Long haul for western Nfld. RV owners looking for propane

There is concern among RV owners on Newfoundland's west coast about a shortage of companies that can provide their rigs with propane.
RV owners are worried that there are no businesses on the island properly set up to provide propane to motorhomes that have tanks attached to the vehicle. (CBC)

There is concern among RV owners on Newfoundland's west coast about a shortage of companies that can provide their rigs with propane.

There are currently no businesses in the west coast area that are properly set up to provide propane to motorhomes with tanks attached to the vehicle. A fixed tank is the size of six barbecue tanks.

Corner Brook resident Don DeCesare says he will have to travel hundreds of kilometres to fill up his RV's propane tank. (CBC)
Fixed hookups were previously available in the towns of Pasadena and Deer Lake, but those systems have aged and now require an upgrade, which will cost $20,000.

Marble RV owner Jamie Fowlow said he can't afford to provide the specialized service.

"Its a challenge for us selling new motor homes. We provide a tank of propane as part of that service as well, so we are having to tell customers if you drive away today you have to go to Springdale to get propane," said Fowlow.

Hundreds of kilometres for a fill-up

If drivers don't get their propane in Springdale, which is 180 kilometres away from Corner Brook, they're in for a long drive. Motorists will have to travel up the Northern Peninsula, to either Port Saunders or Roddickton.

Motorhome owner Don DeCesare is concerned about the costs associated with a long drive to fill up his tank.   

"And if I'm not going in that direction, it [will] take a lot of gas to get there," DeCesare told CBC.

"And if I want to stay west of here for most of the summer I either have to travel up the Northern Peninsula or Springdale just to fill up. I don't know when I will fuel up again."

Marble RV owner Jamie Fowlow. (CBC)
Beyond west coast campers, there's a bigger concern with the caravans of tourists coming off the Marine Atlantic ferries and landing in Port aux Basques.

"Our phone rings constantly with tourists, [who] come here for service work, and they ask where to travel and where to go, and where to get propane and where to eat. And when we tell them how far they have to go, they are flabbergasted which gives the province a black eye in general," said Fowlow. 

DeCesare said if he travels this summer, he might just opt to go camping in Springdale.

"It could affect where we travel. We have a hard enough time getting tourists here over the 90 miles of water. Now we have just added another obstacle," he said.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.