The right RV microwave is going to make life on the open road a whole lot more enjoyable, particularly when it comes to preparing and cooking meals on the go.
The wrong RV microwave, however, is going to make your life on the open road almost always miserable – if for no other reason than the appliance you bought to help you speed up cooking and reheating meals is constantly letting you down every step of the way.
And while most RV owners are looking at other major appliances with a closer eye before they pull the trigger on an RV purchase, the quality of life upgrade you get when you knock your new RV microwave purchase right out of the park cannot be overstated.
Easily one of the most flexible, versatile, and arguably important appliances anywhere in your RV, getting your hands on the perfect microwave should be one of your priorities.
Armed with the inside information below in this quick guide we have put together you’ll find all kinds of tips and tricks to help you guarantee you always get the best RV microwave possible. There’s a world of difference between microwaves that have been designed specifically for RVs and those that have been designed for traditional homes and apartments, and while some people have been able to make do with traditional microwaves you’ll soon learn just how incompatible these two technologies really are.
So kick back, relax, and let’s dig a little bit deeper into all of the key features you should be hoping to get out of your new RV microwave – with a couple of recommendations for what we feel are the best of the best options on the planet today!
How Do You Plan On Using Your New RV Microwave?
One of the most important things you have to consider when you’re getting ready to purchase this appliance is how much available real estate you have to commit to a microwave, a decision that won’t just be informed by the amount of available counter space or mounting space you have available but how – and how often – you plan on using your microwave as well.
You see, a lot of people look at their kitchenette inside of the RV and try to figure out where they could slap a microwave and where they wouldn’t have to sacrifice too much under the counter or on the counter space by doing so.
Most end up pulling the trigger on any old microwave that will fit in the space available and usually ends up regretting the decision sooner rather than later.
Instead what you want to do with think about how you anticipate using your microwave the majority of the time you are going to be spending in your RV, then (and only then) thinking about how and where you’re going to put your microwave – prioritizing its functionality over the available real estate you have staring you in the face right now.
Some people are going to want to get their hands on an RV microwave so that they can pop popcorn, heat up snacks, or warm-up leftovers or take out that they grab while they are out and about on the road. These kinds of RV owners aren’t going to have to invest in microwaves that are all that big, all that powerful, or all that feature-rich.
In fact, almost any old microwave will get the job done if this is the bulk of the heavy lifting you anticipate your new set up having to tackle.
On the other hand, your RV microwave can quickly become just as important – if not more important – the end the stove or oven set up you have in your microwave if you’re going to be depending on it to help you cook and prepare meals, rather than just things up every now and again.
These kinds of microwaves do double duty as a makeshift convection oven, can include toaster oven capabilities built right in, and can easily help you tackle preparing more elaborate meals than just heating up something that was frozen.
These are the kinds of RV microwaves that are going to demand a little bit of extra space (though usually not too much more), and are the kinds of microwaves that will transform your quality of life just by opening up a new level of flexibility in your kitchenette that wouldn’t have existed before.
Size Really Matters
Only after figuring out how you expected to use your microwave on a regular basis from here on out will you be able to determine how large of a microwave you really need – and that’s going to inform where and how to install or mount your new microwave set up.
Again, if you expect to anticipate only needing a compact microwave every now and again you can get your hands on top of the counter and under mount microwaves for next to nothing. These little space savers are perfect for installing pretty much anywhere and everywhere in your kitchenette and aren’t going to give you any a real headache or hassle as far as set up and mounting is concerned.
On the flipside, if you’re looking for a much larger RV microwave with a lot of extra flexibility, you’re going to really need to look for a little bit of extra space you may need to “steal” for your microwave.
You might have to borrow space from counter cabinets, you might have to mount your microwave outside of your kitchenette, or you may have to reconfigure the way that your kitchenette is set up and established right now to accommodate this new appliance. That’s inevitably going to add a little bit of extra expense to this investment, but if your microwave is going to be a big piece of the puzzle when it comes time to cook in your nomadic travel wagon it’s always going to be money well spent!
Power Is Key, But So Is Energy Efficiency
Most of the best RV microwave solutions are plenty powerful enough to handle any of the heavy lifting you might throw at them when you want to prepare, cook, or warm-up meals or snacks – but not all of them are going to be as energy-efficient as the rest of the pack.
Energy efficiency is key especially if you’re going to want to use your new microwave when you are on the move and away from standardized electrical hookups. Some of the more powerful microwaves available are going to run 1200 W or higher, demanding quite a bit of electricity – and potentially overloading your generator, especially if you have other appliances that are tapping into that power source at the same time.
Others are going to use energy-efficient technology to deliver the kind of power and heating capabilities you’re after without drawing down on your generator or batteries much, and others still can take advantage of completely separate power banks dedicated to this appliance and this appliance alone to practically guarantee that you’re able to use your microwave to prepare or cook meals even if everything else in your RV is without power.
The Top RV Microwave Options Today
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave
The folks at Toshiba have been producing electrical appliances for decades, and are responsible for some of the best traditional microwaves you’ll find on the market today. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this same company is capable of producing top-tier RV specific microwaves, though some are (pleasantly) surprised that a lot of their SMART Technology from the traditional microwave world has made it over to their RV lineup.
Offering 1100 W of power while only consuming 0.6 ft.³ of space, this is one of the most energy-efficient, powerful, and capable compact RV microwave solutions you’ll find out there right now. Though you aren’t going to be able to prepare full-size meals in this microwave (the rotating heating plate only measures in at 9.5 inches in diameter), if you plan on using your microwave for smaller meals, heating up leftovers, or popping a bit of popcorn it doesn’t get a lot better than this.
Six different power levels are available, and the defrost option works wonders, and the ability to really dial in your cooking times with the mechanical wheel offers a level of accuracy you won’t find anywhere else.
WHIRLPOOL RV Trailer Microwave
Whirlpool is another household name brand that has been making fantastic appliances for years and years, and they also have a reputation for durable, reliable, and technologically advanced options that will not disappoint.
This specific microwave is a little bit larger than the Toshiba we reviewed above, measuring in at 1.6 ft.³ of space. That’s going to almost triple the available space you have to cook and prepare meals with on the go, opening up a lot of extra utility and functionality with this RV microwave you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Relatively lightweight – measuring in just 37.5 pounds – this is a prime candidate for under mounting on your upper cabinets in the kitchenette of your RV. You’re going to get plenty of extra power to handle some serious cooking with this RV microwave, too. It comes in at 1200 W of juice, six different adjustable temperature settings, and one of the simplest and most straightforward control schemes we’ve ever seen in RV cooking appliances.Buy on Amazon
Danby DMW7700BLDB Microwave
Another really compact unit (with 0.7 ft.³ of capacity available), the Danby unit surprises in its ability to cook and prepare meals a lot faster and more consistently than other compact units thanks to its 700 W cooking power system.
This unit is ridiculously energy-efficient, working to maintain as low a footprint as possible whether it’s hooked up to its own independent power source, running off of batteries, or tied into your generator.
The unit allows you to dial in cooking temperatures and cooking times by weight, allowing you to more evenly heat and cook food then you would have been able to with more traditional units that only allow you to adjust by power and time.
There are some quality control and reliability questions surrounding these RV microwaves, but by and large, these are pretty solid units you can rely to help you handle at the some of the cooking going on in your RV.Buy on Amazon
Advent MW912BWDK Microwave
The Advent is a “tank” in the world of RV microwaves, if only because the folks behind this particular unit have taken absolutely zero shortcuts whatsoever in its fit, finish, or the construction materials used to really round it out.
You’re looking at a microwave here that has 900 W of power available at any point in time, though thanks to unique electrical engineering going on “under the hood” you won’t ever have to worry about the system overloading your RV electrical layout.
10 different power levels allow you to infinitely adjust your microwave to the task at hand, really dialing in the right power and heating controls – as well as timing your microwave correctly – so that you never have to worry about scorching your food on the outside while leaving it almost frozen on the inside.
The installation process is pretty simple and straightforward, too. Most reviews online show that it can be installed with a DIY approach in about 30 minutes or so, with no electrical skills or special knowledge necessary.Buy on Amazon
Greystone P90D23AP-YX Microwave
While not exactly a household name brand (yet), even with those that own RVs, this company has been producing some of the best “on the move” microwaves of the last 10 years.
Powerful, capable, and utilizing only the highest and technology and construction materials, this is one of the most robust and reliable systems we’ve been able to uncover throughout our research.
This company focuses exclusively on producing appliances for RVs, which gives them a significant advantage over the competition. Offering up 0.9 ft.³ of cooking space but still maintaining a slimline and compact footprint, installation is simple and straightforward. It also takes advantage of a 1350 watt power supply – bigger than any other option on our list, and certainly bigger than on any of the other compact footprint options out there – that’s going to help you eat, prepare, and cook meals with zero difficulties whatsoever.
One-touch features make this a breeze to use, though the power settings (of which there are more than 10, with six preconfigured) can be a little bit difficult to cycle through until you get the hang of things. At the end of the day, the folks at Greystone are producing one of the best microwaves for RVs and are definitely worth your consideration.