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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.
You might only realize you need a new one when your appliances aren’t working and you’re doing some RV propane regulator troubleshooting. Or maybe you smell propane outside your RV and found a leak in your old regulator. Either way, we’ve found the best regulators so you can get back to using your RV!
What Is an RV Propane Regulator?
To understand how this essential component works, you must know a little about how your RV’s propane system works.
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.
These products come in both low-pressure and high-pressure regulators. You will find single-stage regulators, as well as two-stage. Depending on the model, you can have one or two propane tanks connected. For RVs with two tanks, some are even classified as auto changeover regulators.
Regulators make sure that you have consistent gas pressures with a smooth and continuous flow. If your rig’s propane system has a leak
Are Propane Regulators All the Same?
No, all 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. Some high-quality regulators even have an automatic changeover feature when one tank is empty.
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 and buy a high-quality regulator.
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.
Pro Tip: Many RVers wonder Should You Travel with Your RV Propane Tanks Open or Closed? Find out now!
Best RV Propane Regulators
So, which RV propane regulators are the best choice for you? We took a look at the top options and explain each. Let’s get started!
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.
Most reviewers opt for this regulator as it is on the lower end of the price range and meant for one propane tank. However, the main complaint is that it will eventually break. If you’re looking for a quick fix at a low cost, this is your best bet.
Camco Vertical Two-Stage RV Propane Regulator
- Has integral first and second stages that ensure smoother, more consistent flow of propane gas to all RV appliances.Fit...
- Inlet: 1/4" Female NPT Outlet: 3/8" Female NPT
The Camco Vertical 2-Stage RV propane regulator is similar to the one above, it just mounts differently. This product offers 160,000 BTUs per hour and is meant for one RV propane tank. This model has a first and second stage for the propane, which creates a consistent and smooth flow to your appliances.
KIBOW Two-Stage RV Propane Regulator
This RV propane regulator offers quite the bang for your buck. Coming in at less than $30 with 165,000 BTUs, this is a great option. This model is meant for vertical mounting and can be used with pigtails. Or in other terms, can be used with two propane hoses.
Flame King Two-Stage RV Propane Regulator with Pigtails
- Allows removal of the empty cylinder for refill without interrupting propane supply; includes 2 of the 12-inch pigtails...
- For RVs with dual propane tanks; it automatically switches from primary to reserve tank when the primary tank is empty
This high-quality unit is rated at 190,000 BTUs per hour capacity and allows the removal of one cylinder without disrupting your propane supply. That means you can take the empty tank to get a refill without having to turn off your fridge, furnace, or anything else that uses your propane tanks.
Additionally, this product has an automatic switch feature. Meaning it will automatically switch from your empty tank to your full tank. It’s earned a 4.6-star rating on Amazon with over 7,000 reviews! It comes with dual propane tank hookups so you don’t have to buy any additional hardware.
Pro Tip: Not sure how or where to get your RV propane refilled? Check out The Easiest Ways to Refill Your RV Propane to find out!
Fairview 2-Stage RV Propane Regulator
This product is the most expensive and most powerful of the choices listed here. It offers 262,500 BTUs. This is a great replacement for leaky regulator valves on larger RVs. You will need to purchase the mounting screws separately.
You are able to connect two propane tanks with this model. However, you will need to buy the pigtails as it doesn’t come with those additional pieces.
This is an automatic changeover regulator, so it will switch to the next tank when one runs out. While this has a higher price tag, this model is sturdy, well built, and loved by the reviewers.
Tiny Device, Huge Impact
To sum up, regulating your propane tanks 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 2024-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API