An “extend a stay kit” for your motorhome’s propane system can give you a few advantages, particularly if you camp more than a week or two at a time, be that at an RV park, state or national park, or boondocking on public lands.
If you are a fulltime RVer, and you stay at an RV park for a month or more, an extended stay kit can let you leave your motorhome parked in it’s place, with no need to move, in order to refill the main tanks. You can simply take the 5 gallon propane tank in your car to be refilled, or 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. Either there may not be any place at all to refill propane tanks, or 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 in the area, it’s likely you will be able to trade in your empty 5 gallon propane tank for a freshly filled one. While trade in tanks may cost a little more than getting the one you have refilled, it will be better than no propane at all, if you can’t find a place to refill either the main tank, or the 5 gallon tank.
While commonly called an “extend a stay kit” it’s a four port brass tee, that allows you to tap off of your RV’s Propane tank. This can serve two purposes:
As stated above, it can allow 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, which is commonly available at WalMart, grocery stores, hardware stores, and gas stations.
Secondly, you can use another tee fitting to connect your gas grill to the motorhome’s propane tank, rather than use a 5 gallon propane cylinder. (Obviously, this option is not not mutually compatible with the idea of carrying a 5 gallon tank to avoid moving the motorhome).
This RV add-on is made by several companies, and are marketeed as “Stay-Longer”, “Sturgi-stay”, or simply “4 port brass tee” as in the case of Camco. The kits typically cost around $50.
You can install it yourself, but if you hire an RV repair guy to do it for you, it should take an hour or less to complete the job, so it should not be too expensive. If you do it yourself, first, make sure the Propane valve is 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.