Propane is a common fuel choice for RV enthusiasts for many great reasons. It’s clean-burning, relatively inexpensive, and efficient. When properly used, it’s also very safe. If you’re gearing up to take the RV out this summer, whether across the state or the country, you should prepare for proper use of propane in an RV.
Using RV Propane: What You Need to Know
Starting with RV propane basics, knowing a few key points about propane can keep everyone in and around an RV safe, comfortable, and happy.
First, propane is a gas stored in tanks and constantly kept under pressure. It’s released and converted to a liquid when a valve is opened on the tank. This gas powers furnaces, refrigerators, and even RV propane stoves.
Propane Tank Size
Your RV must only be equipped with the appropriate propane tank size to maintain safety and efficiency.
The tank size will depend on the type of RV you own and its size. It will also depend on how many people you will be traveling with and the length of your trips. For example, if you’re researching the best RV trips for couples, it probably won’t require as big of a propane tank as a cross-country excursion for a family of eight.
The Propane System
Your RV must have a properly installed system for propane use. This system should include a regulator, which reduces the pressure of the propane tank to a safe level for use in an RV.
Your system must also include a shut-off valve that can be used to cut off the propane flow in an emergency.
Safety and Storage
You must inspect your propane system regularly to check for leaks and issues. Any propane leaks can be dangerous because propane doesn’t degrade over time. For this reason, plan to pack a propane leak detector in the RV.
Inspect your entire propane system to ensure all parts are in good working order at least once per month. Of course, if you use your RV frequently, check everything more frequently.
You should also store the RV propane tank in a well-ventilated area away from open flames and heat. Additionally, always secure your propane tanks in place to prevent them from tipping over as you swerve to avoid potholes in the road!
Make it a rule to use propane appliances safely and follow manufacturers’ instructions. If a propane appliance is leaking or damaged, never use it. Always ventilate your RV when using appliances.
Never use propane to heat your RV while you sleep; it’s a fire hazard. You should also never store tanks inside the RV. Instead, store them outside in a well-ventilated area with RV propane tank covers to avoid exposure to the elements.
Get Plenty of Use of Propane on the Open Road
Knowing how to use and maintain your propane on the open road can allow you to enjoy smooth travels. With propane in your RV, you can get more use out of your appliances and enjoy using a versatile resource in your home away from home.
Stay Fueled All Along the Way
RV owners can refill their propane tanks at a variety of locations, including:
- Propane dealers and distributors: Many propane suppliers have filling stations for residential and commercial customers, and they may also provide refill services for RV propane tanks.
- Campgrounds and RV parks: Many campgrounds and RV parks offer propane refill services for their guests, either on-site or through local suppliers.
- Gas stations and convenience stores: Some gas stations and convenience stores may offer propane refill services, although they may not be equipped to fill larger RV propane tanks.
- Propane exchange stations: Propane exchange stations throughout the country offer quick and easy tank exchanges for RV owners.
RV owners should check with local propane suppliers, campgrounds, and gas stations to find their area’s most convenient and cost-effective propane refill options.