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Is Your RV Microwave Not Working? Here’s What to Do

An RV microwave not working with door open
Image source: MK2012

Is Your RV Microwave Not Working? Here’s What to Do

Traveling with an RV is awesome because it allows you to cook wherever you go. The propane stove and oven are great, but let’s be honest, the most convenient kitchen appliance in an RV is definitely a microwave. Because of this, most campers notice pretty quickly when they have a problem with their RV microwave not working. 

If you’re currently dealing with an RV microwave not working, you might be wondering what your next steps should be. Fortunately, you can troubleshoot this issue pretty easily on your own, and you will likely be able to fix the problem without the help of a professional. 

Of course, you will need to know where to start. That’s why we’re here. In this article, we will discuss common problems people have with their microwaves along with what you should do in each case.

Issue: RV Microwave Shuts Off While In Use

One perplexing issue some RVers observe when dealing with an RV microwave not working is a microwave that shuts off while in use. It might run for a few seconds, but then it shuts off before the set time has been reached (and sadly, before your food has been cooked). This will keep happening every time you try to restart it until you become frustrated and start looking for solutions. 

What should you do? 

Check venting

In some cases, this issue is caused by an overheating issue. For this reason, it is important to check the venting all around your RV to ensure everything is installed properly and the microwave is able to vent correctly. Not only will an RV microwave that is unable to keep itself cool not be able to cook your food, it could actually be a danger to you and your family. 

Ensure wattage is not too high

If the venting around your RV is all good, the microwave that shuts down mid-session is likely requiring more watts than your power supply is offering. This can happen if you replace your microwave with one that requires more wattage. In this case, you will need to purchase a new microwave that is the correct wattage for your rig. 

Check your power source

This issue can also happen if your microwave is plugged into a faulty outlet that isn’t putting out as much power as it should. If venting and wattage don’t seem to be the issue, unplug your microwave and check the output of your outlet with a multimeter. Sometimes the voltage is too low. In this case, this is your issue, and it will need to be addressed before the microwave can be used again. 

If you’re running the microwave on a generator, it could be that the generator isn’t putting out enough power because it is too small or requires maintenance. Plugged into a 15- or 20-amp power source? This could also be the problem, as these outlets don’t always offer enough power to run a microwave properly.

Electrical outlet

Issue: RV Microwave Has No Power

Maybe your microwave just has no power at all. If the screen is black and the interior light doesn’t come on, your RV microwave is obviously not getting power. But why? 

Try these troubleshooting steps to find out and address the RV microwave not working.

Check outside power source

First, head outside and check the shore power or generator to ensure it is putting out power. You can do this by using a multimeter or plugging something else into the outlet. 

Next, make sure your RV has a solid connection. You might even unplug from the outlet and plug the RV back in. 

While you’re at it, flip the breaker on the power pedestal or generator just to be sure you’re good on that front. 

Test the outlet

Once you’re sure your outside power source is giving you power, head inside to test the microwave outlet. Unplug the microwave and test the outlet with a multimeter to ensure the voltage is correct. 

You can also plug the microwave into a different outlet to see if it works with another power source, and/or plug something else into the microwave outlet to see if it will power anything at all.

  • If the microwave works elsewhere, you know the issue is with the power source.
  • If the microwave doesn’t work in an outlet that you’re sure is working correctly, the problem is likely the microwave fuse (which can be replaced) or the microwave itself. In the latter case, you will need to look for a replacement appliance. 

Flip breakers

If the outlet is not getting power, head to your breaker box and flip the appropriate breaker off and back on. You might also check fuses and look around for tripped GFCI outlets that might be cutting off the power supply to your microwave outlet. 

If the outlet is getting some power but not enough, or if it still isn’t getting power after all breakers and fuses have been checked, you will need to call in a professional to check things out.

Issue: RV Microwave Does Not Heat Food

Let’s say your microwave has power and it starts and runs, but it just isn’t heating anything up. In this case, the problem is almost always with the RV microwave itself. Unfortunately, RV microwave repair is rarely worth doing. Instead, most people opt to purchase a new microwave altogether.

Frozen broccoli

Replacing Your RV Microwave

If you do end up needing to replace your RV microwave, you can choose to purchase an RV-specific appliance or a residential microwave. Just make sure you choose the correct wattage to avoid the problem mentioned at the beginning of this article. Additionally, if you plan to mount your microwave in place of your current microwave, you will want to make sure you measure the spot where it will live so it fits correctly. 

This video shows a great example of how to replace your RV microwave. 

Now you know what to do when you have a problem with your RV microwave not working. Why not fix it now so you can fully enjoy your RV kitchen on your next trip?

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.

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