RV Mods: Lock your LP cylinders away from thieves


By Russ and Tiña De Maris 

With thanks to Tommy Molnar

Tommy Molnar

Most travel trailer owners have their propane cylinders mounted up-front, right on the trailer tongue. While that makes for an easy access for refilling, it can also make for easy access for people with bad intent. Our long-time reader Tommy Molnar provides us with a security mod he uses to keep his LP cylinders from walking off.

Underneath the plastic glamour cover that hides his LP cylinders, you’ll find Tommy’s dual propane bottle rack. Yours probably looks similar – they’re all pretty much the same. But Tommy’s secret weapon in the war on crime involved a slight modification of the notched T-bracket that ratchets down onto the top of the LP cylinders, keeping them from wiggling around.

Tommy Molnar

Tommy simply bored a hole through the T-bracket that lines up with one in his “spinner,” that giant-size wing nut apparatus that puts the pressure on the T-bracket. Now using a long-shackled padlock, the spinner and the T-bracket can be locked together. Without removing the lock, the spinner can’t be undone, and the propane cylinders aren’t going anywhere. No hole in your spinner? Simply bore one with the appropriate bit. Yeah, it would be wise to remove your LP cylinders before starting out on this project, or you might go out with a bang!

For Tommy, there’s a bonus. The design layout of his rig means the batteries are snugged in behind the LP cylinders. Without those cylinders being removed, the batteries aren’t going anywhere either. Safe and secure – both batteries and LP cylinders.

Just one more thing to think about: In the event of an emergency, say a fire, you’ll need to have quick access to the key to get the LP cylinders pulled loose and hauled away. You’ll need to weigh all the factors and make a decision you can live with before using this mod.


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2 years ago

Grab the top of the threaded rod with vice grips. Turn counter clockwise to remove rod.

Wayne Caldwell
2 years ago

Great idea. I went just a little bit more past the pad lock. I covered the propane tank hold-down rod with electrical metal conduit and then after tightening the butterfly nut and padlocking it, I added two 3/4″ nuts to the top of the rod above the butterfly then tightening everything against each other.
I don’t know why, but I’ve been accused of overkill.