rusty spots.

Alder can finish to match darn near anything. Do samples on scraps before you do the real thing. Do the entire finish on the scraps, and take notes so you know what you used in making the finish sample. Don't ask how I know this...😔


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Old 03-06-2015, 03:28 PM   #6
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I use Minwax water-based Polycrylic as the top coats over stain. Dries super hard, stays water clear and comes in satin or gloss. Tools clean up with water and a bit of dish soap. They have a line of stains that are compatible.

The Polycrylic seems to withstand a lot of wear and mild soap and water cleaning of the finish once thoroughly hard.


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Old 03-13-2015, 04:23 PM   #7
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Still have the convection/microwave?....Mine just broke...and am looking for replacement...
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:05 AM   #8
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I still have the propane oven/cooktop....Amana, I think.

George
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:53 PM   #9
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Finally done..... I think

I'm finally done with this project. I ended up using Minwax Pickled Oak finish which matched the paneling fairly well. See a post on this topic here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...ml#post1595615

Attached is a final shot of the installed microwave. I ended up putting a piece of 1/2" molding below the microwave frame. I had removed the molding when I took out the oven....I only had to trim 1/16" off the end (luck!). Anyway, I think it looks better with the molding. I was also able to find some black painted screws for the front of the trim kit at Lowes. These look a lot better than silver colored ones that came with the kit.

George
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:19 PM   #10
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cooktop

Off subject,but since the job is done, ..., and looking good, I might add. I was heading down the same path using a SMEV and a microwave.

I cooked a frozen pizza last night and thought "how am I gonna do this on the road without an oven". So the question is " will a 110 v convection /microwave do a frozen pizza, or does it come out like tomato goo?"

mike

btw, I bought that same cooktop. The cutout dims and overall dims look pretty close, just eyeballing them, as I don't have any installation instructions. I will need steady hands, and nerves of steel when I start up the jig-saw
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:24 PM   #11
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Manual for cooktop

Mike.....I have attached the installation directions for the SMEV cooktop. The dimensions for the cut out are in the back. I laid everything out on a piece of cardboard and then cut it out with a razor blade. I had the countertop people actually do the cutout from the template I made.

George
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:05 AM   #12
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George, ....Holy Mackeral!

I will brush up on my metric conversions, mechanical drawing thingies, and possibly an Astral Chart.

Those instructions remind me of a road sign I once saw, below.

I am going to give it a try, as I certainly haven't got to this point on the trailer by being timid. (Gratuitous Link Below). There is plenty of plywood and formica out there for several "re-do's"

Thanks for the help.
Mike

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f187...ure-74547.html
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