RV Propane Tank Tutorial Video
I spent a little bit of time making this short video about my RV Propane Tanks on my Open Range Fifth Wheel RV. After watching you should have a pretty good idea of how the automatic switchover valves work.
I have several other places where you can find really useful information about RV Propane :
- How To Videos on RV Propane – mine should be there too!
- Article about different propane tank sizes
- Nice overview article about RV Propane tanks – but focused on really just some basic info
- A guy that advertised propane sales with the name of his park!
- You can get better propane tank meters if you want.
Transcript from this Video:
I have an Open Range 399BHS and here’s two of my four RV tanks. There’s, on the opposite side of the RV, there’s a matching slide-out that has the RV tanks. Just wanted to go over how this works. You can apply this to your travel trailer and then, there’s a little bit more information and it talks about what I’m doing with an open range.
So, first off, you almost always have two tanks and this is the way it works. So, I have an active tank and my active tank will be on the right and that’s controlled by this little lever that says “Hey, I’m pointing to the active tank.” That’s how you can think of that little lever. Most of the propane valve switch-overs look like this.
And then, just below that, you’ll have a little indicator that, if it’s all red, it’ll tell you that your active tank’s out. And if it’s partly colored, then you’re just fine. Now, when your active tank is on the right and the switch is like that and it’s not completely red, the gas flows in this direction. And on the left-hand side, that tank, that gas, is not flowing. It’s actually blocked in this configuration. And the gas, you can see it flowing out. This is my little attempt at being cute and showing an animation. See, the gas is flowing just fine.
Now, all of a sudden, let’s say your tank, it goes all red. And what’ll happen is the white thing we’re looking at has the all-red indicator on it. It’s a switch-over valve and it will literally now say that the tank on the right is red. It’s always the one it’s pointing to and that’s now an empty tank. And then, it will switch over automatically and start drawing propane from the left-hand take. So, now, the propane flow is like I’m showing right now. Now, you can think of it as kind of wired like this.
And I put together a diagram to show you. And when it’s pointing to the tank on the right, you can actually disconnect the tank on the left and go fill it up, which I think is kind of cool. Okay, now on the open range, I actually have two sets of these. That’s why you’re kind of like what you see. And so, here’s the scoop. I try to operate to operate on one side all the time and then, when it’s empty, I switch over to the other side and I take the empty tanks in. But, I recently learned something because we had a gas smell and I want to show you something. If you take off one side of the tanks, say the left side here, and you have the right sides and the tank’s turned on, you end up with a possible leak path like that. So, what I’ve learned is I don’t really want to leave the tanks disconnected when I have the other side turned on. Because, to my knowledge in the open range, there isn’t a back-flow preventer in the line, like I’m showing. I just don’t think there is and that explains the smell. And this is what my RV repair guy actually told me when I was asking about the propane smell.
So, when in operation, you really need to leave all your tanks on and turn them off at the valve. See, that’s how I do it. I just highlighted the valve. Keep those off. That will block any potential gas leaks. When you do go to get your gas tanks refilled, just do it quickly and have the passenger tank sides off, for example, while you’re filling those up. You can just do that in 30 minutes.