Monday, September 27, 2021

MENU

RV Gadget: Testing the GasStop gas safety device

I’m a big proponent of safety stuff, and an even bigger fan of things when they’re simple. Stuff that makes our RV life safer and better that’s also a simple solution scores big in my book. That’s the GasStop, a simple way to prevent a gas leak. But there’s more. 

I bought a GasStop at the FMCA Convention in Gillette, Wyoming. The GasStop is a simple device that you put in between your RV’s portable propane tank and the regulator. It’s an easy installation. Just unscrew the tank from the regulator, screw in the GasStop, screw the regulator’s hose on and you’re done, son. 

How the GasStop works

Essentially the device works very simply. There’s a ball bearing inside the GasStop. When you turn on your propane tank, you push down on the dial on the top of the GasStop device, which pushes the little ball down inside the GasStop. The regular flow of propane then keeps the little ball suspended, allowing gas to flow normally. 

If there is ever a leak, the ball is forced upward against the opening, shutting off the flow of gas. Simple. Essentially, even the normal flow of gas with all your devices running shouldn’t be enough to shut off the flow of propane – but a leak in the lines is. 

Let’s talk a scenario which I’ve seen firsthand. You’re driving down the road with the gas-electric refrigerator running (shame, shame). Your tire blows and cuts the gas line your RV’s manufacturer so “wisely” put in the wheel well. Now you have a spark and enough gas to make sure your RV is nice and flaming so that all the local fire department has to do when they show up is direct traffic and mop up the remains of the rig. 

The GasStop would have stopped the flow of propane in that circumstance. 

A gauge estimates level of gas in the tank

The GasStop also has a gauge on top that estimates the level of gas in the tank, enabling you to keep an eye on things to avoid running out of propane. I would call this gauge reasonably accurate. 

I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and share some of these articles, including what I wrote about the FMCA Convention where I mentioned having purchased the GasStop. The U.S. distributor reached out to me to ask how I liked it. I reported that I did, but that it was difficult to put the plastic cover over the propane bottles. 

I never looked at the company’s website, but they sell the GasStop device itself as well as right-angle propane connectors to replace the ones that came with my propane regulator. So they sent two of these (one for each tank) as well as a second GasStop for me to tell you about. 

You can check your gas lines for leaks with the GasStop

One of the benefits of the GasStop is that, by using the propane gauge on top, you can actually try out your gas lines for leaks. Essentially, you activate the GasStop by pushing on the top and then shut off your gas. The system is supposed to maintain pressure in the lines. 

If you find that the pressure decreases as indicated on the GasStop device on top, you have a leak. 

This came in super handy since I just bought a 1970 Aristocrat Land Liner and, of course, still have my modern travel trailer. I wanted to see if the gas system leaked in the Aristocrat. So I installed the GasStop and a propane tank on it, pressurized the system, and then shut off the tank. 

After three days it was still pressurized, indicating that the system was not leaking. Score!

Of course this is also good information to have on a modern RV as well. 

I’m as big a cheapskate as anybody, but I did buy the GasStop as I also feel that safety stuff is just worth having. Frankly, the GasStop should be standard equipment, especially since some RV manufacturers run flexible propane lines right by the tires of an RV and then install cheap MayPop tires. 

The side benefits of having some indication of how full the tanks are and being able to check for leaks just reinforce why I like this gizmo.

##RVT1015

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

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

9 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas D
30 days ago

I thought there is a excess flow built into each tank. When i blew a tire it sheared off the gas line to the outdoor grill. Gas went off instantly. I didn’t even realize it was off until the refrigerator set a check light.Yes, I’m a bad boy. I travel with the gas on.

Howard watts
30 days ago
Reply to  Thomas D

I been traveling with a trailer since 1978 have always run the ref. On propane only turning off when entering a gas station for gas. Then in 96 i bought a diesel i don’t turn it off. Exception is tunnels where they ask u to turn it off. This is kinda like the big Jab isn’t it

Dave Helgeson
30 days ago

Tony, Excessive LP flow shut offs have been part of all RV propane systems for years. Per the late Gary Bunzer writing in the FMCA magazine “On ASME tanks built from 1993 onward, the excess flow check valve is integral to the service valve. In the event of a collision that sheared the connection at an open service valve, this check valve would restrict the gas flow through the valve when it exceeded a preset limit of 200 cubic feet per hour. On tanks built prior to 1993, the excess flow check valve was incorporated into the left-hand-threaded POL fitting, the fitting attached directly to the service valve outlet. Excess flow check valves are required by NFPA 1192, the Standard for Recreation Vehicles.”

Impavid
30 days ago

IMO, this is just another gadget to get your money. Propane comes out of the regulator at less than 1 PSI. If a line is broken, the regulator will automatically shut off the propane. Shaming people (shame on you) is not the way to get things done. I would ask if there is a need to shut off propane when traveling, how do vehicles powered by propane manage to run?????

Wolfe
30 days ago

I believe all OPD tanks already have this functionality… certainly many do since I have a couple. My grill at home reliably trips it if i turn on the gas too fast. A click from the tank and the grill goes to a cigarette lighter. With all the burners running, it can even happen if someone walks too heavy nearby.

Secondly, the vapor pressure gauge you mention is NOT remotely accurate under draw, similar to using voltage for battery SoC.

PSI figures are wrong, but here’s why:

https://youtu.be/_D6KD6ID3J8

Tommy Molnar
30 days ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Great video link, Wolfe. This GasStop thingie would never fit inside the fiberglass surround that fits over our propane tanks. NEVER. So I just ‘clank’ on the side of the tank I KNOW I’m using and compare the ‘clank’ to the full one. When the difference is big I take that tank out and feel the weight. Then off to the propane dealer for a fill. Seems to work fairly well.

Wolfe
30 days ago
Reply to  Tony Barthel

I didn’t miss either point. I have the gauge (shown above) for exactly what you said – leak checking. I was just pointing out that the excessive flow protection is redundant since readers should already have this in the tank.

Follow us!

31,714FansLike
26,464FollowersFollow
66,000SubscribersSubscribe