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What to Know About Propane Tanks

July 23, 2019

If you travel on the road and utilize a propane tank in your RV, you’re likely to encounter some unknown territory if you haven’t done your homework. While propane is one of the most widely used sources of fuel for campers and travelers, there are still some things to be aware of to ensure everything goes smoothly. There are many benefits in using propane, and when you have familiarized yourself with its features and understand the safety considerations you should make, it can be such a useful tool to have on the road. 

The Many Benefits of Using Propane

If you’re a camper who has ever needed heat or a way to cook without a campfire, you have likely enjoyed the benefit of packing propane for your trip. It can be used in canisters for many different cooktops and stoves, along with other methods of heating. 

In an RV, it can be used for cooking and heating as well as the opposite - refrigeration or using an air conditioner. Propane hookups are usually available in most modern models of RVs for you to use with ease. Some RVs can use propane to run appliances or electric outlets, but you’ll want to keep a close eye on usage. The good news about that however, is that propane refill tanks are readily available in major home improvement stores, and many gas stations. You can find propane near Mesquite, NV at Virgin Valley Food Mart. For RV-ers out on the road, stop somewhere RV friendly to refuel your rig along with your propane for the rest of your journey. 

Safely Using Propane

Most people are aware of the safety precautions that are necessary to have with any kind of fuel, and propane is no different. It is important to store your propane tanks appropriately to prevent accidents. Propane tanks need to be stored outside of your RV when driving, and should not be used while the vehicle is traveling either. Many RVs are already equipped with a tank and have proper storage built-in for convenience. 

While the tank itself should be in a safe place, you’ll want to make sure you are aware of the related items to your tank. There are different kinds of hookups for your propane, and maintaining repairs for these parts are just as important as the tank itself. The regulator, for instance, may need to be tested to ensure there are no leaks in the hose. You would be able to smell a propane leak, but to be safe, you should regularly test to be sure. You can put a mixture of soap and water on the connection point and look for bubbles to emerge. If you see bubbles start to form in that spot, that’s a sign you have a leak. 

When traveling with any kind of fuel in tow, just take every precaution you can to ensure you have no surprises. Taking the time to be prepared and confident your tank and connections are in good condition can save you time and money in surprise repairs later on. Leaks can be dangerous, so if you suspect you have a propane leak, it is important to have a professional take a look right away. 

Familiarize Yourself with the Tank Gauge

One way to keep tabs on things on a regular basis is to know and understand your propane tank gauge. Many tanks which are built into RVs will have a gauge already attached to them, but some types will require you to add a gauge to your tank. Regularly watching and checking your gauge can help you better understand your usage and keep you mindful of what you are using propane for during your trip. 

Knowing Where to Get a Refill

If you are dependent on propane for anything during your trip, it is important to map out the places you can get a refill before you travel. You’ll need to keep in mind the route you’ll take and what hours you’ll be on the road or needing to stop. Consider the store hours in your planning, and remember some home improvement stores may be closed in the evenings. Be sure you can fuel up your vehicle in an RV friendly gas station like Virgin Valley Food Mart where you can also refill propane during your stop. 

When to Replace Your Tank

If you are using small tanks that require an exchange of the tank itself rather than a refill, you won’t necessarily need to know about the recertification process. For propane tanks which require recertification, that happens every 10 years. There are some other rules however, about inspection, and a visual inspection is required every five years. Although these are the regulations according to the DOT, each state has its own specific set of rules that might apply. Make sure you are aware of the regulations in the state you’re in (or planning to be in) to double-check your supplies before heading out. 

If you’re traveling with propane and plan to use it for an upcoming trip this summer, just be safe! Make sure you are prepared in all the best ways to make sure you can enjoy some stress-free travel. If you’re passing through Utah to Southern Nevada, stop into Virgin Valley Food Mart in Mesquite! At our gas station, you’ll have plenty of space for your RV and even a place to park if you want to explore. Get propane refills, ice, snacks, beverages, and a great location near casinos and hotels. Follow us on Facebook to see more about our facilities and what we offer for travelers on their way to Las Vegas or Zion. We’ll feature helpful tips for travelers and ways to have fun on the road!