If you like to live on the go, then a travel trailer is a great idea to buy. Travel trailers allow you to live on the road and contain all the amenities you need to live a comfortable life while traveling.
Or, they almost do. Most travel trailers have some kitchen appliances, but very few have a full functioning oven. While there are usually hookups for smaller appliances like a toaster oven or microwave, on many trailers you would be hard-pressed to find a travel trailer that has an oven preinstalled.
Can you add an oven to a travel trailer?
Ovens can be added to travel trailers with some cabinet and propane line modifications. Many people will add a convection microwave in place of their normal microwave if they want an oven function. This allows you to bake while on the road without extreme modifications to your RV.
Fear not though, we are here to help out. The truth is, you absolutely can safely add an oven to your travel trailer, you just need to go about it the right way. So we put together this guide on how to safely add an oven to your travel trailer. We also plan to answer some more general questions about having an oven in your travel trailer.
What Kind of Oven Do Travel Trailers Use?
In general, most travel trailers and RV use what is called either a propane-powered conventional oven or an electrically-powered convection oven. Ultimately, these two kinds of ovens let you do the same thing but they work differently and have different setup requirements.
Conventional propane ovens have a heat source that is stationary and usually on either the top or bottom of the unit. Most household kitchens have a conventional oven so you probably are already familiar with these kinds. The heat source is stationary and the heat rises from the bottom to cook the food.
Convection ovens, on the other hand, distribute heat by fans that circulate the air through the interior of the unit. Convection ovens are often favored by pro chefs over conventional ovens because they cook food more evenly and faster than a conventional oven.
No matter which kind of RV oven you get, it is usually smaller than the kind that you would find in a house. Obviously, this is because RVs and travel trailers usually have less space to work with. Unless you have an extra-large class-A RV, it is unlikely that you will be able to fit a full-size oven into your travel trailer.
Many RV ovens are combination oven/stove cooktop units. Most of the time, the stovetop apparatus is small and has 2-3 burn plates on the top. You can get a lot of mileage out of buying a combination oven/stovetop for your RV or travel trailer.
What’s the Difference Between a Travel Trailer Oven and a Regular Oven?
Travel trailer ovens and regular home-model ovens are similar in a lot of respects. They both have a range and can be used to cook food. Both can also be either gas-powered or electrically-powered.
The main difference between the two is size and portability. Travel trailer ovens tend to be smaller and lighter than home-model ovens and for good reason. It would be pretty arduous and cramped to have a full-sized oven in your travel trailer. Ovens for travel trailers also tend to not consume as much energy and they weigh less.
How Are Travel Trailer Ovens Powered?
Travel trailer ovens can either be powered by electricity or propane gas. With an electrical powered oven, all you have to do is plug it into whatever power source your travel trailer is using, whether it be an external plug at a campsite, house, or a portable generator. If you go the route of a portable generator, then you will need to make sure you have enough wattage to power the convection oven.
Alternatively, you can have a propane-powered oven for your travel trailer. Getting a propane-powered oven involves setting up a gas line in your travel trailer unless one already exists. If you already have a range, you are in luck as you already have propane coming to that location.
If not, this can involve a bit of tricky installation work. If you do not have experience installing such appliances, we would recommend getting the help of a professional at this point. Gas-powered appliances can be very dangerous if not installed properly, especially in smaller, enclosed spaces like the interior of a travel trailer or RV camper.
If you go for a gas-powered oven, then you will need to make sure that you have a propane tank around when you use it. This is an extra cost you will have to bear in order to use your oven. Most travel trailers will already have propane to power the fridge or heater, so this is probably not an issue.
How Much Does a Travel Trailer Oven Cost?
It depends on the specific make and model, but a decent convection oven for a travel trailer will run you around $200. Some top-brand models can cost up to $400-$500. In general, propane-powered ovens are more expensive than electric ovens. Convection ovens for travel trailers also tend to be more expensive than conventional ovens for RVs as well, though this is not always true.
Best Travel Trailer Convection Options
If you already have a microwave, you may be able to swap it for a convection oven microwave.
- RecPro Black Convection Oven Direct Replacement
- RecPro Stainless Steel Convection Oven Direct Replacement
Best Propane Travel Trailer Oven Options
Here are a few of the most popular oven brands for your RV or travel trailer whether you are replacing an old model or upgrading.
Should I Get a Travel Trailer Oven?
Travel trailer ovens are a great idea if you like to cook while on the road. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting a travel trailer oven.
- Easy to set up. If you already have the existing hardware such as electrical hookups of a pre-installed gas line, then travel trailer ovens are very easy to install. All you have to do is find the right space for them which may involve some handiwork modifying cabinets and hook up the connector ports to the power source. Since they tend to be small and lightweight, it is much less difficult to get them in the travel trailer and move them around.
- Allows real cooking. If you don’t have an oven in your travel trailer, odds are you will be getting tired of all the microwave or toaster oven food. Having a real oven and range opens up tons of possibilities for making home-cooked meals while on the road. With a travel trailer oven, you can cook virtually any dish you want, including steak, lasagna, casserole, and even cake. Having a real kitchen setup allows you to feel like you are always at home.
- Healthier. Building off that last point, you do not have to settle for store-bought or fast food. Having an oven in your travel trailer lets you make healthy home-cooked meals that you and your family will enjoy while on the road.
- Save money. Also, having an oven in your travel trailer allows you to save money on the road. Now you won’t have to buy pre-packaged food but can buy raw ingredients and cook them yourself.
Tips on How to Use Your Travel Trailer Oven Effectively
Here are a couple of pointers on how to get the most out of your travel trailer oven. Head on over to this post all about cooking in your RV oven.
- Make sure that you rotate the food while in the oven. Travel trailer ovens tend to have “dead spots” where the heat is uneven, which can lead to food items being burned on one spot and barely cooked on another spot.
- If your travel trailer oven is powered by propane, then you may have to relight the pilot each time you use it.
- Get a separate oven-safe thermometer. Unfortunately, many travel trailer ovens have inaccurate built-in temperature gauges which can ruin your cooking experience. Getting a separate thermometer can help make sure you are cooking things at the right temperature.
- Use a baking stone. Using a baking stone or another kind of unglazed tile can more evenly distribute the heat so your food items are cooked more evenly.
Travel Trailer Oven Alternatives
If you don’t want to spend the time to install an oven or even replace your microwave, here are a few other options that you may find work great for you.
A toaster oven can do all that a travel trailer oven can do, it may be a bit smaller, but can cook very well. Here is a model that works well with the small size of RV countertops.
Although, this is not really an oven replacement, but an Instant Pot can really be your friend while camping. Using the pressure cook function, you can cook food very fast, and it is more of a set it and forget it if you use it as a slow cooker. This allows you to be free and have fun camping, not a slave to your stove.
Having a travel trailer oven is a great way to feel like you are at home while away from home. If you are tired of that toaster oven or microwave food, then it might be time to look into getting an oven for your travel trailer.
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