Gas bottles are a necessity in certain caravans as they provide the fuel for heating, cooking appliances, fridges and water heaters. If you have an electrical hook-up, you are likely to use much less gas but are, unfortunately, not able to do away with it completely. Instead, opting for smaller, more light-weight gas bottles.
The size of the gas bottle you purchase will be dependent on the amount of gas you use on average during your stay. If you are someone that is likely to be travelling during the winter and heating the caravan, while cooking with the main oven and on all four gas rings, you are likely to use a lot more gas than the average caravanner. Calculating how much gas you use on average each day can give you a good idea of how much gas you will use during your stay, however, doing the maths can be tricky. As a rough idea, the average touring caravan will use between 0.8 to 1.5kg of gas a day.
In the UK, there are two types of gas that is used in caravans.
Butane – A slightly longer-lasting gas, on average a single litre of butane will last up to 12% longer than a litre of propane. It has a much warmer boiling point than propane (the point at which liquid gas vaporises into gas) at -2°C which makes it unsuitable for year-round use or in the cold autumns and winters in the UK.
Propane – Although providing slightly less heat per fuel use than butane per litre, the boiling point of propane is around -42°C, making it much more suitable than butane for use in the colder weather.
The type of gas you use will largely depend on when you travel. If you are going to be using your caravan when it’s cold outside, you are better opting for propane than risk not being able to fuel your caravan.
Gas bottles come in a range of sizes to suit your fuel demands from a variety of suppliers, the most popular being;
The most commonly purchased gas bottle is the 6kg bottle, which weighs between 7-10kg empty and 15-17kg once filled. Most modern caravans have a dedicated space for at least one 6kg bottle with the filled weight factored into the total weight allowance.
Some caravanners choose to carry multiple 6kg bottles, although this is only necessary if you are travelling for a longer period of time (over two weeks) away from gas retailers or refillers. It is recommended to carry a smaller spare bottle, often available at 3.9kg, which can save you from a cold night if your gas bottle runs out when gas suppliers are closed.
If you are purchasing a gas bottle for a static caravan, you don’t have to worry about the size and weight but, instead, ensure you have a safe, secure area to keep your gas bottles in. Propane gas bottles of 47kg are popular and will last a long time, especially if you only use your static caravan as a holiday home. If you are using your static caravan more consistently, you can keep multiple bottles fitted with a changeover valve, this will automatically change over your gas supply to a new bottle once the active bottle is empty, ensuring your fuel is not interrupted.
How long a gas bottle lasts is directly related to how much use it gets. If you are running every appliance in your caravan around the clock, you aren’t going to get much use out of an average gas bottle of 6kg. If, however, you are more conservative with your gas usage and run certain appliances such as the fridge and water heater on electric instead of gas, on average a 6kg bottle of gas can last up to six weeks.
In comparison, if you have a 47kg bottle of gas connected to a static caravan that uses only gas connections, you can expect to get about 19 hours of continuous use from your gas bottle. Fortunately, most static caravans have the option for an electric hook-up, ensuring you can run your more fuel-hungry appliances around the clock without quickly using up your entire summer’s worth of gas supply on the first day.
It is possible to get a rough idea of how much gas you are using by purchasing some luggage scales, simply weigh the gas bottle when it is full (taking into account the total weight of the gas and the gas bottle) and then regularly weigh your gas either daily or weekly during your stay.
Gas is the cheapest method of fueling a caravan but it still carries initial costs when purchasing a gas bottle. If you have a gas bottle already, you only need to pay for the fuel to refill it which is more cost-effective.
As of October 2020, the current cost for gas bottles and a full refill from the most popular suppliers are;
|Supplier||Gas Bottle Price||Full Gas Bottle Refill|
|Calor||7kg – £65.94 (full)||6kg – £63.44 (full)||7kg – £25.95||6kg – £23.45|
|Flogas||7kg – £30.62||6kg – £30.62||7kg – £26.25||6kg – £23.25|
Different suppliers have similar but slightly differing costs but there is no difference in the quality of the gas. Refill stations aren’t restricted to only the gas distributors but most garden centres, DIY stores and garages keep stocks of both gas for refilling gas bottles and the gas bottles themselves. The exchange system, surrendering your empty gas bottle for a filled one, is the most efficient method of replacing your empty gas bottles and is quick and easy to do.
At Allens Caravans, we have a fantastic selection of modern static caravans for sale, all extremely well insulated, with up-to-date amenities and full-size facilities. You can place your brand new (or second-hand) static caravan on one of our eight fantastic caravan parks, with access to both gas and electrical hook-ups and all the activities you need onsite.
Our parks are all excellently located, mixing the convenience of nearby market towns with a peaceful location surrounded by nature, choose to explore off-site or simply relax in style on the park.
If you’d like to learn more, view our brochures or get in touch with our friendly team who are happy to answer any questions you have on purchasing a static caravan or siting a static caravan on one of our holiday parks.