Grillin’ Like A Villain: The Best RV Portable Grills

A smiling man leans over the grill as he adds seasoning to his food. Smoke is coming up from the grill.

While grilling your foods is a great practical solution for cooking meals without heating the inside of the RV, the reality is that grilling is more of a primal tradition and pleasure than just practicality. Since early man discovered fire, there’s been no substitute for the taste and consistency of nicely seared meats and veggies over a flame.

It goes beyond that, though, as any cook can tell you (as they clack their tongs together) how good this meal is going to be. We’re here to help you choose the best RV portable grill that’s right for you!

A woman is grilling on a round black grill outside of her camper. She has a chair beside the grill. A table is on the opposite side with cut watermelon and a plate of other fruit.

Factors to Consider for RV Portable Grills

Fuel

Fuel is the main differentiator between grills. Should you go with charcoal, propane, or even wood pellets? This is more of a personal choice, so we’ll let you decide. If you’re not sure, ask your friends what they prefer and maybe test out their RV portable grill before making your final decision.

Price

If the price is your main deciding factor, charcoal grills will be your best bet since they have so few features. But portable grills and pellet smokers are pretty affordable these days too.

Grates

The grate surface can make a big difference in the way your meats cook. A properly preheated heavy iron grate creates the best sear and flavor. Lightweight wire grills give your foods more surface contact area with the heat source. Choose the grill grate that you’re already the most comfortable with so that your mobile cooking experience will best mimic the way you cook at home.

Features

Keep an eye out for RV portable grill convenience features you’ll want, like magneto spark igniters. Just don’t forget an excellent old fireplace lighter, only in case your igniter lets you down.

Charcoal vs. Propane RV Portable Grills

Now we’re getting into it; this topic can be as dicey as politics or religion! Many of us love the convenience of propane grills. Purists swear that the taste of charcoal fuel ultimately outweighs the convenience of propane. Others prefer the compromise of wood pellet smokers for their convenience and smoky flavors. Finally, this comes down to personal preference.

Advantages of RV Portable Grills Over Standard Grills

Space in your RV is limited, and standard residential grills are big and bulky. If you have room in the bed of your pickup or the garage of a toy hauler, you might be able to bring your home grill along with you. It’s a lot of work to load and unload, especially on longer trips. RV portable grills have many of the same features but in a smaller and more manageable footprint. You can quickly load and unload the grill as you travel.

A man is grilling at his campsite on the best RV portable grill. He has a hot dog on a grilling fork. He is outside of his RV with trees overhead and blue skies.

Cleaning Your RV Portable Grill

The ugly truth about portable grills is that they’re nearly impossible to completely clean unless you spend a lot of time and effort after every use. The key to preventing your portable grill from making a mess in your RV is to find an accessory bag that altogether contains your grill and everything that goes with them. For example, both Weber and Green Mountain Grills make custom carrying bags that fit their Weber Q grills and GMG Davy Crocket pellet grill. These bags allow you to contain your portable grill in a tidy package that won’t smudge off on the rest of your cargo (or yourself!).

Propane Grill Tips

The propane grill’s appeal is that you don’t need to fuss with lighting a charcoal fire and waiting for the coals to be ready. Even so, you still need to decide on a fuel source that will be safe, affordable, and practical for travel. For example, small fuel canisters are very portable and convenient, but the costs can start to add up. Additionally, the empty cylinders aren’t easily recycled, and they aren’t great for the landfills.

Since your RV already has large propane tanks, the smartest tip is to connect your grill directly to your RV’s LP tanks. With a suitable brass tee adapter and an LP extension hose, you can tap into your coach’s propane supply to fuel your grill. Just remember to connect the tee adaptor before your RV’s regulator. If not you won’t have proper pressure on your grill as it already has a regulator of its own.

Stanbroil Propane Gas Brass Tee Adapter with 4 Port for RV or Motorhome
  • Material: heavy-duty brass
  • Include: Excess Flow Soft Nose POL, 1"-20 Male Throwaway Cylinder Thread, 1/4" Inverted Flare, 1/2 NPT Female Thread
Camco 59043 12' Propane Extension Hose
  • Replacement hose for kit 59123
  • Replacement hose for kit 59103

Charcoal Grill Tips

While not as convenient as propane, charcoal is widely recognized as the best flavor fuel for your grill. However, lighting the charcoal can be a chore. Lighter fluid can make it easier, but it’s hard to find in some areas and illegal in others. Your best bet for quickly lighting your briquettes is to use a quick start lighting chimney. 

Kingsford Heavy Duty Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter | BBQ Chimney Starter for Charcoal Grill and Barbecues, Compact Easy to Use Chimney Starters and BBQ Grill Tools
  • Charcoal chimney starter works fast — this easy to use charcoal chimney starter works fast. With the Kingsford chimney...
  • Heavy duty construction — This BBQ chimney charcoal starter is made with durable, rust-resistant zinc steel. Kingsford...

Best Propane Grill

Weber has been the leader in portable propane grills for many years. Their Weber Q line of grills has an excellent reputation for quality, durability, and accessories. The Weber Q design not only heats from the burner below but also reflects the lid’s heat to cook more evenly on both sides. The only downside to this design is that the efficient burner can take longer to cook larger cuts of meat. Regardless, the Weber Q is still considered the best portable RV gas grill.

Weber 51040001 Q1200 Liquid Propane Grill, Red
  • One Stainless Steel Burner Produces 8500 BTU-Per-Hour To Heat 189 Square-Inch Total Cooking Area
  • Porcelain-Enameled Cast-Iron Cooking Grates And Cast Aluminum Lid And Body

Best Charcoal Grill

Weber also makes a great portable charcoal grill. Their Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill is an affordable and convenient way to bring the great taste of charcoal cooking on the road with you.

Weber 121020 Go-Anywhere Charcoal Grill,Black,14.5" H x 21" W x 12.25" L
  • While spending most days on your way to somewhere else, the Go-Anywhere portable charcoal grill brings a taste of home...
  • Holds up to six burgers made with a Weber burger press

Best Grill/Griddle Combo

Camping griddles are all the rage these days, and Blackstone makes an excellent portable option. This grill is a great convenience if you aren’t cooking for a large group.

Blackstone 1813 Stainless Steel Propane Gas Hood Portable, Flat Griddle Grill Station for Kitchen, Camping, Outdoor, Tailgating, Tabletop, Countertop – Heavy Duty, 12, 000 BTUs, 22 Inch, Black
  • GRIDDLE ON THE GO with Blackstone stainless steel griddle. Whether you are entertaining the guests in the backyard or...
  • COOKING FOR A CROWD? Don't worry; our gas griddle features a spacious 22" (339 sq. inch) cooking surface, which can fit...

Best Pellet Smoker Grill

Lastly, we consider the Rolls Royce of portable camp cooking to be the Davy Crockett pellet smoker grill from Green Mountain Grills. The Davy Cockett uses food-grade wood pellets as its fuel source and provides the best flavor combined with utmost convenience. You can smoke your meats low-and-slow at temps from 150° to 225°, or turn up the heat as high as 550° for a hard sear or even grill a pizza.

The Davy Crockett comes with a built-in temperature probe and even a WiFi controller. This allows you to monitor and control the settings and profiles with their mobile app. And for more serious cooks, reach out to Doug Fisher to see about his custom upper rack. For under a hundred bucks, his custom rack will double your grill space, which takes this portable pellet grill to a new level.

Green Mountain Davy Crockett Sense Mate Electric Wi-Fi Control Foldable Portable Wood Pellet Tailgating Grill with Meat Probe, Black
  • Features Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill temperature
  • Includes a meat probe, peaked lid for rib racks, convenience tray

Final Thoughts on RV Portable Grills

No matter your grilling preference, you should now be able to grill with the best of them! Whether you’re a charcoal, smoke, or propane griller we’ve got you covered. We can also show you how to save money on food while RVing. Now get cookin’!

Last update on 2021-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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3 comments
  1. Your YouTube channel is great, a lot of good tips. My next purchase is going to be the Davy Crockett smoker! If you guys ever stop along the central CA coast, EM me and I’ll take you riding at the Pismo Dunes.

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