Any time you turn on the heat in your camper or grill with your outdoor kitchen, an RV propane regulator is hard at work. Let’s learn more about your regulator so that you have all the knowledge you need when it comes time to buy one.
Table of Contents
- What Does An RV Propane Regulator Do?
- What Kind of Propane Regulator Do You Need for Your RV?
- How to Tell If Your Propane Regulator Needs to Be Replaced
- What to Look for When Buying an RV Propane Regulator
- Top 3 RV Propane Regulators
What Does An RV Propane Regulator Do?
The main job of an RV propane regulator is to control the release of propane that powers the appliances. A regulator helps ensure propane releases in a slow and controlled manner. Propane tanks have pressures between 100 and 200 PSI! If you released propane uncontrolled you would have a huge dangerous jet of flame!
Regulators drop the pressure to a tiny .4 PSI. This ensures a slow and controlled release of propane. Whenever you use an RV propane appliance, your regulator is hard at work slowing down the flow from the tank.
What Kind of Propane Regulator Do You Need for Your RV?
There are two types of RV propane regulators you can choose from. A single-stage or Two-stage regulator to control the flow of propane.
Also available are adjustable regulators will allow you to adjust the final pressure. Some of these also include a gauge that enables you to measure and adjust the amount of propane flowing from the tanks.
If you have two tanks you can also get auto changeover regulators. These switch from one tank to the other when it runs out.
Another type of regulator that is an add-on safety device is an auto-shutoff device. These detect high propane flow (like if line brakes) and shut off the propane automatically. We personally use the gas stop safety regulators and highly recommend adding them to your regulator.
- Automatic shutoff of propane in case of a major leak - The device...
- Simple 3-minute test to check for minor propane leaks and a minor...
- Easy to install and use, backed by a 5-year manufacturer's...
How to Tell If Your Propane Regulator Needs to Be Replaced
You’ll see several warning signs when your RV propane regulator needs a replacement. First, you might notice that the flames on appliances like your stove are the wrong color. If you’re cooking with yellow flames, this could indicate a lack of pressure within the LP gas system. Dark soot around your burners can also be an indication that the regulator isn’t working well.
A second red flag to look out for is a popping noise. If you hear popping when you turn off your flames, it might be the regulator. However, it could also simply mean you need to clean or fix a damaged burner.
Always stay on the alert for strange smells. If you notice an odd smell, you might have an overfilled tank. However, this potent smell might also indicate a leak or that the tank is not sealing correctly.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have a propane detector installed in your RV. This device will detect LP gas leaks before your nose does!
Finally, in rigs with a changeover regulator you may notice the changeover stops working. This could mean your regulator is going bad.
You can also test your regulator by using a pressure tester. The pressure should be around 11 inches of water or .39PSI.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Propane Regulator
As with any RV purchase, the cost can vary. The average price for a quality regulator is around $30, but it depends on the brand and materials. Many of today’s propane regulators will include all the components you need to safely and effectively operate your propane tanks.
Quality of Materials
The second item to consider is the quality of materials. Solid regulators use materials such as zinc, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum. These components are dependable and long-lasting, increasing the lifespan of your regulator.
Your regulator should include a protective cover, which essentially protects your burners from heat. Frequently you’ll also find an assortment of hoses, brackets, and screws included with your regulator.
Regulator Capacity (BTU Size)
On average, you’ll find that the higher the energy rating (or BTU size), the more expensive the regulator. A rating over 50,000 BTUs is sufficient for most everyday cooking and grilling in your RV.
You’ll often find auto changeover on dual-propane tanks. Some regulators make it as easy as the flip of a switch. Then, the regulator will instantly switch to the second tank, saving you from refilling until both tanks are empty.
Selected Tank Indication
The selected tank indicator also helps if you have more than one tank. Some older RVs don’t have this feature, or they simply only have one tank. This indicator lets you read your propane levels at any time and know which of your tanks is in use.
Top 3 RV Propane Regulators
Let’s take a look at three of the best RV propane regulators on the market.
1. Flame King Two-Stage RV Propane Regulator
About: The Flame King Two-Stage regulator sits at the top of our list for several reasons. Extremely lightweight at only 2.4 pounds, this regulator lets you connect two propane tanks while avoiding any interruption. In addition, it will automatically switch over once one tank is empty. The slick design delivers consistent gas pressure in all circumstances.
- Allows removal of empty cylinder for refill without interrupting...
- For RVs with dual propane tanks; Automatically switches from...
- Pairs well with our 48 Inch Thermo Plastic Hose, item 100383-48.
BTU Rating: The BTU rating, 190,000 BTUs, far exceeds what most of us need for our daily lives.
Best For: This regulator is best for RVs with dual tanks.
2. GASPRO 5-Foot Two-Stage RV Propane Regulator with Hose
About: The GASPRO 5-Foot Two-Stage RV propane regulator is impressively light, weighing just under two pounds. It provides a reliable pressure between the first and second stages, ultimately improving flow and performance. Made from 100% solid brass, you can have peace of mind knowing your connection is stable and secure. This regulator is also CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified with a hose that protects you from unnecessary, excess flow.
- 【Well Gas Control 】Two-stage regulator results in a more...
- 【Standard Connector】QCC-1 Fitting x 3/8″ Female Flare
- 【Outlet Pressure】11" WC(1/2psi) low pressure, with a maximum...
BTU Rating: The BTU rating for this regulator is 160,000 BTUs, which should suffice for all your RV appliances.
Best For: It’s best for RVers with lots of appliances, as it can easily handle the water heater, propane fireplace, and propane grill, among others.
3. Fairview High Capacity RV Propane Regulator
About: The Fairview High Capacity propane regulator is the most powerful regulator on our list. Designed with aluminum composite and weighing just under two pounds, it’s durable and user-friendly. You can adjust the gas pressure. Plus, a simple lever flip will instantly change over the usage to the full tank. In addition, an indicator light lets you know when one tank is empty.
BTU Rating: The BTU rating for this regulator is a whopping 345,000 BTUs per hour.
Best For: This device is ideal for all types of RVs, including fifth wheel trailers, pop-up campers, and travel trailers.
Having an RV propane regulator that works efficiently and properly is essential to getting the most out of your RVing experience. Without it, your appliances won’t work nearly as well, not to mention the damage that could occur without proper propane regulation within your RV.
Which RV propane regulator would you choose and why? Let us know in the comments!
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