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AC Power Cooking Electrical Interior Design Kitchen Mechanical

Cooking In the Rear

Planning Your Cooking System

No ambulance is going to come with a cooking system in the rear cabin, but nearly every RV has one. Here are some tips on making the change, and how I planned to install a two burner electric cooktop.

cooktop location

Cooktop in the location where it will be installed. This is a drop in installation and the plug in electrical cord will be installed underneath the cooktop.

RV Requirements

Most states requirements for a vehicle to be titled as a recreational vehicle state that a source of “cooking with onboard fuel” must be installed. Many RVs meet this requirement by have a gas (usually propane) or electric range or cooktop installed.

It may seem weird that an electric cooktop or oven meets the requirements but not a microwave oven. I believe the reason is that most microwave ovens are actually portable: they plug into an outlet and you can move them around. This is different than most cooktops and ovens which need to be installed, often on a separate AC circuit.

There are cooktops that are portable. You would need to check with your state to see if that would qualify for use as a cooking appliance in an RV conversion, or if the cooktop must be installed.

Lastly, as should be obvious, grills (whether charcoal or propane or butane) are not likely to help you meet this requirement to qualify as an RV. That does not mean you should have a grill: I am not sure I would consider it to be a recreational vehicle without one!

  • Fuel Source
    • Butane
    • Propane
    • Electrical
  • Cooktop
  • Oven
  • Microwave ovens, while useful in an RV, don’t usually meet the requirements of a cooking appliance with onboard fuel.
  • Grills don’t qualify either.

Rear Compartment

Planning a Location

Using an ambulance as a starting point for your RV has the advantage of a built in countertop. Most ambulances have a workspace in the rear that was designed to provide space for the equipment the medics were using while caring for a patient. This counter is usually on the driver’s side of the rear compartment.

Cooktop In Location

Cooking System

Your cooking system could be a variety of different fuel sources. To qualify as an RV, installing an onboard cooking system needs to be installed. Some of your choices include:

  • AC Power Electric
    • Standard
    • Induction
  • Liquid Propane Burner
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