How To Use The Costco Propane Service To Save Money!

If you are a camping propane user, you probably need to refill your tanks quite often.

Costco is one of our favorite places to go for filling our empty tanks.

Here are tips on Costco Propane Refill: How To Use The Costco Propane Service and finding the location that is nearest to you.

Costco Propane Refill How To Use The Costco Propane Service by CampingForFoodies features a class A motorhome RV parked at a Costco propane refill station with an employee getting ready to fill a portable propane tank from a large stationary tank that has warning and no smoking signs on it, text over the image reads Costco propane refill, how to get propane at Costco, membership is required.

Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.

Filling Your Camping RV Tanks At Costco Propane Refill Stations

If you ever find yourself asking … I wonder where I can refill my propane … and you want it for an inexpensive price … you may just start looking for the nearest Costco store!


Does Costco Refill Propane Tanks?

Some Costco locations do sell propane but you should not
assume the service is available at all Costco stores.

And, just like any other purchase at Costco, you do have to be a member to buy propane.

Costco Propane Refill Station In Parking Lot Near Tire Center by CampingForFoodies features a propane refilling station in the parking lot of a Costco store with the building in the background and signage on the building directing customers to the tire installation area, customers are walking in the parking lot toward the store, there is text over the image that reads Costco Propane Refill Look For Station In Parking Lot Usually Near Tire Center Membership Is Required.

Costco Membership Required For Propane Refilling

Before you find the nearest Costco warehouse location, you need to know that you must be a member to get propane there (or purchase anything else, for that matter.)

If you are not currently a member but want more information about becoming one, you can get information on their website to join Costco.


Expired Tanks WILL NOT Be Filled

Costco will not refill expired propane tanks. Most tanks are certified for 10 – 12 years.

You’ll see a stamp on the tank’s collar that indicates the length of time before the tank needs to be recertified or put out of service.

Costco Will Not Fill Expired Propane Tanks by CampingForFoodies features the stamped collar on a propane tank with text over the image that reads Costco Propane Refill, Check Stamp On Tank Collar, No Expired Tanks.

The stamp will say something like: MUST BE REQUALIFIED WITHIN 12 YRS OF MFG DATE.

You will find the manufacture date and recertification date(s) stamped on the collar but you have to know how to read the markings.


U.S. Propane Tank Markings & Meanings

Marking Meaning
04 11 Date of manufacturer in month and year format. (example April 2011)
A 21 Date of recertification in quarter and year format. (example 1st quarter 2021)
A = 1st quarter: JAN, FEB, MAR
B = 2nd quarter: APR, MAY, JUN
C = 3rd quarter: JUL, AUG, SEP
D = 4th quarter: OCT, NOV, DEC
TW Tare Weight (empty cylinder weight) in pounds
WC Water Capacity (water storage capacity) in pounds

Dual Country Markings

Some tanks are certified in the United States and Canada which means there will be 2 sets of stamps.

Canadian stamps include the letters TC which indicates a cylinder was designed to meet Transport Canada specifications so it can be used and filled in Canada.

  • U.S. uses the imperial system. Markings will be indicated in pounds and gallons.
  • Canada uses the metric system. Markings will be indicated in grams and liters.

Canadian Manufacture Date Stamps

A Canadian manufacture date stamp will indicate the month and year of manufacture and will look like this: 04 11 or like this 04 △ 11 to indicate April 2011.


Canadian Recertification Stamps

Example: 04 PD7 21 E

  • 04: Month of requalification (example April)
  • PD7: Requalifiers registered mark (identifier assigned to all requalifiers by Transport Canada)
  • 21: Year of requalification (example 2021)
  • E: Procedure Symbol (example E = External Visual Inspection)

Where To Fill Costco Propane Tank

Because the Costco propane service is only available at select locations, you will want to check for availability at the store of your choice.

Find Costco Propane Refill Warehouse Locations by CampingForFoodies features a snapshot of Costco’s website with a large red arrow over the page pointing to the navigation required to find a warehouse, the text over the image reads How To Find Costco Propane Refill, Membership Is Required.

Here are the steps to find a Costco store that sells
propane:

  1. Go to Costco’s website. https://www.costco.com
  2. Click on “Find a Warehouse” and enter a “city, state or zip code” for a general location you are wanting to buy propane.
  3. Use the map or list feature to find a store location that is on your travel route.
  4. Click on the store to get more details.
  5. Under the “Warehouse Services” section, you will want to check the information on the “Gas Station” as well as the “Tire Service Center” … if that particular location has both, they may also have propane services.
  6. In the “Store Details” you are looking for “Departments and Specialty Items” section of the website, from there you are looking for “Propane”. NOTE: We have found many Costco locations that DO offer propane for sale but the store’s website listing does NOT indicate that … so … even if your preferred store does not show propane availability on the website … it is worth a phone call to verify.
  7. If propane is listed as one of the specialty items available at that location, you are in luck. You will want to call the store to verify the website information is up-to-date and accurate.

Costco Propane Refill Hours

When you get propane at Costco, it is probably being serviced by employees in the Tire Service Center so the hours are usually similar.

You’ll want to verify the particular hours of the store with a quick phone call.


How To Get Propane At Costco

The Costco propane refill procedure is quite simple, here
are the steps:

  1. Find the Costco Propane Service Station in the parking lot of the store (it will probably be near the Tire Service Center).
  2. Take your empty tank to the station.
  3. Push the button to notify the attendant you are there. Look for a sign that says “Call Attendant, Push Button” or something similar.
  4. The attendant will meet you at the station and verify your propane tank is not expired. NOTE: Costco does not take expired tanks so check your date before you head to the store.
  5. The attendant will fill your tank while you wait then he/she will give you a receipt.
  6. Your tank will stay at the station until you pay for the propane and come back to pick it up.

How Do You Pay For Propane At Costco?

The really convenient thing about purchasing propane at
Costco is ability to shop and get other services done all at one place.

So the question … where do you pay for propane at Costco …
depends on what else you are doing at the store.

We usually combine our propane refills with stocking up on items we are buying in the warehouse, like our favorite Costco camping food items … in that case we pay for our propane at checkout with our other supplies.

If we are just getting propane, we pay for it with the Tire
Service Center cashier.


How Much Is Propane Refill At Costco?

You’ve gotta love camping tips that save you cash!

I would never call anything at Costco “cheap” because the quality of their products is excellent … I’d rather say the propane cost is an excellent value.

As you can see in our video, we paid $2.10/gallon on July 19, 2020 in Arizona. On our most recent fill-up we paid $2.73/gallon which was on July 12, 2021.

Just like gasoline and diesel fuel prices, propane prices
vary by location.


Does Costco Sell Propane Tanks?

If you have been shopping at Costco for any length of time,
you know that all items are not always available in the warehouse.

When they are not available in the stores, you can usually find 20, 30, 40 and 100 pound propane tanks online at Costco’s website. https://www.costco.com/

I have seen 1 lb propane tanks in Costco stores on a seasonal basis when they have camping gear in stock.


Can You Exchange Tanks There?

We have never found a warehouse location that exchanges propane tanks but that does not mean they don’t exist. If you are aware of a Costco propane exchange location, please let us know.

Personally, we don’t like doing exchanges because they are much more expensive than doing refills.

But, if you are in a pinch, we have an entire post dedicated to find propane refill near me … and that includes locations of different businesses that do propane exchanges like Home Depot stores, Blue Rhino locations etc.


Do You Really Need More Propane?

If we don’t really need propane, we try to wait for a Costco refilling station because their prices are so affordable.

So, we monitor our propane levels to make sure we have enough gas to get us to the next store.

We have 3 simple methods for how to tell if a propane tank is empty.

In addition to the tanks on your RV, you may have one of those hybrid dual-fuel quiet generators for camping that can operate on gasoline or propane so don’t forget to fill those too.


Filling Small Camping Propane Bottles

Of course Costco can’t refill your tiny tanks but you can refill camping 1lb propane tanks if you know how to use a refill adapter.

How To Refill 1 lb Propane Cylinders, Tanks And Small Camping Propane Bottles - Camping For Foodies .com

Propane Gear For Camping

Keeping your propane tanks full makes it possible to continue using the best propane camping gear on every one of your trips!

Best Propane Camping Gear Reviewed by CampingForFoodies

Using Propane For Cooking

You are probably using propane to cook some of your meals. If you are interested in some new, interesting and simple camp recipes, we’ve got tons of them!

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