On the Road: Microwave Replacement

 On the Road: Microwave Replacement
On the Road: Microwave Replacement 5
Original Panasonic Microwave in our Roadtrek

Why don't things quit working before we hit the road? We had just headed out in our winterized Roadtrek for a 10 day trip when we found the microwave oven would not work. We checked the outlet and circuit breakers and fiddled with the door latch on the 22 year old Panasonic microwave. It was dead. We were disappointed, but then realized if any of the microwave ovens we had owned at home had lasted 22 years we would be very happy.  The little Panasonic had been a workhorse, but the front door had a crack and some scratches so it was not really worth attempting to find someone to repair it.  Plus we would have to endure the entire trip without a working microwave.

Still – when winterized the microwave was our source of hot water and for cooking. True we could heat water on the stove and steam the veggies in a pan, but that takes more time and trouble. We ate dinner out that night.  The next morning we stopped a Walmart. We took careful measurements of the Panasonic and armed with a tape measure went to check out the options. There were three 700 watt microwaves in stock with the measurements in the general ballpark. We picked the closest in size, which was Walmart's house brand – Mainstay. We had a choice of black, white or red. We picked the white one (the Panasonic was black).

On the Road: Microwave Replacement 6We put the new microwave box in the back and drove to our planned overnight stop with friends. While Roger watched the football game with the friends, Lynn tackled the microwave under the watchful of the dogs. It turned out to be very easy. She had to remove the LED strip lighting we had added under the microwave, but besides that it was only pull the plug, unscrew three screws and the thing slides out. Took more time to unpack the new microwave than it took to install it!

On the Road: Microwave Replacement 7The microwave sits on an aluminum angle bracket on the left side (in a 190 Popular) and on the right side there is a metal strap that hold it in place.  One Robertson screw (square head) in the angle bracket and two screws in the metal strap.  A small drill bit was used to create a pilot hole for the original sheet metal screws.

On the Road: Microwave Replacement 8After packing the old microwave into the box and setting it out with the trash, Lynn returned to the football game.  “Need some help getting that microwave installed?” Roger asked.  “Nope, all done.”

On the Road: Microwave Replacement 9The end result was quite satisfactory, and we believe, better looking than the original.  So if your old microwave is broken or even just unattractive, go ahead and replace it.  It is a cheap and easy job.   It probably won't last 22 years like the Panasonic, but for the ease of replacement that's okay.  It is the first appliance in our Roadtrek that has required replacement.  The refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner, stove, and water heater are all still original.  As are the Fantastic Fan, the stove hood, and toilet.  We sure can't complain about the quality of our 22 year old Roadtrek and the appliances.



Roger and Lynn Brucker


Roger Brucker and his wife Lynn have been Roadtrekkers since 2009. Both are retired, Roger from a Business-to-Business advertising agency and from teaching marketing for 25 years at Wright State University, Dayton, OH. Lynn is an electronics engineer, retired from the USAF Research Laboratory. Roger has authored or co-authored five books on cave exploring. They are cave explorers, kite flyers, and have four Standard Poodles. Their home base is Beavercreek, OH, a Dayton suburb. “We’ve done a lot of camping and long distance tandem bicycle riding, including an unsupported San Diego to St. Augustine ride in 2000,” said Lynn. Roger says, “But we love our 190 Popular Roadtrek because we can go anywhere on a moment’s notice, and stay off the grid for a week.” They are known to many Roadtrekkers for contributing ideas and suggestions on the Roadtrek Yahoo Forum and Cyberrally. Some of their modifications to Red Rover, their Roadtrek, are documented at www.RedRoverRoadtrek.com


  • Twenty-two years for appliances is definitely exceptional–especially considering that they’re mobile ones. Glad to hear your replacement was a simple one, too. Nice job–looks good.

  • Hello Roger and Lynn. Just curious to see if you’ve had any “excess heat” issues with your Mainstays microwave. I’m looking to install the same in my 07C 190P and the installation instructions say we don’t have minimum clearances in the Roadtrek. It is smaller than the Dometic (not sure what the clearance requirements are for this), so more clearance, but just looking for assurances.


  • Hello everyone. Is this way only for manual RV’s? Built-in ovens must be installed for other way? I found built-in Advent MW912BWDK oven on this site: https://www.mybestrv.com/rv-microwave/ but I can’t figure out how to install it for the best way.

Comments are closed.

Join the RV Lifestyle community!

Subscribe to the newsletter and get a free Packing List for your next trip + free perks, discounts and exclusive RV travel tips!

Join the RV Lifestyle community!

Subscribe to the newsletter and get a free Packing List for your next trip + free perks, discounts and exclusive RV travel tips!