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Recreational vehicle (RV) travel has been a favorite with Americans for more than a century. The fuel of choice for RV travelers, propane, has also been around for over 100 years. Propane is a clean, American-made fuel used for cooking, heating, and powering various appliances in most towable, motorized, and specialty RVs.

Propane RV Safety Tips

Before travelers get behind the wheel, there are a few steps that RV enthusiasts should take:

1.      Get an inspection.  RV owners should have their propane system inspected annually by a qualified service technician.  These technicians, like any expert, get training that helps them to predict and address any issues with your propane system properly.  Please leave it to the experts and do not attempt to repair any propane-related component yourself.

2.     It is also important to ensure that the RV has at least one Class B:C fire extinguisher and operational propane, carbon monoxide, and smoke detectors.

3.     Read the owner’s manuals.  It is always a good idea to read the RV owner’s manual and appliance manuals and carefully follow instructions.  If there has been a recall notice on appliances — or anything in the RV — have the vehicle serviced before departure.

4.     Inspect propane cylinders and holding mechanisms for any signs of rust, corrosion, fatigue, or wear and tear.  For ASME tanks, check the brackets and mounting hardware, as well.  Have a certified service technician check out any issues.

5.  If you detect a leak or sense a propane odor similar to a rotten egg smell, immediately leave the area and call 911 or the local fire department.  Before you restart or use any propane appliances, have a qualified service technician inspect your entire system.

6.      Clear the cooking area.  Propane is most often used to cook food and cool beverages at rest stops and campgrounds.  Before cooking on an indoor RV stove, open a window and turn on exhaust fans.

7.     If you are cooking outdoors using portable fuel-burning equipment, including wood, charcoal, and outdoor propane grills and stoves, make sure you’re a safe distance from the RV and propane tanks.  Never use outdoor cooking equipment inside.

8.     Travelers should also keep propane tanks and cylinders at least 10 feet away from heat sources.  Remember, propane is a safe fuel when handled properly.

9.  When being refueled with propane, 1) Turn off the engine, 2) Extinguish all pilot lights and open flames, and 3) RV occupants must vacate the vehicle during the filling process.

Following these simple safety checks can save travelers time and provide RV users added peace of mind.

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