There’s nothing like a good meal, whether you’re at home or on the road in your home away from home. Thank to kitchen fixtures like gas RV stoves, you need not rely only on campfire food during your vacation.
While most RVs will come with stoves or cooktops built into their compacted kitchens, you may find it necessary to buy a new one yourself, whether out of necessity or simply personal preference. By far the most prevalent of all cooktops currently available for purchase are Atwood and Wedgewood RV stoves. This guide aims to provide some insight into the inner and outer workings of various Wedgewood and Atwood RV cooktops to help prospective buyers.
Cooktops vs. Ranges
In planning this purchase, you’ll need to determine if you need a cooktop or range.
A range is what most think of when they imagine a stove — a full-sized, free-standing fixture that can fit between cabinets and often includes an oven beneath the stove top burners.
A cooktop, on the other hand, is not free-standing but instead a surface that secures atop or between other cabinets, taking up far less space.
Another major difference is that ranges will generally have burners that all have the same BTU, while cooktops have burners with variable BTUs, so some will work better for simmering while some emit higher levels of heat for more powerful cooking processes.
Deciding between the two comes down to the space you can set aside for your stove top, and if you’re willing to pay the considerable extra charge to have an oven in your RV. Cooktops cost far less than ranges, but they may require some custom work in your RV kitchen to fit into the spaces allotted, while a range can simply be placed upright wherever it will fit.
Atwood has you covered with various models of both, whether you want your stove without or without an Atwood RV stove.
You may need a cooktop rather than a full range. There are two main types of cooktops.
- First is the drop-in cooktop, which is a horizontal surface completely surrounded by counter top.
- Second is the more expensive slide-in, which can be more easily inserted in an empty space between counter tops, with a horizontal surface and a front-facing vertical surface where the controls are.
Obviously, cooktops will be much cheaper than a full-sized Atwood RV range — especially drop-in cooktops. A new cooktop will almost certainly exceed $100 in price but normally won’t retail for more than $150 or so. Where a particular model’s price falls in that window is determined first-and-foremost by its size and number of burners, as well as the material it’s made from. Atwood’s stainless steel drop-in cooktop with three burners, for example costs nearly $150, while the black two-burner drop-in cooktop costs only $119 on AmericanRVCompany.com.
When deciding which drop-in cooktop to purchase, the most obvious factor is the size your range can support. You may want three burners for added space, but if your RV space can’t accommodate anything larger than two burners, you’re out of luck.
Atwood drop-in cooktops all feature two sizes of burners with two separate power settings, 5200 BTU for smaller burners and 7200 BTU for larger ones. Finally, appearance and color of the cooktop will also be a consideration if you’re concerned about having an appliance that meshes with the current decor of your RV.
As I mentioned briefly before, slide-in cooktops cost more than drop-ins but are easier to add without having custom counter work done. Slide-in Atwood RV cooktops have much higher BTU outputs than their drop-in counterparts as well. Both current models have three burners, a front one with 9,000 BTU and two rear burners with 6,500 BTU. The Wedgewood RV stove cooktop goes for $158 on Amazon, while the Piezo High Output model is sold for $259, primarily because of the material made from stainless steel.
You’ll be spending considerably more dough for an Atwood or Wedgewood RV stove range, but it may be worth it for the large appliance’s versatility and included oven.
The models available include the 52808 model and the Wedgewood Vision ranges. The 52808 is but one model in a series of high output Atwood RV oven ranges featuring similar specs but for different prices and incorporating different colors and materials, with widths ranging from 17″ to 21″ depending upon spatial restrictions. They have a 9,000 BTU main burner and two rear burners operating with 6,500 BTU each. The American RV Company summarizes some of the range’s other unique features:
- Several styles and colors
- Piezo ignition
- First Sealed Burners make clean up easier.
- Residential-Style Grates that are rugged yet easy to remove.
- First to eliminate the need to notch the cabinet for installation.
- Linear Burner Valves that are easily adjusted on all burners with a wide range of flame settings.
These models may set you back as much as $800, but one specific 21-inch unit is on sale now for $599.99 through Camping World.
The Wedgewood Vision range also boasts three burners, one with 9,000 BTU and two rear ones with 6,500 BTU, but features a more attractive and in many ways, more efficient design than other Atwood RV stoves and those of competitors. As summarized on Atwood’s website, they use linear valves to help with adjustment capability so the burners “can easily adjust from a low simmer to a full burn.” The design also features a built-in broiler/toaster section and a one-piece porcelain grate that clips to the range to prevent rattling during travel while maximizing on space for pots and pans. This range sells for a little under $700 on Amazon, with units varying in color and size from 17″ to 21″ in width.
The major advantage of buying appliances through a well-known brand like Atwood is that repair and maintenance is that much easier. With some searching, you’ll be able to find replacement Atwood RV stove parts and Wedgewood RV stove parts through local retailers and online stores like eBay to replace any valves that stop working or parts that are simply too stained for your liking.
Atwood and Wedgewood stoves are prominent and usually worthy options for your RV kitchen, but be sure you understand the specifications of each model. Research is key, and speaking with an expert — perhaps one at a local RV parts retailer — might help you further understand how to best use your money. Hopefully, this article has provided somewhere to start in the search for a perfect RV stove.