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Old 02-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #1
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Removed the Microwave

Decided to remove our microwave today. Need more pantry space for next weeks’ trip. There will be no hookups and we have rarely used the microwave the rare times we camped with shore power anyway. Was an easy removal with a Roberts screw driver.

Biggest surprise was at 12 inches how shallow the cavity is. Has anyone busted through that back wall and extended the shelf space back to the shell wall? Seems like empty space available for making a nice big pantry. Giving this some thought.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:04 PM   #2
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Not familiar with the 19', but I'm guessing that space is needed for venting heat generated by the refrigerator. Would that make sense? Is the cabinet above that also as shallow? And is there a vet cap above that area on the outside of the camper? Sorry if this is totally off track. Just guessing from your photo....
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:07 PM   #3
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In my first 19 (2012) the area behind the microwave extended maybe another foot, wasted space. But then again there were chimney issues with the refrigerator underneath. Perhaps that space is your chimney, Myron?
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Decided to remove our microwave today. Need more pantry space for next weeks’ trip. There will be no hookups and we have rarely used the microwave the rare times we camped with shore power anyway. Was an easy removal with a Roberts screw driver.

Biggest surprise was at 12 inches how shallow the cavity is. Has anyone busted through that back wall and extended the shelf space back to the shell wall? Seems like empty space available for making a nice big pantry. Giving this some thought.
Hi Myron,

We would love to buy your microwave if you don't want it. We bought our 2013 '19 this last October and it did not come with a microwave. The cabinet is wired for it and everything but I have had a heck of a time finding one in the U.S. small enough to fit. Let me know.

(Oh, I don't know the answer to your question. Our cabinet looks the same as yours.)
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:17 PM   #5
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That's right, the fridge does vent straight up and out the top. I did in fact narrow the vent space with metal sheeting I fabricated. This changes my thinking. Not so simple after all.

Thanks for the offer Arnie...but not selling it. Dear one says she wants it available.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:33 PM   #6
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This is the back of the microwave cabinet looking up. Not much space between it and the fridge vent. Picture was taken with fridge removed.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:54 PM   #7
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That's right, the fridge does

Thanks for the offer Arnie...but not selling it. Dear one says she wants it available.
I understand. Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:31 PM   #8
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I understand. Thanks!

Can't speak for the 19, but my after sale microwave in the 21 was just about/was the cheapest little oven at Chilliwack's Wallyworld.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:16 PM   #9
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Will be leaving it right there for now.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:30 PM   #10
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Will be leaving it right there for now.
Tempting!!!
Looks good
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:31 PM   #11
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Myron - if you pushed the back wall back you could get more of those great looking cookies on that shelf?
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Old 02-11-2017, 01:37 AM   #12
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Is there any wasted space on the sides of that microwave cabinet? The externally visible side borders look fairly wide, and looks to me like ETI might have sized the cabinet to exactly fit the microwave rather than making the cabinet as big as possible.
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Old 02-11-2017, 07:41 AM   #13
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Is there any wasted space on the sides of that microwave cabinet? The externally visible side borders look fairly wide, and looks to me like ETI might have sized the cabinet to exactly fit the microwave rather than making the cabinet as big as possible.
Microwaves need to be vented and air space around them is one way to do that. Microwaves come in different sizes too. I don't find the cabinet to be too big. Storage space, especially in the kitchen area is always welcome... to me. YMMV
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:56 AM   #14
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Is there any wasted space on the sides of that microwave cabinet? The externally visible side borders look fairly wide, and looks to me like ETI might have sized the cabinet to exactly fit the microwave rather than making the cabinet as big as possible.
The previous owner of our home , built an alcove to exactly fit the refrigerator . 10 to 12 years later the refrigerator went bad and no store in town ( city of 2.5 million people ) had a refrigerator the same size or even close . Spent the weekend rebuilding the alcove with our refrigerator in the living room.
Why would Escape build a cabinet to the exact dimensions of a
$59.99 , throw away , soon to be discontinued microwave ?
Plus many microwaves require an 1 1/2" minimum side clearance .
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:54 AM   #15
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Why would Escape build a cabinet to the exact dimensions of a $59.99 , throw away, soon to be discontinued microwave? Plus many microwaves require an 1 1/2" minimum side clearance.
If I understand paulk correctly I believe he was asking if the microwave cabinet space could have been widened overall, not that it should have been made smaller to better fit the microwave. If you see Myron's photo in post #1 and look at the right side in particular I think I see his point. The wood bordering the opening looks like it could have been altered to make a bigger space. What would be nice is the space is made as big as possible and a microwave is furnished with a trim kit. If microwave is not opted for or is removed you are left with maximum space. Obviously they need to consider the visual symmetry of the cabinets as well.

Also Myron has a 2013 so maybe things are done differently now with the newer models.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:08 AM   #16
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Give and take. When outside dimension is fixed, a little more internal space here means a little less internal space there. Is what you want to gain worth what you'll then be forced to give up? Everything is a compromise....
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:32 AM   #17
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Give and take. When outside dimension is fixed, a little more internal space here means a little less internal space there. Is what you want to gain worth what you'll then be forced to give up? Everything is a compromise....
War Eagle, I'm (and I think paulk was) referring to possible wasted space that MAY be inherent next to the microwave. I'm not saying to extend the current boundaries of the cabinetry. Merely suggesting that there could possibly be better use of the space already occupied.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:56 AM   #18
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War Eagle, I'm (and I think paulk was) referring to possible wasted space that MAY be inherent next to the microwave. I'm not saying to extend the current boundaries of the cabinetry. Merely suggesting that there could possibly be better use of the space already occupied.
Rubicon has it right. I was wondering if the finished interior of that cabinet could be made larger. My guess is that it could in theory be made wider, but ETI chose to build it the size that it is currently because they had a microwave of that size. I think that's a fine business decision on their part, especially if most of their customers order trailers with microwaves. In my ideal universe though, there would be an adapter as Rubicon proposed allowing the smaller microwave to be fit into a cabinet that was made to have the maximum space allowed in that area.

I asked them a few weeks ago if they could expand the size of that cabinet to fit the space available and I was told no. It wasn't clear to me though how much extra space you could reclaim if you were willing to rebuild that area yourself. It seems like a lot more work than it would be worth, so I’m planning to leave it as it. Seeing this thread revived my curiosity on the topic though.

I didn’t realize this brand of microwave was being discontinued. Does anyone know what they are changing it to? Maybe the open space will grow a bit bigger with the change.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:25 AM   #19
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Looking carefully at the picture in post #6, I think I can answer most of my own question. On the left you can see the back of the electrical box that the microwave plugs into. Those electrical boxes are typically 2" wide. Eyeballing it, I'd guess that the space between the edge on the bottom and the stud on the wall is about 75% of the width of the electrical box, so it's maybe 1.5" on each side of the cabinet that isn't being used for a total of 3" in width.

In terms of depth, that looks like a shallow electrical box in the picture since the width and depth are about the same. This means that if someone were willing to remove the electrical box, there might be another 2" in the rear.

Finally, if you look at the attached picture of a 2017 17b (I don't have many pictures or notes on the 19 so the height will be different there), it's clear that there are a few inches above and below the cabinet that aren't being used. I don't have an exact measurement, but eyeballing it, I'd say the total available space on the top and bottom is about 70% of the door height. The space above can be reached even if the door doesn't reach all the way to the ceiling.

This thread below, I think, says the cabinet dimensions are 18 3/4" w x 11 3/8"h assuming the microwave used in the 21 is the same. This current thread says the depth is 12".

Measurements of Microwave cabinet in the 21'

So, the volume of the stock cabinet is 2559.375 cubic inches. If you make that cabinet 21 3/4" w x 14" d x 19" h, the volume is 5785.5 cubic inches, so about 2.2 times more space.

Escape sells custom door sizes, so that removes one potential impediment towards enlarging this space.

Tempting.. we’re a family of 4 that'll be in a 17b, so every square inch is valuable.


Those of you who have opened this space up, is there any ducting for the fridge? Is the cabinet itself used as ducting? If so, the final cabinet would need to be completely enclosed to avoid having carbon monoxide enter the living space.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:26 AM   #20
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In the 17 model your refer vent is right behind the upper cabinet, so there isn issue with depth.
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