How to Connect a Propane Tank to an RV

How to Connect a Propane Tank to an RV
Many recreational vehicles use propane gas for a number of things, ranging from cooking on a stove to heating water. Because of this heavy usage, most recreational vehicles can accommodate two propane tanks at once. These tanks are almost always located on the exterior of the RV but are secured to the vehicle so they won't get rattled excessively and come loose. Propane tanks are usually easy to install; you only need to replace the old tank with the new and make sure all the connections are sealed.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Inspect the outside of your RV and determine whether propane is attached to the vehicle vertically or horizontally. If the connections are vertical, your tank requires a DOT cylinder. Horizontal attachments require ASME tanks.
Step 2
Purchase a new tank from a gas station, auto or RV shop, or use an old one, if you have one on the RV. It is preferable to use ones you already own if you can, since you know where it has been and how it has been used.
Step 3
Set the tank into the cradle -- the metal compartment used for the RV -- and screw the propane connector and hose onto the nozzle of the propane tank. Make sure this is a very tight fit -- you may want to use a wrench to ensure the connection is as tight as possible, to prevent leaking.
Step 4
Tie or latch any straps to give the tank additional support.
Step 5
Turn the valve on top of the propane tank slowly to the right and let gas flow into the hose. Listen for a hissing sound; if you hear one, you either have a loose connection or a crack in the hose that needs replacing.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure the RV is empty before you start changing out propane tanks.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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