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Best Portable Grills For RVs and Campers

In our opinion, cooking outdoors is one of the best pleasures camping has to offer. The key is to find the right equipment.

With a portable grill, you can expand your dining options and have a great time getting the food on the table. Here’s our list of picks for the best portable grills for RVs and campers.

  • Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill
  • Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster
  • Coleman Roadtrip LX
  • Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Grill
  • Traeger Ranger Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

What To Look For In A Portable Grill

A travel grill needs to be compact enough for easy packing, yet durable enough to stand up to the time on the road. It’s not easy to strike that balance, which is why we’ve put together this guide. Before beginning your search, ask yourself the following questions:

Which Is The Better Fuel Source: Propane Or Charcoal?

There’s no right or wrong answer here—it depends on your opinion. Some people just can’t live without the authentic flame-broiled taste of food cooked over a charcoal fire. Others prefer the instant gratification that propane-fueled flame jets can provide.

Flavor isn’t the only consideration, either. Charcoal grills can be messy to deal with, but the fuel is relatively inexpensive and easy to come by. Propane grills are typically more expensive, but most of them offer a larger grilling surface as well.

Finally, note that pellet grills offer a third option. These units can impart excellent wood-fired flavor, but they tend to be too large and bulky for easy transport. Because an electrical hookup is required, they also represent more of a power drain than their charcoal- and propane-fired counterparts. Watch this video if you’d like to check out a well-traveled pellet grill in action.

How Big Should The Grill Be?

Most travel-sized grills offer between 150 and 300 square inches of cooking space. While serious grilling enthusiasts might have a hard time settling for a surface that small, it’s important to find a unit that can be transported easily. That’s another reason why propane is a popular choice for portable grills—they can be used to cook several batches of ingredients over a long period of time, with no need to add more fuel to the fire.

The bottom line? Think about how often you’ll be utilizing the cooking space, and for what purpose. If you plan on using the grill to prepare most of your meals, opt for a relatively large unit. If you’re making the purchase just because you enjoy the occasional hot dog roast, a smaller grill should suit your needs just fine.

What Materials Are Used In The Grill’s Construction?

You’ll find that many quality grills are composed of heavy-duty stainless steel, which is prized for its durability and the fact that it’s easy to care for.

Aluminum is another option. While it’s lighter and easier to transport, aluminum might not offer the same longevity that stainless steel does.

Ceramic units—also known as kamado grills—have superb heat retention and are built to last a lifetime. However, they’re also prone to cracking, especially when subjected to the rigors of travel. For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend kamado grills for RV and camper use.

For the cooking grates, look for heavy-gauge stainless steel or cast iron. Some grates will feature a nonstick porcelain coating, which makes them easier to clean. In any case, cast iron cooking grids are slightly heavier than stainless steel ones, but they’re also more durable, with better heat retention.

Are There Any Special Features That Make This Grill Stand Out From The Rest?

A locking lid comes in handy for transport, especially for charcoal grills. Built-in thermometers allow you to check the temperature of the fire throughout the cooking process. If there’s a side shelf, you’ll have a handy place to put your beer or utensils while you wait for dinner to be ready.

Although travel-sized units typically have fewer bells and whistles than their larger siblings, manufacturers are constantly striving to get the leg up on the competition.

Some portable pellet grills, for example, are outfitted with Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can control the temperature remotely via your smartphone.

Not everyone will take advantage of perks like these, so it’s important to play to your strengths. Think about which features you’re likely to appreciate most, and narrow your search to include units that meet those specific criteria.

Does The Company Offer A Warranty?

Many reputable manufacturers will back up their products with a money-back guarantee. Some companies offer replacement parts for as long as 10 years after the original date of purchase, as long as the damage was caused by faulty material or engineering rather than regular use.

Others will offer a full refund if the product is returned within 30 to 90 days. Be sure to check the company’s warranty policy before making a purchase, just in case.

Best Portable Grills For RVs and Campers: Product Review Guide

Best Overall

Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill

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If you want to know our pick for the absolute best portable grill for RVers, look no further than the Weber Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill.

This handy grill arrives fully assembled—no need to mess around with tools and confusing parts. Just take the propane-fueled single-burner unit out of its box, give the cooking grate a preliminary wash, and hook the grill up to a propane cartridge (sold separately). You should let the burner run on high for at least 10 minutes before adding any ingredients, to help dissipate any factory odors. Once you’ve done that, the Q1000 is ready for its first use.

With a cooking surface that measures just 189 square inches, this is a small grill even by travel-sized standards. However, the single burner cranks out an impressive 8,500 BTUs, and it’s compact enough to fit easily in a storage compartment.

The cast aluminum construction is lightweight yet sturdy. Porcelain-enameled cast iron grilling grates offer great heat retention and an easy cleanup. The price tag is on the high end, but we think the Q1000 is worth it.

Fuel TypeGrill SizeMaterialCooking grates
Propane189 sq. in.Cast aluminumPorcelain-enameled cast iron
Pros
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • Effective temperature control
  • 5-year warranty on most components
Cons
  • Fuel sold separately
  • Lid is awkwardly positioned
  • Slightly expensive

Best Budget

Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster

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Looking for something less expensive? Give the Cuisinart CGG-059 Grillster a spin.

This might be a budget option, but it checks off all the important boxes. With a stainless-steel construction, locking lid, and porcelain-coated steel cooking grates, the unit is both portable and efficient. Like the Weber Q1000, it arrives fully assembled. There’s even a built-in carrying handle for easy transport.

You’ll have to provide the propane cartridge yourself, but even so, the Grillster is priced low enough to make it an appealing choice for bargain hunters. The cooking grates are dishwasher safe, giving it a boost in the convenience department.

Because of the folding legs, this unit can be tucked safely away when it’s not in use. Best of all, it weighs in at just 10 pounds. The cooking surface is on the smaller side at just 146 square inches, but we would still recommend this grill for couples who only grill occasionally.

Fuel TypeGrill SizeMaterialCooking grates
Propane146 sq. in.Stainless steelPorcelain-enameled steel
Pros
  • Attractive price point
  • Extremely portable
  • Heats quickly and efficiently
  • Can be hooked up to a 20-pound propane tank
Cons
  • Very small cooking surface
  • Some secondary parts are poorly constructed

Best Runner Up

Coleman Roadtrip LX

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It’s difficult to argue with the sheer versatility of the Coleman Roadtrip LX. This propane-fueled unit has two burners and a combined BTU output of 20,000, making it a great fit for BBQ aficionados who are dying to take their skills on the road. It also offers 285 square inches of cooking space, putting it on the larger end of the travel-grill spectrum.

What we love most about the Roadtrip LX is the interchangeable cooktop option. For an additional price, you can purchase a griddle attachment and swap it out for the traditional cooking grates. That means you can cook up a batch of pancakes in the morning, switch to hot dogs for lunch, and sear a couple of prime steaks for dinner.

A stand is included with the purchase, but it can be removed for tabletop use. Two side shelves offer plenty of storage space, and the grill itself is flat and compact—ideal for transport. In our opinion, the only thing that keeps it from the top spot is the high price tag. If you can afford it, the Roadtrip LX is a superb option.

Fuel TypeGrill SizeMaterialCooking grates
Propane285 sq. in.Cast aluminumAluminum with nonstick coating
Pros
  • Can be used for a myriad of cooking applications
  • Ample size
  • Stand included
  • Plenty of storage
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Grates are prone to rusting without proper care

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Grill

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If you’re looking specifically for a charcoal-burning model, take a look at the Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Grill.

This sturdy little box-shaped unit offers just 160 square inches of cooking space, so it’s a good fit for the occasional griller. The locking lid is outfitted with an oversized handle, and the folding legs are cleverly designed. Two handles are built into the sides, too, which increase the overall footprint but make transport that much easier.

Because we love the taste of steak cooked over a charcoal fire, we would recommend this unit to anyone who feels the same. As a bonus, the Go-Anywhere grill is priced low enough to appeal to even the most budget-conscious shopper.

Fuel TypeGrill SizeMaterialCooking grates
Charcoal160 sq. in.Porcelain-enameled steelNickel-coated steel
Pros
  • Exceptionally affordable
  • Authentic BBQ taste
  • Locking lid
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Charcoal units can be messy to transport
  • Legs are on the flimsy side
  • Fire box is a bit too shallow

Traeger Ranger Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker

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Pellet grill enthusiasts will find plenty of reasons to love the Traeger Ranger Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker.
The priciest unit on our list is also one of the most appealing, for a number of reasons. The ability to choose from a variety of different wood flavors ranks high on the list, but we’re also a fan of this grill’s durable build and boxcar of extras.

This pellet-fueled grill includes a built-in meat probe and cook timer to ensure that your meat will be done to perfection. There’s even a “Keep Warm” mode that allows you to prepare the feast ahead of time and enjoy it when you’re ready. The baffled lid comes equipped with built-in latches, making transport that much easier.

The Ranger also includes an 8-pound hopper extension. Since a pellet grill will usually burn through about one pound of pellets per hour, you should get plenty of use out of this unit before it’s time to refuel.

Traeger advertises its Advanced Grilling Logic (AGL) for this unit, which should keep the cooking temperature accurate to within 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If you enjoy smoked meats and a largely hands-free grilling experience, the Traeger Ranger could be the right choice for your camping adventures.

Fuel TypeGrill SizeMaterialCooking grates
Wood pellets184 sq. in.Powder-coated steelPorcelain-coated steel
Pros
  • Imparts real wood flavor
  • Excellent choice for low-and-slow cooking applications
  • Extremely well-built and durable
  • Locking lid
  • Built-in meat probe
Cons
  • Heavy to carry
  • High price point
  • Works better for smoking than for basic grilling

In Conclusion

There are plenty of portable grill options out there for the well-traveled outdoor chef. The options we’ve listed above offer a solid representation of what’s available. We hope you’ll be able to choose one that suits your needs, and that it leads to many well-fed days on the trail.

Happy camping!

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