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Do Propane Tanks On RVs Need To Be Recertified After A Certain Amount Of Time?

by Ron C

Do propane tanks on motor homes need to be certified after a certain time period?

ANSWER: Greetings Ron thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Yes the propane tanks installed on RVs in the US do require recertification. According to Federal Law DOT Propane Tanks (the type used on RVs) must be recertified after being used for 12 years after the date the tank was manufactured. All DOT tanks are stamped with the date they were manufactured.

In fact it is against the law for sellers of Propane to fill a DOT propane tank that is 12 years or older that has not been re-certified. The propane tank must be recertified by a facility that is certified to do DOT Tank recertification. Some large Propane suppliers and some RV repair facilities are certified to do the DOT Tank recertification.

When the DOT Tank is inspected and passes it is recertified for 5 years and must be re-inspected and recertified every 5 years thereafter. Every time it is recertified a new re-certification label is affixed to the DOT Propane Tank.

Important Note Just because your RV's DOT propane tank only needs to be inspected and re-certified after 12 years of use after the manufacture date does not mean you should not inspect your RV's propane system for 12 years.

In fact at least once a year you should have your RV's whole propane system inspected for leaks and proper propane pressure. The leak check can be done by a do-it-yourselfer using a spray bottle full of soapy water. Unfortunately checking the system for proper pressure requires special equipment and is best to have done by a Certified RV Technician. Take a look at the video below to see what needs to be done during the annual propane system inspection.

Hopefully the above information has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for Do Propane Tanks On RVs Need To Be Recertified After A Certain Amount Of Time?

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Loving simplicity (relief valve-who would have thought)
by: Oshawa Pondman

Thank you ALL for your contributions to the "propane tank inspection". I came across it looking for clarity as we are selling an RV and purchasing another. Our buyer expressed deep concerns about the propane tank requalification. I think I read everything on Transport Canada website dealing with propane tanks, cylinders, transporation of dangerous goods and methods of containment.....I missed our Minister's, Marc Garneau's belt size. (that about the only thing not provided. After reading the inputs, I feel additionally comfortable with regular visual inspections of my entire propane system.

by: LP Certified Technician

Horizontally mounted tanks are permanently affixed to the vehicle. As such, they are ASME tanks and not subject to DOT regulations. Regular inspection is encouraged.

by: Winston

The portable DOT containers used on our RV's are called cylinders, not tanks. They must be recertified within time limits.
The Horizontal mounted ASME containers are the ones called tanks. I haven't been able to find any requirement for recertification for tanks.

asme tank
by: Anonymous

ASME are Horizontal,and mounted on the moterhome.
Theres are certified for the life of the tank


The author needs to get his or her facts straight.
by: Retired Ron

Horizontal mounted on Motorhomes are not D.O.T. tanks they are ASME tanks, and are EXEMPT from the inspections required of vertically installed tanks. Before you mislead any more RV'ers, perhaps you should pull this article.

video presenter points to a device he calls a relief valve
by: Anonymous

The device the video presenter pointed to is called a spitter valve, not a relief valve. It is opened during filling of the tank to allow vapour to escape. When the tank is nearly full this will start spitting liquid propane out and that indicates the tank is full and the source is then turned off and the spitter valve closed.

Not the correct info!
by: xfire96

Verticle D.O.T tanks must be recertified. Commanly called portable tanks. Motor Fuel Tanks Horizontal mounted on Motorhomes are not D.O.T. tanks they are ASME tanks and are certified for the life of the tank. They should be visually inspected each year and by vendor before refill.

Many propane vendors are ignorant about DOT vs ASME tanks.

by: Anonymous

What tests do they perform when they recertify your "old" propane tank.


Whats is the requirement on recertifacation of portable lp bottles in Pennsylvania? I've heard it is 10 years instead of the 12 year DOT law.

by: Crank

That is not the "pressure release valve". There is no such thing. It is called a "fixed liquid level gauge" and is the only legal way to fill a tank by volume.

The other gauge is called a "sight gauge" and is never to be used for filling.

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