Whether you’re a seasonal traveler or a serious road warrior, an RV microwave is essential to your everyday life. You need a cooking appliance that won’t take a lot of space in your kitchen. The best RV microwave can cook/reheat everything from meat to snacks and your last night’s meal.
I understand how challenging it can be to pinpoint what RV microwave would best suit one’s needs, especially with so many available choices. Therefore, I’ve listed out some crucial factors that will help you narrow down potential candidates:
- Functionality: Microwave ovens come in different functionalities and what you choose depends on your needs. Most of our recommended microwaves are countertop models with all basic features. For faster cooking and more advanced features, consider convection and grill microwave ovens.
- Installation: Choosing a microwave may also depend on your available space. If you have ample counter space, you can choose a 24 inch over range microwave for RV. A countertop microwave suits best for tiny counter space, while a built-in model looks sleek when integrated into a wall or cabinet.
- Capacity: Your microwave should be enough to cook for your family. The microwave models we reviewed below have a capacity ranging from 0.9 to 1.2 cubic feet.
- Additional Features: The highest-rated microwaves offer many convenient features, such as auto cook settings, a grill, and a child lock function for safety. To remove the smoke and recirculate the air, look for an RV microwave with exhaust fan.
Realizing the importance of an RV microwave is the easiest part; now, choosing the right one for your needs is the hardest part. Here, I have compiled 10 of the top-rated RV microwaves available today and reviewed each of their performances. Keep scrolling to find your top-rated microwave option.
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Top-Tier RV Microwave Reviews
1. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave
The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is a 1.2 cubic feet countertop microwave that’s efficient for reheating and cooking all popular foods like pizza. Everything I prepare turns out good, plus the microwave can be muted so as not to disturb other people.
The top-tier part about this microwave is its cooking performance. It packs a high wattage of 1,100, so it can handle large plates of food without requiring too much cooking time. Thanks to its built-in sensor, I don’t have to set the cooking time and temperature—the microwave does them itself.
What I like most about this microwave oven is its user-friendly design. There’s a large handle that allows me to open the microwave door quickly and a countdown timer to inform me when the food is ready.
I especially love the one-touch start buttons that start the cooking time from 1 to 6 minutes immediately. It’s also impressive that the appliance has preset buttons for cooking rice and other popular foods.
My favorite feature is the defrost button, which allows me to defrost my frozen meat without a hassle. Other than the preset 1-pound option, I can program the device to thaw out the frozen food based on my own preferences and needs. And as someone who wants to save energy, I appreciate the ECO mode that uses a lower power.
2. Sharp R1874T Microwave
The Sharp R1874T is an RV microwave convection oven over the range that offers 1.1 cubic feet capacity. Besides heating my old lunch, this 850-watt convection microwave can bake and roast well. I bought this to replace my Dometic RV microwave, and I’m pleased with its elegant design and smart sensor settings.
This Sharp microwave convection oven for RV has nicely laid settings. The modes between the Microwaves and the Convection are well separated, so I never get confused. I should praise its default power settings because it can reheat food with exceptional evenness.
The Popcorn setting is decent enough to make popcorn without any burnt kernels. On the other hand, I discovered that the convection modes slightly outperform the cooking modes. When I baked some cookies, they came out well.
As for the design, I applaud its durable stainless steel interior and exterior, which also looks sleek in the kitchen. This Sharp model offers two racks, allowing me to heat/bake two different dishes at the same time. Furthermore, it includes a superior exhaust system to help vent the odor and smoke outside your RV.
3. RecPro EM925AQR-S RV Microwave
The RecPro EM925AQR-S is another microwave RV compatible unit that offers a generous 1.0 cubic feet capacity. Compared to my regular old microwave, this model is quieter.
To my delight, this model is easy to install. In fact, it only took me about ten minutes to finish the setup. I used the stainless steel trim kit to make the microwave beautifully integrated into my kitchen cabinet. A quick tip- make sure that you mount this unit on a solid base.
Of all eight cooking functions, I find the Dinner Plate the most useful in my RV. I usually have plenty of leftovers, so having the option to reheat my old dinner is convenient. Besides, you can also immediately cook other food, such as popcorn, pizzas, and beverages.
This 900-watt standard microwave has touchpad controls, which I think are easy to operate. It vents out through the front, so I’m glad that I don’t have to vent through the roof. Best of all, the interior is painted white, but it’s easy to clean.
4. Greystone P90D23AP-X3-FR03 Microwave
The Greystone P90D23AP-X3-FR03 is one of the RVs’ top-quality microwaves because it fits nicely in a small kitchen space.
I installed mine in a cabinet above my countertop and was pleased with the large space I’ve saved. I love the trim kit because it gives a neat, finished look when you mount this travel trailer microwave in your cabinet.
If you don’t want to install this Greystone model in your cabinet, you can use the rubber feet to keep the appliance from slipping across your countertop. I like the idea of multiple mounting options, allowing me to place the microwave anywhere. If you own a boat, you can use the P90D23AP-X3-FR03 as a marine microwave.
I previously owned a Samsung RV microwave, and I can say that this Greystone model is an excellent replacement. This small RV microwave offers a capacity of 0.9 cubic feet and produces a power of 900 watts, which is quite sufficient for its compact size. With its six cook settings and ten power levels, my food always comes out fast and evenly cooked.
As for its operation, this mini RV microwave uses a touch control panel for convenience. The LED display is very useful because it shows the clock, cooking time, and other activated functions. Moreover, the construction seems top-notch with its outstanding resistance against rust and vibration.
5. Samsung MG11H2020CT Microwave
I was happy to come across the Samsung MG11H2020CT for my RV kitchen. This 1.1-cubic feet microwave oven comes with a ceramic enamel interior that’s resilient against scratches and dirt. With 9 pre programmed cook settings, I can manage any meal quickly, from popcorn to vegetables.
The grilling element perfectly excels at preparing crispy foods, like bacon and fish. A tray is positions on an elevated platform inside and raises the food above the oven, providing a crisp and crunchy dish. For example, my pizza crust comes out crispy and tender, while bagels get that perfect crunch.
When the cooking timer goes off, this microwave oven beeps a few times. Sometimes, I get flustered with the beeping sound so I turn it off. To activate the mute function, simply push the Sound button to enjoy cooking without the beeping sound.
I love the Eco function on this Samsung microwave oven because I can conserve some electricity. There’s a 30-sec function, so when I’m in a hurry, I can push that button to reheat food quickly in the morning. Best of all, it’s easy to clean as it requires less scrubbing when food spills do happen.
6. RecPro RPM-1-BLK RV Microwave
RecPro is an excellent replacement for a Greystone or High Pointe RV microwave with its great features. This camper microwave includes a trim kit to mount the unit in your kitchen cabinet. It offers eight express cooking options, ten power levels, and a quick start operation for every 30 seconds when you’re in a rush.
Since I accompany my little nephews to camping sometimes, I appreciate its child safety lock. I can leave my nephews in the kitchen unattended without worrying about them tweaking on the microwave settings. Like all other microwaves, this 0.9 cubic feet model has a turntable that rotates food for even cooking.
I genuinely adore the feel of the touchpad controls because they’re straightforward to use. Besides, an LED display lets you see the four-digit timer that counts the cooking time. Out of the eight cooking options, my favorites are the Pizza and Dinner Plate because they’re useful for my daily RV life.
The RPM-1-BLK includes a vent exhaust, making it one of the top-rated RV microwaves out there. This exhaust system helps deal with the cooking smoke and odors. With how cramped up my RV is, I’m glad that all heat and smell goes outside.
7. Greystone P90D23AP-YX-FF03 Microwave
The Greystone P90D23AP-YX-FF03 completely changed the appearance of my RV kitchen with its elegant stainless steel construction.
This built-in microwave offers a 0.9 cubic feet capacity, which is enough for a small family. With 900 watts of power, this product won’t consume much electricity.
This Greystone microwave comes with a trim kit, so installing this unit in a cabinet would be easy. While this trim kit offers a nice built-in aesthetic, it provides proper airflow. This microwave model seems to vent to the interior.
I love its one touch electronic controls that make it easy to adjust the cooking function, timer, and power level. Besides reheating my old dinner, I can also boil and defrost frozen food. There’s a glass turntable, so I’m confident that my food cooks evenly.
Notably, with its six quick cook settings, I don’t have to enter a time or power level to cook food. I just have to choose between Popcorn, Beverage, Baked Potato, etc.
The P90D23AP-YX-FF03 is indeed designed to ensure safe use. This Greystone model offers a child lock setting to keep it inaccessible for kids.
8. RecPro RV Convection Microwave
If you’re looking for a microwave to diversify your cooking abilities, the RecPro RV convection model is the right choice. This RV built in microwave convection oven offers multiple cooking functions and various conveniences for our RV life. In detail, this microwave offers ten power levels, nine cook options, and four cooking modes.
Besides heating your food, this RecPro convection microwave can roast and grill. This capability is good news for someone who wants to reduce redundant appliances in the kitchen. I tried grilling my cheese sandwiches for 11 minutes at both sides, and they came out fine.
I’m pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to install this microwave to the cabinet. Due to its complete assembly, I only need to insert the outer trim and set it into the opening of my past microwave. The fit is precisely what the dimensions say, so it took me about less than ten minutes.
Out of the nine cook options, I like Roast Chicken because it comes in handy during family dinners. I’m quite satisfied with the Popcorn function because it can cook all the kernels. I also love the reality that I can cook food more quickly and evenly now.
9. Kenmore 70929 Microwave
The Kenmore 70929 is the perfect microwave for a small countertop because of its compact size. It’s only 18.3 inches wide and 11 inches high, enough to fit on tight spaces. At 900 watts, this countertop microwave offers ten power levels and six preset programs.
One notable feature of this unit is its LED lighting. The touchpad display is easy to read because it’s properly illuminated with these LEDs. As I recall, I’ve never had a microwave that allows me to view the food cooking until I use Kenmore.
This 0.9-cubic feet microwave is ADA compliant, meaning it’s designed to be accessible for people with disabilities. Cooking becomes easy as you only need to push a button to cook popcorn, pizza, potato, frozen vegetables, beverages, and dinner leftovers.
The 70929 is one of the few microwave models that actually make perfect popcorn. It heats up food perfectly and defrosts frozen foods quickly. Best of all, it comes with an unbeatable price.
10. Cuisinart CMW-200 Microwave
If you want a larger capacity, the Cuisinart CMW-200 is a great contender. This convection microwave oven offers a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet. Everything on this unit looks sleek, from its brush stainless steel exterior to its dark tinted glass window.
I love using this RV microwave convection oven combo for roasting chicken. The microwave heats fast while the roast function helps cook the meat tenderly inside. On top of that, this model also comes with a grill function to help crisp out the food.
One feature that stands out to me is the CMW-200’s multi-stage cooking option. This modern technology lets you program 2-3 functions in the order you choose. One time, I tried defrosting some spare ribs, then heated and grilled them deliciously in the microwave.
It’s a plus that this model comes with a grill rack because it doubles the microwave’s capacity. I can cook my breakfast burrito on top while warming my morning tea below. The rack makes it even better when defrosting and cooking meat as it cooks thoroughly.
What To Know Before Buying RV Microwave
Choosing the perfect microwave for your RV can be a bit overwhelming, given the many options out there. But I have some tips to make it easy. Learn all you need to know from the various types of microwaves to what features to look for.
The Different Types Of RV Microwave Ovens
There are various types of microwave ovens categorized in terms of functionality. Here are the three basic types of microwave ovens suitable for your small RV.
- Solo Microwave Oven
A solo microwave is a standard model suitable for first-time users in the kitchen. This microwave type has all essential features, including reheating food and beverages and cooking popcorn and pizza. Since these models have basic functions, they’re the cheapest of the bunch.
Many of these models are configured to be set on the countertop. They have a capacity between 0.5 to 2.5 cubic feet. To give an idea, a 0.5 cubic feet capacity is slightly bigger than a gallon of milk, which isn’t large enough to cook for your family.
- Grill Microwave Oven
A grill microwave oven is slightly more versatile than a solo one but still can’t surpass a convection model. Aside from the magnetron that generates microwaves, grill microwave ovens include a radiant heat source to roast vegetables and meat. Most models of this type activate the grill function with a button.
I have noticed that grill microwaves are not as popular as convection or solo microwaves because most RVers don’t see a microwave as a grilling place. Nonetheless, they allow you to cook fish and steak with a crisp effect. The only feature that restricts a grill microwave to be a perfect baking appliance is its lack of a fan to spread the heat evenly.
- Convection Microwave Oven
If you want to save the hassle of bringing a separate grill and standard microwave on the RV, go with a convection microwave that offers these functions on top of baking your favorite recipes. This multi-function appliance can reheat your food, grill meat, bake cookies, and even defrost frozen food. Many RV-ers prefer convection ovens because they usually cook food more evenly, thanks to its integrated fan that distributes the heat inside.
The oven capacity of convection microwaves is the same as the grill models. The oven capacity falls between 1-2 cubic feet. Like other microwave types, it’s much preferred to have more oven space.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Microwave Ovens
The main selling point of microwave ovens is convenience. This appliance allows you to cook and heat food in just a simple press of a button in a few minutes. Compared to conventional ovens, microwaves cook faster and won’t create any mess.
A microwave oven can also cook food healthily. It can steam your favorite vegetable while still retaining the nutrients. When you set the time and choose a particular auto-cooking function, you don’t have to worry about burning your food again.
In terms of energy consumption, microwaves are more economical as they use less energy than traditional ovens and gas burners. Food also cooks more evenly with the recent convection technology where a fan distributes hot air more efficiently. For a small appliance, it can grill and even bake, besides reheating food.
However, you need to be careful about what utensils to put in the microwave. Always use a microwave-safe dish, or some chemicals might leach into your food. Another drawback is its limited oven capacity.
The Different Places To Install Your RV Microwave
The RV kitchen is usually small, so you must know where to place the microwave to maximize the space. Here are several placement ideas you can consider:
- Over The Range
Some standard and convection microwaves are designed to be installed over an induction or gas range. Many of these models have lights and ventilation below to work as hood fan. The vent fans help remove the smoke and odor outside your RV.
This type of placement is beneficial in maximizing the limited space in your RV kitchen. However, it may be hard to reach and see the microwave if it’s placed too high. If you opt for this installation, try to match the microwave finishes and range.
- Built Into The Cabinet
If you like your microwave to look beautiful in your kitchen, integrate the unit into the cabinet. This placement allows you to customize the height for the best reachability. Just make sure to place the unit near the counter, or you may run the risk of holding a hot bowl and having no place to set it quickly.
When installing the microwave into the cabinet, look for a beautiful trim kit to fit the unit into the cabinet. A trim kit is necessary to allow proper ventilation of the microwave. If you don’t have a cabinet with the right size and height, create a customized cabinet.
- On The Countertop
The most common area to place your microwave is absolutely the countertop. This kind of setup allows easy reach to your appliance. However, it becomes a hindrance if your countertop space is minimal.
To make sure that your microwave won’t disrupt the natural flow of your kitchen, determine how much space you’re willing to give up. Also, consider placing the microwave on the corner of the countertop to save a little space.
What To Look For
Seemingly, microwaves have evolved its features to provide more efficiency and convenience. Here are essential elements and specifications to look for when buying a good RV microwave.
For many RVers, the top-tier microwave is one that operates not more than 900 watts. Anything more than that means more consumption of battery or generator. And if you want to choose a 12v microwave, you’re on the wrong track because that’s just not sufficient to run a good microwave.
If you choose a solo or grill microwave, look for higher watts to provide higher cooking speed. A higher watt power is especially significant for grill microwaves as they won’t be able to produce that grilling flavor without it. As for convection ovens, the watts may not be as essential with other microwave types because they use different cooking technologies.
- Oven Capacity
As often expressed in cubic feet or liters, oven capacity refers to the microwave’s cooking area. The ideal capacity depends on the number of your household and usage.
For 2-4 people, a solo microwave that’s 15-20 liters (0.5-0.7 cubic feet) in capacity is enough. A grill or microwave oven with 21-30 liters (0.8-1 cubic feet) capacity is also ideal for a household of 2-4 people.
For 4-6 individuals, a solo microwave with 25-30 liters (0.9-1.1 cubic feet) capacity might suffice. If you opt for a grill or convection microwave oven, look for at least 32 liters (1.1 cubic feet) of capacity.
- Size And Clearance Space
Microwaves now come in a wide range of sizes, from small countertop models to bigger appliances, so it’s essential to consider how much space is available in your kitchen. Solo microwaves are usually the smallest, while some hybrid models can be huge. If you have a restricted kitchen space, look for a solo model.
The door size is another factor to consider. If you have poor strength and mobility, look for a wide-opening door, so it’s easier to remove heavy or hot plates. A drop-down door is also a convenient area to put your hot food when the door is fully ajar.
The clearance space is also essential to consider since all microwaves need some area for proper ventilation. Before you purchase a microwave, determine the needed clearance, and make sure that there’s a power outlet near the area you plan to install the microwave.
- Auto Cook Settings
If you want to remove the cooking time’s guesswork, the auto cook function will satisfy the need. Most models offer 6-12 auto cook settings to simplify the cooking process. Such settings may include Popcorn, Pizza, and Dinner Plate.
With this feature, all you need to do is specify the food that you want to cook. Just press a button, wait for the beeping sound, and the microwave will do the rest.
- Special Functions
Some crucial functions that you may need are defrosting, grill, and child lock. The defrost function allows you to heat frozen food. Say you like to thaw the other day’s curry from the fridge, this is the correct function to use.
The grill function reduces the time to prepare food. This function lets you sear and cook food without ruining its structure and flavor. With a grill rack, food can be crisp up entirely.
Child lock is a safety feature that prevents your kids from accessing the microwave while it’s hot. For most convection microwaves, the interior tends to get very hot during the baking process. Generally, this particular feature comes with a code to unlock the unit.
- Timer And Control Panel
The timer lets you set the cooking duration between 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The timer controls depend on the control panel type of the unit. There are three control panel types- mechanical, dial, and touch.
The mechanical or dial control panel usually uses knobs for operation. This panel type can endure rough usage, but it’s not as convenient as a touch panel screen. With touch panels, you operate the machine with a simple finger touch.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who makes the most trusted RV microwave?
Greystone makes the best RV microwave because their models are compact and usually come with a durable trim kit for easy installation. Their top-rated model is the P90D23AP-X3-FR03, which can resist vibration from a long ride. Some great contenders are RecPro, Sharp, and Samsung.
What is the difference between RV and regular microwave?
An RV microwave is designed to resist vibrations while regular microwaves aren’t. RV microwaves are also more compact than a standard version to fit into limited spaces. Also, most RV microwave models come with a trim kit that bolts to the outside for easy replacement and an air duct for proper ventilation.
Can I use a regular microwave in my RV?
Yes, you can use a regular microwave as long as it fits your old space. If you install it in the cabinet, make sure to use a trim kit to dissipate your RV heat. You can also put the microwave on the countertop if the unit doesn’t produce extreme heat, preferably models that use 700 watts or less.
What are the most suitable watts for a microwave?
An 800-watt microwave is a good baseline for an RV microwave. Most recipes usually require a minimum of 800 watts power to make sure that food comes out evenly cooked. Generally, higher wattage means more speed in cooking.
How to setup and use?
Install the microwave on a stable, dry surface, making sure that the vents aren’t covered. Next, install the turntable and plug the unit into a grounded outlet. Set the basic settings, like the current time, and test all the features, including express cooking, defrost, and reheat.
When reheating the food, set the food on a ceramic or glass container in the turntable. Cover the food with some plastic sheet to prevent it from splattering all over the microwave. Set the time between 30-60 seconds or until the food is warm enough.
To cook frozen foods: Follow the label’s directions and stir it after cooking to determine any cold spots. Then, return the food into the microwave for another 30 seconds if the food isn’t thoroughly cooked. Finally, steam vegetables for 2-3 minutes and cook fish for 1-2 minutes.
How do you clean and care for the microwave for RV?
To clean your microwave, heat a bowl of water, then take it out. Wipe the interior with a soft cloth damped with mild soap and water. Clean the grease filter, turntable, door, rack, and control panel.
Clean the microwave weekly, so it maintains its optimum performance. When you notice a foul odor, remove it with a bowl of lemon and water. Boil the lemon water in the microwave and wipe the interior with a soft cloth.
Never run your microwave empty because it might cause damage. Even if you’re in a hurry, never slam the door hard, or you may damage the latch. Avoid using metal cookware because microwaves can’t penetrate through this material.
Do you need a special microwave for an RV?
You don’t really need a special microwave for RVs, any regular one will do. Just make sure it’s portable, has a low wattage, and offers great functionalities. If you have the space and the power, you can upgrade to a larger one with higher wattage.
How do you choose the right size microwave?
If you want a countertop microwave oven, get the dimensions of your existing microwave or the available area in your counter space. Leave an inch of space between the wall and the microwave for ventilation. For built-in and over-the-counter range models, measure your current microwave enclosure or cabinet where you hide your unit.
To give you a general idea of common microwave sizes, here’s a quick breakdown:
- A countertop microwave oven can have an internal capacity as compact as 0.5 cubic feet and as large as 2.2 cubic feet. These models are 15–24” wide, 10–13” high, and 27–39” open-door deep.
- Over-the-range models have a capacity of 1.7 to 2 cubic feet, almost the same as standard countertop models. The external dimensions are 24–30” in width, 17” in height, and 40–50” in open-door depth. A low-profile microwave hood is slightly smaller at 1.1 cu ft, providing more compactness.
- Built-in microwave ovens have almost the same capacity as a standard countertop model, around 1-2.2 cubic feet. They’re 17–22” high and 30–35” open-door deep. While others have varying widths, built-in models only have three widths: 24, 27, and 30 inches.
How many cubic feet should RV microwave be?
Determining the right capacity for RV microwaves ovens depends on your cooking style and the number of people you’re planning to feed. If you’re cooking for 1–2 people, choose the smallest RV microwave that’s 0.5 to 0.9 cubic feet. This size is enough to reheat or cook a one- or two-serving meal.
Pick a microwave with a size ranging from 1 to 1.6 cubic feet to make medium-sized meals for two to four people. On the other hand, a 1.7 to 2.2 cubic feet microwave is perfect for campervan of more than four people. It’s large enough to cook multiple meals and provide more functions, such as defrosting.
What type of cookware material do you use in a convection microwave oven?
Ceramic and glass are two of top-tier RV microwave convection oven cookware because they’re durable and resilient against high temperatures. These materials won’t melt and can retain heat efficiently, making food cook more evenly and faster.
Also, they don’t absorb the flavor of the food, so your next recipe won’t taste like your old spaghetti.
On a related note, never use metal in microwave ovens, as this material reflects the microwaves rather than absorbing them. As a result, the temperatures inside the device can get hot enough to start a fire.
How long do microwave ovens last?
A well-maintained microwave oven can last up to a decade. To extend the life of your microwave, Consumer Reports suggests being gentle in handling the door and other sensitive parts of the microwave to prevent premature damage.
And as mentioned above, avoid using metal equipment inside the microwave because it can lead to a fire.
Can you run a microwave off a battery?
A microwave will draw a lot of power from your battery, making it drain fast. This setup will only run the microwave for a few minutes. To supply sufficient power in your microwave for a longer time, try running it with a generator.
A microwave indeed makes life more comfortable in the RV because it can reheat, grill, and even bake your favorite recipes away from home. All the microwaves that I reviewed above are good, but if I have to choose the best RV microwave, I prefer the Greystone P90D23AP-X3-FR03. This unit cooks efficiently and very convenient to use.
If you like a convection microwave, I recommend the Sharp R1874T and RecPro RV. The Cuisinart CMW-200 provides the highest capacity at 1.2 cubic feet. For versatility, the Farberware Black FO10AHDBKC is the most versatile with its air fryer/grill function.
Okay, so I’m Philip Lopez. I join Riverside Trailer as an editor, where I will be doing research for both content and reviews. I contribute to studies aimed at understanding the most typical problems encountered by RVers on the road. I also keep up with the newest RVing gadget innovations so that I can promptly evaluate and recommend the best options.