I can’t think of an outdoor accessory that’s more apropos to RVing than a barbecue. The
market is flooded with all kinds of grills in various sizes and configurations, but Camco’s
Olympian RV 5500 Stainless Steel Gas Grill is a cut above most of the available portable
The Olympian grill has that clean styling of a high-end product many barbecue
aficionados appreciate, and its performance is equal to its good looks. Measuring 21.5 x
13.25 x 8.25 inches, the top hinges open exposing a grill that has a 180-square-inch
cooking surface. That’s large enough to easily prepare meals that will feed four – and
maybe six if you don’t overload the grill with side dishes such as vegetables. A patented
smoker plate enhances flavor without the hassle of grease fires, although very fatty meats
will still create some flare-ups. Grease drippings are routed to a sliding tray, easily
removable for cleaning, underneath the barbecue. Lining this grease trap with heavy-duty
aluminum foil facilitates easy cleanup.
A versatile mounting bracket is used to position
the barbecue on a table or the ground, in areas where using picnic tables is prohibited.
The same bracket can be mounted to the side wall of the motorhome using an optional rail
that sells for around $8. Since the barbecue is pretty weighty, it’s recommended that the
rail be installed by a professional, who can attach it to a solid surface. That’s a
convenient option, especially if your rig is equipped with a low-pressure, quick connection
to the LP-gas system. A short hose with quick connectors is provided with the barbecue, and
longer hoses are available from Camping World and other RV supply stores.
If your motorhome
is not equipped with a low-pressure connection, you’ll have to get the adapter kit ($30)
for using throwaway cylinders, which is what we did. The kit includes the regulator and
even a plastic base for stabilizing the cylinder. You can also get a kit ($32) that
connects to larger cylinders with the standard Acme fitting.
Assembling the barbecue is
relatively simple, following easy to understand instructions. The only difficulty was
dealing with the fragile gasket that goes between the control valve and the body of the
grill. Getting the spark igniter gapped properly takes some patience.
The RV 5500 grill is
a pleasure to use, has a temperature gauge built into the lid, and provides even heat all
across the cooking surface. Its 12,000 BTU burner gets the temperature up in a hurry and
the flame is very controllable.
To protect the barbecue between uses, we put it in
Olympian’s Grill Storage Bag, which is just the right size to store the barbecue, adapter
kit and long-handle cleaning brush. The barbecue sells for around $250, but at press time
it was available at Camping World for $199 (President’s Club price). The bag sells for less
For more information, visit www.campingworld.com.