Do I Need a Propane Regulator For My RV? (2023)

The usefulness of propane in the RV setting is significant. Propane allows us to cook, heat the RV, and get hot water for showering and washing dishes and hands. We all keep a good eye on our propane monitor to make sure we have plenty of propane to do all of those things. But there’s a facet of the RV propane system that we rarely hear anyone talk about, and that’s the RV propane regulator.

A propane regulator exists for your safety. So, in today’s post, we’re talking about it. What is a propane regulator, what does it do, and does your rig even need one? The answers are pretty important, so let’s dig in.

Table of Contents hide

  1. 1)What Is a Propane Regulator?
  2. 2)Do I Need a Propane Regulator For My RV?
  3. 3)Are All Propane Regulators the Same?
  4. 4)What Do the First and Second Stages of a Two-Stage Propane Regulator Do?
  5. 5)How Often Does an RV Propane Regulator Need to Be Replaced?
  6. 6)How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My RV Propane Regulator?
  7. 7)What Type of Propane Regulator Do I Need If My RV Has One Propane Tank?
  8. 8)What Type of Propane Regulator Do I Need If My RV Has Two Propane Tanks?
  9. 9)Does a Propane Regulator Need a Cover?
  10. 10)Can I Use My RV’s Propane System Without a Propane Regulator?

What Is a Propane Regulator?

A propane regulator controls the release of propane vapor from the tank. So, what’s the big deal? Well, the pressure within a tank of propane is anywhere between 100 and 250 psi. If that pressure were to be released without being regulated/controlled by a propane regulator, you’d quickly find yourself in a terribly dangerous situation with a huge, uncontrolled flame.

A propane regulator allows the propane to be released in a slow, steady, and controlled manner… supplying a constant and consistent supply of it, at a carefully-controlled pressure, to all of your RV’s onboard appliances.

Do I Need a Propane Regulator For My RV?

Yes. If you have a propane tank, then a good propane regulator is absolutely critical, particularly if you’re interested in avoiding an explosion.

Also, your propane tank will not be able to send fuel to your RV appliances if your propane regulator is not working properly. In essence, it’s the most important part of your propane system.

Not only do you need a propane regulator for your RV, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a spare on hand. They’re relatively inexpensive at around $25 or so, and they’re not difficult to install.

(Video) RV Propane Regulators

Do I Need a Propane Regulator For My RV? (1)

It’s absolutely critical that you have a working RV propane regulator. And it’s not a bad idea to keep a spare on hand. Fortunately, they’re relatively inexpensive and you can (CAREFULLY) replace them yourself.

Are All Propane Regulators the Same?

No. Not all propane regulators are created equal. While they do serve the same purpose, different propane setups require different types of propane regulators.

Your RV most likely requires a two-stage propane regulator. It sits between the tank and the rest of the propane system, and takes the fuel coming from the tank at very high pressure (psi), and adjusts it to a safe and manageable flow.

What Do the First and Second Stages of a Two-Stage Propane Regulator Do?

The first stage of a two-stage propane regulator lowers the pressure to a safe and manageable 10-15 psi (from an UNmanageable and UNsafe 100-250 psi).

The second stage brings that 10-15 psi down to roughly 11-inch water column (another measure of pressure… 11-inch water column is approximately 0.4 psi), which is just right for your RV’s appliances.

How Often Does an RV Propane Regulator Need to Be Replaced?

Propane regulators should be replaced every 10-15 years simply because internal components can wear down over time, and it’s best to replace the regulator before that happens.

Obviously, if you’re experiencing some trouble with your RV’s propane regulator, you’ll need to replace it immediately.

How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My RV Propane Regulator?

There are a few signs that can emerge when a propane regulator is ready to be replaced.

If your regulator is leaking, you’ll smell gas or possibly hear a hissing sound. If this occurs, you can try hand-tightening the fixture. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then you need to replace your propane regulator.

(Video) RV Propane Regulator

There are a few other signs that can signal that your propane regulator is bad. If you notice yellow or orange flames on your stove (instead of a normal blue-ish color), if you hear a popping sound or roaring sound when you turn your stove’s burner on or off, or if you find soot accumulating on the burners, these are all indications that your propane regulator is bad.

What Type of Propane Regulator Do I Need If My RV Has One Propane Tank?

If your rig has one propane tank, you’ll need a two-stage propane regulator with a single hose like the one shown below. This one has a solid brass fitting and a durable hose, all of which are important to secure a nice, tight connection between the tank and your system.

Sale

Do I Need a Propane Regulator For My RV? (3)

WADEO 6FT Propane Regulator Hose with 90 Degree Elbow Adapter for Blackstone 17" and 22" Table Grill and Most LP Gas Grill with 3/8'' Connect Fitting

(Video) Do these 8 things for your RV propane system

  • 🌟【Two ways to Use】If your grill is Blackstone 17 "and 22" table grill, you need to connect the low-pressure propane regulator hose with the...
  • 🌟 【Application】Suitable for Blackstone 17'' and 22'' tabletop griddle, when you take off the propane elbow adapter, you can connect this low...

−$4.00$22.99

Buy on Amazon Price & availability info updated 2022-11-12 at 03:49.

What Type of Propane Regulator Do I Need If My RV Has Two Propane Tanks?

Some RVs have two propane tanks. With two tanks, you’ll want to get a changeover regulator that attaches to both tanks. In this case, you’ll turn on both propane tanks, then switch the regulator lever to one of the two tanks. When the first tank is empty, you’ll switch the lever to the second tank.

You can also get a regulator that has an automatic changeover feature, which means that when one tank is empty, the switch to the second tank is automatic.

With this feature, you never have to worry about the changeover. The only downside is that you don’t know when your first tank empties, so you’re not alerted to the fact that you’ve only got one tank of propane left. So the feature could find you running out of propane.

This is a two-stage propane regulator with an automatic changeover feature:

Sale

(Video) HOW TO FIX RV PROPANE SYSTEM ISSUE | RV LIVING

Do I Need a Propane Regulator For My RV? (4)

Flame King (KT12ACR6a) 2-Stage Auto Changeover LP Propane Gas Regulator With Two 12 Inch Pigtails For RVs, Vans, Trailers

  • Allows removal of empty cylinder for refill without interrupting propane supply
  • For RVs with dual propane tanks; Automatically switches from primary to reserve tank when primary is empty

−$11.40$38.55

Buy on AmazonPrice & availability info updated 2022-06-22 at 11:47.

Does a Propane Regulator Need a Cover?

Yes! An RV’s two-stage propane regulator needs to be kept covered. If you buy a new RV, it will have a propane regulator cover. If you have an RV without a cover or with a damaged cover, there are plastic covers available, they’re very inexpensive, and you do need one.

Can I Use My RV’s Propane System Without a Propane Regulator?

No. You should never use your RV’s propane system without a propane regulator. Without a regulator to control the excessive pressure, you would be in great danger (as would others around you) if you were to use your RV’s propane system without a propane regulator.

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FAQs

What does a RV propane regulator do? ›

A propane regulator is a small device that controls the flow of propane from the high-pressure propane tanks to the appliances in your RV. Often referred to as the heart of the propane system, the regulator also acts as a safety device.

Do I need a 2 stage regulator on my RV? ›

If you have a dual propane tank setup you will want a dual tank regulator that is a 2-stage RV propane regulator for campers. These will often require pigtails that are NON-NPT. If you only use one tank you will want a 2 stage regulator for a single tank and your pigtails will generally have NPT connections.

Why do I need a 2 stage propane regulator? ›

Two-stage regulators are designed to lower the high pressure in two stages. They require less readjustment and provide a more constant delivery pressure despite changes in inlet pressure. They are exceptionally well suited for high pressure cylinder applications.

Why do I need a propane regulator? ›

The purpose of the regulator is to control the flow of gas vapor from the container to the burner tip. The regulator ensures safety by providing over-pressure protection, usually by means of a pressure relief device. This is why we often refer to the regulator as the heart of the propane system.

Do you turn both propane tanks on RV? ›

To use it properly, make sure both propane tanks are turned on, then switch the lever to one tank. When that tank is empty, just switch the lever to the second tank.

Do RV propane tanks switch automatically? ›

Notice that the sight glass shows green (the little green line just below the black cap at the top) – the left cylinder has fuel in it. Once this cylinder is empty, the sight glass flag will change to red. If there's fuel in the right cylinder, the regulator will automatically switch over to draw LP from it.

What is the 2 2 2 rule for RV? ›

The RVing 2/2/2 rule is a safe and effective way to plan your travel. It means drive no more than 200 miles a day, stop every 2 hours, and stay 2 nights in each place. Some RVers also put an appendix on the rule encouraging drivers to arrive at an overnight destination by 2:00 p.m.

Do I need a pressure regulator for my RV? ›

Without a water pressure regulator, your RV's plumbing could spring a leak! Without a pressure regulator as protection, excessive water pressure may be allowed to run into your RV's plumbing system, risking damage to seals, fittings, and the plastic “PEX” pipes running throughout your RV.

Is RV propane high or low pressure? ›

Most RV propane systems use a low pressure regulator because the appliances are low pressure. You can check the information stamped into your regulator to determine if it is high or low pressure or offers both. High pressure regulators are usually 30 psi, such as # 108072.

Do 20 lb propane tanks need a regulator? ›

Here's the short answer: if you plan to use a 20 lb. propane tank (like you would use on a gas grill pictured here) you will need a regulator to connect to that tank.

What kind of propane regulator do I need for my RV? ›

Most commonly, RVs will have integral twin stage or dual regulators, which help share the propane between multiple appliances. Some high-quality regulators even have an automatic changeover feature when one tank is empty.

How long does an RV propane regulator last? ›

While most RV propane regulators will last a long time, they won't last forever, and should be replaced roughly every 10 to 15 years. In fact, if your regulator is old, you may want to consider replacing it, even if you're not having any problems with the RV propane system.

Is a regulator necessary? ›

Safety. Pressure regulators are essential accessories for safe usage of gas cylinders. Monitoring pressure in high pressure gas cylinders ensures that pressure and flow are neither too strong, nor too weak to perform their necessary functions safely.

Does a small propane tank need a regulator? ›

It does not matter if you have a large propane tank or a small 5 gallon propane cylinder, almost all applications require a pressure regulator. A word of caution - one size does not fit all applications.

How do you bypass a propane regulator? ›

Basically, the key is to always turn off the burner before you turn on the liquid propane tank valve. If you turn on the burner first, the gas won't be pressurized in the gas line, and the bypass will be activated.

Is it OK to drive RV with propane on? ›

You can run your RV fridge on propane while driving, but there are some risks associated with it. The most obvious risk is that there could be a fire or explosion that comes as a result of the propane. This risk mostly exists if something were to go wrong while you were driving.

Do you pour hot or cold water down the side of a propane tank to see how much gas is inside? ›

The warm water, cool hand method

This is the quickest and easiest way to get a feel for the propane level in your tank. Simply pour warm water over your tank, and then run your hand along the side of the tank. As you reach the level of propane in your tank, the temperature will turn cool to the touch.

Do you turn a propane tank left or right to turn off? ›

SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).

How long will RV heat run on propane? ›

On average, a 20-pound propane tank will run recreational vehicles furnaces for about three hours of continuous use. Keep in mind that your furnace does not continuously run. Our furnace runs two or three times an hour for a couple of minutes to maintain the set temperature.

Should you open propane tank valve all the way RV? ›

Yes, the valve should be fully opened. There is a seat in the back that engages when fully open. The bonnet seal can and often does leak but opening fully usually ensures that a bonnet leak will not allow gas to leak out.

How long can a propane tank sit unused? ›

Unlike diesel's one-year shelf life and gasoline's three- to six-month shelf life, propane can be stored indefinitely so it is highly effective and convenient for both residential and commercial sectors, and the ideal partner in emergency preparedness plans.

What is the 3 3 3 rule in Rving? ›

By adhering to this simple rule of thumb, you can make traveling easier for your whole family. What is this? First, limit your travel to no more than 300 miles in one day. Second, arrive no later than 3 p.m. Finally, stay at your destination for at least three days.

How often should you start your RV? ›

Running the engine allows the oil to lubricate the dry components of the engine, and it helps keep the RV batteries topped off. I also recommend starting and running the generator on a monthly basis. Make sure you run the generator with at least a half-rated load for an hour or two.

Does RV have to be perfectly level? ›

Minimize Stress on the Frame and Structure

If your RV is not level, you are adding stress to many areas including door frames, plumbing, cupboards, and even the chassis. An RV was built to be level so you could be causing long term issues and damage if you are using it without it being properly leveled.

Where should I put my RV pressure regulator? ›

The proper RV water pressure regulator location is between the water source and the freshwater hose. This ensures the pressure is correct before it ever even enters the hose. Simply twist the regulator onto the spigot and connect the other side to the water hose.

What regulator do I need for RV? ›

Your RV most likely requires a two-stage propane regulator. It sits between the tank and the rest of the propane system, and takes the fuel coming from the tank at very high pressure (psi), and adjusts it to a safe and manageable flow.

Which tanks need a pressure regulator? ›

All propane and LP Gas applications require the use of a regulator. Because pressures in propane tanks can fluctuate significantly with temperature, regulators must be present to deliver a steady pressure to downstream appliances.

How much propane pressure does a RV need? ›

RVs are required to have a two-stage regulator. The first stage drops the vapor pressure to approximately 10 to 15 psi, and the second stage further reduces operating pressure to 11 inches of water column.

Are propane tanks heavier when full or empty? ›

Weigh the tank.

Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when empty and hold about 20 pounds of gas. To measure how many pounds of propane are left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale and subtract the TW number.

What happens when propane tank gets below 20? ›

If your propane tank falls below 20 percent full and a cold snap comes to town, you could run out of propane quicker than you think. No propane means no heat in your home. Without heat, your home is uncomfortable and maybe unsafe, too. And you could end up with frozen or burst pipes.

Are 20lb propane tanks high or low pressure? ›

Question-”Is a 20 lb propane tank high or low pressure?” It is 'low pressure' but the pressure is dependent on temperature. A higher pressure will cause the pressure relief valve to actuate.

Can a propane tank go below 20? ›

Letting your propane tank gauge fall below 20% can not only be uncomfortable for you and your family, but it can also be a safety hazard. As your propane level gets low, it is designed to emit a small propane smell. The smell can be equated to the smell of rotten eggs.

How do I know what size gas regulator I need? ›

Here are the seven things you need to know to size your natural gas regulator:
  1. Gas type – What type of gas are you regulating? ...
  2. Inlet and outlet pressure – What is the inlet and desired outlet pressure? ...
  3. Gas flow – What is the gas flow range? ...
  4. Pipe size – What is the pipe size? ...
  5. Altitude – Altitude affects regulator sizing.
28 Jan 2022

Does a 100 pound propane tank need a special regulator? ›

Do I Need To Change Propane Regulator When I Switch To 100 Lb Bottle From 30 Lb You can use the same regulator that you have with a 30 lb or 100 lb tank.

How much propane does it take to heat an RV in the winter? ›

Now if, instead, you're attempting to determine the number of BTUs/hour needed to heat a particular space, keep in mind that the rule of thumb is 1,000 BTUs per linear foot. So, a 40,000 BTU/hour furnace would be sufficient to heat a 40' rig. A 30,000 BTU/hour furnace would be needed to bring adequate heat to a 30' RV.

Why Is My RV not getting propane? ›

Ensure the Propane Detector Inside the Motorhome is On

If there is no power to the solenoid or the propane detector, the solenoid will not open and allow the propane to flow. The most common cause for this is no power to the solenoid or propane detector due to a dead battery or a disconnected or broken wire.

Is it better to run RV fridge on propane or electric? ›

RV refrigerators generally work better on electric than on gas. Electric RV refrigerators are also becoming more common and more popular for reasons other than performance: they're safer, easier to use, more efficient, and they allow for more flexibility and spontaneity when traveling.

When should you use a gas regulator? ›

Gas regulators are needed at both LPG or propane gas fueled appliances and at natural gas fueled appliances to assure a smooth delivery of fuel at the pressure and flow rate required by the heater or appliance.

What is the advantage of using a regulator? ›

The greatest advantage that the linear regulator offers is the ease of use. Because a linear regulator operates when one capacitor each is simply attached to the input and output sides, in substance little design is needed.

What pressure is a 20 lb propane tank? ›

For example, a standard 20-pound propane tank at 70 degrees will have 145 psi internal pressure. That same tank on a 100-degree day will have 172 psi of pressure. Propane pressure levels exceeding 200 psi are likely to trigger a release from the safety relief valve commonly installed on propane storage tanks.

Can you use a gas bottle without a regulator? ›

Gas regulators for LPG bottles are an essential part of an LPG system. Without LPG gas regulators reducing the gas regulator gas pressure, the LPG would be unsafe to use.

Why do I need a regulator with propane? ›

The purpose of the regulator is to control the flow of gas vapor from the container to the burner tip. The regulator ensures safety by providing over-pressure protection, usually by means of a pressure relief device. This is why we often refer to the regulator as the heart of the propane system.

What size of regulator do I need on 20 lb propane tank? ›

The HPC Fire 20 lb Propane Tank Regulator provides a standard gas regulator for propane applications. The regulator has a 100,000 BTU capacity, a 3/8 inch inlet/outlet and can be set between 4 and 12 inches of water column.

What happens when propane regulator fails? ›

If the regulator fails the gas pressure can fluctuate. 2) Improper burning of the fuel is called incomplete combustion. The flame height increases and decreases. The color of the flame changes and can cause sooting.

Why does my propane tank feels full but no gas? ›

The bottle feels heavier and obviously is filled with propane but opening the valve produces no escaping gas. OPD valves are designed so that propane will not flow from the service valve unless it is hooked up to a hose end connection. This is the way the OPD cylinder valve was designed.

What happens when a propane regulator goes out? ›

If a regulator fails to mediate the high gas pressure from the propane tank, it causes the burner to roar and the flame to become inconsistent.

How do I know if my propane regulator is bad on my camper? ›

7 Common Signs of a Bad RV Propane Regulator
  1. Yellow Flames. The flame on any of your propane RV appliances should be a strong blue. ...
  2. Popping Noises. ...
  3. Heavy Soot Deposits. ...
  4. Venting or Leaking Regulator. ...
  5. No Propane Flow. ...
  6. Age. ...
  7. The Automatic Changeover Isn't Functioning.
6 May 2021

What should a propane regulator be set at? ›

10-200 psi in the LP gas storage tank. 0.4 psi at typical residential appliances.

Do all propane tanks have regulators? ›

It does not matter if you have a large propane tank or a small 5 gallon propane cylinder, almost all applications require a pressure regulator.

Why am I not getting gas to my stove in my camper? ›

This is usually due to a dead battery or faulty wiring. So, check your battery and check to make sure power is going to the detector and solenoid. You should frequently test your RV propane detector to ensure it's in good working condition.

Is running out of propane an emergency? ›

Running out of propane is a serious no-no that can cause all kinds of problems — and potential dangers — for you in your propane-powered home.

Do 20 lb propane tanks have regulators? ›

The HPC Fire 20 lb Propane Tank Regulator provides a standard gas regulator for propane applications. The regulator has a 100,000 BTU capacity, a 3/8 inch inlet/outlet and can be set between 4 and 12 inches of water column.

Are all RV propane regulators the same? ›

No, all regulators may perform the same primary function, but the specific types can vary based on the propane system type. First-stage regulators are what you'll find on gas grills, camp stoves, and propane firepits.

How long do propane regulators last? ›

In general, a propane regulator should be replaced every 15 years. However, some manufacturers recommend a replacement every 25 years. If your regulator needs replacing or if you believe it may be faulty, it's incredibly important that you reach out to your propane supplier.

Where do you mount a propane regulator? ›

The regulator safety relief valve (vent opening) should be located not less than 5 feet from any potential source of ignition, opening into any sealed combustion chamber appliance, and be not less than 5 feet from any mechanical ventilation air intake. Regulators are mechanical devices and are subject to wear and tear.

What pressure is propane tank before regulator? ›

LP gas pressures inside a propane tank (before the LP tank regulator) can be much higher than at the gas appliance, anywhere between 100 and 200 psi, which explains why a pressure regulator is needed at the tank (dropping the supply pressure to the range given just above) and a second regulator is used at the appliance ...

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1. The RV Propane Regulator Review -- My RV Works
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2. Replacing A Propane Regulator On Your RV | Auto Changeover Propane Regulator
(Jouppi Outdoors)
3. How to Properly Setup the Dual Propane Tanks on a Camper with Joe Oden
(All Seasons RV)
4. Keep The Tip: Replacing a Propane Regulator in a Motorhome
(Henley's Happy Trails)
5. Motorhome Propane Pressure Regulator: What Is It, How Does It Work?
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6. What does a propane regulator do - and when to replace it
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