Safe Travel with Propane
Safe Travel with Propane Articles From RV Station Colbert
Most RVs use propane in some form or another, so it’s important to know a few basic facts about it. The experts here at RV Station Colbert want to share a few pro tips about Propane with you. Propane is flammable, yes, but there’s so much more. Propane is actually a really cool substance with some nifty properties, which makes it an ideal candidate for RV travel.
Basic Propane Properties
Propane, as a liquid, boils at a brisk -44° F, meaning that at room temperature, propane goes from liquid to gas in no time at all. This is useful for travel trailers to get your propane from a transportable liquid to a burnable gas you only have to turn the valve, no carburetor required. The flip side to this is that to keep propane liquid at normal temperatures it must be stored under high pressure, which is why you must store your propane in a specific type of container.
When you get on the road with your RV, your propane will be stored in one of two types of container, depending on the type of RV you’re traveling with. Motorhomes are equipped with ASME tanks, while trailers typically feature DOT cylinders. The ASME (Association of Mechanical Engineers) tanks that you’ll find in your motorhome are cylinders that lay horizontally and are built into the structure of the RV. They’re designed to be filled and serviced in place, so don’t try to pull the ASME tank out to run it over to the fuel station. DOT cylinders are easier to spot because they’re typically situated out on the front of the travel trailer hitch. They can be freely removed for refilling and reinstalled.
Propane tanks are always white. It’s not a matter of style, it’s about safety. White paint reflects more light and heat which puts less stress on the tank and causes less loss from overpressurization when your tank is exposed to warm weather. This is why you don’t ever repaint your propane tank.
You should also keep an eye on the general health of your propane tanks by giving them routine inspections. Dents, rust, and other forms of wear can weaken your tank. Another component that can go bad on your tank is your rubber hoses, fittings, and seals. Use a spray bottle with a light mixture of water and soap to spray around your connecting hoses and look for bubbles foaming up, this is a great way to spot small leaks before they become large ones.
Propane on the Road
So what about taking propane on the road? Are there any precautions you should take? Is it dangerous? In short, no, it’s not dangerous, but there are some precautions you can take to increase your safety while you travel.
Before you hit the road you should make sure you’ve got your propane using appliances shut off, as well as your propane. Some folks claim that this is unnecessary, and admittedly it can be a hassle to travel without the convenience of a fridge keeping your food cold, but there’s one big unavoidable reason to shut off your propane appliances when you travel: Gas stations. You’re not allowed to bring an ignition source anywhere near a gas station, but it can be really easy to forget about the pilot light for your RV fridge, which is only a well-ventilated panel away from all of those gas fumes floating around on a hot day. If you’re really concerned about keeping your food cold on the road it’s worth investing in an affordable cooler and a few bags of ice, or some cold packs to keep the fridge chilled.
Here at RV Station Colbert, we want to share our knowledge and passion for RVs with you, and we believe that the more you know about your rig, the better off you’ll be. Come see us today for all you questions about propane, or anything else for that matter. We’re conveniently located in Colbert, Oklahoma - proudly serving Sherman, Gainesville, Denison, and McKinney, Texas!
This information is for educational purposes. VIARV shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.