RV Propane Flame

How-To

A Beginner's Guide to Propane Tanks

Propane allows you to camp just about anywhere as you don’t need a connection to electricity to make quite a few of your RV systems work like cooking, running heat and how water and powering the refrigerator and other appliances.

Propane allows you to camp just about anywhere as you don’t need a connection to electricity to make quite a few of your RV systems work like cooking, running heat and how water and powering the refrigerator and other appliances. However, if you’re camping with full hookups, use propane sparingly.  

Many motorhomes have the propane tanks mounted to the rig. Travel trailers and 5th wheels use portable tanks like you use at home with your BBQ grill. Some campgrounds will pick up your portable tanks, fill them and bring them back. That’s great service!  
 

Propane Tips and Maintenance

  • Check the Age on Your Tanks

    Make sure you keep an eye on how old your tanks are too. You’ll find the manufactured date stamped on your tank. At 12 years old, you’ll have to have them recertified or replaced.
  • Gauge your Propane Tank

    Before you leave home, you want to make sure your tanks are full. Then while camping, check the levels of your tanks. Some RVs have built-in gauges but there are also level indicators you can buy for about $15. There are new gadgets coming out all the time including Tank Check – an indicator that you stick on the bottom of your propane tank which communicates via your phone via the Tank Check app.
  • Turn On Your Fridge

    Whenever I’m preparing for a trip, I turn on the fridge the night before. It takes some time for it to cool down enough to keep your food cold. Use the propane to get it cold then switch it to electric when you get to the campsite where you can switch it to electric with the hookup.
  • Check the Propane Flow

    If you’re having trouble turning on your appliances, make sure you’ve bled your system. Turn on your stove and let the flames burn until they’re blue. The air is out of your propane lines and now you can turn on your other appliances.
  • If you Smell Gas

    Propane has a very strong odor so if you smell it anywhere near your RV, turn off the tanks and make sure no appliances are running in the RV. The propane is leaking and you’ll need to replace that seal and tank. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm and a propane safety alert inside your RV too.
  • Get an RV Check Up Annually

    We all need to get annual check-ups and that holds true for our RVs too! A certified repair center can check all the lines including your propane connections for all your appliances and heating system. This will give you peace of mind for the season ahead.
propane tank Date Month of Tank
Check the age of your propane tank to make sure it is no older than 12 years old.
Tank Check App
There are new gadgets coming out all the time including Tank Check – an indicator that you stick on the bottom of your propane tank which communicates via your phone via the Tank Check app.
RV Fridge controls
Turn on your fridge the night before you leave for your trip.
RV Propane Flame
Check the propane flow by turning on your stove and making sure that the flame burns blue.
Matt Light Headshot

Retired NFL Player, New England Patriots

Matt Light

Matt Light, former offensive tackle for the New England Patriots is an enthusiastic RVer following his 11-year NFL career that included 5 Super Bowl appearances, 3 Super Bowl championships, and 3 trips to the Pro Bowl over the course of 11 seasons. He now spends his time running the Light Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving at-risk kids a better chance at leading healthy lives by using the great outdoors to learn and grow. The foundation provides them with opportunities to reach their highest potential and become mentors to their peers. The Light Foundation also provides academic scholarships to deserving young student leaders in Ohio and New England and gives kids opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have to get outside and take on a challenge or to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits.