Tuesday, September 26, 2023


RVer asks: Do we have to recertify motorhome LP tanks?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
“RVer run over at Tractor Supply!” OK, not literally. But an RVtravel.com reader had her day ruined by overzealous gas-passers at a Tractor Supply outlet in Fort Myers, Florida. Linda W. rolled into the lot with her 2007 Class C motorhome, in need of LP. The outfit’s propane guy told Linda the motorhome’s tank was too old and needed to be recertified. While he did fill the tank anyway, it still left Linda in the lurch. Worried about her tank, she hasn’t been able to find anyone to recertify her motorhome LP tank.

We appreciate it when LP refillers are cautious, and observe applicable laws and regulations. It makes the world just a wee bit safer when somebody takes the time to look out for us. But in this case, the refusal looks to be beyond the law. The reason? There is no requirement to recertify motorhome LP tanks.

Motorhome tanks versus “DOT cylinders”

The misunderstanding may have come from regulations that apply to removable “DOT cylinders.” If you have a towable unit, when it’s time to fill up with propane you can either tow your RV to an LP station, or take the cylinder off the rig and haul it in. Federal regulations require that removable LP cylinders be inspected and recertified once they’ve reached their 12th “birthday.” Depending on how they were last inspected and recertified, you may need to have it done again in as little as five years.

But motorhome LP tanks are an entirely different animal. These guys are more rugged, and are permanently mounted on the chassis. The certification of motorhome tanks is through the ASME – the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. They DO NOT need to be recertified, and will probably outlive the motorhome they’re mounted on.

No need for recertification – but good to inspect

While there’s no need for a recertification, it’s still not a bad idea to give your motorhome tank an annual inspection. Look it over for rust, cracks, scratches, or a potentially leaking valve. But recertify motorhome LP tanks? Nope. We contacted the Fort Myers Tractor Supply to ask them about this incident. The manager we talked with professed no knowledge of the incident. At the same time, she also told us she was too leery of the LP refill process to undertake the job herself. She left it to other employees, whom she says are trained and presumably familiar with the regulations.

How about you? Have you ever had trouble with an overzealous LP pump jockey? We’d love hear about it. Please drop us a line using the form below, and put “LP pumper problems” on the subject line.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.


Propane safety made simple – Part 1
More stories from Russ and Tiña De Maris


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


    • Here’s what I got when I google it:::
      Your local propane dealer is the place to go to have your RV propane tanks re-certified. There should be a qualified technician on staff to handle the task and it only takes a few minutes to do.

      The technician will check the amount of rust on your tank. Then he or she will double check to see if regulations concerning tank valves have changed. If they have, you may need to replace the old valve with a new one meeting the new regulations.
      The cost varies between $7 & $35.
      There is a test called proof pressure. This is where your propane tank is tested using air. The air is placed inside the tank at twice the normal service pressure. Once passed, the tanks have an additional 7 years of life.
      My opinion is to just buy a new tank & not worry about it as I’ve done with our 20# BBQ tanks.


  1. On trips to Florida we stop at a Loves Truck stop to top off our propane tank. We have a 1993 Itasca class C motor home and the young man said I needed it recertified. I informed him that it only applied to portable tanks and not permanently mount tanks such as mine. He told me he didn’t know and I offered to show him the regulation. He apologized and filled my tank. Haven’t had a problem since.

    • And, Jay, there you go! You are proactive, and printed the regulation to show to the less-informed. I have run out of time to search for the Federal regulation. But, the bottom-line I found is that propane cylinders (the 20-lb trailer and gas grill type) are DOT-regulated, and need to be re-certified. The propane tanks that are on motorhomes, and are larger, permanently-mounted in a horizontal position, are ASME-regulated tanks, and do not need re-certification if manufactured post-1983. I will leave it up to those with the ASME tanks to find the regulation.

  2. I had this happen at a U-Haul rental in Lancaster, Pa. I had to crawl around the ground trying to get a view of a plate, couldn’t find it. The lady finally accepted that since the RV was a 2018 model it was probably okay.

  3. It may be the caliber of people working today. The person that told her that may have been distracted(phone, pretty lady in short shorts, or anything else) during that phase of the training for refilling LP tanks. Just say’n. Lol

  4. Yes, I pulled in to a Flying J in St Augustine Fl and the tech refused to fill my MH tank until I got it recertified. I then went on to another Flying J and got it filled. This was 3 years ago and had no trouble anywhere else.


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