Caravanning for beginners. Welcome to the wacky world of caravan gas where supplier use different systems and nothing is as it seems, or indeed as it should be.

Before I start gassing about caravan gas you need to know and I need to tell you, I’m NOT an expert on gas. I’m not an expert on caravans either. I do, however, have considerably more experience than many “caravan experts”. So, I can give you my opinions on such things, but you’ll need to do your own research as well, please don’t just take my word for things. I’m not here to tell you which gas system you should use. Much of my content is light hearted and I’ll poke fun at things and companies that I think can better serve the caravanning community. 
So, with that caveat in place, let’s talk about gas.

When we first started caravanning, back in 1906, no sorry, 2006 we knew nothing about caravans, other than we wanted one. The subject of gas in the caravan has always made my blood boil, for no other reason than it’s unnecessarily complicated at first. Even when you get to grips with it, you’re left scratching your head. Many aspects of caravanning / motorhoming are bum numbingly dull. Gas is one, MTPLM, MRO’s and payloads is another. Don’t get me wrong, they are important things to understand, but dull nonetheless….Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not about to make things anymore interesting…

Propane or Butane?

Propane is considered more suited for caravans and motorhome due to its all weather use. Propane is generally in red bottles butane in blue (where metal bottles are used) Although, you can use Butane of course.

There are a few main players in the market, namely Calor Gas, Gaslight (formally BP now FloGas) and Safefill. There are other as well, however, these are the most popular ones.

Calor Gas

Tool up boys. Where’s my spanner

Probably the most recognisable brand in the caravan / motorhome gas. These are heavy metal bottles. 
This is my view on Calor, again, not a gas expert just my opinion. We’ve used Calor gas in the past for a few years. I find them heavy and cumbersome. The way they attach to the caravan is, in my view, very old fashioned. When you consider how other manufacturers handle this, it’s very dated. It’s not an easy task and, ok, you don’t do it that often, but even so… In this industry people are rightly paranoid about payload, so having at 17kg bottle in you vehicle, is a lot to carry around.. Probably the most recognisable brand in the caravan / motorhome gas. These are heavy metal bottles.  There’s also no easy way to know how much gas you have left in the bottle, something that really gets my goat. (If that’s a saying). “Just weigh it”. OK, so I have to take the bottle out, which means getting a spanner and rapping my knuckles at least twice. Then getting Mandy’s best bathroom scales, plonking them on the drive and weighing the bottle. Or…Take the caravan to the local weigh bridge, weigh it without the gas in, then weigh it again with the gas in. OK, I’m being silly..

Please don’t take it personally if you use Calor, it’s just my opinion and I like getting a bee in my bonnet over things. If you use Calor and you’re happy with it, then stick with it, I’m not here to change your mind or tell you you’re wrong.

Gaslight (FloGas)

No tools needed Gaslight regulator

This is my gas of choice. There seems to be some doubt over the future supply of gaslight, but I’m pretty sure it’s just rumour. You can still buy these from flogas and Homebase also supply these bottles.
They use a much more usable connector which is push fit, rather than needing spanners. I do currently use Calor, but only because I was told my caravan wouldn’t hold the 10KG Gaslight bottles I had. That, as it turned out wasn’t true.

You can see how much gas you have left. As the gas is liquid and the side of the bottle is see through, it’s easy to tell.


Easiest of all, fill yourself

These are getting more popular with motorhomes and caravaners alike. The emphasis here is that you buy the bottle and then can refill it yourself. Now, the initial layout is more, but the gas is cheaper. If you use a lot of gas i.e. you’re a full timer, or maybe retired and go on extended trips, this could be for you. For me personally, I have an issue with Safefill. I’m not saying I’m right, as it’s all about personal preference, but there’s a lot of talk about where you can fill these up. There is an arrangement with Morrisons, although you have to tell them you’re going to refill before refilling.
I’m not sure what to believe at this point. I know many are using them and they seem to find somewhere that’s cool with them refilling. However, if you dig a bit deeper, you can find lots of scaremongering around the “illegal and dangerous refilling of lag bottles”. This of course doesn’t include Safefill, at least that’s what Safefill tell you. Look, I know people use them, however, I also read a lot of people having issues. I think it really depends on your attitude. If you pull up to a garage and just start filing it up, you’re probably OK. But if you go to the cashier and ask if it’s ok, they’ll probably just so no. I have no experience of this, so I’m just discussing the possible outcomes.

BTW, I have no experience of Safefill.

Gas Bottle Weights

Calor Gas Bottle Weights

Size Weight Empty Weight Full
3.9kg 5.7kg 9.6kg
6kg 8.3kg 14.3kg

Gaslight Gas Bottle Weights

Size Weight Empty Weight Full
5kg 3.7kg 8.7kg
10kg 5.4kg 15.4kg

Safefill Gas Bottle Weights

Size Weight Empty Weight Full
5kg 3.4kg 8.4kg
7.5kg 4.1kg 11.6kg
10kg 5kg 15kg

Caravan Motorhome Gas Which is Best Vlog

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Experienced caravanners that are still learning!Our first caravan was a Knaus which we bought from Germany in 2006. After this we bought a Autotrail Motorhome, but sold that to build a house. Once that was done we went back to a caravan, a Sterling Eccles, which we recently part-ex'd for a Bailey Unicorn.
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