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Old 02-05-2019, 08:05 PM   #1
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Propane restrictions

I am going to go on my first long distance trip with my RV. I noticed that while using the Good Sam trip planner it had a caution sign on the route for the Chesapeake bridge/tunnel for a propane restriction.

It stated: Propane Restriction (null lbs., null bottles).

When I altered the directions to avoid this route, I ended up with the same notification for a Baltimore tunnel. How can you travel without propane?
Are they stating that the propane tank has to be shut off, or empty? Last year I drove through the Chesapeake bridge with a trailer and all I was asked was weather my tank was turned off, but that was a 20lb tank, and it was visible.

Any advice? I'm traveling from RI to NC.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:36 PM   #2
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The only thing I worry about while driving is running the refrigerator and I can run it off of electric, so I drive with the propane off. I've always felt it was safer that way. I was always told it was against the law to travel with it on, but have never really looked it up. I do know that different states have different laws governing rv's, so you may want to look them up.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:45 PM   #3
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CCBT RV and propane regs, as well as the new (this year) Toll Schedule can be found at CBBT Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:05 PM   #4
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All the propane restriction is that you have to have it turned off.

We went that way with our old 5th wheel and had no idea about the propane restrictions. There was a police officer pulling over campers to inspect that you had the propane tanks turned off before entering the tunnel.

It doesn't mean you can't have propane they just want the tanks turned off (and any appliances: re fridge also turned off).

Once past the tunnel you can turn the fridge back on (if you travel that way).
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:14 AM   #5
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What JamieGeek said. We travel the bridge tunnels a few times a year. Just pull over in the designated area and show the nice person with the clipboard that your propane is off (or turn it off at that time). But schedule your travel at a good time (9 AM). All the ways in and out of Norfolk/VA Beach area tend to clog during work commute times or heading to the beach weekends.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:01 AM   #6
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Propane Off

We also have traveled the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel several times with propane turned off. I believe the Baltimore tunnels restrict propane to 10 lbs or less. Take I695 around Baltimore.
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by coachray View Post
The only thing I worry about while driving is running the refrigerator and I can run it off of electric, so I drive with the propane off. I've always felt it was safer that way. I was always told it was against the law to travel with it on, but have never really looked it up. I do know that different states have different laws governing rv's, so you may want to look them up.
Sorry you were so grossly misinformed. No more dangerous to travel with propane then to travel with gasoline. In fact there's probably more safety features in the propane tanks/system.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:36 AM   #8
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The dangers of propane are that it is heavier than air. If a tank leaks propane the vapors will hang in the lowest portion of the tunnel. Some tunnels actually are lower in the center. Gas fumes actually escape easier than propane. This is especially true of the older tunnels. Most newer tunnels are designed slightly higher in the center so vapors flow away and do not pool.
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
All the propane restriction is that you have to have it turned off.

We went that way with our old 5th wheel and had no idea about the propane restrictions. There was a police officer pulling over campers to inspect that you had the propane tanks turned off before entering the tunnel.

It doesn't mean you can't have propane they just want the tanks turned off (and any appliances: re fridge also turned off).

Once past the tunnel you can turn the fridge back on (if you travel that way).
Jamie, just a quick question. If you are running your propane/electric fridge on electric (inverter or generator) should you still turn it off?

Planning on keeping propane off while driving and using alternator/invertor to run the fridge on electric while driving.
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Old 02-06-2019, 09:50 AM   #10
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Jamie, just a quick question. If you are running your propane/electric fridge on electric (inverter or generator) should you still turn it off?

Planning on keeping propane off while driving and using alternator/invertor to run the fridge on electric while driving.
That is a good question. When they stopped me they only verified that the valve to the propane tank was off--didn't verify that the refer was switched off. Thus you're probably ok leaving the refer on and using electricity.

At the time we had our 5er and they never entered the coach (and thus I probably left the refer on at that point anyway since I didn't go in the coach either).
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:03 PM   #11
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It doesn't matter what's going on inside the unit...as long as you have the main tank shut off at the tank valve...that's all they care about.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:53 PM   #12
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... Which makes perfect sense: nothing will run on propane; that has been turned off at the tank...
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Old 02-06-2019, 01:06 PM   #13
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Thank you to everyone who has responded, clearing up my confusion.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:06 AM   #14
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I've gone thru twice just this month & I spoke to a trooper about it. They don't stop the RVs for inspections. He just said its a good habit to turn off the propane before entering. I didn't have a problem & there were other rigs going thru each time I did.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:15 AM   #15
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It's always best to know the laws: even if the enforcement is open to some "interpretation" by the Police.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:49 PM   #16
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It's always best to know the laws: even if the enforcement is open to some "interpretation" by the Police.
You're right, of course, the 1st time I had no idea what I was doing & found out after the lst exit. The 2nd time I was a bit concerned & a trooper jus happened to be in earshot. But since I havta go back thru again in about 2 wks, I will make it a point to find out what the real deal is - thx!
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:00 PM   #17
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The real deal is survival. If there were to be an issue in any tunnel...you would be the first to go. There's tons of videos of campers burning businesses to the ground by not turning off pilot lights before refueling. Watched one recently where the guy's coach caught on fire at the bulk propane tank. Had his fridge on gas and didn't turn if off but told the guy filling his tank that he had. You can lead a horse to water, hold his head under, but you can't make him drink!
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:51 PM   #18
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traveled all over this country, Alaska, and Canada, and a lot of bridges and tunnels, and have never 'turned off' the propane, including thru the long Chesapeake bay bridge travels...
since all of our propane devices are electronic spark, and not active 'pilot lights', then they ARE off all the time.

the problem one of the authorities not wanting a propane leak to be susceptible to a spark while in a tunnel, specifically if you would have to come to a stop due to a traffic jam or accident... where vehicle motors are running, or worse, someone is smoking nearby.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #19
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traveled all over this country, Alaska, and Canada, and a lot of bridges and tunnels, and have never 'turned off' the propane, including thru the long Chesapeake bay bridge travels...
since all of our propane devices are electronic spark, and not active 'pilot lights', then they ARE off all the time.

the problem one of the authorities not wanting a propane leak to be susceptible to a spark while in a tunnel, specifically if you would have to come to a stop due to a traffic jam or accident... where vehicle motors are running, or worse, someone is smoking nearby.

The lines to them and under your coach are charged. Propane is heavier than air and will pool at the bottom of a tunnel or lowest spot. Stand still traffic with a leaking propane tank nearby or a tank line ruptured in an accident or hit by run-over debris could be disastrous...your average 60 gallon LP tank equals approximately 650 cubic feet of gas in the open air.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:58 PM   #20
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I don't know why they are so concerned about the RV propane being turned off. You would think they would be more focused on my trailer full of M183 demolition charges. :-)
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