RVillage members share their knowledge and helpful tips about RV Propane systems and appliances.


Safety disclaimer: Please be very careful when working with propane. It is recommended to hire trained professionals when needed.

Safety alarms/detectors

It's important to have both a propane detector and CO (carbon monoxide) detector  onboard.

The propane detector will be mounted low to the floor, usually hard-wired, and should be replaced every 5-10 years, depending on the unit. Strong scents and aerosols can cause this alarm to go off.

The CO detector  can be purchased at hardware stores or any big box store. Change that battery annually (as well as the one in your smoke alarm).

Strong aromas can also cause the CO detector to go off:

Smell propane?

Tips for what to do when you smell propane inside your rig.


Can you install a bigger tank on a motorhome?

View responses.

Do the tanks need to be re-certified?

Helpful RVillagers share their knowledge on this topic.

Where can you get your tanks filled?

Propane must be dispensed by a licensed technician.

How many gallons do tanks actually hold when full?

"Stay" extenders

Photo: Cinn (after following the advice below)

Attaching an external tank to a motorhome to extend your stay by not having to drive the entire rig to town to refill the attached tank.

See all the helpful answers (with more photos)!

What's a safe way to transport the tank?

Related post: RV Grills- Let's BBQ!

Cooking with propane

Stove-top burners won't light?

Find some possible solutions.

Oven won't light?

Here's the answer! and more ideas here.

Baking tips

See more related tips.

RVillagers share their experiences.

Delicious bread can be made in a propane oven!


Won't light (or stay running) on propane?

See suggested ideas, and more related tips here.

Some important tips for trouble-shooting older 3-way units.

Should you run the refrigerator on propane while driving down the road?

Advice varies widely on this question!

Related post: RV Refrigerators

Water heaters

They're ugly, but necessary.

Photo: Alan&Tracy

Won't ignite or stay lit?

View some possible solutions.

Have a unit that runs on propane AND electric? See LOTS of tips for managing that.

Ouch! That water gets HOT! How do you turn it down?

It seems that you can't!

Is it normal for the unit to "leak" at the pressure relief valve? RVillagers explain.

What about that anode rod that will need replacing? Get the details here.

Tips for loosening the rod or nut.

Clearing a clogged propane line in the water heater:

View all four photos with step-by-step directions.

Thinking about a tankless system?

RVillagers share their experiences, and some pros & cons.

Which brands are recommended? Check these out, and also this thread.

Propane heat

The propane "furnace"

RV propane furnace. Photo: Suburban

Troubleshooting issues

No heat? Fan blowing cold air?

See various troubleshooting tips, and LOTS more suggestions here.

More advice here. The gas lines may need purging (of air).

Heater won't turn off?

View the urgent responses.

This situation needs a professional:

See what happened.

Can you run the furnace while driving down the road?

Responses to this question vary widely!

Keep the wasps out!

Screens to keep wasps out of RV propane appliances.

Did you know that wasps love the smell of propane? They may build nests inside the furnace, water heater and refrigerator burner unless you cover those intake areas with screens. More wasp-prevention tips here.

Portable propane heaters

Many RVers opt to use portable propane heaters for multiple reasons.

See the discussion of various options.

Propane generators

Are there safety concerns with running a propane generator located under a bed?

View responses.

See discussion on propane generator error code 33 and the three-flash error code, and some general trouble-shooting tips.

View responses.

Related post: RV Generators

Propane fire pits!

Hear the pros and cons.

Propane usage

How much propane can you expect to use with all these propane appliances & accessories?

RVillagers weigh in.

A few tips for cutting back on your propane use:

RVillage groups

Need more answers? Join these groups, ask  questions and share your own experience with fellow RVillagers!

   Return to The Guide Chapter: RV Utilities

Disclaimer: The information gathered here is compiled from the posts and opinions of RVillagers, and not of RVillage itself. RVillage assumes no responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions.

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