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External propane tanks hooked up to and RV.

2 Steps for Hooking Up an External Propane Tank to Your RV

Part of the fun of camping is having the freedom to do things your way. Whether this means grilling every night or hunkering down for an extended stay in the mountains, you shouldn't be limited by your propane setup. Don't worry about your tank running out on the first chilly evening (you know, when you're relying on it most) or halfway through dinner. Instead, just hook up your extra propane tank and camp to your heart's content — we'll show you how.

Hooking Up an External Propane Tank

It really does boil down to just two steps:Step 1: Install a T-fittingStep 2: Run a hose from the T-fitting to your auxiliary tank You may have heard T-fittings referred to as Extend-a-Stays, Stay-a-Whiles, or something similar, but they all do the same job: splice into your propane setup and allow you to connect an extra tank. Many also include an additional connection point so you can connect a gas grill or other accessory at the same time.
T-fitting with connections labeled.
Pictured: T-fitting with connections labeled
T-fitting hooked up to RV.
The main issue people run into when connecting external tanks is accidentally double regulating the incoming propane. If your extra propane tank (like most) lacks its own regulator, you'll need to regulate the gas at your RV. If your extra tank does have its own regulator, you'll need to remove it or bypass your RV's regulator.

If Your External Tank Doesn't Have a Regulator

If your external tank doesn't have a regulator, install the T-fitting upstream of (before) your camper's regulator. This way, all incoming propane will flow through the camper's regulator before being distributed to the various appliances.
T-fitting installed upstream of regulator.
Pictured: T-fitting installed upstream of regulator
Diagram depicting how to connect and external tank without a regulator.

If Your External Tank Has a Regulator

If your external tank has a regulator, install your T-fitting downstream of (after) your RV's regulator, so that the propane only passes through the regulator on the external tank.
Diagram depicting how to connect an external tank with a regulator.
Oil Buildup When Using 6' or Longer Hoses There's one more factor to consider here. If you're running a 6' or longer plastic hose to your grill and you leave it connected to high-pressure (unregulated) propane for weeks or months at a time, the plasticizers that keep the hose flexible will eventually seep into the inner tube, causing an oily buildup in the hose and grill regulator. This is only an issue if your auxiliary tank does not have a regulator (regulated propane doesn't cause this issue). The easiest solution is to use a rubber or Thermoplastic rubber hose like this one from MB Sturgis. Unlike all-plastic hoses, these hoses won't leach enough plasticizer to cause oil builduip issues.

A few final tips:

  • After you're finished making your connections, spray your hoses and fittings with a soapy water solution to check for bubbles indicating gas leaks.
  • Use yellow thread tape designed for gas connections (this is different than the white tape used for plumbing connections).
  • When installing adapter fittings or connectors, make sure the fitting is rated for use with either high or low pressure, as required.
Hooking up a grill to your RV? Check out our how-to guide here.
Amber S.
About Amber S.As a content writer for etrailer, I might spend my morning loading and unloading a bike on five different bike racks to figure out which is easiest to use. I might be in the parking lot, taking pictures of an impressive RV battery setup our techs came across in the shop and discussing the benefits of the setup with the owner. I might spend an afternoon in a manufacturer training class for some hands-on experience with new products, and then sit down to assemble all this information into a coherent article.At etrailer, one of our core values is that we are always learning, and I learn something new every day. I start each morning with the goal in mind of taking all of this information and figuring out the best way to answer the questions people ask us (and the ones they don’t know to ask yet), and helping people get the solutions they need to make their lives easier, safer, and more fun. I’m a DIYer at heart, so it brings me great joy to help a fellow DIYer find what they’re looking for, whether that’s a product, an answer, or a community.
Related ArticlesRelated ProductsWritten by: Amber S.Updated on: 1/22/2021

Scott B.

3/30/2024

I want to connect a 100-pound propane to my camper. I have external jack to connect my 36" Blackstone grill too. I would like to unhook my 20-pound bottle of propane. From there i want to connect to the 100-pound bottle. So, i need hose t go from 100-pound bottle to existing 20-pound bottle connector. Then i need hose from camper quick connect to my 36 Blackstone grill. What do i need for connectors. My camper has furnace fridge and hot water on propane. we do not cook inside of camper. so, we don't use stove or oven..

Viiram M.

2/19/2021

Do you sell a guage to tell me the level of propane Left in a 2 bottle system?

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

2/19/2021

We have the gauge # CAM59023 but you'll need to get 2 of them; one for each tank.

Norman

2/19/2021

Can u show me a built in lp tank hookup for exterior grill?

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

2/19/2021

I believe the attached link is what you're looking for.

Rick L.

2/19/2021

Excellent idea. Do you required a professional fitter to inspect the connection for it to be certified? I’m thinking of Insurance purposes.

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

2/19/2021

As long as you've made sure you're using the correct connections and you do the soapy water test afterwards you should be just fine. If you aren't very comfortable with propane then you might consider getting the opinion of a professional or someone who has messed with propane a lot just to make sure your connections are correct.

Keith B.

2/19/2021

Is it possible to connect an extra propane tank to my existing Rv tank by just connecting the two with a hose with female connections on each end ?

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

2/19/2021

Like to fill up your RV tank?

Keith B.

2/19/2021

@JonG yes, i would like to be able to connect a larger tank to the one on my motor home to use at home when not traveling, like an extra living quarters for company
Etrailer Expert

Jon G.

2/19/2021

@KeithB It sounds like you're needing the kit # CAM59125. This doesn't give you the option to fill your RV tank, but it does allow you to pipe in another tank for what it sounds like you're looking to do.
See All (5) Replies to Keith B. ∨


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