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Old 01-31-2015, 09:29 AM   #1
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Newbie question: what is the deal with propane?

We r very interested in purchasing a class b sprinter chassis rv's and live on the east coast and want to do city travel as well as national parks and everywhere else. Do we really have to avoid tunnels if our RV carries propane? Doesn't that mean we should only be looking at propane-free rv's? Wondering why 90% of the models depend on propane. Also, it seems dumb since you have this beautiful diesel power plant, why not harness it for all the other power needs?

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Old 01-31-2015, 02:46 PM   #2
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It depends on the tunnel and it's particular regulations and the size of tanks you have. I have been through tunnels along the East coast where I had to stop at an inspection station and show that my appliances were off and that the tanks were off. Been through other tunnels no problem.

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Old 01-31-2015, 03:02 PM   #3
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Very few RVs are propane-free. I have heard of only a very few tunnels you can't pass through at all with propane ... if there are restrictions, it's usually that tanks are turned off. You can research your intended route in advance to determine if there are restrictions in place.

The reason for the common use of propane is that it's an efficient source of energy for heating, cooking, heating water, and frig operation ... especially important when electric hookups are not available. Generators (either on-board or stand-alone) can be used of course, but their continuous use is not usually allowed in campgrounds.
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Old 01-31-2015, 03:13 PM   #4
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The Baltimore Tunnel is the only one I can think of that bars propane. Everywhere else I can think of either exempts RV's (we really don't carry that much) or simply requires that the everything be turned off and the valves shut.

It really isn't a problem.

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Old 02-01-2015, 10:31 AM   #5
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You do need propane. In most cases just make sure tanks are turned off and of course no appliances are depending on propane. (Usually the refrigerator relies on propane when driving and I have discovered that you can travel quite a distance with the refrigerator off without a substantial loss in cooling)
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:22 PM   #6
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More RV's are being built now with diesel powered stoves, furnaces and water heaters.

A lot of the Sprinter 'Adventure' vans are using diesel straight from the vehicle tank. It saves weight, complexity and expense by not having to install an additional fuel system.

Although I would hate to wake up in the boonies to learn the furnace used up all my fuel overnight and we couldn't get out!
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:26 AM   #7
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Baltimore tunnels

Baltimore is not that big of a detour to take the Baltimore Beltway, plus it saves you a toll.
The Transport of Hazardous Materials Across our Toll Facilities
Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) govern the transport of hazardous materials across our toll facilities. Under these regulations, vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895). The Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695, the Baltimore Beltway) is a convenient alternative route for crossing Baltimore's Harbor.
Visit the Division of State Documents' website at to view the actual COMAR regulations: Title 11, Subtitle 7, Chapter 1 (11.07.01).

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