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Old 03-31-2015, 11:24 PM   #1
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Franklin Chef Convection Microwave?

The 2015 Classic that I'm picking up in a couple of weeks has a Franklin Chef FR187 microwave in it. I say that based on the "component list" that came from Jackson Center; I'm 1,000+ miles removed from the trailer, so I can't verify the model and/or serial number.

In looking online for a manual, I find that Franklin Industries filed for chapter 11 in 2009 and apparently never came out of bankruptcy. Franklin Industries,LLC was the importer of Franklin Chef appliances at that time, although I could not see where they ever imported microwaves...mostly refrigerators.

There are a handful of online retailers currently selling Franklin Chef microwaves. Does anyone know anything about the manufacture of Franklin Chef microwaves and/or who might be importing them now? Or...do I own a 6+ year old "new" microwave with no warranty?
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:31 AM   #2
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I'm not an owner of a current unit but suspect your initial two year warranty with Airstream covers the microwave with Airstream on the hook if another brand needs to be substituted to achieve operational status if Franklin defaults. Being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy merely means court oversight/approval of financial decisions while Franklin is seeking relief from or restructuring of creditor payment obligations. Franklin is still in business and working towards solvency.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:59 AM   #3
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Nobody out there that knows anything about Franklin Chef yet?

I'm familiar with Chapter 11, but can find no evidence of Franklin Industries, LLC operating in recent years. Airstream's 2-year warranty specifically excludes microwaves and other appliances; but that assumes an underlying manufacturer's warranty, so they might have some obligation with regard to a bankrupt supplier.

I would just like to get my hand on a user's manual. Can someone point me in the right direction? Does anyone own this microwave and maybe have a .pdf version available?
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:16 AM   #4
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As far as I am concerned Franklin Chef has made bottom of the line (read cheap) products for years, often for Mobile homes.

As for a manual, I am not sure what it would gain you. Most only give the standard warnings that if you use the product, you will die, and what button does what. Sorry for the cynical attitude here, just my observation of what you get in manuals these days.

Unfortunately, Airstream is not immune to price line products. Yet they still supply Zip Dee awnings, and top of the line variable speed pumps, while providing WFCO inverters and single state converter/chargers, along with GYM tires. It is hard to figure them out.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:17 PM   #5
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If it's any comfort, I used the microwave in my new trailer for the first time last weekend. It worked fine...and is virtually the same in operation as the Cuisinart that was in my old trailer. I was surprised that they'd put such a low end microwave in their top of the line trailer. I've already dumped the WFCO inverter and the cheesy Parallax converter for a Magnum MSH 30 amp inverter. When (if) the Franklin dies, I'll replace it as well. The issue will be finding one that fits the custom made space that the Franklin is occupying.
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Old 04-03-2015, 12:16 AM   #6
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No worries BAB, mine finally died and I got a very nice GE unit at a big box store. All you need is the outer dimensions of the old unit and they can match it to a unit which ships to the store in a week.

I was able to re-use the upper and lower retaining vents that finish the trim for the cabinet opening.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:06 PM   #7
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What will get your attention concerning the word "cheap" are the electrical outlets the industry installs in the trailer walls. I have seen better made for a dollar at Walmart.

Neil Armstrong probably had the famous "AhHa" moment standing on the moon in the LEM and suddenly realizing this was built by the lowest bidder.

The appliances are, in my opinion, holding down mostly the lower part of the quality ladder.

So far, I have not seen a great deal of difference between a boat I owned 40 years ago and my Airstream(s). The size of the acquisition price determines the initial size of the hole down which lots of money will flow with the faucet wide open.

Reading the Airstream forum rapidly illustrates that most owners take on a new career after the paper work is signed that includes:

sheet metal worker
roofer
plumber
electrician
HVAC mechanic
cabinetmaker
brake system mechanic
tire repair specialist
general trouble shooter

etc, etc.

So, we acquire a fair amount of specialized tools and press on. :roll eyes:
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:34 AM   #8
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Anything built for NASA isn't cheap and not always by the lowest bidder.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:14 AM   #9
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All of the original appliances, electrical, solar and plumbing equipment are functioning well in our Airstream after some 28 months actual travel time with daily use, with and without external hookups.

cheryl
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Old 05-10-2015, 11:40 AM   #10
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Our new Classic came with the Cuisinart convection/microwave. So far, I have only used it to nuke a couple of bagels. I will be experimenting with it more when we become full-time next month.

I do have one complaint for which I have not been able to find an answer...when I have used the microwave function, the clock drops its time. Kind of annoying to have to reset the clock every time I use the oven.
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:45 PM   #11
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Page, that's really odd. I had that same Cuisinart oven in my '12 28' Intl CCD and it kept the time as long as I was plugged into shore power. It is a bother to have reset the time if you're changing locations and have to plug/unplug all the time. I finally just let it read "00:00" all the time. Now, of course, I don't have the issue as I did the rewiring project. We'll get a long-term test of how the Magnum inverter works out by the time summer is over and we've towed 5-6,000 miles!
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:42 PM   #12
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Deja Vu

I just traded my 2005 Classic for a 2014 1/2 Airstream Interstate touring coach with a chrome Franklin convection microwave. The manual is just a couple of pages and tells me just about nothing useful regarding the grill and convection functions.

I was surprised to find a metal rack in the unit that is apparently used for grilling but few clues as to how to use it.
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