Propane Tank Recertification Guide for RV Owners

Propane Tank Recertification Guide for RV OwnersRecertifying your RV propane tanks can be a confusing process, mainly because of how infrequently you have to do it. That means that, even if you have done it before, you may have forgotten just what you had to do to get your propane cylinders properly certified.
To help you out, we have created this handy recertification guide using the absolute best information from some of the most trusted propane sites on the internet, including and This is a complete guide to get your tanks legally certified for use, as well as caring for your tanks while you have them and after they have gone bad.
3 Steps to Certifying your RV Propane Tanks:

1. Find the date your propane tank was manufactured or last certified.

2. Locate a Propane Retailer you who can perform the recertification. Contact them before going in to make sure they can perform the recertification.

3. Take the tanks to the professionals so they can inspect and certify them. After the inspection, the dealer will put a new sticker on your tanks with the date of certification. 

Okay, so that's not so bad, right? Well, keep reading because there is more to know before you head out to get your propane cylinders checked. Plus, we include some of the most common propane (and propane accessories) questions, all in one place.

Propane Tank Recertification Guide

Here is our step-by-step guide to having your propane tank recertified. The good news is that the process is super simple and takes very little effort -beyond removing your tanks from the RV and transporting them to a shop, that is. Still, it's good to know what you are in for before beginning so you don't miss anything along the way.

1. Find Your Date

First, if you don't already know when your propane cylinder was made or last certified, you must find out. To locate your date, check for a date stamped onto your cylinder or put on with a sticker. This is how you will know how long your cylinder has been operating since it was last inspected.

But what does that date mean? Well, new cylinders are rated to last 12 years before being recertified. After that first recertification, they must again be certified every 5 years.

If you are past due, have your tanks recertified at the earliest opportunity. If they are still good for a while, I would suggest making a reminder on your calendar so you don't forget about it when the time comes. I don't know about you, but propane tank recertification isn't something that crosses my mind every day.

2. Locate a Propane Retailer

Only authorized professionals are able to recertify your propane tanks, so next, you will need to find a certified propane dealer near you. To find a dealer, use this site or one like it. Make sure the dealer is authorized to perform cylinder refill and repair before heading out, however.

3. Get the Recertification Performed

Before journeying out, it's a good idea to call the shop to let them know you are coming. That way, they can verify that they are able to perform the recertification, including any repairs that need to be made, when you arrive.

Now you can load up your propane tanks and drive them to the propane dealer. Once there, the propane professional will inspect your tanks and make any repairs that need to be made. Note that some states will require a new valve to be installed at every certification.

Once the inspection is complete, he or she will put a sticker on the tank to verify that the recertification was performed on that date. Oh, and while you are there, it's probably wise to get the tanks re-filled as well.

How often do you have to recertify a propane tank?

Owners must recertify their tanks after they are 12 years old. So, if you are approaching that date, or if you are fairly close but planning an extended RV trip, it is a good idea to go ahead and get the recertification performed.

After that first 12-year certification, your tanks are only approved to be used for 5 years before you must have them recertified again.

How much does it cost to recertify propane tank?

Prices for recertification are not set by law, so they can vary quite a lot. Your local propane store will set their own prices for the recertification, so depending on where you are, the prices can really be anything the stores decide.

Typically, however, for RV-sized tanks, you can expect to pay between $5 and $15 for the recertification. Sure, some dealers might fall outside of that range, but most of them will be somewhere between those figures.

Should you recertify or get a new tank for your RV?

This question will depend on the state of your tanks as well as your personal preferences. First, if your tanks are too rusted or damaged to be safely used again, you will have to purchase new tanks. And that's why recertification is required - the professionals at the propane dealer will inform you if that is going to be required for you.

Of course, you will most likely still have to pay for the recertification to find that out, so if you feel or know that your tanks are too dangerous to continue using, it's probably wiser to just purchase new tanks from the outset.

On the other hand, if your current tanks are in good condition and safe to use, recertification is the money-wise choice. Compare the $7 to $15 recertification fee to the roughly $35 to $70 (depending on the size of your tanks) that you will spend on each new tank, and it's easy to see why.

Can expired propane tanks be recertified?

After checking your propane tanks, you find that they have already expired. What are your options now? Can you still have them recertified, or are you out of luck now?

To answer the question; yes, it is possible to certify expired tanks, so if they are in decent condition, go ahead and take them in. The dealer might tell you that the tanks are too old or damaged to recertify, but that is worth checking out if you don't know.

Does propane go bad?

No, propane itself does not go bad. I know, that's kind of amazing, isn't it? There is no need to worry about the gas going bad over the winter or even if you have been storing it for several years. That's why so many people choose to use it to fuel their emergency generators or other accessories.

What that means, however, is that the container is the limiting factor. A bad container or valve can allow the propane to escape the container. And that's why it is so important to have your containers inspected and certified on time before you lose some of that valuable resource.

How do I dispose of old propane tanks?

Say your tanks failed recertification, or you already decided that they have gotten so bad that you are going to buy new ones instead of recertifying the old ones. How do you safely dispose of these tanks?

First, you must make sure to use all of the propane in them before disposing of them. That way, none of the gas will leak out and cause a dangerous situation for the workers who deal with them.

Next, find a location that will take your tanks back. Contact either your local dealer or a hazardous waste drop-off site in your area. Just make sure they accept old propane tanks before taking them in.

How to Properly Transport Propane Tanks

When you are ready to take your tanks into the store or drop them off at a hazardous waste facility, there are some steps to follow. That's because it is highly dangerous to let them roll around in the backseat or trunk/bed.

There are three things to ensure before setting off:

  1. Closed valve: Of course, you need to make sure the valve is closed tight before driving off. You don't want any fumes getting into your vehicle while you are driving!
  2. Strapped Down: The cylinders must be strapped into your vehicle tightly so they do not roll around or tip over. Tight turns or hard stops can really rock these things around your vehicle, and that can have bad results.
  3. Upright: Always keep your propane cylinders upright - whether you are driving or not. That's because the safety valves are made to function properly only when the tanks are sitting up. Even if they are closed tightly, they might not keep the propane inside if the tanks are laid on their side.

Enjoy Many Years of Safe Propane Ownership!

By caring for your propane tanks properly and treating them the right way, you will ensure many years with your RV propane tanks. Because the propane itself always stays good, keeping your tanks working and certified is the most important way to protect you, your family, and your possessions.

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  1. So let us compare cost of recertification vs new tank cost. New tank $35 good for 12 years. Recert $10 every 5 years equals $24 over the same 12 years. (Adjust recert and new tank costs for your local store. To simplify, multiply your recert cost by 2.4 and compare that to cost of a new tank). For about $1 extra per year I can have a new worry free propane tank every 12 years that I never have to bother with recertifying. Sounds like a reasonably good deal to me.

  2. Worth noting that not all lp tanks are created equal. Cheaper tanks are made of thinner gauge material and are intended for home use such as a backyard bbq grill.
    Make certain your new tanks are certified for use on an RV.
    Also, keeping your tanks covered will extend their useful life if you intend to recertify them.

  3. A friend took his out of certification tanks to a big box home improvement store and traded them in for pre-filled tanks for $25 each. They may not have a full 12 years left on them but it got him on the road promptly.

  4. My understanding is that ASME LP tanks do not require recertification whereas DOT LP tanks do. Can anyone confirm this?

  5. 35.00 ? Wow thats cheap. but I have horizantal

    35.00 ?Wow ,thats cheap, but I have horizontal LPG tanks and they are 200.00 each. so it would be in my best interest to recertify . The problem is I cant find anyone to recertify. I guess its in their best intrest to sell a new tank.

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