Jump to content

Recommended Posts

We always camp on Cls. We always take large flasks. We always have BBQs.  We always  fill the flasks with water heated on the BBQ.  We always have hot water when we want it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I’m on holiday, I’m happy to spend a few quid here and there. 
 

If I couldn’t afford to boil water on gas, I wouldn’t be going on holiday....Each to their own. 

  • I agree completely 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

We do a fair amount of "off grid", and we also always have plenty of hot water from the Alde boiler, or for beverages, we have boiling water from the kettle.

 

I bet if you worked out how much gas you used on the BBQ to heat water, compared to using the vans water heater, or boiling a kettle, you wouldnt find it significantly diferent. Anyhow, even if it is significant, im on holiday, not basic survival 

  • I agree completely 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Had 8 nights off grid, on a THS (£8 a night), hot water for washing up and showers, cooking, fridge, BBQ and my gas cost was £6.70 when I topped up my Safefill refillable cylinder. Also had plenty of free power from the sun to keep the  battery charged, using a solar panel.:)

  • Like 1

Škoda Octavia Estate 2. 0TDi 4x4 towing a Compass Omega 482.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the point is that if the BBQ is hot,anyway, then why not use that heat efficiently. A charcoal BBQ will remain hot long after cooking has ended so why not pop a pot over the coals to warm some water - it can then be used to clean the pot again (only joking).

  • I agree completely 1

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 16/09/2020 at 12:04, Fireman Iain said:

If I’m on holiday, I’m happy to spend a few quid here and there. 
 

If I couldn’t afford to boil water on gas, I wouldn’t be going on holiday....Each to their own. 

It sounds like I have offended you in some way.  I thought this subject was about tips and I believe saving gas qualifies as such.  I too enjoy spending a few quid when I'm on holiday.  Last year I cruised the Caribbean followed by a £12000 trip to Zanzibar so it would be no hardship for me to boil water on gas but now that I'm in my eighties it is a pain having to lift gas bottles.  Oh! and I often as not don't use charcoal, the wood I use is free.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A useful guide on caravan gas, copied from outandaboutlive

 

 

Liquid Petroleum Gas

LPG is a by-product of the oil-refining industry. Burnt off, and considered a nuisance when first discovered, it took a while to realise its potential as a valuable energy source in its own right.

LPG is a viable, transportable fuel. You can keep the gas as a liquid in a pressurised container, which means you can store a lot of energy in a small space.

It’s highly flammable, odourless (the smell is added), non-toxic and, being heavier than air, will settle in low spots (hence the floor vents in caravans, known as gas drop-out vents).

The two main dangers, should a leak occur, are fire and explosion, and from asphyxiation.

LPG can displace air. In an enclosed and unvented space, an unknown leak could create a dangerous environment. Therefore, don't store a gas cylinder in a sealed awning or pup tent.

People or pets sleeping near the ground would be in danger of asphyxiation from a leaking gas cylinder and, of course, fire/explosion if it ignited.

If you don’t have room in the caravan locker that’s designed for gas storage, leave the bottle outside. Any leakage will disperse into the atmosphere.

 

 

Caravan gas: butane v propane

In the UK, LPG is either propane or butane. So, which gas is best for caravanning? Which gas is cheapest? Which burns hottest?

I’m not going to put my finger in either of their flames to find out the hottest. In fact, they burn at about the same temperature.

To describe the difference, without getting into megajoules and some serious science, I’d explain it like this: less butane is needed, compared to propane, to produce the same amount of heat.

One litre of butane will last 12% longer than one litre of propane. The biggest difference, and probably the most important difference to caravanners, is the boiling-temperature range.

This is the temperature at which LPG will still vaporise and turn from liquid to gas.

Butane gasses at temperatures down to minus 2°C, while propane gasses as low as minus 42°C!

This means propane is the best choice in colder weather. You’d have to caravan to Siberia, before you had any problems with propane.

 

 

Butane v propane costs

I made a cost comparison by converting kg to litres. Propane is 1.96 liquid litres per 1 kg, while butane is 1.72 liquid litres per 1 kg. Using the online shop of one of the leading UK suppliers of bottled gas prices, 6 kg of rental propane works out at £1.99 per litre, and 7 kg of rental butane at £2.15 per litre.

That’s a difference of around 8% between them. A litre of butane creates 12% more heat. The cost difference is a few pence per litre in butane’s favour.

Autogas can be butane or propane, or a mix of the two. In the UK, it is propane. At this time, the average price at the pumps per litre is £0.64.

As I mostly camp off-grid, a plentiful supply of gas is essential: for heating, hot water and chilling the Pinot! Finding the right balance of cost of gas, availability, cost of set-up, weight, etc, is a question requiring some serious thought.

 

DANGER!

A big problem that still exists in the world of LPG is the illegal filling of rental gas cylinders at Autogas pumps using adapters bought on the internet and guesswork!

Not only is this practice extremely dangerous, it’s illegal. It also makes it difficult for those that use legitimate and safe refillable cylinders when attendants have been instructed to stop anyone from filling gas cylinders at the pump.

There are no safeguards built into rental cylinders, and they remain the property of the supplying company.

 

 

Calor rental

Calor is the caravan fraternity’s most widely-used and easily-available bottled gas in the UK. You are never far from a Calor gas retailer, which certainly gives us peace of mind. Calor brought us the revolutionary Calor Lite bottle in 2007, helping keep noseweights down.

However, a recall in 2014, over possible degradation of the cylinders, has limited supplies right up to the present day. Existing 6 kg CalorLite users can exchange their cylinder for a standard 6 kg cylinder, or 3.9 kg cylinder, which normally weighs less than a ‘6 kg Lite’ when both are full.

Calor Lite (limited supply) 6 kg @ £26.45 = £2.26 per litre, gross weight approx 10.5 kg.

Calor Propane 6 kg @ £23.45 = £2.00 per litre, gross weight approx 15 kg.

 

 

Flogas rental

Flogas is also a big player in the UK bottled-gas market (it acquired BP LPG in 2013, and has picked up the ‘lightweight gauntlet’. Since 2014, it has produced a lightweight, see-through, GRP propane cylinder, similar to the Safefill design.

This is good news for those of us who want a lightweight gas cylinder. Retailers are not as widespread as Calor, but they can usually be found not too far away, typically on industrial estates where the likes of tool hire companies often keep a stock.

Gas light cylinders use a 27mm clip-on connection. Adapters from clip-on to threaded connection can be bought for around £7.50. If you would like to change the complete hose to one with a clip-on connector end, it costs about £30.

Flogas Gas light 5 kg @ £23.00 = £2.35 per litre, gross weight 8.7 kg.

Flogas Propane 6 kg @ £23.25 = £1.99 per litre, gross weight 14 kg.

 

How to pay 5% VAT on caravan gas!

If you can find a domestic gas supplier to refill your cylinders, you can legally purchase gas with only 5% VAT charged, instead of the 20% VAT you have to pay on Autogas.

 

 

Safefill refillable

Safefill launched its direct-fill (you fill straight from an LPG pump at a fuel station, for example), lightweight, glass-fibre, see-through range in 2011.

These are not rental cylinders. Instead, the user buys and owns the system. Again, there is good news for those who require a lightweight cylinder combined with cheaper gas.

A 7.5 kg cylinder costs £159 + £14 postage

They have several safety features, including: overfill protection (all gas cylinders should only be filled to 80%, to allow for expansion); a check valve that stops accidental gas release, and a pressure release valve. They meet ISO standards.

While these cylinders can be legally filled at LPG pumps at a petrol station, they do need a gas safety check at 10-years old. The check ensures the safety features are replaced and continue to be reliable. Safefill doesn't need specialist installation.

Safefill 7.5 kg fill-up @ £9.40 = £0.64 per litre, gross weight 11.6 kg

 

Gaslow refillable

Gaslow is a name that’s been around for a few years. It’s mainly known for its custom-

fitted, self-refillable gas systems in motorhomes and caravans.

Gaslow manufactures a direct-fill, steel cylinder. It is not see-through, but it has a gauge and is built to the R67 automotive standard for ‘tanks mounted in a vehicle propelled by LPG’.

Gaslow bottles have a single handle for lifting (I'd prefer two); that said, it's great to see another good-quality, refillable cylinder on the market. They, too, need a safety check every 10 years.

Gaslow single-cylinder refillable system £341.50 + £7.80 + fitting (est £100, not a DIY job).

Gaslow direct-fill 6 kg cylinder £164 + £7.80 p&p

Gaslow 6 kg fill-up @ £7.52 = £0.64 per litre, gross weight 14.15 kg

 

How much is caravan gas?

Some manufacturers, but not all, give approx capacity figures in litres. So, to provide a level playing field, I have based my calculations on a recognised formula of 1.96 litres of propane liquid gas per 1 kg of weight.

Using a high-usage figure of 5 kg per week, and a low-usage figure of 1 kg per week (a caravanner on EHU), here are the average costs from rental-cylinder suppliers and direct fill-cylinder suppliers. I’ll base it on 10 weeks usage.

10 weeks @ 5 kg p/w = 50 kg or 98 litres,

10 weeks @ 1 kg p/w = 10 kg or 19.6 litres

 

Cost of bottle/system purchase and the first 10 weeks…

Calor high usage – cylinder rental £39.99 + 98 litres @ £1.99 = £235.01.

Calor low usage – Cylinder rental £39.99 + 19.6 litres @ £1.99 = £78.99.

Flogas high usage – cylinder rental £30.62 + 98 litres @ £1.99 = £225.64.

Flogas low usage – cylinder rental £30.62 + 19.6 litres @ £1.99 = £69.62 .

Gaslow high usage – system purchase £662 (twin cylinders and regulator, etc) + fitting (est) £100 + 98 litres @ £0.64 = £824.72.

Gaslow low usage – system purchase £662 (twin cylinders and regulator, etc) + fitting (est) £100 + 19.6 litres @ £0.64 = £774.54.

Safefill high usage – cylinder purchase £159.00 .+ 98 litres @ £0.64 = £221.22.

Safefill low usage – cylinder purchase £159.00. + 19.6 litres @ £0.64 = £171.54.

The next 10 weeks…

Calor high usage 98 litres @ £1.99 = £195.02.

Calor low usage 19.6 litres @ £1.99 = £39.00

Flogas high 98 litres @ £1.99 = £195.02.

Flogas low19.6 litres @ £1.99 = £39.04.

Gaslow high 98 litres @ £0.64 = £62.72.

Gaslow low 19.6 litres @ £0.64 = £12.54.

Safefill high 98 litres @ £0.64 = £62.72.

Safefill low 19.6 litres @ £0.64 = £12.54.

 

 

Using Autogas Abroad

LPG in warmer foreign countries has a different composition to UK LPG (90-100% propane), and this ‘blend’ can vary depending on the time of year. In Spain, the mix is typically 65% butane and 35% propane (mylpg.EU). Butane has an extra carbon atom, which gives it a higher energy value and a slightly ‘dirtier burn’ than propane.

This means that regular travellers to warmer countries should have their Thetford and Dometic fridges serviced annually. The clean will remove soot (carbon) from the flue and, possibly, the burner/jets replaced (which should be done anyway if you use gas a lot!).

Short-term and occasional visitors to Spain should not be affected by this carbon build-up in their appliances.

 

 

Conclusion

Gas is a fantastic, versatile fuel for caravanners.

The caravan gas supplier you choose may be influenced by convenience, cost and your gas consumption.

Caravanners who always use electric hook-ups may appreciate the convenience of a ubiquitous rental brand like Calor, and be prepared to pay extra for that convenience.

Heavy users quickly save money by using a refillable. I reckon I'll save over £850 on gas in a five-year period.

The figures and information I've provided will, I hope, help you to make an informed decision on how you gas your caravan. We all have differing requirements and priorities. However you do it, here's to safer and happy caravanning.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Land Rover Defender 110 300tdi & 2019 Swift Aventura M4SB
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, LeadFarmer said:

A useful guide on caravan gas, copied from outandaboutlive

 

 

Liquid Petroleum Gas

LPG is a by-product of the oil-refining industry. Burnt off, and considered a nuisance when first discovered,.

.And it still is a nuisance.  I live a couple of miles or so away from Fawley  Refinery and when they burn off excess LPG their flare stacks have huge flames that turn night into day. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Lomax said:

LPG is a by-product of the oil-refining industry. Burnt off, and considered a nuisance when first discovered,.

.And it still is a nuisance.  I live a couple of miles or so away from Fawley  Refinery and when they burn off excess LPG their flare stacks have huge flames that turn night into day. 

 

But will they fill your bottles for you? :D

Land Rover Defender 110 300tdi & 2019 Swift Aventura M4SB
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...