*Camping World donated this product for the purpose of review.
Have you ever had your campfire plans foiled by the news of a local burn ban?
Portable propane firepits are useful for multiple scenarios. Most campgrounds allow them while burn bans are in effect, and they’re easier to set up and start than a wood-burning fire. In this Camco Little Red Campfire review, we’ll examine whether this portable firepit is the best burn-ban campfire alternative out there.
Who Is This Portable Firepit For?
For RVers that want a quick, easy fire without the mess and hassle of burning wood. And for those who want to carry a reliable fire alternative when camping during a burn ban.
A burn ban is “a restriction or prohibition on open-air fires issued by the Chief Fire Official or designate.” It “serves as a temporary revocation of all issued burn permits and results from a high or extreme fire weather index or other hazardous conditions.”
The Camco Little Red Campfire At-a-Glance
For me, the most important specs below are maximum output, packed dimensions, and weight. Dimensions and weight are critical to understanding how this firepit will fit in your RV between uses. I’ll discuss how to interpret maximum output below.
- Maximum Output: 65,000 BTU
- Fire Tray Diameter: 11.5”
- Ring Burner Diameter: 9.5”
- Propane Hose Length: 8’
- Packed Dimensions: 12” D x 8” H
- Weight: 15.6 pounds
What are the Pros and Cons of the Camco Little Red Campfire?
I’ve had the Camco Little Red Campfire along on my RV adventures for several months now. Here are my thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of this portable firepit:
- Easy to fit in an underneath storage compartment
- Easy to set up with one of your RV’s propane containers
- The lid flips over to act as a base to raise the fire tray
- The flame intensity is adjustable
- You can extinguish it immediately when you’re ready for bed
- It doesn’t put out much heat
- It requires removing a propane container from your RV unless you purchase the adapter to use the smaller green propane canisters
- It takes time to cool down before you can safely store it in your RV.
Camco Little Red Campfire Features
Another benefit of the Camco Little Red Campfire is its simplicity. There aren’t many unnecessary features that can break or require additional maintenance over its lifespan. Let’s outline the basic features so you can more easily compare them to what other portable firepits offer.
- Easy LP Connection. The eight-foot hose and LP regulator make it easy to connect to a 20-pound propane container. You’ll need an adapter to use smaller LP canisters.
- Realistic logs. Create a natural-looking fire without the need for actual firewood.
- Secure lid. The logs, LP hose, and regulator fit under the sturdy lid with secure latches for easy transport.
- No mess. There’s no need to gather firewood, no dealing with ash, and you won’t even wake up smelling like a campfire the next morning.
Would You Recommend the Camco Little Red Campfire?
I’d recommend the Camco Little Red Campfire for summer camping. It’s a great alternative to a wood fire if you don’t have the time or the supplies to make one. It’s also useful when regions aren’t allowing open-air wood fires but permitting propane appliances.
That said, it doesn’t produce much heat. If you’re looking for a portable firepit to provide warmth on colder spring or fall evenings, there are other options to consider. While a maximum output of 65,000 BTU might sound like a lot, we must add some context.
The strength of many propane-burning appliances is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the appliance produces and the larger the area it will warm.
According to our research, a 50,000 BTU appliance can heat a radius of about 8-10 feet. It follows that this 65,000 BTU Camco firepit can heat a radius of roughly 10-12 feet. Of course, factors such as wind and air temperature will impact an appliance’s true heating capacity, especially when you’re using it outdoors.
Wood-burning campfires obviously vary dramatically in size and intensity, but they can average as much as 2,000℉. In comparison, most portable firepits only burn at a maximum temperature of 1,000℉.
To me, this seems like a clear case where the numbers don’t support my actual experience. I’ve had to huddle within 1-2 feet of the firepit when I’ve used it on colder, windy nights (<40℉). On warmer evenings, it provided comfortable warmth when sitting at a more reasonable distance.
The bottom line is that you’ll still be free to roast marshmallows over the fire, but you’ll probably need to sit close to stay warm on chilly, windy evenings.
This portable firepit also has other uses if you acquire additional Camco equipment for it. For instance, I’d consider using the Camco Portable Cooktop to cook quick camp meals if you don’t have a grill or griddle.
If I were camping for a long weekend with kids, I might also add Camco’s Portable Campfire Ring to create a healthy boundary around your portable firepit.
There’s also an adapter you can use to connect the firepit to a smaller propane canister instead of having to remove one of the containers from your RV. Don’t forget the container stand too.
Is it the Best Burn-Ban Campfire Alternative?
Because this Camco firepit is best suited for a quick fire that provides the desired ambiance and good heat but no extra frills, it’s natural that you might seek alternative options. Here are a few of my favorite campfire alternatives:
- Ukiah Qube
- Mr. Bar-B-Q Portable Outdoor Fire Pit
- Ukiah Tailgater II
- Solo Stove Ranger 2.0
- Ukiah Tailgater X
A healthy campfire is one of the best parts of camping. But when you want something easier, or a burn ban prohibits a wood-burning fire, we hope these portable fire pits give you another option.
Do you have any experience with the Camco Little Red Campfire? Share your thoughts with your fellow RVers in the comments below.