Are you hitting the road this summer to see the country from your recreational vehicle?
Before you get behind the wheel, take some time to learn about your vehicle’s propane system. A little knowledge will make it easy to stay safe and have fun this summer. Here’s a rundown from the Propane Education and Research Council.
What should I get checked?
Be sure to get your propane system checked by a certified dealer once a year to ensure everything is working properly and there are no leaks. Older propane tanks should be checked to ensure they have an overfill protection device and working intake and exhaust vents to prevent blockages caused by debris.
It’s important to remember that RVs generally change hands many times. They may be resold, rented, or rebuilt frequently. Previous owners may have modified the propane system by replacing the propane cylinders with a larger one or installing vent protectors, or propane taps for barbecue grills, generators, and other propane appliances. You’ll want to know what modifications have taken place so you can report them when your vehicle is inspected.
What modifications can I make to my propane tank?
You may need to upgrade your RV, but you should not paint propane cylinders, valves, or mounting equipment. Doing so could cover up service issues that could be dangerous if left alone. And painting a cylinder a dark color can make it absorb more sun, causing the gas to expand, which could lead to an explosion.
Can I keep my propane system on while I’m driving?
PERC recommends against it. Though some RV owners drive with the system on to run their air conditioning and keep their refrigerators cold, doing so causes huge risks. During travel, a line can break causing propane to escape into the RV and ignite with the smallest flame.
When you consider that most RV refrigerators can keep groceries cold for hours even when they’re turned off, riding with your system on doesn’t seem worth the risk.
Whatever you decide, be sure to turn off your propane system when refueling, as neglecting to do so can cause large explosions.
Follow these tips and have a great time this season!