Monday, November 28, 2022


Wife wants to replace broken microwave; hubby says “no”


rvshrinkDear RV Shrink:
Our microwave just started making a terrible buzzing noise and no longer heats. My wife wants a new one, but we have only used this one a few times. We use it almost exclusively for storing our plastic food containers.

I think we should just pull the old one out and build the space into a storage cabinet. She thinks we should spend three hundred dollars for an appliance we use once a year.

Can you give us some input to cease our petty arguing. —Nuked out in Nevada

Dear Nuke:
This could go either way. I would agree with your wife for resale reasons. If that is not important to you, the extra storage makes perfect sense.

You should also consider a new convection/microwave combination oven which might fit your space.

If you seldom use the appliance it seems a waste of space. If, however, you find it convenient at those times you do use it, replace or update it. You can still use it for storage.

Measure your opening and ventilation space carefully before ordering a new appliance. They won’t all fit into the space vacated by your present unit. Convection/micro combos are often a bit larger.

Before you make that decision I would diagnose the problem with your microwave. It is very possible your problem is a $5 diode that can be replaced easily, but carefully because of high voltage stored in these units. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask.



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Jerry X Shea
6 years ago

In 1976 a microwave was a novelty for popping popcorn. 40 years later, that “microwave” is a quick way to boil water, a convection oven for regular “oven cooking” of a chicken, roast, pie, you name it, and like the one in my coach, a grill/broiler (Sharp Carousel Grill 2 Convection) which is used just about every day.
If they have only used the microwave they have “a few times” then those guys are the “Let’s see America and eat out” and don’t do much RV cooking. That is OK, we have met many folks over our 10 years of RVING, especially up in Maine that wanted to pay $27 for a lobster dinner in Bar Harbor while we bought fresh lobsters at $3.95 a lb and cooked them in our coach. That right there is the major difference between traveling RVers. Those that use the kitchen in their RV to cook local foods and those that go out to eat. The 2nd type don’t need any cooking devices. True story – met a couple in a $500+ motorhome that said “we have never cooked a meal in our RV, we go out to eat.

6 years ago

You’ll loose more that $300 on the resale if you don’t have the microwave.

Gary Wagner
6 years ago

Six little words: If mama ain’t happy, no-one’s happy!

Keith Krejci
6 years ago

Another option is to buy a smaller microwave and use then build shelves around the empty space. You can get a full-feature microwave at Wal-Mart for $60 – a cheap experiment to make.

Pat Wilson
6 years ago

Wife Wants to Replace Broken Microwave – RV Shrink

Ooh, that sort of conversation between two married people about something in an rv is soooo much fun. Grimace.

It seems to me that the first thing would be to figure out is why the micro isn’t working. THEN worry about what to do about it.

Next would be how this lady and gentleman eat when in the rv. Meals made in the rv, take out, warmed up pre-made meals from home, use as a bread box so sandwich bread and rolls don’t stale quite as fast, etc?

I think my last consideration is what an rv can do besides deal with eating. Hot water in a pinch. Heat gel packs. Others I haven’t found yet but am working on.

Last thing. We have had a micro give up the ghost. Terminal. We took measurements of the space and hit the sale trail. A much better micro was available at a big box store for waaaaaay cheaper. Like the unworking one, it was a plug in installation and since we are function and cost people, not having a framing piece or having do it yourself framing pieces wasn’t a big deal. We figured out how to anchor it and avoid having the micro fly out of its cubby.

Anyway, if all the “plus” reasons for repairing/replacing and using the micro as a microwave aren’t important in their rving lives, absolutely go for the storage. We’re in Jayco rv that has space but very little storage and seriously shallow cabinets so I know all about that storage issue.

Our micro gets all sorts of uses. Ask my husband about hot water for,coffee in the morning.

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