How to hook up external propane tank to RV

Propane tanks are part of the essential components that you checklist whenever you go out camping. The tank is responsible for using as a fuel source for various appliances, as well as used in cooking from your RV stove. The thing is that when you go camping for longer periods, you can’t depend on the camper’s own internal barrel. Carrying an extra propane tank is advisable, and knowing how to hook up an external propane tank to your RV is important for that.

Looking at How to Hook Up External Propane Tank to RV Easily

Getting the tank set up for your RV isn’t hard at all, you just need to have an idea of what you’re looking for, and what you have to be careful of. Fixing the gas bottle in the wrong way could become dangerous, real fast. After reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to tackle the problem of knowing how to hook up an external propane tank to an RV.

Finding and Fixing a Stay Kit

connect your RV onboard propane regulator to an external propane tank

You can find a propane tank fitted nicely in random places in the RV, and kudos to the people that can make it fit it in naturally with their interior design. You can decide on the size of the gas bottle depending on the length of your stay in the camper and depending on the gas usage for the remainder of the trip. The gas bottle has a pipe fixture that goes two ways and knowing which pipe goes for which use is important.

Two connections are going from the pipe fixture. One of the fixtures goes for some light usage of the gas such as using a small grill. The connection is known as the ‘outflow’ connection and is used for smaller appliances that use the propane tank. Small grills and portable propane heaters are more of the appliances that use the outflow connection to function.

The other connection is the ¼ inverted flared connection. This one is quite fittingly named the inflow connection of the gas bottle. The inflow connection is usually used for connecting your main tank to your external one. You can use the connection to fit in with an external tank. The inflow connection helps connect the external bottle to the one already found in the RV. The inflow connection is responsible for the extra use of the propane found within your RV.

Just be sure to check for any kind of leakages when you connect the external tank with the pipe fixture. Using soap water is the best way to check if the propane is leaking from the fixture. You’ll see bubbles popping up once you apply the soap water. Even though propane has a distinct smell, it’s better if you don’t wait so long that you can smell the gas. Make sure to tighten the screws so you won’t have to fear any kind of danger regarding the propane leaking.

Related Article: How to Heat an RV Without Propane – Most Efficient Way

Get the High-Pressure Gas Flowing!

The next thing you’ll have to do is run a high-pressure gas line through the propane tank. The most common size is external propane tanks that consist of a 100-pound bottle. There’s usually a wire that is brought to the bus as the bottle has quite the pressure fitted unto it. The tank has a quick connecter for easy installation and removal. You can count on the local shut-off valve if anything goes awry. The gas line is in the front of the main controller, so make sure to connect it there.

Finding the Right Parts

When it comes to making sure that your external gas bottle is connected quite fittingly, it’s mostly because of the various parts that are designed to fit into each other like puzzle pieces. The first of these parts is a 25 ‘gas hose with a 3/8 “crimp connection, which you’ll have to take according to the length that you’ll need. The next thing is the 3/8 “flare for 90 bends because you need something sturdy to connect the hose with.

You’ll need the essential 1/2 “threaded shut-off valve to cut the connection of the gas from the gas bottle.  Get two ½ thread reducers and a 3/8 crimp to thread connection. The last item is the ¼ male thread to acme connecter which will help combat any counterflow of the gas inside and save you a lot of hassle in the long run.  The acme fitting will ensure you won’t get any loose-fitting anywhere.


Remember that using the external propane tank comes with many benefits, especially if you’re the kind of person that likes to go on long camping trips. Your external gas bottle is necessary for all your cooking needs, and also some appliance needs on the side. You’ll have to make sure that you have your gas bottle fitted in quite nicely to enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

 Knowing the way your external propane tank works, as well as which parts you’ll need will not only help you fit it easily in your RV but will also help in solving any problems that may come up. At least you’ll have solace in knowing you can hook your propane tank in a pinch if the need arises again!

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