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Old 11-06-2008, 11:30 AM   #1
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1984 31' Airstream310
Dunsmuir , California
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SMEV Feedback

As documented in this thread: I recently purchased and installed a three burner cooktop.

The good: Its great looking and I think we are going to appreciate the flush top a great deal. The high setting on the burners seems to put out a lot of BTUs which will make it nice to cook with. I assume that the low power burner (one of the three) will be useful for rice, simmering, etc.

The neutral: the burners have only two setting High and Low. There are two high power burners and one low power. We have stainless steel appliances in the house and they DO scratch and show all smudges, etc.

The not so good: The igniter is a spring loaded switch (not automatic like my home range). You must hold in the valve for the burner until it lights (and maybe a few seconds longer). This make lighting a burner a two handed operation.

The Bad: The manual is poor and not easily understood by a none technical person. The vendor will not provide installation support - they tell you to find a "qualified installer" - not sure where you'd find qualified SMEV installer. It took a long time to receive the cooktop which I purchased on ebay. When I contacted the vendor I was told that they had been away at a show in Europe and the ebay store should have been down during that time. Cooktop arrived quickly after that.

It turns out that it was shipped without a supplemental regulator, which I of course didn't know until I had a problem and contacted the seller. They did send the regulator promptly and the fellow I spoke with on the phone was very knowledgeable and polite (he apologized for referring to a bastard file). BUT if you don't catch him at his desk, good luck. After I installed the stove and had an RV tech inspect the installation, I had a problem wherein the burners would not stay lit. Each burner has it's own thermocouple. You lite the burner by holding the valve handle until the burner lights, wait a few seconds, then release the handle. Two of my burners failed to stay on unless I held the valve in for up to 20 seconds. They would then go out when turned to low.

So I contacted them and that is when it was discovered that I was missing the regulator, which they sent. I spoke with the support guy on Tuesday and he told me I would need to file the compression bead off of the stove since the nut on the regulator fitting was a different size than the nut which was originally supplied. On Wednesday I called and left a message. No reply, called again, he answered (on a cell phone) said he was out of the office and promised to call in 2 or 3 hours. As of now (Thursday morning) I still have heard back.

I'm sure we will eventually get this sorted out. BUT, had I realized how hard it would be to get support and service I doubt I would have purchased the unit. How much fun do you suppose I'll have if a I have a problem with it in Mexico this winter?

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1984 310 Limited Motorhome
Courtesy Parking (W/S/E/Wi-Fi) on I-5 in Northern California, 70 miles from Oregon border
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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Isn't Airstream now installing SMEV cooktops and ovens in the Safari (formerly Safari Sport) line?

If so, it may be possible to have your set-up fully checked by an authorized Airstream dealer.

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Old 11-06-2008, 12:12 PM   #3
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1982 24' Airstream 240
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Seaward Princess instead

We considered ordering the SMEV cooktop because we liked the look but instead chose the Seaward Princess (made in Whittier, CA mainly for marine/RV) black glass cooktop (I hope easier to clean than stainless). Hope we have better luck with our choice than you have had.....Seaward Princess also makes an oven only unit--it comes in black and stainless as well...We had a hard time finding an oven only approved for RV use.....the SMEV oven was not yet approved for use in USA when we spoke with them. And, yes, we were told Airstream is using the cooktops in some of their units. paula
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:42 PM   #4
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Guy: Sutton RV, which looks about 4 hours north of Dunsmuir, has two 2008 17' Airstream Sport models in stock. Photos show they are each equipped with the SMEV cooktop, oven and folding-faucet sink unit. Maybe a call to their tech department could shed some light on your situation before you depart for Mexico.
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