RV Propane Consumption Money Saving Tips

RV Propane Consumption Money Saving Tips

Propane is the fuel for the RV oven, stove, hot water heater and furnace (some RVs have electric heat pumps and the furnace only comes on when it is too cold for the heat pumps to keep up). Propane also keeps the RV refrigerator running when not on electric power.  Since electricity usage at most RV parks is included in the site rental fee, it makes sense to use the RV park’s electricity whenever possible instead of using the propane in your RV.

We have encountered a few RV parks that actually charge for RV electicity usage. They will read the electrical meter before and after your stay and charge you based on actual usage. We have encountered some parks that will charge extra for 50 amp service or if you use electric heaters or air conditioning. Be sure to check the RV park rules.

Here are some tips and products that can help you save your RV propane dollars.

  • A crock pot/slow cooker is a must on our motorhome both for saving money and for the convenience.  In cooler weather, I start dinner in the crock pot in the morning and as dinner cooks, it helps heat the RV (no need to have the heater running all day or come home to a cold RV). Plus when we get home tired from a day of sightseeing, dinner is done!


  • Use the RV microwave and/or convection oven instead of the propane fueled stove and oven.


  • If you have space, consider purchasing an electric skillet to use instead of your stove.


  • Another kitchen accessory that will allow you to use the RV parks’ electricity instead of the gas oven/stove is what we have always called a fifth burner. This is an electric burner used like a stove (since most stoves have 4 burners – hence the name fifth burner). It can be used in the RV or, with the use of a heavy duty extension cord, cook outdoors with it and keep the heat out of the kitchen in hot months! There is also a two burner model available.


  • Shower in the RV park bathhouse if they are free (some RV parks charge for using their showers). This will save the RV hot water heater propane use.


  • Grilling meals outside not only saves money on the RV stove/oven propane use but it keeps the RV cooler in the warmer months and keeps down the cooking smells in the RV. If you use the Weber Baby Q gas grill that we recommend here, your propane usage should be less than using the RV oven and stove. Plus you have the added bonus of enjoying the great outdoors!


  • Using an electric ceramic heater saves your RV furnace propane consumption. We do not advocate using a ceramic heater while away from the RV or while sleeping.


  • Turn down the RV heat at night and use an electric blanket or electric mattress pad.


  • When cooking meals using the RV stove or oven, make enough for at least two meals and then reheat the leftovers in the RV microwave. 


  • When you arrive at an RV park and hook up to the electric, make sure your RV refrigerator switches over to electric from propane.  Occasionally ours will not automatically switch over and burns propane when it is not necessary.

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Featured Destination

Yellowstone National Park is my favorite national park so far. There is such a variety of things to see at Yellowstone including wildlife and geological wonders. To fully appreciate the park, you will probably want to spend more than one day as the park is very large. Be sure to see Old Faithful geyser.


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