Best Portable Propane Fire Pits – 2021 Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: July 18, 2021

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One of the most common accessories you’ll find with most RVs is a portable propane fire pit, as they can supply you with a wonderful outdoor cooking method without using the power or electricity of your caravan. This tool is great for those who love to camp with RVs, as they’re rarely spacious and can provide a strong flame with very little propane.

Getting one is an excellent choice, but there are so many options that you can choose based on what you need from it, as well as your experience with propane fire pits.

Whether you’re new to using these tools or have used them frequently, there is plenty to know about these powerful and helpful products.

Comparison of the Best Portable Propane Fire Pits

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • High quality steel construction ensures longevity
  • Equipped with 58,000 BTU/HR, making it the best overall model on our list
  • Cover & Carry Kit along with pre-attached 10 ft hose makes it extremely easy to carry and use
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  • Optional vinyl carrying bag allows ease of use
  • Lava rocks disperse propane flame and enhance flickering effect
  • Powder coated steel construction makes this model the runner-up on our list
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  • 10 ft hose allows you to keep the propane tank away from the fire
  • Measuring 19” in diameter, this model can be stored in small spaces
  • A built-in safety feature restricts gas flow if the tank valve is turned up too fast
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  • Fast reliable start-up provided by matchless auto-ignition system
  • All steel construction with a durable enamel coating to provide lasting quality
  • 4.4lbs included lava rocks are designed to provide smokeless fire with enhanced flickering
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How We Chose These Models

Today, fire pits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the best one. To ensure you make the correct decision, following are some things you should consider before investing in a fire pit:

Materials

The materials used in the manufacturing of a propane fire pit can affect its durability, weight, price, and aesthetic appeal. Cheaper models are usually constructed with light metals.

Weight

One of the first things to consider before buying, is weight. While most are extremely lightweight, larger pits can weigh as much as several hundred pounds.

Photo credit: activeweekender.com

Size

It is important to consider whether the fire pit can be stored in a shed or can easily be transported for a camping trip. Make sure you also consider the size of the pits to determine how much food you can grill at one time.

Aesthetics

If you’re going to install the fire pit in your yard, make sure you choose a model which beautifully complements your deck or yard.

Review of the Best Portable Propane Fire Pits

Due to the wide variety of portable propane fire pits available today, choosing the best one is often a difficult task. To ensure you made the right choice, the following are reviews of some of the best portable propane fire pits.

Best Overall:
Outland Firebowl 863

Outland Living Model 863 Portable Propane Fire Pit, 21-Inch Diameter 58,000 BTU Smokless for Camping RV Backyard Deck Patio, Black

Pros

  • Clean, Smokeless Flame Makes it Extremely Safe to Use
  • Compact and Extremely Easy to Assemble and Transport
  • Stainless High-Quality Steel Makes the Model Both Durable and Reliable

Cons

  • This Model is a Bit Small, so the Size Might Not Appeal to All

The best model on this list, the Outland Firebowl 863, truly stands out. Designed to be compact, this product is extremely lightweight and portable. It does not require any additional tools and can easily be set up in a matter of minutes. Equipped with NEW Helios burner technology, the model ensures a fuller, brighter, and more natural flame. Meanwhile, a lower profile broadens the functional heat radius.

This model is also CSA approved, allowing it to be used during most campfire bans. However, make sure you check the current fire restrictions in your area before using it.

Designed with high quality steel and a protective enamel finish, this product ensures dependable longevity and reliability. A contemporary decorative belt further adds to the pit’s aesthetic appeal.

The Outland Firebowl 863 also comes with a Cover & Carry Kit, along with a pre-attached ten-foot hose to keep your propane tank cylinder out of sight. You can also control the height of the flame using the adjustable regulator with a chrome valve knob. Meanwhile, the natural lava rock set further enhances the flickering effect.

Bottom Line

The Outland Firebowl 863 is certainly the best model available today. Equipped with 58000 BTUs/HR, the unit provides a clean, smokeless flame, making it extremely safe to use. It is also durable, reliable, and very easy to carry and assemble. However, its small size might not appeal to all.

Runner-up: 
Outland Firebowl 823

Outland Living Model 823 Portable Propane Fire Pit, Black

Pros

  • Extremely Easy to Assemble and Carry Around
  • CSA Approved, Making it Extremely Safe to Use
  • High-Quality Steel Construction Ensures Durability, Longevity, and Reliability

Cons

  • It Has a Small Burner Which Gives Off Less Heat
  • Cover and Carrying Bag Needs to Be Purchased Separately

Similar to the Outland Firebowl 863, the Outland Firebowl 523 is a close second. Equipped with the same 58,000 BTU burner, this model is perfect for a camping trip. Constructed with high quality steel, the protective enamel finish ensures durability, longevity, and reliability.

The unit also comes with an optional vinyl carry bag which fully encloses the propane fire pit, providing additional protection. The bag is designed with a top-load zippered compartment which is big enough to fit a 19-inch portable propane fire pit. It also has a pocket on the underside of the lid which can be used to store things like the manual, lighter, etc.

This model is also CSA approved, allowing you to use it during most campfire bans. However, make sure you check with the current fire restrictions in your state before lighting up a fire.

Bottom Line

The Outland Firebowl 823 is the runner-up on our list and has similar features to the Outland Firebowl 863. It is CSA approved, strong, reliable, and extremely easy to assemble and carry around. However, it has a smaller burner which gives off less heat.

Honorable Mention:
Heininger 5995

Heininger 5995 58,000 BTU Portable Propane Outdoor Fire Pit

Pros

  • Extremely Easy to Store and Carry Around
  • Convenient Locking Lid Allows Ease of Use
  • Can Run for Up to 8 Hours on One Propane Tank

Cons

  • The Fire Has to be Ignited Manually

This product is certainly one of the most stylish models available today. Boasting a stunning bronze/copper color and a gorgeous design, this product ranks number four on our list.

Weighing only 22 pounds, this model comes with a ten-foot hose. It also features some decorative rocks which truly complement the beautiful flame. It is the ideal product for camping and as it does not produce any embers, sparks, or smoke, it is suitable in areas where a burn ban is in effect.

Equipped with 58,000 BTUs, the model produces enough heat output to keep your family or circle of friends warm and cozy. Moreover, this product can be used for up to eight hours on a 20-lb propane tank.

The Heininger 5995 is also extremely easy to use. You just need to connect the propane tank to the hose, switch on the gas supply, and ignite the flame. A built-in regulator is also included, allowing greater convenience. You can also use the attached dial to control the size of the flame and the amount of heat given off.

However, you might have to pay extra for the lid.

Bottom Line
This fire pit is certainly one of the best models available today. Sturdily built, the model is durable and dependable, and produces enough heat output to keep your family warm. However, manually igniting the fire might prove to be a hindrance for some.

Editor's Pick:
Outland Firebowl 870

Outland Living Firebowl 870 Premium Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit with Cover & Carry Kit, 19-Inch Diameter 58,000 BTU Auto-Ignition

Pros

  • Easy to use a product that requires no assembly
  • Matchless auto-ignition provides a simple and fast set-up
  • CSA approved fire pit that is safe to use during campfire bans
  • Safe fire option that helps protect forested areas and campgrounds
  • Ideal outdoor centerpiece for beach parties, RV travels camping trips, tailgating, etc.

Cons

  • Stones give off dust when you first put them in the bowl which can create quite a mess

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are pretty impressed with this product and have found its safety features very convenient. It produces a fair amount of heat and is large enough that it feels like they are sitting around a real campfire. They also like the portability provided by the included straps. Buyers have taken this product on camping trips where no open wood fires were permitted and have enjoyed the great ambiance provided by this product.    

Why it Stands Out to Us

High-quality steel construction, protective powder coating, enamel finish for durability, and stainless steel burner are just some of the features that make this product an ideal substitute for traditional labor-intensive campfires. It is lightweight and portable and does not require any tools to set up. Moreover, it comes with a 4.4lbs natural rock lava set, which enhances the flickering effect of the fire.    

Bottom Line

The Outland Firebowl 870 has been designed while keeping in mind the safety of the users. With this propane pit, you can create the perfect atmosphere for your family to gather around and share stories. No more worrying about expensive firewood, bothersome smoke, and dirty ash as this product delivers a clean and realistic propane campfire experience.  

Smallest Portable Propane Fire Pits:
Camp Chef Gas Fire Ring

Camp Chef Compact Fire Ring Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit with Carry Kit, 15-Inch Diameter, 55,000 BTU

Pros

  • Includes a 12lbs bag of lava rock
  • Quick and easy assembly and storage
  • Compact size perfect for all outdoor activities
  • Comes with a carry bag for convenient transportation
  • Allows you to enjoy the heat without any smelly clothes or smoke

Cons

  • May emit an odor during the initial set-up

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have only good things to say about this fire pit. It is compact, easy to use, and much safer than a real wood campfire. It has an adjustable flame and comes with a carrying case that buyers find very convenient. They find this product a pleasure to use as they do not have to deal with wood or wood smoke.   

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love this highly versatile and portable fire pit, as it can generate a nice hot flame. Whether you are camping with your family, traveling on the road in your RV, or just enjoying a night with your friends out on the patio, the Camp Chef Gas Fire Ring will definitely keep you warm. You do not have to worry about having wood or smoke. 

Bottom Line

With a 55,000 BTU per hour capacity and a built-in output burner, the Camp Chef gas fire ring is a great product for a small group of campers. The lava rocks het up good to keep the atmosphere warm and cozy.  

6. Camp Chef Redwood GCLOGD

Camp Chef Redwood Portable Propane Fire Pit

Pros

  • Decorative stone center
  • Adjustable heat options
  • Comes with carrying bag and accessories
  • Compatible with most standard propane tanks
  • Easy setup and lightweight body for carrying and storage

Cons

  • Thin and frail metal pieces
  • Body heats up significantly
  • Can use propane relatively fast

Specs

Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 13 inches

BTU: 55,000

Materials: Steel & Nickel

Hose: Pre-Attached Propane Hose

Review

The Redwood Fire Pit from Camp Chef is one of the more efficient small units you can get, and that’s hardly a negative description. It’s an extremely compact box that quickly and reliably heats up.

Reviews mention that it can burn through propane faster than expected, but it’ll still be extremely effective as a quick-start cooking option while camping and taking time outside your RV. These high heats will let you cook fairly fast, although it’s worth a mention that this heavy propane use may not make it ideal for keeping yourself warm.

Bottom Line

Camp Chef excels in cooking-oriented fire pits, and this product of theirs is certainly no exception. It’s hard to argue with its positives, and its negatives will hardly impact you in most instances, making this product ideal for any RV owner’s outdoor cooking needs.

What You Can Expect From Portable Propane Fire Pits

Below are some of the main benefits of these models:

Can Be Used Anywhere

Portable propane fire pits can be used in areas where there is a lack of wood or a restriction on a traditional wood fire. These models are usually lightweight, compact, and easy to carry around and assemble. Moreover, they give the same benefits as a real fire.

Total Control

With a propane fire pit, you can fully control the size of the flame and the amount of heat it gives out. Moreover, it can also be switched off immediately.

Outland Firebowl 823

No Smoke, Ash, or Embers

Propane fire pits do not give out any smoke, so you don’t have to worry about smoky smelling hair and clothes the next morning.

There are also fewer chances of hot ash and embers getting on your clothes and chairs and burning a hole through them.

Home and Camping Use

Portable fire pits can also be used on your patio area or deck. They have an insulated bottom, which makes them extremely safe to use at an evening party or pool party in the backyard.

Propane vs Wood Fire Pits for Camping

Aside from the obvious difference of what material you’re burning, there are a few things you should know about why you should choose a propane fire pit or wood fire pit over the other. For the most part, this will have to do with your available resources, particularly your time. Wooden fire pits can use a lot more, as wood can be challenging for some people to find, and it can take a longer amount of time to get a wood fire going.

Photo credit: activeweekender.com

Propane fire pits, meanwhile, are almost instantaneous when it comes to starting a fire. While propane can be more expensive and dangerous, the equipment surrounding propane fire pits makes them just as safe to cook over and save far more time in preparation. RV travelers will also appreciate the space conservation that comes with a single propane tank and a compact fire pit, making propane fire pits a better option for many RV owners.

Who Makes the Best Portable Propane Fire Pits?

Many brands make fire pits, but the utilities they provide can differ based on the company that makes them. Some are especially fond of their cooking ability, while others are more about creating a simple, comfortable campfire.

Camp Chef

As their name would imply, Camp Chef is a strong contender in the portable propane fire pit market due to its focus on creating a stable cooking source. Unlike many brands, they have a much wider variety of large propane fire pits, making cooking in the wild and traveling with large groups significantly easier. They also provide tons of accessories to help encourage easier cooking using their fire pits, making them a great option if well-cooked food is your primary value when it comes to fire pits.

Outland

Similar to Camp Chef, Outland is a brand that’s especially strong for those who enjoy camping and wilderness cooking, but with a more recent set of values due to the company’s later origin year of 2010. They have a full understanding of a current camper’s needs, including RV drivers, and as a result, they make surprisingly portable and easy-to-use products that work great for both warmth and cooking.

Heininger

If you’re looking for a propane fire pit designed for RV users, then Heininger is likely to give you the best quality product for your value. These compact devices are incredibly lightweight.

The Heininger company has specialized in travel appliances and tools since 1998, and its propane fire pit is a great option for those wishing for something that fits and works easily, especially to primarily provide warmth and decoration.

Heininger 5995

Portable Propane Fire Pit Price Points

Much like many home barbeque pits, portable propane fire pits can have a huge amount of variation between each product or brand. Some are intended for specific situations and have fewer features at lower costs, while others can be much more versatile and effective for those with greater comfort with propane devices and fire pits.

$100 - $150

Believe it or not, this price range is going to be the most common and efficient portable propane fire pit you can usually find. Products like the Fire Sense Sporty Campfire are certainly quite small, but they’re easy to carry and extremely powerful thanks to their simple design and low propane usage. This makes them quite ideal for most camping excursions, and an easy product to keep in any RV.

$150 - $200

The primary difference between products at this and lower price points are the sizes of the fire pits themselves. Most portable fire pits will have smaller dimensions, but premium products like the Outland Firebowl 883 will hit an impressive 24-inch diameter that allows easier cooking of larger items, as well as a larger aura of warmth if you’re traveling with a fuller caravan. 

$200+

If you’re spending this much on a fire pit, it’s very unlikely that the portability is still going to be a prominent feature of the product. While many are technically carryable, this price range usually is a sign that it’s intended for backyard use due to having additional tabletops and heavier bases to hide your propane tank inside. For the most part, if your propane tank is to be hidden inside the product itself, it’s much less likely to be what you’re looking for RV camping and traveling.

Outland Firebowl 870

Pros and Cons of Portable Propane Fire Pits

Below are the main pros and cons you should be aware of:

Pros

Below are the main pros:

No Ashes to Clean Up

Compared to wood-burning fires, propane models require much less work and maintenance as they do not produce any ashes or smoke.

Highly Portable

If you wish to take your fire pit from place to place, then this feature is a great benefit. These models are extremely easy to carry around, adding to their flexibility and portability.

Safety

Propane fire pits do not produce smoke, embers, or sparks and have a flame which can be easily controlled. Moreover, switching off the gas completely extinguishes the flame.

Cons

Below are the main cons:

Propane Tank Refills Cost Money

You might have to refill your propane tank a number of times throughout the year if you use your fire pit frequently. This adds to your cost of maintenance.

Not Enough Heat Output

Although propane fire pits provide warmth, they are not as effective as larger built-in fire pits. Thus, make sure you bring some blankets, too, on your camping trip!

Outland Firebowl 863

What Makes a Propane Fire Pit Great for an RV?

No camping trip is complete without a roaring fire in the evening to keep you company. However, it may not always be possible to have a traditional wood fire due to logistics issues, fire bans, and other restrictions. Therefore, many RV owners and campers nowadays are using portable propane fire pits to keep themselves warm. Moreover, the following features make propane fire pit great for an RV:

Excellent Alternative

Portable propane fire pits are lightweight, compact, easy to assemble, and easy to carry around. They are a perfect alternative to the traditional wood fire, where fire restrictions or lack of wood may be the issue. They provide the same benefits as a real fire without any hassle.  

Total Control

One of the best features of a propane fire pit is that it gives users complete control over the flame size and how much heat it should generate. Furthermore, it can easily be turned off with a switch, and the fire is doused immediately. You do not need to find water to put over the coals and flames to ensure that it’s out before bedtime. Moreover, you do not have to worry about hot ash or embers getting on your chairs or clothes and burning a hole in them.

Unlimited Location Options

Portable propane fire pits are lightweight and can be used anywhere you like. With this product, you are not restricted to have your fire at an existing camping ring at your campsite. In addition, they are safe to use on your patio or deck and are a great product to add a nice touch to your pool party in the backyard.

Outland Firebowl 870

How to Set Up an RV Propane Fire Pit

The idea of flipping a switch and enjoying the ambiance and heat of a propane fire pit is just too hard to resist. However, lugging around a 20-pound propane tank wherever you go seems a bit ridiculous when you can fuel your fire pit with the propane tank in your motorhome.

Most RVs come with low-pressure propane connection that can be used for gas grills as well as portable fire pits. Unfortunately, your fire pit will not come with the parts needed to attach it to the valve in your motorhome.

In order to connect your fire pit to your RV, you will need a hose, an adapter, and a small male plug that snaps into your RV’s propane connection. A 20-foot hose is a safe choice as it keeps the fire pit at a good distance from your RV.

Setting up an RV propane fire pit is very simple and takes only a few minutes. Attach one end of the hose to your fire pit. Connect the flow plug to your RV’s propane tank. Now connect the adapter to the other end of the hose and attach it to the flow plug. Make sure to tighten each joint. After assembling, turn the gas valve slightly and light the fire pit. Make sure that your connection is safe before adjusting the flame according to your preference.  

Still not sure about the process? Watch the following video before setting up your RV propane fire to avoid making any mistakes.  

Portable Fire Pit Maintenance - What You Need to Know

To keep your portable fire pit functioning beautifully, it is vital to maintain it properly. Following are some maintenance tips that will allow you to enjoy your fire pit for a very long time:

  1. Avoid putting out the fire in your fire pit with water. Water can cause the temperature of the hot fire pit to drop quickly, which can cause cracks. Instead, allow the fire to burn out naturally or use sand to douse it. Use tongs or a long poker to turn the wood to ensure that the fire goes out completely.

  2. For wood-burning fire pits, use seasoned wood as it creates less build-up and delivers a much cleaner burn.

  3. If you are using a propane fire pit, shut all the lines and valves that transmit propane to the burner and remove the propane tank. Store the tank in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside while cleaning and maintaining your fire pit.

  4. Remove the ashes from the pit regularly to prevent long-term damage to your fire pit. Use an ash scoop and metal ash can to collect the ashes. Make sure that you dispose of the ashes properly.

  5. Once you have cleaned your fire pit, use a fire pit cover to protect it from external elements. A good-quality fire pit cover will prevent rainwater, debris, and leaves from accumulating between uses.  

Maintaining your fire pit properly will help you ensure that your investment is well-taken care of. To avoid making any mistakes, watch the following video for guidance on how to properly maintain your fire pit.

Conclusion

As with any propane-based product, make sure to use your propane fire pit safely. Each propane tank and fire pit will function similarly but can have all sorts of unique quirks and traits based on the brand or style. Always make sure to keep your instruction manual handy in case you have any concerns. Take proper fire safety precautions for portable fire pits while using them.

People Also Ask

Propane fire pits offer a touch of warmth to your cool evenings; provide a perfect place for family gatherings to laugh and share memories, and even create an ideal place to toast marshmallows. However, before investing in a unit, it is best to have complete knowledge of their features and workings. Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that will help you realize the usefulness of these products:    

Are Portable Propane Fire Pits Worth It?

If you want a much easier form of starting a fire that doesn’t require too much setup, portable fire pits are worth the cost. More premium products will also be even easier and safer to use, making them secure investments if you think you’ll be using them frequently.

Can You Cook on a Portable Propane Fire Pit?

While there are a few exceptions based on how much propane they use, most propane fire pits are generally safe to cook over. That said, make sure to check your propane pit’s instructions to make sure what the safest ways to cook are, as some may not recommend heating items like hot dogs or marshmallows directly over their flames.

Do Propane Fire Pits Keep You Warm?

Propane fire pits can be more compact than many other fire pits, but they provide tons of heat for you if you need a source of outdoor heat and can’t create a natural wood fire or use an electric heater. That said, do be careful not to be too close, primarily due to the risks of breathing in propane gas.

Photo credit: smartexploring.com

Does a Propane Fire Pit Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Generally speaking, most propane fire pits will not inherently keep mosquitos away from you. Wood fire pits can often have certain items added to the fire to help repel bugs further, but you won’t be able to burn anything besides propane in most gas fire pits. As a result, you’ll likely need to find another way to repel bugs.

How Heavy Are Portable Propane Fire Pits?

Different models of portable propane fire pits come in various sizes. Typically, a unit may weigh 20 – 25lbs, which makes it easy to carry from one place to another.  

How Much is a Portable Propane Fire Pit? 

A good-quality portable propane fire pit typically ranges between $300 – $400.

Are All Fire Pits Approved For Camping in an RV?

Fire pits provide heat and light to otherwise dark and cold nights spent outdoors. They are an important part of a camping trip as they take the bite out of the chilly weather, leaving you all warm and cozy. However, not all fire pits are approved for camping in an RV. Make sure you read the specifications and information provided before investing in a model.    

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My husband and I live a life on the road so we figured no better way to share our journey than through a blog! While traveling place to place as RV noobies, we quickly realized how often we were in need of RV accessories and supplies. This led us to launch RV Expertise and sharing our top picks.