How Long Does The Gas Bottle In A Campervan Last

Using a gas bottle

How long does the gas bottle in a campervan last

From heating your water to cooking your meals, gas is a must-have motorhome accessory for campervan travellers. In this blog, we look at some of the basics of using gas in your motorhome, how long it should last, and tips on campervan gas bottle storage safety.

The benefits of using a gas bottle for your campervan 


These days, campervans may use a variety of different sources for heating and power. One of the most popular methods is gas, or LPG (liquified petroleum gas).

There are many reasons for the popularity of gas in motorhomes. It’s ideal for cooking, both on a stovetop and barbecue, and is also used for RV gas hot water heaters. Many RV fridges also use LPG. Most campervans and motorhomes are set up for gas, so all you need is a full bottle and you’re good to go.


great ocean road


Gas bottle safety in a campervan 


LPG is highly flammable and therefore can be quite dangerous if not handled with care. It’s worth spending some time getting to know how to use LPG in your motorhome. Here are a few safety tips to be aware of:

  • Your LPG bottle must be stored in an external locker – not inside your motorhome.
  • Never use LPG indoors or in a confined space.
  • Turn off the gas while you’re driving.
  • Ensure your campervan is kitted out with fire and gas detectors. A gas detector will alert you in the event of a gas leak.
  • Have a fire extinguisher on board (and ensure you know how to use it).
  • Know how to quickly turn off the shut-off valves on your gas bottles in an emergency.
  • A Gas Safety Certificate is required for all RVs that have gas installed. Installing gas is not something you can do yourself – it must be done by a certified gas fitter.
  • Never use a damaged or rusty LPG bottle as it may leak, causing a fire or even an explosion.
  • Read more LPG safety tips from Fire + Rescue


The best types of gas bottles for a campervan 


There are two main sizes (or weights) of gas bottles for use in a campervan or motorhome. These are 2.5 kg and 9 kg. The most common of these two options is the 9 kg bottle.

Because it’s nice and big, a 9 kg bottle is best for general and long-term use. The much smaller 2.5 kg bottle is lighter and easy to carry which makes it ideally suited for short-term use and camping. For example, it’s great for a small camping cooker.


How long a gas bottle should last in your campervan 


How long your gas bottle will last will depend on how often you use your gas, your campervan set up, and even how many people will be travelling in the campervan.

If you’re using gas for general cooking, heating water, and your refrigerator, you would expect a 9 kg gas bottle to last at least a couple of weeks. In saying that, if you also use your 9 kg gas bottle for regular general heating, it might not last as long.

As a general rule, a campervan consumes 650 grams of gas per hour of use.


How to tell when your gas bottle is near empty 

Most of us are very familiar with the trusted ‘lift and shake’ method of determining how much gas is left in the bottle. And while this can give you a rough idea, there is a more accurate technique:


Step 1: Remove your gas bottle 

  • Turn off your gas at the bottle.
  • Detach and remove your LPG bottle from your RV gas bottle storage locker.


Step 2: Pour lukewarm water 

  • Fill up a bowl or bottle with warm water.
  • Pour it down the side of the gas bottle.


Step 3: Feel the side of the gas bottle 

  • After waiting for a couple of minutes, touch the side of the gas bottle.
  • You’ll notice that the bottle will feel cold below the height of the gas level.

Another great option for monitoring how much gas is left in your bottle is to use an LPG tank level sensor. These clever sensors attach to your gas bottle and connect to an app on your phone. A quick check of your phone screen will show you exactly how much gas you have left.


How to make your gas bottle last longer 


The best way to make your gas bottle last longer is not to use it as economically as possible. Here are a few handy tips to help you make the most of your gas:


  • If you’re at a caravan park, be sure to plug into the mains to power and charge your campervan to save on gas.
  • During cold weather, keep your motorhome cosy with plenty of blankets. A hot water bottle is also a great motorhome accessory to have on board! It’s also worth ensuring your campervan is well insulated so you don’t need to use your gas heater as much.
  • When cooking with gas, don’t leave the gas burning any longer or at a higher heat than necessary.


Can you refill your empty gas bottle?


Generally, in Australia, people prefer to swap empty gas bottles instead of refilling them. Swap-and-go is also great for gas bottle safety, as you know your new gas bottle would have been assessed for damage before you take it. It’s also much quicker than waiting for the bottle to be refilled!

There are still some locations where you can refill gas bottles, but this is often inconvenient compared to swapping.


Where to get a new gas bottle for your campervan


Luckily, many locations across Australia offer a gas bottle swap-and-go service. What this means is that you can take your empty bottle to a swap-and-go location, and simply swap it for a new full one!

Not sure where your nearest station is? You can find one close to you using the thl Roadtrip app – it’s available for both Apple and Android devices. This handy app has everything you’ll need to help make your campervan holiday fun and enjoyable. Not only can you find a swap-and-go station, you’ll also be able to search out campsites, petrol stations, supermarkets, laundromats, free Wi-Fi, and pretty much everything else you need while you’re travelling by campervan.



Ready to hit the road in a campervan? 


Now that you’ve got the low-down on LPG, you’ll be feeling a whole lot more confident about your next campervan adventure! And If you are looking for more information on LPG gas modifications or refurbishments, speak to one of our KEA team in the office or online today.

If you’ve been thinking that now is the right time to buy your own RV, why not check out some of our great KEA ex-rental motorhomes for sale? And if you’re looking for motorhome accessories, camping supplies, or RV supplies and parts, your local KEA dealership can help with that too.