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The RV Propane Regulator You Should Not Buy

PublishedJanuary 29, 2018

So here's how it started... I stored my travel trailer for about a month at Sam's Family Spa near Palm Springs California.

(For your information, Sam's Family Spa has the cheapest RV storage in the area.) 

Eager to live again in my little home, I drove to pick it up. I unpacked my suitcase and brought in my groceries.  

I opened my RV propane valve on top of the propane tanks, aaaaand, as life can be a  butthole sometimes, the red propane flow indicator did not turn to green.


(I have an RV propane automatic changeover regulator. This shows when one tank is empty with a green or red indicator.)

Huh. So I switched to the other tank. Still red. This wasn't good.

The Diagnosis

Being alone at the time, I had no choice but to do my own RV propane regulator troubleshooting.

After investigating the issue and collecting information off the internet, I decided my RV propane regulator was bad.  

A new connection was needed. 

How Did I Investigate My Propane Issue?

Here's what I did to diagnose and investigate.

First, I tried switching over and using/opening both tanks. Neither one of them worked. Yes, both cylinders were full and they were also brand-new. No empty cylinder.

Next, I connected the regulator to the spare portable propane cylinder I use for my Buddy heater.

The new connection also didn't work for my propane tanks. Then I tried lighting my propane gas stove.

Nothing was passing through the gas lines. (When it's working properly, you can hear the gas coming through if you listen closely.) 

If no air/gas is passing through, you either don't have your connector hooked up to your propane tanks properly, your propane valve isn't open, or your RV propane regulator is bad. 

The First Propane Regulator Fix

As soon as I could, I bopped down the road to get a new, albeit very overpriced RV two stage propane regulator replacement for my two tanks.

I needed my propane tanks working that day, as I had groceries to chill and I was headed out to boondock. (Naturally) 

Amazon wasn't going to ship a camper propane regulator fast enough for my needs.

After buying one locally that was about $40 over what it would have cost on Amazon, I INSTALLED THE CONNECTION MYSELF!

Shocking, yes. Desperate times call for desperate measures... 

Camco propane regulator box

This is the actual box. Yes, $63.98 before tax. RRR!

This made it especially annoying when I went back inside to try my stove, and...

...still no propane gas coming through. 

Another indicator that the line is pressured is that you can USUALLY hear the propane gas flow a little into the line when you open the propane valve on top of the propane bottle. In my case, this was not happening, either.

Super annoyed that I had just wasted my time replacing it, I knew there must be another problem.

And it was beyond my 'expertise'.

The Second Propane Regulator Fix

I hopped on the internet- looking for someone to fix it before the end of the day.

I finally found Benlo RV/motorhome repair in Irwindale, Ca.

They were on my way to Borrego Springs, and they were quite helpful on the phone.

I would just barely get there towing my house before they closed! Off I went. 

Install Per Manufacturer's Instructions

When installing a propane regulator to your propane gas tanks, make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Most likely they will tell you to install the regulator above, or very close to, the top of your propane gas tanks.

You want the regulator to be above the level of propane, keeping in mind that when full, a propane tank isn't completely full.

They only fill to about 80% capacity or so, allowing for expansion of the gas pressure if the bottle heats up due to being in the sun, etc.

You will also most likely be told to install the regulator's vent pointing down.

And The Problem Was... (Drumroll please)

The technician I spoke to on the phone took ONE LOOK at my RV propane regulator and knew what the problem was.

Him: "Yeah, that's a bad RV propane regulator". 

Me: 'WHAT? How can you tell? No, it's brand new, it can't be bad!'

Him: "Yep- we've seen this with this brand time and time again"

How could a brand new product be bad?

But because they were so sure of it, and because I was out of other options, I agreed to try a new one. 

They didn't have an RV dual-tank propane regulator, but they had a single one, which would hold me over.

So I said go for it.

I wish they would have allowed me to install it because I ended up paying them about $50 for installation, which I could have easily done.

But I was so happy to just have it remedied, I didn't complain. 

The cost for this RV gas regulator plus installation was the same price as the dud regulator part I purchased.

About $70. This turned into a $140 repair.

Should have been about $35, if I had had time to order from Amazon, AND didn't receive a dud. 

BIG DEBATE! Propane On Or Off When Driving?

This is a greatly debated topic among RVers.

Do you turn the propane gas off at the bottle(s) when traveling, or do you keep it on so that your propane refrigerator can stay cool?

Bottom line is for safety's sake, and to keep your propane regulator happy, turn your propane tank(s) off.

Having said that, many people travel with the propane gas on.

A few things to consider when leaving it on:

Refrigeration Considerations: Are you traveling far/long enough to justify the risk involved with driving with propane turned on? Or will your fridge maintain its cold temperature while you are on the road?

Short distances/times generally don't require the fridge to be on as they can maintain cool enough temps for a period. Use a fridge temp gauge to learn how well your fridge keeps cool in situations like this.

Propane Line Damage: Know where your propane lines run down the length of your RV. One of the concerns of traveling with propane on is that the propane lines can be damaged by road debris being kicked up or if you experience a tire blowout.

If your propane lines are tucked up inside the chassis or frame and are protected from such occurrences, then these types of risks are minimized (but may never be eliminated).

Regulator Failure: Driving causes propane tank movement. This can cause liquid propane to enter the lines that feed the propane gas regulator. Propane regulators are only supposed to 'accept' propane in a gas state. Liquid propane entry can eventually destroy the regulator.

Camp Addict Marshall has been driving with his propane on for close to 5 years and is still on his original propane gas regulator. Camp Addict Kelly had a propane gas regulator that needed replacing in less than a year due to liquid propane finding its way inside. Your mileage will vary.

What's The Verdict?

If you are confident that your propane gas lines are protected from potential damage they might be subjected to while driving your RV, you could consider leaving them on.

(Just remember that most propane lines will never be 100% protected from all possible causes of damage.)

Your regulator still may suffer if liquid propane gets into them.

If you are unsure and/or just like to err on the side of caution, drive with your propane off.

This is truly the smartest thing to do. When in doubt, just travel with your propane off!

The Offending RV Propane Regulator

So what's the offending bad quality RV regulator brand? It's the:

 Camco double-stage auto-changeover regulator, part number 59005.

Camco 59005 RV propane regulator

(Part number only comes on the packaging, not on the item itself.)

The back of this particular gas regulator says model AC201.

I called Camco, and the representative didn't have much to say/didn't know about the reason for the number on the back.)

Its reviews on Amazon have good quality, and the 'fake spot' detector gives the page an A rating.

Still, this shop worker knew right off the bat that the regulator was bad because he's seen the same issue before with this brand.

He was right. We replaced it with a quality gas regulator and it worked just fine. 

The Regulators Kelly Installed

While we have yet to review propane regulators on Camp Addict, we can tell you what regulators ended up being installed on Kelly's rig.

The RV shop that helped Kelly out didn't have a dual-bottle regulator in stock.

They ended up installing a Marshall Excelsior MEGR-230 single-stage propane pressure regulator that takes the input from a single propane bottle at a time.

This meant having to unscrew the pigtail from the empty bottle and screw it into the full bottle every time a bottle needed to be switched.

In other words, there was no automatic switchover of bottles.

Problem is that this particular model of Marshall Excelsior propane regulator isn't approved for RV use.

It's a single-stage regulator while RVs require 2-stage regulators. 

The high quality single bottle regulator we list below is a 2-stage Marshall Excelsior regulator (part number MEGR-291H, the 'H' stands for high capacity) is approved for RV use.

Marshall had purchased the exact same high quality unit that came on his rig from the Lance RV factory: a Fairview 2-stage propane regulator, as a spare.

He opted to purchase the one that came with two new pigtails (the parts that screw into the propane bottles) because having new propane hoses is a good thing.

This Fairview RV propane regulator features auto changeover capability.

This means when one RV tank is empty, it will automatically switch over to the other tank (assuming the other tank has propane in it).

Marshall Excelsior MEGR-291H RV propane regulator

Single Tank Marshall Excelsior Regulator

Fairview GR-9984 RV propane regulator

2-Tank Fairview Regulator

Because he is such a nice guy (says Marshall... ), Marshall installed his newly purchased spare propane regulator on Kelly's rig.

This way she could have her two propane bottles hooked up at one time, and take advantage of the automatic switchover feature.  

Fingers crossed that this newly installed quality regulator is trouble-free for years to come. *We will keep you updated if otherwise.

*UPDATE 2/7/19- The Fairview regulator failed to show proper changeover in January.

It was stuck in between green and red.  Why? 

Well, Kelly often travels without turning off her RV propane tanks. Why is this bad?

According to the manufacturer, the jostling that happens when driving can cause LIQUID propane to get up into the propane lines of the regulator if left open.

The regulator is not designed to receive liquid propane, only gas propane. 

We could see what we thought was condensation inside the switchover green/red section and thought water was inside. Instead, it was propane.

Liquid propane in propane regulator

 This is another good reason to turn off your RV propane tank valves when traveling.

 We sent the failed regulator back and we were happy that they sent us a new one after inspecting the failed regulator. Lesson learned! We still consider this one of the best RV propane regulators out there. 


So that's my personal story about this particular RV propane regulator.

I won't buy the same Camco propane regulator ever again.

Will it work for you? Possibly.

Still, I got a reportedly 'known' bum product, and don't want to make the same mistake again.

I thought I would share my misfortune with you. 

Kelly's RV propane tanks with single tank regulator

It's not pretty, but it works!

What is the best RV propane regulator replacement?

Unfortunately, we can't tell you just yet as we haven't reviewed any RV regulators.

Still, what we CAN tell you is that we had one not work, and an RV shop told us that they have seen this issue more than once with the Camco double-stage auto-changeover propane regulator, model 59005.

At this point, you will have to decide for yourself if you want to purchase this RV gas regulator or not. 

One Last Propane Regulator Tip...

If you have an RV propane regulator in your RV that runs your refrigerator or your furnace, it's a good idea to carry around a spare propane regulator for RV if you camp in rural areas.

This way, if yours dies, you have something on hand to replace it with so you don't lose all your groceries! 

Or avoid freezing your butt off on a cold night. 

Thanks for reading, and Camp On, Addicts!

Kelly Headshot

He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona. 

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  • I’ve wasted money on a few of those Camco regulators because that’s what Camping World near me sells; they last 2-3 years for me.
    That’s interesting about the regulator needing to be above the propane level. On my 95 Dutchmen, the regulator is mounted about 4 inches below the tank valves. To move it higher, I’ll have to do some welding to extend the mounting bracket higher. Stupid design.
    Now I know how to have a longer-lasting regulator. Thank you

    • Hey Steve,

      Funny. Kelly and I were just looking at her propane regulator setup again and noticing how it isn’t fully above the level of the propane. I think most, if not all, RVs are setup this way. So while in theory you should have the propane regulator above the tank outlets, in practice this isn’t practical.

      Like you said, stupid design. Once again a case of it should really be done one way, yet RV manufacturers choose to do it a different way.

      My propane regulator is also sitting lower than I’d like and there is no practical way to move it up. Yet I’ve never had a problem. Go figure.

      Thanks for the comment! And hopefully you will have better luck with a non-Camco propane regulator.

  • It’s actually illegal (not to mention extremely dangerous) to use a non-ASME rated propane tank while in motion. If you travel with your propane tank valves open on a DOT tank, you are breaking federal law and putting yourself and the traveling public in danger.

    This is why Class A motorhomes come with ASME-rated underbelly tanks and not gas grill tanks; propane accessories in the motorhome can be used by passengers while in motion. Since travel trailers cannot be occupied while in motion, they can use DOT tanks, but they MUST be closed while in motion.

    • Hi CamperGuru,

      While we agree the best practice is to always turn off DOT propane tanks during travel, we respectfully disagree that it’s against federal law to travel with them open. (It’s against the law to travel through some tunnels with open tanks. But we are talking about traveling on open roads with tank valves open.)

      States seem to have their own laws/regulations, and even those are hard to find. The best we found was this post from GoodSam. Even GS states at the top of the post that they don’t guarantee accuracy, and it seems to be a state-by-state thing. Not a federal/overall rule.

      We realize that we are human, and that we could be wrong about the federal law part. We simply cannot find that information anywhere. We would love it if you CAN provide us and other readers here with a link to/proof that it’s illegal and against federal law to travel with them open. We want to be correct in our information. If we are wrong about this, we need to know and want our readers to know as well. We will also amend the blog post as needed if we are wrong.

      Thanks, we look forward to your reply!

    • Hi Scott,

      In order to know what you are speaking of specifically, we need more information, please. What type of valve? What is it being used for? Why do you want to remove it? Please advise so we can better understand what you are talking about and where you are coming from.

  • My new travel trailer came with a Fairview regulator and it leaked from the word “go”. Should have been checked at the factory or dealership, but we didn’t discover it for months and unnecessarily went through several tanks of propane as it was very cold weather and we thought the furnace was using it. It was a Fairview regulator. I had it replaced under warranty with a Marshall regulator. I have heard that several other owners of new travel trailers like mine have had problems with their Fairview regulators.

  • Been through 2 CAMCO regulators in 2 seasons on my popup. Never again. Ordered a Marshall Excelsior, and a MB Sturgis for backup.

  • Great advice…! Thank you very much. But important that you know how to hook up external propane tank to RV so that you will have more than enough propane for your needs. Fortunately, it is quite easy to connect external propane tanks to the system in your travel trailer or recreational vehicle. Is that right?

    • What exactly do you mean by ‘external propane tank’? Something other than the normal external propane tanks that a travel trailer would have?

  • I’m an RV mobile tech. I really like the megr-253 dual stage automatic changeover regulator. They are well worth the money and I’ve never seen one fail.

    • Thanks for the input, Gary! Always great to hear from someone who has a lot more experience on a subject matter than myself.

  • About 3 miles east of Sam’s on Dillion Rd, Sky Valley area, also fyi, when opening a propane tank valve, open it slowly at first, news valves have a check valve that will stop flow if flow is excessive. When charging an empty pipe this can happen if valve is opened to quickly.

    • Hi Mike,

      What is 3 miles east of Sam’s?

      Great point on the speed at which to open a propane tank valve. While I’ve never had this happen, and I’m not particularly careful, I’ve never had the flow valve kick in.

      I imagine one would have to turn the valve pretty quickly for that to happen, and most valves aren’t that ‘free and easy’ to turn at a high rate of speed.

    • Hi William,

      Yeah, all the jostling of the drive can cause gas to get into places where it shouldn’t, causing early failure of the regulator.

      I turn mine off on moving days as well.

      May your new one last a long time! Thank you for the comment. : )

  • Thank camp addict for you information on the regulator very helpful. Just a note when you didn’t have time for the Amazon buy a local supplier had it and it was higher. Most Amazon buy don’t have a brick and mortar operation the cost is a direct reflection of cost to have that product and many others at your disposal sitting on a shelf it was unfortunate that it didn’t work why didn’t you go back and return it saving you the other part and labor?
    Finally note Amazon is nice to have but it can destroy whole industry a true Rv parts store has the trained staff and a wide range of products and yes they are there to make money. Let’s keep main street alive and local retailers going don’t you think Jeff Bezos has enough.

    • Hi Thomas,

      Kelly didn’t return the defective propane regulator because we are full-time RVers constantly on the move. By the time it was discovered as a faulty regulator, she was far away from where she purchased it. The time and cost to backtrack was not worth it.

  • I’m in the business and have been dealing with these regulators for years. If you stick with the following brands you will be in good shape. Marshall, Marshall Excelsior, Rego, MEC. As for the types of regulators, they are correct when they say single stage regulators can’t be used, these are for gas grills and such. Any regulator designed to introduce gas into and rv, cater truck or building must be 2-stage minimum. If you go to your local Propane Company, and I mean an actual gas company not someone that just fills cylinders or sells rv parts, you will get it right every time.

  • I just looked at that Marshall single stage regulator on Amazon and it says not for RV use. Really not sure why. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Bryan,

      Thanks for pointing that out! I just assumed that since an RV parts store sold Kelly that Marshall single stage regulator that it was approved for RV use. We all know what happens when we assume…

      I consulted the Marshall Excelsior RV catalog and found a single tank regulator that is approved for RV use. It appears that in order to be ‘RV safe’ a propane regulator has to be 2-stage.

      I’ve updated this blog post to reflect the new Marshall Excelsior single tank RV propane regulator.

      Thanks again!

  • Kelly, I read your story with great interest. I am currently trying to replace the 10 year old LPG regulator on my boat, it still works, but parts of it is eaten away by salty water . The one I have looks like Marshall MEGR-230. from its model number it holds 300 PSI.
    Do you think this model is suitable to be used on a boat?

    • Hi Barker,

      We aren’t boat people so we don’t know if there are any differences between the propane regulators used on a boat and what is used in the RV world. But if the part numbers match, one would assume they are the same unit. So check out the part number on what you have (assuming you can find it) and go from there.

      If you can’t find a part number, then possibly a boating website or forum would be the place to figure out what regulator is best for your situation.

    • Barker this is propane gas don’t screw around with a may be I’m a boater check with a local marine cross check with the manufacturer and for dam sure turn off the propane when moving. Another reason to turn off the propane is that when the frig is on propane there’s a open flame to get the frig to work its that flame can and does catch the the frig compartment on fire so turn off the propane. With over 20 years in the RV business and boat industry. And a full time RV for 13 years. I see alot of crap and miss information. Good luck on the road and water.

  • Would there be any benefit to using two single stage regulators to a “T” fitting, the to a single supply line? Both bottles are fitted with fuel gauges that are accurate.

    • Hi Larry,

      Good question. I have no clue since propane systems aren’t my expertise.

      I assume you’d turn one bottle on at a time? Might be some issues if you try and have them both on at once.

      This setup sounds unnecessarily complicated. A single regulator with two inputs, one output, and a switchover has worked well for me for over 5 years with zero issues. And that’s full-time use.

      The last thing I need is more ‘stuff’ hanging on the tongue of my rig, getting in the way as I remove propane bottles to refill, etc.

      I like the out of the box thinking on this one. I just think it’s trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist (as long as you have a quality pressure regulator to start with).

    • I’m no expert on propane systems, so I’m not sure what this might be an indication of. Might be an indication of too much propane pressure at the stove, but I really don’t know.

      All propane appliances require a certain amount of pressure at their inlet (measured in inches of water column). Outside of this range, they might not operate correctly.

      Do the other propane appliances work correctly? This would be an indicator of if there is a stove issue or a propane supply issue.

      You might want to consult a certified RV technician if you cannot easily identify the problem, or are otherwise not comfortable working on propane systems.

  • After reading all these reviews I feel very fortunate. I installed the Camco model that everyone is having problems with in March 2016. My wife and are retired and live in our RV. (Which is 3 yrs old time to trade in for new) Have had fridge, along with h2o heater,furnace all on propane with no issues. Fyi my wife loves to bake goodies (with AC on). Maybe I purchased this one before guality issues developed. Feeling lucky.

    • That’s great to hear. They don’t ALL fail, and you may have yours set up properly taboot, which should help.

      Some have their regulator placed below the input into the propane tanks. If the tanks are left ‘open’ during travel, the liquid propane can get from inside the tanks into the regulator, which they aren’t made for and can cause a failure.

      We hope it keeps on working for you, and Camp On!

    • Hi Helen,

      Thank you for the kudos! And we hope you didn’t have (or aren’t going to get) that particular propane regulator. Can’t believe I bought the one known lemon! LOL! Have a great summer!

  • So I have a 2016 Springdale by Keystone. Furnace and hot water tank light. Stove does not. All ready changed the regulator on the stove – same issue. 31.00 out the window. Any suggestions???

    • Hey Stan,

      Sorry to hear about the propane issues you are having with your stove. I’d start by looking at the troubleshooting section of your stove’s manual, if you haven’t already. If it isn’t any help, you might want to reach out to a certified RV technician to see if they can either give you any pointers or fix the problem.

      Best of luck and Camp On!

  • Just for sh**s and giggles I will add my two cents. This is info I have gleaned due to having the same type of problem with LP regulators. I have been told by Camco to mount the regulator above the vapor line to keep liquid propane from entering regulator. That makes sense, but the Coach manufacturer did not abide by that rule. Secondly, I was told to turn propane valve on slowly to prevent check valve from actuating from the rush of propane gas.
    Hope this helps. I am in the process of remounting my regulator high above the gas vapor level to prevent a recurrence of liquid propane in the reg.
    Have safe travels

    • Hey Bill,

      Thanks for your two cents!

      We do mention the bit about installing above propane level, but not the part about opening the valve slowly. That’s a great point!

      While I’ve never personally experienced the check valve from shutting down things because the propane was turned on too fast (and I don’t do it slowly), this is definitely in most troubleshooting checklists of why propane isn’t flowing.

      Great point about how RV manufacturers don’t follow the ‘mount above propane level’ rule. Lance certainly didn’t on my trailer, but it’s yet to be an issue after 5 years of full-time use with the original regulator. Knock on wood!

      Thanks again and Camp On!

  • I got a Cavagna Kosan 924N, when turn to right, it always show red, even after I change a new tank! I tried with 2 new tanks, there’s propane out no matter left or right. Bought a new one, Marshall Excelsior MEGR-253, look normal now. But my Atwood water heater still not ignite.

    • Hi George,

      We’re glad to hear that replacing the propane regulator seems to have fixed the tank change indicator issue. We suggest you contact an RV technician to look at why your water heater won’t ignite.

      • Ha, I checked the electronic circuit and gas, all look normal, but no spark, I cleaned the spark probes and adjust the distance, now they sparked as before, also I adjust the air mix gap to burn gas totally. Now it came back. Will order a spark parts for spare.

    • Hey George I had same issue with water heater. I could hear and smell gas but no “tic tic” sound for ignition. It was the circuit board. Local RV place had a spare for 100 I think. Easy swap out with tools.

      • Yes, I sand the front head and adjust the distance and works now, but I order a spare part from eBay, but I’m wondering to change to a tankless heater 🙂

    • Hey Gregg,

      Definitely good advice! However, sometimes changing out a regulator can be a bit of a PITA. Just today I switched out Kelly’s regulator and that wasn’t what I’d classify as fun. So to switch one out to just check to see if it works, then have to put the original one back on, can get a bit time consuming. Maybe have a couple of spares in case one is bad from the word go? I’m only half kidding. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment and Camp On!

  • I have replaced 3 of the camco 59005 two stage, two tank, auto-changeover regulatiors in 6 years of 7-8 months per year of full-time RVing (nearly full-time). In every case the problem was the crimp on one or the other of the 2 stage assemblies leaking a fair amount of propane. That seems a bit nuts to me. I even took one of them and re-staked, with a chisel each of the crimps on each of their respective marks. It did not stop the leak. The last one to fail was just at 364 days old since I ordered it from Amazon, so they refunded the price I paid, paid for return UPS shipping to them for the bad unit, and I already had a spare waiting for the next one to fail. Again. Perhaps the cure is to just make sure you have a spare, and always buy from Amazon given their great customer service.

    • Hi Bart-

      Agreed- it’s just a good idea to have an extra one on hand regardless of which brand you have. My current replacement already has an issue- the red/green indicator letting me know if a tank is full or empty no longer works. It’s just stuck in one position. I can live with this, but I do have a spare on hand in the event it fails to disperse propane properly.

      Thank you for your input, Bart, and Camp On!

  • I purchased the same Camco dual regulator on June 30, 2018. Failed today September 8, 2018. Same symptoms, no gas going through regulator. Unfortunately this is the only brand regulator available around here. So buy the bum regulator and order another on line to install when the second new one fails. ?

  • Fairview has locations province wide, not just in the states. If you are tired of an expensive and/or inadequate water regulator check our Fairview’s 55 psi water regulator regulator. Sometimes you just can’t afford to buy cheap

  • The original 10yr+-year-old Fairview regulator started to act up on my 2006 Fleetwood Santa (the clue it was the regulator: the refrigerator worked just fine on 120 V or 12 V but would struggle to cool on propane, and flame flicker / pulsating on the stove). So I ordered the Camco dual-stage (single bottle) regulator (which annoyingly only came with two retaining screws instead of the four that are required), and I was happy to have a functioning LP fridge again. At least for one year. First time out on the second year and we went from low flow to no flow by the second day. Could not get a RV regulator so I bought a BBQ regulator which is a high pressure regulator but it worked to get us through our trip. Here’s the thing, I tried to run the fridge while driving (which I never do since I can run it off 12V supplied from my tow vehicle) and now I wonder if that caused the reg to fail. On a certain propane equipment supply website (which I’m sure you can find if you search the phrase), this note of caution is posted “To maximize the lifespan of the regulator, it must be installed above the liquid level of propane”. On the Fleetwood (and most other camping trailers?) the reg is definitely below the propane liquid level, at least on a full tank (did I mention that I also just installed a new full exchange tank, and spend 30 minutes under the assumption that the problem HAD to be the valve on the exchange tank?). Do you run the propane system while driving? Curious to hear your thoughts. Shopping now for a new dual-stage, leery to go with Camco again.

    • Hey Jason,

      10 years sounds like a good run to me! I doubt that running it while driving was the culprit (but you never know, I’m sure stranger things have happened). I do run my fridge while driving, and have done so for a few years. No issues.

      There are different schools of thought on driving with propane on. Some say it’s a horrible idea due to fire damage if road debris flies up and damages your propane line(s). I’ve checked out how my propane lines are run and am confident they don’t have much chance of damage due to debris. But to be safe, it’s probably best to drive with propane off.

      Any particular reason you aren’t going with another Fairview regulator? That’s what we replaced Kelly’s regulator with. You can read about that in the “The Regulators Kelly Installed” green box at the bottom of this page’s content.

      Here’s to another 10 years before your replacement regulator fails. Camp On!

      • I’d buy another Fairview regulator in a minute if i knew where to buy one. I’m in Canada and finding one is an issue. I contacted Fairview’s head office in Buffalo to see if I could just stopped there and buy one (we pass through there on our way to camp in WNY and PA), but they don’t do counter sales. I went with the Camco because the price ($13 USD) and convenience (2 days shipped to a US WalMart). I just received another Camco $30 CND delivered, through amazon.ca) because I need regulator asap and wasn’t willing to pay 3 times that much for a different brand. But I will be looking for something else for when this Camco fails, hopefully that won’t be for a couple years at least but we’ll see.

  • Sorry, It’s a single tank regulator, even though I have two mounted in front. I like the simplicity of no auto change over but I’ll consider anything. Thanks

    • Hi Raul,

      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve had with the Camco propane regulators! We would suggest that you try one of the ones in the “The Regulators Kelly Installed” section at the bottom of this blog post. The dual regulator is the one that I’ve had for 4 years and counting of full-time use and it has yet to hiccup. I know you said you prefer the single tank regulator version, so go with that one in the box.

      Hopefully that will fix your propane regulator issues. I hope things get better with your propane ‘feed’ in the near future! Camp On!

    • i am installing two 30lb propane tanks on my RV food truck. i currently use the stock, 30 year old horizontal tank, which works fine, but due to surface rust and age, i’m going to abandon it. after researching the new setup, and seeing mostly auto regulator issues, i’m just going to run one regulator,a nd switch it manually when i need to. less is more

      • Hey Steven!

        Yeah, less is definitely more. If you can get away with a single regulator (no auto-changeover) and do the switch manually, you definitely eliminate a potential problem spot.

        I’ve been using the same auto-changeover regulator now for over 5 years (living in my RV full-time) and have had zero issues, so it’s not like all regulators suffer problems.

        A food truck is definitely a great candidate for manually switching over tanks. You are always ‘there’ when the propane is being used.

        An RV is a bit different. Nothing like propane running out in the middle of the night while you are asleep in freezing temperatures and having the furnace ‘give out’. You wake up freezing, trying to figure out what went wrong as you are in a sleep haze, and then stumble outside to manually switch bottles. Sounds live fun, right?

        Thanks for the comment and best of luck with your new propane setup!

        • Agreed, since I’m with the truck when it’s operating, switching tanks isn’t an issue. One other question, do I buy a low pressure or high pressure regulator. I’m only running a steam table with two, small mushroom burners, not anymore gas than a typical BBQ tank

          • Hey Steven,

            It depends on what your propane appliances require. All RV appliances require a low pressure gas feed, so the propane regulators used on RVs ‘put out’ a low pressure propane ‘feed’.

            When you say ‘not anymore gas than a typical BBQ tank’ you are referring to the regulators capacity to ‘move’ gas thru it. Each one is rated at a certain BTU per hour capacity. This is different than the pressure question.

            So you need to know what your propane appliances require as far as a low or high pressure gas ‘feed’. Then you need to know what their maximum propane usage is (on high setting – their BTU rating and add up all appliances to get a total BTU per hour requirement that the regulator must be able to handle).

            Answer those two questions and you will know which propane regulator to get.

            Hope that helps!

  • Camco gas regulators story? Since I purchased my 2005 Fleetwood/Coleman Victory 3959 RV PopUp on 7/24/2015 I have replaced 5 Camco #59313, Two Stage, Vertical regulators. Four (4) I have received free under warranty, my last one shipped to me on 12/5/2017 has now just failed. Of course, each failure/replacement has its story but it’s a total mystery to me and to Camco’s office (over the phone) what is going on.
    I am now desperate to get another brand to install or even adapt.
    Several times I have wanted to sell the rv, and these regulator are no small part of the reason. But my dear, dear wife loves camping even more than I do. I am on 74 and would like to solve this problem, so anything you or anyone wants to suggest, I’d be grateful.

  • Good article. What a bummer to get a failed regulator out of the box. I’d be questioning my diagnosis after that which would make the problem solving even more difficult.

    I do believe that one and two stage regulators are not distinguished by the number of bottles they accommodate but by how they reduce the pressure coming out of the bottle, e.g. there are two stage regulators that attach to a single bottle. That wasn’t clear to me when reading the examples in the article.

    “There are two basic types of gas pressure regulators: single-stage and two-stage. Single-stage pressure regulators reduce the cylinder pressure to the delivery or outlet pressure in one step. Two-stage pressure regulators reduce the cylinder pressure to a working level in two steps.”

    • Thanks for the comment, Jim!

      Ooops, you caught me (Marshall) making a mistake with the wording. ☹️

      Sure enough, single stage versus dual stage is something totally different than the number of bottles they ‘feed’ from. I updated the blog post to clarify this and avoid any confusion (I hope!).

      Thanks again for this and Camp On!

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