Using gas has been a gamechanger when caravanning and camping. You can power your fridge, stove, bbq and hot water and not have to rely on hooking up to 240V. Having gas and a good battery and solar system has led to many campers being able to travel to remote places without worrying about how they are going to cook and have power.
However, gas can be significantly dangerous if not handled properly. To avoid any injuries or any damage to the property, you need to learn the appropriate methods for dealing with gas bottles. So, how do you store gas bottles properly in your caravan?
To avoid putting yourself and your surroundings in danger, you should know the rules concerning gas. Firstly, you have to store your gas bottles in an upright position. In addition, make sure that they are kept in a well-ventilated spot without any sources of ignition or heat in close proximity.
One of the most important responsibilities you have regarding your caravan is to keep gas and gas appliances in a safe and clean manner. If you do not know much about caravans, this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn everything concerning the maintenance procedure of a caravan. In this article, I will explain how gas bottles should be stored, how they should be used, and what you should avoid doing while you have gas inside your caravan.
Gas is a convenient fuel for caravans, but it is of crucial importance to learn how to handle it. In fact, the first thing you should learn when it comes to caravan and gas is the proper method for storing gas bottles. One wrong move can result in fatal consequences, so you need to take the storage process seriously.
Let’s begin with things you should do when it comes to properly storing gas bottles. Firstly, you need to remember that gas bottles should always be positioned in an upright position because storing or using them lying down is dangerous and will also lead to your gas not working properly.
Then, you should think about the place where you are going to store your gas bottles. It is of crucial importance to store bottles filled with gas in a well-ventilated area where they will not be in close proximity to any sources of ignition or heat. However, it is recommended, if possible, to store gas bottles outside away from entrances or exits points as well as drains.
On the other hand, it is also important to learn what you should not do under any circumstances. As I mentioned before, gas bottles should never be stored or used in a laid-down position. In addition, you should never store them below ground level, and you should strictly avoid placing them close to materials that contain toxins, oxygen, and corrosion.
Most caravans and camper trailers will have their gas bottle mounted on the front, on or near the drawbar. If you every need to move your gas bottle position, or any of the piping attached, you need to make sure you are using a licensed gas fitter, ideally someone with caravan experience to make sure all regulations are being adhered to. A great article about the legalities of caravans and gas is this one from Elgas.
The most common type of gas used in caravans and camper trailers is LPG. This is the standard gas you’ll find in caravans and is the same as the bottles you use for your backyard BBQ. Caravan and camper manufacturers generally use one or two LPG bottles mounted to the font and then plumb into the van to power a fridge (if it is a 3 way), stove, oven, hot water system or bayonet fitting on the outside for a BBQ.
The other type of gas that is commonly used is a butane cannister. This normally comes in smaller bottles that look like aerosol cans and is generally only used to power portable butane stoves or lanterns. It is a popular choice for camping in tents or camper trailers without a permanent gas setup as the bottles are smaller and lightweight.
If you are going camping for a longer period of time, you need to know how much gas you have left in the bottle. You can check the level of remaining gas in a bottle by yourself, but you need to be very careful. Namely, the simplest way to check how much gas you have in a bottle is by picking it up and swirling it around to listen for the sound of the liquid.
However, you should know that this will not give you accurate information. Usually, caravan owners who have been handling gas bottles for a long time can determine the level of gas by using this method. For beginners, this might not be an option.
The other (and much easier) option is to use a gas indicator that will tell you the precise amount of gas that is left in the bottle. When you have accurate information, you will have time to buy a replacement or refill the bottle, so you would avoid going through all the trouble of completely running out of gas. We use BMPro Smartsense gas bottle monitor which attaches magnetically to the bottom of the LPG bottle and bluetooths to our phone to see how much gas is left. It it one of our favourite little camping hacks.
Whether you can just refill your gas bottle, or opt for a replacement, depends on the type of gas bottle you use. LPG bottles generally allow you to make refills, while butane tend to need to be thrown away. If you opt for a refill make sure that the refill is done by a professional since this is a delicate matter, and you should stay out of the way of this procedure. If you’re wanting an easy option for LPG bottles, then the swap and go system in Australia is a fantastic time saver and available in a lot of service stations, hardware and camping stores.
In conclusion, it is important that you handle gas bottles with care, and by using the recommended guidelines. Gas is a fantastic fuel for camping, but dealing with gas bottles can be really dangerous, so you really need to be careful in order to stay safe, and to keep your surroundings out of danger.