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Piglets- help please


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We are heading off to Spain and Portugal for about 7 weeks in a fortnight. I have read a number of previous threads on the subject of getting gas bottles on the continent but am still a bit uncertain on a couple of issues. We have a 2009 Roller Team 500 with storage space for 2 bottles, currently 6kg calor propane. I'm thinking to replace 1 of these with an 11kg Flowgas bottle which I am advised uses the same regulator, this will increase capacity by 30%. However if it is cold and we use more gas for heating than previously calculated we will need to buy locally. Am I right to think a piglet can only be made up when you have a regulator for the brand of bottle? Is tube available in UK acceptable for use with continental regulators? Do you connect the loose end of the tube to the existing fitted black tube and male threaded fitting with a jubilee clip or do you disconnect that at the bulkhead and fit the piglet to the bulkhead regulator?


We were going to the Shepton mallet show to seek advice from other travellers but now need to display our lack of knowledge to everyone!


Thanks for your help



PS Before anyone suggests Gaslow or similar, no plans or finance at this time!

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I assume you have gone for the 11Kg propane because the 13Kg propane, listed on FloGas's website, won't fit?

I would assume it will be cold for a large proportion of your actual journey, possibly even when returning.  Late March?  But probably not too bad once you arrive - depending where you are actually headed.  The Mediterranean and Southern Atlantic coasts of Spain, and the Southern coast of Portugal, should generally be comfortably warm but, as ever, weather is weather.  Inland Spain, and Northern Portugal, and any mountainous areas, are liable to be quite chilly.

You will therefore need heating when not driving at least some of the time - how much gas you will require will depend on how well your van is insulated, whether you will use mains hook ups with supplementary electrical heating, how much hot water you will use, how hot you like the van, etc etc.  However, gas always runs out at the least convenient time, and space, and water, heating use a lot of gas.  If you have a reliable way of knowing how much is left you should be able to avoid actually running out, if not I assume you will run with a full service cylinder, and when that is exhausted, switch to the reserve - presumably the 6Kg Calor - and then go gas shopping.

On this basis, and without knowing anything of your stopover preferences and hence what level of consumption is likely, I'd say you'll be very lucky not to need to buy more gas! 

I would be very inclined to go for another 11Kg FloGas as reserve, or if 2 x 13Kg cylinders will fit, go for that option.  I believe you can exchange the 6Kg Calor for a 13Kg Calor without being unfairly penalised, so might that be a cheaper option?  Simply stated, you can't have too much gas, and running out is always a fag.

You say you have a bulkhead mounted regulator.  With these, all that needs to be changed to suit different cylinder connections, is the "pigtail" flexible connection between the regulator and the cylinder.  This is disconnected from the cylinder, and then from the regulator, and the correct alternative fit pigtail connected to regulator and then cylinder.  You should only need to do this if you have to obtain a foreign cylinder while away.  As you will be passing through France, Spain, and Portugal, and can't know in advance how cold it will be and how much gas you may use, you can't tell in advance where, if at all, you may run out altogether.  You will therefore need to buy the appropriate pigtail when/where you get the cylinder.

If you are lucky you may find it is possible to get a UK cylinder re-filled in Portugal.  This will breach your UK supplier's rental agreement, but it is done.  I know not where these re-fillers may be found.  Failing a refill, you will have to buy/rent an Exchange cylinder in whichever country you run out, and to connect that to your regulator you will need the appropriate pigtail to fit the cylinder.

Since you can't know what/where in advance, your best bet will probably be to go to the Gaslow website, as suggested above, and look for a pigtail with the 21.8LH (left hand thread) connector.  This fitting is common to both UK butane, and French propane, cylinders.  Get one of these, plus an adaptor for UK propane and the "Jumbo" adaptor that is stated to fit Spanish, and most Portuguese, cylinders.  The adaptors simply screw on to to the 21.8LH UK butane connector,to allow connection to the relevant cylinder.  The hose itself is suitable for either butane or propane. 

That way you can use the pigtail in UK by fitting the UK propane adaptor, but can also connect to a replacement propane cylinder in France by removing the UK propane adaptor and connecting direct with the 21.8LH connector, or to a Spanish or Portuguese cylinder by swapping the UK propane adaptor for the Jumbo adaptor, as/when the need arises.

Do not consider trying to adapt these hoses yourself with jubilee clips.  These are high pressure hoses, the fitting of the hose to the connector is very difficult, and the connection must then be crimped on.  Result of failure of DIY connection - probably no van, possibly no you!

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I echo Brian's advice.


A small point, but I believe there is no 13kg propane bottle in the Flogas range, though there are 13kg butane containers. According to Flogas's website, the 11kg(propane) and 13kg(butane) bottles have the same dimensions of 560mm(height) x 310mm(diameter).


The Calor 13kg(propane) bottle is larger at 580mm(height) x 315mm(diameter) and these few extra millimetres can be critical when it comes to getting the Calor cylinders into a Continental European motorhome's gas-locker.

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This is an earlier forum thread where I attempted to summarise the position regarding motorhome gas-provision outside the UK:




There are many other threads on the subject, but it's not easy to retrieve them via the forum's SEARCH facility. I suspect most would be found by Searching using Keywords="gas in europe", Filter by author="Derek Uzzell" and Date limit="All posts" (omitting the quotation marks). You could also try the same Search with Filter by author="Brian Kirby".

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Thank you everyone for your help and advice- I think I must have been watching the F word when I wrote the post and imagining Janet Street Porters pigs being turned into crackling!

Reason for going for the Flogas 11kg bottle was that I dont think I could fit the 13kg bottle in the space available. I think the 11kg and a 6kg will fit in but as a resdult of the weather have not been able to go out with the tape measure. I have followed Brian's suggestion, spoke to Gaslow yesterday and believe it or not, the parts arrived today. I will open the package later- then you can expect another post- "piglets 2".

Derek thanks for your help, I have read many of your posts and appreciate your trying to educate those who are as thick as pigs- like me!

So off in 10 days time- how's the weather in Seville?

Bob *-)

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Bob we did Spain last year and we took 2..7KGs propane bottles with us.We actually only used 1 full 7Kg bottle and around a quarter of the other one and that was on the run back to the UK.


We were using electric heating as our van had both electric and gas heating but the heating only went on at night when it got a little bit chilly (we must have a good constitution) presumably you are gas heating only


Hope you find your answer and have a good trip down mate

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