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Old 10-21-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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vintage oven testing

So we are on the fence on whether to put our original 1960 Princess oven back into our trailer. We called numerous propane and appliance stores in the area but no one would touch it with a 10 foot pole! It has some surface rust on it but otherwise it is in pretty good shape. So we hooked it up outside with our barbecue propane tank and voila...everything worked! It did leak slightly at the oven fitting but we tightened it and the leak stopped. However, the oven appeared to have only one setting so I think the thermostat is broken. Can the thermostat be fixed? See photos below of burned cookies! However, there is absolutely NO safety features on this stove and it appears that it was placed in its original spot in the trailer with a layer of asbestos paper on the bottom. How safe is this really?? We love the look of the stove and it obviously would fit right back into the trailer since we have the original furniture. So airforums members...what is your opinion?
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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You will never find a better RV stove, except a Dixie and they are floor models. That is my opinion(you asked for opinions). Replace the thermocouple and you will have different temperatures. I always bake on 500 so I do not need the lower temps. All the parts can be powder coated and made to look like brand new.

I should preface my opinion with the fact we cook at home on a 1948 model B Chambers stove. I love gas cooking and the older the stove the better they work(in my opinion).
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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How do we go about replacing the thermocouple? Chambers stoves are BEAUTIFUL so I totally understand your opinion!
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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We're kind of in the same boat- I had the gas system in our rig gone through and made to work, including the '64 Magic Chef. The oven bakes like a dream, and two burners work. Two don't and it leaks gas, so I turn the gas to it off when I'm not using it. I think I'd try to find someone to go through your range and make sure it's okay, gas appliances aren't something to mess around with. I would imagine that you can find a vintage appliance repair person who might at least know the issues to look for.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Your capillary is stuck or has a small leak. Replace the control valve with a new one from Stoveparts.net and you will be a happy cookie.
I would remove the asbestos.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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Is the control valve a solution for leaking too?

btw, love your sodium joke.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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Yes. The Control Valve/Thermostat is the same thing, and the capillary and bulb are part of the assembly.
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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that CV will fit a Wolf, it's okay to use something like that for a little RV range on propane?
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:14 PM   #9
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Hey Markodane...how did you get the inside of your stove top all silver and shiny...did you repaint it? Thanks for the link....that looks exactly like what I need!! I love it when you click on a link and it gives you the exact item you want. You rock! Plus your sodium joke is too funny..my daughter is right this second studying AP Chem and she liked it too! One more quick question...I forgot to turn off the propane to the stove after the burned cookie experiment and went outside 10 minutes later to turn it off. Even though all of the knobs were turned to the off position there was a distinct obvious propane smell in the air. Even though there are no obvious leaks from the soapy water test and after we tightened the one leaky spot...where else do I look for a leak. Do people install a separate propane shut off valve to the stove and shut it down after every use? Sorry for all the questions, as a veterinarian, the only gas I deal with comes out of the intestinal tract!!
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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I lift the top of the range and use the shutoff valve on the gas from the trailer to the rig. I think all gas appliances have an individual shutoff, or should. It's not meant to be for every use, but in our case we were camping and realized we smelled gas, no obvious quick fix, and this allowed us to continue using it without the pesky gas smell. When we're using the cooktop or oven, there is no gas smell. Fortunately, as an architect, this is the only kind of gas I encounter working.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:04 PM   #11
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The burner tray was repainted and I think I used high temperature paint from POR. The size of the replacement valve is the same as the original BJ thermostat. All the tubing fittings are the same, and I know it works well. It will overshoot the setpoint a little on come-up, but then settles in nicely.

I think the propane smell may be due to the pilot. I never smell it when the oven is off, and I think a little propane smell may be expected when it is running. I think it is important to make sure the pilot is adjusted properly when you put in the new valve. The oven will fire and then shut off as the control valve opens and closes. When it reopens the pilot re-lights the burner.

There is no safety shut-off valve on these ovens. If the pilot goes out the control valve will stay open. When you turn the thermostat control to OFF, it closes both the main and the pilot. You need to relight the pilot each time you use the oven, but the pilot should stay lit while you are using it.

You might need to trim the sheet metal around the stove top to allow access to the pilot adjusting valve, it is oriented a little differently than the OEM valve. This picture shows the trim I did on mine.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:26 PM   #12
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As an appliance servicer for 30 years, I have never met a gas stove I couldn't repair. The advantage is you can always find an oven control that will work, even if you have to modify the mount and many of the residential valve assemblies are much better than what comes in any RV as they many times have much closer temp tolerances so your oven might actually cook better. I have never met an RV oven that was worth a c--p. They all either burn stuff or cook really unevenly. The only possible solution is a better oven control or a complete redesign of the oven which isn't going to happen.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haoleman View Post
As an appliance servicer for 30 years, I have never met a gas stove I couldn't repair. The advantage is you can always find an oven control that will work, even if you have to modify the mount and many of the residential valve assemblies are much better than what comes in any RV as they many times have much closer temp tolerances so your oven might actually cook better. I have never met an RV oven that was worth a c--p. They all either burn stuff or cook really unevenly. The only possible solution is a better oven control or a complete redesign of the oven which isn't going to happen.
Haoleman,
Actually the stoves in this era (early 60ís) were apartment stoves. Not specifically made for RV's. Have you ever modified one of these vintage stoves to have a modern safety valve? Is it even possible? I'm convinced, like you are, that the modern rv stoves aren't high quality and would like to fix my Magic Chef stove too.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #14
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Markdoane,

My pilot stays on when the oven is off- there are two pilots for the oven, a big one that stays lit, and a secondary that lights, and then the burner lights when the oven is turned on. Once the pilot in the oven is lit, you can just turn it on or off at will, same with the cooktop burners. When the burners and oven are off, but the pilot is lit, I smell the gas, and it's noticeable after about 5 minutes. When I turn on a burner or the oven, the gas smell goes away (maybe the burner releases the pressure in the manifold and the leak is reduced?) I'm all over the new valve idea, thanks to all of you for the valuable information.
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