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Old 10-08-2014, 10:05 AM   #1
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Best propane cooktops

Hello,

We are doing our own build of a 96 Quigley E350 RB. Doing some things a bit differently - lots and lots of soundproofing and insulation, minimizing use of wood, full time downstairs bed, large water capacity, large fuel capacity, fewer luxury options and moving parts, more storage and lighter weight all around where we can. Going to take it to South America for ~2 years (spent a year driving from San Diego to Panamá in a 97 Tacoma, sleeping in the back every night, and decided if we're going to spend that long in South America we needed to upgrade!).

In any case, we'll mount propane under the driver's side in the fairly typical place but our only propane appliance will be a cooktop. We're looking at marine cooktops like Seaward Princess and Force 10 eno 2-burner jobs, as they have higher BTU output and better reputations than Atwood and Suburban.

Are we missing the obvious in terms of a high BTU output 2 burner stove that is easy to clean and reliable and won't have too many parts go flying when we're driving?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, anecdotes, or completely unrelated comments anyone feels like sharing

Cheers,
Josh
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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Re: Best propane cooktops

Are you commited to a built in cooktop, or would you consider a portable cooktop that could be used inside or outside?

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/viewto ... 16&t=14019
I'm super happy with my Partner Steel stove.


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Old 10-08-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Re: Best propane cooktops

I really like the look of the flush mount SMEV units, but don't have any experience with them. I'm hoping to include one in my next build.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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Re: Best propane cooktops

The SMEV is my favorite:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMEV-PI8022US-H ... 19&vxp=mtr

Or w/sink:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMEV-MO8322-2-B ... 4d&vxp=mtr

No rattling, usable workspace when top is down, piezo ignition and good looks are high points. The only issue is the bottom is unfinished, so one can see the "workings" of the stove when the drawer is open.




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Old 10-08-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: Best propane cooktops

+1 for SMEV, which I think is now part of Dometic. Ours doesn't have piezo ignition, but it does have a flame safety relay which should reduce the risk of filling the van with propane.

Panther RV has good prices
http://panther-rvproducts.com/SMEV_c131.htm

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Old 10-08-2014, 07:58 PM   #6
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Re: Best propane cooktops

Those are sweet cook tops, do they make a 3 or 4 burner unit? My wife likes to cook.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:23 AM   #7
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Re: Best propane cooktops

Think they have a 3 burner, but it becomes obsolete as you can't fit more than 2 decent sized pots/pans on a stove that size anyway....
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:27 AM   #8
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Re: Best propane cooktops

Thanks for the feedback all. Those SMEV units do look nice, we have looked at them, but they seem to be among the lowest power output of all... 1.4kW / burner which is a bit under 5000 BTU/hr.

We have considered removable stoves but then were looking at a system of recessing it a bit down into the countertop and having a way to secure it there, then also having the ability to haul it outside to cook on it. But we ultimately started thinking that wouldn't look as nice nor be as convenient as we hoped. For the first year of travel we used one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Stansport-Diamond ... camp+stove

Steel stove, very simple, easy cleanup, totally bombproof, and double 15,000 BTU/hr burners was AWESOME. If anyone is thinking of getting a Coleman style 2 burner stove, this thing is the champ in that arena, it will outlive you. We were hoping to get something that functional inside, but haven't found it yet. Closest we have found is this, though it's nearly $300:

http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?pa ... id=1125536

It's a marine cooktop, gets good reviews it seems. Or maybe we should just get another of the Stansport diamondplate stoves...

Cheers again for all thoughts on the subject!

Josh
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:11 PM   #9
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Re: Best propane cooktops

I am no propane expert, but there are different types of pressure regulation. Could that be a limit on some available stoves in a class b?
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Old 10-10-2014, 07:05 AM   #10
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Best propane cooktops

Have you considered a diesel cooktop? Expedition link talks about S. America travel and fuel. Wabasto or wallas, through scanmarine. Here's a few links.
http://nwsportsmanmag.com/industry-news ... -trailers/
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/a ... 44011.html
http://m.scanmarineusa.com/?url=http%3A ... =true#2800
http://www.webasto.com/int/markets-prod ... -solution/
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