It is a common misconception that RVs come with a complete safety shutoff mechanism to protect against propane leaks. But standard technology does not provide 100% automatic shutoff in the event of a leak!
Propane safety in an RV is extremely important, especially if you are new to RVing. This article will introduce you to the protection that comes standard in your RV, as well as how to increase that protection for maximum RV propane safety.
The RV Propane System
Your RV's propane system has the following primary components:
- Propane tank(s)
- Hoses that run to your appliances (furnace, stove, water heater, etc.)
The valve on your propane tanks provides all of the "built-in" protection in your RV's propane system. This valve is called an Overfill Protection Device, or OPD valve, and was added to all RV propane tanks as a safety measure starting in 1998. Before that, you could open up a valve and propane would freely flow out of the tank. As you can imagine, this created some problems!
The OPD valve is in place to prevent overfilling of the propane tank, but it ends up being a safety device because it prevents the free flowing of propane if a hose in not connected to it. When your hose is connected to the OPD valve, the device opens up so you can pressurize your system and get good propane flow. So basically, the OPD provides no flow protection once the propane line is connected to it. There is some protection in the propane hose connection if there is a leak, but not enough. The connection point on the propane hose has an excess flow valve and if there is a leak then the excess flow valve will shut off about 80% of the leak, but the rest will flow freely. This is where the problem exists in your system as free flow of 20% of a leak can fill up your RV pretty quickly.
That's why we recommend GasStop
GasStop is a 100% shutoff device to prevent propane from flowing through your system if you have a leak. GasStop also has a built-in gauge so you can check the propane level in your tanks, which is a neat feature in itself!
How It Works
Each GasStop unit contains a calibrated ball bearing. If there is an excess flow of propane, 75,000 BTU or higher, the ball bearing is seated against an O-ring, which shuts off 100% of the propane flow to your RV. The stoppage of propane is instant should there be a leak.
How to Install GasStop
Installation of this device is about as easy as it gets. Simply screw the GasStop onto your propane tank before you attach your RV's hose, and you are done! When you are ready to camp, prime the GasStop by depressing the gauge a few times.
Here is a short video we made with a demonstration of how easy the GasStop is to install, and how effective it is at stopping leaks:
We love the GasStop because it's the only device on the market to guarantee 100% propane shutoff in the event of a leak. RV propane systems are very safe when everything works properly, but the consequences of a leak can be deadly serious. Keep yourself and your family safe for lots of adventures on the road with this simple, easy-to-install device.
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