Really Cheap RV Microwave Replacement – No Special Oven Needed!!

At the beginning of summer, our RV microwave oven was killed by an electrician who installed the wrong outlet in our campsite. Giving our poor motorhome, Joey, double the juice he was designed to handle, the microwave (and a few other items) made scary sounds and then faded to black.

I just got around to doing this post now, in the fall, because the job wasn’t complete yet. You see, our gigantic oven that fit into a customized rectangular box above the stove was now gone, revealing walls that were never painted during our cheap camper remodel we did back in 2011.

That Used To Be Our Microwave In The Top Left Of This Photo


We refused to waste a fortune on OCD issues such as needing the EXACT same size microwave, one that is MADE for rvs, to fit EXACTLY in the rectangle-shaped eyesore now looking at us over coffee each morning. Nope, just had to think outside of the box.

We first made sure with our friendly rv repair guy that a cheap little Walmart microwave would be safe to use. He chuckled at us a bit and said, in a nice way, “of course.” Apparently, the cute Rival brand microwave actually was more energy efficient than the antique monster oven we had been using – and it would be plugging into the same dedicated outlet its great, great, great grandfather was using. (Another cheap hint – we bought a new oven because the electrician was paying us for damages…but there are decent, quite modern microwaves that cost virtually nothing at thrift stores!).

Remembered To Take Photo Right Before I Finished Putting Kilz Over Wallpaper (Beige Area In Middle Is Old Wallpaper)


So what about that hole in the wall…won’t it look goofy? No, no, no….You can transform it with ease and actually make more room for yourself!

Here’s what we did:

  1. Set microwave on a board to lift it up, over the bottom ridge (or the door won’t open).
  2. Put a layer of white Kilz on ugly wallpaper behind it, then painted it to match our kitchen walls.
  3. Bought a cute paper blind to hang from the top, to either close off area completely or cover up emptiness on top.

Really Bad Photo Angle Here, But You Get The Idea! Painted Wall Yellow To Match Kitchen Walls, Then Set Our Little Guy Inside


So here are the benefits!

  1. You have saved a ton of money by not buying a “specialty oven” that is “only for rvs.”
  2. You now have actually GAINED extra space (put things on top and along sides of the microwave).
  3. You have a newer, better microwave oven (ours was about $40, the tray rotates and it cooks quickly!)
  4. We think it looks better than the gigantic oven we used to have.

If You Like The Gigantic Black Box Look, Let Paper Blind Hang Down. We Keep Ours Clipped At Top. You Can Clip It To Hang A Few Inches Down To Cover The Emptiness At The Top, Too!


The only concern we had was having to worry about securing it or moving it when on the road. We’ve had no issue with it moving while driving, but to be safe we simply wedge two pillows on either side when driving. However, a cute idea would be to wedge cookbooks tightly on the sides that remain there all of the time – then you never have to give it a second thought!

We’ve been on a “spring cleaning in fall” kinda kick in the past few weeks, so will be posting more pictures and articles this week!

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5 Responses to Really Cheap RV Microwave Replacement – No Special Oven Needed!!

  1. Annie asks how you hold the shade open when you want to use it.

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Hey you guys! Good to hear from you!

      We usually don’t hang it down all of the way. We use little chip clips and keep it at one height all of the time. But for those looking to fill the void, they can drop the shade down and voila!

  2. A paper blind! That’s so cute! We ditched our 16-year-old microwave last winter and use the space for food storage, but it’s UG-LY! We want the Duck to be yellow like Joey now! Man, living in the 90’s is getting old.

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Our RV repair guy made fun of Joey and his yellow interior. Some comment like if we sold him, we’d have to find someone who could handle the coloring inside. So rude! We like the funkiness…and can change the color scheme cheaply whenever we want. So THERE rv repair dude!