Why Is It So High?

 Posted by at 12:29 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 252016

Over the years we have been in a lot of RVs. Everything from small Class C motorhomes to huge fifth wheel trailers and mega coaches with four slides. A lot of them are sold on the “Wow” factor. You know what that is, right? A customer walks in, sees the pretty carpeting and all of the mirrors and fancy gee gaws and says “Wow!” And the salesman rubs his hands together in glee, because he knows the sale is already halfway there.

But every one of them have had one thing in common that I have never understood. Why the heck do they put the microwave/convection oven up so high?

I mean, seriously. A woman is making dinner for her family, the oven dings that it’s done, she stretches up and opens the door, and lifts this hot container full of steaming hot food out over her face and sets it down. What could possibly go wrong?

When I’ve talked to reps from different manufacturers over the years, I’ve always asked them about the position of the microwave and they all say that’s what the customer wants. Really? I don’t believe that for one minute. The position of the microwave is probably the single biggest complaint I hear from RVers, men and women both. Nobody wants to get their face scalded when all they set out to do is have something to eat.

Come on, RV manufacturers, you can do better than that! Instead of relying on focus groups and what some interior designer thinks is efficient, why you don’t get out and actually talk to real RVers who have actually spent some time in one of these things. You might come away with a different point of view.

It’s not an issue for us because Terry doesn’t like to use microwave ovens anyway, and for a lot of her cooking she uses a Breville toaster/convection oven that sits on the counter of our Winnebago. She has used it to bake cakes, cookies, bread and pies, to roast beef and chicken and turkey, and to bake lasagna. You name it and it does the job. And she doesn’t have to climb up on a ladder to get to it and worry about blistering her face in the process.

Breville Oven

We had visitors yesterday. Bill and Pam Johnson from RV Notepad stopped by to chat for a while. I met them briefly at the Escapade in Tucson last year but I was busy giving seminars and helping Terry out in our vendor booth and they were in their booth, so we didn’t get to do much more than say hello. If you’re not familiar with RV Notepad, it’s a great tool that will help you with trip planning, keeping track of your vehicles’ maintenance needs and schedules, expenses, as a journal to record your travels, and a handy place to include pictures and notes on the people you have met and the places you’ve been. Check it out at www.RVnotepad.com. You can even try it for 30 days before purchasing, so what do you have to lose?

Yesterday was another decent writing day for me, close to 4,000 words. That brings me to a total word count of a little over 11,000 words in my new book so far, in three days.

Meanwhile, Terry was throwing the shuttle on her new weaving project. It’s a complicated pattern, and judging what I’ve seen of it so far, the finished product is going to be absolutely beautiful.

We have over 100 entries in our latest Free Drawing. Have you entered yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

Thought For The Day – Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.

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Nick Russell

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  5 Responses to “Why Is It So High?”

  1. We so agree about manufacturers ignoring the real people who use the RVs. We tried for YEARS to get SMC/Monaco to listen to us, the customers. They actually had at Beaver a committee and were listening. SMC and Monaco had a few meetings but it was all for show and they didn’t listen. A few of our pet peeves are: not enough towel rods in the bathroom, where to put kitchen towels in the kitchen, small or no space next to the bed for books, etc., poor lighting in bedroom for reading, placement of furniture in living and dining area, no useful desks, useless fancy coverlet and pillows, poor color schemes, placement of controls for turning on and off things like generator, water pump. And I could go on and on. We were able to get admissions out of Beaver/SMC/Monaco that the designers and engineers were not RVers and 99% had never used the RVs that they designed. As you can see this is a constant concern for everyone. And then there is quality control during the building process. That’s a CONTINUOUS complaint about all manufacturers. We all used to kid about having to go to camp Monaco for a fix especially those still in warranty. When will the manufacturers learn?

  2. I don’t think it has anything to do with what “the customer wants.” At the risk of teaching granny to suck eggs, it all boils down to money. I look at it from the manufacturer’s POV: Ya need 1. an Oven, 2. a Cooktop Fan, 3. a Microwave. The convection/microwave answers these three needs in the cheapest way for the manufacturer. I’d say hands down but it’s really hands up for you.

    The fan needs to be over the stove. Too high over it and short people (I am one so I get to channel Randy Newman) need a stepladder to use the oven. Too low and it gets in the way when tall people try to make their omelettes in the morning on the cooktop and it becomes a fire hazard. So you get the Just Right version, even if it’s not quite right, and the manufacturer gets to say it has those three needs answered. I personally like your countertop oven, but I like one of our short list choices for our own fulltime spaceship even more: the FR Georgetown XL369DS comes with both a convection and a gas oven under the cooktop. I can like the ability to cook a turkey plus all the trimmings at the same time.

  3. Since the microwave contains the “power exhaust vent” it must reside above the stove in our rig. And what a great “vent” it is; turn it on and the noisy fan blows the steam right at the cook.

  4. What it is going to take to get RV manufacturers to put the microwave oven at a safe height is someone getting badly burned, possible blinded, by taking hot food out of a too high microwave then suing the manufacturer. Maybe if we pointed THAT out to them they would listen?

    When I had my van converted I required the shelf for the microwave be at 48″ from the floor. That was perfect height for me.

  5. The manufacturers will listen when we stop buying! As if. We met one man who spoke to someone at a Newmar rally about what he wanted, that no one made. He wanted bunk beds for his grandkids, and he had worked out just where they could go. The very next day, the person from Newmar hunted him down at the rally and said, “Our engineers here have come up with this floor plan. Is this what you had in mind?” And 6 months later, they contacted him again, to tell him that HIS model, that He Designed, was going to be on display as a prototype at the California RV show. He said, “I worked at xxx for 22 years but I never spoke to our President as long as I spoke to Newmar about my needs.”

    So some people do listen. Of our 3 motorhomes, we liked the Newmar the best.

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