Hilarious video of our 2014 road trip to 22 states and 15 national parks...
Ram ProMaster RV Camper Van Conversion - Propane (LP)This is the original conversion we did. If you are looking for the index page of this project, click here. If you want to see the new build, click here.
Heating and Cooking With LP Gas
We debated on whether or not to have propane, and if we decided we wanted to have it... how would we do it. Well, we decided to have propane and this is how we did it. Our initial layout called for 2 20# bottles but there simply wasn't room for them, so we ended up using just one. We don't camp much in the cold weather, so using it for heating will be minimal. And if we are in a campground, we will use our electric heater instead. We will use it for cooking, but cooking uses very little gas so we won't have to refill but maybe once or twice a year.
Modern RVs either have the LP tank under the vehicle and exposed, or it is built into a cabinet with an access door to the outside. If you are building a camper to comply with certain codes and regulations, this is what you should do. In Europe, they can build strong, sealed cabinets inside the camper to house the LP tank(s). American politicians seem to think that if a propane tank explodes in the little compartment under your bed separated from you by Chinese made 1/8" plywood or plastic, you'll be fine. But if you build an LP compartment like they do in Europe, you will die a fiery death the very second you turn on your cook top. That being said, you do what you want to do, it is your van and you assume responsibility for your own actions.
We went the European route and built a very sturdy, sealed compartment at the rear of the van. In order to access this compartment, you must open the rear door of the van and then remove the access panel to the LP compartment. The LP compartment is vented to the outside via a vent in the floor as propane is heavier than air and will simply go outside should there ever be a leak. The compartment is built using 3/4" plywood and the corners are braced with 2x2s. Each corner has 3 screws connecting it all together. The access door is a sheet of 1/2" MDF board. There are 4 bolts mounted from the inside of the compartment that pass through the MDF board, and wing nuts are used to tighten it down. The wing nuts allow us to gain access to the tank inside easily as the need arises. All of the seams inside the compartment are sealed with caulking and the entire interior is coated with a thick coating of truck bed liner. The access door has a seal on it that compresses when the wing nuts are tightened, thus completely sealing the compartment except for the vent hole in the floor.
Here is a picture of the LP compartment with and without the door installed.
We have not yet put an LP tank in, nor have we run the necessary lines as we are still in the planning stages. Once we figure all that out, we will update this page.