All gassed up

Often we find ourselves without mains electricity, reliant totally on our gas and 12 volt systems. We spend our New Years Eves in a very remote country pub on the welsh border, sleeping in our motorhome in the car park. This year we toured through the country between Christmas and New Year. We managed to time our route perfectly with snow all the way, it was cold and our gas heater had to be used frequently. Unfortunately our motorhome has only 2 x 4.5kg gas bottles and by New Years Eve we had nearly run out of gas, we were very worried that we would use it all during the night and not be able to have a cup of tea on New Years Day. Thankfully this crisis was avoided but it did draw our attention to gas usage and gas locker size.

In the UK we predominantly use Calor Gas. Wherever you are in the country you are never very far from a supplier, often the local petrol station, so bottle size isn't so important. If you intend to take your motorhome across the channel you need to be aware that exchanging or refilling Calor Gas bottles is not possible because every country has its own gas supplier and bottles. The only gas available Europe wide is camping gas, but unfortunately these bottles are so small they are only viable for the smallest campervans.

When choosing a motorhome you intend to use abroad, don't overlook the gas locker and bottle size. Consider how you will use your gas, especially if you intend to use the oven, heater and shower regularly and calculate how much you will need. From this calculation you can work out how much gas you will need to take with you and will ensure your foreign foray is remembered for all the right reasons.

It is not possible to take enough gas for an extended tour and alternatives will need to be addresses. Go Motorhoming and Campervanning discusses how to deal with this issue, and the possibilities of using continental gas bottles or a purpose built refillable bottle. In addition Chapter 3 discusses 12v power, generating electricity, using mains power and water economics.