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Old 02-11-2019, 07:44 PM   #1
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The Refrigerator/Stove Ratio Conundrum

A 21 Cubic ft Refrigerator and a ¼ Cu/Ft stove



After 4 years of full timing in my 34 foot travel trailer I am now thinking about upgrading to something a “bit” bigger...like a 41 ft 5th Wheel. Actually this goes against the current trend in RV’s which is decidedly skewed towards DOWNSIZING. But that is what makes it a great time to go UP.


Yes dealers all across the country are overloaded with big fancy 5th wheels that sit on the lots while the smaller trailers fly out the door. (This is according to the RV industry Press) That means there are GREAT deals to be had on those big boys, especially the 2018’s which are clogging up the works at dealers all over the country.


Now we come to my dilemma…


I have looked at so many 5th wheels my head is spinning. But one thing that they almost all have in common is a Full Size Big Cube Residential style refrigerator. Some are dual energy types but many are AC only and they power them with a huge Power converter while not plugged in.


BUT! Now you have all of this space to buy great quantities of fresh food to make some amazing meals with and what have they given you for a stove? Yep...something that can bake one cupcake at a time. I have seen bigger toy ovens.


Now I am someone who loves to cook. I am a really good cook. I am told by many that I am a great cook. I did at one time own my own hotel restaurant and bar in a fancy SE Asian beach resort. But more to the point I have been cooking since I was about 8 years old. So a kitchen is very important to me. In my houses I had restaurant grade commercial kitchen stoves and refrigerators.


So it is with consternation that I see this trend to ever bigger and bigger refrigerators while the manufacturers keep installing the same tiny worthless stoves. Now I am not saying that an RV should have a Viking Range. No. But there are many many great small format ranges out there that could be used in RV’s. Europe makes some great ones.


Why have a huge refrigerator paired with a tiny stove whose oven is the approximate size of a shoe box?


I know all about the more beer theory. Save it. My trailer will have a wine cellar.


About two or three times a year I like to make Prime Rib. But finding a 3 or 4 Rib roast that will fit in my oven is tough. I would also like to get something larger than a pair of Pot Pies in there. Maybe even a full size cake pan.


My guess is they think that while camping most will not use the oven very often. I think this is true. However I think it is also a false construct. My bet is most 5th wheels are used for longer term stays or are lived in full time. The fact that manufacturers went to big refrigerators is a response to customer demand and indicates that my guess above is probably true.


It looks like I may have to install my own oven.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:17 PM   #2
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Contact Spacecraft and have them install a large oven...and maybe a walk-in fridge. Wish I had your cooking talents. But that will blow your theory of cheaper fivers all over the place...
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:17 AM   #3
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You can have just about anything you want installed in just about any RV. However, manufacturers are going to build for "most people" and not for the occasional exception.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:35 AM   #4
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If you cook you know one oven is not enough anyway. Definitely install a bigger oven inside. Also consider getting a BBQ that is easy to manage the temp on. Either an electronic or manual. I have a "dumb" BBQ made by Broil King. It is a quality unit made in Canada with some pretty cool features like proprietary burners and dividers between the burners so you can cook with indirect heat. I can regulate the temp close enough to bake anything I want. With a side burner for searing and constant temp inside and a chip trey for falvor the oven seldom gets used
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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One meal can be kept in an Ice Cooler or a 25 cu/ft fridge......


Not cooking more then one ,meal at a time



We FTd for 7 yrs.
Cooked 3 meals a day at least 5 days a week
8 cu ft RV fridge and RV oven
Utilized a 14" Weber Smoky Joe BBQ to do some of the cooking


Never felt 'limited' by RV stove top/oven


Guess I just adapted and made best of what we had......
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTFT View Post
A 21 Cubic ft Refrigerator and a ¼ Cu/Ft stove



After 4 years of full timing in my 34 foot travel trailer I am now thinking about upgrading to something a “bit” bigger...like a 41 ft 5th Wheel. Actually this goes against the current trend in RV’s which is decidedly skewed towards DOWNSIZING. But that is what makes it a great time to go UP.


Yes dealers all across the country are overloaded with big fancy 5th wheels that sit on the lots while the smaller trailers fly out the door. (This is according to the RV industry Press) That means there are GREAT deals to be had on those big boys, especially the 2018’s which are clogging up the works at dealers all over the country.


Now we come to my dilemma…


I have looked at so many 5th wheels my head is spinning. But one thing that they almost all have in common is a Full Size Big Cube Residential style refrigerator. Some are dual energy types but many are AC only and they power them with a huge Power converter while not plugged in.


BUT! Now you have all of this space to buy great quantities of fresh food to make some amazing meals with and what have they given you for a stove? Yep...something that can bake one cupcake at a time. I have seen bigger toy ovens.


Now I am someone who loves to cook. I am a really good cook. I am told by many that I am a great cook. I did at one time own my own hotel restaurant and bar in a fancy SE Asian beach resort. But more to the point I have been cooking since I was about 8 years old. So a kitchen is very important to me. In my houses I had restaurant grade commercial kitchen stoves and refrigerators.


So it is with consternation that I see this trend to ever bigger and bigger refrigerators while the manufacturers keep installing the same tiny worthless stoves. Now I am not saying that an RV should have a Viking Range. No. But there are many many great small format ranges out there that could be used in RV’s. Europe makes some great ones.


Why have a huge refrigerator paired with a tiny stove whose oven is the approximate size of a shoe box?


I know all about the more beer theory. Save it. My trailer will have a wine cellar.


About two or three times a year I like to make Prime Rib. But finding a 3 or 4 Rib roast that will fit in my oven is tough. I would also like to get something larger than a pair of Pot Pies in there. Maybe even a full size cake pan.


My guess is they think that while camping most will not use the oven very often. I think this is true. However I think it is also a false construct. My bet is most 5th wheels are used for longer term stays or are lived in full time. The fact that manufacturers went to big refrigerators is a response to customer demand and indicates that my guess above is probably true.


It looks like I may have to install my own oven.
Or learn how to use the Grill -
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:24 PM   #7
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BTFT, I took out the Nevercold frig. and went with a Samsung RF18, took out the stupid 3 burner gas stove and replaced it with a 4 burner surface unit. Never used the oven except to store pots and pans. I use our combo microwave/convection oven for baking LARGE entree's .

I'm lovin it

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Old 02-12-2019, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
One meal can be kept in an Ice Cooler or a 25 cu/ft fridge......


Not cooking more then one ,meal at a time



We FTd for 7 yrs.
Cooked 3 meals a day at least 5 days a week
8 cu ft RV fridge and RV oven
Utilized a 14" Weber Smoky Joe BBQ to do some of the cooking


Never felt 'limited' by RV stove top/oven


Guess I just adapted and made best of what we had......
that last line has it....learn to use what's there not what isn't...
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:05 PM   #9
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to OP.... you should ask more details or look them up about the residential fridge units. Only one I've run across is the Samsung that has a super efficient compressor, pull out bottom drawer freezer and is something like a 3 amp power device.

There is an company who is either owned by or supplied by Amish built conversion kits that remove the propane side of the RV fridge equation with a very, as it about 1 amp, compressor. I believe it's 12v too so no inverter overhead and battery drain converting to 110v from 12v.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:32 PM   #10
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I get the OP. I am a solid cook, not a great one, and not close to professional. The residential refrigerators are wonderful to store lots of condiments, fresh product, and to keep frozen items really frozen. When we ordered our motorhome, I went with a 3 burner propane stove and a microwave convection oven. There was an option to have a propane oven, but I chose to get the two additional drawers instead of the oven. I am still trying to decide if I did the right thing. I can get a 9x13” pan, but there isn’t a lot of room for roasting since I need to use a rack when convection cooking. I do have a portable convection burner I can add, and I am pretty good with Dutch ovens for additional baking space. Time will tell if I really get used to it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:25 PM   #11
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The sound you cant hear is me chuckling...

I think a few of you missed the essential point of my post. That is that I think installing a big cube modern residential refrigerator in a $50k to $100K 5th wheel while keeping the tiny old fashioned stove that has been installed in RV’s since at least the 60’s is...well a bit of misguided marketing. And not well thought out.

Further in an RV that is packed with new technology why keep putting a stove in there that is a 60 year old design? Would you not think it strange If your new $50,000 RV came with a Black and White Tube Television?? My bet is most of you Pooh-poohing me have big modern electronic ranges in your homes and flat screen tv’s...

Now Old Biscuit would have you believe that I am just not up to the task of utilizing the tools I have at hand and don’t adapt well.

Well actually nothing could be further from reality.

I am a fan of using my grill and do so a lot. But there is an awful lot of good food in the world that does not lend itself to be cooked on a grill. I have yet to master Pad Thai on my grill. I do however make really tasty Grilled Brussels Sprouts (cut in quarters toss in olive oil salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar and put on the grill)

There are just many things that I cook that need a range. Now CAN I do them on this tiny toy stove in my current trailer?...Most of them,Yes most definitely. But that does not mean I WANT to nor that a better stove doesn’t make the task more efficient, easier and more pleasurable all around.

To give you an example here is a usual everyday meal at my place. It is simple, tasty and quick. It takes about 40 minutes start to finish.

I often make pan seared chicken breasts with a Vermouth/Thyme sauce, sautéed asparagus and stovetop Lyonnaise potato’s. The Chicken is started on the stove top and finishes in a 400deg oven. The potatoes are first seared in butter in a skillet, add chicken broth Herbs de Provence and cook until reduced and potatoes start to brown.

Now this is certainly doable on the stove I have and I do it fairly often. But a better range helps in many ways small and large. Like available space, an accurate oven (and hopefully convection) and higher power burners...

So my post really wasn’t about what I can or cannot do. It’s about why does the RV industry continue to push off on us shoddy cheap stoves while giving us wonderful refrigerators?

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Old 02-12-2019, 07:55 PM   #12
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IMHO, you answered your own question with this sentence, "The fact that manufacturers went to big refrigerators is a response to customer demand and indicates that my guess above is probably true."

The customer push for larger ranges is just not there. Those that want them can have them custom installed, but for an industry that must meet price points, cheaper is better especially if there is little if any public push to upgrade. If most large 5ers are used by full timers, they either don't seem to demand a larger range or they don't make up a large enough segment of the market to influence production decisions for general sales.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:56 PM   #13
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If you plan to buy a brand new 5er, order it special-made to have your choice of frig and residential gas household stove.

I completely agree with you, the gas stove/oven in our 2005 Grand Junction 5er had the same brand and size stove/oven as the TT we owned in 1983. In order to successfully bake anything I had to place un-glazed tiles on the bottom of the oven to some-what successfully maintain oven temperature at set temperature.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:59 AM   #14
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BTFT-

There's a fellow named Andy Baird who spent several years living full-time in a 27-foot Class C. He replaced his stove. Here's the link to the Web page where he describes what he bought and how he fit it in. Below is a picture from that page.

In response to your question about oil field gate guarding, I made a post (link here) to a Web site by a different Andy. If you read his posts you will see he was experimenting with cooking and food preservation while in the Texas puckerbrush. While you appear further up the chef curve than he, some of what he did may help you move more of the cooking outside in the hot weather.

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