Choosing the best supplier of gas bottle for you can save you headaches when you do run out or need to refill.

Europe

Each country throughout Europe has its own supplier of gas bottles, each with its own adapter and regulator. People who regularly spend long periods of time in different countries often have a different gas bottle for each country. Campingaz is available throughout Europe, but only comes in small bottles, which is OK for single travelers or short trips, but not cost effective for others.

Tips

  1. Keep a small portable gas stove in the van.
    If you main gas bottle runs out you can use the stove to complete your cooking, boiling water etc. It's also useful for cooking outside or down by the beach. The type that lie-flat are more stable than the old traditional stand-up type, although refills are harder to find for the former type.

The Law

UK

In the UK vehicles being used for work purposes have to show stickers indicating the vehicle is carrying compressed gas.  If the vehicle is not being used for work, i.e. a camper van, you do NOT have to show the stickers.

However, it is considered good practice to have the stickers if you are carrying compressed gas.  The fire brigade find great benefit in seeing the sticker if there should be a road accident, as it helps them contain the incident more quickly.  But, only show the sticker when you are carrying gas, otherwise the fire brigade will be miss lead.

Note:  If you are showing the gas sticker on your vehicle, expect to get stopped occasionally by the police when they check how you gas is stored.

In the UK:

  • a vehicle is permitted to carry a maximum of 2 x 10 liter bottles of compressed gas, unless the vehicle is ventilated with a rotating rooftop device, then the limit is higher.
  • Flammable gas MUST be carried upright at all times.
  • Warning diamonds must also be displayed, if for reward. Green for High Pressure, Red for Flammable.

BS EN 1949:2002 Installation of LPG Systems – Specification for the installation of LPG systems for habitation purposes in leisure accommodation vehicles and in other road vehicles

I have summarised some of the main bits of BS EN 1949 below:

2. Cylinder Compartment

2.1 Requirements for the construction of the compartment

With the exception of 2.3 below, cylinder compartments shall be sealed from the inside living accommodation part of the vehicle and shall be accessible from the outside of the vehicle only. 

LPG cylinder must be positioned away from heat sources (exhaust system) as described in 2.4 below.

The compartment must be designed so that cylinders can be secured rigidly (to prevent cylinder movement when the vehicle is in motion) and in the upright position with the valve uppermost (to ensure only gas [vapour] can be drawn from the cylinder and not liquid LPG). There must be means of securing cylinder/s at both high and low level.

Access to any connections, changeover valves and pressure regulators must not be obstructed.

Replacement of cylinders must be possible without disturbing any installations or ancillary equipment.

Devices to secure cylinders in position must be able to be opened and closed without the use of tools.

No appliances, components or fittings shall be installed in the cylinder compartment that can cause damage the LPG installation or ignite escaping gas. (E.g. batteries or uninsulated electrical components etc.)


2.2 Cylinder compartments accessible from outside the vehicle

Cylinder compartments must be permanently ventilated to the exterior of the vehicle.

If the ventilation is provided only at low level, the ventilated area must be 2% of the compartments floor area, with a minimum of 10,000mm2. (E.g.100mm X 100mm). If the ventilation is provided at both high and low level the ventilated area must be 1% of the floor area, with a minimum of 5,000 mm2 (50mm X 50mm).

It shall not be possible for the cylinder/s to obstruct the ventilation area.


2.3 Cylinder compartments accessible from inside the vehicle

For motor caravans where penetration of a type approved base vehicles bodywork would be required to provide external access, internal access to the cylinder compartment would be permitted providing the following conditions are meet:

The compartment can contain a maximum of two cylinders each having a capacity of not more than 16kg.

Access to the cylinder compartment from the inside living accommodation part of the vehicle is only provided via an attached sealed door or hatch. The bottom of such a door or hatch must be a minimum of 50mm above the floor level of the cylinder compartment.

If the cylinder compartment accessible only from inside of the vehicle cannot be ventilated similarly to that referred to in 2.2 above, the following alternative arrangements must be made:

Ventilation may be provided by a single duct providing the following measures are taken:

Only one cylinder may be installed with a maximum of 7 kg.

The duct shall have a minimum diameter of 20 mm.

The maximum length of the duct shall not exceed 5 times the internal diameter of the duct, but may be extended to 10 times the internal duct diameter to avoid interference with under-floor flue outlets.

The duct shall be at low level in the floor and resistant to LPG.

The duct shall fall throughout its entire length to the outside of the vehicle.

 

Comments (25)

  • Tim's picture

    A company called Gaslow provide a solution to the gas problem when travelling europe extensively, the initial setup cost isn't cheap but allows you to refill your gas at any lpg service station just the same as you would your car, almost all cookers, fridges etc can run from lpg, you can install the system yourself quite quickly and don't even need to cut a hole in your van to fit the filler point if you don't want, it can be placed on a bracket in the gas locker. The cheaper cost of the lpg will offset the initial cost somewhat and at the end of the journey I can remove the system very easily to put in another van or sell as a unit. I have just purchased a single cylinder setup with 11kg storage (you can also buy 6kg)it has cost me about 220 pound, but I think will pay for itself just knowing I can top up at any stage, it doesn't have to be empty and I can top up almost anywhere without having to find different cylinders and regulators etc to purchase...peace of mind...I will report back to let you know how it gets on in a couple of months.

    Jun 18, 2009
  • Squeak's picture

    can you post soe pics on one of the campervan forums please
    ths sounds like a great idea

    Jul 04, 2009
  • trickydicky59's picture

    Hi, As a cheaper alternative, you can buy a converter for your propane bottle, and fill it up with LPG from a service station, cost approx £50.

    Richard

    Jul 07, 2009
  • Guysor's picture

    I am interested in the converter you mentioned do you know if it will fit a standard calor bottle and where can I get one!

    Sep 07, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    Is there a legal limit on the size/quantity of probane gass you can carry in a campervan.

    Is there a legal limit to the size of the gass botle you can have connected in a camper van.

    Jun 22, 2009
  • Weallybin's picture

    Found the above post quite interesting and typed it into google. Looks like these refillers may be somewhat dangerous and are to be avoided. Have a look at the below link for evidence of this.

    http://www.motorhomefacts.com/ftopic-43097.html

    Mar 12, 2010
  • Anonymous's picture

    I have had my vito van converted to LPG. Can i run a supply from the main tank to supply my cooker? This would save having to have 2 gas supplies on board.
    Michael.

    Mar 22, 2010
  • Darren's picture

    Yes, I think this is possible. However you should talk to the people who fitted your gas tank. As I believe there are differences in the outlets for these tanks.

    Mar 22, 2010
  • Gordon's picture

    What type of adapter do i need for refilling an irish propand bottle (47)in northern ireland

    May 04, 2010

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