Video: Why NOT to travel with your propane tank on

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From beneath his coach, certified RV technician and journalist Chris Dougherty shows you how a blown tire could ignite an RV’s propane if the propane tank is still turned on. How do you avoid this happening? Chris has the answer.

Chris was the technical editor of RVtravel.com when this video was made. He has since become the technical editor for Trailer Life and Motorhome magazines.

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Alvin
6 months ago

I think everyone with animals in tow who have the run of the RV while mommy or daddy is driving that big lumbering thing should lock those dogs up. Why?

Well how would you feel if the dog sees a coyote up ahead and jumps on you on his way through the windshield, causing you to steer into traffic and everyone is killed. In this case the dog always survives to take off down the road after the coyote.
The paranoid need to stay home – but OMG a meteorite might hit the house – what to do?

Billy Bob Thornton
6 months ago

This topic is old. Everybody, well nearly everybody travels with the LP on. How else are you going to appreciate those videos “Hold my beer, and watch this”.

I get the whole safty thing, but “I agree with what Johnson said” — Blazing Saddles

Nathan Allen
1 year ago

There is a far greater risk of an engine fire or a fire started from wheel bearings & hubs overheating. What should we do? Just stay home? Asking for a friend.

Michael Nistler
1 year ago

Geez, next thing we will be told is that since the line from the fuel tank to the engine could also be ruptured by a front tire blowout we should shutoff the fuel from the tank while driving. Whoa, but now the vehicle won’t run anymore! Damn, time to convert to an electric RV? Nope, the electric wire from the battery to the electric motor could break, too – ARG! What if the existing wiring insulation gets frayed with all the jiggling every time we drive down the road – couldn’t that ignite a spark even when the RV is stationary when running the stove when stopped for a meal? Or what if lightning should hit the RV or a tree fell on it? Hmm, my main worry is staying away from trees!

Billy Bob Thornton
6 months ago

Michael,

Exactly. You nailed it. Can’t talk now, I’m headed for the nearest tunnel!

Nathan Allen
1 year ago

BS. They manufacture these fridges to operate while in motion. Propane shuts down if ruptured..if your worried about blowouts then don’t put your rv in motion because that tire can total out the whole rv or cause a crash. Weigh your tolerance to risk and enjoy all the convenience’s your rv has to offer.

Nathan Allen
1 year ago
Reply to  Nathan Allen

Please provide all the stats that show that there is even a problem of propane or fridge fires while traveling down the road. I’ll wait.

Billy Bob Thornton
6 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Allen

Tic, tock, tic, tock. No data yet.

Michael
1 year ago

Does this mean turn the propane off at the fill valve or on the inside switch?

impavid
1 year ago

The big word here, at the 1:00 mark on the video is “IF”. IF the dog didn’t stop to take a dump he would have won the race. Should too much propane escape the valve in the propane tank will shut off automatically. Let me ask “Your gas tank on your car is right beside your rear tire. Heaven forbid you should have a blow out on a rear tire. BOOM. Safety first – park your car and don’t go anywhere.

Billy Bob Thornton
6 months ago
Reply to  impavid

I drive a Pinto!!!

Doug/ ND
1 year ago

We never travel with propane on even tho we have metal lines under the coach. In the event of an accident, blown tire or an impact with a road object – Walla – Statistic! We do freeze the blue freeze bottles and place them in the refrigerator – normally good for about 4-5 hours of travel – except maybe ice cream! No travel need for propane! It is an explosive as a liquid or gas! Feelin’ lucky – leave it on!

Thomas Becher
1 year ago

Traveling in Texas I blew a tire and unknowingly the tire broke the gas line where my grill plugged in. Never knew it until the refer started warming up. The valve in my tank must have worked because I never smelt gas. I still travel with gas on and refer on.

Stuart Chapman
1 year ago

I never see anyone discussing the automatic cutoff valve that have been installed in rv’s for years. If a line should puncture the flow would increase causing the cutoff to shut off the flow of propane. I am not saying there would not be a flare if the propane ignites but it would cut off pretty quickly.

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

We always turn the propane off, AND the fridge as well. Never have a problem with stuff going bad or warming up. Just don’t open the fridge as you travel. Oh, and our propane line under the trailer is a metal pipe.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
1 year ago

Good thinking, however; all my propane lines are 5 feet in front of my tires. I don’t have that problem.

friz
1 year ago

I recently read a poll on one of the RV forums I read. The question was “Do you travel with your propane on?” or similar verbiage. I don’t want to say that 50% responded “yes” but as I recall a large percentage did. MUST keep the beer cold I guess.

Toni B
1 year ago
Reply to  friz

Then how do u keep your Frozen food and cold food at proper safe temp as u r traveling 4-5 hrs ?. Our Norcold refrig/ freezer auto switches to LP when not on shore power.

Marty
1 year ago
Reply to  Toni B

I travel for 7+ hours with my fridge turned completely off in the heat of summer. I have been doing this in my current trailer for 5 years…60+ trips. As long as the fridge is relatively full with food…and especially the freezer…I have never even had ice cream melt. I usually have a small bag of ice cubes in the freezer for drinks…which never melted one bit either…and it helps keep the freezer and fridge cold. I have a standard Norcold RV fridge in a Primetime 5th wheel toy hauler.

Billy Bob Thornton
6 months ago
Reply to  Marty

Wasn’t it Norcold brand that caught fire. Good thing you turn it off.

Doug / ND
1 year ago
Reply to  Toni B

See the reply above from me!

Gman
8 months ago
Reply to  friz

Okay, “Doug/ND” states 4-5 hours w/exception of ice cream. “Marty” states 7+ hours in the heat of summer, ice cream doesn’t melt and you really didn’t answer “Toni B’; “proper safe temp”. I believe she’s asking from a standard health and safety issue. I’m with “friz” on this one, can’t beat a cold brew, haha!

Jeff
1 year ago

Should be part of your CHECKLIST prior to Moving on down the road. “MAKE SURE YOUR PROPANE IS TURNED OFF!”

Pete Almasi
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff

I just think it’s plain common sense not to drive while it’s on.

Jeff
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Almasi

I DO Not need propane for my FRIDGE, since it is a residential Fridge. However, I make a NOTE TO MYSELF and put it on the Electronics compartment to remind me to turn off the propane before moving out down the road!

SAFETY FIRST!