Find the Perfect Microwave for an RV

RV Share - Open Area Camping with a Class C RV

No matter how lovely and modern your motorhome is, it’ll be hard to take it through a cross-country journey without the essential microwave oven. There is arguably no cooking appliance that is as compact and versatile as a microwave.

While you’d generally use it for reheating and thawing frozen meals, there’s also nothing holding you back from taking it to task by flexing your culinary chops. All things considered, it’s an impressive feat for something that occupies very little space in your precious RV kitchen. Granted you’re indeed taking a compact microwave suited for an RV.

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RV Microwaves Buying Guide

Compact is typically the name of the game when shortlisting RV microwaves for your rig. While we posited that a microwave oven is needed to simplify your RV lifestyle, you would surely love it more if it doesn’t get in the way of the rest of your setup—nor your other dealings in the kitchen.

In most cases, we don’t recommend unplugging your chunky compact microwave at home and bringing it into your RV. It’s often a bad fit due to the limited space and configuration. Unless, of course, you are already using a space-saving appliance in the first place which is just great! But beyond spacing, there are a few other factors that cannot be overlooked when choosing a microwave oven for your RV.


A bigger microwave (up to 1.1 cu. ft.) is reasonably necessary if you’re on the road with more than two people. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to argue against a small microwave (0.7 cu.ft) that is possibly not just space-efficient but also quieter.

Auto-cook option

Auto-cooking options should be non-negotiable. Nobody really has time in 2023 to stand beside their microwave oven for over thirty seconds (or more) as they wonder if their frozen meal is being thawed or melted into oblivion. Even if you can just browse TikTok as you wait, that’s not something you want to do half-halfheartedly. So, for your ease-of-mind, pick an oven that has preset one-touch cooking options. It’s also a lifesaver if you’re not much of a chef.



We already spoke in length about how size matters, but alas, we go again. While exterior dimensions are vital when measuring the appliance against the available space in your RV, you shouldn’t forget the internal dimensions and how they relate to your crockery (i.e., dinner plates, cups, dishes, bowls) as well as food containers that you typically get during your stops. Your awareness of the limitations for both dimensions should immediately help you narrow down your options tenfold.

Power levels and consumption

Understanding the power levels or wattage on your microwave oven is the key to truly unlocking the mystery of why you keep undercooking your mug pizza.

Once and for all, 600-800 wattage is best for reheating food, while 800-1000 wattage is ideal for reheating more complex meals and for defrosting and light cooking. Finally, microwave ovens that have 1000-1200 wattage can be used for air frying, grilling, steaming, broiling and roasting. Recognizing power levels will also help you monitor your power consumption and lead you one step closer to becoming a more responsible adult.



Do I Need a Special Microwave for my RV?

The kind that adds value to your lifestyle! If you’re traveling with family all year round and have a spacious RV interior, then a bigger oven should be ideal. This is to ensure that you will not be forced to split or delay food preparation during meals. Additionally, you’d like something that has a variety of presets or automated cooking options in order to make RV cooking simpler and consistent.

There is also a variant of microwaves called “over the range microwave” which is your best alternative if your countertop or shelf is already crowded. We even listed some of the best over the range microwave ovens.


Is an RV Convection Microwave Oven Different Than a Regular Oven?

Many RV microwaves are also convection ovens, which is a variant that relies on an intermediate process where heat transfers between water and air in order to quickly cook meals as well as fry or grill food. Furthermore, convection microwave ovens are also the safer choice for baking since they can handle metals like aluminum foil and baking sheets.

How Many Watts is an RV Microwave?

A small 600-800 wattage oven is ideal for a small or standard motorhome. If you have a more consistent energy source, then you can also consider using units that can get up to 1,200 wattages and accommodate more cooking methods and options.

The 5 Best RV Microwave Oven in 2023

Now that we’re clear with what makes a great RV microwave oven, it’s time to take a look at the top-performing microwaves that we’ve tested in 2023!

  1. Faberware Countertop Microwave Oven, 700W, 0.7 Cu. Ft. (4.4 stars, 3550 reviews)

The Faberware Countertop Microwave Oven is a value purchase for RV owners since it meets both requirements for being a compact and low wattage unit. In addition to that, the oven is backed by Faberware’s limited lifetime guarantee that easily trumps the 90-day warranty you get from most 0.7 cu.ft microwave ovens.

Dimensions: 12.91″ D x 17.75″W x 10.1″H (32.8 cm x 45.1 cm x 25.7 cm)
Power: 700 watts
Capacity: 0.7 Cubic Feet
Pros: Feature packed and affordable, limited lifetime warranty, child safety lock
Cons: Low wattage, outdated design


  1. Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro Countertop Microwave Oven, 700W, 0.7 Cu. Ft. (4.3 stars, 10,069 reviews)

The stylish Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro Countertop Microwave Oven should definitely appeal most to RVers who love its vintage look and solid results from basic cooking recipes and defrosting. If you don’t mind a unit that is a bit lacking in preset options and one-touch settings but is superior in looks and aesthetic, then the Nostalgia RMO7AQ is worth checking out!

Dimensions: 13.5″D x 17.5″W x 10.25″H (34.3 cm x 45.1 cm x 26.1 cm)
Power: 700 watts
Capacity: 0.7 Cubic Feet
Pros: Classy retro design, 12-pre programmed cooking settings
Cons: Low wattage, limited preset functions



  1. GE Countertop Microwave Oven, 700W, 0.7 Cu. Ft. (4.2 stars, 897 reviews)

GE Countertop Microwave Oven is another great choice for small spaces. The minimalist design is an added bonus since it should fit in nicely with most themes if you are particular about how your RV kitchen looks as a whole. Performance-wise, this oven does its job fairly well but also doesn’t excel in one specific area.

Dimensions: 12.75″D x 17.31″W x 10.19″H (32.4 cm x 44 cm x 25.9 cm)
Power: 700 watts
Capacity: 0.7 Cubic Feet
Pros: Auto and timed defrost, low price, stainless steel design
Cons: Small capacity


  1. Panasonic Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology, 950W, 0.8 Cu. Ft. (4.2 stars, 2042 reviews)

The Panasonic Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology guarantees that food is cooked and heated evenly. The unit is primarily a residential microwave oven, but it’s compact and power-conservative enough to make the transition to your RV.

Dimensions: 8″D x 12″W x 7″H (20.3 cm x 30.5 cm x 17.8 cm)
Power: 950 watts
Capacity: 0.8 Cubic Feet
Pros: Slightly bigger capacity, inverter technology with turbo defrost
Cons: Outdated controls and exterior design


  1. Commercial Chef Small Microwave, 700W, 0.7 Cu. Ft. (4.4 stars, 3486 reviews)

The Commercial Chef Small Microwave is an inexpensive option that we recommend for anyone who is not planning to do anything extra with their RV microwave. It’s great for standard operation and is one of the most energy-efficient microwaves we’ve tested for RV and residential use.

Dimensions: 12.4″D x 16.9″W x 10″H (31.5 cm x 42.9 cm x 45.2 cm)
Power: 700 watts
Capacity: 0.7 Cubic Feet
Pros: Competitive price point, 10 power levels
Cons: Non-intuitive control panel display


Picking the Best Countertop Microwave Oven for Your RV

The best RV microwave oven is highly subjective to your motorhome’s setup, RV cooking preference and even the number of guests you have on board. But broadly, smaller units tend to be a better fit as long as they have standard capacity and low power consumption (600-800 wattage).

When it comes to configuration, we found over the range microwave ovens to be slightly easier to set up and manage than countertops. It’s fixed arrangement also adds peace of mind whenever you take the RV on longer and tougher road trips.

Summing up, we hope this guide will help you make up your mind when it comes to choosing the microwave oven that’s best suited for your camper. If you have another microwave oven that you think is worthy of inclusion, then feel free to let us know!




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