So my microwave stopped working. This was really not a big deal to me as I have both a stove top and an oven (well, toaster oven). Why would I need this third option for heating food? I’ll show you how I  repurposed the space to accommodate my toaster oven instead.

Microwaves are heavy. If it’s non-functional, I’m not gonna be carrying around this machine carcass. I decided I would pull it out and cross my fingers that the toaster oven could work in that space. If the toaster oven didn’t fit, I figured I would make this some sort of cupboard space. 

microwave in a camper

Step one, unplugging it, is actually done by opening the adjacent cupboard and shoving the cord through a secret hole. Next, I unscrewed the white grate that surrounded it and carefully scooched it out. 

old microwave in a camper

This was way grosser than I was anticipating. I do not want to know how long that spill has been there. It is a 19 year old camper…. Finding a removable wooden platform thing was a surprise too. Also, I thought the white grate was completely separate, but those metal brackets hold it onto the microwave. I suppose this helps keep the microwave in place during travel. 

cupboard for microwave

Without the microwave this hole looked huge! The copper tube is the propane supply for the stove top. Upon first glance, that concerned me. I measured my oven and it turns out it is much less deep than the microwave was. When I tested it in the hole, I felt comfortable that the copper tube had plenty of personal space.

The white grate didn’t fit the dimensions of my oven, but the metal was soft enough that I could cut through it with the wire cutter on my leatherman. It was possible to make it work. But, just because you can… doesn’t mean you should. I chucked it out.

Meanwhile, here is where my toaster oven was hanging out: under my homemade counter top.

Toaster oven in a camper

Thus far, my toaster oven hasn’t done much shifting around during travel, so I didn’t have qualms about losing the white grate. Getting rid of that wooden platform was another consideration. I decided to keep it and secure it down- more for protecting the propane line than aesthetics. I did rework the platform height to get my oven looking centered in the hole.

cupboard for a microwave in a camper

You can see I used a wood filler to plug the screw holes from the grate. I was going to color over these with a brown marker. But then, I happened upon this trim at Home Depot. It’s neither wood nor plastic, but some kind of foamy material. I could saw through it with a steak knife. It was SO lightweight in fact, that securing it was as easy as slapping on some double stick tape.

The end result looks pretty good and two weeks later I’m still quite pleased. Plus, I can spread all my “office” things out more under the counter top where the oven used to be. I don’t miss the microwave at all!

Oven in a camper