When it comes to camping or RVing, one of the most important things you need to worry about is your propane supply. Without propane, it’ll be harder for you to cook food, heat water, and keep yourself warm. That’s why you’ll want to choose the right refillable tank for your needs. In this guide, we’ll review some of the best tanks on the market and help you understand how to use and refill one safely.
How to Use Any Propane Tanks Safely
Before we review some of the best refillable propane tanks, you’ll want to know how to handle and use them safely. Here are some things to always remember:
- Never store a propane tank inside your RV or camper. It’s best to keep it and use it outside in a well-ventilated area.
- Make sure the tank is turned off when you’re not using it. Double-check every time. You don’t want any accidents.
- Check the expiration date on the tank before use. Most tanks have a lifespan of about 12 years, but it’s always best to check.
- Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using the tank to see if there are any special handling instructions for your brand.
- Don’t leave your tank empty on gas as rust can build up and air and moisture could also seep in. This can be very hazardous and can lead to a fire or explosion.
- Properly dispose of your tanks at a waste depot when they start to leak or reach their expiration date. Don’t just leave them out in the open or in the trash.
How to Refill Propane Tanks
The first thing to check is that you are in fact using a refillable propane tank as opposed to a disposable one. Disposable propane tanks can only be used once and then they must be properly disposed of, hence the name. It will usually say disposable on the tank somewhere. Refillable tanks can be reused over and over again until they reach their expiration date.
To refill propane tanks, you’ll need to find a place that does propane refills. The best places to look are at gas stations, RV parks, and campgrounds. You can also check online to see if there are any propane refill stations near you.
Once you’ve found a place, you’ll want to make sure that the tank is turned off and that the valve is closed. Remove the cap from the tank and screw on the adapter that’s provided by the refill station. Then you can open up the valve on the tank and start the refill process.
It’s best to do this slowly so that the propane can properly fill up the tank without any issues. When the tank is full, you can close the valve and remove the adapter. Be sure to screw the cap back on tightly before moving the tank.
Best Refillable Propane Tanks for Camping or RV’ing
Now, let’s review two of the best refillable propane tanks for camping or RV’ing.
Ignix Gas Growler Delux
The Ignik Gas Growler Delux is a great option for those who are looking for a large-capacity tank. This tank can hold up to 4.5 liters of propane, which is enough to last most people a few days of camping. Of course, this will vary depending on how much you use it. It will have no problem connecting to your standard stove, fridge, grill, or heater with the included hose.
One of the great things about this tank is that it comes with a carrying case that can also be used to stabilize the tank. It provides insulation, making the Growler much more fuel efficient in colder weather. You’ll find this one can last five times longer compared to the average non-fillable propane tank. The best part? Refilling the Gas Growler will cost the same as a single non-reusable tank, which makes it a cost-efficient investment in the long run. Not to mention a more environmentally friendly option.
In terms of safety, the Growler complies with DOT specifications 4BA, 4BW, and 4E, which means it can be transported in your car, SUV, RV, or boat. Just be sure to follow the general guidelines for storing propane tanks. The only downside to this tank is that it’s a bit on the heavier side, weighing in at 10 pounds when empty. However, the overall build is pretty compact and smaller compared to its competitors.
Flame King Refillable Cylinder
If you’re looking for a smaller refillable propane tank, then you’ll want to go with this 1 lb option from Flame King. It holds up to 16.4 ounces of propane and is perfect for those who don’t need a lot of gas or are only using it for short periods. The next time you go on a short camping trip or need to do a quick grill, make sure to keep at least two of these lightweight tanks handy.
These work great with our favorite camping stoves.
It’s important to note that most 1 lb propane tanks are not refillable. Flame King’s tank is one of the exceptions, and you can store it for up to 12 years (or 10 in Canada).
The Flame King tank is certified by DOT, which means you’re allowed to refill it and transport it in your vehicle. It’s made of durable steel and has a rust-resistant powder coat finish to extend its lifespan. These tanks also refill quickly if you purchase the entire refill kit that comes with the tank, cylinder cap, refill adapter, and refill stand. You’ll get more value out of the kit because you’re essentially given everything you need to refill the tank, but it’s not entirely necessary.
Finally, if you are an avid RV’er or camper, and are using propane for powering your kitchen or other key items in camp, consider adding solar to your arsenal. You might be able to save on gas by using it only for the essentials, and the solar power can be enough to power part of your camp kitchen or other electronics that you carry along with you. You do this by getting a portable solar panel that can fold up when you are on the go.
For people who are car and RV camping, we like the combination of propane and solar. It can give you plenty of energy for your basic needs, and allow you to get by with a little less fuel.