Disclaimer: This modification requires dealing with your propane system and extreme caution should be used. Before starting the repair turn all of your propane tanks off and bleed the remaining propane from the system. If you are not comfortable for any reason, please don’t attempt this modification.
For years we have been talking about removing the propane oven and reclaiming the huge space that the oven was taking. Initially I was very resistant because I was intimidated by a convection oven, and I liked the idea of a propane stove for when we were boondocking. My mind changed however as I saw how easy the convection ovens were, how unevenly the propane oven baked, and most importantly, how hot the RV got when we were using the propane oven. If we were somewhere chilly it was no big deal, but in warmer temps I would often have to turn on the AC to counter the heat from the stove, which was pretty ridiculous. When we were boondocking this wasn’t possible so I ended up not using the propane oven much anyway.
Still, it was what we had, and like many other things in an RV we learned to live with it, but things really came to a head when our friend Cori gave us an Air Fryer. Don’t get me wrong, we were thrilled to get it, but there was absolutely no place to make a permanent home for it. We were already moving our Instant Pot back and forth between the counter top and under the desk and the air fryer was one more thing we were constantly moving. When we realized that the space where the oven was would be the perfect space we were both sold!! One side note they came out with a combination Ninja pressure cooker/air fryer right after we got our air fryer. I hear they work great from friends, but I am not replacing mine until one or both break which will hopefully be awhile.
In any event, I am glad it worked out this way, because now that the remodel is done I am absolutely thrilled. I am using my convection oven (see previous post for how we replaced) to bake and cook and I still have a propane cooktop for when we boondock. I also have enough storage space for the air fryer, the instant pot, their accessories, and a new shelf for baking pans. Perfect! So here’s Lee’s step by step beginning with the all important step to burn off the propane in the lines before doing anything else! Oh and don’t judge me for how dirty it is. We have been using it for five years 🙂
After removing the screws I tipped it forward expecting it to just slide right out, but it didn’t. So I checked the bottom front, and sure enough, there was a screw on each side holding the bottom to the cabinet face.
After I cleaned up the counter and walls, I removed the new cooktop from the packaging. It’s the same form factor so it just slid right in where the old one was. You can see along the edge the two concave areas where the mounting screws go. You can also see the blue plastic cap for the gas line. Everything is exactly the same as the other cooktop, except these are sealed burners.
Sliding the cooktop into position. The strip of metal on the right is a retaining strap. It uses spring tension to hold the cooktop cover in place.
It only took a few seconds to reattach the gas line and screw the new cooktop to the counter.
Another few seconds to drop on the cover and lock it into position and set the grate in place.
Once the new top was in place, I just need to do some more cleaning of the newly reclaimed space underneath. A LOT of gunk ended up under and behind the oven over the years.
I used some small pieces of wood to create cleats for the shelf. I know it looks like I used a LOT of screws on the right side, but that panel is only a thin veneer, and there’s really no way to get to the other side to put in a backing plate, so I just put in a bunch of screws. The weight is distributed pretty well, so it will be fine.
I used the piece of 1/2″ plywood from the under the bed storage project from last week to cut a shelf, and lopped of the corners and cut a little area out for the gas line. It’s bigger than it looks like it needs to be because the shelf had to go through the opening at a 45 degree angle and then slide down onto the cleats. I wanted a very snug fit.
Once the shelf was in position, I saw that I had a fair amount of space between the top of the appliances and the bottom of the cooktop, so I made another shelf to hold pizza sheets and wire racks and other small accessories. And not only did the air fryer and instant pot easily fit, so do all the all the accessories for them, and there’s room to spare.
Once I knew everything would fit I stained the shelf and screwed them down, and used a spare piece of wood from the inside of the cabinet that was no longer needed to act as a trim piece on the upper shelf which helped dress it up a bit from the raw plywood edge. I also did what I could to clean up the markings on the cabinetry.
Now that everything is done I don’t think I want to get a cabinet door like I originally planned. I think it will be very hard to find a perfect match, and even if we have a door or pair custom made and stained to match, there’s the question of finding a matching handle. I like the open shelf look a little more. We’re going to use it this for a while and if we change our minds, we can always get a door or pair of doors later.
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