Van #2 – Gas

For van #2 index, see HERE

We need a van to last for 2-3 months minimum with onboard supplies, and Gas is one of those things that can run out! One way around that issue is with refillable gas, and whilst I loved ours in the old van, I get the feeling its less popular now with less stations.

Usage Calculations

With a compressor fridge and diesel heating, the gas is only used for cooking and heating water. From experience, 4kg gas for us will last for 2 months including heating water for showers, albeit not frequently in the NV for obvious reasons. So excluding hot water, 8-10 weeks easily, so, say, 0.5kg/week.

For a small gas fridge and cooking, 4kg would only last 2-3 weeks – so a gas fridge is quite gas hungry! Numbers vary but 300-400g/day means 6kg does only last 2 weeks! In which case, for long trips large, or refillable gas is needed. Compressor fridges seem to negate this,

The Malaga 5E gas hot water heater uses 0.084kg/hr. And for 2 showers, thats 1/2 hour usually, so 0.05kg. Which isn’t a lot. 5 showers a week 0.25kg/week.

So 0.75kg per week total, meaning a 6kg bottle will last 8 weeks, and thus with a spare 3.9 or 6kg bottle, 16 weeks is doable with standard Calor. Sorted.

Gas Locker

6kg Calor sized gas lockers are generally around £160, and I’d normally make my own. If we ever needed gas sign off (not normally needed) the regs say the locker must be metal or metal lined. By chance, I saw a new locker on eBay that complies with regs, has 50mm lip and sealed door, and big enough for 6kg cylinder and regulator etc – and it was a bargain at £100 delivered! Really well made with double bent edges, and not worth trying to make elsewhere. Thumbscrews to get front off and easy access for bottle. Glad I boarded the loft as the buying seems to have started!

Gas Design

The gas will be via a 30mb propane regulator with pressure gauge, into a twin isolating valve manifold, with 8mm copper piping to Malaga 5E water heater and gas hob.

Drop vents will be installed in gas locker and under each appliance.

A spare bottle will be located somewhere TBD

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