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Nervous about propane

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    Nervous about propane

    Hi, I'm new to motorhomes (thanks to all who made me feel so welcome on this forum yesterday). I'm having lots of fun but am nervous about using the propane gas, so I haven't yet cooked in my Romahome, nor used the fridge or tried the heating. I'm not a nervous type usually but once I saw a houseboat explode because the guy who lived on it didn't re-attach the gas bottle properly. The gas settled in the bottom of the boat, a spark caused the explosion and he and his wife drowned. They were really sensible people and had lived on the boat for years so I couldn't understand how he could get it so wrong. It has made me very twitchy about propane, but I am determined to get over this and enjoy my van to the full. How can I be sure that bottled gas is safe to use? My van is a 1996 Hitop. Thanks.

    #2
    I guess you just need to make sure that everything is correctly connected when you put the gas bottle on.

    You have heard of one terrible tragedy but thousands of people use gas bottles safely every day with no problems.

    People get killed crossing the road but it doesn't stop you crossing the road does it? Don't let this one terrible incident spoil your fun, enjoy your motorhome.

    Incidentally we have our gas and electric checked every year by Ant at Avon Motor Caravans Ltd.
    Graham
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      #3
      Hi Sue,

      I can understand your concern, especially after what you've seen happen to others. Would it be possible for you to get a service engineer to inspect the gas regulator and pipes, and show you how to safely use it?

      Do you have a separate outside gas locker for the bottle? It's pretty safe out there. The regulators these days are really good as well, for that very reason. There are also separate gas taps inside the 'van, so the gas only goes through when you want it.

      There are also plenty of air ducts, especially around a gas bottle, so the gas would disperse if there was a leak. It's usual to hear a hiss and smell a bit of gas when you first turn it on.

      I don't know how many years ago the accident on the boat happened, but I suspect it was quite a while ago. The connections on gas bottles/regulators these days are very strong and subject to many tests and regulations.

      I was worried the first time I used my fridge on gas, but I lived to tell the tale!

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        #4
        http://www.calor.co.uk/customer-serv...s/caravanning/

        The above link might answer some of your questions.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jayjay View Post
          There are also plenty of air ducts, especially around a gas bottle, so the gas would disperse if there was a leak.
          Yes, I think (somebody correct me here please) that motorhomes have for some time had to have ventilation to prevent gas building up. Hence the gas locker tends to have one or more vents in the floor because butane/propane is heavier than air. So a build up of gas should be unlikely.

          I've always found the smell to be quite noticeable as well from my Campingaz bottle when I've attached it.
          Neil

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            #6
            Originally posted by 1_man_and_his_dob(lo) View Post
            Yes, I think (somebody correct me here please) that motorhomes have for some time had to have ventilation to prevent gas building up. Hence the gas locker tends to have one or more vents in the floor because butane/propane is heavier than air. So a build up of gas should be unlikely.

            I've always found the smell to be quite noticeable as well from my Campingaz bottle when I've attached it.
            Ah! There you are you see! People with boats should always drill holes in the bottom so the gas cannot build up!

            Seriously though, Boat Safety Certificate Regs. lay down safety conditions which must be observed to get a Test Certificate. Without which the boat cannot be licenced or used. Some boats are even fitted with bilge blowers where necessary to prevent the build up of explosive or narcotic gases.
            Gas lockers MUST ALWAYS be vented overboard. Gas build up can hardly happen to any dangerous extent in a caravan.
            Jim.
            Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

            Comment


              #7
              I had a gas bottle discharge through a faulty valve, and the whole lot went out through the floor vents without me smelling anything, so very safe in one way. But I then bought one of these Gaslow guages that allows me to check the valve every time I change a bottle. Takes 5 minutes but great peace of mind. Enjoy your van.

              http://www.gaslow.co.uk/pages/c_s1_1.htm
              Colin

              Comment


                #8
                Nervous about propane

                Thanks everyone for all your encouragement and tips. Yes, the accident with the boat happened a few years ago and the boat was converted from scratch so I suppose there was plenty of potential for problems. A big difference between that and a purpose-built Romahome, but I wouldn't have seen that without all your comments. The man I bought the van from was very particular about maintenance so I'll keep that up. Cheers folk - I'll get going with the gas now!

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