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Old 02-04-2011, 01:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Cooking setup

I am looking at purchasing a used SMB and am curious about various cooking setups. I looks like a lot of people are using microwaves. I don't really like microwaves (at home and especially not in a vehicle).
What are your preferences in terms of cooking stove setup? We had a camper van in Australia that had a slide out propane stove that worked quite well. I have also seen owners with diesel cooktops.
But most of the sales classifieds don't mention stoves. Whats the deal?
Thanks for the advice.

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Old 02-04-2011, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Cooking setup

Portable Coleman stove is the most popular choice. The SMB comes with a small butane single burner portable stove which I like to use during the summers. Butane has difficulty during winter and cold temps. Some SMB with on board propane or diesel have a built in stove on the countertop but most prefer to do there cooking outside so hence the portable stove.

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Old 02-04-2011, 02:55 PM   #3
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Re: Cooking setup

Stinky. except popcorn

Going where most dont
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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Re: Cooking setup

Like most things on an SMB, it is personal preference.

For one thing, I wouldn't have a microwave. Uses valuble space and sucks battery power.

But, I like having the propane stove inside for making morning coffee or warming up stuff. But, it takes up some of the limited counter space. Most of our cooking is done outside on a portable BBQ.

The new SMB stove is almost flush with the countertop, so you have a full, flat counter but can open the stove when you want use it. Very nice.

I would guess if a van doesn't list a stove, it doesn't have one.

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Old 02-04-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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Re: Cooking setup

Our SMB did not come with a portable butane one-burner stove, but we bought one from Amazon for about $25 and fuel cannisters are available and cheap at Big 5 and other sporting goods stores. We like the flexibility of being able to cook either indoors or out depending on the weather, and not having to dedicate a piece of counter to a stove. So far we've only camped in cold weather so we've cooked inside, which is at a comfortable temperature thanks to the furnace, so butane's dislike for cold temps has not been an issue.
2009 Sprinter RB custom floorplan began conversion at SMB West in August 2010, delivered December 20, 2010. Diesel furnace/water heater (Espar D5), gaucho, porta potti, exterior shower, sink, fridge, micro, vent fan, cargo storage in rear.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:16 PM   #6
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Re: Cooking setup

I don't 'cook'. I reheat. All my gourmet meals are pre cooked and all I have to do is reheat them in my microwave. The best appliance you could have in a camper van!
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:34 AM   #7
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Re: Cooking setup

I think it depends on what you go camping for...activities like fishing and hiking, etc., or just getting out and kicking back. That might determine how much time you want to spend prepping, cooking, cleaning up, etc. and thus your choice for what to eat and how to prepare it.

Cooking at home is not a high priority for us and less of a priority while camping...we'd rather be doing something else. Spending a lot of time cooking also means more time cleaning up and doing dishes...something that takes more time while camping. We have a microwave, inside two-burner stove, and BBQ. Cooking outside is not something we do so not portable stove. I can BBQ nearly anything and there is no cleanup with BBQing.

Bottom line for us...keep it simple. BBQ something and add a salad, microwave something simple like nachos, a prepare a one-pot pasta, or microwave a frozen entree, etc.

There was a SMB owner who posted a lot on the Yahoo chat list many years ago who had a stove in their SMB and she thought that everyone should have a stove...baking was what women were supposed to do. To each, their own...
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: Cooking setup

You don't need an oven to bake! We got into some huckleberries while backpacking, and we were able to bake a huckleberry cobbler on our backpacking stove with creative use of aluminum foil to make an oven. There are also folding metal ovens that can be erected on the stovetop.

We like the built in proapne stove, with a cover to create more counter space. We don't do a lot of heavy duty cooking on it. Anything greasy goes outside on the campfire. Except the microwave bacon, which doesn't smoke too bad. The microwave takes up too much space, and uses too much power for us.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:19 PM   #9
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Re: Cooking setup

I have never used the stove in my SMB. I don't want to stink up the van or possibly make a mess. I thought I would never have a microwave in my rig, but I bought a very cheap one at Walmart and have changed my mind about the value of such an appliance. The last time I went camping I took all re-heatable food. I had much better meals than when I cook my greasy fried potatoes and had more time to do fun stuff rather than cook and wash dishes.

I carry a very nice two-burner stove that fits perfectly under the bed with access through the back door. However, I may take that stove our permanently since I bought a small, single-burner stove. Since I'm not a gourmet cook I only cook one thing at a time anyway.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:14 AM   #10
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Cooking setup

We have a built in two burner propane and a microwave

I tried to delete the micro but wife kept putting back in the build

GLAD she did. Short trips she pre cooks and then we nuke

Two weeks over christmas, cooled alot inside during rain and snow.
No problem with smell, had to crack a window and run small fan anyway to keep smoke alarm off
(AND my wifes thai food is very pungent

Also like to be able to make a cuppa. Easy in the morning.

When warm weather, table outside and the Coleman two burner

Kept the two burner because has the back and side wind screens

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