Friday, December 2, 2022


Reader letter: RV park doesn’t understand the term “LP gas”

Dear Chuck,

I noticed this morning when I left an RV resort in Palm Desert, California, that one of my LP tanks was empty. I figured I could get it filled near my destination so I didn’t ask about it when I left.

I checked into Pirate Cove RV Resort in Needles, California, this afternoon. It’s our first time at this resort. When I checked in I asked the woman in the office where I could get an LP tank filled. She looked at me and asked, “What’s that?” I told her it was a liquid petroleum tank. “What’s that used for?” she asked. I said that LP gas provides fuel for the water heater, stove-top and refrigerator when we’re traveling or not connected to electricity.

She said she didn’t know but would be back in a minute. Out comes a person with a red shirt with “SECURITY” on the front. He asks, “What are you looking for?” The conversation was basically a repeat of the one I had with the young lady. His reply was, “I don’t know but they might have something like that in Lake Havasu.” He suggested I should drive down there and ask.

I said that I saw a sign that a Shell station to the west about five miles had LP. The man said he never heard of anyone in Topock having LP. The fact that Topock was east of Needles and the Shell Station was west didn’t seem to register with him.

I thanked him and walked back to my RV, wondering if I should laugh at the responses or feel sorry for them. In my 37 years of travel with an RV I had NEVER run into this type of answer before. I know that Pirate Cove is fairly new but I think they’ve been around at least three years now. I guess their lack of information for a basic item that an RV uses shouldn’t surprise me, but it did.

Did you ever run into this type of response before? Just wondering. —Tom Gutzke

Dear Tom,
No, I’ve never had an issue with the understanding of LP gas. But I’m sure there have been other, similar discussions that I can’t recall at the moment. But, really, working in an RV park and not knowing what LP gas is — that can’t be very common.


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Randy Heasley
1 year ago

Most know this as Propane. But not all parks have a filling station.

David Grotenhuis
2 years ago

If you work in an RV park, you at least need to understand the basic terminology

2 years ago

I have found after being in all 50 states that people in this country call things by different names in different places. For a example once in Tennessee I mentioned to a person I was going to get a pop out of the machine. He said what? He had no idea what a pop was, If I had said soda or coke he would have known. Said he never heard it called pop.

2 years ago

Ah, I’ve run into this a number of times!
Had you asked for “Propane” they would have gladly filled your tank.
When you enter someone else’s territory it’s you who has trouble communicating, not them.

2 years ago

LP stands for liquid propane, not liquid petroleum. No wonder the RV park people were confused.

2 years ago
Reply to  Craig

Actually LP does stand for liquid petroleum not liquid propane. Google it.

Desmond Doyle
2 years ago

The LP gas letter? Propane? I would not refer to my tanks as LP tanks. It would be propane tanks.

2 years ago

LP= Propane or Butane or a mix. Better use the name of propane as this is what is sold in North America.
In Europe is butane

2 years ago

Why didnt they just ask for propane?

2 years ago

Did you go in there just to cause confusion and create a story?

2 years ago

I had that discussion at a gas station one time, until I changed from using the term “LP” to “propane” – then they understood…

2 years ago

Here in the South East “LP Sold here” signs are everywhere they sell “LP”

2 years ago

I think you covered the “propane” definition with ‘fuel for the water heater, stove-top and refrigerator when we’re traveling or not connected to electricity.” It sounds like it must take a Rocket Scientist to know what the “P” in “LP” means…

2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis

If you think that’s bad, try throwing “toad/towed” into the conversation. Or maybe even “dump.” I think some places just grab someone wandering on the street and say, “Hey, I’ve got an easy job for you,. Just sit there and smile.” Or not.

2 years ago

In my many years (I’m in my 80s) of camping, RVing, living in homes with big white tanks outside to fuel kitchen ranges (cook stoves), water heaters, and even furnaces, using gas grills, etc., etc. I have never asked anyone for LP gas. It has always been “propane.” And I do know what LP is. I think this letter says more about the buyer than the campground personnel. Doesn’t the letter writer know what propane is? Doesn’t he know that propane is by far the more commonly used term?

2 years ago

Learn the magic word: Propane

William Feuer
2 years ago

Why didn’t you simply ask for propane?

Here is a 2sec. Google search result for Propane Tank Refill in Needles, CA:
AmeriGas Propane. Propane & Natural GasGas-Liquefied Petroleum-Bottled & Bulk. Website. (760) 326-3851. …
Southern California Gas Company. Gas CompaniesPropane & Natural Gas. Website. …
Blue Rhino. Propane & Natural Gas. Website. …
Laughlin 76.

jack roderick
2 years ago

Almost inconceivable they wouldn’t know something like thaT. If you had asked where you could get your BBQ tank refilled they would have known where to send you.

Virgil williams
2 years ago

Propane instead of :LP

Virgil williams
2 years ago

If you would have said the same thing, but used different words to describe it. for example you could have asked for Propane gas.

2 years ago

I agree – if he had said propane I doubt there would be a problem. Rarely do I ever hear anyone refer to it as LP gas anymore.

2 years ago

To be a stickler for accuracy, LP gas is a term that compromises propane, butane, isobutane, and a number of other gases in the liquified petroleum gas family. If you want propane, ask for propane.

2 years ago
Reply to  J B

OR, just ask for fuel for the water heater, stove-top and refrigerator when we’re traveling or not connected to electricity… like you did.

Don Kostyal
2 years ago

With the increase in residential refrigerators and camping turning into glamping I am sure LP gas use has declined quite a bit. Also, many RV parks have workers that don’t live in an RV so it may be uncommon to them. Now days you don’t hear LP you hear “Honey did you get the grill tank filled?” Most people don’t take the tank to a refill station they take it to a tank exchange.

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