Propane is like coffee.
When there’s a full supply we’re without a care in the world.
As soon as supply dips low, though? Oh no! Savour every last drop! Where are we getting more? And when??
No one wants to waste their vacation time hunting around for propane. This guide is for anyone planning a long trip, or in urgent need of a propane tank top-up. I’ve spent 9 hours researching tips and reviewing apps, locators, and RV-forums across the web. This article covers everything I’ve found.
The quickest way to find propane is simply to Google ‘Propane near X’. Where X is your Zipcode or nearest town. If that fails, try a locator like uhaul.com/propane or use one of our links below. Call ahead before you go: make sure they have stock, fit your RV, and compare nearby prices. It can vary a lot.
But there’s much more to it than that. Read on and we’ll dive into the details.
Where to Find Propane for your RV
If you’re looking for information fast, then I’ve summarized all the best resources in this section. Enjoy! It includes websites, apps, and GPS system that will pinpoint where you can get your fill of LPG.
Best Online Maps
- U-Haul: uhaul.com/Propane/
- Amerigas: amerigas.com/propane-locations
- AFDC: afdc.energy.gov/fuels/propane_locations.html
- Propane.com: propane.com/where-to-buy/
- LPGStations: lpgstations.com/
- Google! (search for “Propane Near *ZIPCODE*)
Best Propane Finder Apps
Our mobile phones are as powerful as computers now, so why not use them to your benefit?
Below is a list of apps I’ve used and rated myself. They’re all great for navigation as well as finding RV-related resources like propane or campgrounds. Take some time to try them out, and you may find a tool you love.
Click on any of the names to be taken to the app’s website.
Overall, Park Advisor is the most widely used and recommended app; which is why I’ve labeled it as the editor’s choice.
Best GPS Systems
For the most convenience, there’s nothing more handy than a GPS. And nothing more relevant than an RV-Specialized GPS.
These will give you way more than just locations for propane. Think live traffic and weather updates, hand-free features, voice activation, and locations of almost every RV Park & Services out there.
That said, a modern smartphone can be just as good if you know how to use it. This is where having a teenager in the back can come in real handy!
If you are considering an RV GPS, there’s plenty of great ones on the market – like the Garmin RV770 below. However, this guide isn’t really the place for me to do in-depth reviews of them.
Instead, I’ve linked to the best selling RV GPS models on Amazon using the affiliated link below.
How to Find Propane in a Fix
I know many people will have searched Google because they’re sitting in their RV and acutely aware that their gas is in the red zone. If that’s you, don’t worry. Let’s take it one step at a time.
- In Google, type in ‘Propane Near *ZC*’ – where ZC is the nearest zip code you can find.
- If it doesn’t show anything, use our recommended website list to search around.
- You can also try ‘Propane *TOWN*’ if you’re near a town.
- Don’t go straight to the first option: check out any places you find. Some may just be for swapping dot tanks. Ensure they have what you need.
- Call around for the best price. It can vary up to $4/gallon in rural areas.
- Make sure your RV can fit in their yard. Prioritize travel stops for this reason.
- If in/near a campground, ask locals about propane companies that send trucks out. There may be one due at the campground soon.
If you can’t find any on the websites, try downloading the apps in our recommended list and search on there, too. (We’re not affiliated with them in any way)
If you’ve found a few options on Google, it’s important to figure out which is best. The easiest way is to call them. Clarify their price, type (portable only or able to refuel built-in ASME), and access (can your RV fit?).
There’s some reputable travel stops that you shouldn’t need to worry about if you spot them. These are your best chance for space with a fixed tank and a large RV. They’re made to refuel large trucks; you should be in good hands with them.
- Flying J’s
Some stops have alert systems to call out an attendant, and others you’ll need to walk inside and ask.
Other Propane Vendors
Some other places to look out for are:
- Retail Stores: Suburban areas. Including ACE Hardware, Tractor Supply, & Others.
- Canadian Tire: If you’re in Canada, these guys often (but not always) have a good deal of propane on hand.
- Campgrounds: Whether staying or passing through, any good campground will be able to fuel you up. Or at the very least, find you someone who will.
- Small Businesses: Like hardware stores and gas stations. Especially in areas that are popular with RVers. Be aware of limited opening times, and of attendants being ‘around’ but not behind the till. When times are quiet, many will be doing odd jobs around the place. Look for signs on how to get in touch with them.
If you’re just using removable tanks – you’re in luck. These are much easier to simply swap over in any hardware store. However, this is often more expensive and may not be as full as you’d get at a stop. Supermarkets, Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc as well as all of the stops above.
Note: Portable/Removable tanks are called ‘DOT’ tanks, and the built-ins are ‘ASME’ tanks. Curious about what they mean? Simply the association who certifies them! Department of Transport and American Society of Engineers, respectively.
Getting stuck without propane is a sure sign of bad planning – like it or not! Thankfully, there’s some good tips we can follow to make sure it never happens again.
- Keep track as you travel. Sounds simple, but try to always be aware of roughly when you’ll next need to fill up, and where you’ll be. You should always be able to approximately answer the question “how much do we have and how long until we need a refill?”
- Make friends. If you ever get in touch with other travelers on the road, remember that they’re not only an opportunity to make a friend, but also can probably give more accurate advice than google for your area! It’s always good to ask if they’d had any issues on the road, been diverted, or know of any good stops or fueling locations.
- Ask ahead. Despite having such a great community, RVing can be tricky when we go into remote areas. One great tactic is to ask on local forums – even TripAdvisor – for locations to top up on propane. You’ll be sure to get some great advice, likely from locals or RVers who’ve been through that area. Check out this thread as an example.
- Consider a converter. For those with built-in tanks, there is a way to get the convenience of portable tanks. That’s through a converter. These can be attached to portable DOT tanks, and used to transfer the propane into fixed ASME tanks. Bear in mind that you should get someone who knows what they’re doing to show you the ropes.
Being without such a vital resource as propane sucks. It can turn a relaxing drive into an urgent hunt. Not quite a relaxing holiday!
I hope this guide’s given you a few good resources to check when you’re out and without any LPG. If you’ve got any tips you’d like to add, I’d love to hear them! Just shoot us a message via our contact page.
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Best wishes, and happy driving.