Butane or Propane.??

Jun 23, 2021
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As Far as I know the only différance is the operating tempature.

I had two 6 kg propane bottles at one time on the caravan. Were removed a while ago, so I am now thinking Butane gas 7 kg bottles .
I am a fair weather caravanner and it seems there easy to get most places.

Any reason why I should not change bottles .
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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As Far as I know the only différance is the operating tempature.

I had two 6 kg propane bottles at one time on the caravan. Were removed a while ago, so I am now thinking Butane gas 7 kg bottles .
I am a fair weather caravanner and it seems there easy to get most places.

Any reason why I should not change bottles .
No reason as you know about operating limits wrt ambient temperatures. Pigtails can be obtained here

https://www.gasproducts.co.uk/caravan-marine/gas-pigtails.html?p=2
 
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Jul 8, 2020
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I use butane without any issues and when i had my campervan we used butane which was left outside under the canopy and even on the frosty mornings all was good and the cooker fired up and worked as normal.👍
 
Jun 16, 2020
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There are technical differences like heat output. But the main difference regarding caravan use is that Butane will freeze long before Propane. Not a problem if you don't go out in cold weather. But not nice of you are heating the van or just want a cuppa. And it refuses to work.

John
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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No it doesn't freeze Butane stops vaporising and thus its pressure drops to atmospheric at about 0 degrees C. Propane will continue to vaporise down to about -40C which is why its preferred in winter.

OK, correct. But it definitely will not work when it’s very cold. Therefore Propane is favourite in those circumstances. I do stand corrected and have slapped my own wrists. Strange that most simply say it freezes!

But actually my statement was is correct. (Accidentally). Butane freezes at -140 and Propane at -188.

John
 
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I just used whatever was fitted at the time ,i got 2 x 7kg butane with the van when i purchased from the seller who was giving up caravaning . 👍
 
Aug 24, 2020
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We don't caravan in winter, but I do go to the storage site and work in winter, and I like to run the heating and boil the kettle while I'm there! I switched to Propane years ago for this reason and use it all year round because it's easier than switching gasses.

I know that technically Butane is slightly more efficient when the weather is warm enough to use it, but the difference isn't enough for me to be worth swapping.

And of course, for the reasons discussed in many other threads, my preferred cylinder is the Calor Lightweight, so Propane all the way!
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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Butane starts to falter and gets progressively worse as the temperature goes down towards zero. A friend of ours had some butane in a bottle with a regulator which had been given to him when we were wintering in Spain. The night temperature was down to about 5 overnight, and his butane failed to gas.
 
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We van all year round so have always used Propane.
Not really experienced any super low temps, worst was during the Beast from the East.

Kev
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Because LPG bottles cooldown as you use gas, the more you use the cooler the botte will get, but that also means especially with Butane the more you try to use it can cool the bottle enough to reduce or stop its ability to vapourise the liquified gas. as the liquid inside the bottle approaches -0.4C butane cannot vapourise at normal atmospheric pressures. Consequently as Ern points out if the ambient temp is about 5C if you try to use a caravan heater, the bottle temperature will drop and it may not produce enough gas vapour to sustain the flame in the appliance.

Most commercial Butane supplies like Calor or Camping Gaz, are not pure butane, they usually contain a cocktail of other hydrocarbons becasue the refinement process is not perfect and it does mean their bottles can often be used at slightly lower temperatures for a short while, but they may fail if used for longer periods at low temperatures.,
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I have no idea whether we use propane or butane as we refill from a LPG pump at the service station.
Principally propane in U.K. as you wouldn't want a LPG vehicle unable to start in sub zero temperatures.But ratio can vary in different countries and by season.
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Principally propane in U.K. as you wouldn't want a LPG vehicle unable to start in sub zero temperatures.But ratio can vary in different countries and by season.

Yes in the UK, but not for that reason as blends with butane are used in some very cold places.
In automotive use remember it is "liquid take off", just as petrol which remains liquid, not "vapour take off" as in our camping use.

I must be the odd one out as I use both Propane and Butane when the latter's usage is technically viable.
It's a cheaper, high energy/volume product, so why not for big users like ourselves. The more so this year with the extortionate jacking of the price of my favoured Gaslight refills.

For others, where the one bottle lasts into the cold periods they obviously can't,
 
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Yes in the UK, but not for that reason as blends with butane are used in some very cold places.
In automotive use remember it is "liquid take off", just as petrol which remains liquid, not "vapour take off" as in our camping use.

I must be the odd one out as I use both Propane and Butane when the latter's usage is technically viable.
It's a cheaper, high energy/volume product, so why not for big users like ourselves. The more so this year with the extortionate jacking of the price of my favoured Gaslight refills.

For others, where the one bottle lasts into the cold periods they obviously can't,
Yes Calor do not specify a ratio of propane to butane as their mixture will vary on Calor auto gas. Probably like petrol it can vary throughout the year as long as it’s energy content meets the specification. But the joint venture with Shell ended and the Autogas outlets have closed.
 

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