Recreational vehicles and camping trailers are popular ways of taking to the country's roads and highways and seeing the land. Families, individuals, couples and groups enjoy RV travel each year, heading out to parks and cities from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Being able to drive to new destinations, pull in to a campsite and cook a meal is a benefit of RV travel. The kitchens and galleys of the RV are instrumental to any camping trip. Knowing a bit about the stoves and available parts can prevent your eating cold peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
The surface of the stove is where the cooking utensils make contact with the flame provided by the burner. Cooktop parts consist of cast iron or steel trivets that set in recessed holders on the stove frame. Trivets stay secure with small metal knobs on the corners that set into a recessed housing on the stove top frame. Most RV stoves have crumb guards and small aluminum discs under the trivets to catch wayward food particles and prevent them from clogging burners or entering the flame. These guards are a safety measure to prevent fires from catching. Bringing an extra crumb catcher is a good idea. In a pinch, fashion one from aluminum foil.
Regulators and Valves
Many campers and RVs use propane stoves instead of electric. Using propane gas creates the need for a regulator and a series of valves to provide controlled quantities of gas entering the burner. Regulators attach to the propane tanks on one side, then attach to the stove and the burners on the other. Regulators have sections of hose, either braided stainless steel or rubber, and have proprietary nozzles where they connect to the stove (check your make and model for nozzle size.) Hose clamps attach to both sides of the hose to give a redundancy in the attachments to the tanks and stove.
The valves have knobs you turn to regulate burner and flame output. Turning the valve, which sits in a housing on the side of the stove, gives you the range of a low to high flame. Having an extra hose clamp, small section of hose and nozzle in the RV stove repair kit helps to prevent cold meals if something breaks.
Burners have a spatula shape and consist of aluminum, stainless steel or other heat-radiating metal. The burners fit atop the stove and under the trivets. They attach to the regulator hose, through which propane gas flows into the burner for the flames. RV cooktops sometimes have a "light" setting on the valve where a small piezoelectric lighter ignites the gas. For cooktops without the piezoelectric system, campers use a hand-held lighter.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.