You're probably making two bad decisions when it comes to your propane regulator.
1. Leaving your tank valves open during travel, and
2. Not mounting the regulator high enough
Seems harmless to leave valves open, long as you aren't in an accident, right?
I found out the hard way.
If Possible, Don't Travel With Propane Valves Open
If you aren't going too far, maybe 3-4 hours, your propane refrigerator should keep your goods at a decent temperature, and you can turn off your propane tanks to travel.
If you have a residential fridge and a whole-house inverter, no problem. Turn off your propane to travel without worry.
My fridge runs from propane or off 120 volt electricity only. No inverter. If yours runs that way, it's ok to turn them off for a little while.
What happened to my regulator? During travel, the jostling of the road caused liquid propane to jump into the hose lines.
Only propane in gas form is meant to go into the hoses. Liquid propane is not meant to go there.
How did I know liquid was in the lines?
There was moisture in the propane regulator window that shows me if the tank is full or empty.
Only propane in gas form is meant to go into propane hoses. Not liquid propane.
At first I was perplexed.
I wondered “how did water get in there”? Then, naturally, I told Marshall about it.
He informed me it was liquid propane.
It would eventually kill the regulator.
My First Bad Propane Regulator Experience:
May as well mention this one so you don't make the same mistake. My first experience with a bad propane regulator was an anomaly.
That regulator was bad from the start.
Turns out I got a brand and model you want to avoid. It is quite often bad from the start. Don't buy the Camco double-stage auto-changeover regulator, part number 59005.
More on that story HERE.
The Propane Regulator I Killed:
Meantime, I read plenty about how one should turn off the propane tank valves when traveling in case of an accident.
Sounds like a good preventative thing to do.
I didn't religiously close my propane tank valves during travel. And I killed my regulator
But one day I saw liquid in the propane regulator window.
(As you can see in the photo below, it's only supposed to show green or red. It's showing both and has moisture in it.)
Having to replace ANOTHER regulator was enough to train me not to leave it open during travel anymore.
However, in addition to this, if your regulator is not mounted above or close to the top of the propane tank, traveling with tank(s) open can cause liquid propane to get into the lines, causing trouble.
Mine was probably a little low. That has been corrected. (And I just close my tanks now during travel.)
Make sure your regulator is mounted high enough.
Therefore, for the health of your regulator and for safety, it’s best to:
- Turn off your propane tank valves when you are traveling when possible
- Make sure the regulator is mounted above the propane tank outlet
Author: Kelly Beasley
Kelly Beasley is co-founder of Camp Addict and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since May 2015, Kelly's playful writing style helps make learning about the sometimes dull subject of RV products a bit more interesting.