Your RV Propane Checklist

With everything going on right now, many are choosing to hit the open road this summer and take a road trip in a RV.

Because of its portability, safety and long shelf life, propane is an ideal energy source for RVs. It allows you to do everything from cook to clean to heat water and keep your drinks cold easily and conveniently in your camper.


Before you head out to the great outdoors let’s run through a quick propane checklist so you can use this energy source efficiently and safely on your next trip.

Types of RV Propane Tanks

There are two types of propane tanks found on RV’s: ASME tanks and DOT cylinders.

ASME tanks, used most often on motorhomes, are approved by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In this case, the RV propane tank mount is the frame of the motorhome itself, so ASME tanks are not removable.

DOT cylinders are used on travel trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, and some small motorhomes. These are approved by the Department of Transportation. DOT cylinders may be mounted in exterior compartments, or RV propane tank holders on the tongue or bumper of the trailer.

Check Your Fuel Gauge

Always check your fuel gauge so you know how much propane is in your tank and you don’t put yourself in a difficult situation on the road.

If you’re running low, make sure to stop at one of our Nelson Propane filling stations before heading out on your great adventure.


Inspect Your Propane Systems

Before departure check your propane cylinders and holding mechanisms for any signs of rust, corrosion, fatigue, or wear and tear.

Also remember to inspect your RV’s propane-operated appliances, such as the refrigerator, stove, furnace and other devices.

Check For Debris

Check exterior vents and clear any debris, sticks, dust, twigs, insects, or other items that may restrict venting.

Fire Safety Equipment

Make sure your RV has at least one Class BC fire extinguisher and operational propane, carbon monoxide, and smoke detectors.

Do Not Do Repairs Yourself

Regardless of your propane system, all repairs or replacement must be done by certified service technicians.

Certified Annual Inspection

While you’re at it make sure your system is inspected at least annually by a certified service technician. They are trained to detect incorrect tank pressure, leaks, or other potential hazards, and address them properly.


Propane Safety While On The Road

Remember it’s recommended that you don’t use propane systems while driving. Most RV’s can keep food and drinks cold during several hours of travel without a power source.

Also, your propane tanks should be secured on the outside of your RV or trailer and never indoors. Invest in a proper storage solution for safety during your travels.

Detecting A Leak

It is not common for propane systems to leak, but if you detect one or sense a propane odor (rotten egg smell) have it checked out immediately.

  • Put out all smoking materials, pilot lights, and other open flames.

  • Do not operate lights, appliances, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or fire.

  • If you are able to, safely turn off the gas supply valve on your cylinder or container.

  • Open all doors and other ventilating openings.

  • Immediately leave the area and call 911 or the local fire department.

Wherever the open road takes you this summer, Nelson Propane will be here for all your propane needs. Safe travels!

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