Saturday, September 30, 2023



Propane leak blows up motorhome. See pics. Horrible!


It was 2 a.m., when an RV travel reader named Dave was making his nightly trip to his RV’s bathroom. Suddenly, he said, “the skies lit up and then there was a very large boom from three rows over in our RV park.”

The owner of the motorhome, Dave wrote, had reportedly tried to light a leaky propane heater, which led to the devastating explosion.

Dave reported that a retired pastor received burns over 85 percent of his body, and had been given a five percent chance to survive. His wife and their two dogs were shaken, but okay. The incident occurred at the Riverfront RV Park in Yuma, Arizona.

UPDATE: The pastor died from his injuries.

Editor’s note: Although we have no idea whether this family had a working propane detector on board, this serves as a reminder to always have one to be safe (and to be sure its batteries are good).

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

Feel free to come on down the the site so I can update you on the facts of the case. I will be here for a while.
The victims Son

Paul Andrews
6 years ago

People with older rv’s need to check the dates on all their alarms. Most sensors are good for only 5 years and need to be replaced after that. The test button only checks the alarm circuit and DO NOT test the actual sensor.

6 years ago

I understand what you are saying, but maybe you should stop to concider this man had family and loved ones. So reading your snotty little remark of:

“Propane detectors work,” said Dave. “Use them.”

That seems unecessary. Do you know for a fact there was not a detector on this motorhome? I knew this pastor for 30 years, and he was by no means uneducated or unfamiliar with a motorhome. Please check your facts before making statments that are upsetting to family.

6 years ago
Reply to  Chuck Woodbury

Well, the pastor died from his injuries. Its tragic and heartbreaking for the family.

6 years ago

This also why I no longer drive down the road with a propane tank turned on. Many don’t know that propane is heavier than air, unlike natural gas, and will pocket until there is a ignition source or a stiff wind.

6 years ago

Devastating,having a 10 yr old class b,its a big concern to make sure all is safe,stories like this hit home,hope those folks fully recover.

Richard Durant
6 years ago

The explosion woke my wife and I up …we were two rows over.

David W
6 years ago

Some LP detectors do shut off the propane at the tank.

6 years ago
Reply to  David W

“Some LP detectors do shut off the propane at the tank.”

Some USED TO shut off the propane but…. they are very old and long past their ‘best before’ dates. to be replaced. Unfortunately, none of the replacement models do that any longer AFIK.

6 years ago

It would be a nice feature for LP detectors to have the ability to shut off gas upon a predetermined detection level.

Same with CO detectors.

Costly, but worth it.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.