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Underslung gas tank life

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Clive Mott wrote on page 117 of the April 2024 issue of MMM that (in effect) underslung gas tanks will need to be changed when they have been installed for 10 years. This was due he wrote due to a lack of testing facilities in the UK.

I have not seen any discussion on the subject recently, but the last time I checked with  the Caravan and Motorhome Club they were dismissive; what do members think / know about this potential problem?

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That post is over a year old and the conclusion from the Caravan and Motorhome Club technical support to myself over the phone was that it did not apply to motorhome use and could be ignored. Where are we today? Must we replace tanks or just inspect them?

What is best practice in 2024?

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I have mine inspected (obviously this is only visual ) annually by a Gasit agent  (Gasit owner now retired and business transferred to his daughter whose business is called Dragonproducts) who does full gas safety check. They sprayed it last year with anti-chip paint (which should have been done when first fitted) and told me last year that it was still in almost new condition and could possibly have been replaced at some time, I've had it 7 years, the van is now 14 years old but the tank could be the same age. I have a wad of receipts but none that show replacement. 

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14 hours ago, spospe said:

That post is over a year old...

Yes it is, but that's pretty recent in my book.

A GOOGLE-search on "lpg gas tank" "10 year" "inspection" site:https://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/ will show that the gas-tank/gas-bottle 10-year 'rule' has been discussed (and argued over) several times on this forum. This is a 2015 thread


I don't subscribe to MMM magazine, so I haven't read Clive Mott-Gotobed's article. But the information he provides is usually accurate and the difficulty/impracticality of complying with the 10-year rule in the UK (due to the lack of testing facilities) is hardly breaking news.

This 2018 .pdf file relates to privately-owned 'freestanding' refillable LPG cylinders.


It contains the following advice on Page 3


and - as far as I'm aware - that advice would apply equally to the privately-owned LPG gas-tanks fitted to many UK motorhomes.

You've said "...the last time I checked with  the Caravan and Motorhome Club they were dismissive..." When was that please, how did you contact the C&MC (phone, email, etc.) and what, if any, persuasive reasons were given to support the 'dismissive' response? 

GASLOW's Technical Section includes information relating to their refillable-cylinder exchange scheme


and this mentions the 10-year rule.

But (in 2020) the GAS-IT website carried the following statement

Under current UK & EU law, privately owned end-user owned refillable gas bottles or gas tanks do not need to be legally tested every 10 years as normal gas bottles issued by the big commercial companies do but to be safer than sorry we would always recommend that they are checked and inspected, even if that is just by a GAS IT trained engineer who can check the physical look and condition of the tank/bottle and its valves functionality.

The relevant UK and EU laws were not identified and I don't know if that statement was ever challenged. As Paul Mold has his motorhome's gas-tank inspected annually by a GAS-IT agent, Paul may be able to confirm if Dragon Products still make that claim and can verify which UK/EU laws apply.

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I have just spoken with the CAMC tech support people and the situation today seems less clear than the last time I asked. I will report further when they get back to me, but it seems that a 10 year life and replacement of the tank after that time seems a possibility. 

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Here is the reply from CAMC Tech Support received today. As you can read, their current thinking is that the situation is a bit of a mess and need clarifying.

"Following on from the conversation you had with Kelly earlier today, we
have just gotten a response from our technical manager, please see his
response below:

To the best of my knowledge, there is still no in-situ inspection service
for fixed tanks available in the UK. Gaslow used to offer an exchange
service for their refillable cylinders, but now state on their website FAQs
that recertification is more expensive that replacement with a new
cylinder. Alugas in Germany will recertify their refillable cylinder, which
some owners have used with positive feedback. Details here:
https://alugas.de/en/index.html You can book an appointment with them a
few weeks in advance of travelling.

This issue has been flagged up by ourselves with the National Caravan
Council. We were told by them some time ago that an inspection service
would launch shortly, but that has not yet occurred, as far as I know. Yes,
it's quite a problem, but one which is beyond the Club's capacity to
resolve ourselves."

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This July 2023 MHFun thread discussed LPG cylinder/tank testing/recertification and highlighted that Gaslow and Alugas no longer offered a recertification service. 


I couldn't find anything on the Alugas website about a re-certification service, but this type of advice appears throughout the site.


It seems to be accepted by companies marketing refillable LPG cylinders that there is a 10-year 'inspection' interval, but whether there are UK or EU regulations demanding that this be done (and how it should be done) or this is just an industry guideline is another matter.

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I have to get 300bar 'surface' air cylinders inspected and tested every 10 years(although I see some places saying this is now 5), for SCUBA air cylinders it's every five years, without that nobody will fill them. I appreciate there is no flammable gases involved but the testing pressures are considerably higher, the last time it cost £40.

Here's a interesting link.

Cylinder Testing - BCGA

Edited by colin
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I was aware of several UK Vehicle Certification Agency websites relating to gas cylinders. This LPG-cylinder-related one


refers to the International Agreement for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and - as 10-year and 15-year maximum intervals between inspections were mentioned - I had wondered if this was where statements that the refillable bottles/tanks used with motorhomes needed to be inspected/re-certified came from.

I recall the ADR being cited in France years ago as prohibiting a LPG cylinder being carried in a moving vehicle (eg. a motorhome or caravan) with its outlet valve open, thus preventing a LPG-fuelled heater being operated while the vehicle was being driven. When this was legally challenged, it transpired that privately-owned LPG cylinders installed in vehicles used for 'leisure' purposes were exempted from that regulation.

What needs to be explored is whether the widely held belief that privately-owned LPG bottles/tanks (fixed or removable) used on leisure-vehicles MUST be regularly tested/re-certified. 

If the advice provided by the GAS-IT company in 2020 was correct (Under current UK & EU law, privately owned end-user owned refillable gas bottles or gas tanks do not need to be legally tested every 10 years...) then testing/inspection of user-refillable bottles/tanks is just good practice and has no legal ramifications. But if GAS-IT's advice was wrong, there will currently be thousands of UK motorhomes/caravans with 'illegal' bottles/tanks and, as (apparently) was highlighted in the April 2024 MMM article, no UK facilities to carry out testing/re-certification at an economic price.

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Auto-Sleepers has been fitting underslung LPG tanks (to fuel 'domestic' appliances) for well over 10 years, and I notice that inspection/testing/re-certification/replacement of such tanks was discussed on the ASOF (Auto-Sleepers Owners Forum) in 2018 and again in 2020.

It seems to have been concluded on the ASOF that mandatory testing/re-certification every 10 years was not a legal requirement, but that conclusion seems to have been based SOLELY on the 2020 advice from the GAS-IT company that I quoted above. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

LPG. Vessels. Small LPG fixed tanks are not part of the Pressure Vessel Regulations. And as such do not require examination under any H&SE requirement. Unlike the much larger commercial and domestic fixed tanks, which are provided with the means of access for this purpose. This was the position in 1998 when I retired as a surveyor and pressure vessel examiner, and as far as I know is still the case. Portable Vessels are like-wise not covered. Generally the likes of Calor etc; will check and do periodically test them but the scale of exchanges makes it far more likely that whilst they may change the odd valve unit and a physical external check and Re-paint, that is about the size of it, if it looks at all dodgy it gets scrapped. Refillable gas cylinder retailers or manufacturers recommend a 10 year life. But this is largely arse covering on their part. For which you cannot blame them. What I can say with some confidence having inspected all 3 of those on my R-V`s over time, is that the only thing(s) that needs checking are the fastenings, and the external parts for corrosion. I also check any welding for defects, but that is ingrained habit. And to ensure the 80% fill devices actually work. I did take the opportunity when one of mine had to have the contents gauge replaced to examine the inside, using an endoscope, at better than 12years old, I could have eaten dinner off the surface. To my knowledge, there are 80`s American R-V`s, with tanks that have never been opened up nor otherwise tested.


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  • 1 month later...

I contacted the HSE to ask if they could clarify if there was a requirement to pressure-test underslung LPG tanks in motorhomes. Their answer was:

'This is not something that HSE can answer as the regulations in relation to motorhomes do not come under HSE.'

They pointed me to the relevant British Standard (BS – EN – 1949:2021.) and also to the GOV.UK website page on 'Driving a motorhome' - that has nothing relevant to LPG tanks.

The BS quoted above is £290 for non-members of the BS to buy. You can, interestingly, see a contents list on the website and to my untrained eye there appears to be no section devoted to testing. From which one might conclude that there is no requirement for testing under this British Standard?


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Dragonproducts no longer supply Gasit tanks. I asked them if they could supply a nationwide list of agents like Gasit used to have on their website. I got a reply from Dragonproducts which contained the following information...

Autogas2000 in Thirsk are now trading as Gasit and now own the Gasit brand. Any further enquiries should be directed to them.

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