Where Is the Propane Regulator on My RV?
The RV propane regulator is going to be near your propane tank or tanks.
The regulator needs to be next to the propane tanks, because the first stage of the regulator needs to control the pressure right out of the tank itself in order to properly work.
Related Product: Did you know RV Propane Detectors (click to view on Amazon) need to be replaced every 5-10 years? Make sure yours is still up to date before your next camping trip.
For more information on how RV propane regulators work, check out this post here.
The RV propane regulator is the heart of any LP gas system and if it isn’t working properly, you will notice problems with your propane appliances, especially the stove.
The stove is a great way to troubleshoot your RV propane regulator and a lot of these signs can be seen from a burner.
I recently had to change out a bad propane regulator on my travel trailer. And during the process, I learned a lot about regulators and how they function.
See Also: Best 2 Stage Dual Tank RV Propane Regulators Reviews
If you need to change out your RV propane regulator, check out this post for information on how to install the new one and what you will need.
If you have recently found oil in your RV propane regulator check out this post to find out what it means and how to prevent it from happening again.
7 Common Signs of a Bad RV Propane Regulator
1. Yellow Flames
The flame on any of your propane RV appliances should be a strong blue. It’s easy to see if you have lazy yellow flames by lighting one of the RV stove burners.
The flames should be mostly blue and almost level with the burner. If they are mostly yellow, you don’t have enough pressure in your LP gas system.
If they are blue but making a roaring sound and are very tall, then you have too much pressure.
It’s rare that an RV propane regulator requires adjusting. That means you either have a leak in your propane system or the regulator needs replacing.
See Also: Is Your RV Fridge Not Cooling? Try This One Simple Trick
2. Popping Noises
If you hear popping noises when you turn off the flames on your RV stove burner, then your propane regulator may have issues.
This was an issue I was having. All the burners were popping when I turned them off. Replacing the propane regulator fixed the popping.
Popping noises can also be a sign of a damaged burner. If it’s happening on one burner but not on the others examine the problematic burner. It may be dirty or askew.
3. Heavy Soot Deposits
Propane is a fairly clean-burning gas, it doesn’t normally have dark smoke, like wood fires, and a healthy propane flame shouldn’t put off hardly any soot.
If you notice dark black marks forming around your water heater or even in your RV kitchen by the stove, you either have something in the burner that is causing soot or you have a weak flame that is not burning cleanly.
You can adjust the flame strength on a water heater. Strengthening it might solve the problem. But if the heavy soot continues, you may have a bad RV propane regulator.
4. Venting or Leaking Regulator
If a propane smell is coming from your RV propane regulator, it may be damaged and not sealing properly.
You can test for leaks by using a dish soap water mixture. Dump or spray it over the regulator and look carefully for bubbles. If you see bubbles forming, that is where the leak is.
You can get premixed gas detector spray (click to view on Amazon). It’s a good thing to have on hand if you’re an RVer.
We recently got a small gas leak detector (click to see review) we use to check gas line connections in the RV and on gas appliances like our grill or propane heater. It’s a quick, no mess way to make sure there’s no leaks.
There is a vent located at the bottom of all propane regulators.
The vent helps the regulator breathe while it is being used and is also a safety feature in case the propane tank was overfilled and the pressure is getting too high.
If you notice propane coming from the vent, make sure you don’t have an overfilled propane tank. If the tank isn’t the problem, then the regulator has gone bad and needs replacing.
5. No Propane Flow
It may seem obvious, but if no propane is flowing through the regulator, that’s a problem.
A common cause may be a safety feature that is inside the regulator. If the regulator detects a high propane flow, it will engage the safety valve and shut off. The same feature is found on the valve of a propane tank.
You can reset the propane regulator by turning off the propane tanks and making sure all your propane appliances are shut off. The regulator should reset after a few minutes.
If that doesn’t solve the problem, your RV propane regulator isn’t functioning correctly and probably needs replacing.
Propane regulators don’t last forever. They have a life of about 10 years and a regulator can give out simply because it’s too old.
If the age of your regulator is getting to the double digits and it’s having issues, it’s time to replace it.
See Also: How To Install Solar Panel On RV Roof & Connect To Battery
7. The Automatic Changeover Isn’t Functioning
This is only for those who have dual propane tanks and an automatic RV propane regulator.
The old propane regulator on my travel trailer was automatic, but after a while, it stopped switching over automatically and had to be changed over manually.
The tank level indicator started showing red all the time and wouldn’t reset.
Soon after, the regulator started having issues keeping the correct pressure and the burners on our stove started popping and the flames got weak.
Luckily, we were near a store that sold RV propane regulators and we could switch it out before the old one stopped working altogether.
If your automatic system malfunctions, it may be an early sign that your regulator is going bad.
RV propane regulators are a very important part of any camper propane system and they need to be working properly so your appliances will work right.
It can be a big deal if you are out boondocking and your fridge stops running because the propane regulator gave out.
See Also: Propane Tank Recertification: How & Where To Get Recertified
Keeping an eye out for early signs of wear on your regulator and replacing it before it gives out completely is a good idea and can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
If your RV propane regulator needs replacing, check out this review of some of the best regulators on the market today.
If you know of any more ways to tell if an RV propane regulator is going bad or have any questions about them, leave a comment below.
66 thoughts on “7 Signs Your RV Propane Regulator Has Gone Bad”
oh my god, my propane regulator has most of the signals you say. I need to fix it right now. Fortunately nothing dangerous has happened at all. Thank you very much
Thanks for your comment, glad we could help. Let me know if you have any other questions.
I bought a travel trailer and I am getting a gas smell during the day. The tanks are not completely full. Since the the trailer has not been used for years, can the washers in the tank outlet go bad and start leaking? bill
It is possible for the rubber washers to get old and that could be part of the problem.
The first thing you need to do is locate where the leak is. Take a bowl or spray bottle and combine about 2 cups of water with around 2 or 3 tablespoons of dish soap. Test every propane connection in your RV by spraying the soapy water on it or applying it with a sponge. If there’s a leak, large bubbles will start to form.
I would start with the propane regulator then move on to the water heater, the fridge, the furnace, and then the stove.
Make sure to turn off your main propane line once the leak is found before you undo anything. If the rubber washer inside looks fine it could be that the nut wasn’t tightened enough. If the leak is coming from the propane regulator it is possible that it has been damaged and needs to be replaced.
I hope this was helpful in some way and you find the source of the propane smell in your trailer.
Thank you. Can I replace RV propane regulator myself?
Yes you can, we recently replaced our own RV propane regulator. I wrote a post about it you can find here.
I have a MEC Marshall MEGR-253 auto changeover Reg that I just installed new.
Its connected on 2 30lb tanks on my trailer. When I stand beside the tanks and listen carefully I can here a pulsing BONG BONG BONG sound coming from the reg during anyone of my appliances are running. It sounds like the valve is pulsing about 2 times per second.
Is that normal ? My other Marshall did not do that.
One of the things that could be causing this is the propane tank being opened too fast after being connected to the regulator. Sometimes the sudden pressure can mess with the diaphram inside the regulator. To fix this first turn off the propane tank and wait for a few minutes to let the regulator reset. Then slowly open the valve.
If that didn’t help another issue could be that the propane tanks were overfilled but that issue should go away once the propane levels fall.
There could also be a leak somewhere near the regulator. Make sure all the connections are airtight including the pigtails that go from the regulator to the propane tanks.
Hope this helps, good luck with the regulator.
I use a single 40 pound propane tank on my Norcold fridge, but it seems like my tank is burning lots of fuel could I have the wrong pressure regulator on the line does it need to be low pressure pretty sure the one I have on it is high pressure but possibly not no indications! According to what I have read I should be able to get 5 to 6 weeks out out of 40 pounder tank I’m no expert in this area area could use the help. Thanks for any info!!
A two-stage regulator is going to be the best option for a propane fridge. If you are only using a single-stage propane regulator that could be part of the problem. Check out this article to read more about 2-stage RV propane regulators.
If you are using a 2 stage propane regulator the fridge may be the problem. For instance, an RV fridge will burn more fuel to try and keep cool when it’s hot out. Adding fans like these behind the fridge will help circulate air when it’s hot and help your fridge run more efficiently.
It also could be that your fridge is trying to cool too much. RV fridges normally have different settings and it might be set too high. Using thermometers like these can help you keep an eye on the temps inside the fridge and freezer so you know what settings it should be at to keep everything at the correct temperatures.
Unfortunately, propane fridges can be very temperamental. Our Norcold RV fridge is always giving us trouble as well. Hopefully at least one of these suggestions will help. Good luck with the fridge, feel free to ask if you have any more questions.
I am trying to replace my 2-stage regulator, it has worked well for the last 11 years. It is a Marshall Gas Controls, Model # R3494 650,000BTU, Max Inlet 250 PSIG P.O.L, Outlet 10-14 in. w.c. 1/2 in. NPT. Would you have any idea where to get one?
It’s going to be hard to find an exact replacement for that model of propane regulator. One of the best options will probably be to find a newer model that has close to the same specifications. The safest way to find the correct one will be to have a propane technician replace it and adjust it accordingly.
Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful in finding an exact replacement.
If you mistakenly leave the regulator selector valve aimed straight down instead of fully right or left (like it should be), would that impede the flow of propane to your appliances or would you just loose the automatic switchover capability?
Normally if left pointed straight down the regulator will pull propane from each tank simultaneously which doesn’t impede the flow of propane so long as both tanks are open. The main problem with doing it that way is you won’t have a reserve tank and they will both empty at the same time. Also, if you only have one propane tank open and the selector is aimed straight down it could potentially limit the propane output since one side isn’t putting out any propane.
If your propane alarm goes off and you don’t have your propane turned on why would the alarm go off in the RV?!?
Propane sensors can be sensitive. Sometimes bug spray can even set them off. If it stops beeping when you reset it by holding down the button for 10 seconds the sensor should be fine. If it continues to happen there could be a failure in the unit and you may need to replace it. You can get a replacement for an RV propane sensor here (click to view on Amazon).
My LP furnace is not working & I believe my LP regulator is the cause. While the hot water heater, refrigerator and LP stove work as designed the furnace will not ignite. I checked the furnace igniter which has a good strong arc so that appears to work correctly. I checked for & found the 12V spike, sound & movement of the furnace solenoid opening during ignition so that appears to work correctly but what I did noticed was that stove burner flames drops off noticeably when the furnace solenoid opens to ignite the furnace then stove flames jump back to life when the solenoid closes. Is this a sign of a regulator problem?
Hard to say based on that, but I would definitely try changing the regulator before getting a new furnace. I assume that the fan turns on when you turn the furnace on?
Here are two things I would try first, I have had issues with my furnace and this is what fixed it two separate times.
1. Pull out the furnace and make sure that no cables have fallen out. I had some issues with the fan turning on but the furnace not igniting, and it was a cable that had fallen out. Sounds like your furnace tries but can’t get it going though, but I would still check to be sure.
2. Remove the exhaust pipe cover on the outside of your camper and try to run the furnace without it. If it gets too hot, or not enough air, it’s not going to ignite and run. Also check the pipe to make sure it’s clear.
Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for the quick reply. In the area I live, Catskill Mts NY, we always have constant pest problems. My camper is 10 years old and I have already replaced my refrigerator, because field mice got into and destroyed the circuit board, I have to place ant traps in the camper every spring and I have to clear the air/LP balance vent tube on the hot water heater annually because of stink bug infestation. When I pulled the igniter to check for spark a few days back I saw, with the help of a flash light, roasted stink bugs in the fire box. So I pulled out the solenoid along with the LP gas tray to clean that out as well. I can keep the mice out and ants out but is all but impossible to keep the stink bugs out! I forgot to mention in my earlier comment but I often catch a whiff of mercaptan outside the LP locker but yes, I agree with you, I’ll replace the regulator. They are inexpensive enough.
I’m having trouble with my Dometic fridge. it works fine on 12v, 240. The fridge will light on gas run for about 10-20mins then automatically shut off. I have had engineers out and they can’t find the problem. The hob is running fine and the water heater is running fine… so confused why it isn’t running? any advice would be great?
Shut off how? Does it shut off completely with no lights flashing on the front of the fridge?
Hi and thanks for sharing. I have an old 1985 lance cab over camper. The Lp regulator works good when I’m cooking. When I turn in water heater or air heater, after cople of minutes the same lp became covered by freeze propane and the pressure increase a lot.. i turn of the propane tank and still gas come out from the chicken for 30 sec more… il fix this problem just changing the lp regulator, or I need some extra ? Thanks a lot!
There are a few factors that may be causing your LP regulator to freeze when you turn on high propane use appliances like your water heater or furnace. The first thing is most likely moisture build-up inside your propane tank. It’s a fairly common issue that can be fixed by getting your tanks refilled with a winter propane mix that has anhydrous methanol in it which will absorb the moisture in your tanks, you could also do a propane tank exchange to get new tanks if you prefer that method. I would also replace the propane regulator because old regulators can be the reason so much moisture got into the tanks in the first place.
Also if your propane tanks are being overfilled that could be another reason the lp regulator is freezing. When a tank is overfilled it can cause liquid propane to go into the regulator which will then freeze it. You can read more about it and what to do if your regulator freezes in this article here.
As for the last problem, which was gas coming out in the kitchen for 30 seconds after you turned off your tank. This is actually totally normal. The gas that’s coming out after you turn off your propane tank is what’s left in the lines. That’s why whenever you are going to work on any propane appliance in your RV you should light one of the burners on your RV stove, then turn off the tank and let the burner continue to run until it goes out on its own. This will ensure that the propane lines have been drained completely.
So for a quick recap, to fix your problem I would change the propane regulator because it sounds like it is getting old and it’s probably time to get a new one because it’s letting moisture into your tank, and also refill your propane tanks with a winter propane mix to make sure any moisture in them gets removed.
Hope this was helpful, good luck with your camper.
My son and I were camping last weekend. And we have both propane tanks open. We had propane for heat and hot water. I didn’t know how the auto charge over worked so I switched to a full tank and then nothing would light. When I finally got something to light like the stove it worked. Then I would have the heater click on and light and then when it was satisfied and shut off. Then the heater would try to relight and now it will not light. I am thinking it the Auto Propane switch over since both tanks work just fine when connected to a gas grill at home. Am I thinking of the right thing to replace?
If the stove is working just fine but your water heater isn’t lighting the problem is the water heater. If none of your propane appliances are working it could be your auto propane regulator but before replacing it I would try and reset it to see if that fixes the problem.
To reset your propane regulator shut off both the propane tanks and unhook them from the regulator. Wait for about 10 minutes then reattach both or one of the propane tanks. Make sure the regulator switch is turned to the propane tank that is the most full.
Now slowly turn the valve on the propane tank until it is fully open. The reason you should open the propane tank valve slowly is because sometimes the emergency shut off valve in the regulator can get stuck on if the tank is opened too quickly. If you open it slowly it shouldn’t activate.
Hopefully, this will solve any issues with your regulator. If it doesn’t fix the problem you may need to replace the propane regulator.
Sf 30 suburban heater running thru the (3) cycles. But won’t stay lit. Took it out only drew blood 3 times. Took it to an RV service center. They hooked it up on the bench and it runs like it’s supposed to. They suggested a new thermostat. Brought it back reinstalled it did not hook it up to the thermostat just wired the blue wires together like they had on the bench, hooked up the propane line (tank is 1/2 full) . It lights like before and won’t stay lit. Propane stove all burners on works fine flame looks good, fridge works fine. Do you think it’s the regulator? Two days down and still not fixed!
We had that exact same problem with our RV furnace not too long ago. If everything else is working the regulator is probably fine. The thing that worked for us is we took off the metal thing covering the exhaust pipe from the furnace on the outside of the RV, also check the exhaust pipe to make sure nothing is inside of it like a wasp nest. Then we made sure all of the floor vents were open and didn’t have anything covering them. RV furnaces have sensors in them that will shut off the furnace if there isn’t enough airflow, it stops the furnace from overheating or something like that.
For some reason taking off that outer metal cover and keeping the inside floor vents open and unobstructed has fixed the problem. The furnace hasn’t turned off prematurely since. We did change our regulator as well, but I’m not 100% sure if that helped or not. I would try uncovering the vents and the exhaust pipe first and then maybe changing the propane regulator if that doesn’t fix it.
If removing the metal piece on the outside of the RV works you can get an insect cover like this (click to view on Amazon) to replace the metal cover (we use the same one). It doesn’t restrict the airflow as much and it will stop wasps from getting into your RV.
i have replaced my furnace with a new core and its still doing the same thing the 20 year old 1 was.it lights 3 times and then goes into lockout.im thinking its a bad regulator but my other lp appliances work.since the furnace uses more propane than the other appliances could a bad regulator let the other ones work but not the furnace?
The problem could easily be a bad propane regulator but you may also want to try checking all the vents inside the RV and the exhaust vent on the outside of the RV. If any of these are blocked in any way it could be what’s causing the furnace to shut off. The sensors inside of them can be tricky to not set off and making sure there is plenty of airflow can help. We had the same issue and when we removed the metal cover on the outside furnace exhaust pipe it stopped flipping the sensor, and the furnace now works.
If checking the vents doesn’t work then you should try replacing the propane regulator.
The problem with propane in my RV motor coach is enough flow from the propane tank, which is full, to keep the stove lit after I
first ignite the pilot light. The flame goes out when I try to increase the stove flame. The same thing happens when I turn the heat on the AC thermostat. It constantly cycles but does not stay on. I have the fan on high but no heat is coming out of the floor vents.
The coach is a 2020 Thor Four Winds 31W. Could my problem also be the propane regulator?
The regulator is what’s in charge of propane flow so it does sound like that’s the problem. You could get a new one and replace it to see if that helps or you could take your RV to a dealer and have them test the pressure in the lines to make sure the regulator is adjusted correctly and working as it should.
My RV Regulator is leaking or hissing at the housing flange. It is very difficult to work on. The tank has to come out. A repair shop wants to replace both regulators. It’s a $400.00 repair. I put some silicone at the regulator edge and the hissing stopped. The appliances work fine with or without the silicone. Just got the RV Van last week. 2009. Is the diaphragm in the regulator damaged/old age and leaking or a seal? If the silicone holds up am I ok? Can a regulator explode if the weep hole or vent is accidentally covered with silicone. I felt for them but didn’t locate them. Kept the silicone at the edges. Would greatly appreciate any feedback.
It sounds like a damaged seal, RV regulators don’t last forever and it sounds like you might be due for a new one. I would replace it even if the silicone works for now just because you will end up paying more in propane if it’s always leaking, and it could be dangerous in the long run.
Replacing propane regulators is actually pretty easy and can be done with just a few wrenches and some gas line sealant tape. Just make sure you get replacement regulators that match the ones on your RV. You can check out this article for some of the best RV regulators (click to view) I also have another article with instructions on how to replace an RV regulator (click to view).
The regulator in the article may not be the exact same kind as the one on your van but the principles are the same. Just make sure you use enough tape and check for leaks when you’re done.
Hi. I definitely have a leak either where the regulator connects to the hose leading from my RV or in one or both of the pigtails. The RV is only two years old. The connection from the RV hose to the regulator base looks pretty gunked up and is sticky. Could this just need to be cleaned up and reconnected? Once I have done this, is there a tape that should be used at this connection? I ask this question because as I said it is sticky at that connection now. Thanks in advance for your help!
The gunk you are seeing is most likely the pipe thread sealant the manufacturer used to keep the connection from leaking. That being said it could still be the source of the leak.
To test for a gas leak you can get a leak detector spray like this one (click to view on Amazon), or make your own using 1 part water and 1 part dish soap. Put the water and dish soap in a spray bottle and gently swirl it around to mix. Then evenly spray the mixture or the leak detector onto the connections where there may be a leak. If there is gas leaking out it will make bubbles in the solution.
If any of the connections are leaking whether it’s the RV line to the propane regulator or the pigtails you are going to need to re-do the sealant on the threads.
Some people use putty but I prefer tape. Use tape that is made specifically for gas lines like this (click to view on Amazon). Unscrew the leaking connection and clean off the old putty or tape. Once the threads are clean wrap a generous amount of the thread sealant tape around it. You want enough to create a good seal but no so much that the parts won’t go back together.
Once you’ve tightened everything down reconnect and turn on your propane. Test the connection again with the leak detector solution. If it’s still leaking you may need to try again with the tape. I’ve had to reseal threads twice before to get the amount of sealant just right.
Hopefully, your leaks will be taken care of after this. I hope it helped, good luck with your RV!
I have two 30lb. Propane tanks on my RV. When one goes empty, I turn the selector with the arrow to the full tank and open the valve, but no gas will flow. Gas flows great from the right tank but when I switch to the other tank, no gas flow.
Make sure you are turning the valve to the propane tank on slowly. Sometimes the safety valve will kick on and stop gas flow if opened too quickly. If you close it for a few minutes it should reset and you can try again.
If that doesn’t work try switching the propane tanks to see if the tank is the problem. If it’s still not flowing you may have a bad valve on the regulator and it may need to be replaced.
Hi, I can’t seem to get my gas working in my caravan. I removed the screw underneath the regulator completely to see if it is allowing gas through and it is but the gas didn’t seem to have much pressure. Is that normal or should I replace my regulator?
I have a 10 yr old Jayco Sterling.
RV’s do run on a fairly low pressure system. It might be ok. Is the problem that the propane isn’t reaching the appliances in your camper? Do the burners on the stove work?
Have a new Airstream with 30K BTU furnace. No issues until I switched propane bottles. Furnace started making popping noises. No soot build up on exhaust. Furnace ignites and cycles fine; powerful and will drive you out of trailer. Switched bottles across all possible variables; same result. Took trailer on short road trip and popping has diminished but not completely. Sound starts after ignition; stops during purge cycles. Not the blower . Any thoughts?
Popping noises from the furnace burner is not a good sign. It could be a damaged or dirty burner.
Because you have a new RV I would take it back to the dealer and get it checked out. It’s most likely still covered under warranty.
I find it helpful to know that if my RV propane regulated produces yellow flames, it means that you don’t have enough pressure in your LP gas system. This is probably why we have yellow flames in our RV propane regulator rather than blue. I’ll show this article to him tonight when he gets home from work so he could take our RV to an RV service. Thanks!
I have one propane tank on my RV. We did leak test and it didn’t show any leaks but i still have strong propane smell around the regulator. The tank is half full and has stayed there for 5 days with the propane off. If I open the valve it starts smelling. What now?
Some propane smell around the propane regulator, when propane is flowing, is normal. There’s a little vent on the bottom that causes the smell. So long as you have checked all connections and haven’t found any leaks you should be fine.
A strong propane smell may be a small crack or hole in the diaphragm of the propane regulator. If it’s an old RV and you notice the flames on the stove acting funny you may want to replace the regulator.
You can also take the RV to a repair shop or dealer to have them check it for you.
I have a 1990’s model truck camper rv that is on a base. i just filled both lp tanks, and replaced the 12v deep cycle battery. The gas indicator on the tank selector switch is working ok. it indicates that i have gas to the regulator. I cannot get the furnace, water heater or fridge to ignite. only the stove burners will lite. The water heater gets a flame but goes out after only a few seconds. will do this 2-3 times and then needs reset. The fridge and furnace do nothing. Also, when i disconnected the hose on the outlet side of the regulator a small amount of oily liquid dripped out of the hose.
It sounds like you’ve got oil in your propane lines and regulator. This is pretty common with older campers and it’s most likely what’s causing the issues.
You are going to have to replace the propane regulator and try and drain the propane lines. Hopefully, you can fix it by taking the bottom line that comes out of the propane regulator and holding it down so the oil starts to drain out. You should leave it facing down overnight so it can drain as much as possible.
Once you’ve replaced the propane regulator and drained the line as much as possible your problem should be solved. If things still aren’t working right you may have oil too far down the line and it may take some professional help to clean out the lines completely.
Have a 1979 Osprey truck camper. Turned the propane tanks on. There was a whoosh and smell of propane. Does this mean regulator is leaking or is not working properly
When you turn on the propane tanks in an RV there normally is a bit of a sound from the propane filling up the lines. A little bit of a propane smell can be normal as well, but if it’s really strong there may be an issue.
I would check all the connections around the regulator with soap water to make sure nothing is leaking. If everything is tight and your propane appliances are working normally the RV propane regulator should be fine. If it’s really old though you may want to replace it anyway just to be safe.
We have a 42′ Fifth Wheel with (2) 40# LP Bottles on board. On one side of the RV, there is a Marshall Excelsior 2-Stage Regulator (Model Unknown) and on the other side of the RV, there is a 30 PSI KLI International Model 9000 Regulator.
1) Can you explain why there are two different types of regulators?
2) How can you tell if the 30 psi Regulator is defective?
3) Is the KPI Model 9000 Regulator a requirement?
I have an Onan QG6500 (HAJAB – 904) Generator which draws:
73,317 BTU’s (0.8 Gal per hour at 50%)
109,976 BTU’s (1.2 Gal per hour at 100%)
Probably running at about the same time might be the Norcold 1210IM refrigerator which draws 2,700 BTU’s per hour.
And, it could be that the Suburban SW12DEL Water Heater might also be running which draws 12,000 BTU’s per hour.
Other items that are on-board (typically not running at the same time) are:
Atwood Stove (Ft Burner: 9,000 BTU’s. Rear Burner 1: 6,500 BTU’s, Rear Burner 2: 6,500, Oven: 7,100 BTU’s)
Suburban Furnace: Draws 40,000 BTU’s
So if we really got crazy and turned everything on at once, it comes to 193,776 BTU’s.
The problem is that recently, we tried to run the generator. It starved for fuel on one tank (per the Onan Flash Codes). I switched it to the other side. It ran (until I tried to turn on the coffee maker). It starved for fuel again. The Amp draw was 103 DC Amps for the inverter battery charger that was charging (4) 100A Lithium batteries (about 9.4 Amps AC). That is hardly a load. Reading thru your responses to others above, I’ve noticed that the oven flames are about 50/50 (yellow/blue). I suspect a regulator problem although this one is only about 6 months old. I will change it out but the next question:
4) Should I change the regulator out to a high volume 400,000 BTU regulator?
5) Do I need to change the pigtail lines to match?
6) I see there are RED (high volume) and GREEN handle (typically <160,000 BTU) pigtails. But I see that the MB Sturgis Green Handle is rated at 400,000 BTU Max. Will that work?
And finally, when I disconnected the (1) 40# propane bottle to switch it out while the generator was running, the generator starved for fuel again. This time it was because I had Propane coming out the disconnected line even though I was switched to the other tank. I don't suspect that should be happening. I've checked the 2nd smaller regulator to make sure it was installed the correct direction. It shows the arrow heading back to the main regulator. I believe that should be correct?
Your help would be extremely appreciated.
Hi LP User 1,
Sorry for the late reply.
To answer the question about the regulators in your 5th-wheel. The reason there are two different kinds of propane regulators is because both are connected to the same two stage regulator on one side. The 30 psi regulator on the other side is just a single stage regulator that feeds into the two stage one. The reason the single stage one is there is to regulate the pressure coming directly from the tank. You don’t want unregulated propane going through a line that is more than a few feet long.
To test the single stage regulator you could use a gas pressure tester like this (click to view on Amazon) to see what the pressure coming out of the regulator is to make sure it’s correct but if the regulator looks like it’s in good repair it should be fine.
As for the questions about the generator and the propane. If the regulator was changed just 6 months ago it shouldn’t be the problem. I’m not super familiar with propane run generators so I hesitate to give any advice on whether you should use a higher btu regulator or not. I would contact a propane technician or an RV service shop to make sure it’s safe.
Hello! My Cavagna auto change over regulator had the clear cover fall off while installing. Does the indicator wheel for full or empty only go back one way? It doesn’t indicate when the tank is empty (red) any more
It might have been put back on the wrong way. Does it show green when empty and red when full? or does it stay green all of the time?
Thanks I’ll keep your info.
Very informative! Thanks!
My fridge works great on ac/dc but on propane doesn’t get cold enough and burns through a tank in a couple of days. all the rest of the gas appliances work fine. Any suggestions or recommendations?
Thanks in advance!
I had a similar issue, check out this article here for info on a few things you can do to try and fix it yourself.
Hello, greetings from Spain.
I have an American motorhome, but when I restored it I couldn’t keep the original Manchester tank and I installed a 100 liter LPG tank (80 useful liters of LPG) and it is European. Everything is correct and I am still using an American two-stage regulator (in Europe that does not exist and nobody knows anything).
The only problem is that even if I renew my pressure regulator, if the tank is full (it has a maximum fill and does not admit more than 80 liters), the first few days until I consume a few liters of LPG, LPG comes out of the regulator vent. It only expels gas if I don’t use the appliances. If I turn on an appliance in the RV, it no longer emits gas from that spot. It is as if he did not admit the pressure that this European tank has when it is full.
As soon as I spend 5% LPG, it no longer expels anything.
Does anyone know if there are regulators with greater capacity or that hold a little longer? I don’t know the pressure of my tank when it is full but I think they installed a tank to use the LPG with the vehicle’s engine and it is to be installed with the fill mouth facing up but I have the outlet and side fill at the same level. Maybe that’s because the rest is original American.
Is the propane tank you installed a horizontal one like the original Manchester tank? If so did you make sure the propane regulator was for horizontal tanks and not vertical ones?
Also, you will need a larger propane regulator for a tank of that size. I think a 100 liter tank is similar to a 25 gallon propane tank which is also called a #100 or 100 lbs tank. A horizontal regulator like this one by Mr. Heater (click to view on Amazon) should be what you’re looking for. It’s one of the few that I could find that ships to Spain.
There is a Camco horizontal propane regulator on the Spain Amazon store, but that one is made for smaller propane tanks (up to 30 lbs) which means it won’t work for a larger #100 tank.
Hopefully, this helps. It mostly sounds like the propane regulator you currently have is too small like you said, but I could be wrong. If you have any more questions feel free to leave another comment or send an email so we can try and help you out more.
Hi I have a 2019 Grand Design 5th wheel camper with a Furrion stove. My problem is the stove won’t light yet everything else using propane works fine. I replaced the ignitor batter on the stove and get good spark. I checked my propane lines and found no leaks but do have a smell coming from the regulator. Is it time to buy a new regulator or what could cause just the stove not lighting?
Some propane smell from a regulator is normal, if all the other appliances in your RV are working correctly it sounds like it’s the stove that’s the issue.
Have you been able to light the stove before?
According to a Furrion stove manual I found online you need to turn the burner nob and hold it in while using the ignition switch at the same time. Once the burner is lit you should continue to hold in the burner knob for about 5 seconds so the flame has time to steady.
Hello! Greetings from Spain.
Thanks for your reply. Yes, the tank is placed horizontally, but the problem is that they are European tanks intended for powering vehicle engines, not for domestic use, and they have the “STEAM” outlet in the middle of the cylinder and not a little further up like the Manchesters.
I think the problem is that the American regulators are not suitable for this pressure that accumulates in the tank.
Thanks for advising me Mr Heater but he is the one that I just placed about a year ago, because I also had the Camco and the same thing happened. The LPG technician at my tank tried another European regulator but it is a single stage regulator and it doesn’t work. I wish I hadn’t scrapped the old Manchester depot.
Sorry to hear the Mr. Heater regulator won’t work either.
Is the single stage regulator still installed on the tank? One thing you could try, and I don’t know for sure if this will work, is to add a 2nd stage regulator after the 1st stage. Similar to what people install to their homes when they have a large propane tank sitting outside.
You would need to know the pressure coming out of the 1st stage regulator and get a 2nd stage one that can handle the pressure coming from the 1st stage regulator and output an 11″W.C for RV use.
Something similar to this I think, but I’m not sure if this one is compatible with European regulators. There should be something like this available in Spain though.
Not sure if it will work but it seems like if the pressure coming from the European tank is higher than what an RV 2 stage regulator can handle the next step would be to try two regulators (1st and 2nd stage) with a more heavy duty first stage than what the common RV 2 stage regulators usually have.
This all began yesterday & has us worried –
My panel box in the master bedroom is continuously making a hissing sound & the CO/propane alarm won’t stop going off. There are no gas smells or funny smells. The heat & stove are working fine. I’m connected to actual electricity, not running off battery as I live in my camper full time in one location. the ONLY thing we’ve done differently is that yesterday morning we tried to cut the AC on to see if it would work bc it had quit working months ago (bad compressor) but still nothing so I immediately shut it off. Then about 6 hours later is when the hissing panel box & non-stop beeping from the CO/Propane alarm began so idk if that could have anything to do with anything or not.
what do you think it may be & what should we do?
thank you in advance! ❤️
The power converter in your RV could be going out. Have you noticed any of the 12 volt appliances like the lights or water pump acting weird? The propane alarm is powered via the converter that turns 120 volt power into 12 volt power while you’re connected to power.
That could also be the source of the hissing noise from the panel box. Try turning off the converter by flipping off the breaker connected to it. If the hissing stops when the converter is turned off that’s most likely your problem.
I have a 1994 Lance camper the stove is a Atwood stove iam having a problem with the oven I have gas to it when I light the pilot then turn it a big 1 inch flame is coming out were the pilot light is and the burner doesn’t light up trying to figure out what the problem is and fix it
RV ovens are notorious for being difficult to light. How long are you letting the pilot light burn? Sometimes it needs to be on for a while before it will light the burner.
Air in the lines is another common issue. You might want to turn on the gas to the oven for a few seconds to make sure all the air is out.
Also check the burner tube near the pilot light. If it’s dirty it might not be letting any gas through, which could be causing the pilot to not light it.