Because of its portability and long lifespan, propane is an ideal energy source for RVs. It keeps your camper, trailer or motorhome warm, water hot and drinks cold. Before you hit the road, prepare your RV’s propane tank with these tips.

Inspect your propane system regularly

Inspect propane cylinders and holding mechanisms for any signs of rust, corrosion, fatigue, or wear and tear. For ASME tanks, check the brackets and mounting hardware, as well. Have your RV propane system inspected yearly by a licensed service technician. They’ll check the system for leaks, inspect valves and fittings and certify that tanks are free from rust, dents and other potential hazards.

Inspect your propane-operated appliances

You should also inspect your RV’s propane-operated appliances, such as the refrigerator, stove, furnace and other devices. Check that the supply lines running from appliances to the propane tank are in good condition and not rubbing against any sharp edges or corners. Inspect connections leading to your propane appliances for frays or damage.

Most stovetops and ovens in RVs run on propane, as does the furnace. No matter how cold it gets, NEVER heat your RV by turning on propane powered ovens or cook tops for warmth instead of turning on the heater. ClickitRV Service Manager Joseph Schmitz explains that two things are happening here. Oxygen is being burned during the combustion process, and carbon monoxide is being emitted at the same time. It is possible in a tight fitting area like an RV to deplete the oxygen, or build up lethal levels of carbon monoxide quicker than you might imagine.

Install and maintain detectors

Make sure your RV has at least one Class BC fire extinguisher and operational propane, carbon monoxide, and smoke detectors. If you need to replace or install a new detector, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location and maintenance. Exit the vehicle immediately if any detector goes off.

!If you smell gas

  1. 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 a fire or explosion.
  2. Safely turn off the gas supply valve on your cylinder or container.
  3. Open all doors and other ventilating openings.
  4. Before you restart or use any of your propane appliances, have a qualified service technician inspect your entire system.