BBQ and Slide out tray
Being on the road full time for a few years we wanted to make sure things like cooking at the BBQ would be easy, so I invested in a slide-out tray from Australian Direct. I chose the Kickass 125kg slide with an inbuilt table – link here. After looking around at a few of the cheaper ones (Kings) I was not satisfied with how long they would last.
Mounting this in the tunnel boot looked like it was going to be a mission, so the first idea was to remove the slide from the base so I could work on it easier. The made a huge difference! The slide came with bolts and nutserts, but I preferred to use stainless steel screws that didn’t quite penetrate through the 16mm flooring. So I used 18mm long screws, a washer on top, through the steel frame, predrilled a hole in the galvanized sheeting, and screwed it down with 12 screws – it’s not going anywhere!
You will notice it’s not mounted in the middle, I purposely mounted it as far forward as it would go. This allows the anti-flap bars from the awning to sit beside it.
Once that was completed it was a simple case of sitting the BBQ on the tray and securing it for travel. The tray came with two straps to hold a fridge down so I just used those.
Originally I had a Weber single burner, but they are just too high to slide in unless you remove the lid or cut down the legs, neither idea thrilled me, so I updated it to a Ziggy. After using the Ziggy for 6 months, a lot of the time trying to use pots or fry pans, it just wasn’t working for us either. So I looked around and found the Sizzler Deluxe. These are an all-stainless steel BBQ, made in Australia (in the Newcastle area), and are the only portable one (that I am aware of) that has the Flame-Out Detection. Comes standard with a 3mm thick stainless steel hotplate, we opted for the hotplate mesh too so it could be used for pots and pans (works well too). These are also dual burners and put out over double the heat of the Weber and Ziggy (Weber – 8,500 BTU, Ziggy – 9,993 BTU, Sizzler – 20,000 BTU). They also offer a 3mm thick stainless steel baking tray that sits in the back half of the cooking area so you have the front burner on only (no direct flames to the baking dish). We didn’t get that as we rarely bake.
Flame Out Detection:
Let’s take a slight detour and look at what this means. Back around 2016 (or probably earlier), the rules for gas installations changed, this included Caravans. However, only recently in the 2021 update to the regulations did they reword it so everyone started to take notice! The bottom line is any fixed appliance to the caravan must have flame-out detection which then shuts off the gas supply.
So what is a fixed installation? Anything mounted to the caravan AND/OR connected to a fixed gas line on the caravan. So this means that a BBQ on a slide-out connected to the gas bayonet fitting is now considered a fixed installation. Likewise, a BBQ attached to the slide-out but connected to a separate gas bottle is also an ‘installation’. However, if you have the BBQ sitting on a free-standing table beside the caravan and connected to a free-standing gas bottle, then no problems.
Once I had the Sizzler set up, I picked up a green chopping board you can just see underneath it, marked out where the feet were then cut out holes for the feet. I then bolted the board to the tray so the BBQ can’t slide around but can simply be lifted out if you want to use it separately. For travel, I used the fridge tie-down strap and added a square U bolt to the tray behind the BBQ.
UPDATE – Jan 2023:
The Sizzler BBQ has been giving us a hard time in any winds, blowing out so easily up to a couple of times a minute (useless). Back and forth conversations with the manufacturer asking to adjust the flame out detection devices and adjust the air centuries, no change. Have spoken with a few other users and they say the same. One user had sent his back to the manufacturer after trying all the above mods they mentioned and they stated they couldn’t fault it but changed the jets for the next size up and replaced the valve. So after almost 12 months persevering with ours I bit the bullet and sent it back too. I was contacted with a few videos showing it working fine, simulating wind by waving a small piece of cardboard near the BBQ. I wrote back stating I was not impressed with that and they agreed to do the same as the other user mentioned and replaced the valve and upgraded the jets. Its on it way back now and will see how it goes.
UPDATE – March 2023
The BBQ came back, they had replaced the valves and increased the jet sizes as discussed, they also provided a hose and regulator for direct to bottle connection, stating that usually the problem was clogged up regulators and lines too thin on the caravan reducing the gas pressure. It wasn’t our issue as our van was only 3 years old and all other appliances worked flawlessly. I have used it a few times since and most recently in 10 to 20kmh winds. Lighting and keeping alight for the first few minutes was a challenge but it was quite windy. Once the burners got hot and started to glow red I could turn it down to minimum and it kept running perfectly. Much better. Obviously in 30kmh+ winds it blows out, but that normal and I accept that is not a fault of the BBQ.