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Even though you may holiday in comfort in a caravan or motorhome, you don’t have to give up the pleasures of cooking in the great outdoors usually associated with roughing it. You just have to find the space in your recreational vehicle to stash a BBQ, and grilled meat, fish and veggies cooked outside in the fresh air can be on the menu every day. How about BBQ’d sausages for breakfast and toast with grill marks for afternoon tea? The BBQs in our review take advantage of the features that a caravan has over camping to offer you a wide selection of grilling options.
Our Best BBQ for caravans and motorhomes review introduces our recommendations for those grills that have the features to suit holidaying in a recreational vehicle. Some of them are larger or heavier than a portable BBQ and others use a power source, gas or electric, that you don’t find when camping or out in a park. We list the pros and cons of each model and explain our recommendation. Our Buyer’s Guide discusses the general features to consider when making your purchase decision.
Our Selection for the best BBQ for caravans and motorhomes overall is the Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ. This is a charcoal BBQ that won’t break the bank. Its spherical shape may be a little difficult to find a storage space for but it is compact and a good quality piece of kit and it easily handles grilling for a family of four.
Our Runner-up is the Campingaz Party Grill 400, All-in-One Portable Camping BBQ. This is a gas grill (great if you’re already using propane) whose lid is useful as a wok for those Asian BBQ meals. It’s also fast and much cleaner than using a charcoal BBQ making to a good choice for caravans.
BBQ for Caravans and Motorhomes Reviews
1. Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ
The spherical shape of the Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ is a hint to the fun of this grill and is available in at least 6 groovy colours. You too can cook food that has the authentic smoky taste that all BBQ advertisements rave about.
The lid and the bowl of this BBQ are enamelled porcelain. This conducts the heat evenly throughout and also keeps most of the heat in. Your food cooks thoroughly and tastes great. The air vents that control the airflow to the coals are on the side of the bowl. The amount of air flowing through the BBQ determines the temperature of the charcoal and so the heat available for cooking the food. Unfortunately, you cannot move the grilling rack and the charcoal grid together or further apart to further control the amount of heat the food receives.
The grilling grid is made of triple-plated nickel. With just a little care, this grid acts as a non-stick surface. Your burgers, chicken and especially fish won’t leave their outer layers behind when you turn them. At just over 950cm2, the grilling surface is large enough to hold a complete meal for a group of four people so its also perfect for families. Although we don’t recommend constantly lifting up the lid to see how things are going (you lose heat that way), the glass-covered nylon handle makes it safe to do so.
The lid is not attached to the bowl of the BBQ so you have to remove it completely to look inside. However, the Tuck-n-Carry lid lock also works as a lid holder so you can hang the lid over the side of the bowl. It’s really difficult to hold the lid in one hand and flip the food with the spatula you have in the other.
Cleaning out the Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ isn’t as easy as with some of the other BBQs we review. The base of this BBQ is solid, which means that removing the cold coals and ash has to be done through the top of the BBQ. This can make the inside of the bowl messy and you have to clean it thoroughly before you barbeque again.
- Good quality charcoal BBQ designed to last.
- Charcoal powered spherical-shape BBQ for that authentic smoky taste to your food.
- Porcelain-enamelled lid and bowl for heat retention help to keep a constant grilling temperature.
- Lockable lid so it won’t roll away as you’re transporting the BBQ.
- Nylon handle is reinforced with glass so it won’t be too hot when you lift the lid.
- Triple nickel-plated grilling grate is non-stick if looked after carefully.
- Vents on each side let you control the amount of heat put out by the charcoal bricks to cook your food.
- The 10-year limited warranty covers a lot of grilling for extra piece of mind.
- Has no temperature gauge.
- Can’t adjust the height of the charcoal grate or the cooking grill.
- No cleaning vent in the base.
The Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ is a well-reviewed BBQ that provides enough grilling space to feed a group of four people. The circular grill grid lets you arrange your grilling items efficiently and you may be able to squeeze a few more burgers on. The lid holder is a handy addition that lets you hook the lid to the bowl of the BBQ rather than standing there with it in your hand as you look after whatever you’re grilling.
We’ve made the Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ our Best Pick of BBQs for Caravans and Motorhomes. If you’re of the opinion that “true” BBQ just has to have that smoky and blackened taste of charcoal grilling and that’s what you want on your holiday, this is the BBQ for you. Overall it’s a good sturdy premium BBQ.
Read next: Best portable side table for your BBQ
2. Campingaz Party Grill 400, All-in-One Portable Camping BBQ
The Campingaz Party Grill 400, All-in-One Portable Camping BBQ is a cheerful bright blue spherical bubble that opens up to reveal a variety of different grilling options. This gas-powered grill runs on Campingaz gas cylinders or other standard compatible gas cylinders.
With just a push and a turn, the piezoelectric ignitor sparks into action and the grill is ready to use with just a few minutes preheating, much quicker and less messy than using charcoal.
The recommended Campingaz cylinders, R907 and R904, run for over 19 hours and over 12 hours respectively. That’s a lot of grilled meals for your family on holiday, even if you fill-up the large 36cm diameter grill with food. You adjust the gas flow, and hence the cooking temperature, by turning the gas regulator knob. Some online reviewers report that there’s a plastic connector between the gas canister and the burner that melted on their BBQ, making it unusable. Be aware of this and perhaps see if you can replace it.
As for all the cooking methods, this Campingaz grill is called a combo grill stove as you can cook with the lid down. However, the lid is completely separate to the bowl of the BBQ. When you lift it, you have to hold it in one hand while you turn the food with the BBQ tool in your other hand. This can be somewhat tricky. Other cooking methods include a pan support, a plancha, a cooking griddle (as well as the grid) and the lid that doubles as a wok. Making Asian food over your BBQ is sure to draw the attention of your campground neighbours.
Everything fits onto the sphere for convenient storage. Even the legs are removable (you don’t need tools) and store flat, great for storing. Clean up is easy as the compartment below the burner, which you fill with water, collects all the grease that drips off the food. Just empty it safely and wash it out.
- Premium gas bbq which is compact and great for caravans.
- Bright blue spherical grill that gives you a variety of other cooking methods.
- Gas-powered and runs on Campingaz R907/R904 gas cylinders (or other standard cylinders) for hours of grilling time to feed a large number of guests or campground friends.
- Piezoelectric ignition that you push and turn is beyond convenient for starting the grill.
- Gas flow is easily adjustable by a single knob at the base of the unit.
- Easy to clean as a water compartment below the grill collects all the grease.
- Everything fits into the sphere (including the detachable legs) for ease of transport.
- Dimensions: 36cm (diameter) by 42 cm (height, on the stand).
- Weighs only 4.9kg adding little weight to your caravan.
- Carry bag is included in your purchase for convenient transportation and storage.
- Regulator and hose sold separately.
- The plastic connector between gas cylinder and burner are known to melt.
- Lid not connected to bowl.
- No temperature gauge.
The Campingaz Party Grill 400 All-in-One Portable BBQ has over 1,000cm2 of grilling space for your outdoor feasts which probably doent mean a lot for its a decent size for at least 4 people. This charcoal BBQ is a blue spherical delight that gives you more than a few choices of the cooking method – from the plancha flat top to the regular steel grid to a wok. Your outdoor menus don’t have to consist just of the regular hot dogs and burgers. Attach a large bottle of gas and grill for many hours. If you’re on holiday with a large group, this is the right BBQ for you.
The Campingaz Party Grill 400 All-in-One Portable Camping BBQ is our Runner-up choice of BBQ to take with you in your motorhome or caravan. We like that it’s a gas BBQ that takes advantage of a fuel source who already have in your recreational vehicle as you can choose your own regulator and hose.
Read next: Best popup gazebo to take in your caravan
3. Femor Smokeless Charcoal Grill
The Femor Smokeless Charcoal Grill is an intriguing looking BBQ that works a little differently to other charcoal BBQs. This round unit is a table grill for use inside your caravan, yes that right, inside, or outside on your picnic table. It’s definitely the lightest of the BBQs in our review but not that much smaller.
This body of this BBQ consists of two layers, the outer one being the casing that holds everything. Starting from the top of the BBQ, there’s the grilling grid that has a solid centre section that acts the charcoal container lid. Under this is the charcoal container into which you put the charcoal bricks. Under the container is the ignition plate on which you put some fuel paste which you light before putting the charcoal container on it. With everything in place and fastened down, you turn on the fan at the bottom of the unit to blow the air that makes the charcoal glow and helps prevent smoke.
This is certainly a self-contained unit. Unlike with a regular charcoal grill, the flame and the charcoal are not in direct contact with the food. This is good news if you’re concerned with the reports that charcoal-grilled food is not good for you. The inner bowl and the grill grid are made of stainless steel so they’re easy to clean and keep hygienic. Adjusting the speed of the fan and the direction it blows changes the grilling temperature of the BBQ.
This is advertised as a smokeless BBQ if you use smokeless charcoal bricks. However, we also found some online users complain that this model produces quite a lot of smoke that becomes a problem if you grill indoors but this is probably down to using standard charcoal. Its also worth noting that the charcoal container is sealed so sparks can’t exit and cause problems.
- Round table grill that works off the heat of charcoal bricks with a fan to control the temperature.
- Table-top grill for use inside the caravan or outside on your picnic table.
- The solid plate in the middle of the stainless steel grill prevents any fat or food bits from falling down into the charcoal box, thus saving you a fire or smoke at the very least.
- The fan takes batteries or can be plugged into a USB port for charging options.
- The two-layer structure allows for even heat distribution and insulation so the grill is safe to use on your dining table.
- Easy to clean as almost all the parts can go into the dishwasher (if your motorhome has one!).
- Dimensions of unit: 35cm (diameter) and 25cm (height).
- Dimensions of grilling surface: 32cm (diameter).
- Weight: 3.46kg.
- Lightweight sheet metal construction.
- Doesn’t give much charcoal flavour.
If you are holidaying in a caravan with limited space for everything – people, storage and cooking – the Femor Smokeless Charcoal Grill is a small and lightweight option for a BBQ plus it can be used indoors which is usually not the case for charcoal BBQs. Although it’s a table top grill, you could use it on the grass if you put a couple of bricks underneath it to raise it up a bit.
If your holiday accommodations cause you to think small and minimal, you can still have barbequed food with the Femor Smokeless Charcoal Grill.
4. Weber Go-anywhere Portable BBQ
The Weber Go-anywhere Portable BBQ looks like what most people think of as a portable BBQ. It’s rectangular in shape and a glossy black. This is a charcoal powered grill so your food has that authentic BBQ taste.
The lid and box of the BBQ are made of enamelled porcelain that evenly distributes the heat as well as keeps it in. Two air vents on the top of the lid let you control the airflow through the unit. This, in turn, affects how hot the coals burn. Unfortunately, there’s no temperature gauge to let you know how warm it is inside the BBQ. No matter the temperature, though, the glass-covered handle on the lid, along with the heat shield, protects your hand when you lift it to look inside the grill.
This Weber BBQ stands on plated steel legs. The legs fold up over the lid when you’re not using the BBQ and lock it in place. No more rummaging around the storage space for a grill grid that’s got loose. The BBQ comes with a pull-out tray that collects the grease drippings and is easy to clean.
- Alloy steel rectangular BBQ powered by charcoal bricks gives the “real” BBQ taste to your grilled food.
- The grill is plated steel to hold your food firmly in place while cooking.
- Porcelain-enamelled base and lid are easy to clean.
- Airflow vents are on the top of the lid to regulate the temperature your food cooks at.
- The pull-out tray below the heavy-duty charcoal grate collects all the dripping grease and dropped bits of food from the grill
- Fold-away legs make it easier to carry the BBQ.
- The reinforced glass nylon handle lets you raise the lid and carry the BBQ safely.
- Dimensions of unit: 55cm (length); 28cm (width); and 41.5cm (height).
- Dimensions of grill: 41cm (length) and 25cm (width).
- Weighs 6.1kg.
- Ten-year warranty for many years of happy grilling.
- No temperature gauge
The Weber Go-anywhere Portable BBQ is a straightforward charcoal brick grill that comes from a company that’s famous for producing high-quality BBQs. The porcelain-enamelled body of the BBQ distributes the heat evenly so your food cooks all the way through. The air vents are as good as you can get to control the temperature of a charcoal grill.
If you want a no-frills charcoal barbeque from a company with a solid reputation, this could be the one for you. If a good alternative to our best pick.
5. Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go – Portable Barbecue Grill with TRU-Infrare Technology
The Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go Portable Barbecue Grill with TRU-Infrared™ technology is a gas grill to which you hook up a disposable gas cylinder (or optionally a regular 9kg gas tank).
Starting the BBQ is never a problem with the push button electronic ignition. Adjust the temperature using the gas regulator and see how it’s doing on the temperature gauge on the top of the lid. Some online reviewers report problems with their gas regulators, and even those who give this product four or five stars report this flaw. They state that, in some cases, the regulator is flimsy and creates too high heat on the lowest temperature. Check out the regulator of the BBQ you buy before you use it properly the first time or maybe consider getting a spare as there not very expensive.
Char-Broil highlights its TRU-Infrare cooking technology on this BBQ. This cooking system cooks food evenly so there are no cold, under-cooked parts; it also prevents flare-ups which is good news for those who are apprehensive about fat fires or just don’t like the flames that dripping fat often causes. This cooking system seems to be a barrier between the flames and the food. Consequently, the cooking surface looks like a griddle and not a grid. But it is made of stainless steel for straightforward cleanup and hygiene. However, some people online state that the cooking plate is quite difficult to clean, with all the ridges that it has, perhaps a good cleaning tool could resolve this issue or at least make it easier to clean.
- TRU-Infrared cooking system cooks food evenly and prevents flare-up so you don’t need to worry about burned food.
- Portable stainless steel BBQ powered by propane cylinder.
- Electronic ignition – just press a button instead of fumbling with gas lighters or old-school matches.
- The temperature gauge on the lid lets you see if your burgers and steaks are cooking at the right temperature.
- Latches on the front of the lid keep it closed while in transit, or when you’re cooking so kids can’t flip it up.
- The removable pan under the grill catches all the burnt bits and grease droppings.
- BBQ dimensions: 59.5cm (width); 40cm (depth) and 35 (height).
- Grill dimensions: large enough to fir 12 hamburgers
- Weight: 11.8kg.
- Two-year warranty on all the parts for peace of mind.
- Some reports of problems with the gas regulator easily resolved by buying a spare.
- Carry bag not included.
Char-Broil X200 Grill2Go Portable Barbecue Grill is a gas grill that comes with a technology that results in 50% juicier food and fewer flare-ups than other BBQs which is a great selling point for some people. Its electronic ignition makes it easy to get going and the griddle-like cooking surface cooks your food evenly all the way through. There have been some problems with the gas regulator being flimsy so check that part of the BBQ out thoroughly.
If you seem to have problems barbequing your food so that it’s evenly and thoroughly cooked, check out this Char-Broil BBQ (with some reservations).
6. George Foreman Indoor Outdoor BBQ Grill
The George Foreman Indoor & Outdoor BBQ Grill is advertised as a healthy way of grilling is is the only electric model in this review, ideal for caravans and motorhomes as you usually have access to electric. And indeed it has several features that support that claim. But you have to decide for yourself whether it’s a BBQ or an electric grill and whether that even matters to you.
When fully assembled, the George Foreman grill looks like a semi-sphere on a long stick. This is an electric grill that comes with its own telescopic stand. The advantage of the stand is that it brings the cooking surface up to a comfortable height for you.
You can, of course, use the BBQ Grill without the stand as a table top grill which works well. This lets you grill inside your caravan as well as outside on your picnic table.
The first healthy grilling feature is that the grilling plate is non-stick, so you needn’t use oil on it or very little. Note that the cooking surface is a griddle and not a grid. A second healthy element is that the grilling plate is angled slightly downwards so that any grease that runs off your food is directed away into the grease tray. This means that it doesn’t stay around to splash back up into your meat or fish adding unwanted calories plus its much easier to clean.
Keeping the cooking temperature even and consistent results in food that are cooked all the way through to the right doneness –that’s healthy too. As an electric grill, the Foreman BBQ lets you set your desired cooking temperature. But that’s not all. Once it reaches that temperature, it automatically cycles on and off to keep the temperature constant. You don’t have to keep messing around with the temperature dial yourself or raising the lid to see what’s going on. In fact, the temperature gauge tells you the heat inside the BBQ. However, some people may find it a little hit and miss.
And the last feature that we think helps with healthy eating is the large grill size. At 1,500cm2, that’s 15 portions of food, there’s no excuse not throw your veg on the BBQ along with your proteins.
- Semi-spherical bulb electric grill on a stand lets you BBQ both outdoors and indoors if you have the room in your motorhome.
- Telescopic stand (optional use) lets you bring the BBQ up to a comfortable grilling height for you.
- The temperature gauge on the lid lets you know how hot it is inside the grill for your meat and veg.
- The dial on the side of the unit lets you adjust the heat to just the right temperature for the perfect steak.
- Grilling plates are non-stick and easily removable for cleaning.
- Grilling plates sit at an angle to let the fat run-off into the built-in grease tray.
- Automatic regulation of temperature when the requested temperature is reached means that you don’t have to keep fiddling with the BBQ’s thermostat.
- Weighs 6.26kg.
- Dimensions: 1,500cm2 (area of grill plate).
- Would be better with a slightly more sturdy stand.
- Temperature gauge not very accurate.
The George Foreman Indoor Outdoor BBQ Grill may not strictly be a BBQ but’s it very convenient for grilling food if your caravan, motorhome or even pitch has an electric hook-up. Don’t let a rainy day stop you from enjoying a grilled burger with all the fixings – just use this grill inside your motorhome. You could become known in the caravan park for your BBQ parties as this grill holds up to 15 portions of food at once.
If you have the storage space in your motorhome and anticipate grilling for hordes of people on your vacation, this is definitely a BBQ to seriously consider.
Buying a BBQ for your caravan or motorhome is not quite like buying a portable BBQ which we also review in this guide. You don’t have to worry about carrying it vast distances down to the lake or into the wilds – just outside your parked caravan or motorhome, if that far at all. But you do have to have somewhere to store it while you’re on the road. In this Buyer’s Guide, we put together the major features to consider when choosing your caravan BBQ.
Retrofit or portable?
Even though all the BBQs in our review are portable, we include retrofitting your motorhome for the BBQ an option because it is possible to create a pull-out drawer in your caravan or motorhome for your grill. You store the grill in the drawer which opens to the outside of the caravan as a table for the enclosed grill. This option is way beyond the scope of our review but we encourage you to research it further if this appeals to you.
The three main ways of cooking your food on a BBQ are: charcoal/wood pellets, gas (usually bottled propane) and electricity. The “authentic” smoky BBQ flavour comes only with charcoal and wood, unless you use a BBQ sauce that has liquid smoke in it. And how authentic is that?
Which fuel you choose also depends on the setup of your motorhome and of the campgrounds you stay at. Do you have an hook-up for electricity? Are your other appliances powered by propane? Do you have space to store charcoal briquettes or wood logs or pellets?
Choose the fuel that best suits your cooking requirements, the fuel source of your other caravan appliances and what foods you intend to cook.
Size and shape
Usually, when reviewing BBQs, we talk about the grill size and the number of food portions it contains. And that’s important here too. Make sure that the grill is large enough for your family and any campground guests you may cook for. But it shouldn’t be so large that you waste time and fuel heating up unused sections of the grill as charcoal, gas or electricity can be a little restricted when on the move.
But in considering a grill for using when you camp in your motorhome or caravan, you also need to consider what storage space you have available. If you plan on grilling every day, the storage space should be readily accessible; you don’t want to have to rummage behind all the kid’s toys and swimming paraphernalia every morning and evening to get the grill out and put it away later. You need to balance the size of the grill you need, or can get by with, with the closet space available to keep it in.
And shape is important here too. Rectangular BBQs are easier to find a space to put them away in then spherical ones. If you stay in a large motorhome with a separate storage room at the back, then you probably have space for the spherical Campingaz Party Grill 400 All-in-One Portable Camping BBQ. However, if four of you are staying in a caravan on a cliff top, the table top Weber Go-anywhere Portable BBQ could be more your storage shape and size.
As we mentioned in the Buyer’s Guide introduction, the weight of the grill is not such an issue here. Yes, you do need to haul it out of its cupboard and down the motorhome steps to the great outdoors. But it’s not as if you really need to carry it down to the lake or off into the wilderness. You can choose a BBQ that’s heavier than a standard portable grill and still be able to enjoy all the barbequed food that you want without straining your back.
Temperature control and gauge
It’s important to control the temperature of a grill, especially if you’re quite particular about how red your meat should be inside. Charcoal grills are the most difficult to control the heat on, especially if you’re grilling with the lid down. Look for BBQs with air vents to regulate the airflow that makes the charcoal burn faster (hotter) or slower (cooler). Air vents on the lid of the BBQ control the flow over the top of the food; vents on the side adjust the flow on the bottom and side of the food.
Gas BBQs allow you to control the gas flow, delivering more and less gas to the burners. This changes the amount of flame, and hence heat, they put out. The electric BBQ in our review, the George Foreman Indoor Outdoor BBQ Grill, has a thermostat that gives you a choice of temperatures to set.
Of course, it’s one thing to set the temperature (roughly or accurately) and another to know if the BBQ is actually at that heat. A temperature gauge on the lid of a BBQ indicates how hot it is inside. However, many online reviews of BBQs of all kinds report that the temperature shown on these gauges should be taken as an approximation. BBQs rarely generate a uniform temperature across the grill and the accuracy of the temperature probe isn’t as finely tuned as the users would like.
Most BBQer’s seem to resort to opening the lid to see if the food is cooking at the right temperature. But doing this drops the temperature instantly. It seems that only experience using your own BBQ gives you’re the knowledge and confidence about how it operates.
Unfortunately, while eating food that you’ve barbequed outdoors makes you feel one with nature, you still have to clean the BBQ afterwards. So checking that the BBQ is easy to clean before you buy it saves time, effort and some irritation later. Most grills are easy to wash and some even go in the dishwasher (for those with fully-fitted motorhomes). However, if you have an electric grill, wash the griddle carefully by hand as the heating element is usually situated in there.
Along with clean up goes an investigation as to where all the grease and fat and burned bits from your cooking food end up. Check that there’s some kind of tray underneath the grill or the charcoal grate to catch all this gunk. The tray should be easy to pull out and clean and should be thick enough to not buckle from all the heat it’s subjected to. If your grease tray is not up to standard, line it with foil that you can just throw away.
Going away for a holiday in a motorhome or caravan is a compromise between camping and staying in a hotel, with the best bits of each. One of the best things about camping is cooking and eating outdoors. The BBQs in our review are the ones that we recommend for taking on the road in your recreational vehicle. Although we look at some charcoal BBQs, the others we review take advantage of gas and electric power sources found in caravans and motorhomes. BBQing in the wild and a comfortable bed to sleep in – what a great holiday.
Our overall Best Pick is the Weber Smokey Joe Premium Charcoal BBQ. This is a spherical BBQ that gives your food that authentic BBQ taste, without having to fake it with smoky BBQ sauce. This premium BBQ has all the quality you expect from a Weber product and is a compact and lightweight BBQ, making it excellent for on the move.
Our Runner-up is a gas BBQ, which works well if you already run the appliances in your recreational vehicle on propane. The Campingaz Party Grill 400, All-in-One Portable Camping BBQ gives you a variety of methods for grilling and using the BBQ, including a wok.
If you are plan on grilling at the end of a long hike, our Best Portable BBQ review looks at more lightweight grills. And if you always seem to find yourself arguing the pros and cons of charcoal vs gas grills, read Which Tastes Better? Grilled Vs Charcoal BBQ Grilled Meat for some information with which to dazzle your opposition.
Last update on 2021-01-24 at 08:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API