Can I Drive an RV with Propane On? Is it Legal, is it Safe? Find out Here

Can I Drive an RV with Propane On? Is it Legal, is it Safe? Find out Here

Posted by Happy Campers Store on Apr 4th 2024

Can I Drive an RV with Propane On to Run the Refrigerator? Exploring Safety Measures and Legal Considerations

One common question among RV owners is whether it is safe and legal to drive with the propane on to run the refrigerator. The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on various factors and personal preferences. In this article, we will delve into the topic and provide insights into why many RVers choose to drive with propane on, preferred safety measures, and the legal considerations surrounding this practice.

This post will answer the following questions:

• Is it illegal to drive an RV with propane on?

• Is it safe to drive an RV with propane on?

• What Can I Do to Make it Safer When Driving with Propane on?

• When do I Have to turn propane off when driving an RV?

Let's explore the facts and considerations associated with driving an RV with propane on.

I. Why RVers Drive with Propane On:

We must preface this post by saying that if you ask any RV tech, mechanic, specialist or Gas professional they will almost certainly say, "It's not a good idea to drive with propane on."

When you think about it, all it takes is a small leak and one spark to ruin that trip.

With all that said, many RVs are equipped with refrigerators that operate on propane, electricity, or both. When driving, some RV owners prefer to keep the propane on to power the refrigerator, ensuring that their food and beverages remain cold during the journey. This practice is common among RVers, but it is essential to understand the safety measures and legal considerations associated with it.

II. Preferred Safety Measures:

While driving with propane on is a personal choice, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some recommended safety measures to consider:

1. Regular Maintenance:

Ensure that your RV's propane system is well-maintained and regularly inspected for any leaks or malfunctions. Schedule professional inspections and address any issues promptly.

2. Proper Ventilation:

Adequate ventilation is essential when driving with propane on. Ensure that the RV's propane storage compartment is properly vented to prevent the accumulation of propane gas.

3. Propane Detector:

Install a propane gas detector in your RV to provide an early warning in case of a propane leak. Test the detector regularly and replace batteries as needed.

4. Secure Propane Tanks:

Make sure that your propane tanks are securely fastened and properly stored to prevent them from shifting or falling during travel.

5. Turn Off Propane at Fuel Stations:

It is recommended to turn off the propane supply when refueling at gas stations. This precaution reduces the risk of propane leaks near flammable fuel sources.

6. Use The Gas Stop Product an RV Traveling Must Have

Gas Stop is a product designed to enhance safety when traveling with propane in an RV. It is a propane safety device that automatically shuts off the propane supply in the event of a sudden gas leak or excessive flow. Here's how and why using Gas Stop can improve safety when traveling with propane in an RV:

Image Source: Gas Stop

1. Gas Leak Detection:

Gas Stop is equipped with a built-in gas leak detector. It continuously monitors the propane system for any signs of a gas leak. If a leak is detected, Gas Stop will automatically shut off the propane supply, preventing further leakage and reducing the risk of fire or explosion.

2. Excessive Flow Protection:

In the event of a sudden and excessive flow of propane, Gas Stop acts as a safety measure. It detects the abnormal flow and shuts off the propane supply to prevent any potential hazards. This feature is particularly useful in situations where there may be a rupture or damage to the propane system.

3. Emergency Shut-Off:

Gas Stop provides an emergency shut-off function that allows users to manually turn off the propane supply if needed. This can be useful in situations where immediate action is required, such as during a gas leak or other emergencies.

4. Peace of Mind:

Using Gas Stop in your RV provides peace of mind while traveling. It adds an extra layer of safety by automatically shutting off the propane supply in case of a gas leak or excessive flow. This can help prevent accidents, protect your RV and belongings, and ensure the safety of you and your passengers.

5. Compliance with Regulations:

Gas Stop can help RV owners comply with regulations regarding propane safety. Some states or campgrounds may have specific requirements for propane safety devices, and using Gas Stop can help meet those requirements. It demonstrates a commitment to safety and responsible propane usage.

6. Easy Installation:

Gas Stop is designed for easy installation in RV propane systems. It can be installed between the propane tank and the regulator, typically requiring no additional tools or modifications. This makes it accessible for RV owners to add an extra layer of safety to their propane system.

It is important to note that while Gas Stop enhances safety, it does not replace regular maintenance and inspections of the propane system. RV owners should still follow proper maintenance procedures, conduct regular leak checks, and ensure the overall integrity of the propane system.

In conclusion, using Gas Stop in an RV improves safety when traveling with propane by providing gas leak detection, excessive flow protection, emergency shut-off capabilities, and peace of mind. It helps RV owners comply with regulations and adds an extra layer of safety to the propane system. By incorporating Gas Stop into your RV's propane setup, you can enhance the safety of your travels and enjoy peace of mind while on the road.

III. Is it Legal to Drive with Propane On?

The legality of driving an RV with propane on varies depending on the jurisdiction and specific regulations. It is essential to research and understand the laws in the areas where you plan to travel. Here are some key points to consider:

1. State and Local Regulations:

Different states and localities may have specific laws regarding driving with propane on. Some may require the propane to be turned off during travel, while others may allow it under certain conditions.

As a general rule; most states allow RVs to travel with propane on with some very specific rules about turning propane off in certain circumstances such as; driving over specific bridges, driving through tunnels and traveling on ferries. AAA has provided a hand downloadable PDF for these States specific Guidelines. Click Here to Download.

2. Federal Regulations:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) prohibits the transportation of propane cylinders in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. Propane tanks must be securely stored in designated compartments or mounted on the exterior of the RV.

3. RV Manufacturer Guidelines:

RV manufacturers often provide guidelines and recommendations regarding driving with propane on. It is important to consult the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer to understand their specific recommendations.

IV. Perspectives from RV Forums and Websites:

When researching the topic, it becomes evident that there is no simple answer to the question of whether it is okay to drive with propane on. RVers have varying opinions based on their experiences and preferences. Here are some perspectives from popular RV forums and websites:


Some RVers on this forum mention that they have driven with propane on for years without any issues. They emphasize the importance of proper maintenance and safety precautions.

2. RV Travel

This website highlights that driving with propane on is a common practice among RVers. It suggests that as long as safety measures are followed, such as regular inspections and proper ventilation, driving with propane on can be safe.

3. Good Sam Club: 

The Good Sam Club advises RVers to turn off the propane while driving, citing safety concerns and potential legal issues. They recommend using alternative methods, such as pre-cooling the refrigerator or using ice packs, to keep food cold during travel.

V. Additional Tips for RV Propane

How do you find RV propane refill stations? There are a lot of great tools out there now to help you locate the best fuel prices, as well as where to find propane when traveling or camping. Click the links below to check out our detailed guide on locating propane near you.

RV Propane Refill Quick Nav:

  • Take Me Straight to the Propane Fill Station Map Tool
  • How to Refill Propane Tanks Without Moving My RV?
  • Should I Carry Extra Propane Tanks for My RV?
  • VI. Conclusion:

    The question of whether it is safe and legal to drive an RV with propane on to run the refrigerator does not have a definitive answer. It is a personal decision that should be based on individual circumstances, preferences, and adherence to safety measures. Is it legal? Yes. Is it safe? Probably not.

    Prioritize regular maintenance, proper ventilation, and the use of propane detectors to ensure safety. Additionally, research and comply with state, local, and federal regulations regarding driving with propane on. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your comfort level and the safety of your RV travels.