Where is the RV Propane Regulator?
The propane regulator is the heart of every RV gas system, it makes sure you have the right amount of pressure to run your fridge, furnace, water heater, and your stove. The regulator is the box that sits near your propane tanks. On a travel trailer and some RVs with dual propane tanks, the regulator is the box that has the two pipes coming out of the sides and connecting to each tank. On travel trailers, the tanks are located in the front near the hitch. On RVs and some 5th-wheels, the tanks are normally in a side compartment near the front.
Some RV and 5th-wheel propane systems have 1 propane tank on each side or have a single large propane tank. These will use a standard propane regulator and not a dual one. My travel trailer uses a dual 2-stage automatic RV propane regulator, if you are changing your single tank regulator the process will the basically the same.
What You Will Need
You need a replacement regulator that is the proper size and style for an RV. Normally they are pre-adjusted for the correct RV gas line pressure and have a bracket already installed to hang the regulator between the propane tanks.
For reviews and information on the best RV propane regulators check out this article here.
The pigtails (lines that attach directly to the propane tanks) on my regulator were rusted and needed to be replaced as well so I bought a replacement RV propane regulator that pigtails already on it.
If you are only replacing the regulator you will need to remove the pigtails from the old one and put them on the new one. You can do this after step 1 during step 2.
I replaced my old RV propane regulator with the Flame King 2-Stage Auto Changeover LP Propane Gas Regulator which is the same brand as the old one. I needed to replace the old one because the automatic switch-over function wasn’t working and it wasn’t able to hold the right gas pressure for my furnace.
See Also: How Does An RV Propane Regulator Work?
The second thing you will need is gas line pipe thread tape (click here to view on Amazon). This is different than plumbers tape and made specifically for gas lines including propane. It’s yellow and you can find it in any hardware store or online.
The last thing you will need is two adjustable crescent wrenches. If you only have fixed the nut on the replacement regulator was 1 1/4 inches and the gas line was 11/16 of an inch. This may not be the same on the model of propane regulator you buy, using an adjustable crescent wrench is going to be the easiest way to go. All the gas lines should be a standard RV size.
How To Replace an RV Propane Regulator
Step 1: Turn Off Your Propane Tanks & Empty Gas Lines
The first thing you need to do is turn off your propane tanks and unhook them from the old regulator you are going to be replacing.
Next, go inside your RV or travel trailer and light one of the burners on your stove. This will empty the LP gas in the line so you won’t have any coming out when you remove the regulator. Wait until the flame is no longer burning, then be sure to turn off the gas on the stove so it doesn’t start leaking out when you turn the gas back on.
Step 2: Remove The RV Propane Regulator
The propane regulator is attached to the main gas line that is connected to it on the bottom. To remove it you need to place a wrench on the nut of the main gas line and twist the regulator. Do not twist the main gas line as it is not made to move. If you are having trouble twisting the propane regulator by hand you can use another wrench on the lower portion which has normally has a hexagonal shape for a wrench to be used if necessary.
Some RV propane regulators like mine come with a plastic rain cover over the front part. You will need to remove this to access the nut that is located on the bottom of the regulator so you can use a wrench. The cover is easy to remove and you just need to pull it off by hand. Make sure the black switch is pointing down so it’s out of the way when you remove the cover.
Once you remove the regulator you can also remove the pigtails if you are planning on using those. My new RV propane regulator came with pigtails pre-attached so I didn’t need to remove the old ones. Make sure you use the gas line thread tape when attaching the old pigtails to your new propane regulator.
Step 3: The Gas Line Thread Tape
Now you need to remove all the old yellow gas line tape from the main gas lines threads and retape it. Make sure you tape the same direction you will be screwing on the propane regulator so it doesn’t move and get undone while you tighten the regulator.
Step 4: Attach the Propane Regulator to the Main Gas Line
Now all you need to do is screw the new regulator onto the main gas line. Just make sure you used plenty of tape for a good seal and don’t cross-thread nut onto the bolt. To tighten use the two crescent wrenches for a snug leak-free fit.
Step 5: Attach Regulator to Propane Tanks
Once the RV propane regulator is secured to the main gas line all you need to do is attach the two pigtails to your propane tanks just like you normally would. If the regulator has a monitor on it it should flip from red to clear when you open a propane tank and point the arrow towards the open tank.
Step 6: Check for Leaks
Now that you have propane gas running through the regulator you need to check the connection between the propane regulator and the main gas line for leaks. You can do this by mixing water with dish soap and either spraying or dumping it on the connectin. If no bubbles appear you have a tight connection. If bubbles are being created there is a small leak, you may need to repeat all the steps and use more gas line thread tape.
Congratulations, if there are no leaks you have successfully changed out an old RV propane regulator for a new one.
Have any questions about RV propane regulators and how to install them? Leave a comment below.