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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Gaslow or not in a motorhome



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 15th 08, 08:04 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Angus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 23
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome

Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.

Currently we use13kg propane as the most cost effective fuel size.
Presumably once we hit the road we'll get through a bottle every week,
with heating,water and cooker on average. So gaslow system is looking
good as the most cost effective.

In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?

Pros and cons?

Ta.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 15th 08, 09:32 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Trefor
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome

Will you be staying mainly on caravan sites?
If so, why not make use of the electric points, it is usually included in
the site fee, so might as well use it.

That way, a 13kg bottle will last for ages, usually only needed for cooking.

Presuming your camper is wired for mains fridge, hot water, lights etc. of
course

Trefor




"Angus" wrote in message
...
Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.

Currently we use13kg propane as the most cost effective fuel size.
Presumably once we hit the road we'll get through a bottle every week,
with heating,water and cooker on average. So gaslow system is looking
good as the most cost effective.

In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?

Pros and cons?

Ta.



  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 08, 01:27 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Neil
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 468
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome

On Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:04:33 +0000, Angus
wrote:

Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.

Currently we use13kg propane as the most cost effective fuel size.
Presumably once we hit the road we'll get through a bottle every week,
with heating,water and cooker on average. So gaslow system is looking
good as the most cost effective.

In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?

Pros and cons?

Ta.


If you are doing Europe as well as the UK, then the availability of
adapters for a refillable bottle to suit the different LPG connectors
in use in the different countries may make it worthwhile.

Plus there's the added bonus of being able to top up your cylinder
before it is empty, and thus being always able to start with a full
bottle - rather than wait until your standard exchange bottle is empty
before getting a refill.

Also the cost of the gas(Autogas) is slightly cheaper than Calor
propane in the UK(I don't know about abroad).

I think the only down side is the initial outlay.

Neil

(Reply via NG please)
  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 08, 06:51 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Angus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 23
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome

On Fri, 15 Feb 2008 22:32:05 -0000, "Trefor"
wrote:

Will you be staying mainly on caravan sites?
If so, why not make use of the electric points, it is usually included in
the site fee, so might as well use it.


To be honest I would guess at a ratio of 3/1 out of preference, so
more often than not we would be away from *sites*

That way, a 13kg bottle will last for ages, usually only needed for cooking.


I seem to recall that electric heating works out cheaper per hour than
calor gas, but I wonder if the same can be said of autogas?

Presuming your camper is wired for mains fridge, hot water, lights etc. of
course


Oh yes)

"Angus" wrote in message
.. .
Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.

Currently we use13kg propane as the most cost effective fuel size.
Presumably once we hit the road we'll get through a bottle every week,
with heating,water and cooker on average. So gaslow system is looking
good as the most cost effective.

In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?

Pros and cons?

Ta.



  #5 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 08, 07:00 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Angus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 23
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome

On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 02:27:12 +0000, Neil
wrote:

On Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:04:33 +0000, Angus
wrote:

Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.

Currently we use13kg propane as the most cost effective fuel size.
Presumably once we hit the road we'll get through a bottle every week,
with heating,water and cooker on average. So gaslow system is looking
good as the most cost effective.

In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?

Pros and cons?

Ta.


If you are doing Europe as well as the UK, then the availability of
adapters for a refillable bottle to suit the different LPG connectors
in use in the different countries may make it worthwhile.


What did people do when they had calor?

Plus there's the added bonus of being able to top up your cylinder
before it is empty, and thus being always able to start with a full
bottle - rather than wait until your standard exchange bottle is empty
before getting a refill.


Yes that is a big plus for us.

Also the cost of the gas(Autogas) is slightly cheaper than Calor
propane in the UK(I don't know about abroad).


Quite a bit cheaper I think. If I recall calor (13kg size) is about
1.50per kg (around 2litres)....

I think the only down side is the initial outlay.


Yes it is quite high but I think our annual usage should make that
cost efficient in a year or two.

My other concern is how much should we carry. I'm inclined to go for
the 2x11kg bottles as a backup, but is that really necessary for
UK/Europe these days? As a safety net might we not be better off just
going for 11kg autogas and 6kg calor. That's apart from the weight
issues as I think we are quite near 3000kg unladen anyway.


  #6 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 08, 12:05 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Gazz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 50
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome


wrote in message
news
On Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:04:33 +0000, Angus
wrote:

Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.



In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?


i fitted a fixed lpg tank to my last motorhome, and never looked back, got a
90 litre tank on my current motorhome, when i put it on i had gas heating,
water heating, fridge etc, now i've changed to diesel heating and water
heating, the fridge is a 12 volt compressor fridge, so i have a 90 litre
tank for the cooker, oven and generator, a fill lasts me the best part of a
year when we are living in the van touring europe for 7 months at a time.

i built my van my self, so never put in a gas locker, but having a lpg tank
retrofitted gives you a nice outside locker to use for other stuff,

i would never go back to calor gas, double the price of auto gas, tripple if
you can find the odd gas filling place that will sell you the gas at the
domestic rates (usualy on some dark inaccesable industrial estate) abroad
with the exception of switzerland and spain, autogas is everywhere, and a
fair bit cheaper than english prices too, same as the diesel really, petrol
is nearing the same price as here, but not many are daft enough to get a
petrol engined camper nowadays.

i obviousely fitted my gas tank my self, so it cost me around 250 for the
tank, valves, remote filler, cradle etc, just had to provide the space to
mount it on the chassis, the hole to mount the filler point, and the pipe to
the gas manifold in the van (stop cocks)

a very good feature of the gas tanks, is you can get a remote guage, so you
can have a real time indication of the contents of the tank inside the van,
some are the naff 4 led's, ok i guess, but not that much info, i put in a
proper fuel guage on my electrical panel (2 actually, other is for the
heaters diesel tank) so i can see at a glance exactly how much gas is in the
tank, and plan to stop by a re-fill station when it gets low, or top it up
before i go into switzerland or spain.

everyones gas usage is different of course, as with 12 volt usage, i used to
go through 30 litres of gas in a fortnight from using the heaters running
off gas, like i say, now i last over 6 months because it's only the cooker
and genny thatruns off gas,
in summer we get all our lecky from the 3 solar panels i have, but in winter
i need to run the genny every so often, the 12 volt fridge pulls upto 80 amp
hours a day (due to the large freezer, a fridge with tiny icebox pulls much
less)


  #8 (permalink)  
Old February 16th 08, 12:36 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Angus
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 23
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome

On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 13:05:56 -0000, "Gazz" wrote:


wrote in message
news
On Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:04:33 +0000, Angus
wrote:

Hi to everyone.

We have just bought a camper and plan to use it every week at least
for local touring, and quite often for romps off around the UK and
Europe weeks at a time.



In reality what is your experience in opting for a built in system
throughout Europe (mainly UK) as opposed to using the red bottles,
regarding getting refilled etc?


i fitted a fixed lpg tank to my last motorhome, and never looked back, got a
90 litre tank on my current motorhome, when i put it on i had gas heating,
water heating, fridge etc, now i've changed to diesel heating and water
heating, the fridge is a 12 volt compressor fridge, so i have a 90 litre
tank for the cooker, oven and generator, a fill lasts me the best part of a
year when we are living in the van touring europe for 7 months at a time.

i built my van my self, so never put in a gas locker, but having a lpg tank
retrofitted gives you a nice outside locker to use for other stuff,


I did look into that but it looked quite expensive. Where did you get
the kit and how much?

i would never go back to calor gas, double the price of auto gas, tripple if
you can find the odd gas filling place that will sell you the gas at the
domestic rates (usualy on some dark inaccesable industrial estate) abroad
with the exception of switzerland and spain, autogas is everywhere, and a
fair bit cheaper than english prices too, same as the diesel really, petrol
is nearing the same price as here, but not many are daft enough to get a
petrol engined camper nowadays.

i obviousely fitted my gas tank my self, so it cost me around 250 for the
tank, valves, remote filler, cradle etc, just had to provide the space to
mount it on the chassis, the hole to mount the filler point, and the pipe to
the gas manifold in the van (stop cocks)

a very good feature of the gas tanks, is you can get a remote guage, so you
can have a real time indication of the contents of the tank inside the van,
some are the naff 4 led's, ok i guess, but not that much info, i put in a
proper fuel guage on my electrical panel (2 actually, other is for the
heaters diesel tank) so i can see at a glance exactly how much gas is in the
tank, and plan to stop by a re-fill station when it gets low, or top it up
before i go into switzerland or spain.

everyones gas usage is different of course, as with 12 volt usage, i used to
go through 30 litres of gas in a fortnight from using the heaters running
off gas, like i say, now i last over 6 months because it's only the cooker
and genny thatruns off gas,


We would always run on gas now. I'm fed up working on things any more
(we had a boat) and just want to plug and go these days. So all gas
for us I'm afraid.

in summer we get all our lecky from the 3 solar panels


What sort of panels, and what are they putting out in amps?


  #10 (permalink)  
Old February 18th 08, 12:34 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Gazz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 50
Default Gaslow or not in a motorhome


"Angus" wrote in message
...
On Sat, 16 Feb 2008 13:05:56 -0000, "Gazz" wrote:
i built my van my self, so never put in a gas locker, but having a lpg
tank
retrofitted gives you a nice outside locker to use for other stuff,


I did look into that but it looked quite expensive. Where did you get
the kit and how much?


when i last looked, there was one or 2 companies selling the lpg tanks for
about the same price as 2 of the 6kg re-fillable bottles, going with the
tank you can get a much larger gas carying capacity, the price differance
between a 30 litre and 90 litre tank is about a tenner, it's the valves that
cost the most (which are the same as on the re-fillable bottles, just
obviousely the tanks are horizontal, so the filler and guage floats have
different angled arms)

Think it was about 250 or so for the kit, as i said tho, i fitted it my
self, i can easily see a motorhome place charging what the kit costs in
labour just because you own a motorhome and are seen as cash cows by most
dealers (you can afford a motorhome, you can afford to pay what we charge
you to work on it), it's not a big job, just bolt the cradle to the chassis,
mount the tank, fit the filler, run the gas outlet pipe, job done,

in summer we get all our lecky from the 3 solar panels


What sort of panels, and what are they putting out in amps?


I've got 3 x 125 watt panels, bought one origionaly in england for 400 off
someone who imported a pallet of them from america, when i bought it that
size panel was going for 800 quid inthe uk.

I bought 2 more whilst i was in germany last year, those cost me around 390
EURO's each,
Add to that a charge regulator, which i got a 30 amp steca pwm jobbie with
the graphical display, that cost me 120 euro's direct from the manufacturer.

So i have a 375 watt array, in summer i see upto 24/25 amps at mid day, as i
have just mounted them flat on the roof, at either end of the day the output
goes right down, but in summer i rarely see less than 8 amps from the
panels, in winter it's a different story, 10 amps is good, 2 or 3 amps about
the lowest....

Of course the biggest load in my van (appart from the inverter.... running
the hoover = 160 amps, washing machine = 30 amps (feed it warm water so dont
use the internal electric heater, microwave = 100 amps) is the fridge, which
pulls around 8 amps when the compressor is running... in summer it tends to
run 25 minutes in the hour, in winter it's more like 10 minutes in the hour,
so summer the load is compensated by the good charging rate from the panels,
winter the load is lower... but then i have the heater running more,
eberspacher 5kw water heating system feeding 4 radiators and a 20 litre
calorifier, that pulls 9 amps on start up (1 minute or so) then 2 to 3 amps
depending onm the speed it's running at,

My battery bank consists of 4 x 115 AH batteries, so 460 amp hours of
batteries,

Our motorhome isnt the usual type i guess, we spent 7 months last year in it
in one go, didnt stay on a camp site once (was abroad and using the
stellplatz and aire network, or carparks/parks/beaches) so it's been built
to be totaly self suficiant... the mains charger is only a little 20 amp
jobbie, where as the dedicated laisure battery alternator on the engine is
90 amps, the generators alternator is 70 amps (is a home made 12 volt genny)
and we have upto 120 amp hours a day of solar charge thats on when ever the
sun shines.... and the chassis has been uprated to 4.5 tons to carry all
this stuff we have in it.


 



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