Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Industry analysts warn of propane “Armageddon” this winter. Be prepared.

RVers who are still using their rigs this winter would be wise to keep a close eye on their propane levels.

Propane industry analysts are already warning of an “Armageddon” in the U.S. propane market due to low supply, high demand, and the resulting rocketing prices.

Edgar Ang, who is with the research firm IHS Markit Ltd., said U.S. propane inventories are at record lows and will remain extremely tight as the cold weather sets in. Experts are also warning that mean temperatures in the Lower 48 states are expected to drop into the 60-55 degree range by the end of October, and heating degree days (those days that signal the start of the heating season) have already begun in much of the country.

Ang said the sudden rise in propane prices “may indicate players are preparing for a propane market Armageddon.” He said some areas might be prone to see propane shortages throughout the winter.

Propane prices have jumped to their highest levels in a decade due to increases in overseas demand as well as tight production. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) also is reporting that households that use propane (including RVers) will be spending much more than last year.

Ang also said all indications are that it’s going to be a cooler winter in 2021/2022, adding to the pressure on prices and the supply market.

U.S. propane prices have almost doubled this year. While only 5% of U.S. households heat with propane, it is of course the fuel of choice for powering the utilities in recreational vehicles. The EIA said propane users can expect to spend at least 54% more this winter to keep warm.

The average per-gallon price for propane in the U.S. hit $2.691 a gallon on October 18th.


Mike Gast
Mike Gast
Mike Gast was the vice president of Communications for Kampgrounds of America Inc. for 20 years before retiring in 2021. He also enjoyed a long newspaper career, working as a writer and editor at newspapers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon, and Montana. He and his wife, Lori Lyon, now own and operate the Imi Ola Group marketing company, focusing on the outdoor industry.


  1. Despite all the paranoia and conspiracy theories, fossil fuel prices are still set by supply and demand in international markets, although in this case supply chains are constrained by breakdowns and backlogs in shipping and manufacturing. What’s left of the free market after the effect of the Covid lockdowns is what is driving prices for consumers into the stratosphere. Just think back to fuel prices and gas lines of the 70s when OPEC squeezed oil deliveries after Nixon took the dollar off the gold peg in 1971 and tied it to oil in order to continue funding the cold war military industrial complex: US debt at that time had expanded far beyond the fixed value of $35/ounce gold held by the treasury, and the rest of the world wanted off the dollar’s reserve status, but for some reason they bought back in once Nixon guaranteed OPEC’s defense on the condition that they accept only US dollars for oil…

  2. Across the board: Prices rising. Shortages looming. This entire year, from February onward, has been one disaster after another.

    Thanks, Joe!

  3. Back in February of this year, we camped at a campground in Hastings, Fl. This CG is relativity new and the owners go above and beyond trying to meet your needs. Speaking to the husband of the team he told me his wholesale price of propane exactly doubled the day after the current resident of the White House was sworn in. Apparently, as told by the CG owner who was relaying the information from his propane supplier a guy named Hunter Biden owns the largest propane supply company in the U.S.

    Just a thought why gas, diesel, natural gas, electric, and propane are at or near record highs.

  4. Propane is a scam. It has appx 90,000 btu/gallon.
    A watt is equal to 750 btu, so a 1500 watt electric space heater produces as many btus as 12.5 gallons of propane.
    If the cost for a kwhr of electricity is 12.5 cents it costs less than 20¢ an hour to run an electric heater.
    I had a 30000 btu/hr propane heater in my 5th wheel.
    The cost / hr to run it would be probably $1.25/hr.
    The electric heater worked fine, but slower at a cost of about 15¢/hr.
    No running out of propane at 2am or searching for it.
    $30 plus to fill a grill sized tank is ridiculous.
    Especially considering propane is just natural gas with added butane and odor chemicals

    • Check your numbers, Tom. The btu is an energy unit (not power), and the watt is a power unit (not energy). According to http://www.eia.gov, one kilowatt-hour (kwh) = 3,412 btu. And one gallon of propane (gpp) yields 91,452 btu. Simply ratioing the numbers, one kwh = 0.03732 gpp. Using your quantities, that’s 0.00003732 gallon of propane yields one watt-hour of electrical energy. Or expressed inversely, one gallon of propane yields 26,800 watt-hours which is 26.80 kilowatt-hours of energy. So, a 1500-watt space heater running for one hour consumes 1.5 kwh of electrical energy. 1.5 kwh is equivalent to 0.0559 gpp (not 12.5 gpp as you claim). Of course, these conversions are approximate because there are losses incurred when one form of energy is converted to another form of energy (like chemical to heat or electrical to heat).

      • if you could find a diesel genny you would do better, Especially if it was 4 pole, it would run at 1800 rpm. And only use the fuel it needs to make the HP needed to make the power you require. Gas/Propane { small homeowner type} usually run at 3600 rpm [2 pole] noisy; waste fuel; don’t have a for ever lifetime. Stay away from generake (I hate them, parts on older units get hard to find) I found a used Onan Cummins 30KW unit / 6 cyl cummins diesel for 3000.00 and only 483 hrs on it. had the 10 wire gen head, so I was able to rewire it from 480 3ph to 240 single ph. for here @ home. I spent almost as much for the autotransfer gear as I did the genny. But where I’m at it’s nice to have auto power in 7 seconds. fuel use is .87 gph ful load, I never come close to 30KW here.

  5. Faith over fear in my book! O&G fluctuates as with other things…we just got spoiled over what it was and still could be if we had a real President that was adept and understood business and not spite & hate. We had a good economy 2018 – 2021Jan.; year ago we weren’t having these prices $8/lb for a pot roast, $6/lb for groundbeef, or $3/gal for regular gas, etc etc… it may not be “Armageddon” but the way this country is going under this administration is nothing but a chtpot. It has and is unfortunately political when you shut down a pipeline, screw over relationships with other countries and our military, police, force-able mandates, the list goes on. I look forward to the day when I can enjoy RV’ing again and diesel and propane are not so expensive.

  6. People being forced to live in RV’s and Trailers. I watched the volume increase since Covid from $2.79 to $3.99 per gallon, with occasional waiting between resupply.

    Economy, and Rent Prices, are driving people to the streets and driveways of America.

    Engineered Shakedown of America by foreign nations and global sustainability Agenda.

  7. I swear this is Big Business and the Powers That Be systematic plot to bring all Americans (except the ultra rich) to their knees financially. It is just uncanny that food prices are soaring, gas prices are ratcheting up despite less demand, there is oddly a shortage of drivers to deliver goods and now heating fuel like propane is suddenly doubling in price???? Too many hairs on the back of my neck say sinister forces are at play here.

    • You are right. The ***** communists are at war with the world. This is what we get for being nice to them, a stab in the back. They creeped in everywhere like roaches and seized power. Now they operate like the mafia.

      • They only have power because we the ppl gave them the power and just like that though we the people are the only ones that can take there power we the people need to come together as Americans and take are country back

    • It’s more the result of the ***** Virus causing shortages throughout the supply chain, if you go for that sort of fingerprinting. In reality, presidents don’t have control of fuel prices, not since Reagan deregulated the industry back in the late 70’s. I remember it well. Gas went from 35 cents a gal to over a dollar and hasn’t stopped.

      • President Reagan wasn’t in the White House until the 80’s, you remember it differently than a rational human being. I was a fairly new driver in 1979, I had drove around a month or two when gas doubled. Where the heck do you live that gas was $0.35? If you want cheap gas, move to Venezuela.
        P.S. Reagan has plenty of his own Charlie Foxtrots.

      • Exactly right, it’s almost all due to covid messing up the supply chain. Too many people ignore the facts and just use the difficulties to complain about politics.

      • It’s not the C-V but political RESPONSE to it that is causing all the problems. If it was really about health, we “they” would be encouraging every to eat healthy, exercise and take vitamin D.

  8. Yikes, 60 comments in the first day – looking at Edgar Ang’s Linked In page, I see his credentials are in Journalism and Mass Communications! He certainly knows how to write headlines to generate a buzz and engagement with salacious titles and it’s definitely working here at RVTravel – well played, I guess…but we’re kinda’ sorry on Saturday’s livestream we promoted this story when we saw your teaser headline before reading the fact – good lesson learned.

    • Edgar knows his sh*t. I will vouch for him. We have discussed the market and his sense of things is not wrong. it is fundamental-derived.

      Propane prices will come back down to earth when the supply rebounds (o&g drilling for new production). The demand side of the equation is more robust right now- everywhere- especially abroad. of the ~2M bbls/day of us production, more than half of this has been going to export for the last year or two- meanwhile the production side of things has been slow to rebound post covid and negative crude pricing in april of ’20.

      But as anything in any free market, the cure for high prices, is high prices… the market will come back down when enough buyers switch out of propane and or enough producers with access to capital point that capital into drilling and increasing production. Supply and Demand. econ 101. doesn’t matter if you’re a phd in econ or a journalist in mass comm. the principles don’t change.

      • Propane is one of the derivitives of crude oil refinement. You dont have to drill for it specifically. As demand grows, they can increase production with changes to the refinement process. The problem now is distribution. It is probably not a sign of the four horsemen.

  9. Using the word “Armageddon” is really inflammatory and unnecessary. Yes, I’m sure it is a great headline to get people to click on it, but really. Shortages and higher prices (which usually alleviates shortages), is very different from Armageddon. The inflammatory language just spins people up, and can actually create the shortages as people rush to overbuy.

    • Hi, Charlie. So, when we’re reporting on what propane industry analysts are predicting, and we’re quoting them (in quotation marks, so it’s clear that it’s not our term), that’s not allowed? If you don’t like the term, may I suggest you write to Edgar Ang, at the firm IHS Markit Ltd., and take it up with him. As one of our readers commented, don’t shoot the messenger – please. Thank you. Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane

      • Well. . . . YOU used the term in YOUR headline, quotes or no quotes. YOU chose to use that word. Just be honest and admit that the word “Armageddon” is catchy and clickbait and that’s why you put it in YOUR headline. I agree with Charlie.

        • Dang! Now you’re shooting the messenger of the messenger, Suru. Hey, I just work here. 🙄 But, yes. I see your point. I’ll leave the explanation of why that was included to the journalists. Actually, no, they don’t need to explain it, especially since it did get your attention. 😉 Have a good night. -Diane

          • Thanks, Lindalee. Unfortunately, I’m sure that’s not the end of it. But, at 75, I have a pretty tough skin and have been through lots worse than dealing with negative comments. Take care. 🙂 –Diane

        • That’s true. Can’t make everyone happy. But, like I said, I just work here (and very happily so, I might add). Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane

      • You are completely correct Staff. I saw the quotation remarks in the heading. When the industry is calling it “Armageddon” I’d be listening very closely. I hope Charlie doesn’t eat his words when average folks who burn propane for their homes are going to suffer unnecessarily. Ang’s reporting is accurate and informative.

        • Thank you, Rick. I appreciate your words of support. I should have had my flak jacket on, for all of those who chose to “shoot the messenger” (or, in this case, the messenger’s messenger). 😆 Have a great day. 🙂 –Diane

    • Agreed, Charlie. I, too, believe this was an over dramatic statement. Unfortunately, it’s like the same routine that has gone on for decades: convince everybody there is a shortage and raise the prices substantially. However, when the “shortage” has ended, but they will not put the prices back to a reasonable rate. They will keep them extremely high and reap the rewards. Just look at history. Gasoline, electricity, food, clothing, water, etc. We won’t even get into medication’s in America. But, history does repeat itself. Further strangling the middle class. Again, it’s just history.

    • That’s it in a propane tank, I mean nutshell. Theres NEVER a shortage. Announcements make it a shortage. Commodity/ fuel prices price gouging. It will NEVER end. Corruption reigns!!

  10. So the article purports that all indications point to a colder than normal winter, yet they don’t name their source. The National Weather Service JUST put out days ago, that the opposite is expected. Ie – warmer than normal temps for most of the U.S.

    I filled up my home propane at the end of Sept for $2.09/gal. I filled up my RV propane tank last week for $2.49/gal.

  11. We are fortunate. After having several RVs, hubby ensured when we purchased our current Class C that our fridge, heat and water heater can run on either electric or propane. I never use the gas stove…rely on my elec frying pan, Instant Pot and microwave. Since we do not boondock, and have a generator for emergencies, we feel pretty secure that we can weather the storm.

    • You mean like shutting down pipelines here and approving russian pipelines, stopping the drilling in ANWR, making us dependent once again, on foreign countries who don’t hesitate to take advantage of weakness. But, you are somewhat correct, the weak Republicans (assistant Democrats), are as much to blame.

  12. What do democrats have to do with high demand and market pricing of products. Did you actually read the article or do you just like to spout garbage. This is a RV website if you want to argue politics go to one of the trash talking political sites.

  13. If you didn’t know propane is moved by truck, not pipeline
    (at least the last “mile”) No semi’s no propane. And the price of diesel and trucks and tires and wages keep going up so everything follows. A friend just filled his 1000 gal tank for 90 cents a gallon. That was a wise investment

  14. We have been on the road this whole month with falling Temps, 28º yesterday, but so far we have not seen nor heard of a propane shortage. Yes prices are high, our latest fill up was at $3.25. Still cheaper than Gas or Diesel.

  15. You have to kind of factor in the fact that expenses of all manner are going to go up over time. This rate of increase is higher in times of free-wheel spending by the entity that gets to print the money. This is especially true for non-renewables. In their rush to renewables the rapid increase for hydrocarbons is probably seen as a perk.

  16. Please stop the scare tactics! It’s articls like this that make people run out and fill their tanks in fear, further exasperating the problem!

    Secondly, the latest winter forecast from the National Weather Service indicates that the winter temperatures will be above normal in most of the county this year.

    • I am in Florida, just for a while. Propane is $472 most places even Tractor Supply. I filled at Costco for $2.72 I was thankful for them. I don’t mean to be shilling for them, but I would say that the greedy are getting away with their greed.

  17. More “Gloom and Doom” from RV Travel. Do you ever report on ANY good news? Because there has to be some, somewhere, in this lifestyle/hobby. Otherwise, why bother?

    • Yes I thought the same thing! This newsletter is starting to rehash the same stories, same ole stuff! Of course “why would you finance an RV for 20 years” article should be right around the corner!!

    • Here we are shooting the messenger again.
      RV travel is reporting on an issue that may affect a number of RVers. I think that is kind of nice that they do give us a heads-up. Mr. Edgar Ang made the statement using the word “Armageddon” – NOT RV Travel. Now, if you wish to argue with Mr. Ang, go ahead. He may be creating a “panic” but not this magazine. Some other commenters in this post seem to think that this is a political forum magazine rather than an RV magazine. I opened this letter to read about Propane. If I recall correctly, we in Florida, had a propane shortage in the early to mid 1980s. No Covid, or trucker shortages then, and I don’t recall anyone blaming a President. I think it was Mother Nature that we should have been hollering at and we didn’t even think of blaming Global Warming at that time. One pot hole every 100 miles is nothing to complain about.

    • Spoken like a good democrat! I don’t see how we could possibly have a colder winter when the party in charge claims we are going to be roasting with global warming, and there’s no use going to FL because it will be under water when Antarctica’s ice melts. Lol

      • Um, climate change means more extreme weather of every type with an overall trend to warmer, drier temps over time. More extremes such as hurricanes, droughts but also record cold as the polar vortex weakens, letting the cold flood south, like in Texas. Remember that?

        • Hurricanes and tornadoes have been less than in the past. Read Joe Bastardi’s (well known meteorologist) The Weaponization of Weather.

        • Joe Bastardi, well known meteorologist. “Problem with the way the media does things. Does public know wildfire acres/and numbers were below average this year? Do they know about storms worse than what is hitting the northwest now ( example 1962)……”

  18. “Propane Armageddon”. Right. They can’t just say propane might be tight or higher priced this winter. No. That’s not scary. So we’ll call it an Armageddon so folks can start shaking in their boots. Oh my God, what will we do? Will this be caused by many “Atmospheric Rivers”? Or maybe a “Polar Vortex”?

    • Great point and so very true. Sort of like weather is now a “bomb cyclone” instead of simply a strong storm. It is all so ridiculous anymore.

  19. “..The average per-gallon price for propane in the U.S. hit $2.691 a gallon on October 18th.” I would like to know where.. in NE Indiana it has been around 3.42 a gallon

    • You might be looking at a gas pump instead of a propane pump. I’m in NE Indiana as well and it’s only $1.96 down the road from me. Even then it’s more expensive than it was a year ago.

      • Price was at $3.00 in my area of NJ last month. Can’t imagine what propane will be this winter. Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t propane a by-product of oil refining? Fuels are being refined at near record levels as demand increases. There should be near record levels of propane left over from it. Or are they just burning it off because they have no place to store it all and thus drive the price up.

    • I don’t believe supply is the problem. The real problem is in delivery. Not enough drivers to transport fuel or other goods around the country. One only needs to read all about the dozens of container ships waiting off shore to off load their goods.

      • The real reason for the increase is greed. Remember, this is the same industry that sells the gas and diesel for our vehicles. Years ago I worked in the trucking industry and watched the propane carriers marshal their vehicles at the propane pipeline terminals waiting to load. Propane prices went up and down based on the cost of fuel oil used for heating in the northeast, which of course was triggered by temperature drops. Gets cold in New York, fuel oil goes up there, and propane goes up in the midwest. Even the suppliers admit it’s all about how hard can we hit our customers. By the way, my own propane here at home went up by more than 30% on this year’s contract.

        • Well said. I have a friend in the oil business who sells propane, which they burn off, for twenty five cents. There is no shortage of gas or oil, propane or diesel. He said it is the speculators and companies taking advantage of situations like the volcano in Spain or ships waiting to unload in California who are inflating the prices.

      • You have to wonder why there is a driver shortage. Years ago, truck drivers were well compensated. Not anymore. The super rich don’t accumulate their wealth by ignoring any opportunity to get richer.

          • Until the driverless rigs get fully approved and out on the road. Then drivers will be begging for any work for any wage and corporations will reward their CEO’s with 150% salary increases year after year.

          • It will take 60 -70 years to even get close to changing the infastruture to start seeing 20-30 % of the trucks driverless. So many changes will need to be made.

          • I would disagree to a point, the major carriers (schnieder, hunt, etc.) still treat their drivers like slaves. Low pay extended time away from home, all the things that keep drivers moving from company to company hoping to improve their lifestyle. The only drivers I knew that were well compensated were owner operators.

          • You are joking aren’t you. Why don’t you try working the hours that truck drivers do and being away from your family for weeks on end and see if you think the wages are good.

      • You’re right! My brother drives for Walmart and says they can’t get drivers because the pic(party in charge) is paying enormous unemployment benefits to people so why would the want to work. This is going to bite them in the butt because this is one of the ways they are controlling people, the first stage of socialism!

        • You do realize that the unemployment bonus happened while the former president was in office also and that the bonus unemployment check have since ceased to exist and have expired. Boomers are retiring and for the first time in 40 years there is a shortage of people to fill positions. Hey but don’t let and opportunity to spout political nonsense go to waste and shout about the socialism boogieman.

        • Such garbage spouting. It is all greed as soon as one company raises prices, all the other do so also. Products in ships and high cost? We get exactly what we deserve when everything in this country is made offshore. {bleeped} about how much social costs – just again what we deserve when people are put out of work to make stuff in China.

          I started to go to school for truck driving and discovered I wanted nothing to do with it with the wages, gone from home weeks from home. And when you get home, it is for a day and ½. Students that could not complete a sentence with out F$$ck in it. Crappy food, getting overweight, driving hours extra tired to make up time, weather today keeping you from getting where your paid to delivery, if the wheels are not turning, you are not getting paid. The kicker – told you many have organs that are damaged from all the bad roads. Who is their right mind wants to start driving a truck today? By the way, no one is living high on unemployment at today’s prices of everything.

        • Our currency will be digitized in the next 18 months, thats when full control will kick in. No buying or Selling without the mark. (Digital Currency)

      • Totally disagree the ports have no space for the influx of containers which the ships are stacking more container than usual also distribution centers are overwhelmed with no extra space. I’m a truck driving I spent nearly 7 hours in line waiting to check in last night an 8 pm appointment got to the sign in desk about 4 am. Trucks behind me about 25 waiting so it’s no shortages of trucks or drivers lack of space at Distribution Centers and ports.

    • Why did current administration ask OPEC (who we didn’t need before because we had become self sufficient) to increase production? BTW, OPEC said NO. And why did the President just say to help with supply he could release oil from the Federal oil reserves, but the price of gas would only drop 18 cents? BTW, Federal reserve for catastrophic events. Why did he President as oil companies to lower their prices, when he cut them off from drilling and closed the pipelines? BTW, they said no.

      • Americas allies rely on Opec oil but oil prices depends on Opec production. If Opec increase production America will raise its prices


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