Camco Olympian 5500 Portable Grill
Are you researching RV mountable grill options? With the ability to mount it to your RV or run as a tabletop grill, the Olympian 5500 is a perfect addition to your RV outdoor kitchen. It’s lightweight stainless steel design in addition to its 180 sq in cooking surface, makes the Olympian 5500 a contender in the areas of portability, cooking area, and versatility.
Portability is an important factor to take into account. How much room does it take up when it is stored? How easy is it to move from a trunk or storage area to the grilling location? How easy is it to set up once you get it there?
The Olympian 5500 weighs in at just over 28lbs and measures 22″W x 13.25″D x 8.25″H. These stats are what allows the 5500 to score high in the portability category. Throw in the optional carry bag, and moving this little grill around is a sinch. The small dimensions make the 5500 easy to store and transport. Additionally, having a clasp to keep the lid closed is a nice feature which some other portable grills seem to lack.
Setting up the Olympian 5500 is simple as well. Utilizing the RV mounting bracket, you can mount the grill right on the side of your RV. If your RV comes equipped (or you have equipped it) with an auxiliary propane line, you can connect it right into the grill with the included quick connect hose. Prefer a tabletop set up? Simply set up your table, fold the legs out, connect your propane, and get to grilling.
If you need a mounting rail for your RV you can order one easily enough. Additionally, if you prefer to use a 20 lb tank or smaller disposable tanks, those are an option as well. You will just need to invest in the correct hoses and adapters.
The amount of cooking area is also an important consideration. How many people are you cooking for? How many food items are you planning to grill at once? At 180 sq in of cooking space, the Olympian 5500 isn’t ideal if you plan on cooking for a large group of people. Compared to the Coleman Road Trip LXE at 285 sq in, and the Weber Q2200 at 280 sq in, the Olympian is much more limited in surface area. Again, it is a tradeoff between portability and cooking area.
A nice feature of the Olympian 5500 is the cast iron smoker plate. This plate is designed to add a smokey flavor to your food while decreasing grease fires. A handy feature for a grill hanging under your awning on the side of your RV! Not that the smoker plate removes the threat entirely. Always use caution when grilling.
The 5500 is not a modular grill, however. There are no fancy griddles to drop in or pizza oven accessories like the Camp Chef Explorer for instance. It also is limited to a single burner, which limits your cooking options compared to a duel burner stove.
When discussing versatility, we like to measure “bang for your buck” stuff. When camping and RVing, space is at a premium so the more a product can do in the same amount of space the better. That said, this is where the Olympian 5500 falls short of other grills similar to the Cuisinart CGG-200. It really only does one thing. Grills. It does a good job of it though!
Comparing it to the Road Trip LXE or the Camp Chef, you quickly see how limited the 5500 is at multi-tasking. If you don’t need a grill to do anything besides grill, then you might have just found the right one for you. Especially if you want one which is easy to clean. The stainless steel construction makes it easy to clean and resists corrosion. Folks living on a coastline will understand and appreciate this.
There is a lot to like about the little 5500 without a doubt. There are a few things that don’t tickle our fancy. First off, it runs hot and without a lot of temperature control. The single 12,000 BTU burner gets up to temp quickly and then stays there. If you are a gourmet cook, the Olympian could be a frustration.
With a price tag of around $180.00 on Amazon, you don’t get near the bells and whistles of other grills. Take for instance the Camp Chef Explorer which has a base price of $100. If you throw the remaining $80 at a cover and a couple of modular accessories, you can have a two burner kitchen for relatively the same cost. Although, the Camp Chef is going to take up more room, so there is that.
All in we like the Olympian 5500 mostly in part for its convenience. Easy to store. Easy to set-up. Easy to clean. If all we did was grill burgers and dogs we think it would be the perfect set up. We like the stainless construction, removable drip pan, and grilling location options. It just doesn’t have the versatility other grills on the market have for the same cost if not cheaper.