A Day Long Appliance Adventure

The place where all the tired appliances go for eternal rest…

Hello and welcome to the blog today.  The old stove from the home base was replaced today. It had been dying a slow, painful death.  The burner controls weren’t functioning well.  Some days the pilot lights would suddenly go out.  It was time for replacement.

Hauling the old range outside was actually quite easy.  Using an appliance dolly borrowed from work, I carefully lowered the greasy old stove down each step of the outside deck.  But loading the old range into the van was tough for even a big guy;  it eventually lost the battle.  For $10 I surrendered the greasy beast to the landfill.

Stove cavity with new, cheap floor tiles to cover the white linoleum flooring.

The area behind the old stove was disgusting – likely never having been cleaned in many years;  the old linoleum was yellowed and stained.  Thankfully, I had recently discovered a stash of cheap stick-on tiles from a van project and used them to spruce things up.

From there it was on to the Menards home improvement store in Cedar Rapids.  The stove chosen was a five burner Whirlpool gas range that had received very high reviews.  Instead of four separate grates, there are two large ones that lock together.  No more pots slipping off again.  The oven is quite spacious, too.

By the way, while returning home with the appliance, this patriotic car passed by.  I thought it was pretty cool and somehow managed to take a picture without wrecking.  Those mirrors would be nice on the van but could behead some unsuspecting bicyclist… or at least ruin his or her day!

Getting the new stove in the house was difficult and I knew help was needed.  As luck would have it, fishing buddy Steve and his uncle were having coffee at McDonalds (as they nearly always do at 5:00).  Steve helped lift and steady the crate while I pulled the range up each stair with the appliance cart.  A very curious Jenny (who was NOT supposed to be outside) was watching the action from the driveway; she’d apparently pulled open the main door and let herself out like it was nobody’s business.

Fits like a glove!

After excitedly unpacking the big box, Steve and I discovered the existing flexible gas pipe was too short… and it meant another 25 mile trip back to town before hooking up the stove.  An hour and half later I turned on the gas valve and immediately panicked as fumes were smelled!  As it turns out, the knob on one of the burners was in the “ON” position.  There were no gas leaks, thankfully!

Eventually I finished installing the new stove gave it a test drive.  The griddle sits on top of the burner grate and works very well.  It also cleans up easily.  What a fun accessory!  Hopefully the new purchase lasts for a very long time.


There wasn’t any camping or fishing this week but it’s just as enjoyable to work on some things around home.  With the new griddle, there are some ideas for different camping dishes.  Perhaps next week Jenny and I can go camping somewhere and get her – actually, both of us – some playtime outdoors.

Take care and thanks for visiting!

Brad and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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3 Responses to A Day Long Appliance Adventure

  1. my_vantasy says:

    That’s got to be a good feeling every time you walk into your kitchen and see that bright shiny new stove. Breakfast looks awesome, too!

  2. Jo says:

    Nice looking stove. And love the griddle. I know you are enjoying that and your breakfast looks really good. Can’t wait to see what else you rustle up on that nice shiny stove.
    Yesterday my washer took a dump on me right after I filled it with laundry and it filled with water. Nothing would work. sigh. Pulled out the clothes and rung them the best I could and put them outside on the railing. This morning I used the garden hose to siphon out the water. Tomorrow I will head to Lowe’s for a new washer and dryer. Might as well since that set is 20 yrs old.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo. Sorry to hear the washer took a dump right in the middle of doing laundry! That’s a real bummer. I am sure you will enjoy the new laundry equipment.

      Yes, the griddle is working out great! I’ve been cooking breakfast at home each morning and saving time. By the time a person goes to McDonalds and talks to the old timers and has breakfast, it takes at least 90 minutes. In a few hours I’m making pancakes, ham, and grilled pineapple. Fun stuff!

      I’m thinking about doing some camping and/or fishing at the beginning of the week. The weather is favorable so Jenny will likely go along. Take care! Good luck with the laundry appliances!

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