how to check the propane level in your rv or motorhome

rv propane

Running out of propane whilst you’re cooking or during the coldest night of the year is something you definitely want to avoid. Having a working gas supply is something you may start taking for granted, but checking your propane levels in your RV is something worth getting into the habit of to avoid potential problems in the future.

Personally, I always feel much safer when I know my propane tank and system is full and all working properly.

In this handy guide, I outline how I check my RV propane levels, as well as some things to consider if you think you’ve got a propane leak and what to do about it.

How to Check Your RV Propane Levels

To check the propane level in the tank, follow this procedure:

  • Unscrew tail pipe( straight tube coming from side of RV) from RV and find screw clamp on the underside of the RV tank.
  • Place the screw clamp on this tail pipe and off the RV tank and screw it open so that there is a clear path.
  • Now unscrew the other end and find screw clamp and open it so that there is a clear path.
  • Now attach the two clamps to the tail pipe of the RV and unscrew the clamp on the RV tank so that there is a clear path for the propane to flow.
  • Close up the clamps now.
  • Open RV tank fill valve to RV tank by pulling lever
  • You should be able to see the knob indicating propane levels. It may indicate in pounds or can show as low, medium or high depending on propane.
  • This indicates how much propane you have left in the RV.

Tips When Checking Your Propane Tank

Begin checking your propane levels by locating a small green propane tank outside of your trailer. If you have the RV valve closed in the grey propane clip, you will need to open the black valve on the small container. Turn so that the brass propane fitting is at the top. Remove the propane connection from the trailer fitting.

Pull out the hose to the full length when you’re done so it is clear to reinsert it. Next, open the RV valve at the top by pulling the lever down to the open position. Movement of the leak detector knob indicates propane levels and any type of pressure changes will make the knob move. Turn the knob to the right or left to see the pressure levels in a range from 45 pounds to 100 pounds. The fuel weighs 270 pounds per square foot.

If you’re still experiencing gas shortages, then you’ll need to use the thread lockers under the RV and turn the corresponding knob. They turn 180 degrees to the left. Make sure they’re tightened with the proper wrench. Close their trailer valve and open the threaded clamp to disconnect the trailer from the RV. Allow enough time for the gas line to decompress with the clamp still found on the trailer.

Warning: Gasoline may reach explosive pressure if a valve leaks. The fuel is heavier than air and spills accumulate around vents and cracks. Do not smoke, operate an open flame on vehicle or within 15 feet of gas line.

If after following these steps you’re still experiencing pressure changes, then you may need to contact the company from where you acquired your RV.

Shut off tank valve, remove hose, close large tank shutoff, open the Rv fitting and read the knob for 40lbs.

Hard to state this without a picture, or the RV in question, but in general you can check your propane levels by making sure you have the fuel line in at the RV end, and open the valve on the tanker to the fullest extent, then close the RV valve at the top to read the pressure on the gauge. It should display the pressure in either pounds, or as ‘low’, ‘medium’, or ‘high’ depending on the propane, and you can tell by looking at the position of the empty green knob. If the tank is running low and you need to refill it, the other end should be connected to a hose or canister in the ground.

How Do You Know If Your Propane Tank is Leaking?

When it comes to any sort of gas leak, it’s worth getting an expert to examine your RV or motorhome. As a general rule though, if the container valve is shut off, no leaks should occur (unless it is the valve itself that is faulty!)

Leak detection fluid (or even just using soapy water) can help you identify where a leak is. If you see bubbles on any part of a tube, it means gas could also be coming out of that tube, helping suggest what needs fixing.

It however, worth highlighting again, the importance of using an accredited technician who can help resolve any issues with your propane tank or system. It is simply not worth taking the risks!