Is it legal to drive an RV with propane on?

In this article, we will discuss: Is it legal to drive an RV with propane on? We will share some recommendations for the use of propane appliances in an RV. We will also discuss the risks involved if you drive an RV with propane on. 

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.

It is necessary to be very careful when using this energy source, as it has been proven that most gas accidents are associated with carelessness on the part of those affected. Precautions should be focused on avoiding gas leaks in closed places, in order to avoid a possible explosion or poisoning by inhalation.

With the use of propane appliances, the same precautions are necessary, especially in places where there is insufficient ventilation. With the combustion of gas, the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the environment can be fatal. It is essential to use these devices in places that have ventilation routes to permanently renew the air.

These are some general precautions to take if driving an RV with propane on:

  • Installation: only an authorized installation company can make or modify a gas installation.
  • Anomalies: if anomalies are detected in the installation or in any device, the manufacturer’s technical service or an installation company must be notified so that they can correct it as soon as possible.
  • Checks: An authorized installer must check all gas installations and appliances periodically.
  • Precautions: in prolonged absences, it is advisable to close the house gas stopcock.
  • Combustion: the good state of the flame (stable and blue) ensures that good combustion is taking place. Prevent the flame from going out while cooking. If the smoke from the flame stains the pans, it is time to notify the appliance manufacturer’s technical service, as it is a sign of poor combustion.

Recommendations to avoid propane leaks in an RV

At least once a year, ask an authorized installer to carry out maintenance on the interior installations and gas appliances. The ideal is to do an internal cleaning of stoves, kitchens and heaters, whose ducts can be blocked by the accumulation of dirt. This can be verified by observing the flame of the appliances: if it shows yellow or red features and crackles, cleaning becomes mandatory.

Be careful with the connection of the regulator to the cylinder; it is necessary to verify if this procedure was correctly carried out at the time. Never use any type of hose in the connections other than those officially certified in the connections, as they will not have enough resistance for gas installations.

Never use sharp tools, such as knives or scissors, to remove the safety seal from the cylinders, as they may be damaged and gas may leak.

Recommendations if you detect propane odour in your RV

  1. Immediately open all the doors and windows that there are, to ventilate.
  2. Close the controls of gas appliances
  3. Then close the general stopcock
  4. Do not carry out any action that produces sparks: do not turn on the light or any electrical appliance for any reason.
  5. Do not make phone calls, since today’s telephone sets are electronic and can generate small arcs of current and sparks.
  6. After ventilating, contact professionals to find and repair the gas leak.

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.

Can I use my RV fridge while driving?

Considering that your Rv fridge runs on propane, you may be wondering how safe it is to drive with the propane on. 

Most propane suppliers recommend turning off all gas appliances and the tank valve while the vehicle is in motion.

The risks of operating the refrigerator while towing include fires and explosions, something you don’t want to put yourself at risk for.  If you are in an accident or if a tire explodes, the gas lines running under the camper could rupture and leak. Propane could get trapped in a storage compartment or cavity under the RV.

All that is needed is an ignition source to start a fire or cause an explosion. This could happen during the accident or shortly after. If you hit something like truck tire retreaders, which are all over the road, you could possibly hit the gas line and you might not even notice your propane leaking until it is crawling on fire.

Other risks, but at least one that is not life-threatening, include the refrigerator not working very well while driving. This could result in melted ice cream, a complete disaster for my family, and food spoiling while on the road. 

Conclusions and final advice

If you choose to run your refrigerator on propane while driving, remember that the law requires that you stop and turn off all gas appliances before entering a service station. This means that you must do so even before approaching the pump. Therefore, before you get to the gas station, you need to find a safe place to stop and put out the flame, then drive to the gas station.

Then once you get out of the gas station, you need to find another safe place to stop and turn the propane back on. Too much risk and hassle if you ask me. You may also need to turn it off before entering the tunnels or boarding a ferry.

What do you think? Would it be safe to drive an RV with propane on? Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments about this issue.

FAQ on Is it legal to drive an RV with propane on?

How dangerous is gas from an RV refrigerator?

The oils and gases of any RV refrigerator remain inside and in its tank, despite the fact that it is already an old fashioned one. These chemicals damage the ozone layer. Even keeping a useless refrigerator at home is dangerous, as a leak could trigger a tragedy, such as a fire or explosion.

What is the name of the gas that the refrigerator uses?

Modern refrigerators, instead of Freon, use a refrigerant called HFC-134a 1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane, which does not break down ozone but is a greenhouse gas regulated by the Kyoto Protocol.

Should I leave my RV refrigerator on all the time?

You don’t need to leave your RV fridge on all the time. This will not extend its life. However, before going on a camping trip, you must turn on your RV refrigerator within 24 hours. This will allow your refrigerator to cool down in time for your trip.


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