Best RV Grill of 2018 & Buying Guide
Traveling in an RV (or living in one) presents some incredible opportunities. You can live virtually anywhere without sacrificing the comforts of home, save money on hotels or housing, and experience a freedom non-RVers just can’t do. The lifestyle does, however, present some tough challenges, as well—especially if you live in your RV for long periods of time.
One of the biggest challenges is cooking. Because RVs are short on space and don’t have the layout of traditional homes, they take longer to air out. Food odors, smoke, and grease can be almost impossible to get out, which is why many campers and travelers take to grilling the bulk of their meals outdoors.
RV grills have compact, convenient designs to make cooking outside as easy as stovetop cooking. Our buyer’s guide can answer a few common questions about this grill type, and will explore some of the most popular RV grills available.
What is an RV grill? How is it different from a camping grill?
There isn’t much difference between the two in terms of performance, and you might even see the terms used interchangeably in the RV and camping communities.
The main factor they have in common is portability: most are lightweight, have folding features for easy storage, and usually run on propane (although charcoal versions exist, as well).
For the purposes of this buying guide, we’ll assume “RV grill” refers to those that mount to the bumper or side of an RV.
Many run off your RV’s propane supply with a hose, but some run off their own tanks instead (or both).
If you’d rather have a grill that’s portable but doesn’t attach to your RV, check out our buyer’s guide for the best camping grills.
Keep in mind that just because a grill mounts to your RV for transport, doesn’t mean it has to stay there while you’re cooking; most manufacturers offer quick-release mounts and additional stands (or mounts that double as such) so you can move the grill to another area to use it.
2. What fuel do RV grills require?
Most RV grills run off propane, either a solitary tank or your RV’s gas supply.
There are charcoal versions, though these are harder to clean up and take longer to heat (but they also reach higher temperatures and infuse a smoky flavor into your food you can’t get with propane).
The kind you get depends on your preferences and needs.
If you plan to cook on it only occasionally, the patience required for charcoal might not be an issue; however, you could consider a charcoal camping grill that’s stored inside your RV, instead. RV-mounted grills are exposed to the elements and get dirty fairly quickly while traveling, so cleaning it will feel like a hassle to those who only use it every few weeks or so.
Generally speaking, propane is a favorite for mounted grills because it’s more convenient. You simply push a button or light the burner with a match, and in just a few minutes your grill is ready to cook. And when it’s time to clean up, there are no ashes to dispose of.
3. I need a pretty large RV grill. Am I better off buying a standard one and storing it on board?
Most RV grills are on the small to medium side, but if you plan on cooking for a large number of people at once and don’t want to pull multiple shifts at the grill, a large one can certainly be found that’s still portable enough to store on board the RV.
Larger RV-mounted grills are also available, but depending on the profile your RV already has (how big it is, how difficult it is to navigate, etc.), you might find the addition of a big grill too cumbersome.
4. Are there special safety concerns with RV grills?
For the most part, safe grilling with an RV-mounted model is the same as grilling on any other kind: check your fuel line for leaks often, keep the grill as clean as possible, don’t store fire-hazardous materials nearby, and keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case.
The last point is especially important with RV grilling, however, because your unit is attached to your vehicle. If a fire gets out of control, it can cause massive damage to your grill, the RV, and you.
Also, consider the layout of where you’re camping and park accordingly; avoid campgrounds with dead leaves and brush, and find a suitable clearing where you can grill without fear of sparking a wildfire. Some campgrounds require you to park in a specialized area if you plan on grilling, so call ahead if you aren’t sure.
Finally, make sure you have a grease trap or dish to catch any drips, and wipe up grease if and when it does spill. This will prevent rogue sparks from igniting the grease and causing a fire on your RV or the ground.
5. Do all RV grills come with mounting gear? Do all attach to the side?
Most come with the mounting setup you’ll need—but not all. Usually, they will mount to the side of your RV, but a few are designed to attach to the back. Also, some systems allow the grill to detach and be used on a standalone mount, so you can park in one area and grill in another.
There are also swing-away options, where the mount folds against the vehicle during travel, but pivots outward and locks into place so you can grill at a greater distance from the RV while remaining attached.
Buyers should check with the manufacturer’s product description before purchasing, to ensure the grill does, in fact, come with all mounting accessories needed. Some companies sell these separately, but offer a variety so you can choose the system that’s best for you.
Top 4 Best RV Grills Reviews
1. Flame King RV Mounted BBQ Motorhome Gas Grille Review
The Flame King is a stylish, no-fuss option for RVers who want a simple, side-mounted grill that can get the job done and be packed up in a flash.
It’s designed with durable materials to withstand travel, but comes at a price that’s considerably lower than other mounted models.
The coolest feature, in our opinion, is its versatile mounting system, which turns into a standalone base so you can detach it and set the grill up anywhere on your campsite.
While some would prefer a grill that runs off its own propane (or even charcoal), others will love the convenience of hooking their grill right up to their RV’s gas supply. We recommend this to travelers who plan on using the grill frequently during their trips, as well as full-timers who live in their vehicle permanently.
2. ACGEN RV Mounted BBQ Grill Review
The ACGEN side-mounted grill is smaller than the Flame King, but not by much; its downside is the higher price. This might be worth it, however, for buyers who’d prefer the choice of using their RV’s gas supply, or their own cylinders.
Like the Flame King, the ACGEN can also be removed from the RV quickly and easily if you’d prefer to grill away from the vehicle.
In terms of the best price, we still recommend the Flame King—but the smoker plate and ability to run on separate gas is very appealing, and makes the ACGEN worth considering just the same. We could see this model being popular with campers who prefer charcoal for its flavor, but don’t want to or can’t devote time to waiting for it to heat up and then disposing of the ashes.
3. StowAway Hitch Mount Grill with 1.25” SwingAway Frame Review
The StowAway Hitch grill is great for RVs, but can work on any Class III or IV trailer hitch—which means all campers and tailgaters can enjoy the convenience of an attached grill, even if they don’t own an RV.
The frame locks into place at a 90-degree angle from the car, and can hold up to 200 lbs. This model comes with a Cuisinart grill, although buyers could also purchase the arm alone and use their grill of choice, instead. We’ll review the arm and Cuisinart combination.
While the grill itself is great, the real standout in this bundle is the swing-arm system that attaches to most standard trailer hitches with ease. It turns any vehicle into a kitchen-on-demand, and doubles as a convenient rear carrying rack for the grill and any other gear you might need to haul.
By far the most versatile setup in this guide, we recommend the StowAway and Cuisinart system to tailgaters and campers without a recreational vehicle; it might be just a tad too bulky for the rear bumpers of some RVs, although in the end, it’s a matter of preference.
4. Kuuma Stow-N-Go 125 Gas Grill Review
The Kuuma portable grill is another affordable, compact option for those low on space or money (or both).
Crafted with high-strength steel, it has an attractive design that can weather short getaways, long trips, and almost any condition nature throws its way.
It can be mounted to the vehicle or left freestanding on a tabletop or stand, but fair warning: these are sold separately.
We recommend the Kuuma to buyers on a budget, but with a little wiggle room; you’ll need to purchase a stand or mounting rack, if you don’t want to use the grill on a tabletop.
It has impressive durability, however, and can be used with a variety of systems to suit almost any vehicle—including RVs, cars, trucks, and even houseboats—which make the slight hassle of additional purchases worth it.
Grilling is part of the fun of camping, and often becomes RV-travellers’ favorite cooking method, since they don’t have to worry about odors or smoke clinging to their vehicle’s interior.
While portable grills are great for road trips, some people don’t want to store their grill on board (or don’t have the room), which is why RV-mounted options are so handy: when dinnertime rolls around, you simply unfold your grill, light it, and get to work.
We hope our buyer’s guide has been helpful in your search for the best RV grill to suit your traveling needs.