Replacing a Forest River RV (Magic Chef) MCD990ARB Microwave

posted in: RV Maintenance, RV Owner Realities | 0

I don’t normally write about our RV adventures, but this one was so frustrating, I thought I might be able to help others.

My wife & I are spending the winter in the high desert of Southern California, in our Forest River (Salem) camper, and without warning, the microwave decided to call it quits.

Part of me really wanted something a lot better — I was thinking a Cuisinart, or at the very least, a Panasonic, but I wanted to keep the replacement as similar-to the original as possible, without having to mess with cabinet modifications.

While researching this project, I discovered a lot of other folks are looking to replace those Magic Chef MCD990ARBs that Forest River used, so hopefully, this will help save someone else some time (and grief).

How I Replaced a Magic Chef MCD990ARB

When I removed the original MCD990ARB that came with the camper, I was shocked to find it was a really a countertop model, never intended to be a cabinet-mounted microwave (which requires that all venting go-through the front).

Here’s the original (dead) microwave (the MCD990ARB):

The Magic Chef MCD990ARB is not well suited for RVs

After a LOT of online research, I found what looked like it could be the perfect replacement. It was a Magic Chef MCG992ARB from RVUpgrades.com, and unlike the original, this one is actually designed to be mounted inside a cabinet, so as to not burn itself out. Notice the air intake (below the unit) and the exhaust (on top of the unit) — both face forward, to keep the thing cool inside the cabinet:

The Magic Chef MCG992ARB is correctly designed for cabinet mounting in an RV and replaces the MCD990ARB

When the box arrived, it looked perfect. The box even showed the (required) trim kit (“faceplate”).

Sadly, it wasn’t included.

Oh, and wouldn’t you know it — While they look (really) similar, the old microwave’s trim kit doesn’t fit the newer model.

I contacted RVUpgrades.com, was told to speak with the returns department. I explained the dilemma — “It looks like it’s the microwave I need, but the trim kit is not included, and is required.” The woman I spoke with promised me she’d contact the manufacturer, and get back to me.

A few days later, she did, and explained Magic Chef told her they were no longer making RV microwaves, and that if I’d like, she’ll process a refund, and help me select a different microwave for the project (to be honest, RVUpgrades.com customer service was absolutely fabulous).

Before giving-up, I scoured the internet for days again, and finally found what looked to be the trim kit I needed, from one of their competitors, AdventureRV.net.

Honestly, the product description on the AdventureRV.net web site was so vague, (not even the picture is correct), I really had no idea as to whether or not I was even ordering the right part (let-alone anything close). An online chat with their customer service person left me even more uncertain. He didn’t have any idea when I asked, “Is this the correct trim kit for the MCG992ARB microwave?” But he was quick to point-out, “If it’s not what you need, there’ll be a 15% restocking fee.”

Seriously?

At that point, I felt I had no other option but to cross my fingers & give it a try, and low-and-behold, when it arrived, it was the correct trim kit! In fact, the box it came in even says, “Trim kit for MCG992ARB,” so why AdventureRV didn’t know (or didn’t bother to look), baffles me.

But, I digress.

The Magic Chef MCG992ARB Is A Perfect Replacement For The MCD990ARB (If You Get The Trim Kit)

In the end, it’s an absolutely perfect replacement, and to be honest, the job itself didn’t take more that 15 minutes. It’s just the countless hours and days it took to track this stuff down:

The Magic Chef MCG992ARB replaces the MCD990ARB installed in RVs & campers

Since my “adventure” with this microwave replacement, RVUpgrades.com no longer lists the microwave on their site, which is probably wise, since the microwave is pretty much useless without the trim kit.

However, strangely (as of today, at least), you can buy both the microwave & the trim kit (everything you need) from AdventureRV.net. But you better hurry. If, in fact, Magic Chef has gotten-out of the RV microwave business, when their inventory is gone, you’ll probably have to look to another brand.

Ignore the pictures on their site (AdventureRV.net doesn’t use accurate images or descriptions for these). Here’s what you need:

Magic Chef MCG992ARB Microwave oven: https://goo.gl/drFYcX

Magic Chef KIT-9G00-BLK Trim Kit: https://goo.gl/rzuGww

Total cost of the replacement: $170.00.

Hope that helps. I’m going to make a bag of popcorn now.