Caravanning for beginners. Let’s take a deep breath. Now, this isn’t the most technically in-depth article about gas regulators. I really don’t know my mbar from my olive and nut. However, I do know different bottles need different adapters. If you need to know the basics, read on my friend and see if I can refrain from indulging myself in any gas related jokes. (Spoiler alert – I can)

Since 2004 caravans and most motorhomes have a 30mb fixed bulkhead regulator – this allows butane or propane to be used. This means the regulator is taken care for you. You then need a gas pipe to run from the bulkhead regulator to your gas bottle of choice. Depending on what bottle you choose, you’ll need a specific adapter, I’m sorry to break this to you, but manufacturers use different adapters. For example Calor and Gaslight use different adapters.

Confusingly (to me at least) these adapters are sometimes called regulators. So, they are regulators, but if using in caravan / motorhome, their use is actually as an adapter, even though it’s also a regulator (sorry). I guess you actually end up with two regulators, one bolted to the caravan and the other attached to your bottle.


Of course, manufacturers of bottles have different adapters. It’s no different to the mobile phone industry. Android and iOS use different USB connectors to charge their phones. Mandy has a Samsung, I have an iPhone, we need two chargers. Calor and Gaslight use different adapters and Camping Gaz uses another as well.

Which Gas is Best? Butane or Propane

It’s really a personal choice. We’ve always used Propane, but Butane is equally as effective most of the time. Here’s a few pointers that will help you make up your mind if you’re in any doubt, and let’s face it, who isn’t?


  • Can be cheaper than propane.
  • More efficient; about 12% more energy by volume 
  • Not suitable for harsh cold weathers
  • Less pressure


  • Better for extreme weather, winter use.
  • Higher pressure.
  • More commonly used in caravans and motorhomes.

Regulator Confusion

Like many caravanners, I was confused about regulators. The term regulator seems to be used for the bulkhead regulator as well as the adapter that goes onto the bottle. This whole gas malarkey needs a re think, or at least re branding!
So, in doing research for this article, I’ve found out that in fact, the regulator, in modern caravans is attached to the bulkhead (or in the gas cupboard if you don’t have a front locker like us.) But back in the mists of time, the regulator was the bit at the end of the gas pipe that attached to the bottle.  The caravan / motorhome itself didn’t have a regulator.
Where you don’t have a bulkhead regulator,  or you don’t have an external BBQ point, you need a regulator that is basically an adapter, so it fits right on to your bottle. Clear?

Adapter Types

I could also have used the title “Regulator Types”

Calor Butane

Here are some butane adapters / regulators. All the items below are Amazon affiliate links. If you’re not familiar with them, should you purchase something by clicking on the link (you don’t have to purchase even if you click, of course) we’ll get a little commission. It just helps fund the website. The cost is the same to you. (Thanks)

Calor Propane

Propane bottles use different regulators. Why not? Why should they make life easier for us when there’s money to be made….

Patio Gas


Now gaslight, this is the system we’re moving to due to the lightness of the bottle and the easy of which it attaches to the caravan (no spanner needed).

Camping Gaz Regulator

Lastly, Camping Gaz. These are useful if you’re travelling to Europe, as with so many things, the UK has to be different, so why would we make life easy by following Europe, we wouldn’t of course…So this, along with Miles not Kilometres, different size number plates, you get the picture…

The reason we’re changing (back) to gaslight is detailed in my gas rant below. I’ll have a brief look at Calor, Gaslight and Safefill and discuss why I’m choosing Gaslight.

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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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*Last update on 2019-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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