An “extend a stay propane kit” for your motorhome’s propane system can give you a few advantages. This is particularly true if you camp more than a week or two at a time. This could be an advantage at an RV park, state or national park, or boondocking on public lands.
If you stay at an RV park for a month or more, an extended-stay-kit allows you to leave your motorhome parked. You won’t need to move it, in order to refill the main tanks. Hence, you can simply take the 5-gallon propane tank in your car for a refill. Additionally, you can even trade it in at the local grocery, hardware or dollar store.
Another issue you may encounter in rural areas, is there may not be a place to refill the main propane tank. There may not be any place at all to refill any propane tanks. If there is, they may not be able to accommodate a larger motorhome pulling in. You can encounter that parking situation in larger towns too. But as long as there is a hardware, grocery or dollar store, you’ll be able to trade your empty 5-gallon propane tank for a freshly filled one. Trade-ins cost a little more than getting a refill, but it’s better than no propane at all, if you can’t find a place to get a refill.
Commonly called an “extend-a-stay-kit” it’s actually a four-port brass tee. This allows you to tap off of your RV’s propane tank. This can serve two purposes:
As stated above, it allows you to stay at an RV park, without having to move the motorhome to a propane filling station. One of the tees will allow you to connect a 5-gallon propane cylinder. These are commonly available at WalMart, grocery stores, hardware stores, and gas stations, for $20.
Secondly, you can use another tee to connect your gas grill to the motorhome’s propane tank, rather than use a 5-gallon tank. (Obviously, this option is not compatible with the idea of carrying a 5-gallon tank, to avoid moving the motorhome).
Where Can I Get an Extend a Stay Propane Kit?
This RV add-on is made by several companies. It’s marketed as “Stay-Longer”, “Sturgi-Stay”, or simply “4 port brass tee” as in the case of Camco. The extended-stay kits typically cost around $50.
You can easily install the kit yourself, with a few simple tools. But if you hire an RV repair to do the job, it should take an hour or less, so it should not be too expensive. If you do it yourself, first, make sure the propane valve is turned off. Then bleed the propane out of the system, by running the stove until the flame goes out. One important aspect of the installation, it using a soap solution to check for leaks. Below is a video explaining the installation more completely.