Our Fussy Magic Chef RV Oven

Maytag Magic Chef RV Oven Pilot LightRené has always had a hard time lighting the pilot for our Maytag RV oven. I never had a problem, so I always gave her a hard time in return.

Then one day I couldn’t get it to light.

After far too many times of kneeling before the Magic Chef, praying that it would light, we decided to call for service since it was still under warranty. But not before I dissected and reassembled the pilot assembly and combed the owner’s manual for assistance. There was none.

The range top has an ignition switch that works like a charm, every time. Knock on wood. But to light the oven, you must hold in the dial while holding a lighter under the pilot for a minute, or two. Or three or four in our case. After waiting about five minutes one time we finally gave up and called a local Maytag repair shop when camped out at Lake Manatee State Park.

René did her usual RV issue research and discovered that this troublesome RV range is known for having problems with the thermocouple. This made sense to me since it would glow good and hot but refuse to allow the pilot to remain lit. The manual indicated that the oven had “no user serviceable parts” but that didn’t stop me from giving it a try.

FYI: Search for “RV” or “Magic Chef” on the Maytag website and you will get no results.

One Confused Maytag RepairmanI did not feel very confident about the repairman that finally showed up when I noticed he had no idea how to light an RV oven. Hell, he had a hard time lighting our lighter! So he went out to his truck to get his own. It was exactly the same.

I tried to explain the problem, but he insisted on just slamming the knob around and grunting.

Finally I watched him adjust a tiny little screw near the thermostat dial. I obviously overlooked this or thought it was strictly structural. Like I said, the manual was no help! It is a gas adjustment for the pilot. Once turned up, it worked. Though Iwouldn’t quite say like a charm.

We have indeed been able to light our oven since adjusting the pilot. Well, at least I have. But I have also needed to readjust the pilot a couple times. If Maytag only would have mentioned the adjustment in the manual, or put someone on the phone to offer support, we could have been baking fries for our burgers long ago. And they could have saved the cost of a warranty service call.

The topper was how the repairman insisted on a copy of our sales receipt as proof of purchase for the warranty. We don’t exactly have a copier in our rig. After explaining I could take a picture of our only copy and email a PDF to somebody, I finally got an email address out of the man. But only after he called his office to get it, and proudly told me how he had recently emailed a photograph to his son.

If you have trouble getting your Magic Chef oven to remain lit, and you probably will someday, try this before calling an inept repairman:

  • Disassemble and clean out the pilot assembly. Be careful not to lose the one small part that falls out when you unscrew the nut!
  • Adjust the tiny screw on the front of the thermostat assembly behind the knob. Loosen it to increase the pilot flame size.
  • If you must call a repairman and are still under warranty, swing by Office Depot or somewhere and make a copy of your sale receipt first.

64 thoughts on “Our Fussy Magic Chef RV Oven”


    • Good luck Dana! As I mentioned in this post, we resolved the issue by adjusting the pilot. Since then, we have resolved a similar issue by pulling out the oven and bending the gas supply line to remove a kink, and another by replacing the thermocouple. You may find more help in the many comments from others on this post.

  2. We found the problem,, !!! We dismantled the front part where the knobs live. There’s 2 screws:
    Not that easy to reach . One for the pilot , we turned it slightly less than a1/4 turn, then the other screw, it seemed to have lock tight on it from the factory! Moved it slightly and we got a better flame from the tube! That did ‘er! It started like it was supposed to . Good luck folks, it sure is gratifying when we can do this stuff without a house call!,,

  3. Jim,
    I just ran across this post. We tried it and it worked on our Magic Chef oven. We previously did the change the thermocouple thing once….so glad I found your post. LOL….I did the research and my husband fixed it.

    Thanks much

  4. I have a different problem. It is hard to light the oven but once its lit the whole back of the over lights up. The oven is clean so its not a grease fire. The back of the oven burns so much I turn off the gas. The back wall continues to burn. I don’t use it because I thought I would need to use my fire extinguisher. The three top burners work just fine. So I’m not sure if there is a second line to the oven. There is also a line to the outside BBQ that connects somewhere behind the stove/oven too.

    • Uhh…if this were my oven, I would:
      1. NOT light the oven!
      2. Check all gas line connections.

      A large messy flame might indicate a loose connection (simple fix), or broken line.

  5. I have an older Magic Chef in my 5th wheel. My pilot light will light but the oven still won’t work. Does the pilot light need to touch the thermocoupler to make oven work?
    Thanks, James

    • Thanks for asking James, the pilot flame does need to heat the thermocouple to temperature for the oven to work. If it does not, it may need to be adjusted or may not be getting enough gas due to a crimped line, like in our case. Good luck!

  6. This was a great help. Sitting in the RV Thanksgiving morning when the wife says the oven doesn’t work. No prob we have to light the pilot. Would not light. So like Jim I took it all apart thinking something was plugged. Put all back together. Then went to the computer for some help. This article discribed my situation to a tie. Fixed the oven and slide in the turkey. Saved the day. Thanks Jim. And Art there will be a hole when the camper makes it back home!

  7. Thank you so much … this saved me so much time and trouble … I drilled a hole in the front panel right in front of the tiny little screw on the thermostat dial for the oven and now I can get to it all the time EZ.

  8. Hi I’ve got a 1983 magic chef oven, I’m sure that the thermocouple went out but finding a replacement is proving to be a nightmare. I’ve been told by the company that they don’t make the part anymore because it had mercury in it, I need to find some place that may still have one, do you have any ideas?

    • As mentioned in my previous comments, you might want to try repairclinic.com. Just be sure to take measurements so you get the right length! Good luck.


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