How to use a westfalia propane tank

Updated July 20, 2017

The Volkswagen Westfalia camper is equipped with a propane stove and a propane/electric refrigerator. It has a built-in propane tank underneath the left or driver's side about midway back. As a Westfalia owner you likely are familiar with this tank, as you will have to turn on the valve whenever you camp and turn it off before driving. Refilling the tank is more involved, however, requiring proper procedures.

Face the propane tank. Locate the shut-off valve attached to the regulator in the centre of the tank. Grasp the knob on the valve and turn it counterclockwise to fully open.

Refer to the owner's manual to use the stove and switch the refrigerator from electric to gas.

Switch the refrigerator back to electric, turn off the stove and turn the gas valve fully clockwise to shut off the gas before travelling.

Drive up to the refilling station with the left side facing the station.

Turn off the engine. Get out of the van and face the tank. Make sure the tank valve is turned all the way off.

Unscrew the yellow cap from the fill valve, just to the right of the shut-off valve. Screw the nozzle of the refilling hose into the fill valve on your tank until it is hand tight.

Locate the outage valve, which is a small valve on the far right of the tank. Open it all the way by turning counterclockwise.

Open the valve on the filler hose. Allow the tank to fill until liquid propane comes out of the outage valve. Shut off the outage valve and the filler hose valve. Unscrew the nozzle and replace the yellow cap on the fill valve.


Keep all heat and flames away while refilling the propane tank. If you smell gas in the van, open all windows, shut off the gas valve and allow the gas to dissipate. Have the gas system checked before using it again. Wear gloves when refilling the propane tank, especially when turning off the outage valve.

Things You'll Need

  • VW Westfalia owner's manual
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About the Author

Since 2008 Tracy Underwood has been fulfilling a lifelong dream of writing professionally. He has written articles for and online, and in print for "Backwoodsman Magazine." Underwood holds an Amateur Extra license from the FCC. He received an Electronic Technician certificate from the U.S. Navy BE/E school, NTC Great Lakes.