After years of extensive hands-on research and careful observation, I have come to the following scientific conclusion: RVers like to eat, and they love the outdoors. Pretty groundbreaking, huh? Well, food and fresh air are two of the primary reasons we all began RVing, and there are few ways to so deliciously blend the two as a campsite cookout. True, your trailer may be outfitted with top-of-the-line appliances inside, but there’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh barbecue intermingled with the sweet scent of summer blossoms.
But we all know there’s more to a successful cookout than a hot grill and a chunk of meat; a cookout is about togetherness, the entire process of cooking and especially about a good time. These truths being self-evident, we’ve taken the liberty to highlight some of our favorite outdoor-grill inspired accessories, décor and entertainment to bring you a virtual firecracker of a list.
Coleman RoadTrip Party Grill
The RoadTrip Party Grill is lightweight, compact and easy to transport — perfect for your trailer’s pass-through storage. The InstaStart electronic ignition makes it easy to take advantage of the LP-gas-powered 8,000-Btu total burners. Once the grilling is over, the legs can be detached and placed inside the grill, and all will fit into the included carry bag. All components (except for the valve/burner assembly and lid) are dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup.
MSRP: $44.99 | 800-835-3278 | www.coleman.com
For those who prefer the taste of wood-fired barbecue, the Cook-Air Grill will get your mouth watering in no time. Made of 304 stainless steel, the Cook-Air heats up in just 5 minutes and burns the equivalent of 65,000 Btu, according to the company. Users simply light the ignition paper, insert wood and begin cooking on the 14-inch-diameter grill that can reach the equivalent of 1,100 degrees. The Cook-Air features a five-speed adjustable fan that controls the heat, and is powered by either 8 D batteries or the included 120-volt AC adapter or automotive cigarette lighter plug. Included accessories like a carry bag, cooking grid handle and a retractable warming rack will make this grill the talk of your cookout.
MSRP: $199 | www.cook-air.com
Grill 2 Go Realtree
Portable Gas Grill
The Grill 2 Go combines fire and ice for an all-inclusive grilling experience. Up top, the 290-square-inch grilling surface is kept hot by 10,500 Btu of True Infrared Cooking System, which helps to lock in the juices and seal in the flavor without exposure to direct heat, according to the company. Down below, two Realtree camouflage soft-sided coolers offer 30 quarts of storage for your beer, er, cold beverage of your choice; or, you can use one for cold drinks and the other to keep your already-grilled food warm. The unit’s 7 ½-inch rubber tires make it easy to transport to any corner of the campsite. The Grill 2 Go operates on a small disposable propane cylinder or larger cylinders with an adapter, and the company claims it can grill up to three hours per 1-pound cylinder.
MSRP: $199.99 | 866-239-6777 | www.charbroil.comAccessories
Tired of oddly shaped burgers that fall apart as soon as they hit the grill? Give them a Stomp! The Burger Stomper is a two-in-one burger press that allows campsite chefs to get uniform, compact burgers that allow for even cooking. Simply select either the 6-ounce base for regular burgers or the 2-ounce base for sliders, add the meat, stomp off the excess and hit the grill. Made of stainless steel with an ABS plastic grip, the Stomper is dishwasher safe.
MSRP: $28.95 | www.burgerstomper.com
Grill Daddy BBQ Tools
Although the grill itself is often the star of any cookout, the grilling implements have to be the unheralded supporting cast. Grill Daddy’s Heat Shield 6 Piece BBQ Tool Set is a great addition to any barbecue arsenal, and its versatility sets it apart from most barbecue tool sets. Each of the Heat Shield Tools features a rotating heat-shield hand guard, which offers the griller protection from flare-ups, grill heat and food splatters. The set consists of three tools (a multipurpose fork, an oversized spatula and grilling tongs), plus a meat thermometer and five attachments designed specifically for a variety of barbecue applications (fish, sliders, a basting brush, a fork and a spatula). Perhaps the best feature of the set is the user’s ability to mix and match each tool with one of the specialty grilling attachments (like replacing one of the tongs with the spatula).
MSRP: $49.99 | www.buygrilldaddy.com
As its name implies, the Cruzin’ Cooler is a great mode of transport for traveling from campsite to campsite in an RV park. And, yes, as its name implies, it’s also an ice chest. Topping out at 13 mph, the Cruzin’ Cooler utilizes a chain-driven motor to let owners scoot around the park. Spring-loaded footpegs, backrest/seat accessories and disc brakes help tame the ride, and the lightweight aluminum construction features a drink access lid so you can pop one of the 24 cans it can hold (along with 8 pounds of ice). There’s even an available hitch should you wish to tow another cooler behind you. The electric models feature a 10-mile range between charges. Of course, we don’t recommend sampling any adult beverages you may be carrying before firing up the motor and taking off. MSRP: $159-$1,399, depending on model.
800-359-5199 | www.cruzincooler.com
V-8 Piston Power Pack
“Drivers, start your engines!” Or at least, that’s what the American Piston Power Pack cooler from US Imagineering says, right before the throaty V-8 revs up the party. The compact cooler is made from silver graphite-colored rigid foam for extra durability. Simply load up the cooler with a 12-pack and up to 5 pounds of ice. Eight of your favorite cold ones are visible and accessible without opening the lid via the hinged valve covers, while the remaining four continue to chill out in the bottom.
MSRP: $19.99 | 877-927-6367 | www.pistonpowerpack.com
At 68 pounds, this bag-toss cornhole board isn’t exactly lightweight, but it offers more fun per pound than most outdoor games. A variation of horseshoes, cornhole is a game where competitors attempt to throw beanbags through a hole in the board. This custom board, with an inspiring travel-themed motto, will have your barbecue packed with people who simply can’t put the bags down. MSRP: $224.99. Sold exclusively at Camping down.
MSRP: $224.99 | Sold exclusively at Camping World | 888-857-6614 | www.campingworld.com
The classic game of cribbage in the unique form of a canoe … what’s not to like? The set comes complete with six pegs and a rulebook, all of which can be conveniently stored in a bottom compartment. Deck of cards not included.
MSRP: $29.95 | 800-441-5713 | www.llbean.com
Palikka is a new take on a classic Finnish lawn game called Molkky. In Palikka, players toss a log to knock over numbered wooden pins in an effort to get exactly 50 points. If more than one pin is knocked over, the player gets the number equal to the number of fallen pins. If only one pin falls down, the player scores the number of points painted on the pin. Once counted, the player stands the pins up where they fell for the next player’s turn. Got that? Good, because we can easily envision hours of fun with this bocce/lawn bowling hybrid.
MSRP: $39.50 | www.palikkagame.com
Rollors is another great way to keep your guests entertained while the steak is a-sizzlin’. Players roll large wooden disks at the goal and points are awarded to the player/team who positions their disks closest to the goal. Think lawn shuffleboard, with an exciting twist. The convenient tote bag allows you to bring the fun along with you wherever you go. Set-up in seconds on any campsite surface, from grass to dirt to sand. Recommended for ages 4 and up, but those kids have to sleep sometime…. See website for list of retailers.
MSRP: $39.95 | 877-287-8782 | www.rollors.net
Now you can play the classic cookout game, without the safety worries of large, heavy horseshoes hurtling through the air. The Champion Sports Indoor/Outdoor Horseshoe set comes with four rubber horseshoes, two rubber mats with pegs and two plastic dowels.
MSRP: $19.99 | 888-801-9164 | www.sportsauthority.com
Camco Party Lights
Another way to light up your life — and your RV cookout — is the Camco 42655 Party Lights set. The lights are covered by retro trailer forms, which will give your party the perfect RV atmosphere. The 8-foot strand requires 120-volt AC power, and can be combined with other strands for total campsite lighting.
MSRP: $16.50 | 626-513-4777 | www.americanrvcompany.com
It’s a party, after all, so you really should dress up your table. Camping World has you — and your table — covered. The Summer Fun tablecloth (Item No. 69115, $6.29) is a great way to cover the campground picnic table. And, what’s an RV cookout without a bit of kitsch? The Flamingo party lights (Item No. 69037, $24.99) are perfect for offering some illumination on the festivities, in addition to offering a “wink” to the stereotypical trailer party.
888-857-6614 | www.campingworld.com
Happy Camper Collection
If you’re looking to bring your cookout up another notch, RV-themed tableware is just the ticket. With The Happy Camper collection from Jane Jenni Inc., your friends will know you mean business. The Happy Camper Collection is lead- and PVC- free, and includes 10-ounce cups ($5 each), 9-inch plates ($8.50 each) and a 14-inch platter ($16), all of which prove you’re a true RVer at heart. Each piece features a trailer with the word “Happy” above it, which clearly describes your RVing state of mind.
651-224-6763 | www.janejenni.com
Eat. Sleep. RV. It’s a way of life. And now you can share your motto with guests by rolling out these placemats ($19.95) from Zazzle.com. The website offers dozens of RV-related items ranging from apparel to décor to coffee mugs. It also offers a Winnebago apron (and other RV ones, as well, for $21.15) for the campsite cookout chef. The apron is a cotton/poly twill blend that is machine-washable, so go ahead and slather on the sauce!
Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II
So, your iPhone is full of the perfect summer tunes, but you’d like to share it with all your friends through something more significant than the tinny speakers on your phone. Bose’s SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II ($299.95) offers surprisingly deep, powerful sound from a speaker that’s just 5.1 inches tall and 9.6 inches wide. The speaker features a 3.5mm auxiliary input and has a claimed eight-hour battery life. Plus, the speaker has a wireless range of up to 30 feet, so you can be sure your DJ skills can span the entire campsite.
800-999-2673 | www.bose.com
SoundDock Series II
Also from Bose, the SoundDock Series II digital music system ($199.95) allows you to play the music from your ipod or iPhone for all to hear. The sleek design and attractive grille mean you won’t be shy when showing off your system, and the SoundDock can also be used with other applications to deliver the famous Bose sound. A remote is included for ease of use.
800-999-2673 | www.bose.com
At the Movies
Once the grilling is finished, you’ll have a campsite full of guests who need to be entertained. How about movie night? Kick things off with an Outdoor Entertainment Gear Backyard Big Screen ($293.75) available through Camp Chef. The screen features built-in legs and feet for easy set up (and take down), and the 120-inch screen surface is sure to trump any flatscreen in your trailer. To deliver the picture, the Epson Powerlite Presenter ($849.99) may seem pricey, but the combination DVD player/projector/speaker system delivers with a crisp 720p picture and dual 10-watt speakers with virtual surround sound. Plus, the campfire popcorn has never gone to better use.
800-650-2433 | www.campchef.com
800-873-7766 | www.epson.com