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Old 03-07-2020, 11:47 AM   #1
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Options for oven, microwave

TLR Should I think about swapping the oven and microwave for a convection combo?

We've only been on the road a few months, but I'm finding I barely use the gas oven. It doesn't seem to heat up unless I set the temp for 450 or higher, and takes forever to get to any usable temp. I feel like it's just sucking down propane while not really doing a great job (I've got a pizza stone in there; doesn't seem to help.) I've started using it for storage.
Also, I rarely use the microwave - popcorn, reheating, and melting butter. I've got an instant pot and a tiny toaster oven, which, with the stovetop, are the things that get used most often. We wanted the gas oven for boondocking, but I'm not sure I would use it then if I'm not using it now.
I don't like cooking outside, really (heck, I don't really like cooking), so I'm just looking for the best indoor option and wondering if anyone has gone from oven/mic to convection combo and how it's worked out.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:40 PM   #2
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You will hear A LOT of people complain about conv/micro combos. They are not user friendly and do not cook like a regular over. However, we have a big one at home and the Airstream provided one in our 25. Once you learn how to use them, they get the job done and do many things better. You know you are not going to use one boondocking; the oven uses a lot of watt-hours.
I was happy to not have a gas oven as I had one on my boat and temperature regulation was always an issue. Our lifestyle uses the microwave a lot, especially since I precook, seal and freeze food before we travel. I do not miss a full size gas oven and would never want one again.
Larry
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:50 PM   #3
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Options for oven, microwave

We on the other hand use our gas oven all the time. I definitely prefer to have both a microwave and proper over. We bake and keep food warm with a family of 4.

We ditched the Atwood Oven that came with the trailer and upgraded to a dometic CU-434
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:57 PM   #4
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Some regular ovens work well, and we would not want a trailer without one.

500+ gas oven fans can’t be too far off:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ven-28619.html

Peter
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Some regular ovens work well, and we would not want a trailer without one.

500+ gas oven fans canít be too far off:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ven-28619.html

Peter
Peter, I just attribute that to people who cannot figure out the unfriendly nature of the convection/microwave. Even with mine in the house, I always need to refer to the manual to use it.
Larry
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:19 PM   #6
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Oh - I should mention we had a convection combo when we lived in England, and I loved it. However...they seem very difficult to find here, and I'm not sure they are the same quality. If it's just a matter of figuring out how to use it, I can deal with that. It's the lack of a gas oven that concerns me...even though I'm not using it much. Perhaps the question is: do I ditch it, or upgrade it to one that works better?
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Old 03-07-2020, 01:58 PM   #7
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Thanks, Larry, however the gas oven works without electric, so that is a huge "plus" when boondocking. Also, in cooler weather the residual heat sink of that warm mass is soothing IMO.

The KISS factor resonates here, as well.



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Old 03-07-2020, 03:02 PM   #8
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So much depends on your cooking style.

When I finally got around to renovating the galley in my 69 caravel, I ended up pulling out the original Magic Chef range/oven and replaced it with a very cool drop in, flush mount gas stove. I did not bother to replace the oven, which I had never used once in 12 years of ownership (!). I did install a conventional microwave which was not standard equipment in that model year, but which I used all the time (except on rare boon docking trips) The storage this made available in an 18' Caravel was far more valuable than the original oven, which at 50 years old, still looks brand new on the inside.

Others have installed an induction cooktop in place of the gas stove top, which is electrically more efficient than a conventional electric cooktop. Curiously, all electric may be the future of trailer appliances as Lithium battery and solar continue to advance.

Still others do lots of cooking outdoors (odors and space) and use things like dutch ovens and lots of heavy cast iron skillets and pots and so on, but even though you have not done much of this, you might want to attend a WBCCI caravan or road trip and watch how they do it; you might discover a whole new and fun way of meal prep!

And then there are those who rarely cook at all and eat out, even on camping trips.

And the host site for the forums has this article:https://www.doityourselfrv.com/omnia-stovetop-oven/
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Old 03-07-2020, 04:40 PM   #9
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So, that Omnia looks awesome. And gets fabulous reviews too. I need that and a two -burner stove (instead of three - how does one even get three pots on this thing???) and I'm set. Ditch the oven, keep the microwave (because my husband said, "But popcorn?!?!")
Next up for research: how to ditch an oven.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:26 PM   #10
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Pulling out the original oven/range isn't too hard. It can be a bit awarkard to get underneath and detach the gas line (with the gas shut off, of course) and access the screws holding it in place.

Once you have the appliance removed, you can measure and cut whatever insert you want (or you can do a full galley remodel and replace the entire cabinet, but since yours is pretty new, probably not.

Here are some pics from my galley reno. I replaced the original cabinet. The counter top is stainless steel. Note the drop in, flush mount range top; I think they make these in 2-burner as well. Note I added a pull-out counter/shelf directly beneath the range for extra additional prep space if needed. Below that, where the oven used to be are two more full-extension storage drawers (or you could but in a cupboard or deep drawer for your insta pot or other large appliances.)





apoligies for the orientation; this site does not make proper pic rotation easy.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:56 PM   #11
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One thing I really agree with is Get a 2 burner cooktop. I have an Eddie Bauer and the counter space is abysmal. ONE extra foot of prep space - priceless! How often does anyone use all three burners at the same time?
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:39 PM   #12
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SkyGuyScott, that looks amazing. It's true we probably won't do a complete redo, but it's also true we don't mind making big changes to make it work for us.
Off to research two-burner stoves...
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:14 AM   #13
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Hi

We use the 4 burner gas cooktop all the time and the gas oven fairly often. They both seem to work very well. If anything, I'd ditch the microwave. We have a Breville toaster oven that gets used more than it does. If you are not on shore power, gas cooking is a good thing ....

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Old 03-08-2020, 09:22 AM   #14
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I store my toaster over on a cookie sheet in the oven. That's were we use it also - with a short extension chord. I helps because the oven retains the heat and the smoke detector doesn't go off when we make toast. I've used the oven as an oven about 3 times. It's pretty much a waste of space.
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Old 03-08-2020, 09:24 AM   #15
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Something is wrong if you can't get enough heat in your oven
I make pizza from scratch on a pizza stone and bake quiche on my 24 year old oven all the time
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Old 03-08-2020, 12:45 PM   #16
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Sallye, what a great idea!

We are full timers. When we got our Airstream, we had Can-Am remove the microwave and add a huge pot drawer. We rarely used a microwave in our stick-and-bricks. We don’t miss it. We thought we’d use the oven all the time, but we don’t. It stinks up such a small space. We cook outside most of the time. We even have an outdoor gas pizza oven.

We boondock 50% of the time, so gas appliances make sense. It really depends on your tolerance for inside cooking odours and the type of camping you do. We find that when we have power, we use our Breville toaster oven often. And, we can move it outside to bake.

If you are doing a complete kitchen overhaul, I also agree with getting rid of the 3 burner stove and installing a 2 burner.

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Old 03-08-2020, 12:56 PM   #17
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I, for one, am definitely groovin' on skyguyscott's cabinet/drawer panels! More pics please!

Back to the thread...
I threw away my original cooktop and stove, as they were from '72 and I have no aspirations to dying a fiery death! Here in Florida, the big thing is to keep heat out of trailer, so cooking a turkey in the oven is a no-go. My microwave lives on top of a rolling cart in the closet, but is rarely used. I've got a 2-burner Dometic cooktop that works nice (and is gorgeous), but if I had to do it over again I would find a portable campstove that I liked, and make a custom cutout to hold it. That way, I would be able to easily cook outside, and not have to carry an extra stove.
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Old 03-08-2020, 01:37 PM   #18
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The oven is good for wine storage

The only use I have for the oven is to store wine. Never lite it.
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Old 03-08-2020, 02:00 PM   #19
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I think there may be something wrong with your particular oven. We love our gas oven and frequently use it while boondocking which is how we camp most of the time. On a cool evening baking a cake will fill your space with a delicious aroma and add a little heat too (remember to vent adequately), great for reheating stews brought from home without having them burn on the bottom - a real work horse. The microwave on the other hand is only useful when we have shore power, and even them it does not get used much. I would buy a good oven thermometer and then do a quick validation study on your oven, how long does it take to heat up empty and again with a casserole of 2-3 pints of water. Then with that knowledge take it in to get repaired if necessary, you may just have a faulty regulator or thermostat. we travel with a 1 ring electric burner. If we have shore power I keep the gas range lid closed and put the electric burner on top. It works well for boiling the kettle for tea and coffee and gives me more prep space. A small electric rice cooker is also handy for those few times we do have shore power.
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Old 03-08-2020, 02:26 PM   #20
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What do you do at home? Match your appliance selection on the trailer. At home we use the stove top, microwave and a grill -and now that's what we do on the trailer as well. While an oven sounds wonderful, the reality was it was rarely used and we only use our home oven once or twice a month which should have been a clue.

Not to mention, the gas oven we had in our last trailer was horrible. Temperature was either too hot or too cold and pretty much everything got burned on the bottom until we invested in a pizza stone, which helped but also increased the time to properly preheat. Not to mention that stove had to be lighted by removing the racks and using a long lighter to get the flame to the sweet spot for lighting in the very back, all that while you were holding down the light knob on the front of the stove and on your knees to be able to reach everything.

When we got the Airstream, we opted for the microwave/convection option and we love it. It does take some learning to get used to, our learning curve was pretty easy because we use a microwave/convetion oven at home which is similar. If we are somewhere with no power, we simply plan meals that use the stovetop, grill ...or better yet, go out to eat!
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