Don’t forget to service your RV range


By Chris Dougherty
The RV range is a pretty simple device, and usually works when lighted. However, without a little maintenance it can fail, which will leave you by the creek without any supper!

As with the range at home, a clean range is a happy range. On the cooktop, lift the grates and clean the top. Then lift the top to reveal the mechanical space just beneath (units with sealed burners can’t be lifted). Clean this area thoroughly. Look for any damage, evidence of mice, etc.

If the range is getting moderate use, the burners should be cleaned annually or as needed. Make a bath of warm soapy water in the sink or in a bin. Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the burners one at a time (see the screw on the bottom) and soak in the bath, carefully brushing around the ports. Rinse and dry, then replace as it came off, placing the tube back over the manifold port, and screw back down to the pan. Be sure to remove/reattach the lead for the auto igniter if applicable. Once done, put the top of the range back together.

The oven (if applicable) basically follows the same rules. Check to see that the seals around the door are in good condition. Clean the inside of the oven. The burner underneath shouldn’t require user maintenance, although I would look at it to make sure there’s no obvious damage. On the rear wall of the oven on the top is the thermal bulb, which connects to the thermostat. If this gets gummed up for some reason, it can read falsely. This can be carefully removed by squeezing the spring clip, and can be lightly cleaned using emory cloth. Be sure not to kink or damage the tube going to the bulb.When you’re done, test all of the functions of the range.

As a side note, many RVers complain about temperature control in the RV oven, and about the bottom of their food burning. One fix I have found to work well is to buy a pizza stone of the appropriate size to put on the bottom heat plate of the oven (the plate the burner flame touches.) This helps to diffuse the direct heat, and makes the range work better. It shouldn’t cover the entire floor of the oven, though – make sure any open ports or holes in the heat plate are open.

Chris Dougherty wrote this when he served as technical editor of


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Mark Bob
3 months ago

A good friend recommended using an inexpensive aluminum roasting pan. Dollar store variety works great. Just pound it flat with a mallet, then trim as needed to fit with tin snips or heavy scissors. Brownies don’t burn on the bottom anymore!!!!

Bill Coady
3 months ago

I read about pizza stones in this newsletter a few years ago. We purchased one that was a bit smaller than the metal plate and the first time we used it the stone cracked to the point of being useless. We bought another one recently and instead of putting it directly on the metal heat plate we put it on the lower rack. This works. No cracks. Much more even baking and cooking. Did we just have a faulty pizza stone causing it to crack when placed on the heat plate?  Would be nice to have it on the metal plate rather than on the rack. Advice?

Diane Kaminski
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill Coady

I’ve been using a pizza stone for a few years now. I have mine directly on the metal heat plate. Have traveled 30,000+ miles without a problem or burnt items in the oven. You must have just had a weak pizza stone.

3 months ago
Reply to  Bill Coady

The same thing happened to me.

tom mason
3 months ago

Pizza stone makes a huge difference