Having gas is usually not considered a good thing. But in this case, it’s great! Living life with an LP tank by your side makes traveling more comfortable and gives you the benefits of home wherever you are. Propane is a flammable liquid, so it’s important to know how to use it properly and be aware of signs that there may be a problem to keep you and the people around you safe.
Making sure you have gas
It’s been a long winter. And if you haven’t blown the dust off of your RV since you put it in storage months ago, you’ll need to prime your LP appliances to fill those lines up again. During long periods of rest, the gas should be turned off, which means that there hasn’t been any fuel in the lines for months. This simple process of turning on devices that run on LP is a way to check for leaks and making sure that the system is running like it should.
Let’s start by saying that you should always be aware of your environment. Propane has a distinct smell. Once you get a whiff, you’ll always know it. If you start to smell that funny odor, turn off anything with an open flame and call someone to come out to take a look. It could be that you’ve got a leak somewhere that needs repairs.
Especially if you’re taking your rig out of storage, it’s a good idea to have someone do a once over of the whole system. When you get new tanks or replace your old ones you should also consider checking seals and hoses to make sure that they’re still in good working order. If you find seals that are getting brittle, they’ll need replaced. If hoses have cracks or tears in them, get some new ones. Gas is not something to be played with.
How long will I have gas?
A lot of people ask, “How long can I run on my LP tanks?” There’s no easy answer to this one because it all depends on how much you’re using. If your neighbor is running their generator 24/7, all of their appliances and more, they’re going to run out of propane faster than you are (because you’re intentionally conserving it). Being aware of what runs on LP is the first step you can take to reduce your usage. Typical things include:
- Refrigerator and freezer
- Stove and oven
- Furnace and air conditioner
- Hot water heater
However, one sure fire way to make sure you never run out of propane unexpectedly is by purchasing a wireless LP Tank Level Gauge. When you purchase one of these (which we sell via our Facebook page,) you can monitor the LP gas level in your tank accurately with your smartphone or tablet!
Gas in public
There’s nothing like a good grill-out when you’re camping. Something about it just brings the gang together. Whether you’ve got one of those fancy outdoor kitchens or a portable grill, there’s a right (and a wrong) way to set up your LP system to accommodate it. The great thing about outdoor kitchens is that they are always connected to your LP source. You’ll just have to remember to test it when you bring your RV out of storage to make sure the seals are still tight and there are no leaks.
Getting LP to a portable grill can be a little trickier. Many portable grills have a quick connect fitting that makes a plug-and-play experience a breeze in newer models equipped with low pressure regulators. Like the other appliances, this fitting will also need to be checked for any leaks that may have sprung up. In some models (especially those that are a little older) you’ll need to check your regulator to make sure that your grill won’t be getting too much propane at once. This can be a safety hazard and result in burns or fire, so it’s definitely one to check on before you fire up.
Having gas is a great thing for an RVer. LP is your best friend when you’re camping, whether at a site or boondocking. How much you use and how you use it will determine how often you’ll be filling up. As with any flammable gas, it’s important to know basic safety features about how LP works with your rig. Taking time to educate yourself about proper maintenance and repairs will take away a lot of headaches later on down the road. Get gas! And enjoy your Good Life adventures.