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5 Reasons Portable Propane Fire Pits Are Better Than Wood Campfires

Campfires have been a symbol of camping for years. But while the smell of a wood campfire has its appeal, portable propane fire pits have been gaining popularity. From reducing that clingy smoke smell in your clothes and hair to reducing the risks of forest fires, there are some serious benefits to these fire pits. Keep reading and see if you’ll change from a wood campfire to a propane fire pit.

What Is a Portable Propane Fire Pit?

A portable propane fire pit is lightweight and smokeless. It runs on propane from a tank or gas line connected to your RV. An ignition switch and fuel valve control how much propane is released to create the fire.

It comes in various sizes and weights but works great to pack up and bring camping. The fire pit provides a source of heat, and you can roast marshmallows over it just like a wood campfire. 

Propane Fire Pits for Camping - Why we use one

5 Reasons Why Portable Propane Fire Pits Are Better Than Wood Campfires

We’re big advocates of portable propane fire pits. Here are five reasons why we think they’re better than wood campfires.

#1. Setup and Cleanup Are Painless

Setting up a portable propane fire pit can take less than five minutes. You simply place the fire pit on the ground, hook up the propane, and turn it on with the ignition switch and fuel valve, similar to a gas stove. Each propane fire pit comes with instructions for the particular brand and model.

To pack up, just turn off the fire pit and propane tank, let it cool and store it. You don’t have to deal with ashes, soot, or hot coals like a wood campfire. Plus, you don’t have to spit or buy wood. And let’s face it, starting a wood fire can take time.

portable propane fire pit. easy set up.
Don’t waste precious s’more making time with making a fire. Portable propane firepits set up quickly and easily.

#2. No Smokey Smell on Your Clothes

A portable propane fire pit burns without smoke or smell, so you don’t get it on your clothes or in your hair. On the other hand, you may have to live with smokey clothes for an entire weekend with a wood campfire. 

However, some people still love that campfire smell as part of the camping experience. Don’t worry, you can use a campfire spray to get the smell without the smoke!

Hint: Check out our 5 Simple Ways for How to Get Campfire Smell Out of Clothes!

#3. No Wood Gathering Required

A portable propane fire pit eliminates the wood you need for a traditional campfire. Whether you gather wood at the campground or move it from your house, you have to do some work to start a fire. Plus, you’ll likely have to buy wood every time you have a campfire. A propane fire pit pays for itself over a short period.

In addition, gathering wood at your campsite could damage the environment over time. When deadwood gets picked over and trees cut, the area starts to change. A propane fire pit is a safe and environmentally friendly way to have a campfire. 

portable propane fire pit. no more collecting wood for fire.
Save money and time by going wood-free with a portable propane fire pit.

#4. Easily Controllable Heat

You can easily control the heat a portable propane fire pit gives off. Most brands have an adjustable knob, allowing high and low levels of flame. As long as you have fuel, you’ll have sustained heat. In comparison, a wood campfire’s heat dissipates as the wood burns down. No more moving your camp chair to adjust the heat. You can simply set the dial and leave it there. Or, slowly turn it up as evening cool sets in.

#5. Allowed During Burn Bans

One of the most incredible benefits of a propane fire pit versus a wood fire is that it lowers the risk of wildfires. You can quickly put out propane fire pits when needed and don’t create soot that blows into the air. 

Burn bans can happen across North America. Dry regions have them more frequently. Typically, you can use propane fire pits during burn bans because they don’t give off sparks or leave hot coals. This makes them ideal for camping.

Pro Tip: Using propane does not need to be scary, as long as you use it safely. Make sure to read more about how to Avoid Disaster With an RV Propane Detector.

portable propane fire pit.
Connect your fire pit to your propane tank for an easy campfire on the road.

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

A 20 lb propane tank can last about four hours when running a fire pit at continuous, maximum output. It could last up to nine hours on moderate gas output. Once you’ve used your fire pit a few times, you’ll start to get a gauge on how much propane you go through.

What Is the Best Portable Propane Fire Pit? Your 3 Best Options

Now that we’re clear on why portable propane fire pits are better than wood campfires, let’s look at the best models on the market. Here are three that are on fire. Pun intended! And each cost under $200.

1. Outland Firebowl 893 Deluxe Outdoor Portable Propane Fire Pit

The Outland Firebowl 893 Deluxe is a great portable propane fire pit. It’s 19 inches in diameter and weighs only 23.3 lbs. With a total output of 58,000 BTU per hour, it has a max gas supply pressure of 250 PSI. It includes a 10 ft hose to attach to a propane tank, and it has 4.4 lbs of natural lava rock. It’s all-weather and has a durable steel construction. It includes a cover and carrying kit to make it easy to bring on RV trips.

No products found.

Outland also makes a version 24 inches in diameter. It also includes a 10-ft hose to attach to a propane tank, and it has 6.6 lbs of natural lava rock designed to enhance the flame’s flickering effect.

2. Bond Manufacturing Portable Propane Fire Pit

The Bond Manufacturing Portable Propane Fire Pit is 18.5 inches in diameter and weighs 18 lbs. It has 50,000 BTU output and connects to a 20 lb propane tank. The steel frame has a rubbed bronze finish. It comes with lids, stones, a tank holder, a gas hose, and a regulator. 

Bond Manufacturing 67836 54,000 BTU Aurora...
  • Includes lid, stones, tank holder, gas hose and regulator
  • Steel frame with rubbed bronze finish
  • Uses 20 pound propane tank (not included) and has a 50,000 BTU...
portable propane fire pit for RV living.
Campfires are a quintessential camping experience. A propane fire pit makes this experience less smoky and more controllable.

3. Camplux Outdoor Propane Fire Bowl

The Camplux Outdoor Propane Fire Bowl weighs 22.5 lbs. It’s 19 inches in diameter and puts out 52,000 BTU. The fire bowl includes 8.4 lbs of lava rocks, a 10-ft gas hose, and a regulator. It comes in a black matt finish. 

Portable Propane Fire Pit, Camplux Outdoor Gas...
  • 【NO SMOKE & ASH】: Propane fire pit offers a clean, smokeless...
  • 【PORTABLE & EASY CARRY】-- Portable gas fire pit, compact...
  • 【ETL APPROVED & SAFETY DEVICE】- - No spark propane campfire...

Pro Tip: Portable fire pit or not, these 8 Cozy Fire Pit Seating Ideas for Your Backyard or Camp are great additions.

Hook up Fire Pit to RV Propane Tanks

Make Campfires Fun Again!

You can easily use and take along portable propane fire pits. You no longer have to buy fire word and struggle to get a campfire started, only to smell like smoke for days. And they allow you to avoid that disappointment when you reach your campground just to find out a burn ban is in effect.

We think propane fire pits make campfires fun again. Do you agree?

Do you have a portable propane fire pit? Let us know about your experience down below.

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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