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Refilling German gas bottles
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userbronzed aussies
Posted: 16 February 2009 2:19 PM
Subject: Refilling German gas bottles
 
Just joined

Posts: 3



Hi guys, has anyone information on where you can either refill or swap German gas bottles whilst on holidays in Europe. We are in Spain at the moment, but will be travelling through France and other countries as well in the coming months. We have been told you can fill them in Portugal but as we are on a 12 month holiday, don't want to spend too much in purchasing bottles from the various countries as we will have to leave them when we finish with that particular country.

Any hints would be greatfully accepted.

With thanks
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 17 February 2009 9:06 AM
Subject: RE: Refilling German gas bottles
 


5000500050005002525
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


Hi Lynne

As a general rule, it is only possible to swap empty gas-bottles for full ones within the bottles' country of origin (eg. UK-marketed bottles can only be exchanged within the UK, French-marketed bottles can only be swapped within France, German-marketed bottles can only be swapped within Germany, etc.)

Gas bottles are normally 'hired' to the user and the hire-contract terms normally prohibit refilling other than by the company that 'owns' the bottle. There are also obvious health and safety risks if refilling were to be performed in an unknown environment by people with an unpredictable level of competence. As a result, most European countries do not have facilities for refilling 'exchange-only' gas cylinders - the expectation is that this type of bottle, when empty, will be exchanged for a full one.

My understanding is that one can get exchange-only bottles (irrespective of the bottles' 'nationality') refilled in a few European countries, but I can't tell you which countries these are or how easy it is to find the places that do it. You may well be right about Portugal and I think it's also possible in Greece and (perhaps) in some of the Eastern European countries. (Basically, in places that are not too fussy about legal small-print and safety!)

This leaves filling your bottles yourself at service-stations selling 'Autogas' intended for fuelling vehicles. Lots of motorcaravanners do this, but the gas containers involved are usually designed specifically to be refilled from an LPG pump and have cut-off valves to prevent over-filling beyond 80% of the container's capacity. (It is imperative that at least 20% free space be left in a gas-container to allow for expansion of the liquified gas - otherwise the container could split.) So undoubtedly your safest and most convenient bet would be to obtain a proper 'refillable' gas container to replace one of your current exchange-only German cylinders.

Having said that, although user-refilling of exchange-only gas bottles with Autogas is frowned on in Europe generally and most motorcaravanners would strongly advise against doing it (mainly because of the risk of over-filling) it remains a practical proposition provided that you can lay your hands on suitable adapters. You'd need a fitting to accept the Autogas-pump's nozzle and an adapter to go between that fitting and your German bottle's outlet. If this idea appeals to you, I suggest you see what is available in Spain or Portugal. Otherwise, you could try the following

http://paellastore.com/motorhome.htm

This UK company markets Alugas cylinders that I believe have German-standard outlets (see website photo) and also a range of adapters/fittings to permit refilling. The fitting needed to connect to an Autogas pump differs from country to country but, within Europe, I believe there are only three different types. These are a couple of earlier forum threads about this:

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=9362&posts=10

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=13353&posts=5

If you contact the Paellastore company, they should be able to advise.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 17 February 2009 5:52 PM
Subject: RE: Refilling German gas bottles
 


5000500050005002525
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


A brief follow-up...

I guess I should have mentioned using Campingaz cylinders. Downsides are the small cylinder capacity, the hefty initial cost of the cylinder and the high price per kg of gas, and the fact that the gas itself is butane and unsuited for use in freezing weather conditions and/or for high-demand gas appliances. However, Campingaz cylinders are available and exchangeable in many European countries.

(You'd also need an adapter to allow your motorhome to use a Campingaz bottle.)
userbronzed aussies
Posted: 17 February 2009 8:15 PM
Subject: RE: Refilling German gas bottles
 
Just joined

Posts: 3



Many thanks Derek, will take it on board. Lynne
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