Newbie Cooktop Advice? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-05-2015, 09:54 PM   #1
hmm
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Newbie Cooktop Advice?

I'm a new 1972 Trillium owner in the midst of a bit of an overhaul, looking for some advice. I am not only a new Triliium owner but have not camped in quite a few years so not exactly sure how I will use my new trailer....ifull service campsites vs boondocking. This fact is complicating some of the decisions I'm trying to make along this renovating journey. The original Dometic fridge that I thought was in working order...isn't. I decided to buy a cheap electric fridge for this inaugural year while I decide if investing in a new >$1000 3 way fridge makes sense. I had been planning to use the propane cooktop so took my Trillium in to my local RV shop to have the propane system inspected. Was told that the code for propane in trailers has change since 1972 and to meet code I need to redo the propane lines and install an exhaust fan close to the stovetop, either under the cupboards that are above the stovetop or on the wall right above the stovetop. Am thinking that most of my cooking will be done outdoors anyway so for this trial season will plan to cook outside and buy a small hot plate for the little indoor cooking I will do.....does this plan of action make sense to those of you with more experience? Any suggestions for outdoor camp stoves?
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Old 06-06-2015, 04:57 AM   #2
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grill

We bought the O Grill from LLbean, works nice, folds up and takes a smaller space. We also bought the table for it as well. It can be placed on the picnic table if you choose not to get the table. Carl
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Old 06-06-2015, 06:00 AM   #3
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I'd look into repairing the fridge unless it is too far gone. My fridge broke on me twice. The first time cost $25 to fix and the second about $120.


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Old 06-06-2015, 09:53 AM   #4
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I need my camper to be safe, don't need to have it up to code. Common sense means you have to have ventilation. Code is going to tell you exactly how to go about getting it. We are now redoing our cook top, we have a fantastic Fantastic Fan and will likely place a little computer fan near the cook top also.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:57 AM   #5
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Codes and cooktops

Codes change all the time, at least every four years. That does not mean you need to jump every time the codes change. The propane system in your camper was adequate once upon a time and probably still is. You can check it for leaks yourself or have a competent friend help you do it. I suggest you keep your distance from RV dealers.
If you are using the cooktop even to just boil water, it is a good thing to have some kind of exhaust. I suggest you install a Maxxair fan in the roof of your trailer and then use it every time you use the cooktop. There may be other times that you will find ventilation will be nice to have.
Concerning the fridge, there are lots of threads on troubleshooting the propane fridge. I think it's important that RV owners learn about fixing stuff themselves because there are lots of things on a travel trailer that will eventually need attention. And then there are things that need maintenance. You could go broke having the RV dealer fix things.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:51 AM   #6
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You can buy a replacement cooktop that's just electric. This may completely do away with th need for propane appliances. We replaced our 1985 Scamp fridge with bigger electric and were real happy. If looking ahead to resale, don't destroy or remove the hoses or switching panel. Just work around that so if next owner want to go old school, they can.
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:42 PM   #7
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Hi Heather, we had our propane system checked this spring on our Trillium and all they did was put on a new regulator. They never said anything about having to have a fan above the stove. We do have a window right above the stove so maybe that is why. We usually cook outside on our coleman. I do not like the smells and moisture that are created on the stove inside.
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:29 PM   #8
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For no good reason, I'm afraid of my propane, so I've never used my cooktop (I have a microwave on top of it)--but I have a single induction burner that I use with my cast iron skillet and pot. I like it because it doesn't heat itself up (just the pot) and that means I can put it away fairly quickly after I'm done. I've even used it outside when I grilled.

I'm never going to be without electricity, so I use an electric kettle for my tea and I cook all kinds of things in the microwave. I haven't ever wished I had propane.
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Old 06-06-2015, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen B. View Post
I haven't ever wished I had propane.
I'm assuming you have a furnace, and they use propane.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:10 PM   #10
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I do, but I don't use it. I have a tiny electric heater that does the job admirably. (And an electric blanket...)
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Karen B. View Post
I do, but I don't use it. I have a tiny electric heater that does the job admirably. (And an electric blanket...)
Ah, I just realized we're talking about a 13 foot trailer. Yes, the portable electric heater is probably adequate for that size. No way in my 19.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:27 PM   #12
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Your plan for your first year of camping sounds fine. You need to do some camping in your trailer to really decide what you need and what you don't need, and what you want and what you don't want. Instead of a cheap little electric fridge you might get by with just an ice chest until you decide what to do for a permanent installation. I too think you should have someone trouble shoot the fridge before you just spring for a new one. It may just need something simple to get it working again.

Our RV shop will do a pressure test of the propane lines for about $50-$60 I think. Seems like cheap insurance to us and we have it done periodically. It will tell you if your lines are sound. There's usually no need to replace the whole system. I don't totally agree with Steve about avoiding RV shops. The trick is to find a reputable one. We've been using the same shop for years and they've always been straight with us and they do good work. I do agree though that the more you can do yourself the better. We're pretty handy, but we leave anything to do with the propane system to the pros.

It seems to me that if you decide to go with a propane stove inside your trailer that you wouldn't necessarily have to install a vent even if that's the new code. I think the code applies to manufacturers building new trailers. For example, I was told that you can't have an open-able window behind your stove nowadays. Our 1987 trailer has that sort of window behind the stove but I don't think that would prevent us from having a new stove installed in the same space should our current stove quit working. Sounds like the RV shop you went to just wants to talk you into a lot of extra work that will make money for them but not really be necessary for you. I do think a fan is a good idea though, either a Maxx Fan or Fantastic Fan. You do want ventilation when cooking inside the trailer with propane.

Personally I would not want a trailer without propane. We use our stovetop, oven, hot water heater, furnace and fridge all the time.
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:48 PM   #13
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I love my little gas cooktop. Coffee in minutes in the morning. Plus we mostly ( always) camp where there is no electricity. Actually the one time there was electricity we didn't have the right plug!
Camping is whatever you want it to be. Some want all the mod cons all the time, some want to rough it.
Decide what you like and be happy.


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Old 06-07-2015, 07:29 AM   #14
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You can get a small butane single burner stove for not much $. They use cans of butane about the size of a can of spray paint. Use them inside or out.

Cooking with flame indoors without ventilation adds a lot of moisture to the air. If it's too cold to have a window open it can get clammy fast.

We carry both an induction unit for when we are hooked up (nearly all the time) and the butane one for when we aren't.

For boondocking, 12v refrigeration is easy ( but not cheap), cooking can be done with butane, you can use the hot plate to heat water but there is no way to run a furnace without propane.

You could have electric everything with a generator but that's way too noisy for me.


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