Gas supply and safety
Most campers use liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), for cooking and heating, in the form of butane or propane. Both gases are heavier than air, so leaked gas sinks to the floor. It is therefore essential that built-in floor vents in caravans and motorhomes are not obstructed, either intentionally or otherwise, in order to prevent any leaked gas building up to a dangerous level. Remember the potential danger of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Any combustion appliance (such as a gas, petrol or charcoal one) should be obtained from a reputable source, maintained properly and used in the manner for which it is designed. The Club does not recommend the use of any combustion appliance in a tent or awning unless there is an area in the unit specifically designed for it. Particularly, never use any cooking device for heating your unit. More information is available on our data sheets.
Butane is a more efficient heat producer in summer conditions, but becomes less so as the temperature drops. Propane changes into gas at much lower temperatures, so it can be used all year round.
Traditionally butane and propane bottles required different regulators, so that butane (28mbar) cannot be used with a propane regulator (37mbar) and vice versa. However, caravans and motorhomes built from 2004 onwards are supplied with a 30mbar regulator fitted to the bulkhead in the gas locker, for both types of gas. The gas-burning equipment is also designed to suit the new pressure, so pre-2004 outfits must not be retrofitted with the new regulator.
Calor Gas and Supergas are not available in mainland Europe, so either carry sufficient gas to last for the duration of your stay or use Campingaz®, which is usually readily available. Please be aware of any restrictions applying to the carriage of gas on ferries and especially on Eurotunnel.
Calor Gas in the Republic of Ireland is not interchangeable with Calor Gas UK, needing different bottles and regulators. It is best to take sufficient supplies with you. When transporting and storing LPG the cylinders must remain upright, since there is always a small chance that the valve on the top of the cylinder could leak. For more information visit the Calor or Coleman Campingaz UK websites.
For long stays on our Winter Sun sites and rallies, many members use a locally supplied gas bottle and regulator.