0.9 cu ft Microwave to fit a 21 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-24-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
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0.9 cu ft Microwave to fit a 21

I am in search of a microwave to fit in my 2nd gen Escape 21.
From what I have seen, a typical 0.7 cu ft/700w model will fit in the cupboard above the closet no problem.
But the typical 0.9/900w models are ONLY about 1/2 inch too wide to fit the opening.
My cupboard opening is 18-3/8 wide X 11-3/8 tall. Inside the opening face is some extra room on both sides. The hinges from the door subtract from this measurement, but I can remove the hinge to get the microwave inside.

Does anyone know of a 0.9/900 microwave that will fit through the 18-3/8 opening?

Or another solution? I don't want to cut the cabinet face just to get a microwave in there.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:29 AM   #2
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I trimmed the cabinet face a little and installed a Panasonic NN-SD372S inverter microwave. It's a 0.8 cu/ft 950 w model in stainless.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-NN-.../dp/B00785MVRA

I really like the inverter technology. I can turn down the power when needed and save on my batteries when boondocking. Also, defrosting doesn't cook the outside of the food to get the inside defrosted.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:38 AM   #3
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I trimmed the cabinet face a little and installed a Panasonic NN-SD372S inverter microwave. It's a 0.8 cu/ft 950 w model in stainless.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-NN-.../dp/B00785MVRA

I really like the inverter technology. I can turn down the power when needed and save on my batteries when boondocking. Also, defrosting doesn't cook the outside of the food to get the inside defrosted.
Any problem with the 1200 watt actual draw when on full power with your inverter?
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:04 AM   #4
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Any problem with the 1200 watt actual draw when on full power with your inverter?
No, it pulls down the battery voltage while it's running but recovers soon after the microwave finishes. I've made popcorn on the inverter but not too often - it takes a while with solar to recharge. Most of the time when on battery, I use the microwave to heat up leftovers and do that using half power.

Of course, I had made new battery cables with a hydraulic crimper to replace the ones Escape did. I wasn't too happy with their crimps and needed new cables when I installed the solar controller/ battery monitor anyway.
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Old 03-24-2018, 11:49 AM   #5
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I guess I should explain why I use inverter microwaves.

In an ordinary microwave oven, the magnetron which produces the microwaves is always at its full power when on - the microwave adjusts cooking power by changing the on/off cycle time to reduce power. In an inverter microwave oven, the power level of the oven is adjusted by reducing the power applied to the magnetron - the magneron is on at a lower current until the cooking time is complete.

So, using an ordinary microwave, the inverter sees a full power current surge when on then an off time, then another full current surge - on and off until the cooking time is complete.

An inverter microwave , when at reduced cooking power, runs at a reduced current until the cooking time is complete - no current surges which is better for the inverter/battery.

Food defrosts without the outside being cooked while the inside is still frozen, food cooks better when not subjected to the on/off full power mess, and the battery/inverter is happier. I don't think I will ever buy any microwave other than an inverter type.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:01 PM   #6
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Oh boy, you may have just made my day. We want a microwave in our new 21, but I came up blank trying to find an inverter microwave that would fit. I really want the inverter technology, preferably from Panasonic since we are so happy with the larger unit we have at home.

Could you please elaborate a bit on exactly what you had to do to get the microwave in? I am really, really interested.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:14 PM   #7
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Could you please elaborate a bit on exactly what you had to do to get the microwave in? I am really, really interested.
Microwave Questions

I measured the dimensions needed for the microwave to fit, taped off the cabinet opening to match, and used a jig saw to trim off about an 1/2" off one side and about 1/8" off the top side. I asked Rease for some of the vinyl trim material he uses for the wardrobe cabinet edges and glued them onto the edges of the microwave opening (didn't care for the brown paint Escape uses). I fabricated some aluminum angle (Home Depot) to screw onto the bottom side edges of the microwave, added velcro to the bottom of the angle brackets, and after plugging in the microwave in the outlet in the cavity and using painting stir sticks under the microwave so the velcro wouldn't stick before I was ready - slid the microwave into the cavity so it was where I wanted it - pulled out the sticks - and done.
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Old 03-24-2018, 12:36 PM   #8
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The hinges from the door subtract from this measurement, but I can remove the hinge to get the microwave inside.
Do you plan to keep the door on the microwave cabinet? I don't think you would be able to open the door on the microwave with the microwave recessed enough to allow the cabinet door to close unless the microwave was on some kind of slideout to allow the microwave to extract from the cavity enough for the microwave door to clear. That would mandate a lot of work to install regardless of what microwave you chose to use.

I requested that the microwave door not be installed when I ordered the trailer and installed the microwave in my 21' so that it was just proud of the cabinet surface to allow opening the microwave door without hitting anything. You might take a look at removing your microwave cabinet door as well.
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:19 PM   #9
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Do you plan to keep the door on the microwave cabinet?
Bummer, this is already sounding more involved than I had hoped. All your points are valid. I had not considered the microwave door and such.

Besides the fact that 0.9 microwave are considerably larger (nice) than 0.7 cu ft (which is what I assume ETI installs), it is also unfortunate that if mounted to the cabinet face, it creates a fairly large unusable space behind the microwave. And we all know that in small trailers, every cubic foot of space is valuable.

I had not considered some form of sliding shelf, will have to look at that some more.

And thanks for the discourse on inverter types, now had to add that to my desired specs.


The research continues.....
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:45 PM   #10
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"it is also unfortunate that if mounted to the cabinet face, it creates a fairly large unusable space behind the microwave. And we all know that in small trailers, every cubic foot of space is valuable."
Storage space lost due to the microwave was not an issue for us - I gained more space by installing a Hepvo under the galley sink than I lost installing the microwave. It's real handy to be able to just hit the release button for the microwave door, throw my food in, and go. Also, that "usable space" behind the microwave is not much due to the sloping top and helps with cooling the microwave.

The sliding shelf would allow the microwave to be recessed enough to close the microwave cabinet door and still be able to extend out enough to be able to open the microwave door - but, the usable space would be still be gone. The look of a cabinet door when the microwave was not in use instead of a microwave sticking out all the time would be nice, but you lose the convenience part.

Decisions, decisions... Don't you just love this part!
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