Does Propane Go Bad?

The shelf life of propane can be a matter of concern for RV owners, especially for those who only use their campers occasionally. The good news is that propane does not go bad, and so the shelf life of propane is indefinite. The only limiting factor is the propane tank. Tanks weighing 100 pounds or less come with an expiration date of 12 years from the manufacture date. High-quality propane tanks can last for up to 30 years. Once these periods have passed, it is required that the propane tank undergoes an inspection.  

If it passes the inspection, it is qualified for use for an additional five years. If not, it is condemned and can no longer be used. Assuming that your propane tank is in good shape, you will not experience any issues with propane shelf life. Therefore, LPG gas is the perfect choice for RVs, and other off-grid survival equipment.

Does the Weather Affect Propane Shelf Life?

Weather changes will not affect propane. The idea that propane goes bad during certain seasons is incorrect. Propane will not go bad due to heat. The bottom line is that propane does not go bad under any circumstances. However, the propane cylinder has a lifetime of 12 to 30 years, depending on quality.

Where Can I Check the Propane Tank Expiration Date? 

The propane tank date of manufacture is printed onto the collar of the cylinder. After requalification, the new date can be found on the collar as well. You can estimate the expiration date based on those dates. 

Some propane users believe the date printed on the propane tank collar to be the expiration date, but it is the date it was inspected or qualified.

Can I Still Use the Propane Tank if it Has Expired? 

Using an expired propane tank is a huge risk. An old propane tank might have leaks, rust, or even punctures, causing a safety hazard; therefore, you should return the expired propane tank to the manufacturer for replacement. This might be at a cost, depending on your vendor. 

You should never dispose of the expired propane tanks in household garbage or recycling centers. Even if empty, the gas cylinder will still contain some residual propane, which poses a safety hazard if not handled correctly. Expired, rusty, or dented propane cylinders should be disposed of properly, and an expired propane tank will not be refilled.

Proper Handling of Propane Tanks

Propane is a reliable fuel, especially among RVers and those who love the outdoors. However, inappropriate handling of propane could result in serious safety hazards. Make sure that you handle the tank as instructed by the manufacturer. 

Here are some guidelines regarding the correct handling of propane tanks:

  • Never leave the propane tank at the campsite.
  • If the propane tank is expired, stop using it immediately. 
  • Only dispose of expired propane tanks in designated collection cages.
  • Avoid using portable propane cylinders in basements. 
  • Never place the propane cylinder in household waste containers or recycling bins.
  • The propane tanks will contain residual gas even if empty. Therefore, ensure proper handling.
  • When transporting portable propane cylinders, ensure that they are secured properly.
  • Make sure your RV is fitted with an LPG leak detector. This alerts you to leaks, allowing you to take appropriate action.
  • Make sure the propane tanks and propane appliances undergo proper testing before using them in your RV.


If you are using propane as a source of fuel in your RV, extra care is required to prevent potential safety hazards. To ensure your safety and that of your passengers, adhere to the safety guidelines outlined above.