Want A Better Cook Top - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-22-2016, 10:46 PM   #1
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Location: Los Osos, California
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Want A Better Cook Top

We've been Escaping now 2/12 years, first with a 17 and now a 21. Both have the two burner Atwood cook top or stove and we are searching for something better. As Leon W aptly put it: "This is our Forever Trailer". Like that.
Want something that simmers better and lights easier and looks nice. I've learned to sleep with a butane lighter(recommended by the helpful hardware Ace dude in Gunnison, CO), yet that's just seems wrong Trying to keep the flame low by going to almost off is tricky; the lowest setting on the small burner is often still too high. Atwoods burners are 7200/5200 BTU. Looks are, well OK.

Love Chris R's fabulous 5.0TA custom, and know he agrees there is not a lot to choose from out there. Looked at the Dickinson 2 burner drop-in unit, however their two burners are 11,000/7,000 BTU so I have reservations about the low simmer there too.

After searching around I am thinking the Summit GC2BGL with an 8350/3400 BTu rating might be the one. It is less than 3" wider than the Atwood, but has a glass top, which I love on our home induction cooktop for cleaning, and has sealed burners and electronic ignition. It can be lit with a match too if no electric power is available. It does have a thermocouple flame failure protection as does the Dickinson. Is this just another spare to have to tote? Do people have any problems with the ovens? Other than that the dimensions seem great and the big burner is towards the sink rather than the wall as those with an Atwood have when turning it 90 degrees.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:26 PM   #2
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You can be the guinea pig!

And then we can all switch over after you test it out for a year or so. How's that sound?

Actually, enclosed burners with a glass top sounds wonderful! I love our glass top at home and would be thrilled to have one in The Trailer, if possible.

Laura, Dirk and Lucy & Spike (the cats)


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Old 03-22-2016, 11:40 PM   #3
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Summit GC2BGL

Looks like a nice appliance. It appears to be recessed 2 inches into the counter - I don't know if that would require some cabinet planning or modification. I like that it has electronic ignition... but it's too bad that as a home appliance it runs on 120V AC; I suppose it uses so little that a small inverter could maintain convenience when on battery power. With the cast iron grate it weighs 15 pounds - not a problem, but another contribution to total weight.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Dickinson 2 burner drop-in unit, however their two burners are 11,000/7,000 BTU so I have reservations about the low simmer there too.
Here is some feedback on the Dickinson. Although the burners are 11K and 7K BTU, both do simmer way better than the stock cooktop/burners. In addition, the flame is spread out and not concentrated in a small spot. This is good for simmering and normal cooking.
Another factor is the hole size in the counter for the stock 2 burner, it is smaller than the Dickinson, so enlarging the hole for the new one will work (as long as you do not have the stock one turner 90 degrees). The only real challenge is replacing the copper propane line as there should not be any propane pipe joints within the trailer except for the connection to the cooktop.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:37 AM   #5
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I got to see Chris's Dickinson installed, and it looks great. It has a the look of being solid, unlike the standard RV cooktop. As he mentions here, he had confirmed what I kinda knew, and showed me just how low the one burner goes. Nice.

I picked the one up I had ordered many months ago (kinda seems like years now) from Dickinson and took it to Escape 3 weeks back. It is funny that this might be the only idea that Chris got from me, as I am going to use a bunch of his well thought out ideas in my trailer.

I had done a great deal of research on stovetops, and almost exclusively the better ones are the marine ones. I settled on Dickinson for all the good reviews I heard, the features it offered, and the price and availability. They are not cheap, but nothing of quality is. You can always get it a fair bit less than what is advertised on their site.

I was also looking for stainless steel, to match the sink and tap I am using. The Dickinson comes with a cutting board that drops in flush with the countertop, which was a big selling point for me. We had a flush lid on our stove in the 19, a feature we took advantage of all the time. The sink had a cover too, but as it was used way more seldom got cover, but the stove, quite a lot.

That summit does look like a nice stove. I had not come across it. It is 2 5/8" narrower and 1 3/4" less deep if that matters. Not a lot of size savings, but that is a fair bit on the smaller countertop. I believe that it is intended for home use, and not RV use, thought that may not matter. I love the cast grate, but will it stay in place bouncing down the road. I know it comes with an LP conversion kit, but I would confirm that it works well at 11" water column.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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Just a weeeee bit pricey, though. Have to admit the Summit is a really nice looking cooktop. Found on EBay, for $400.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:09 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies; have confirmed it is 11" WC- stated on P2 of manual. Brian, I agree about the ignition source of 120V not being ideal and see that their 4 burner units offer battery spark ignition. Have emailed them to see if that would be available somehow on their two burner units. I see the Dickinson has this feature, and while I like the unit am shying away from SS finish out of personal preference.

Actually the Verona VECTG212FDW has the finish I want but is 10,000/6,000 BTU. Am trying to get more information from them as well, but have heard previously from them that they do sell their 2 burner stoves for RV use.

Edit: Myron- I've seen them for $309.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:37 AM   #8
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I researched cooktops extensively when it was time to replace the one in my Scamp. The only ones I liked were the Dickinson and the SMEV. Both have the advantage of becoming flat counter space when not in use. I went with the SMEV as I didn't want big burners, it was less expensive, lighter, and just suited the Scamp better. I've been quite happy with it.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Just an FYI...When looking at btu ratings, be aware that if the rating is given for natural gas when converted to propane the btu rating will be decreased by approximately 20%.
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:53 PM   #10
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Good to know; thanks. Also have learned from a Verona rep that good simmer range by definition is 500-600 BTU's which is hard to find in better residential units. Instead, a simmer plate seems to be the solution- did not know that- but my wife did So for about $20 that problem is resolved. As far as the rest of it am thinking it may likely be more trouble than its worth. Custom gas line is one of the considerations as it isn't code to use fittings inside an RV.

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