You're probably making two bad decisions when it comes to your propane regulator.
- Leaving your tank valves open during travel
- Not mounting the regulator high enough
Seems harmless to leave valves open, long as you aren't in an accident, right?
Turns out, I discovered this the hard way and ended up with a bad regulator. Consequently, I no longer travel with my propane tank valves open. (This is also safer in the event you are in an accident).
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.
Additionally, if you have a residential fridge and a whole-house inverter, no problem. You can turn off your propane to travel without worry.
My absorption fridge runs from propane or 120 volt electricity only. (I don't have a house inverter.) If yours runs that way, it's ok to turn them off for a little while.
That said, what happened to my regulator?
During travel, the jostling of the road caused liquid propane to jump into the regulator 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 also 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.
Read the entire story about the propane regulator you don't want to buy.
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 simply close my tanks now during travel.)
All in all, 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
Do these things and you won't prematurely be the cause of death of your regulator.
Author: Kelly Beasley
I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.