propane firepits

cyclop5

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Jun 18, 2015
167
We're scheduled for a trip out to Colorado (Glenwood Springs) this July, and I'm a little worried about fire bans, so I've started looking into propane fire pits. Camping is not as fun without flames. (I've always camped with wood fires, so propane seems a little.. off... to me, But I'll adapt)

Dumb Question of the Week: They all have lava rocks - how do you folks store and transport the rocks?? And how hot do they stay after using them?

I will leave unasked which firepit y'all prefer, because at the end of the day, I'll probably go with whatever Amazon recommends and is reasonably priced :)
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,749
Albuquerque, NM
We have the smaller propane fire pit, the Little Red Campfire. Truth be told, in 30+ years of camping, we've never had a wood fire, so we're happy with propane - and so is our asthma, although if others' fires are smokey, I still have to retreat inside the trailer.
The LRC was all we had room to transport when I bought it 9 or 10 years ago. For the same reason, we used it with 1# bottles at first. Now we usually take an extra 20# tank; I just bought a small tank, mostly for a single burner cook stove, but it will work well for the LRC if I want also.
Ours has fake log-looking things. They cool surprisingly quickly once it's turned off. They stay in the campfire when the lid is put on.
We use ours for heat when sitting outside, and have discovered that a wind block is necessary to get much benefit. Our current shelter has wind walls on two sides (I'm going to try using a third one this year, if necessary), our previous one had 3.
 
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Mtlangst

Active Member
Jun 14, 2019
215
Central, Illinois
I also have used ours. No smoke is really nice. With the price of campground firewood the fire pit will pay for itself eventually. We also just leave the rocks in.
 
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SteveP

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
May 21, 2015
2,558
After several years of fire bans and camping in NP spots where fires weren't allowed we finally got a little red campfire a few years ago but we don't use it very much. It doesn't radiate much heat but if we wanted heat we could add some lava rocks. The nice thing about a propane fireplace is that when you're ready to go in all you have to do is turn a knob and it's out.
 

Jkoht

Active Member
Aug 10, 2020
158
I got one for $60 from Fleet farm. Sits about 12" or so off the ground, has lava rock, 3 hest settings, and a travel bag. I bought a 12 foot hose that I use on a quick connect T on the propane on the tongue. Then I can connect it to my bbq, or the fire pit. It's been the best purchase I've ever made. My wife and I love it. You can put it on a rug and it doesn't get hot or melt underneath, tuck it under the awning if it's raining, puts out decent heat, and when you're done for the night just turn the valve. Best part is no buying overpriced wet wood.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,960
Nj
On longer trips you may need an addtional 20 lb tank. I have the one they sell and recomend on amazon. I like the ease of use. When the tops on the rocks stay in the pit. You can also add, for some $$$ , stuff that looks like real logs.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
We love having a propane fire pit since we always have fire restrictions. They are easy to transport and maintain. Just turn it on when you want and shut off when you’re finished. No more staying up for the fire to turn off or any issues if you accidentally left it smoldering. And not having smoking campfires is a plus for those of us with allergies.

We switched many years go and purchased the Outland Firebowl. Ours was expensive since they just came out in 2015. BUT you can now find them online at Costco.com. Plus, Costco has a different model/brand in store for much less. We keep ours in a carrying bag with the lava rocks kept inside the bowl. It’s stored in our basement cargo of our Kodiak. Before, we kept it inside the Aliner under the dinette before that.

For us it’s a environmental issue living in a drought state. We can cut down chances of forest fires, air pollution, use less trees/wood that deplete our forests and help the environment by using a propane fire pit.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

PopUpSteve

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,089
Southeastern PA
Here's a funny excerpt from my 2017 travel log:
The next morning while breaking camp, the ladies who were tenting on the site directly behind me came over. I apologized if I had awoken them at 2am while dealing with the fridge, but they said they never heard me. They did however asked me how, the night before, I was able to put my campfire out so quickly? They were already in their tent, could see the flickering of the fire and then nothing. I hadn’t put the campfire away yet so I grabbed a stick-lighter, walked over to the fire pit and proceeded to “turn-on” my campfire. “WOW, that’s cool” they said and I gave them the standard “propane campfire” sales pitch. If only I could carry a few new ones with me.
Click here to read the complete log
 
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Patrick w

Active Member
Aug 13, 2021
562
Anyone have any thoughts about using one of these under an awning or shelter? Reason I ask is... there's no embers. so its really just hot air rising-. Thinking it can keep things warm on a cold spring morning, as long as there isn't enough heat to burn the top.
 

Arruba

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2014
839
Central Oregon
I don’t, but my Brother has a Camp Chief with a soft case he won. We use it occasionally. It does have lava rocks in the bottom. It is not IMO a great heat source, but it does roast a hotdog or marshmallow well, and adds ambiance. His has a stainless steel ring on top that allows for cooking with a large fry pan or griddle. It works quite well for that. The lava rock isn’t the issue with transporting we thought it would be. It’s been bounced down USFS and BLM roads and white water raft trips a lot with no spillage And still works fine. As for using under cover, We have used it under a tarp just fine. That said, they do radiate a lot of heat vertically so good separation is needed.

Good luck with your selection.
 
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