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Old 05-07-2021, 11:54 PM   #1
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LP tank on or off?

Just picked up our very first Class A (used 2003). We were going to fill up our gasoline tank but read in our manual about shutting off our LP tank before doing so.

We turned off the LP tank at the valve on the tank. Now we know we'll have to re-light all our pilot lights for stove and hot water tank (?).

Did we do the right thing by shutting off the LP tank? Is that what should be done whenever we fill our engine gasoline?

And one side question... we read that we aren't supposed to turn the hot water heater on unless there is water in the hot water tank. How do we tell if there is water in the hot water tank? I know we have to hook up to water to fill our water tank but how does that function with the hot water tank?
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:58 AM   #2
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Yes turn off all sources of flames to prevent gasoline vapors from igniting. Some people do not it's your choice but I error on the side of safety. I don't run my water heater while driving and run my refrigerator off of the inverter. I have have enough solar to do that. As far as filling the water heater just run the hot water faucet to get the air out before turning it on.
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:24 AM   #3
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No need to turn off tank valve, actually you create more chance of a spark by doing that.

There are no pilot in today's RVs. Everything is spark ignition. There will be no pilot lights to re-light.

Unless you electricly switch off the water heater, furnace and fridge, they will all attempt to light repeatedly with the gas off.

Best course of action is to switch the Battery Disconnect, Use/Store switch off as you get out to gas up. That should disable all of the spark ignition sources.

No need to turn the propane gas valve off and back on.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2roll View Post
Just picked up our very first Class A (used 2003). We were going to fill up our gasoline tank but read in our manual about shutting off our LP tank before doing so.

We turned off the LP tank at the valve on the tank. Now we know we'll have to re-light all our pilot lights for stove and hot water tank (?).

Did we do the right thing by shutting off the LP tank? Is that what should be done whenever we fill our engine gasoline?

And one side question... we read that we aren't supposed to turn the hot water heater on unless there is water in the hot water tank. How do we tell if there is water in the hot water tank? I know we have to hook up to water to fill our water tank but how does that function with the hot water tank?
First of all, good for you for reading the manual. You are in the minority of RV'rs for doing it. This warning, no doubt, was written into the manual to lessen liability to the manufacturer of your MH in case an accident would happen.
Whether to turn the gas off would depend on the location of the refrigerator and water heater in relation to your fuel filler location. In my case I don't run the water heater when traveling so it's not a concern. I do run the refrigerator on LP but the vent is on the passenger's side midship while the fuel filler tube is at the rear driver's side of the coach behind the license plate which folds down to access the filler tube. Probably not an issue but I do switch the refrigerator to off before filling my gasoline tank. When the propane tank is being filled everything running on LP is shut off as well as the valve on the LP tank. Refill stations will normally require this.
Before I bought my class A I had a Gulf Stream Conquest 24' class C. The fuel filler was only inches away from the refrigerator vent opening. I would make doubly sure the fridge was shut off before filling the gasoline tank.
Any extra steps you take in the name of safety are wise if there is even a slight chance an accident could happen.
What concerns me the most is if I'm at the island filling my gas tank and someone else pulls in next to me with a camper with a fridge, furnace or water heater running. I will stop pumping gas and either wait until they leave or just quit filling my tank and move away. I've only had this happen once but it was an eyeopener for a couple minutes. The heat from their furnace was actually blowing onto me while I had the nozzle in my hand.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:09 AM   #5
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I don't turn off the main tank valve.

A propane fired refrigerator will be firing if it is turned on and not connected to 120 volts. It would be best to turn it off before fueling up and then turn it back on when finished. The oven, if equipped, probably has a pilot light that, imo, should be off while traveling anyway. Otherwise, I doubt the water heater and furnace have pilot lights that stay lit. They most likely use direct spark ignition for lighting their main burners. In either case, you would still want to make sure those appliances were turned off when fueling because a call for heat might occur during that time.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:21 AM   #6
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Yes, that's the safe thing to do!
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Old 05-08-2021, 01:26 PM   #7
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Like several others, my practice was to turn off the propane fridge, assuming it was in LP gas mode. The main propane valve at the tank stayed on. Always, unless entering a tunnel where it is prohibited.



Turning off the LP tank valve is old-time stuff, from the days of pilot lights. Few RVs have pilot lights any more. An exception would be a gas oven, but that is rarely lit during travel. As somebody pointed out, a modern DSI heater or fridge will spark repeatedly if the propane is off, and it's the spark that can ignite gas fumes. Not the propane itself.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:07 PM   #8
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To fill water heater,
Turn on hot water faucet only.
Let it run till no air, only water comes out.
It's full.
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by scrapperjohn View Post
To fill water heater,
Turn on hot water faucet only.
Let it run till no air, only water comes out.
It's full.
Provided the Water Heater Bypass Valve is not Open


As for Pilot on Water heater....2003 vintage it is possible
Post the Brand/Model of water heater for specific info

Fridge.....electronic ignition (furnace also)
Just leave LP Tank Valve Open and turn fridge off using the On/Off Button on upper display
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:35 PM   #10
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You can also give a quick tug on the water heater's pressure relief valve. If water comes out, you're okay to use it.

Good luck and kudos on heading to the manual.
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:43 PM   #11
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OK have a ? . Can anyone show me anywhere that a fire was caused by RV appliance not being shut off while fueling up the tow vehicle? I would bet 90% or more of people fueling up with a rv never turn off anything. Not saying it couldn't happen but the chances of that is highly unlikely and I never heard of one case of it happening.
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:52 PM   #12
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That's like the warning to have the engine shut off before fueling.

What about all of the cars pulling in, or out, all around you ? Their engines are running.
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Old 05-08-2021, 08:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
That's like the warning to have the engine shut off before fueling.

What about all of the cars pulling in, or out, all around you ? Their engines are running.
In my pre-retirement days I was an environmental compliance officer for our state agency. I can certainly attest to fires that occurred while fueling with the vehicle engine running.

And, I've investigated fires that occurred as a result of static electricity build-up from the driver sitting in his/her car while fueling, then sliding out of the car and grabbing the metal gasoline nozzle thus causing a spark thus causing a fire. One particular fire occurred due to static electricity spark after the driver reached inside the car and slid her purse across the seat so she could get her credit card, then touched the metal gas nozzle.

Off subject, perhaps, but anytime you remove your hand from the gasoline nozzle, it is a very good practice to touch something metallic on your vehicle before touching the nozzle.

An ounce of prevention...
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:06 PM   #14
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I cut the valve off. The local station where I live has it posted with a sign. It is a courtesy to the owner whom i know. Wife feels safer. I also never know what will happen around me when filling. I have on the road filled and did not remember the propane gas for the fridge was on. Personal feeling I guess. I drive a 2015 class c. Tank not hard to get to.
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