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).
We 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!
The 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.
After 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.”
The 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.