Actual gas consumption on cold trip in France Feb 2016

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by DavidG58, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    Morning all, there are regular threads from folk worried about gas consumption, I am one of those who wonder / worry, so

    We have refillable cylinders, 2 large (12kg I think) they take about 22 litres each

    I refilled about a month ago, we then put MH into garage for the turbo work and I forgot to turn fridge off auto, so it sat with them for 10 nights running on gas

    when fixed we went away for one night in UK, cold and wet heating on all the time, although turned down at night

    The set off for France, I debated refilling and decided we didn't need to, then got to France and realised I have not put gas adaptor in that I bought for the trip :(

    Our system depends on manual changeover, literally like an od fashioned calor system, move the hose from one cylinder to the other, I quite like it that way as I know for sure one is empty

    I managed to convince myself after being away in France for 9 nights now that the cylinders are actually interlinked and I am actually drawing from both, we have had 3 nights on sites with hook up, the rest without and it has been really cold, rarely above 10C

    Thank you again Andy @Techno for the reassurance by PM that was impossible

    With an Alde system, with ours once on it runs the hot water whether you need it or not, so we have had virtually 100% hot water on, and heating most days, plus cooking in on hob and oven on roughly half the nights

    So after a total of 8 nights off hook up, it waited till it was snowing and -2C to stop at 04:00 this morning, impressed with how long it ran for, not at all with the timing, our Alde flashes when no gas, so had to get up to turn that off, by 08:00 it was down to 9C inside -2C outside but not snowing, so went out to swap over

    Hope that helps reassure those that travel in warmer times you are unlikely to need to refill, if you start with full cylinders, even if Calor and not refillable(y)
     
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  2. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I have a small panel van conversion which I am living in fulltime. I have 2 refillable 11KG (22L) tanks. In Sub zero or close to zero temperatures I expect to get a week out of each cylinder. Usually 8-10 days. This winter with 4-8C temperatures and not dropping much at night I have been managing 2 weeks easily on each cylinder. I have been hitting the garage on the 24th of each month and putting in around the 32L mark each time.

    I don't have a gas fridge though. I have a Truma water/blown air heater and a twin hob. No electric heating currently.
     
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  3. jemhorn

    jemhorn Funster

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    When I had my Gaslow fitted I bought an adapter hose that you can use to 'plug' in via the gas refill inlet. I always have a large camping gaz and could use that as a temp if I run out. Not so good though in cold weather.
     
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  4. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    That's interesting stuff David, so you leave the heating on overnight to keep Lola warm! She with the big fur coat. I must admit that once or twice I have accidentally on purpose forgotten to turn the hot water off when we go to bed as it gives the heating a head start first thing while I get up, make tea, catch up on FUN and Jen stays in bed until the temperature rises a bit, mind you she would stay in bed anyway!

    Our 11kg gaslow bottle lasted about two weeks after filling in France and running out in Spain, for a long time in was burning very smelly as it usually does just before the auto changeover kicks in but this time the smell was for about half the bottle, I think it was Texaco gas. When I opened the locker to turn the second bottle on there was a smell of gas and I found the requlator on he first bottle was not tight enough, so that all sorted, tried to fill with gas in Spain at Repsol garage and didn't have the connector, now filled up in Portugal and back on bottle number 1 and no smells.

    Conclusion, check your gas regulator is tight now and again and Texaco gas burns smelly.

    Martin
     
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  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi David

    Getting technical now, does your Hymer have the Alde heat exchanger, I find this very good for getting the heating system up to temperature while driving (and for free).

    Martin
     
  6. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I have absolutely no idea :)

    But do agree it sounds good and would be nice to have, but no idea where to look even

    We do have a switch up in the front end which I presume to be engine related, that has a heat type symbol on and think it runs an additional heater but only when the engine is running (I think)

    Something else to resolve at Chester (y)
     
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  7. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    We don't have Alde heating system, but we do run the Webasto up about 30 from stopping point and the place is cosy and at no cost to the batteries.
     
  8. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    If its like ours on the Mercedes 616 chassis, then it is fitted with a hot-water auxiliary heater. It's a diesel powered Eberspacher water heater which is mounted just behind the nearside headlight, and is designed to pre-heat the engine coolant water, for use in sub-zero conditions. It is controlled from the cab heater controls and is marked with a heater icon (series of waves).
     
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  9. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    that is a perfect description of the switch (y) but it doesn't operate (switch does not light up) until the ignition is turned on or the engine running already, not really sure how it would work? (nothing new there though:LOL:)
     
  10. canopus

    canopus Funster Life Member

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    David if you turn your ignition switch to on (don't start the engine) press the right hand symbol (waves) and then look/listen whilst stood at the front of the van adjacent to your nearside headlight. Better still lift the bonnet and look in towards the rear of the nearside headlight. Your Eberspacher, if fitted should be located down behind the light somewhere. Its purpose is to preheat the engine block to aid starting and prolong engine life especially on freezing mornings.

    Another function of the same switch is the rest function (at 12 o clock) on the switch. When you've been driving all day and its cold, pressing the rest switch (no ignition required) will blow residual engine heat into the cab for 5 minutes. You can repeat this until the engine goes cold or until such time as your Alde heating has warmed up.
     
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  11. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    That must be what @ianthebuilder has on his van at the front.
     
  12. MichaelT

    MichaelT Funster

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    Great thread, we are still waiting deliver of our MH and was thinking about refillable but was not sure I would justify the cost as in the caravan a small cylinder would last a whole season if not more as we were mostly on EHU. We have 2 Calor light weight cylinders that I will change to the larger ones once we used them all up an monitor useage to see if refillable is a viable proposition once we see how many sites we use off grid.
     
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  13. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    The thing I worry about when considering an Autosleeper is that the gas cylinder would not last very long out in the sticks as it is not a big capacity and would need constant filling and there is not any space or storage to stick a standby cylinder . It all depends on the heater consumption, the fridge not being great in Winter. The tank is 25 litres . On my Chausson I have a 9kg and a 11kg bottles and they do not last very long at all that is a total of 20 kg or 40 litres so how long would the under body tank last ot does it need another in piggyback?
     
  14. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I remember now, we have had this conversation and even a look under your van, you have the same engine pre-heat system as we had on a Merc car, you have a little exhaust coming down just about where Canopus describes, on the car it came on automatically at 5 degrees to help warm up the engine faster, the switch on the car was to turn it off.

    We will have to hunt the heat exchanger at Chester.

    Martin
     
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  15. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I would reckon based on my own real life use this last 10 days you need not worry, we don't do cold heating set to 22C in day and 16C overnight, plus cooking every other day on average, only used around half of your capacity and the outside temp has been single figures all the time
     
  16. GWAYGWAY

    GWAYGWAY Funster

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    I went to the NEC show and parked up for two nights out, leaving the heating on as it was -2 overnight and wifey went back whilst I carried on looking, went from there to Telford and spent overnight there on the road outside Travelworld, and it was cold again, left the heating on all the time as the cold draughts were overtaking the heaters capacity. Got home and checked the gas cylinders, I was running only on the big 11KG gasit, the little one was spare. However the big one was full leaving and empty when we got home.
    Sooo! it was a total of 9 kgs of gas or 18 litres used in two days of being cold.
    I spent yesterday today going around and sealing every possible air leak in the cab and making sure the cold could not come in or rather the heat out. I put foam into the box sections sealed the manky joints at body to cab, sealed the floor along the cab to body floor as there were cable coming through there and they were not trapped as the air could get there as well. I cannot find anywhere else that the draughts could come in but I bet they will somewhere, only yhe gas vent are free now. I would like to get some smoke bombs and let them off inside the body with the vent fan on blow in to see where it goes and find any places I have missed, I have a curtain across the cab and everytime a car drove passsed it blow in a bit so the slipstream of a passing car was enough to show a leak somewhere is huge.That is not counting the very large opening around the oven and the vent going in the back end over the kitchen. Has anybody knowledge of smoke bombs that produce enough smoke and yet not destroy the interior, to check it out, it seems the most plausible way of doing it. I know Chausson are French summer vans but this was ridiculous consumption, the fridge was going but that does not take a lot of gas in winter.
     
  17. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Just reading this again as I am now in deeeeep trouble for not refilling gas in Portugal as we don't have the Spanish fill adapter and the one service station we tried didn't have one either, we were on a Camperstop in Portugal for 10 night some down to freezing and we used one 11kg gaslow in 10 days, so now got to see how long he next one lasts, hope the weather picks up.

    Martin
     
  18. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    I think some people must be overheating their vans like they do their homes ( most homes I go into are far too hot). I have used 11 litres of gas tops, in 4 weeks in Northern Spain and Portugal running about 50% with no EHU. Also used the gas extensively for cooking and running the fridge and heating the water for a shower in the morning. So my 11 KG gas-it with a 6KG lightweight calor backup has been more than adequate. I keep all my euro convertors (3) in the gas locker and they only leave it to be plugged on, so they are always in there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
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