RV Appliances

This post is prompted by a comment left by 1001 Petals in reply to my post last night about my wildly successful pizza. She asked for confirmation that my stove runs on propane, which lead me to conclude that while I’ve hinted at this in the past, I’ve never actually explicitly talked about the RV appliances. So. 🙂

The Range

I have an Atwood ‘Wedgewood’ three burner 21″ range (stove top with oven). This appears to be the ‘top of the line’ model for this brand. It’s certainly the biggest! A lot of people complain about their teeny RV oven, but I find mine to be plenty large enough as my largest casserole dish fits in it (enough food to feed four to six people!).

The range runs exclusively on propane, so it’s great for boondocking. I’ve never tracked my propane usage in comparison to oven usage, but the amount seems to be negligible. Propane is so cheap for daily use (ie. other than heating) that I don’t ration it.

There is a piezo-type ‘sparker’ to light the range, but mine works intermittently. How it is supposed to work is you turn the burner knob you want to cook with to the ‘lite’ position, then turn the piezo knob to create a spark that will ignite the gas. Since my piezo isn’t reliable, I just turn the burner knob to ‘lite’ and then ignite the propane with a BBQ lighter or a match. The oven has two lighting options. You can keep the knob at ‘pilot’ and always have a flame ready, but I don’t like to do that. I’d always be worried that the flame went out and propane was building up in the rig! Instead, I turn the knob for the stove to the temperature I want and immediately apply a BBQ lighter or match flame to the propane.

The nice thing about baking with propane is that you get instant heat, so you don’t really need to preheat your oven. I’ve also noticed that things bake more evenly. I have a rack above the flames for baking and there is space to put a pan below the flames for broiling.

This model was eventually upgraded to make it practically impossible to drop food under the burners, which is my biggest pet peeve. Otherwise, I have no complaints. Cooking with this range is a joy, even if clean up isn’t!

The Refrigerator

Miranda’s fridge is a Norcold 9182, which also appears to be a higher end model. It’s built in and has decorative oak panels, making it very lovely! It’s also HUGE! I don’t have the specific cubic footage of this model, but it is significantly more than the average RV I’ve visited and much more than any other class C I’ve toured.

The fridge runs on propane or 12V power (ie. on the batteries) or on 120V power (ie. shore power). I find this to be quite misleading as it never runs just on propane. So, when boondocking, there has to be enough battery juice to run the fridge. It doesn’t need a lot of that battery power, but you don’t want to run out in the middle of the night! You also would not want to run the fridge on just the batteries as this would drain them very quickly!

I know a lot of RVers who dream of having a ‘house-style’ fridge in their RV, but I have yet to encounter any problems with mine that would make me have such dreams. Sure, an RV fridge can take a long time to cool (12 to 24 hours), but once it’s cold that’s it. I have not had any problems at all regulating the temperature; maybe I just got lucky with a better than average fridge? My favourite thing about an RV fridge is that it’s QUIET! Also, the fridge has thus far been very low maintenance. I haven’t even had to thaw it out yet! The size is also perfect for me. I was never able to fill a full-size house fridge and I have yet to get this fridge to capacity, but at least I’ve come close!

The Microwave

The microwave is a Dometic brand and operates like any other microwave I’ve had. I didn’t have a microwave for five or six years and since getting my first one I haven’t yet learned to rely on them. I use the microwave mainly to thaw bread, melt butter, make five-minute chocolate cakes, and bake the odd potato. I can only use the microwave when I’m on shore power and I have never missed it when boondocking.

Hopefully, that’s all a bit clearer now.

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  • I’ve never known of an RV fridge that didn’t run on propane. That’s just my experience. Are you sure, Rae?

    If you ever have to replace your microwave, you can get a combination convection/microwave. The convection is wonderful for baking and takes less time.

  • Jack, yes I’m sure. 😀 When I’m plugged in to shore power, my fridge does not use any propane whatsoever. As proof, I offer the fact that when I left for two weeks this month I turned the propane off completely while leaving the rigged plugged in and when I came back all was well with the fridge. 🙂

    As for baking, I’ll take my propane oven, thank you kindly. 🙂 I’m not a fan of convection ovens at all. If my microwave were ever to fail, then I would find myself with a nice storage space as I would not replace the microwave.

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