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Propane is the most common source of energy that is used to power RV appliances. It’s used for cooking, heating, refrigeration, etc. It plays a crucial part in making your RV life more comfortable, convenient, and cozy. And an essential part of an RV’s propane system is a propane regulator. Its purpose is to provide a safe and stable flow of propane throughout your RV. There are many different types available on the market, which can make choosing the best RV propane regulators an overwhelming task. For this reason, we’ve created these RV propane regulator reviews with the top rated products in 2021. Below the comparison table and reviews, you can also find a buying guide where we go over all the different features of propane regulators and how to choose the right one for you.
Top 10 RV Propane Regulators
Best RV Propane Regulators Reviewed
Flame King KT12ACR6
Another popular RV propane regulator is the Flame King KT12ACR6 model. It’s the perfect choice for an RV owner who’s looking for a durable and high quality propane regulator. It’s simple, effective, and versatile.
The durable construction of this unit includes heavy duty metal body and a plastic rain cover. It provides protection for the regulator against issue-causing elements, such as corrosion and rust. This also means that it can be safely installed outdoors. However, keep in mind that if it’s not under a cover, the vent opening should be pointed vertically down in order to protect it from rain, debris, etc.
This propane regulator is designed for hookup to two propane tanks. It features the automatic changeover design. When one tank is emptied, it switches to the reserve tank. At the same time, it turns an indicator to red color, which shows that the primary tank is empty. Then, you can turn a lever to the tank in service and remove the empty tank for refilling. Just make sure to check the indicator so you don’t run out of gas in both tanks.
The double stage design of the regulator also ensures that the gas pressure remains constant despite changes in inlet pressure. This provides a more adequate and more safe supply of propane for the operating appliances.
The propane regulator also comes with two 12-inch pigtails that you can use to connect the unit to your propane tanks. They feature seals built into the screw-in ends, so they are ready for use right out of the box. However, you could always add more Teflon tape if necessary.
This propane regulator is rated for 30,000 BTUs, which is a bit low for high demand applications. But if you don’t have any large propane appliances in your RV, this is a fairly decent rate.
Marshall Excelsior MEGR-253
The top rated RV propane regulator in 2021 is the Marshall Excelsior MEGR-253. It comes from one of the most known brands for LP gas regulators that has shown over the years to provide high quality products with great durability, quality, and performance.
The first thing that stands out is the durable and sturdy construction. It’s made of raw zinc and also features powdered exterior finish. These are the most durable materials used in this kind of product.
This is a 2-stage regulator, which works to reduce the cylinder pressure to the safest workable level. It also features automatic changeover between the tanks, meaning that when one tank is emptied, it automatically switches to the second tank. This ensures a continuous supply of gas to your RV appliances. There’s also an indicator that turns red when the primary cylinder is empty.
Moreover, the regulator is designed in a way that allows disconnecting the empty tank for a refill while the other tank continues to be in use.
This RV propane regulator is designed for a maximum inlet pressure of 250 PSI. It also comes with preset pressure, so it can be set up and ready for use right out of the box.
Another positive quality of this propane regulator is its ability to produce 225,000 BTUs. When it switches to the reserve tank, the capacity goes down to 150,000 BTUs. However, you can restore it to 225,000 BTUs by manually turning the lever to the new tank.
One more recommended RV propane regulator is the UFPD 221630. It’s a good pick due to its durable design, the ability to handle varying RV conditions, and the ease of installation.
Similar to the propane regulator models mentioned above, this unit features a double stage design with an automatic changeover. First of all, this means that it is capable of providing a stable supply of propane that is safe for the operating appliances. And secondly, the automatic changeover means that there’s no hassle involved in having to interrupt your propane supply because of both tanks running empty.
You hook up this regulator to two tanks and first, it draws propane from the main tank, and then when it is empty, it switches to the reserve tank. This results in a continuous, uninterrupted supply of propane gas.
This is a low pressure regulator, so it’s designed to the 11 water column inches and ½ lb outlet pressure. It also comes at a factory preset pressure, so you get it ready for set up and use.
The propane regulator is easy to install with vertical mounting. It also includes two 12-inch pigtails, which is convenient for setting the whole thing up right out of the box. Though, you’ll still need to have additionally an outlet hose, which is not included in the package.
Marsh Excel MEGR-253H
Marsh Excel MEGR-253H is one more high quality, reliable propane regulator that is a perfect choice for RVs, 5th wheels or campers. It’s a regulator that is designed to provide a reliable performance and to last a long time.
The first thing to note about this propane regulator is the durability of its construction. It’s built with durable raw zinc and it’s finished with powder coating. The materials used provide long lasting performance and protection against various elements, such as water.
This is a low pressure, high volume propane regulator, with a maximum inlet pressure of 250 psi. As for the BTU rating, the primary is 350,000 BTUs, while the reserve is 200,000 BTUs. This should be enough to power most appliances onboard your RV, even the larger ones.
It’s also an automatic dual tank regulator, which means that you hook it up to a two-tank propane system and it first uses the main tank and then automatically redirects the flow from the second tank. And when the cylinder is emptied and needs refilling, an indicator turns the light to red color. This allows getting a continuous supply of propane without any interruptions, given that you remember to refill the tanks.
This RV propane regulator also meets the standards of the biggest organizations in the industry. It meets UL, RVs and NFPA requirements.
Mr. Heater F273863
Mr. Heater F273863 is also a good RV propane regulator that is very well built and which offers a few features to provide a consistent gas flow to your indoor and outdoor appliances.
This propane regulator features a simple, yet durable design. It’s built with a rugged zinc body and unlike many other propane regulators, which are crimped together, this unit is machine fastened together with screws. It makes the design more sturdy and durable. There’s also a plastic cover for the valve, to protect it against the elements and the sun if you install it outside.
It’s a two stage propane regulator and it comes with a preset pressure level. The inlet pressure for this RV propane regulator is measured at ½ PSI or 11 water column inches. The BTU capacity is 160,000 BTUs per hour, with the maximum being 200,000 BTUs.
One more important benefit of this system is the excess flow safety feature. Its function is to keep the gas from overflowing, which will keep you safe and save you gas.
To make your life easier, this propane regulator is also very easy to install. The regulator mounts horizontally with the vent pointing down in order to protect it from water, debris, and dirt falling getting inside. It comes with a pre-installed POL fitting and the left hand thread. So, you just need to get the inlet and outlet hoses and the unit is ready for use.
For a high capacity RV propane regulator, check out the Fairview GR-9984 model. It offers 345,000 BTUs capacity, which is perfect for BTU demand of larger appliances.
The superior performance of this unit is also provided by its solid construction, which ensures long lasting service life. As a two-stage regulator, this model also provides a consistent pressure level regardless of the circumstances.
Being an automatic dual tank regulator, this unit for automatic changeover being two tanks installed in your RV, pop up camper, 5th wheel, or pop up camper. You hook it up to two propane tanks and first, it flows the gas from one tank. When the main tank’s gas supply runs out, it automatically switches over to the second tank. At the same time, you’ll see an indicator changing to red color, which shows that the tank’s gas supply has been depleted and needs refilling.
Moreover, this propane regulator is set to the standard pressure of 11 water column inches, so it’s a low pressure regulator. However, this unit also includes a pressure tap for adjusting the pressure level, which is missing on most other propane regulator models.
JR Products 07-30325
The JR Products is also a highly rated RV propane regulator. It’s the perfect choice for those who are looking for the highest BTU capacity and the highest pressure. In fact, it has the highest capacity of the 10 propane regulators that we’ve reviewed in this article. It offers 500,000 BTUs and 30 PSIG. And this high pressure regulator works with any trailer or 5th wheel LP lines.
The inlet and outlet connectors are designed with the same measurements of ¼ inches. This means that you don’t need to purchase two different hoses to set this unit up.
Overall, it’s a great RV propane regulator that offers high pressure and high capacity. On top of that, it’s available at a very affordable price. However, it does come from a lesser known brand and some of the users have had a few durability issues. And since the manufacturer offers only a 3 month warranty, it doesn’t give you much time to get a replacement if this regulator fails.
If you’re looking for a single-stage propane regulator for your RV, the best option is the Camco 59013 model. It’s more suitable for connecting a free-standing propane bottle to a gas grill or other type of smaller portable appliance.
It’s a low pressure regulator, capable of maintaining a constant outlet pressure level of 11 water column inches. The maximum inlet working pressure is 250 psi, which makes it perfect for connecting to low pressure gas appliances. Moreover, it offers a gas flow rate of 200,000 BTUs, which is sufficient for most gas grills and other small applications.
This propane regulator is also easy to install as it comes with standard ¼ inch inlet and ⅜ inch outlet connections.
The next propane regulator on our reviews list is the Cavagna 52-A-890-0006C. It’s a reliable propane regulator that offers the auto changeover function, so it automatically switches from an empty cylinder to a full cylinder. And it does this without interrupting the gas flow, so you get a consistent supply for your appliances’ operation.
The design of this regulator also allows removing the empty tank for refilling, while the operational tank remains in use. And you can see if one of the tanks is empty by checking the LED indicator, which will turn red if a tank will need refilling.
What sets apart this propane regulator is also the inclusion of safety features. There’s excess flow protection, which limits the gas flow if there’s an accidental disconnection, a ruptured hose, or some other issue. On top of that, there’s also overpressure protection, which limits the pressure to less than 2 psi if the regulator malfunctions.
It’s a low flow regulator with just 160,000 BTUs, which is still a good enough capacity for most RV applications. The gas pressure comes factory preset for RV use. However, it can also be adjusted if necessary.
The last RV propane regulator that we’d like to recommend for 2021 is the Enerco F1733766. It’s also a product not to miss if you’re looking for a high quality propane regulator for your recreational vehicle.
It’s designed for RV propane systems, so it comes factory preset at 11 water column inches. Moreover, it’s an auto changeover type of regulator, which eliminates the inconvenience of getting stuck with an empty gas tank and no supply to your appliances. Instead, this regulator connects to two propane tanks and first flows the gas from one tank and then the other. And the switch is automatic, making the flow uninterrupted.
This is also an easy to install propane regulator. To make the process easier, it also comes with the mounting brackets and screws included in the package.
One more thing to note about this auto changeover propane regulator is the durability of its construction. It’s made with a sturdy zinc construction and solid brass fittings.
What Is a Propane Regulator for RV?
Propane is the most commonly used energy source by RV owners. It allows them to do everything from heating to cooking and more. It’s the preferred fuel type since it’s cheaper than gas and there’s no shortage of it wherever you go. And most RVs and trailers today provide propane hook up either through a generator or without one.
Most RVs, travel trailers, and 5th wheels use a dual tank propane system. These recreational vehicles usually have larger appliances and this means higher demand for propane. And an essential part of a propane system is a propane regulator that controls the flow and helps in the safer use of propane. Its primary function is to adjust the flow of gas according to the demand placed upon it. Without it, there’s a risk of fire since there’s nothing to control the gas flow coming out of the tank.
What sets apart RV propane regulators from standard ones that you might use in other applications is that they usually come with preset pressure levels that are more acceptable for RV use. Moreover, most of the RV propane regulators are also made with a 2-stage design, which regulates the pressure in two stages and brings it down to a safer and more adequate level.
A propane regulator is not an overly complicated unit. It consists of only a few parts, which include an inlet, an outlet, a vent, and a docking mechanism. Some regulators also include a plastic cover that protects it against elements.
How Does a Propane Regulator Work?
The purpose of a propane regulator is to control the high pressure gas that flows from the tank and to reduce it to a safer level. They can differ in size and shape. And they can also deliver different pressure and adjustability. However, despite all these differences, they for the most part have a very similar design.
Typically, a propane regulator consists of a restricting element, loading element, and measuring element. The first one comes in the form of a valve and its function is to restrict the variable flow of gas. The second element is used to apply the needed force to the restricting element and it usually comes in the form of a diaphragm with a spring. The measuring element is used to determine if the inlet flow is equal to the outlet flow. And this function is usually achieved by the diaphragm as well.
Types of Propane Regulators
There’s a wide variety of propane regulators available on the market and it’s important to choose the right one for your particular application needs. And to do that, it’s essential to understand the different types of propane regulators that you can choose from. Each of them has a different application purpose, so one might be more appropriate for you than the other. The following three are the most common types used in RVs.
1. Single Stage Regulators
This type of propane regulator is more suitable for smaller applications and is less common in RV propane systems. For instance, you could use a single stage propane regulator with a barbecue grill, a portable campfire, or other smaller appliance.
They are installed on a single smaller sized propane gas tank and then connected via a hose to the service valve. Moreover, they are also sometimes called low BTU regulators since they usually offer no more than 200,000 BTU capacity.
Single stage regulators are recommended for applications where it’s not as important to have constant outlet pressure. And this is what makes it not the best choice for RV propane systems since the erratic pressure levels can be damaging.
Two-stage regulators are the most common type used for RV propane systems. They work in two steps to achieve a more constant pressure delivery without the need for monitoring or readjusting.
2. Automatic Changeover Regulators
One more commonly used type of RV propane regulator is the automatic changeover type. It’s used with dual tank systems, connecting to both of them simultaneously. However, first, it directs the gas flow from one tank and when that supply finishes, it redirects the flow from the second tank. This results in a continuous flow of gas without any interruption in service.
Why You Should Use an RV Propane Regulator?
A propane regulator is an essential part of RV equipment and that’s why it’s important that you also invest in one. And here are the four main reasons why you should invest in one for your RV propane system.
- Reduced propane pressure. Propane tanks are filled by forcing gas into them under high pressure. Due to this, when you connect it to an appliance, it releases the gas under high pressure as well. However, most appliances can’t properly operate under such high pressure and that’s why it becomes important to have a regulator that can reduce the pressure to a safer level.
- Dealing with varying propane gas demands. The purpose of a propane regulator is also to adjust to varying demands of the applications since smaller appliances will need a smaller supply of gas and bigger appliances will need more gas. In both cases, a propane regulator will be able to provide a constant supply of gas even when the demand fluctuates.
- Provides safety. Without a propane regulator, you’ll be getting dangerous amounts of pressure from the propane tank. And this can be dangerous, leading to fire and damage. That’s why you should have a propane regulator that would be keeping the propane gas pressure at safe levels.
- Getting a continuous supply of gas. It can be really frustrating when you’re preparing a meal or trying to heat your RV and all of a sudden you run out of gas. To prevent this, you can install an auto changeover propane regulator on two tanks. If you run out of gas in one tank, you’ll still have the reserve gas in the second tank. And due to the automatic changeover design, you won’t have any interruption in the supply.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Best RV Propane Regulator
It’s important not to rush when choosing the best RV propane regulator. It’s better to start by doing a bit of homework and understanding all the different features that these products come with. By taking these factors into your buying decision, you’ll be able to buy an RV propane regulator that would be ideal for your particular situation.
A regulator is an essential safety feature of a propane system. That’s why it’s important to invest in one that is solidly built using durable materials. This will ensure that it will be able to withstand the elements and changing temperatures.
The highest quality materials that are usually used in propane regulators include raw zinc, aluminum, brass, or stainless steel. All these materials provide a rugged construction of the regulator and ensure its long lasting performance. Also, these materials offer protection against elements, preventing the unit’s rust and corrosion.
Most propane regulators usually don’t last more than 15 years, though auto changeover ones last even less. However, if there are any issues with a regulator, it can’t be repaired and it will need to be replaced at once. That’s why it’s important to choose a more durable product, so you won’t have to replace it that often.
Another important factor to consider when buying a new RV propane regulator replacement is its BTU capacity. This capacity refers to the amount of gas that is allowed to flow to appliances. So, a higher rating means more gas reaching your appliances. This is an important factor since without sufficient BTU capacity, your appliances won’t have enough gas to operate.
When choosing the right BTU capacity, try to determine your propane needs. The more appliances that you need to power with propane, the higher capacity you should look for. However, at the same time, higher capacity means a higher price. So, try to find a balance between the BTU value and your budget. You don’t want an overly expensive piece that would provide you with more BTUs than you need.
Ease of Installation
Most propane regulators are fairly easy to install. In most cases, it’s something you can do yourself without the help of a professional. However, there are still factors that can make the installation process either simpler or more difficult.
One thing that can make the installation easier is if the regulator comes with all the mounting hardware included in the package. This will mean that you won’t have to spend more time searching for the right hardware that would fit this particular unit and instead, the piece will be ready for use right out of the box.
Another thing to look out for is the installation instructions provided for the regulator. Some of the cheap brands don’t even include any instructions, so the buyer is left guessing. And improper installation can lead to issues in its operation, so it’s something you want to avoid.
You can get an idea of how difficult or easy it is to install a particular regulator by checking user’s reviews. From them, you can get a clear idea of the process and you’ll see if there are any complications to be expected.
If you’ll be installing a propane regulator on an RV propane system, it’s better to choose the automatic changeover type. The benefit of this type of regulator is that you can have a constant supply of gas. Such a system is especially beneficial for situations when you spend long periods of time RV camping far away from stores where you could buy a propane refill.
You connect it to two propane tanks and at first, it uses the propane supply from one tank and then without interrupting the flow switches to the supply from the second tank. And while the regulator is directing the flow from the second tank, you can remove the first tank for refilling.
If you’re using a two tank propane system, it will also benefit you if the regulator comes with an LED indicator. This indicator will make sure that you don’t run out of gas in both tanks. It works by turning the indicator to red color when one of the tanks is empty. If it’s an automatic changeover regulator, you can then remove the empty tank for refilling, while the second tank will continue supplying gas.
One more important feature of a propane regulator is a plastic cover. It’s a useful feature for protecting the piece against rain and other elements, which could cause rust and corrosion.
As when shopping for any other product, it’s also important to consider the price of the propane regulator. Most of these products are fairly affordable but still, you don’t want to spend more than you need.
Some manufacturers add extra features and this makes the price go up. For example, a regulator with a higher BTU capacity will cost more. However, those extra features might not be as important for your particular application. That’s why it’s important to find the perfect balance between value and money.
RV Propane Regulator Tips
- Never use propane when driving.
- If you don’t already have one, invest in detectors that will alert you if there’s a propane leak.
- If you smell propane, keep all your RV appliances turned off and don’t turn them on under any circumstances.
- You can check if there’s a leak from the tank by running some soapy water on propane connections. If you see bubbles, it’s a sign that there’s a leak.
RV Propane Regulator FAQ
What are good RV propane regulator brands?
Buying from a reputable brand often ensures that you’re getting a high quality product. And it’s no different within the RV propane regulator industry. Some manufacturers outpace their competitors. And the brands that stand out the most are Marshall Excelsior and Camco. Though there are plenty of other good brands as well, such as Mr. Heater, Flame King, and Cavagna.
These brands put a lot of focus on building a good relationship with their customers and in achieving that, they provide high quality propane regulators. Overall, by buying from one of these brands you increase your chances of getting a long lasting regulator that will meet all your requirements.
Do you need a professional to install a propane regulator?
In most cases, you can complete the entire installation process without any professional help. You just to carefully read the instruction manual and follow the provided steps. It will also be of help if the regulator already comes with everything you’ll need for the setup. Otherwise, it can add extra hassle having to find proper fittings.
How to install RV propane regulators?
Installing an RV propane regulator is a simple process. You can do it yourself or if you’re not confident in your mechanical abilities, you can hire a professional to do it for you.
For the actual installation process, consult the manual that came with your regulator. There you will find instructions for your specific unit.
Can I manually control the amount of pressure an RV propane regulator releases?
In most cases, manually adjusting the propane tank’s pressure is not possible. RV propane regulators usually come with a pre-set pressure setting that is adequate for use with RV appliances.
If you have a propane system in your RV, it’s essential that you invest in a good propane regulator. And to make sure that you buy the best RV propane regulator, start by considering the factors that we’ve mentioned in our buying guide It will help you choose a high quality product that would work the best in your particular application. On top of that, check out comparisons and RV propane regulator reviews in order to decide which product to buy.