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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

Tony
Tony
Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.

Comments

  1. I personally had the experience commentor Jim Johnson writes about. My experience was communicated to GasStop’s customer service team and they agreed that the furnace demand in cold temps can trigger a shut down. I had the device on both of my 30# tanks. When the temperature dropped below 25F the sensor on both tanks saw the increased flow and loss of pressure due to the cold temp as a leak and shut off the propane flow. This happened at night, starving our propane furnace of fuel to keep us warm. I awoke to the trailer being cold and from there discovered the GasStop had closed. I removed it from the tank and reconnected the supply line to the tank. Propane resumed flow and the furnace fired up. This occurred last Winter in NE PA and wasn’t a result of the recent arctic blast. This is an issue with the GasStop I experienced and users of same should be aware of this possibility.

  2. Okay Tony, I have read from reviewers that this device often has false positive fails in cold conditions. It is cold, propane tank vapor is low, and the furnace attempts to start. The furnace probably has the largest initial draw of any propane device on your RV. Enough draw that GasStop prevents the furnace from igniting and running. Yes it is simple enough to reset – just push down on the gauge. Run outside in the cold wearing your slippers several times a night, until you give up and leave the GasStop disconnected. So much for extra safety, right when it might have the most value.
    Folks here might have had a different experience. But until I see enough reviews that don’t mention false positives, no money leaves my wallet.

  3. I bought replacement hoses for both 30# tanks in my Montana that are supposed to have a safety valve built-in that cuts off flow if there is to large in do a flow. Is that not true or is it a standard thing?

  4. I have a 2017 F/R 34QS that has the gotta replace it at 60 months, yup the alarm goes off exactly at 60 months & you get to silence it 3 times & then you either replace it or remove the 12VDC wire. I like it as it sounds an alarm & shuts off the gas at the tank via a shut off solenoid. Pretty pricey at $275.00, but what’s your life worth!
    Snoopy

  5. I have a 5th-wheel RV with a 5.5KW Onan propane generator, an 18 cubic-foot Norcold refrigerator, and a 35K BTU furnace. These devices cannot handle the flow requirements for the generator alone, or the refrigerator and furnace running simultaneously. They go into overflow shutdown.

  6. GasStop is also available for ASME motorhome tanks; I installed one.

    Various “experts” insist that existing safety devices interrupt flow; well…

    I had a 20# tank connected to an extend-a-stay gadget upstream of the MH regulator, and the MH tank was turned off. The MH regulator itself failed, venting through a hole, and happily vented most of that tank to the air before I heard the hissing and went out to investigate. NO SAFETY DEVICE stopped that flow. If I had been using the MH tank rather than the 20# cylinder the failed regulator would have vented about 50 gallons, which could have been really interesting. At any rate, I installed a new regulator and an ASME GasStop, and I’ll be using a GasStop on the 20# tanks when I return to my winter place.

  7. Yes, it can be used to look for a small leak by pressurizing the line the watching the gauge with propane turned off: usefully. It will also stop gas flow if a LARGE LEAK occurs, like a cut line: useful. It won’t tell you if you have a small leak unless you follow the procedure as described.

  8. There is a common misconception that the OPD valve built into a portable propane tank will perform the same emergency shut off as the GasStop. That is incorrect. 

    The OPD’s function is to insure that the operator does not overfill the tank (incorporates a float mechanism) and does not allow the flow of propane when nothing is connected to the service valve. When you connect a pigtail to the service valve, you now have a free flowing set up.

    Check out this article.. https://www.propane101.com/opdcylindervalves.htm 

    You may also be thinking about the Excess Flow Valve (EFV) which does restrict flow in emergency situations, BUT does not shut off that flow. 

    I find strange the perspectives I’ve seen where they say that the residual propane after the EFV is minor. There is still enough to create flame and fills the lines! Why would you be OK with any propane still flowing in an emergency situation? 

  9. 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.

    • 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

  10. 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.”

  11. 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?????

  12. 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

    • 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.

    • This is specifically why I mentioned that the level gauge isn’t particularly accurate.

      Knowing the level isn’t what’s important about this device, it’s the automatic shut-off when there’s a leak. Further, this device is good for determining IF you have a leak and, for that functionality, it’s terrific.

      I think you’ve missed the point of the article, Wolfe.

      Further, I couldn’t put the plastic propane tank cover on either when I first installed these which is why I installed the right angle connectors from GasStop.

      Essentially your complaint is like disliking the peas on the plate when you ordered a steak. Just don’t eat the peas, the potatoes and steak are delightful.

      • 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.

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