Looking to refill your camping propane in an unfamiliar area? One obvious solution … You can ask your smartphone to find “propane refill near me” and you’ll get an answer with a listing of locations that usually includes a local map, customer reviews, links to the websites and directions. But, you may want other options to find camping propane in your area, so here are some awesome alternatives.
National Chains That Offer Propane Refilling
Running out of fuel can compromise camping safety, so you should know how to find refill locations.
First, let me say, if you want to refill small camping bottles, you have to do that yourself.
1 lb Propane Cylinders DIY Refilling.
Most people use a propane refill adapter to transfer from larger propane tanks into 1lb cylinders. We have full instructions to show you how to refill propane tanks and 1lb camping propane cylinders along with photos and step-by-step printable instructions.
If you want to refill the other common portable propane tank sizes, here are some great options:
Talk about a huge company ready to help campers keep their propane tanks topped-off! Amerigas has resellers across the country including exchange and refill stations.
You don’t have to wonder, “Is there any propane refill near me open now?” You can easily find the answer! Just go to the Amerigas propane locations page and you can filter by “Tank Exchange” (which accepts tanks in any condition), “Cylinder Refill” and “24/7 Self Serve Propane”.
There you will find familiar names like Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, U-Haul, Shell, Chevron, CVS, Walgreens and many more.
I really like this site because it is an easy one-stop website that lists all of the businesses that carry Amerigas … and it is a TON of them!
When you find a 24 hour propane option, it will be a self-serve exchange location.
How the Amerigas 24 Hour Propane Program Works
- These are automated dispenser kiosks that sell and exchange 20lb propane tanks.
- You use a keypad to instruct the machine if you want to just purchase a 20lb tank or exchange one.
- You put in your credit or debit card.
- If you are exchanging, a locker door will automatically open and you place your tank inside and close the door. (If you are just purchasing, you’ll skip this step.)
- Then another door will open with the filled tank, you remove the tank, close the door and you’re done!
As a nationwide company, Ferrellgas has many locations that offer camper propane tank refills. On their website, you can find places near you by entering your city and state, your zip code or use the interactive map.
Click on the specific location and look for “Grill/RV Cylinder Service” to see if they do refueling at that locale.
Costs vary for each location so you will not see a specific prices listed on this site. The drawback, most of these locations are only open Monday – Friday during normal business hours. So, campers who are hitting the road on Saturday or Sunday are out of luck.
Blue Rhino is a division of Ferrellgas and we’ll discuss how that works in a bit.
Propane Refill Near Me: National Retailers
Some RV tips and hacks help you multi-task … you may want to kill a few birds with one stone.
Let’s say you want to stock up on a few grocery items for your trip as well as fill your truck with diesel, and fill up your RV propane tanks. That’s when the big box national chains come in handy.
If you are a member of Costco, you can drop your tanks at the propane refill station (located in the parking lot at some store locations)…
- wait for the attendant to fill them and give you a receipt …
- then go in the store to get your shopping done …
- you just present your propane receipts along with the other items in your cart and the cashier will ring everything up in one transaction.
- On your way back to your vehicle, pick up your full tanks and head off into the sunset on your adventures!
Not all Costco stores have propane availability, to check if the Costco locations near you have propane, just use the Costco location finder on their website. Although it is not specific to propane refilling, you need to dig a little for that information.
If the location refills propane gas tanks, you might see it listed in the “Departments and Specialty Items” section but we have found locations that DO offer the service but the website does not show it being available so you need to call the individual store to get confirmation.
This website is also helpful if you are looking for Costco fuel stations that have diesel fuel available for your truck … otherwise, it is safe to assume only regular and premium grades are available at that location.
We have found that Costco fuel prices are extremely competitive (I can almost say cheap but the quality is so good I hate to use that word!) The nice thing about Costco is you can get fuel, food, cleaning, tool, and clothing supplies all in one stop.
We have a VIDEO with step-by-step instructions on Costco Propane Refill: How To Use The Costco Propane Service.
Many Ace hardware locations offer propane refilling as well as exchanges.
The Ace store locator allows you to search by city, state or zip (which is really helpful when you are camping in a location and don’t know the zip code!)
In the “Store Services” section of each individual location, you will see icons displayed for the type of propane services that specific location has available.
Ace is a great stop for propane especially if you need a few more items on your RV Took Kit Checklist.
Although they are not the cheapest price you will find, U-Haul stores offer propane refilling services in most of their locations across the country.
On their website, you can find the locations of the stores that have this service by looking in the “PROPANE CYLINDER REFILL” section of the site.
You just need to input a zip code, city or address and a listing of the stores comes up with the current price for tank refills as well as the store’s address, phone number, hours of operation, customer reviews and a link for driving directions.
The nice thing about U-Haul locations is they usually have a decent variety of propane, hitch and towing supplies too.
Some Tractor Supply stores offer “Propane Refill, By the Gallon” and their website allows you to search for locations by zip code.
The current price is listed and most have weekend and evening hours but the store hours on the site are for “today” only, for example “Open today from 09:00 am to 07:00 pm”, which is great if you are heading there today but not if you are heading there tomorrow!
To get the store hours for the other days of the week, you have to call the store for their particular hours of operation.
Most of the Tractor Supply stores fill tanks up to 100 lb propane tanks (that’s 25 gallons of propane), including RV propane tanks.
While your propane tanks are being refilled, you can also pick up some jeans, dog food, trailer and hitch supplies and more … making Tractor Supply a convenient stop.
Propane Tank Purchase And Exchange Options
The good thing about propane bottle exchange stations is they are quick and easy-to-use … and … are available in many local neighborhood locations, like convenience stores that don’t employ propane professionals. You don’t have to wait while an employee is refilling your propane tank.
The bad thing about a tank exchange is that you don’t get credit for any unused propane that is left in your tank. You could have a completely empty propane tank or one that is still half full, it doesn’t matter, the exchange price is the same.
Exchanges are usually not a good idea unless you have a nearly empty cylinder. If you have no worries about getting a great price, swapping your partially empty tank for a filled one makes for a fast checkout at a convenient place.
You may pay an extra fee for the convenience of being able to quickly swap a tank. That cost may be offset at retailers that have promotions, like rewards cards.
Blue Rhino Propane Tank Exchanges.
Some companies have really convenient ways to exchange typical 20 lb. BBQ grill tanks rather than refilling them. Blue Rhino has a “Drop, Swap and Go” program.
You can exchange tanks (the tank you are exchanging does NOT have to be a Blue Rhino brand but it does need to be in good condition) but also have the option of just buying a filled tank from these locations.
You’ll see the locked cages in the front of retails stores … they contain filled propane tanks.
If you are exchanging a tank, you just leave your empty tank outside setting next to the cage, go inside the store to get a cashier to help you…
- they will give you a new tank and take your exchange tank.
- If you don’t have an exchange, new propane tanks are available to purchase.
You will pay a little more for the convenience but for some people, it is worth it.
You can find Blue Rhino propane exchange locations near you, the website will ask you to please enter an address or zip code into the propane finder on their website.
They are typically at grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations and hardware stores like Ace and Lowe’s.
Home Depot Propane Exchange Program.
The Home Depot program is similar to the Blue Rhino program where you can purchase a filled propane tank or exchange one.
Home Depot is part of the AmeriGas Propane Exchange program. In order to find a location near you, just visit their website.
Unfortunately, the Home Depot website does not allow you to enter an address or zip code, you have to click on the link “View Propane Services at Your Local Store” which takes you to a 25 page pdf of store locations across the country that participate in the Home Depot propane exchange program.
There is no interactive map so you’ll need to know where you’re going or use your GPS or your phone’s map app to navigate to the location you think is closest to you.
Other Common Places To Find Propane
Truck stops, campgrounds and RV parks often have propane filling and exchange services. The best camping apps can help you find those places … and these apps are FREE!
If you have the Allstays app, you can find propane with it.
Mobile Delivery Options.
Some local providers may offer mobile propane filling and they will come to your location to replenish your gas but this is typically a very expensive option … if you are willing to pay for the convenience, go for it! Sometimes you can get same day delivery.
This may be a great experience for people who are living in an RV or staying in a location for an extended period of time and using larger tanks.
How Much Propane Gas Is In My Tank?
If you have a propane camping gadget like the Camco RV Propane/Gauge Leak Detector, it is easy to see how full your tank is at any given moment.
The indicator begins to register a reading only if the propane is flowing. The tool has a Type 1 connection for gas grills, RVs and boats.
This is just one of three simple methods you can use to check if your propane tank is empty. The other ways to determine how much propane is in your tank use hot water or a common bathroom scale.
Legal Refilling Requirements Overview
Is your tank in good condition? Does it have good threads or are they worn out? When you spray soapy water on the propane regulator, valve area or propane tank adapters, do you see bubbles? If so, you’ve got a leak.
Just because your propane tank is durable and in good condition, that does not allow professionals to refill it. If it is beyond the legal refilling certification date, it can’t legally be refilled. We discuss that in depth in our Costco Propane Refill post.
Blue Rhino Key Safety Features
Most propane cylinders have OPD valves (“overfilling prevention device” or “overfill protection device”) that prevents a tank from being refilled beyond its maximum permitted filling limit. The overfill protection mechanism automatically closes which immediately stops the gas flow into the tank.
Blue Rhino added an additional level of security. The majority of Blue Rhino tanks can be refilled by any propane refilling facility. But, some of their old tank designs contain a TS2 valve. A magnetic key must be inserted into the indentation to hold a steel ball out of the way to refill the tank. Tanks with TS2 valves can only be refilled by Blue Rhino.
Common Gear Requiring Propane Fills
- RV furnaces & propane heaters
- RV refrigerators & hot water heaters
- Patio heaters & propane torches
- Propane fryers & stoves
- BBQ tanks on equipment like Weber grills
Propane Camp Stove Recipes
I don’t know about you but all this talk about propane makes me want to fire up my cooking gear and make some awesome camp stove recipes! Get even more recipes for any type of cooking method on your trips!
If you’re looking for awesome ideas for yummy camping food, you’re in the right place!
Here’s our entire camping recipes list.
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