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Monday, July 24, 2017

MOTORHOME MODIFICATION - Finishing Up Propane Stove Installation

Steve has a dentist appointment later this afternoon, so this morning he decided we should get going with the stove installation.

He removed the braces between all three drawers. It was pretty easy with a hint from fellow Safari owner Wille whom also removed his drawers. Behind each cross piece it was held into place with two screws so they were pretty easy to remove and pop out of the way along with the drawer slides.

He left the topmost cross piece of wood in place to help support the countertop as he makes his cuts. That piece will come out last.

Next, Steve turned off the propane at the tank and totally drained out the propane line by running the burners until it burned off all the existing fumes.

He carefully untethered the cooktop from the copper propane line and also unplugged it from the 120v outlet for the electric igniters. From underneath, he removed two brackets and was able to lift the cooktop right out. We are saving it for a fellow Safari owner who would like to get it after his vacation is over. So it can stow away in the garage for now.

Steve carefully measured two or three times and then made support brackets for the underneath side of the oven so it's not just suspended from the top edge on the counter, but also is firmly supported at it's base.

We tossed around the idea of the bottom drawer---- whether we should leave it as a big one, or use a suggestion by fellow Safari owner Wille to substitute two of the narrower drawers in it's place. We decided we could change that later if we want, but we will keep the one big drawer for now. Remember, I said that's for dog food and my extra wine bottle storage!

Steve suggested we put up some type of a barricade to help keep the sawn dust particles from spreading all over the motorhome. Fortunately, I had these wonderful fabric pieces that are made for draping around a banquet table for craft shows. The edges of the pieces are already stitched with strips of velcro --- we were able to easily stick them up to the carpeted ceiling in the motorhome. It made him the perfect dust capture enclosure. Up above he had the Fantastic Fan to help suck up the heat and the dust.

Donning our face masks and safety goggles, he went to work on carefully drilling the two pilot holes in the two corners. For this he used a Fostner bit on the drill. It easily drills out a larger hole without putting as much stress on the surrounding material as a normal drill bit does. It's also easier to control and more exact.

I held the end of the shop vac hose right near where he was drilling to help take away any of the excess material as the Fostner bit pulled it up out of the hole.
Once each corner was drilled, now it was time to get out the skil saw. A suggestion by fellow Safari owner Brian Harmon, who is also a Corian counter installer, was to get a special 60 tooth blade specifically for laminate and formica as well as Corian. Starting any technical precision job with a brand new blade is a good idea.

He very carefully lined up his skil saw and worked slowly as the blade slid through the Corian material. The instructions said do not push it too fast or you will smell a burning odor. Slow and easy took care of it. 

Next he made the two crosswise cuts on the back section. There is an extra space that remains from the cut out from the old cooktop. We are covering that with a piece of steel painted to match the oven. I want it to cover that space so things won't fall down behind the oven or into the drawer below.

Am I ever glad we put up the little fabric dust catching booth. That stuff sure made a mess. It's like a fine powder all over the place.

Now Steve had to make the two precise cuts for the very corner edges of the stove where it sets against the front of the counter. He carefully measured three times and then cut once. Because if you cut off too much, you can never put it back on again!!!

Now it was time to remove that last cross piece of wood. He left it in place to help support the countertop material during cutting.

The next step was to carefully sand all the edges so nothing was sharp and nothing was more susceptible to cracking. Rounded corners with Corian help make it last longer than a sharp 90 degree right angle cut.

When we removed the old cooktop there was a special heat tape stuck around the opening. The YouTube we watched suggested that we use this type of tape when installing the stove. Fortunately this tape was the exact same size to fit in the new opening. Recycle! Reuse! Repurpose!

While Steve went to the dentist (ouch a $1,300 crown~) I took down all of the fabric draping and started vacuuming and cleaning and wiping everything up. Boy oh boy what a mess it made. I am so glad we hung that fabric around, otherwise I would be cleaning dust from the entire motorhome for weeks.

Once Steve got back from the dentist, he felt fine. So we could keep on going. Okay, here is the time we were waiting for. This is the dry fitting stage. It fits like a glove! Yay Steveio!!!

Our next step was to reconnect the propane line. Steve got the proper fittings all arranged and hooked it up carefully. We tested for leaks with a bubble solution (kids blow bubbles work great!) Good to go.


Not too bad for a $10 used stove
a can of $4 hi heat paint
and a $30 saw blade!  

We had one more thing to address, and that was this gap on the back side after removing the old 2 burner cooktop.  It was not too noticeable, but I didn't want anything falling down behind there. 

Steve got a piece of steel and painted it to match.
He attached it with some Power Grab adhesive.
Looks like part of the stove!

 I think it looks pretty danged good....

My most favorite roaster pan from my friend Lisa
fits in the oven perfectly with the lid on!

I have not been able to use this roaster in the motorhome until now.
I have only been using it outside on the campfire.

I ordered an additional oven rack,
so I can do two pizzas
or two trays of cookies
 or two pans of muffins etc.
It should be here by Wednesday.

 I kinda think this looks like it belongs there all the while.....

Great job, Steveio... you are my hero! 

On a family note:


Today our little guy is FOUR years old! 

He was born after his poor bedraggled mommy Daisy was rescued from a horrible hoarder in Michigan. She was only 8 months old and gave birth to five puppies! (one didn't make it) The pups had horrible health issues and were not adoptable at 8 weeks ... he had to wait in foster rescue until he was five months old. Thank you to Michigan Foster Robin Mathews for taking such good care of him and Ceora Powers for delivering him to us in Wisconsin and to Lisa Martin for setting it up! We didn't get Finnegan until Dec. 2013

All ears! 

This is Christmas--- He is so small!!!

He became Duke's bestest buddy!

He found all sorts of places to hang out,
happy to have a home of his own!

Silly little boy would watch everything I did

He looks so tiny next to Duke
like a little FOX !

The morning after we adopted him,
 he woke up,
and asked:
"Are you for real? I wasn't dreaming??"

Did I mention that Finnegan is also very intelligent?



  1. Great job on the oven. It looks perfect there. You two are amazing with all the renos that you do on the motorhome. It looks very much like my oven but I can't remember if I have 2 or 3 placement shelves in it, I know I only have the one rack though and because it isn't here with me I can't check but I do know that it takes a fairly large pan.


  2. Do you have to put tiles on the bottom so you don't burn the bottom of your baked goods? Stove looks great!

  3. Nice job as always. Yes the stove n oven look like they belong there from the get go.
    Happy Birthday Finney, loved the way he kept his head down watching his chicken while you sang.

  4. Was wondering how the heat from the oven would affect the dog food and wine. We had a small oven in our 5th and remember everything getting warm. Just something to think about. Love your blog. We have two rescued cocker spaniels. We bought our first rv so we could take the dogs with us when we traveled.

  5. That stove now looks like original equipment. Good job, Steve!

    Happy birthday, Finney. Glad you found a wonderful forever family.

  6. Looks good! Is there anything that Stevio can't do? Happy Birthday to Finley!

  7. What a fantastic job! We are torn between remodeling our Bounder (paid for) or trading for a newer model. I like the idea of having 4 burners and an oven at my disposal, since we plan to live in it. The new ones have the microwave/convection oven. Not sure I want to learn how to cook in one!


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