If you enjoy hot showers, a working fridge, being able to cook, and so much more, you can thank your RV propane regulator. It’s easy to forget this little equipment piece, but it plays a crucial role in how your RV uses propane to power vital systems. Read on to learn how!
What Is an RV Propane Regulator?
To understand how this essential component works, you must know a little about how RV propane systems work.
Your propane will be stored at extremely high pressure while in the tank–much higher than your appliances could handle. An RV propane regulator takes that high-pressure propane and reduces it to a pressure usable for your RV systems.
Are Propane Regulators All the Same?
No. All propane regulators may perform the same primary function, but the specific types can vary based on the propane system type.
First-stage regulators are what you’ll find on gas grills, camp stoves, and propane firepits. You can sometimes use them along with a second-stage regulator, which further reduces propane pressure before it reaches the appliance.
Most commonly, RVs will have integral twin stage or dual regulators, which help share the propane between multiple appliances.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Propane Regulator
Like any piece of technical equipment for your RV, buying a new regulator can feel a little overwhelming. Here are a few key things to help focus your shopping.
Scientists measure capacity in BTUs (British thermal units), which initially represented the amount of heat required to increase one pound of water temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit.
It now has a more technical definition, but the principle is the same. The more BTU capacity your regulator has, the more power and capacity your RV propane system has. Generally, most regulators will have enough capacity to power most RVs, although some rigs require special high-capacity units.
While most models are very affordable (starting around $30), consider your budget and your propane needs when shopping.
Additionally, consider the savings from increased efficiency. If you have a more efficient propane regulator, it might reduce your power usage and save you more money in some cases. It might be worth purchasing a more expensive unit initially to reap cost savings long term.
You want to know how the product is working in real life with real RVers. Read various reviews to learn about the ease of installation and use, any common or recurring problems, or general advice from current owners.
Best RV Propane Regulators
So, which RV propane regulators are the best choice for you? We took a look at the top options and want to share the top three with you.
Camco Horizontal 2-Stage RV Propane Regulator
- Has integral first and second stages that ensure smoother, more consistent flow of propane gas to all RV appliances
- Inlet: POL tank connection Outlet: 3/8" Female NPT
The Camco Horizontal 2-Stage has 160,000 BTUs per hour. It’s selected as Amazon’s Choice for propane regulators, earning 4.3 out of 5 stars with over a thousand reviews.
Marshall Excelsior 2-Stage RV Propane Regulator
With 175,000 BTUs per hour, the Marshall Excelsior 2-Stage includes a bit more capacity. It costs just $32 and has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon from more than 200 reviews.
Flame King 2-Stage RV Propane Regulator with Pigtails
- Allows removal of empty cylinder for refill without interrupting propane supply
- For RVs with dual propane tanks; Automatically switches from primary to reserve tank when primary is empty
This unit with pigtails is the most expensive and most powerful of these choices. But at $40 and 190,000 BTUs per hour capacity, it’s a great value and very popular. It’s earned a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with nearly 4,300 reviews, far more than either of our other two choices.
To sum up, regulating your propane is a crucial part of protecting your rig’s appliances and letting you use your systems in comfort. These tiny devices make a huge impact, so keep this advice in mind when replacing yours!
Last update on 2021-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API