During last week’s wait for decent temperatures to paint or wallpaper, after I prepped the space for a spice rack, it occurred to me that I could kill two birds with one stone if I removed the original microwave oven:ugly old microwave

  1. I could rid my rig of about 30 lbs. of gratuitous weight (which I am discovering is a really, really big deal when towing a trailer) while also getting rid of 300 extra power-sucking watts I didn’t need or want.
  2. I could replace the ugly, discolored white behemoth with my beautiful, trim little metallic candy apple red 900-watt microwave oven that I now use in my kitchen. It looks more like a race car than an appliance—beautifully streamlined, colorful with beautiful lines—and it does everything I need it to do without needing 1225 watts to operate. And with several presets, it’s delightfully easy to use!

Microwave Oven Replacement

As I’m fond of saving power as well as towable weight, it was clear what must be done. But I was unsure how to proceed. I was afraid to even pry off the cheesy plastic bezel, not knowing what I’d find underneath, or if I’d even be able to replace it once it was off, since it felt really flimsy and I thought I’d likely break it when removing.

There was also the info dilemma: Was the original oven a hard-wired 12 volt appliance, or was it the standard 110 volt AC one uses in a stationary environment? I had not one clue.

So, to my goldmine of kind, friendly RV advisors I went…on several RV-specific pages on Facebook. Within hours, I had my answer: Unless it had been changed from the original, that microwave was the same 110v type I used in my apartment kitchen! Apparently there isn’t any such thing as a true 12v microwave—they simply suck too much power for there to be much of a market for them in RVs, even though just about every new RV comes with a 110v model built in. 

microwave removedShedding Weight and Ugliness

Once I felt confident that I wasn’t going to cause any mayhem I couldn’t fix, I wasted no time getting out to the rig to start the excavation.

First, I popped the bezel off easily, after removing a few screws. I was able to then see that the heavy monster was held in place by two solid steel brackets. I removed those, as well. Reaching around the back of the oven, I slowly pulled it toward me. To my surprise, it came forward very easily. To my relief, I saw a grounded plug on a black cord, plugged into an outlet located in the back corner, between the back of the pantry and the trailer side. I unplugged it, and slid the oven the rest of the way out. 

Success! I was halfway to not ever having to use that nasty thing. Little did I know that less than a week later, someone would come over and pick it off my porch, glad to have the free microwave I’d advertised on Facebook Marketplace. I have both bought and sold several items there, mostly since I started this project. And it really wasn’t nasty, as in dirty or grungy. It was quite clean, in fact. I just found it visually unpleasant, but apparently they did not. So that was a good deal all around.The microcave, where the old oven used to be

The MicroCave

I had to laugh, thinking of the hole where the oven had been as “the microcave.” I had already measured it before removing the old oven, and knew that the new one will not only fit, it will be quite a bit smaller.

I can’t use any of the space behind it, since that’s needed for safe venting. But I will be able to route that air around the side, using the original bezel to hold one side of the unit in place, while looking nice and finished. Then I’ll nail in a couple pieces of trim to hold it in place on the bottom. That will  keep it from sliding, while dressing it up in front a bit. On top, where the bezel used to be, I’m going to fabricate a little pocket to collect potholders and trivets, out of the way. Score another one for found storage!

I won’t be installing the new microwave soon, except temporarily. I’ll borrow it from the kitchen for my maiden voyage in Wildheart, when I take it on a trial run the first weekend in June. I hope to be able to get the cupboards painted by then, so the new, classic-looking wall clock I got to mount on the front storage bank will show up really nicely against the light color. After that, I’ll return the microwave to my apartment, where I’ll use it until it’s time to hit the road.

The new clock