Camping Gaz / Calor: how best to have the option

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Calamity, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Calamity

    Calamity Read Only Funster

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    Hello gas experts,

    I've recently bought a new old converted van which currently has just a two burner hob fuelled by a Camping Gaz bottle. A fridge was an optional extra when the van was new (early seventies), and there is a fridge-sized cupboard which I have got a period Electrolux to fit.

    I now have some plumbing to do, but have a couple of questions first. I see Camping Gaz is expensive, but readily available on the continent (I want to do some touring abroad next year). Calor seems to be much more readily available here in England, and cheaper. Now I am running a fridge (and a 2-way at that, so no option to not use gas when stationary), I would prefer to use Calor.

    Can I tee in a Calor regulator, so that both regulators feed both the fridge and the cooker? I'm thinking when in the UK I use the Calor normally and use the Gaz as a backup when the Calor is empty, but when in France I do vice-versa. What might happen if both are accidentally switched on at once?

    My cooker is on an articulated mount (folds away when not in use) and I need some sort of heat resistant flexible pipe for it. Where could I find such a thing? It currently has a bit of rubber hose running from the front right under the grill!

    Thanks for any advice. This is all new to me.
     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    have a chat with a friendly caravan m,home accesory shop .there are adapters to adapt to any bottle or regulater. you need to start a collection.
     
  3. pneumatician

    pneumatician Read Only Funster

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    I use LPG (Gaslow) with a back up Camping Gaz supply plumbed in. The latter is because you can obtain Gaz anywhere in Europe whereas refilling the LPG may on occasion be problematic. So far we have never run out of LPG so the back up has yet to be utilized. In our installation each cylinder has its own regulator with a changeover valve in the distribution line.

    A similar system could easily be adapted for Calor and Gaz or LPG and Calor.

    Remember Gaz doesn't work very well at low temperatures, if you get low enough not at all.

    Steve
     
  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    it is possible to not have gaslow and still fill your bottles. as for using lpg. well every gas bottle as lpg in it liquid petroleum gas .i think you mean you use propane instead of butane. . i travelled many times with a big bottle of propane and joined the bottles with fittings with high pressure hose n tipped propane into the gaz bottle worked fine. its alot of money for gas bottles gaslow. but thats another story . wait it could be coming.
     
  5. Calamity

    Calamity Read Only Funster

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    Thanks very much for the info guys.

    So, I did wonder whether there were adapters, but you're right I would end up with quite a collection of stuff. If I carry a spare Calor Gas bottle in England and a spare Gaz on the continent then that's three more deposits I would need to stump up I guess...

    Is the change over valve strictly necessary? Is it all right to just use the valves on the regulators instead?

    Didn't really appreciate that. How cold does it have to get? These bottles are inside the van. Is there a standard for Propane on the continent, equivalent to Calor red?
     
  6. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    About 5'c, below that Butane remains as a liquid.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  7. Theonlysue

    Theonlysue Funster Life Member

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    hi. I had a blue and a red in my van. Decided on 2 red as the gas burns hotter so therefore you should use less gas! Thats the theory anyhow
     
  8. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    it's not clear exactly what your current set-up is

    if you have a camping gas bottle fitted with a regulator the gas comes out at low pressure , and will just have a low pressure tube connected to it

    you could then just get a bottle of calor butane [ blue 4.5 Kg fits? ] , fit regulator to it , then swop the tube from bottle to bottle as required

    if you wanted to T them together , no problem ....if you had both bottles on at the same time , no problem either

    then if for some reason you needed propane [ red bottle ] , same principle , on bottle regulator

    butane just stay liquid below 0C , propane below 30C

    KISS
     
  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi calamity dont pay deposits go to your local recycling dump .its possible to get them free sometimes . ask all your friends, bottles are lying around every where if you ask. if going abroad a big calor/ or something and a gaz is a good start . you will pickup conections as you see them always carry a spare calor reg as you wont get one abroad. i use a calor to gaz adapter then only have to carry a gaz reg ,they are available just about every where. you will end up with a bag of bits it becomes an addliction. have fun if the worst comes get a local bottle where ever you are. cheers alan.
     
  10. davetthedon

    davetthedon Read Only Funster

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    Hi what I do is i have a 15Kg calor bottle from a gas heater, so its a bigger bottle to start with, and because we go to france quite a lot, a butagaz 15kg propane bottle (blue and silver). These are both connected simultaneously, with a standard switchover valve after the regulators. The french bottle lasts most of the year and when its run out and we go to france, we use the calor until we can refill the butagaz. This saves having to mess about with the 907's as they just don't seem man enough to serve the pressure somehow. I know theoretically the pressure should be the same whichever one you use, but cooking chips and a roast in the oven is quicker with the bigger bottles.
     
  11. Calamity

    Calamity Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all the lovely advice. Ok, here's what I'm going to do I think:

    [​IMG]

    I'll call at the local tip this week for a serviceable propane bottle and try and source a regulator and tee locally. I have some 1/4" copper pipe and the various brass fittings.

    The only bit I don't know about now is the last leg to go to the hob. It's not like the one in the picture above, but an ancient two-ring + grill with the gas inlet just behind the taps underneath. I can't use solid copper pipe as believe it or not it's on a rock-and-roll mount to save space. (I would post a photo, but I've got it all in bits at the moment.)

    It did have a bit of rubber pipe running right to the inlet, but this trailed right under the grill burner so probably was not that safe. I've been looking around for something like a braided flexible hose, but no luck so far. Not sure if it's even the right thing to get...
     
  12. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    looks good ! follows the KISS principle
    re the missing bit , what sort of connection is on the hob , is it push on or threaded or what
     
  13. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    not ideal as you wont be able to remove a bottle from the circuit. .best have two inline taps/valves ,one in each hose to the bottle then you can isolate one and open the other etc. wish i could do a pic but am virtually computer illiterate. i,m sure a smarter one than me can explain with pic. cheers alan.
     
  14. Calamity

    Calamity Read Only Funster

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    It's parallel threaded. I've got a fitting for 1/4" pipe, but not sure what to do with it. Here's a photo from underneath. (Excuse the grease - it's still awaiting a darn good clean.)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's a Radford Mk II apparently. Anyway, this fits into the top of a sort of wood and sheet alloy box which swivels and slides so that it stows vertical.
     
  15. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    You should have a turn OFF valve immediately before the cooker for emergency shut off of gas should there be a leak or so you can work on the gas on the cooker.Your planed system looks good ,you can also change your regulators for any Foreign one such as Spanish or French and use one of their bottles also, the best place to get Spanish bottles is at a RASTRO, a car boot sale to us as you won't get involved in any paperwork that way and once you have the bottles you can get exchanges at most petrol stations. French bottles [new] are easier as they don't want loads of paperwork but will be cheaper obtained at boot sales. :thumb::thumb:
     
  16. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    That's not true, Butane Blue, is more Calorific than Propane Red , that's why Butane is regulated at 28 millibars and Propane at 37 millibars, the advantage of Propane is that it will change from liquid to gas at lower temperatures than Butane, hence the belief that Propane doesn't freeze.:Eeek::Eeek:
     
  17. vindiboy

    vindiboy Funster

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    You will also need a shut off gas valve immediately before the fridge as you plan to fit it on the same line as the cooker.:thumb::thumb:
     
  18. Calamity

    Calamity Read Only Funster

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    Just got back from the local trailer shop and have another pocket full of brass pipe fittings. For the cooker, I'm going to have 1/4" copper pipe to the back of the box, a spigot and some rubber hose to give it the slack it needs to fold out, then another spigot and length of copper to get to the tee.

    Not had much joy with changeover valves or shutoff valves though. The list price for 1/4" inline taps is £20! Not that this shop kept them in stock. Is there a cheaper source for these? I might give the caravan breakers a try, but would prefer new for this I think.
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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  20. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    beat me to it ...I was going to suggest a length of copper first than a spigot

    re the stop taps to cut the gas while changing the bottle ....why ? just turn off the other bottle !

    re emergency stop tap , don't see why you need this ...you need to position the gas bottles where you can get at them ...both will have to be shut off anyway in the event of a fire , so where is the gain ?
     
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