Best Practices for Propane Use at High Altitudes
While many people love to use their RV to go on trips to the mountains and other high-altitude locations, it is important to remember that with higher elevations comes some potential concerns for using your liquid propane appliances.
Problems arise because at higher altitudes, air contains less oxygen. For a flame to keep burning, it requires the right mixture of fuel (propane) and air (oxygen). Too much or too little of either and the flame will go out or burn inefficiently. Without a sufficient flame, your appliance won't work properly.
Ways to Combat High-Altitude Issues:
- Check for high-altitude adjustments. Your first step should be to consult your operator's manual for instructions on high altitude operation of your specific appliance. This should have warnings and recommendations for usage. For example, some appliances have an adjustable air intake to adjust the air/fuel mixture when necessary. Depending on how high above sea level you are, you may be able to adjust the air intake.
- Try a smaller orifice. If your appliance doesn't have an adjustable air intake, you might try a smaller orifice. At high altitude, there is not enough air getting to the appliance to create the right air/fuel mix, usually creating a lazy yellow flame and soot deposits. In this case, a smaller diameter orifice could limit the amount of fuel and create the correct air/fuel mixture.
- Get a kit. Some manufacturers provide special "high-altitude kits." Please consult your specific appliance operator's manual or contact the manufacturer of your specific appliance to see if they have a kit available.
RVing is a great way to see many different areas, just make sure you are doing your research and taking the necessary precautions when traveling to places that pose specific challenges. Happy travels!