How much does it cost to fill a propane bottle?

In today’s blog post, we will discuss: How much does it cost to fill a propane bottle? We will discuss where you can refill a propane bottle and give you a few tips on how to reduce the costs and the consummation of propane. 

How much does it cost to fill a propane bottle?

Filling a propane bottle tank can cost you between $3 to $5 a gallon, depending on the size of the tank and the place you go for the refill. 

RetailerAverage refill price for a propane tank
Costco$10
Circle K Gas Station$21
Home Depot$25
Gas Station (Shell, Mobil)$28
Lowe’s$23
Kroger$20
Sam’s Club$14
Menards$2~ per gallon
Tractor Supply Plus$2.35 per gallon
True Value$25
U-Haul$17
Walgreen’s$23
Walmart$24

Where can I refill my RV propane bottle?

Your RV propane bottle can be refilled at all propane dealers of the brand concerned. Since the empty bottle must be exchanged for an identical full (same model and same brand), it is essential to find a point of sale selling this type of bottle.

To buy a bottle of butane or propane in the US, all you need to do is go to:

  • in a gas station;
  • in supermarkets;
  • in a DIY store;
  • on the website of a bottled propane supplier or merchant.

When to buy a new propane bottle?

The safest method is to weigh your propane bottle and subtract the full weight from the empty weight. If the weight of the bottle approaches its empty weight, it is because it is advisable to quickly buy a refill of propane bottles as not to run out of fuel;

Domestic installations can include two propane cylinders interconnected by an automatic reversing coupler. When the first bottle empties, switching to a supply from the second bottle is done automatically by the inverter. An indicator then informs that it is the reserve bottle that ensures the propane supply to the installation and that a propane bottle refill must be purchased for its empty main cylinder. Using several propane cylinders in a network rather than just one improves the autonomy of your propane cylinder.

This is the only way to actually transfer propane from one bottle to another. Any other process would pose serious security problems.

Recommendations for the use of propane heaters, fridge and stoves

  • Make sure that the flame of the appliance has a uniform blue colour, without yellowish traces or sparks.
  • Avoid using these devices in places without ventilation. Make sure that the doors have a couple of centimetres of distance from the ground, to facilitate the entry of air. In addition, try to ensure that the room where the appliance is located has windows or slits to the outside of the house, to allow the fumes produced by combustion to escape.
  • Never lock yourself in with a gas stove on. As far as possible, do not locate the heater in the bathroom. If it cannot be changed, keep the window open or create a slit to allow air to enter from the outside.
  • Never connect the heater directly to an LPG cylinder.
  • Also, the heater must have its own stopcock.
  • The heater collar must be hooked on the inside of the second duct to prevent flue gas from escaping into the enclosure.
  • The heater secondary duct must lead to a flue duct that is in good condition.

Recommendations for the handling of propane cylinders

  • The cylinder change must always be carried out with the head valve closed so that the amount of gas released into the atmosphere – harmless and harmless – is minimal.
  • The cylinder change operation should never be carried out near sources of heat or fire, such as lighters, cigars or stoves.
  • Propane and butane gas weigh more than air, so the cylinders, both full and empty, must always be in an upright position.
  • If gas escapes, do not open or close any electrical circuits, as these produce discharges capable of causing a fire or explosion.

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

The average sized-RV heater would use ⅓ of a gallon of propane/hour to heat an RV in the winter. Most RVs use 20 lbs or 30 lbs propane tanks, which would last you for 10, respectively 16 hours of continuous use. We made this list to simplify things and help you understand better how much propane you need in order to stay warm all night:

  • For an 11 lbs tank: 2.6 gallons of propane for 7 hours
  • For a 20 lbs tank:  4.6 gallons of propane for 10.5 hours
  • For a 30 lbs tank: 7 gallons of propane for 16 hours
  • For a 40 lbs tank: 9.4 gallons of propane for 21.5 hours.
  • For a 100 lbs tank: 25 gallons of propane for 84 hours.

Tips to reduce the costs and reduce propane consumption in an RV

Propane is a necessity for most campers and RV owners, it’s one of the biggest budgets when going on vacation. To save propane, try some of these tips:

  • Refill instead of exchanging it: When you run out of propane, you have the choice of refilling your bottle or exchanging it for a new one. Refilling is a great way to save money, as it is usually the most affordable option. However, keep in mind that all cylinders have an expiration date, so always exchange them on time. Also, exchange your bottle if you notice any damage or malfunction.
  • Plan preventive maintenance: A damaged bottle can be expensive. The best way to avoid possible damage is to perform regular visual inspections of your cylinder, both during operation and while filling.
  • Insulate your RV: If you use propane to heat your RV it is time to properly insulate it. Pay special attention to areas where cold air may enter, such as around doors and windows. The better your motorhome is insulated, the less fuel you will consume to heat it, and the less problem your refrigerator will have to keep cold.

Final thoughts

Since we are talking about propane bottles, we must also talk about RV propane tank safety and inspections. First, your tanks must be strong enough to hold the pressure required to keep propane in a liquid state. Dents, rust, scratches, gouges, and weakened valve connectors can be potential points for propane leaks under pressure.

Accordingly, you should have your tanks inspected periodically by a propane gas supplier licensed by the Railroad Commission. Some RV dealers have their supplier inspected where they have their tanks filled, but some RV dealers are also qualified to perform tank inspection and inspect the entire propane system of your RV. 

Please get in contact if you have any questions, comments or tips on the subject.

FAQ on How much does it cost to fill a propane bottle?

Is it legal to drive an RV with propane on?

While it is not illegal to drive an RV with propane on, you must take some safety precautions and consider the possible risks:

  1. Propane is a flammable gas
  2.  And also its inhalation is toxic to the body.

Is there a battery operated propane detector?

Yes, there are plenty of battery-operated propane detectors. Some of the popular models are from Kidde, First Alert and Geardon. 

How long do RV LP gas detectors last?

RV LP detectors should last between 5 and 7 years. Most LP gas detectors have the expiration date printed on the front. Don’t ignore it!

Does a carbon monoxide detector detect propane?

No, a carbon monoxide detector cannot detect propane, but CO.  Every RV must have a working propane leak detector placed inside the RV!

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