European Vs UK caravans.

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Jul 18, 2017
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Switching to smaller bottles that can be put in van while travelling is one way to reduce nose weight. In NZ it means forgoing local standard 9kg bottle (18kg full)which can be swapped at most garages for couple 4kg(10kg) bottles that need refilling. Refilling stations are lot rarer here since swap a bottle system came out.
We have a 7.5kg(11kg full) Safefill bottle that can be refilled at many garages across the UK, but it is always in the front locker. When we do need to remove it for refilling, we have it on the back seat strapped in with the safety harness so it is very obvious that there is a gas bottle in the vehicle. The Safefill supposedly cannot explode.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Prof
How did you transport your cylinder for an exchange?

I would do the same as Roger L and have car windows open for what was a relatively short trip if less than 4 miles to my normal supplier. Sometimes my storage would have cylinders. Not ideal but no alternative. Wonder how all those Flogas bottles at BQ are taken home?
I was lucky, I could refill my cylinders at the place I stored my caravan. But for scouting we would use a trailer, or a pick up truck.

I am well aware of the numbers of cylinders that don't get transported ideally, but that doesn't make it right or as safe as it should be. People should be made aware of the risks and of the advice of how to minimise them.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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... The Safefill supposedly cannot explode.
Factually that is correct, because you need the correct gas and air mixture to produce an explosion, and a gas cylinder will only contain gas with no air. That applies to all makes of LPG cylinders.

Even if a UK approved cylinder is exposed to extreme heat, the pressure won't cause the cylinder to violently explode, the valve should contain an excess pressure relief device which is designed to vent the excess pressure. The internal pressure will prevent air from getting inside so it should never have an explosive mixture in side.

Even if it did somehow get air and gas inside, the volume of gas and air would probably not have the necessary energy to be able to rupture a properly maintained LPG cylinder.

The risk is mainly when liquid or vapour phase LPG escapes and mixes with air out side the cylinder to achieve an explosive mixture.

Pictures of incidents where cylinders are being hurled through the air are not instigated by an "exploding cylinder", but an explosion outside the cylinder.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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What I like about having the beds at the front and the sitting area at the back of the caravan of many Continental layouts is that the slope of the front end doesn’t encroach into the headroom of the sitting area. Instead, the loss of headroom above the beds is less of an issue.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Our cars has tie down points which can be used to restrain a cylinder.
If carried in the body of a caravan they would need to secure simply because if they moved they could do a lot of damage.
 
Aug 12, 2023
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Our cars has tie down points which can be used to restrain a cylinder.
If carried in the body of a caravan they would need to secure simply because if they moved they could do a lot of damage.
I place them in plastic cube with bit of packing to stop it moving around in cube.
 
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What I like about having the beds at the front and the sitting area at the back of the caravan of many Continental layouts is that the slope of the front end doesn’t encroach into the headroom of the sitting area. Instead, the loss of headroom above the beds is less of an issue.
On UK vans can rarely sit right at front of seat as there is either set of drawers or small shelf just above the floor. On 4-6 berths where front sits are short ie not sleeping length this is wasted seating space.
 
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Our cars has tie down points which can be used to restrain a cylinder.
If carried in the body of a caravan they would need to secure simply because if they moved they could do a lot of damage.
Many cars have tie down points, but it's difficult to use them to secure a vapour take off gas cylinder in its correct upright attitude. I have seen so many people lay cylinders down on their sides which which is definitely not a good idea, even when empty. Not only does it mean if the valve is faulty or not closed completely will leak liquified gas rather than vapour, and the "heavy ends" of the gas can be washed up into the valve gear which can then find their way into a gas regulator or even into the system pipework when the cylinder is connected.

Why would you want to carry a gas bottle inside the caravan when caravans have a dedicated external cabinet designed to secure and carry cylinders?
 
Jun 20, 2005
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What I like about having the beds at the front and the sitting area at the back of the caravan of many Continental layouts is that the slope of the front end doesn’t encroach into the headroom of the sitting area. Instead, the loss of headroom above the beds is less of an issue.
17 years ago the Bailey Pageant Vendee S6 layout was exactly as you describe. For whatever reason , boring old U.K. maybe , it never caught on😥
 
Nov 11, 2009
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We had quite a difficult choice when deciding to buy Series 5 Bordeaux or Vendee. The Vendee was somewhat unusual but a nice arrangement. In the end though we opted for the Bordeaux on account that the front double bed was larger than the Vendee, plus the L shaped front lounge didn’t suit how we liked to “ chill out” for reading or tv. A friend bought a S5 Vendee but within a year he had changed it for a more conventional layout. It was the L shaped lounge that they could not adapt to.
Cracking van the 2005 Bordeaux as in the nine years we owned it damp only appeared in 2014 when I had a damp test done prior to selling it. Even then it was only a rubber seal around a front window on the near side and repairs cost less than £250. Even cracked front and rear panels were replaced under warranty quickly and without fuss in years 2 and 3 without any damp ingress.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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We had quite a difficult choice when deciding to buy Series 5 Bordeaux or Vendee. The Vendee was somewhat unusual but a nice arrangement. In the end though we opted for the Bordeaux on account that the front double bed was larger than the Vendee, plus the L shaped front lounge didn’t suit how we liked to “ chill out” for reading or tv. A friend bought a S5 Vendee but within a year he had changed it for a more conventional layout. It was the L shaped lounge that they could not adapt to.
Cracking van the 2005 Bordeaux as in the nine years we owned it damp only appeared in 2014 when I had a damp test done prior to selling it. Even then it was only a rubber seal around a front window on the near side and repairs cost less than £250. Even cracked front and rear panels were replaced under warranty quickly and without fuss in years 2 and 3 without any damp ingress.
The rear transverse fixed bed in our S5 Vendee was massive and a bit of a climb up too!
The L shape lounge was ok but not something we ever chose again. Did you see the S6 Vendee? Back to Front like Lutz is. I don’t recall any U.K. manufacturer using that reverse layout ever since.
The in laws had a S6 Monarch. One of the best bathrooms ever. The Pageants were well made good solid caravans. Shame things haven’t improved much😥😥
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The rear transverse fixed bed in our S5 Vendee was massive and a bit of a climb up too!
The L shape lounge was ok but not something we ever chose again. Did you see the S6 Vendee? Back to Front like Lutz is. I don’t recall any U.K. manufacturer using that reverse layout ever since.
The in laws had a S6 Monarch. One of the best bathrooms ever. The Pageants were well made good solid caravans. Shame things haven’t improved much😥😥
Never looked at a S6 Vendee but as you say the Monarchs bathrooms and changing area was better than some domestic suites.

I don’t think it’s a case of modern vans not improving, they seem to have regressed. Given the recent horror stories are not confined to one brand the industry should hang its head in shame. No wonder campervans are “cool” 😂
 
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Never looked at a S6 Vendee but as you say the Monarchs bathrooms and changing area was better than some domestic suites.

I don’t think it’s a case of modern vans not improving, they seem to have regressed. Given the recent horror stories are not confined to one brand the industry should hang its head in shame. No wonder campervans are “cool” 😂
While campervans are water tight as they are based on panel can be very cosy and narrow. Motorhomes get around this by fitting a wider customer body to van chassis. Alot of these bodies share same construction systems as caravans with some carrying across same flaws.
 
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Many cars have tie down points, but it's difficult to use them to secure a vapour take off gas cylinder in its correct upright attitude. I have seen so many people lay cylinders down on their sides which which is definitely not a good idea, even when empty. Not only does it mean if the valve is faulty or not closed completely will leak liquified gas rather than vapour, and the "heavy ends" of the gas can be washed up into the valve gear which can then find their way into a gas regulator or even into the system pipework when the cylinder is connected.

Why would you want to carry a gas bottle inside the caravan when caravans have a dedicated external cabinet designed to secure and carry cylinders?
While carrying gas bottles in cars isn't recommended, you will find most campers(tenting) don't have a choice.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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While campervans are water tight as they are based on panel can be very cosy and narrow. Motorhomes get around this by fitting a wider customer body to van chassis. Alot of these bodies share same construction systems as caravans with some carrying across same flaws.
There’s the half way house of a leisure vehicle based on a larger panel van that provides more interior spacey plus shower and toilet. Still watertight though. See below photo.

Young people though seem to prefer a camper based on a smaller van which whilst go anywhere are tight for space.


IMG_3417.jpeg
 
Mar 14, 2005
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There is no right or wrong way round for a caravan layout, they are just different and choosing what's best for you is a matter of personal choice.

However, I have been to sites where the pitching instructions are "Tow hitch must point to the road" and that could mean scenic windows are not facing the best view.

Whether caravan movers negate the reasons behind the instructions would be a issue to take up with the site operator.
 
May 7, 2012
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I do agree, it is what suits you as far as layout is concerned. Most UK sites are set up for UK vans and continental sites for their models, so even where you use it may be relevant.
We do like plenty of light through the front and those with fixed beds at the front just don't seem to manage this level of light at the back and the best view can be forward. Having said that on a few sites we have used we have had the caravan turned round as the view was that way, so no hard and fast rules.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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There is no right or wrong way round for a caravan layout, they are just different and choosing what's best for you is a matter of personal choice.

However, I have been to sites where the pitching instructions are "Tow hitch must point to the road" and that could mean scenic windows are not facing the best view.

Whether caravan movers negate the reasons behind the instructions would be a issue to take up with the site operator.
Since there are no regulations specifying that tow hitch must point to the road - I do wonder why some sites insist on it - that's supposing there's enough room for a 6m gap whichever way you pitch.
 
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