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LPG gas bottles/system


busy builder

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If payload is a critical factor for you, then pay the extra for Alugas containers.  You could also save weight by fitting only one large gas cylinder and a much smaller one as the standby, since (except in Spain) refill facilities should almost always by fairly easy to get to.
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The difference in empty weight between an Alugas 11kg-capacity user-refillable bottle and a steel equivalent will be between 5kg and 7kg, so I’m going to suggest (kindly) that - with a Hymer Van 522 - such weight-saving should not be critical.

 

For what it’s worth, I chose one of these

 

http://www.outdoorbits.com/gaslow-r67-11kg-direct-fill-bottle-kit-p-2595.html

 

(If you opt for just a single bottle it would be wise to pick one with a ‘mechanical’ level-gauge that will provide an accurate and reliable indication of how much liquid gas is in the cylinder.)

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Hi

 

I went for a GasIt with an external fill, 2x11KG == ~42L of gas. The 'gauges' on the top are utter junk. They are not based on the position of an internal float, but rather just the internal pressure pressure. They have 2 positions 100% and 0% I have never seen the needle in the middle.

 

I am also finding that even though I have an auto changeover valve (fitted as standard by rapido), it does not move across to the other cylinder, but the gas in the other cylinder still gets used.... The GasIt cylinders have Butane connectors on the top. My existing van pigtails (including the inline 'gas inverter' were propane. I bought some adapters from GasIt rather than replacing the pigtails.

 

Anyway, apart from the junk guages, the GasIt is a good system at a significant saving vs buying GasLow. If you are on the wild camping forum, you get a decent discount as GasIt too.

 

'GasIt Plus' bottles are 4-hole with the a proper float level guage. Some (all?) of the Alugas bottles have the float-based gauge too.

 

Nigel

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I have 2 x 6kg bottles, one refillable and one Calor and they are both connected to the regulator via a 'T' piece using their own on bottle valves.

The guage on the refillable is useless, not least as it is on top of the bottle and obscured by pipeworks and also close to the roof of the locker so when it expires I simply turn it off and the Calor on and go and refill it as soon as is convenient.

Theoretically the 6kg refillable should take 12 litres but in practise it only ever takes 9 litres from empty before cutting off so as we use just under a litre a day on average - more when it's cold - and never use mains hook up I need to refill it every 8 - 10 days which is no big deal as long as we can find an LPG filling station.

If we were away for longer periods or in very cold climes or were to remain on a site or in one location for longer periods I would probably go for a much bigger underfloor refillable tank.

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Destined to spend our time in the UK now I only use either Propane or Butane.

 

Looking at the prices, Gaslow does seem very high at £159.00 Incl. VAT for 11k

 

A new Propane is £66.24 for 13k

 

I'm puzzled, what are the advantages of Gaslow ?

 

 

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A 6 kg Calor Lite works out at about £1.75 per litre.

 

At our local filling staion Autogas is 51p per litre.

 

Easy maths to compare costs per season.

 

There is no Calor Gas available on mainland Europe.

 

If we stayed in the UK only I doubt we would use refillables but going across the water we find it cost effective if you do it for enough trips and very convenient as we find it much easier to refill than to disconnect, remove, replace and re-connect a gas bottle, assuming you can find a Calor agent who has the size you want.

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veletron - 2016-01-21 10:43 AM

 

I went for a GasIt with an external fill, 2x11KG == ~42L of gas. The 'gauges' on the top are utter junk. They are not based on the position of an internal float, but rather just the internal pressure pressure. They have 2 positions 100% and 0% I have never seen the needle in the middle.

 

Has this changed recently I wonder because the original Gaslow and Gas-it gauges were definately float-operated as the attached (hopefully..) picture from Gaslow depicts?

 

My 2 are certainly floatt operated as they can be made to move by tipping an empty bottle.

I don't recognise the 100% or 0% scenario either as I use mine as an accurate indication of when to top up, usually at around half deflection of the gauge's needle.

 

 

Gauge.jpg.fa6787fe25c6c7b3c9b32b2bd2ba6f0a.jpg

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To me the guage is not really relevant.

I know roughly how much is left in the bottle from the length of time it's been in use and it is just as easy to open the hatch to change a bottle over - it simply being one tap off and t'other one on - as it is to look at a guage which will at best only tell me what I already suspect and at worst may mislead me!

I will probably buy another 6kg refillable at some point when I see one secondhand but as I still have two Calor lites to use up as spares there is no rush!

Just remember never to leave both taps open!

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Ditto what Steve says.

 

I'm in the process of installing a No1 edition Gaslow 11kg, used, off the interweb with 12 years of the original 15 year guarantee left, and have found the same info' regarding the gauge.

 

(^)

 

Off thread note for Derek,

Think I found the answer to this on an old thread, which you may have also discovered for yourself.

 

“Although a bottle-replacement fee is chargeable for exchanging R67 bottles when they reach 10 years of age, no exchange-fee was mentioned regarding the earlier cylinders. When you find out what Gaslow’s present policy is regarding their older bottles (some must have reached 15 years of age by now) it would be helpful if you would post that information here, please.”

 

Last page on this old site.

 

http://tinyurl.com/jmhtlre

 

This is what it says....

"After 15 years you MUST take your cylinder(s) to

your local dealer who will exchange them for new

cylinders charging a replacement fee"

 

 

B-)

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As far as I’m aware the contents-gauges fitted to “CalorLite” canisters, and to '2-hole’ user-refillable bottles (eg. the original Gaslow products and the cheaper Gas-It bottles) are all operated by a swinging-float (as shown in Steve928’s posting) but the ‘drive’ to that type of gauge is indirect via a magnetic system, rather than direct via a mechanical system as used on more expensive 4-hole bottles and on Gaslow’s R67 containers.

 

Gas-bottle magnetically-operated gauges gained a reputation for unreliability, inaccuracy and the inability to cover a reasonable percentage of a bottle’s complete contents - for instance the gauge used on the original Gaslow bottles could only provide readings between 50% and 18% full. My understanding is that, due to customer complaints, Gaslow ceased marketing gauge-equipped 2-hole bottles some while ago.

 

The mechanically-operated gauge used on Gaslow R67 canisters is able to accurately cover most of the bottle’s potential capacity.

 

http://www.gaslowdirect.com/Ask-Gaslow/Gaslow-R67-Cylinder-FAQ/Gaslow-R67-Contents-Gauge-readings

 

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Will H - 2016-01-21 11:18 AM

 

Destined to spend our time in the UK now I only use either Propane or Butane.

 

Looking at the prices, Gaslow does seem very high at £159.00 Incl. VAT for 11k

 

A new Propane is £66.24 for 13k

 

I'm puzzled, what are the advantages of Gaslow ?

 

The Calor propane cost £26 to exchange.

The Gaslow £11 to refill an 11 Kg bottle. ( 13kg would be £13)

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If the OP wishes to have a twin bottle system with bulkhead regulator, I would favour a manual changeover with pressure gauge as per Gaslow product 01-1630. The gauge doubles up as a leak detection device. OK, it can be a chore (especially when it's raining) to have to visit the gas compartment to turn one bottle off and turn the other one on - but at least you know when the primary bottle has run out. A small price to pay.

 

When touring UK, I carry a refillable and calor bottle with the refillable being the primary bottle and the calor being the reserve. Either way, it doesn't really matter.

 

When touring Spain, I carry a refillable and a Spanish Repsol bottle. The Spanish bottle becomes the primary bottle and the refillable the reserve. Repsol is widely available in Spain.

 

When touring the rest of Europe, where LPG is generally readily available, the refillable becomes my primary bottle and the Spanish Repsol the reserve.

 

I always make sure I have a full Spanish Repsol bottle when leaving Spain. Having said that, LPG in Spain is now becoming more readily available. There is a website which shows all the LPG outlets in Spain and elsewhere in Europe http://www.mylpg.eu

 

 

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Robbo - 2016-01-21 4:08 PM

 

If the OP wishes to have a twin bottle system with bulkhead regulator, I would favour a manual changeover with pressure gauge as per Gaslow product 01-1630. The gauge doubles up as a leak detection device...

 

The Gaslow 01-1630 product

 

http://www.gaslowdirect.com/Gaslow-Manual-Changeover-Gaug

 

is indeed useful as a gas-system leak tester, but it’s advertised value as a “low level indicator” is only valid if the user is prepared to accept that “low level” essentially means “empty".

 

This type of gauge records the pressure within the gas-bottle when the motorhome’s gas system is operating and (at least when propane is being employed) the pressure within the bottle will normally remain high. The only time that the gauge will warn that a bottle’s contents are seriously low is just before the gas in the bottle runs out and the motorhome’s gas appliances stop functioning.

 

The Gaslow product is certainly worth having as a leak detector and it will identify an empty gas-bottle, but it cannot provide the type of continuous contents-level feedback available from an accurate ‘bottle-integrated’ gauge.

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Robbo - 2016-01-21 4:08 PM

 

OK, it can be a chore (especially when it's raining) to have to visit the gas compartment to turn one bottle off and turn the other one on - but at least you know when the primary bottle has run out.

No problem if you fit a Duo Controler CS together with a Duo C remote indicator, when it regulator changes to the reserve bottle you get an indicator inside the van, also includes a heater for the regulator for cold weather use.

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Yes pressure and temperature are relative. Certainly not pressure and bottle content.

 

On a cold day or when using a lot of gas (evaporation has a mean cooling effect) the pressure will drop a bit. But while ever there is liquid in the bottle the pressure will be high.

 

We have pressure/temperature slide rules for refrigerants. And I bet you can get them for propane.

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Derek - the main reason I fitted the Gaslow 01-630 product was for it's leak detection capability. I would have preferred a proper (old fashioned) gas pressure gauge with moving needle on a graduated scale, rather than the moving disc that turns from green to red. My previous Triomatic system had a proper gauge.

 

I agree that the pressure gauge is pretty useless as a contents gauge and I rely to some extent on the Gaslow bottle gauge (pre R67) as a rough indicator of contents.

 

However, the pressure gauge does reveal some interesting characteristics. When I use non-refillable propane bottles the gauge leaps to full green. When I use the refillable bottle I'm getting half green/red (at the moment). A good indication that the contents are erring towards a greater proportion of butane than propane. So, a good reminder to use up the remaining gas and refill, whilst in UK, with 100% propane.

 

Lenny - the system you suggest looks good but think I'll stick with my "belt and braces" system for now.

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lennyhb - 2016-01-22 10:15 AM

 

Robbo - 2016-01-21 4:08 PM

 

OK, it can be a chore (especially when it's raining) to have to visit the gas compartment to turn one bottle off and turn the other one on - but at least you know when the primary bottle has run out.

No problem if you fit a Duo Controler CS together with a Duo C remote indicator, when it regulator changes to the reserve bottle you get an indicator inside the van, also includes a heater for the regulator for cold weather use.

 

It’s perhaps worth mentioning that Truma’s “EisEx” system is not included in the DuoControl CS’s standard specification. It’s an option that can be retrofitted to certain Truma regulators/changeover devices as described here

 

https://www.truma.com/downloadcenter/eisex12v_installation_de.pdf

 

The original Truma/GOK bulkhead-mounted 30mbar regulators were available with an integrated pressure-gauge of the type Robbo would prefer, and ‘on bottle’ regulators and adapters are still marketed with that sort of gauge design.

 

https://www.reimo.com/en/75204-caravan_regulator_30mbar_de_single/

 

https://www.bes.co.uk/product/62a~LPG~958~-Multi-Purpose-Safety-Fitting.html

 

As Robbo has said, besides providing a useful leak-testing capability, the gauge can be educational about what gasses are in the bottle. A gas-canister refilled with UK-sourced ‘autogas’ should be expected to show a pressure-gauge reading of 7 to 8 bar (100-116 psi), whereas filling with French autogas will produce a much lower reading (2 to 3 bar). This confirms what’s been advised on the forum before - that French autogas has a significant percentage of butane in it.

 

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