Gaslow Gas Tanks - would you buy one?

Aug 28, 2005
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Can anyone give me any advice about using a Gaslow refillable LPG tank? We are considering purchasing one mainly because Calor and its dealers believe that over a £1 per litre is good value for a refill compared with 48p at my local BP. If anyone one has brought one any advice or feedback would be appreciated

Monkey's Husband
 
May 20, 2005
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May be worth checking at your local BP station first to see if they allow filling of portable tanks as all the ones I have seen forbid filling of portable tanks.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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I think you're right Paul. It says in the Gaslow ad that you can fill up in any service station, but I don't know of a single one that allows canisters to be filled.
 
May 20, 2005
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I have wondered about this system and like the idea but what happens if your pitched on a site for a long periode and the gas runs out, do you have to up sticks and take the van to a filling station to top up the gas or is there some way round doing this ?
 
Apr 12, 2005
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Hi Paul A,

That was the other reason i used a bracket to mount the filler, i also leave my van on a CL for six weeks in the summer, when the cylinder has totally run out i just take the cylinder and filler off the van to a local filling station where i'm staying and fill it back up. It's a bit of hassle but when you're running everything in the van on gas and saving
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Monkey

Over two years ago I bought 2 plastic (Kevlar?) cylinders from MTH Autogas and have been refilling them, 12 months a year, all round the country and have never had trouble. Mine are 5kg and cost
 
Jan 1, 2006
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Monkey

Have a look at E bay item 4437197429 this site has lots of data and a truly portable refilable cylinder. the selleres are very helpfull. we buy gas in bulk and it costs 30p per litre so I will be getting one of these cylinders soon.
 
May 20, 2005
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Thats what confuses me, all the gas filling stations I have seen state at each filling point that it is forbiden to fill portable tanks. The one you go to must not have this rule or are they are turning a blind eye.
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Thanks all so far, any other observations welcome. In doing my research I come across a few observations about the Glass/Kevlar bottles; some question how safe they are??

Not because the materials are at fault but I understand they can be overfilled by accident as they have no cut off valve. I wouldn't mind seeing the results on brainicac but not at the filling station.

Thanks MH
 
Nov 6, 2005
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You need to use quite a lot of gas to make the investment worthwhile.

Since most commercial sites, and many CL/CS sites, include electricity in their pitch fees, wouldn't it be more cost-effective to use electrics more for heating, hot water and cooking?
 
Jul 15, 2005
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The reason garages prohibit refilling portable LPG tanks is to stop people trying to refill the normal Calor / Shell / Elf gas exchangable cylinders.

These cylinders do not have the automatic cut-off valve, they are filled by weight at the depot, and they don't have the bayonet refill fitting.

So whilst it is no more dangerous to refill a correctly designed refillable cylinder (with integrated cut-off valve) than a LPG fuelled car, someone from the garage would need to be trained to recognise the difference between the different types of cylinders, and they would need to leave the kiosk to do this task - and with staffing levels at garage forecourts - I doubt if they can be bothered.

Robert
 
Aug 4, 2004
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You need to use quite a lot of gas to make the investment worthwhile.

Since most commercial sites, and many CL/CS sites, include electricity in their pitch fees, wouldn't it be more cost-effective to use electrics more for heating, hot water and cooking?
Unless yopu have one of those ehaters that can't make up its mind whether to be on or off. At least gas gives you a reliable steady output of heat.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Ian - re your comment about electric heaters which can't decide whether they're on or off, making gas more reliable.

Many caravans with mains electric heating in their Truma gas heater have been fitted with the thermostat in the wrong place. Fitment of a remote sensor generally cures the problem. Some caravan manufacturers will fit this remote sensor under warranty but only if the customer complains. Other manufacturers simply ignore this "design fault".

We caravan all year round and never use gas for heating.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry to widdle in everyone's cornflakes but refillable cylinders are a NO-NO - check with the ABI (Association of British Insurers) The reason being that their integrity can only be confirmed at the point of manufacture.

Thereafter you could drop them, play football with them, or even run over them. The point being their integrity can easily be compromised. As such NO PETROL FOURCOURT OR LPG OUTLET IN INSURED IF THEY ALLOW REFILABLE CYLINDERS TO BE REFILLED.

The situation for properly fitted internal system as per motorhomes which can be fitted to a caravan is the same as for an LPG system in a car - you get a certificate of conformity and this covers the siting and safety of the tanks - usually fitted in some kind of safety cradle.

With ordinary calor gas metal tanks you pay for the integrity checks carried out on the tanks at re-fill. Who checks the refillable tanks when YOU fill it? - Would you recognise a "problem" cylinder? Would you want to put you and you family at risk for a few
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The reason garages prohibit refilling portable LPG tanks is to stop people trying to refill the normal Calor / Shell / Elf gas exchangable cylinders.

These cylinders do not have the automatic cut-off valve, they are filled by weight at the depot, and they don't have the bayonet refill fitting.

So whilst it is no more dangerous to refill a correctly designed refillable cylinder (with integrated cut-off valve) than a LPG fuelled car, someone from the garage would need to be trained to recognise the difference between the different types of cylinders, and they would need to leave the kiosk to do this task - and with staffing levels at garage forecourts - I doubt if they can be bothered.

Robert
Have to disagree here Robert - An exchange cylinder does not have the bayonet fitting required for LPG refill. Therefore you comment re the reason for any ban by the Forecourt is substantially incorrect.

The pressure applied when a certified LPG cylinder as used in a car is far greater than that usually applied to a caravan propane cylinder.

The Insurance companies HAVE ALL stated that a Garage's insurance will be null & void if refillable tanks are allowed to be refilled.

Car based integral systems and caravan/motorhome permanent installations with a certificate of conformity are entirely different.

Anyone that has such a cylinder on board there caravan is almost certainly uninsured, as is the vehicle used when towing!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks all so far, any other observations welcome. In doing my research I come across a few observations about the Glass/Kevlar bottles; some question how safe they are??

Not because the materials are at fault but I understand they can be overfilled by accident as they have no cut off valve. I wouldn't mind seeing the results on brainicac but not at the filling station.

Thanks MH
Hi MH - Ask your local fire safety officer before you consider going for it.

A couple of years ago their was a report of a boat in Poole harbour that blew up due to propane leak. It is heavier than air and tends to sit in the hull of boats waiting for the next bright spark to become momentarily even brighter.

I suppose caravans would be a bit safer as they have holes in them being land not water based!

I know you have a family - as do I -
 
Aug 28, 2005
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If refillable cylinders are so bad how come the whole of Australia uses them, in fact they have over 15000 refilling points?. Surely refilling a Gaslow type cylinder is actually safer than filling a petrol car because the vapour is locked in !!

Also as its sitting exactly where a 7kg bottle would sit in the front locker it's probably less subject to stress than a bottle/tank on a gas powered 4 x 4 particularly one that is subject to going off road .

It would be interesting to get the view of a leading caravan insurer or club technical department on this matter.

Regards MH
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I suggest you check it out with your insurer and your local fire safety officer.

The points MH makes re Australia etc are not valid if you are UK based. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) and its members have decided that detachable Kevlar or plastic cylinders are not as safe as the normal exchange cylinders because no one is likely to check the integrity.

I believe the LPGA dictates that LPG must be stored in a car in a steel container 5mm thick. The container must be able to stand impact damage and not be affected by solvents.

So far Plastic/Kevlar refillable cylinders do not meet these standards as laid down. I also believe that that fail UK standards because as MH points out they have no safety cut off valve and so it is possible and very probable that such a plastic cylinder would be filled TO THE SAME PRESSURE AS THE GAS IN THE FOURCOURT MAIN TANK! This will exceed the pressure recommended for LPG systems.

A car based LPG system or proper Motorhome gas system has a safety cut off valve that stops the tank in your car being over pressurised.

I get through a Calor gas tank every 18 months to two years depending upon use. So I would be saving no more that
 
Aug 4, 2004
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I was unaware that Clive was such an expert on refillable gas bottles. Obviously he has tested them in conjuction with a Standards Bureau therefore he is able to offer this valuable piece of advice. It was my understanding that there are at present a few specialist garages that can offer the service of re-charging your exhausted bottle but the number is growing. This is opposed to garages to actually sell LPG. With our consumption of gas the refillable Kevlar bottles is certainly an option, but the initial outlay is a killer.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Ian - I have not said I am an expert - in fact I have made it quite clear that I am not and recommend people check out with the those that know such as the LPGA, your fire safety officer and your insurance company - BEFORE you proceed.

I am not aware of garages being refilling stations specifically for these Kevlar cylinders. What I do know is that a refilling station for LPG cars DOES NOT have clearance to fill these Kevlar refillable cylinders.

What I do know is the insurance situation for both the individual and the garage. If anyone wants to take the risk of having being uninsured that is up to them.

My advice to those on this Forum who admit to using these cylinders is to write to your insurance company now to clarify the situation. If you get a letter back confirming that you are coverred - Great!

That just leaves the problem of refilling the thing on a garage forecourt which from what I understand renders the Public Liability Insurance of the Garage null & void.

All this for a saving of about
 
Aug 4, 2004
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You are correct in differentiating between a LPG fill up station and a fill up station for Kevlar refills. At present there are not many licenced garages for Kevlar refills and they are mainly situated in the main towns, but if travelling on the continent I am told it is not a problem.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Ian - Based upon my understanding - Kevlar or Plastic refillable cylinders are a DEFINITE NO NO!

Have a look at www.leisuregasservices.co.uk to see their take on this.

I have posted the bit from their website that covers this.
 
Aug 28, 2005
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Hi Clive,

Thanks for championing safety over wanton abandon - If you remember my original post on the subject I was interested only in the Gaslow Canister -not the Kevlar type, I too have tried to research this and found nothing just like yourself re the associated safety issues.

However there does seem to be a consensus here in the UK and moreover in the Australasia area that the metal type with built in features is the better long term investment. I have done my sums and 5 years is my expected payback period or less is Calor rip off the client base further.

As for the point about the safety of suppliers of gas in my opinion and only mine but also that of my colleagues - what PC got was for the press. The reality is somewhat different. Currently I'm working on a Gases supply chain Project for the NHS and whilst medical gases aren't that dangerous compared with a truck full of industrial gases the canisters are built with safety in mind - however the bit about condition testing I do question - this area as recently got really competitive - ultimately as a supplier you want the cylinder back in filled and out again within 24 hours - that's where you make margin by taking inventory out. I haven't seen or experience any thing like what is described.

Regards MH
 

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