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Portable Gas BBQ Grills for Camping or Tailgating

Updated on September 20, 2017
wilderness profile image

A longtime camper, Dan has experience with tents, pop-up trailers, camp trailers, and motorhomes. He has also done repairs on all of these.

Portable Gas BBQ Grills For Camping or Tailgating

What tailgate party is complete without a grill of some kind? Ordinary gas bbq grills intended for home use are cumbersome and awkward to carry, but one of these portable grills can serve the very same purpose for either large or small groups. Folding to a size and weight that makes them easy to load in your vehicle as well as carry by hand, they are perfect for a tailgating party at the football game.

As a camping supply they are more than adequate; they are perfect. Although my own "camping" is done from an older motorhome, I have a portable gas grill that lives in the storage compartment and comes out whenever we camp for more than a single night. I much prefer cooking outside and have installed a separate connection to my permanent propane tank so that I can connect the gas grill to the motorhome propane supply with an 8' hose. A longer hose is possible, but my own propane tank is under the awning, where I want the grill to sit anyway. No more small tanks that last only a meal or two. A second option is a hose that will connect directly to a regular 20# propane such as is used by the home grill. For tent campers (no backpackers!) the grill can then be connected to a large propane tank carried along, or to the removable tanks on most camping trailers.

There is a wide range of sizes and prices available today for portable gas BBQ grills, from grills just big enough to cook a few hamburgers to those capable of handling a large family. All use the small propane tanks available nearly anywhere camping supplies are sold or with adapter hoses to permit refillable cylinders to be used.

Portable Gas Grill Use While Camping

Portable gas grill hooked up to the motorhome propane propane tank.
Portable gas grill hooked up to the motorhome propane propane tank. | Source

Coleman Portable Gas BBQ Grills

The Coleman Road Trip gas grill is one of the larger portable gas grills, with an open style of grilling rack listed at 285 square inches. It uses two straight burners of 10,000 BTU each; sufficient for a large group or family. It comes complete with wheels and a towing handle, and has pull out side tables. Accessories include a cast iron griddle plate for cooking such things as fried eggs, a rack for cooking with pots or pans and an adapter hose for use with refillable propane tanks.

This grill was my choice for camping with a motorhome. Addition of a fitting into the propane lines on the main motorhome tank and a special hose allows it to hook up quickly and easily to large the motorhome propane tank. I purchased both the cast iron griddle and pot rack; both are much used and appreciated. It is small enough to fit into one of the storage bays on the motorhome and is very quick to set up or take down. Just step on the pull handle and lift on a smaller handle on the grill itself; it pops up and snaps into place. The grill is easy to clean, which is important when it's going to be put inside a clean storage compartment; the cooking surfaces lift off and can be washed in an RV sink. The large stainless steel area under the grates is simply wiped clean and the drip tray under the grill emptied and wiped free of oil and grease.

Alternatively to hooking the grill to an RV tank is to carry one of the large propane tanks used for home grills. A different hose is necessary to hook it to the larger tank, but they are not expensive.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Coleman grill, ready to stand upFitting installed on main propane tank, with hose attached to supply the grillPot and griddle accessory cooking surfacesThe original grate cooking surfacesA little time on the sewing machine produced protective bags for the accessory  grates.Stowed in the storage bay
Coleman grill, ready to stand up
Coleman grill, ready to stand up | Source
Fitting installed on main propane tank, with hose attached to supply the grill
Fitting installed on main propane tank, with hose attached to supply the grill | Source
Pot and griddle accessory cooking surfaces
Pot and griddle accessory cooking surfaces | Source
The original grate cooking surfaces
The original grate cooking surfaces | Source
A little time on the sewing machine produced protective bags for the accessory  grates.
A little time on the sewing machine produced protective bags for the accessory grates. | Source
Stowed in the storage bay
Stowed in the storage bay | Source
Coleman Propane Grill | Roadtrip LXE Portable Gas Grill
Coleman Propane Grill | Roadtrip LXE Portable Gas Grill
Tip: pricing varies by color. Make sure you check each color for price.

Weber Portable Gas BBQ Grills

Weber makes a good selection of table top portable gas grills, beginning with their model 1141001. This grill boasts 160 square inches of cooking surface with push button ignition. At less than 15 pounds it is the ultimate in an easy to carry gas grill. Although probably a little small for a week long camping trip, it would satisfy a small tailgating party quite well.

Next on Webers offerings is the Q 1000 (baby Q) gas grill. With 189 square inches of cooking area it is considerably larger than the 1520 and has a 8,500 BTU burner. Equipped with porcelain enameled cooking grate and push button ignition the Q100 makes an excellent choice for several people camping or tailgating. An optional stand and flat griddle are available as well. Two of my family members use this grill with their RV's, although neither hooks it to the RV propane tank, choosing instead to use the small throw-away tanks.

Charbroil Portable Gas Grills

Charbroil expands the choice of portable gas BBQ grills with 2 offerings of their own. Again, Charbroil produces a small tabletop model; with 187 square inches and a 12,000 BTU burner it is suitable for a weekend camping trip or a small tailgating party. Legs fold over the grill for easy transportation.

Next on the list is a very interesting concept in the Charbroil Grill2go ICE portable gas BBQ grill. With 290 square inches of cooking area it is the largest of the lot - this grill is as at home on the patio as it is camping or tailgating. The Grill2go has a handle mechanism similar to rolling luggage for easy transport and includes two side shelves when set up for cooking. Best of all, perhaps, are the two 30 quart coolers on the bottom shelf; plenty of room for drinks or other items that need to remain cold. An additional feature is Charbroils patented infrared system; with no open flames flareups are nearly a thing of the past while cooking faster and using 1/3 of the fuel.

Charbroil also offers the adapter hose for connection to a re-fillable propane tank for longer term camping or hours worth of tailgating fun playing laddergolf while watching the game.

© 2010 Dan Harmon


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    • wilderness profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Harmon 

      9 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Now that sounds interesting, Jay Lo. I've seen portable satellite dishes used in campgrounds, but they can be a real pain to set up - I'll have to check this out from Dish.

      Yes, I like the Coleman grill. My own is very similar to the current offering from Coleman - just a little older.

    • profile image

      Jay Lo 

      9 years ago

      The Coleman is an awesome grill that I picked up for my tailgating events. I like grilling up some meat and watching TV using my Tailgater. The Tailgater offered by DISH Network. This is an awesome product that let’s you take TV beyond your home. Take TV to the back yard, tailgating, and, camping. This gives you the most from DISH. I used mine with my employee service and works great. This is a simple and easy setup. Just a few minutes and you are on your way to watching TV. DISH is the only place you can purchase this.

    • wilderness profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Harmon 

      10 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I really like ours - we bought a long hose and a special fitting to was added to the permanent propane tank on our RV. Never run out of propane and have the grill outside under the awning where we like to cook.

    • Traqqer profile image


      10 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I'll have to get one of these when the camping season starts again.

    • wilderness profile imageAUTHOR

      Dan Harmon 

      10 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Thanks, Kims. I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it useful. I really enjoy my portable gas BBQ grill when camping - it plugs right into the camper without having to use the little propane bottles and I would much rather cook and eat outside the RV.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      very well researched and written with lots of great information and ideas. 2 thumbs up!!


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