All about gas for caravan or motorhome owners

Published in Caravanning Top Tips, Motorhoming Top Tips on   - 42 Comments

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  1. Peter Howard says:

    Morrisons supermarkets have autogas at many of their outlets

  2. Brilliant and very helpful article! Covers just about everything we needed to know about using gas in our old VW motorhome. Thank you!

  3. Lewis Sullivan says:

    Currently converting a Mercedes sprinter. I have purchased a refillable Gas Tank. Are there requirements for a gas locker, I’ve seen some mention best practices would be a metal gas locker or a wooden locker that is metal lined. If opting for the wooden locker, what metal should be used to line the locker? Thank you

  4. Tony Gillam says:

    Get a Safefill. Gas is about a quarter of the ripoff prices that Calor charge for an exchange bottle. It’s lighter in weight and, being translucent, you can see how much LPG you have.

  5. Will says:

    Great article, thanks very much for sharing.

    One point I’m not 100% clear on though, is whether the regulations in the UK allow me to drive my campervan without turning off the main gas supply?

    My campervan has a propane tank, which is only used to supply gas to the hob, nothing else. In this situation, so long as I turn off the isolator to the hob (located right next to the hob), am I ok to drive without also having closed the valve on the top of the tank?

    • Although it’s not illegal to have the gas turned on, there are obvious potential dangers, for example when going onto a petrol station forecourt with a naked flame. It is also a mandatory requirement for gas system installations to have a ‘crash safe’ regulator which includes a deceleration sensor that automatically cuts off the gas in the event of an accident, plus the ability to cut off the supply in the event of sudden pressure loss. If your campervan is older and doesn’t have such a regulator fitted, the vehicle must have permanent labelling to indicate that the gas system must not be used while the vehicle is in motion.
      Hope this helps?

  6. Irwin w. Detlefsen says:

    Hi, ive just bought a 2013 motorhome with a Dometic Oven & Stovetop with 3 gas 1 electric elements. Ive turned on the gas at bottles but not getting gas through to the
    Elements on stove top. Also when i switch on the electric hotplate the red light flashes between settings but doesnt stay on & the plate doesnt heat up. ? Can anyone give me advice on this please. PS. The previous owners cant give me advice as they never used stove or oven , They ate out every night ?

  7. Hi, I’m trying to get rid of a silver Caravangas bottle (not Calor) that the previous owners have left in my new flat, but can’t find out where to take it. Can anyone help please?

  8. Steve topham says:

    On our motorhome we have two 11kg refillable gas tanks with a point outside where we can fill up at lpg stations is there anyway the outside filler point coyuld be used as an outlet for a outside bbq or can the gas only go in and not out?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Steve, you can’t use the outside filler point, it’s an inlet only. Speak to your local motorhome service centre for more advice.

  9. Nicolaburgoyne says:

    Hi! Does anyone know where we can fill up our camper van tank with PLG around Runcorn in Cheshire please. Going away for the weekend and would hate the heating to go offThank you

  10. Sue Edwards says:

    Is Calor gas the same as butane. Can I use butane in a calor heater

  11. Philip Pahl says:

    We have recently (May 2019) taken delivery of a new small 2 person Pod type caravan. The gas bottle for the gas rings is located in a vented cupboard within the living space. We occasionally thought we could detect a slight gas smell and just today traced it to the bottle storage cupboard. I had fitted, previously, a Gaslow gauge and quick release wheel to the bottle which I checked regularly (distrusting my own work). My wife had contacted the dealership to find out if this smell was normal and they replied “had we undone anything”? Today I used soapy water and traced a substantial leak on the wall-mounted regulator in a joint for the pipe going to the gas hob and nothing to do with the valve I had fitted. Should I have the system checked by a qualified gas fitter & who should pay?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      We’d suggest taking it back to the dealership for them to investigate and liaise with the manufacturer.

  12. jim simon says:

    Hey thanks for sharing this, it was really helpful.

  13. D.Williams says:

    where can I find a list of places to fill an underslung tank on my motorcaravan?

  14. Cheryl says:

    How long can you keep your gas mins 3 years old but not used much of it is it safe to still use

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Cheryl, there are recommendations for replacing the rubber pipes on your cylinder – typically, within five years of manufacture (the date for which should be stamped on the hose itself). It’s also recommend to replace regulators every 10 years. It might be an ideal opportunity to book your caravan/motorhome in for a service and ask the engineer m for advice?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Cheryl, there are recommendations for replacing the rubber pipes on your cylinder – typically, within five years of manufacture (the date for which should be stamped on the hose itself). It’s also recommend to replace regulators every 10 years. It might be an ideal opportunity to book your caravan/motorhome in for a service and ask the engineer for advice?

  15. Lynsey says:

    I’ve just purchased a mobile catering unit. My question is this can my gas bottle be inside the external cupboard when in use. I’ve been told 2 different answers.
    The bottle is propane, attached by black hose to the regulator which is all within the cupboard.

  16. Tony says:

    I have installed Gaslow systems three times now without any problems. It is easy to tighten connections correctly – and to my surprise, when I had to visit Gaslow to resolve a problem with a faulty regulator they used sealant on the threads of the connectors – I’d been told that was quite incorrect.) The gauges now fitted to these cylinders will show if any of the connections are leaking (turn off all appliances within your ‘van, leave the cylinder valve open and check the gauge after half an hour to see if it has moved – and if it hasn’t, just for assurance, check it again after another half hour: if it hasn’t moved, your connections are all gas-tight.
    Much more demanding is creating a gas-tight conduit for the filler pipe if that pipe has to pass through the habitation zone: it can involve drilling holes at awkward angles, in tight corners. I’ve done it twice now but it was hard work – and would probably have cost me a small fortune if I’d left it to my local dealer. I wish I’d taken photographs – I’m sure they would have been helpful to anyone else having to do the same.
    As an aside, I’ve also re-routed gas pipes in the habitation zone which had been badly installed and again, have found no difficulty in making gas-tight connections. However, I HAVE ALWAYS HAD ANY WORK I’VE DONE TESTED AND CERTIFIED BY MY LOCAL DEALER – essential if you are to satisfy your insurer.

  17. Ray Butler says:

    Hi very good article. No mention of planned discontinuation of calor lite bottles though. These have been excellent and handy gauge will be lost?
    can we ask why we have to go back to heavy steel propane bottles??

  18. John Burgess says:

    I have an underslung gas tank which frees up a significant amount of space in my small (<6m) motorhome which now houses a generator and barbecue as well as other odds and sods!. It works very well and costs around £15 for a full refill (25l) this lasts about two weeks off grid or 5-6 weeks on. I have an app on my phone for the whereabouts of refilling points and a five bar indicator contents gauge which gives me ample time to get it refilled. The only problems so far was when the gauge went wrong and we ran out of gas but that was fixed free of charge. The unit was supplied and fitted by Propex heating and cost about £600. Expensive but I think worth it. I hope this is helpful?

  19. who-ate-all-the-pies says:

    I like that!

  20. Pete says:

    NOTHING on this site regarding DIY fitting of refillable system and affects with insurance or safety issues? Is there any regulation or requirement for a gas certificate if DIY?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Pete
      Where a vehicle is used for private/social use then the fitter of any systems or modifications should be ‘competent’.
      We would recommend that any DIY fitment of a gas system is checked and certified by a suitably qualified engineer. This could be at a local caravan workshop or by searching the Gas Safe web site for a suitably qualified installer in your area. Caravan workshop personnel are trained specifically to work on LPG in caravans and motorhomes and receive certification known as STGW (Standards of Training in Gas Work).
      From an insurance point of view you must take all steps to safeguard your caravan or motorhome, equipment and personal possessions against damage. The property insured must be maintained in a sound and roadworthy condition and all precautions taken to prevent and minimise any claims. We would need to be made aware of any modifications to a motorhome and need to be confident that the person who has carried out the modification is suitably qualified or has the relevant skills to carry out the change to the correct standard. If not, we do need to run the modification past our underwriters Royal and Sun Alliance (RSA) for approval.

  21. Neil says:

    Useful article thanks. Was interested to hear about the Gas Genie. Was tempted but the online reviews are appalling so think I’ll give it a miss.

  22. Davesan says:

    We have just got an Burford Duo Autosleeper this year and it has the under slung gas tank. So good so far. Very cheap gas but you do have to plan where you are getting your gas from as not all petrol stations have it.

  23. Brian Keen says:

    Very useful. But will the trume levelcheck work on the calor lite?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Brian
      The Truma Level check can’t be used on Calor Lite bottles. It can’t be used for plastic cylinders, butane cylinders, gas tanks or refillable gas tanks.
      There’s more information here and I’ve updated the article:

  24. Ian says:

    Very useful tips

  25. Brian Foster says:

    Clear and simple factual presentation.

  26. David Lajara says:

    Gas-It also do refillable systems.

  27. Steve Relph says:

    A very interesting article. Some very good points .

  28. Eric Smith says:

    Very good information given. Thanks.

  29. kevin draper says:

    I carry a weighing scale, the sort you use to weigh your suitcase, cost about a fiver. I compare with the empty weight (called tare weight) on the bottle.note this is in pounds and ounces. Have not had to change the bottle yet but the method works for patio gas.

  30. Geoff Snowden says:

    Very clear to understand

  31. Colin Harris says:

    My Calor Gas Lite indicator went from full to low very quickly, within a week, but still giving gas a couple of weeks later. How accurate are these built in indicators?

  32. Monty Toplis says:

    Very useful information, was not aware that so many options were available, will check my bottles for continental use.

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