Propane is an important fuel source for many vans and RVs, powering appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, and furnaces. While traveling, many van and RVer’s find themselves googling “where to refill propane tank near me”.
There are many options when it comes to refilling or exchanging your propane tank while on the road. In this article I cover everything you need to know about where to find propane refilling stations and tips for getting a great deal.
How To Find Propane Tank Refill Near Me
iOverlander is my preference as I find the reviews from previous customers to be helpful.
In addition to apps, the US Department of Energy website has a helpful location map for propane refills.
Propane Tank Refill Vs Tank Exchange
Some locations can refill your existing tank. However, even if the location isn’t equipped to refill you can typically still exchange your propane tank for a full one.
Refilling is pretty straight forward- you bring your empty tank or near empty tank and they refill it for you right on-site. The primary benefit to refilling a propane tank is that it’s less expensive than an exchange.
By refilling a propane tank vs exchanging a propane tank you’ll only pay for the gas that’s added, whereas with an exchange you’d forfeit the unused gas in your previous tank without receiving any credit for the unused portion.
Additionally, a refill is typically 30% less expensive per pound of propane than an exchange, which can save you a few dollars at each refuel.
A propane tank exchange is when you bring your empty or near empty tank and exchange it for a full tank. The benefits to exchanges are that they’re quicker, and generally more available because the store does not need to staff a propane specialist for refills.
Additionally, some stores use automated lockers so that you’re able to exchange your tank after hours and without a store clerk. Of course, there’s a convenience fee for this, which is about 30% more than if you’d gone to a propane refilling station nearby.
Tip: Unfortunately, a fairly common issue with propane exchange programs is short filling. Essentially, short filling is when a store sells a tank that isn’t completely full. Make sure the new tank you’ve exchanged for has been topped up with fuel and you aren’t paying full tank prices for a short tank.
Propane Tank Purchase And Exchange Programs
A propane tank purchase program allows you to purchase a new propane tank for your van or RV. The tank is typically available in a range of sizes to fit your needs.
Once you purchase the tank, you own it and can refill or exchange it at any nearby propane filling station or exchange locations.
In a propane tank exchange program, you can exchange your empty propane tank for a full one at a participating location.
Exchange tanks are typically available in a standard size, and you pay a fee to exchange your empty propane tank for a full one.
Mobile Propane Delivery Options
Cynch will deliver propane tanks to your door! You can purchase a tank for delivery if you do not already have a propane tank to exchange.
Alternatively, if you have an empty propane tank you can leave it out for an exchange and the delivery person will pick it up when they drop off your new propane tank. You can schedule a delivery on their website.
Where To Refill Propane Tank Near Me
There are several options for refilling propane tanks nearby. Here are some common places where you can refill your van or RV propane tank:
Many gas stations offer propane. However, not all gas stations offer propane refills, and may only have an exchange program, so it’s important to call ahead and verify what is available.
Some common gas stations with propane tank refill or exchange programs are Shell, Sonoco, Chevron, Sheetz, Circle K, Exxon, Mobil, BP, Citgo… basically you should be able to find propane refill nearby at any gas station!
Home Improvement Stores
Home improvement stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards, Ace Hardware, Murdoch’s and Tractor Supply may offer propane refills or exchanges as well. These stores typically have propane filling stations in their parking lots or nearby.
Home Depot’s online locator is almost entirely useless. You’re far better off using google maps to find local Home Depot’s and either calling the store to inquire about propane tank refilling or quickly search through the online reviews to see what others say about that location.
Ace Hardware typically has propane tank refilling and exchange options. These are typically one of the easiest locations to get propane in my opinion. I find that the staff is generally more helpful and I like the “locals” friendly vibe. Search their store locator for nearby locations, click “store details” and check the “store services” section for Propane Refill or Exchange.
Tractor Supply offers propane refill by the gallon. Check their store locator and select “propane tank refill near me” or “propane tank exchange near me”.
P.S If you travel with a dog, Tractor Supply is also a great place for a dog bath.
RV Propane Filling Stations
Dedicated RV propane filling stations are designed specifically for RVs and larger rigs, and offer a variety of propane tank sizes.
They are equipped with large propane tanks and heavy-duty pumps that can handle the volume and pressure of filling non-removable RV propane tanks.
These stations have the necessary safety features to ensure that the filling process is safe and efficient.
RV Parks and Campgrounds
Some RV parks and campgrounds offer propane as part of their amenities. This can be a convenient option if you plan on staying at a particular location for an extended period of time.
However, not all RV parks and campgrounds offer propane refills, so it’s important to check before arriving.
Most grocery stores offer propane tank exchange. Some common stores include Walmart, Costco, Lowes, Food Lion, Target, Wegmans… you can find a propane refill near you at just about any grocery store!
Propane Delivery Services
Some propane delivery services can come directly to your RV and refill your propane tank. This can be a convenient option, but it may be more expensive than going to a dedicated RV propane filling station or gas station.
Other companies offer propane refill or tank exchange services, where you can exchange your empty propane tank for a full one. These services are available at various locations such as Costco, U-Haul, BJ’s and local hardware stores.
Just about every U-Haul has propane fill stations. However, they’re almost always more expensive than other options. If you can, plan ahead and find a less expensive alternative to refill your propane tank.
Propane Supply Companies
Some of the larger propane suppliers in the US allow you to schedule an appointment to stop by and get your propane tank refilled.
Blue Rhino offers propane tank exchanges or purchases at any of their locations, including local retailers. If you have an empty propane tank (any brand, it doesn’t have to be a Blue Rhino propane tank) you can bring it to the local retailer, leave it outside (don’t bring it in the store!), and then see the cashier for a full tank. If you don’t have a tank to return, just head straight to the cashier for more information on how to purchase one.
Popular local retailers that carry Blue Rhino include Walmart, Lowes, Walgreens, Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware.
Ferrell Gas is a large-scale propane provider for homes, businesses and agriculture. By selecting “Grill/RV Propane Cylinder Service Near Me” on their online location map you can find which of their national business centers offer propane tank refills on-site. It’s best to call ahead and be sure they’re available.
Suburban Propane is another large operation propane provider for residential and businesses.
Enter your city, state or zip code into their propane location finder for a list of nearby facilities that can refill your van or RV propane tank.
Their website will show you all their locations, so make sure the ‘propane near me’ box is ticked, otherwise that location won’t be able to help you with a refill. It’s always recommended to call ahead to ensure availability and operating hours.
Amerigas is another massive propane company. They have a large network of resellers, including Home Depot, which makes it easy to find a local propane refill nearby.
You’re able to purchase a new propane tank, or exchange any brand or size propane tank at any of their locations.
From their online location map you can filter for “propane tank exchange near me” “propane cylinder refill near me” or “24/7 self serve propane refill near me” and a list of local retailers is provided.
Popular retailers in the Amerigas network include Home Depot, Dollar General, and Walmart.
How To Use The 24-Hour Amerigas Propane Program
The Amerigas 24-Hour Propane Program ensures you’ll never be caught without propane again! Even if it’s after hours, you will still be able to refill 20 lb propane tanks at any Amerigas self-service retailer.
Step 1: Use the Amerigas map to find propane refill near by and select the “24/7 Self Serve” option to see nearby propane refill stations.
Step 2: Use the propane tank kiosk keypad to indicate whether you’re purchasing a 20 lb propane tank or exchanging a propane tank.
Step 3: Pay for your transaction.
Step 4: If you are exchanging a propane tank, a locker door will open and you’ll place your empty propane tank inside. (If you are purchasing a new propane tank you can skip this step.)
Step 5: A different locker containing a full propane tank will open. Take the tank, close the door behind you, and you’re done!
Finding RV Propane Refill Station While Traveling
Some popular places to refill propane tanks while traveling are truck stops. Truck stops are popular because they’re generally right off the highway, easy to access, and designed to be quick in-and-out stops with all the conveniences you need to refuel and get back to your adventure quickly.
Popular truck stops for refilling a propane tank include Love’s Travel Stops, Travel Center of American and Pilot Flying J Truck Stops.
Additionally, there are a few propane refilling station directories which can be extremely helpful while traveling.
LPG Stations has a worldwide directory that you can search by finding propane refilling stations nearby or along your route.
Wondering “where can I find a propane supplier near me?” Propane Education & Research Council has a great US directory of propane refilling stations nearby. Just enter your zip code for a quick list of propane stations in your area.
Propane Refill Cost and Availability
Propane prices can vary depending on location and time of year, so it’s a good idea to research prices in advance and plan accordingly. Some RV parks and campgrounds offer propane as part of their amenities, so it’s worth checking with those locations before heading to a propane filling station.
FAQs About Propane Refill Near Me
How Do I Fill My RV With Propane?
Refilling an RV propane tank is fairly simple – just drive to any location selling propane, position your RV such that the refill port is aligned with the refilling station and ask the attendant for help. They’ll take care of the rest!
When Should I Refill My RV Propane Tank?
Consider refilling your propane tank before it runs empty. When your propane tank has about 2 lbs of propane left it’s time to start considering a tank refill.
Is It Better To Refill Or Exchange A Propane Tank?
It’s always better to refill propane tanks. In an exchange, you forfeit any unused propane remaining. Whereas, in a refill you only pay for what is added and you can keep the amount that was unused in the tank prior.
Propane exchanges are quick and convenient, so if you’re willing to pay a little more for efficiency then an exchange may be worth it.
Can Propane Tanks Be Too Old To Refill?
Yes. Any propane tank older than 12 years is not permitted to be refilled under federal law.
Can Propane Freeze?
Technically, yes, propane can freeze. However, the freezing point of propane is -306.4°F (-188 °C). The coldest recorded temperature on Earth was -128.6°F (-89.2°C), so I don’t think you have much to worry about as long as you stay within orbit.
Why do propane costs fluctuate so much?
There are two primary reasons why propane costs fluctuate: the cost of crude oil and demand.
As a primary component of propane, crude oil prices have a big impact on the cost of propane. When crude oil prices go up, propane costs soon follow.
The second factor in propane costs is supply and demand. Generally, in the wintertime when more people are using propane to heat their vans, RVs and homes, the price of propane increases. During the summer, when less people are relying on propane, the price comes back down.
Propane Safety Tips
Be aware of the smell of propane. Propane smells like rotten eggs. If you smell it, immediately move outside to fresh air and call 911. If possible to do so safely, vent the location of the leak.
Always keep propane tanks stored in an upright position and in a vented location. Propane gas is heavier than air so it will sink to the lowest point. If you’re carrying a propane tank in your van or RV make sure the ventilation is at the low point of your locker.
Install propane gas detectors in each room or space within your van or RV. Make sure your propane gas detectors are installed below the height of your bed. Because propane sinks, if your detector is above head-level while you sleep the detector will not sound prior to you breathing in the leaked propane.
It’s important to research the options in your area and choose the most convenient and cost-effective method for refilling or exchanging your van or RV propane tank.
Additionally, always use caution and follow safety protocols when refilling your propane tank, regardless of where you choose to do so.
Written by Claire Fleming
I’m a travel enthusiast who spends half the year in my self-built camper van with my dog, Oscar, and the other half at my home in Raleigh, North Carolina or on international adventures.