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Portable Propane Fire Pits: Best Options For RVs in 2022

Portable Propane Fire Pits: Best Options For RVs in 2022

A portable propane fire pit? Well – hear us out: There’s nothing like a fire pit to bring people together. Add some marshmallows & s’mores, a guitar or two, and you’ve got the makings of a beautiful evening spent with friends and family that will bring warmth to both body and soul… from the fire and from the experience itself.

Unfortunately, in many areas, wood fires are banned for a variety of reasons. The most obvious, perhaps, is the matter of dry conditions that can make traditional fire pits dangerous, as well as the fact that the transport of firewood can move pests and diseases from area to area.

Because of these considerations, we’re following up our recent post about folding camp grills with other ways to enjoy a campfire wherever you go… without the wood or fire danger. In today’s post, we’re looking at a really great option – the portable propane fire pit. We’ll discuss what they are, and how they work, and we’ll take an in-depth look at some of the best portable propane fire pits on the market.

What Is a Portable Propane Fire Pit?

A portable propane fire pit is a lightweight campfire structure powered by liquid propane gas. There are different sizes, shapes, and types of propane fire pits, but they all use propane as the fuel to produce the fire.

Portable propane fire pits are smokeless, easy to ignite, can be turned off immediately, and don’t require wood.

What Are the Advantages of a Portable Propane Fire Pit?

There is a long, and well-supported list of advantages to using a propane fire pit. Let’s take a look!

  • There’s no need to buy or collect dry firewood
  • Simple to start with the push of a button
  • Easy to turn off with the turn of a knob
  • Clean, smokeless flames are far easier on the lungs and eyes (for you AND your neighbors)
  • No need to tend the fire
  • No need to use water to extinguish the fire
  • No bugs transported as with firewood
  • No flying embers and sparks (fire hazard)
  • No risk of embers burning for hours
  • No smell lingering on clothing, hair, chairs, etc.
  • You can have a fire pit almost anywhere, including where wood-burning pits are banned

How Long Does a 20lb Propane Tank Last on a Fire Pit?

A 20-pound propane canister pairs well with a portable propane fire pit.

A 20-pound propane canister easily connects to a portable propane fire pit to provide fuel for the fire.

This depends on the BTU output of the fire pit and the flame settings you typically use. (BTU = British Thermal Unit – a measurement of fuel-based heat). Depending on your fire pit BTU rating, a tank can last you as long as 9 hours, or as little as 1-1/2 hours.

We’ve read that the average gas fire pit will typically last from 3 to 6 hours on a 20 lb. propane tank, but because the fire pits themselves and their use vary so much, it’s tough to make generalizations.

However, if you’re looking at a particular portable propane fire pit with a certain BTU rating, what you should know is that a 20-pound propane tank contains approximately 430,000 BTUs. You can figure your prospective propane usage by giving due consideration to the flame settings (high-moderate-low) you’ll typically use and for how long you generally like to sit by the campfire.

As an example, an Outland Firebowl will run between 7 and 11 hours off one 20-pound propane tank. However, there are several sizes of Outland Firebowls with various BTUs, so you’ll have to factor in how you use your Firebowl as well.

In our best options below, we’ll give you the BTU information so that you can get a sense of general propane consumption for your typical usage from there.

Do Propane Fire Pits Give Off Enough Heat?

This again depends on the BTU rating of the propane fire pit, but some can give off a substantial amount of heat, particularly if they put out more than 10,000 BTUs. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the unit will put out and the larger area it will warm.

The average fire pit has an output of around 30,000 BTUs, and in some cases, the heat from a propane fire pit can reach in the vicinity of 70,000 BTUs. That’s pretty warm!

Cooking on a hot fire from a portable propane fire pit

Depending on the BTU output on any given unit, a portable propane fire pit can give off a LOT of heat – enough to warm your family and cook your dinner.

Which Propane Fire Pit Gives Off the Most Heat?

Once again, when you’re shopping for a portable propane fire pit, you’ve gotta look at the BTU ratings and keep in mind that the fire pit with the highest BTU ratings will give off the most heat.

For reference, generally speaking, 30,000 BTUs warms a radius of roughly 5 to 8 feet from the center of the fire pit. By comparison, if you opt for a 50,000 BTU unit, your fire pit should be able to heat a radius of roughly 8 to 10 feet.

Are There Portable Propane Fire Pits with Logs?

There are portable propane fire pits with logs on the market, but of course, these are fake logs. These are supposed to give the illusion of a log/wood campfire. The fake “logs” are generally a one-piece unit.

It’s more common to find portable propane fire pits with lava rocks. Lava rocks not only radiate heat well but also help to disperse the flame. Their only drawback emerges if the fire pit gets flipped over (and the lava rocks tumble out), or if they get thrown around when your RV is in transit. This is one reason why a securable cover or case is a great accessory for a propane fire pit. Keep that in mind as you shop as well!

What to Look For When Buying a Portable Propane Fire Pit

There are a number of features you’ll want to keep your eye on when considering the purchase of a portable propane fire pit.

Size

First, of course, is size. Depending on the size of your RV and how much storage room you have available for your new fire pit, you’ll want to consider the size of the units you’re considering. If possible, measure the area you have available in the storage bay where you intend to carry your fire pit and its accessories and shop accordingly.

Weight

Weight/carrying capacity is always an issue for RVers, so when we shop for new gear, its weight is always a consideration.

Another issue to bear in mind where weight is concerned is how much you can comfortably carry. Remember – this is a portable unit and you’ll be moving it from place to place regularly.

BTUs

As discussed at length in previous sections of this post, BTUs (a measurement of fuel-based heat) are important to consider when shopping for a portable propane fire pit. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the unit will put out. However, you’ll also want to keep in mind that higher BTUs will burn through your propane faster, especially if you’re running the unit on high.

Accessories

When you’re looking at your options, take a look at the accessories that come with the fire pit. You’ll certainly want the propane hose & regulator included, and you’ll want to take note of its length.

propane hose with regulator attached

When looking at portable propane fire pits, consider what accessories come along with the unit. At the very least, you should receive a propane hose with a regulator. Be sure to take note of the length of the hose, depending on how far away from the fire you’d like your propane tank to be.

If you find a high-quality unit that comes with a carrying case or even a cover, that’s a nice bonus.

Automatic Ignition

Take special note of how the propane fire pits you’re looking at ignite.

If you want automatic ignition, (which means you’ll push a button and your fire pit will ignite just like that), you’ll want to make sure that feature is available.

What About the Propane?

Should you decide to buy a portable propane fire pit, you have a couple of options where the propane itself is concerned.

You can use a standard 20-pound tank, (the consensus is that these fire pits won’t run long enough to make a couple of s’mores on those little 5-pound tanks). If you choose to carry a 20-pound tank for your propane fire pit, you may want to grab one of these inexpensive propane gas tank covers. You don’t need to remove these covers to use the tank with your fire pit.

Sale
Outland Living Firebowl UV and Weather Resistant 740 Propane Gas Tank Cover with Stable Tabletop Feature, Fits Standard 20 lb Tank Cylinder, Ventilated with Storage Pocket
  • DRESS UP YOUR TANK - Transforms ugly standard 20 lb (5 gallon) propane tank into a functional tabletop and attractive outdoor feature for your yard,...
  • CONVENIENT DESIGN - Perimeter zippered top allows for quick access to valve, elasticized stretch bands on both sides ensure easy & effortless fit, and...
Outland Living Propane Tank Cover 20 lb | Reliable, Weather Resistant Gas Cylinder Cover | Rugged Outdoor UV Rated D600 Polyester | 12.5" x 18"
  • ✓ MAKE YOUR TANK STYLISH AND LONG-LASTING – Our unique cover protects your tank and extends the service life of the tank. Get the most out of your...
  • ✓ ALL WEATHER PROTECTION – Not only does our cover add a stylish flair to your tank, but it also adds protection from the elements. Tank Cozy is...

Alternatively, you could connect the unit to your RV’s onboard propane tank(s), similar to what we do with our BBQ grill connection.

Best Portable Propane Fire Pit Kit Options in 2022

Let’s take a look at some of the best portable propane fire pit kits on the market in 2022!

Outland Living Firebowl 893 19” Deluxe Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit

Outland is a leading name in the portable propane fire pit industry. Their “firebowls” have become very popular among RVers in recent years, and owners seem to be very pleased with their units.

There are a number of models offered by Outland. This one is 19 inches in diameter and is known as the “Living Firebowl 893”.

This is a 58,000 BTU unit that is 19 inches long x 19 inches wide x 11 inches tall and weighs 23 pounds. It comes with a 10-foot propane hose and a 4.4-pound set of natural lava rocks. It comes with a cover and carrying straps, but it also fits in the Outland Carry Bag 760, sold separately. There are quality aftermarket carry bags available that fit this fire pit, too. We’ll link to both below.)

The Outland Living Firebowl 893 sets up in minutes, and no are tools required. It’s made of high-quality steel with a protective powder coating and an enamel finish. It ignites automatically with the push of a button and the turn of a dial.

This unit has well over 13,000 Amazon reviews, most of them 4 and 5-star.

We should note here that Outland also makes a large portable propane fire pit, the Living Firebowl 883 Mega 24”. This is also a 58,000 BTU fire pit, but is larger (24 x 24 x 13) and heavier (34 pounds), and thus a bit more challenging to store and carry.

No products found.

Outland Living Firebowl UV and Weather Resistant 760 Standard Carry Bag, Fits 19-Inch Diameter Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit
  • ✓ PERFECT FIT: designed for the 19" diameter standard Outland Firebowl, Outland Firebowl Deluxe and Outland Firebowl Premium portable propane fire...
  • ✓ EASY TRANSPORT: quickly pack up your portable propane fire pit and take camping, tailgating, to the beach, on a picnic, to family barbecue...
Outdoor Fire Pit Bag Round Compatible with Outland Firebowl Model 823 893 870, KGMCARE Firebowl Travel Carrying Bag Fits 19 Inch Diameter Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit, Picnic Camping Bag (Gray)
  • [ Dimensions and material ]: 19.5” in diameter, 12” in height. Special design fits for 19-inch diameter outdoor portable propane gas fire pit....
  • [ Large Capacity Design ]: Fire Pit Carrying Bag adopt double-opening zipper design, you can open the bag with a large enough opening, convenient to...

Outland Living Firecube 805 Portable 14” Square Propane Gas Fire Pit

This Outland product is the Living Firecube 805. At 14” square, it’s smaller than the Firebowls (14 x 14 x 9), weighs 19.4 pounds, and produces the same 58,000 BTUs as Outland’s larger units.

Made of the same enamel-coated steel as the Firebowls are made of, the Firecube is the smallest and lightest of Overland’s portable propane fire pits.

This portable propane fire pit kit also comes with a 10-foot hose and a 4.4-pound set of lava rocks, a cover, carrying straps, and has the same automatic ignition as other Outland fire pits (push in and turn the dial to set your flame levels).

Sale
Outland Living Firecube 805 Portable 14-Inch Square Propane Gas Fire Pit for Camping with Cover, Carry Kit and Lava Rock Stones, 58,000 BTU, Black
  • PORTABLE AND EASY TO TRANSPORT – The Firecube is our smallest, lightest and most portable fire pit yet. Travel sized propane fire pits are a must...
  • SMOKELESS FIRE PIT – Say goodbye to messy dirty ash and bothersome smoke. With the firecube you can enjoy a clean realistic campfire, all powered...

Camco 58041 Portable Campfire

This 14.5” diameter “fire tray” has a maximum BTU output of 65,000 BTUs per hour, and weighs only 10 pounds empty.

The Camco Portable Campfire kit comes with lava rocks (which add another 4.4 pounds) and an 8-foot propane hose. It has legs that fold for storage and comes with a storage bag.

Sale
Camco 58041 Portable Campfire Outdoor Propane Heater Compact Fire Pit with Lava Rocks for Camping, Tailgating, and Patios, Black
  • PORTABLE CAMPFIRE PIT: Portable propane campfire pit with 14.5-inch fire tray diameter and maximum BTU output of 65,000 BTU/HR
  • INCLUDES PROPANE HOSE: Includes 8-foot propane hose for connecting fire pit to standard LP gas cylinder for maximum convenience

Flame King Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit Bowl

Flame King’s 58,000 BTU portable propane fire pit is 19” in diameter (19 x 19 x 11) and weighs 18 pounds.

This self-igniting unit comes with a 10-foot propane hose, lava rocks, and a fabric strap handle. (The two carrying cases linked above for the 19” Firebowl will also fit this unit.)

This is another portable propane fire pit that people seem to love.

Flame King Outdoor Portable Propane Gas 19" 58K BTU Fire Pit Bowl with Self Igniter, Cover, and Carry Straps for RV, Camping, Backyard
  • PERFECT NO MESS CAMPFIRE: Sturdy fire pit is easy to use and portable; quickly set up in minutes with no tools required. All-weather fire bowl...
  • Includes pre-attached 10 ft hose with regulator to easily reach and connect with your standard BBQ propane tank cylinder. Fully adjustable dial with...

Fire Sense 62133 Sporty Campfire Portable Gas Fire Pit

The Fire Sense Sporty Campfire is a small portable propane fire pit (19 x 19 x 15) that weighs in at 18 pounds and puts out 60,000 BTU/hour.

This unit is made of heat-resistant painted steel and comes with folding legs, an LP hose & regulator, lava rocks, and a stand for a standard-size propane tank.

The cover of the unit clips to the fire pit and has a handle for easy carrying. Like all the other units in our round-up, this is a self-igniting propane campfire – easy on, easy off.

While this is a nice, compact little unit with a majority of 4 and 5-star reviews, there were several complaints from reviewers about malfunctioning units and a too-small supply of lava rocks. As always, we encourage you to read reviews of all options thoroughly.

Sale
Fire Sense 62133 Sporty Campfire Portable Gas Fire Pit 60000 BTU - Dark Bronze
  • This fire pit has been made using heat resistant painted steel.
  • The firepit for outside makes use of a standard 20 pound LPG propane tank.

Tell Us About Your Portable Propane Fire Pits

Have you used a portable propane fire pit? We’d love to hear about your experience, pros & cons, as well as which fire pit you chose. Drop us a comment!

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John

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

You guys should check out LavaBox Portable Campfire! It has the most BTUs and is the lightest. Super portable!

TheRVgeeks

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

Thanks for the suggestion, John. We'll check it out!

Craig Sandler

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Has anyone found a portable fire pit that has a quick connect hose like my BBQ grill? My propane tank is on board (15 gallons) and I don't have room for a separate propane tank. Thanks!

TheRVgeeks

Sunday 26th of June 2022

Hi Craig! We don't know of any portable fire pits that have a quick-connect hose. But you may be able to configure something that will work following the basic idea of what we did to be able to connect our Weber Q grill to our RV's onboard tank: https://www.thervgeeks.com/bbq-grill-connection/.

Basically, there should be a way to adapt the fire pit to be able to connect. Just be aware that you'll want to (1) connect it to the high-pressure side of the onboard propane supply (since the fire pit's regulator is expecting to receive full-pressure propane) and (2) that all of the connections can support the full flow of propane that a fire pit will need to burn fully (some connections may be designed for lower pressure, and therefore lower flow, than others... so be aware).

Hope this helps!

Tim Howlett

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Hey guys- thanks for the article. Lots of great options to choose from!

As I mentioned in a comment on an earlier post, I opted for the Camco 58041 and have been very happy with it. I see LOTS of other campers using the Flame King brand, and to be honest they actually seem to have a better looking flame, but I’m still ok with the Camco. The other thing I did -in the name of saving both space and weight- was to purchase a 5 lb propane tank (as opposed to a 20 lb tank) to use with my fire bowl/pit. Obviously it doesn’t last nearly as long as a 20 lb unit, but for me it is well worth having to fill it more frequently in order to save the oh-so-valuable under coach storage space.

I found my 5 lb tank at Walmart.com (Not in store) for about $65. Fills at any propane dealer just like a 20 pounder and uses the same connectors, hoses, etc as it’s bigger cousin.

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