Gas Bottles

Submitted: Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 07:35
ThreadID: 30228 Views:3850 Replies:13 FollowUps:18
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Hello

I've read previous posts regarding gas bottles in the vehicle and some sound like horror stories. Are they really that dangerous to transport?

I now find myself with a dilemma. I know it is best to store bottles on roof racks or even better, in the trailer, but I don't need to fit roof racks for the purpose of extra storage (only two travelling) so I wonder what precautionary measures I can take to avoid a disaster.

Surely brand new bottles ie recent build etc should be OK if looked after and checked every time they are loaded into the vehicle.

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Reply By: res.q.guy - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 07:57

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 07:57
Hi Damiem
When I take my 4kg bottle in the 4x4, I check the valve is not leaking , with soapy water,then place it inside a plastic bucket with clip on lid. Then nothing else in the back of the 4x4 can shift arround and hit the valve.
Regards
Neil
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Follow Up By: Damien - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 08:16

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 08:16
Thanks Neil

I like the bucket idea. Have you ever come across a leaking valve?
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Follow Up By: res.q.guy - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 08:49

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 08:49
Hi Damien
Non of my bottles have had leaks, but I have had 2 mates bottles with leaks.
One was on a new bottle and there was a very small leak from the valve thread. only detected when the whole bottle was submurged in water. The other leak was from the actual valve not seeling properly, probably o rings inside the valve.
Regards
Neil
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Follow Up By: Eddy - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:06

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:06
Hi Damien.

I don't know if it is safe or legal to carry a gas bottle inside a vehicle,
however I have seen the results of doing so after a roll over.
If you must do it I would strongly recommend a cargo barrier for the safety of both yourself & passengers.

Regards
Eddy
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Reply By: ev700 - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:34

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:34
Damien

I would ensure adequate flow through ventilation when moving. Make certain by having a window slightly open.

You would either have to remove the bottle when parked (eg highly desirable O'nite) or leave a couple of windows down a bit.

Petrol is worse, I believe and too many drivers take the risk of carrying (say) mower fuel without full ventilation. People also store flammables in closed spaces eg home garage without proper ventilation. Risky.

I think if you're travelling with gas or petrol you just have to make provision for external storage (eg roof rack).

EV700

AnswerID: 151716

Reply By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:45

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:45
A lot of people with station wagons and gas conversions travel all the time with very large LPG cylinders inside the vehicle.

I just ensure mine are located where the valves won't be broken off them if they're hit by another object.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 151719

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:25

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:25
But lpg tanks have a blow off valve that vents to outside the vehicle, your bbq bottle doesn't.

Leroy
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Reply By: bombsquad - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:55

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 09:55
you can buy a gas detector from whitworths and the like that are usually put in the bilges of boats. I had one in my ski boat and it works very well. the sensor has quite a long lead and a loud buzzer. If I was going to carry a bottle in my wagon, I would consider fitting one in the area/box/bucket that the gas bottle was in. The one I had could be set off with a cigarette lighter a foot away almost instantly.

Cheers Andrew
AnswerID: 151724

Follow Up By: Damien - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:40

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:40
Thanks Andrew

Just phoned Whitworths and they have 12v systems for $399. I also contacted BBQ'S Galore and they sell gas bottle fuses for $39. The unit sits over the regulator and switches the unit off if a gas leak is detected.

I wonder if anyone else has used this system and if it would suffice?
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Follow Up By: Rengat - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:40

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:40
surely a plumber or a fridge mechanic would be able to finalise this discussion.

when visiting plumbing stores I always see vehicle gas cabinets for sale for tradies to store their gas bottles.

these cabinets are vented to the outside of the vehicle.

the assumption would be that if a tradie is required by law to carry their gas bottles in a vented cabinet (utes excluded) the same would apply to campers, trckers and holiday makers.

cheers,

Ren
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 13:38

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 13:38
Pretty sure it is legal to carry small gas bottles unventilated. Everyone is born with the best gas detector there is. The slightest leak and you will smell it - gas leaks also attrack flys which is another giveaway. Australian standard are (for buildings at least) that a certain amount of litres (water capacity) can be stored inside without special venting or any thing - And it is alot more than you would think
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Reply By: Notso - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:45

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:45
I have heard from an experienced Caravan User and Tafe Trainer on the subject that there are something like 4 different grades of Gas Tanks. Two of the are "approved" for outdoor use and use on Caravans.

Apparently the grades are from 1 to 4 but I am not sure whether it is grade 1 and 2 that are Ok or grades 3 and 4. Must check up with him before I pick up the new van.
AnswerID: 151730

Reply By: slow mower - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:07

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:07
Hi Damien. Some very sound advice has been offered, however no one has mentioned the result of a gas cylinder explosion. (AND THEY DON'T REQUIRE A SOURCE OF IGNITION EITHER !!) It's known as a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion). I have seen the result of such incidents and believe me the resulting explosiOn from a 9KG gas cylinder would totally destroy a vehicle and occupants. A week or so back in Adelaide, a gas cylinder, attached to a relatively new caravan exploded. Result - a heap of matchwood. Have a read of the following if in doubt:

BLEVE
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

BLEVE, pronounced blevy, is an acronym for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion. This is a type of explosion that can occur when a vessel containing a pressurized liquid is ruptured. Such explosions can be extremely hazardous. When the liquid is water, the explosion is usually called a steam explosion.

A BLEVE can occur in a vessel that stores a substance that is usually a gas at atmospheric pressure but is a liquid when pressurized (for example, liquefied petroleum gas). The substance will be stored partly in liquid form, with a gaseous vapour above the liquid filling the remainder of the container.

If the vessel is ruptured - for example, due to corrosion, or failure under pressure - the vapour portion may rapidly leak, dropping the pressure inside the container and releasing a wave of overpressure from the point of rupture. This sudden drop in pressure inside the container causes violent boiling of the liquid, which rapidly liberates large amounts of vapour in the process. The pressure of this vapour can be extremely high, causing a second, much more significant wave of overpressure (i.e., an explosion) which may completely destroy the storage vessel and project it as shrapnel over the surrounding area.

A BLEVE does not require a flammable substance to occur, and therefore is not usually considered a type of chemical explosion. However, if the substance involved is flammable, it is likely that the resulting cloud of the substance will ignite after the BLEVE proper has occurred, forming a fireball and possibly a fuel-air explosion. BLEVEs can also be caused by an external fire nearby the storage vessel causing heating of the contents and pressure build-up.

Significant industrial BLEVEs include the accidents at Feyzin in France in 1966, Texas City, Texas in 1978, and San Juan Ixhuatepec in Mexico in 1984
AnswerID: 151736

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:39

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 11:39
So to be _really_ safe we should locate gas cylinders about 100m away from camp and run a long hose back?

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Damien - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:06

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:06
Far out, that's some serious stuff. If it's going to happen (BLEVE) it doesn’t matter where you keep your gas bottles. Personally I think there is more chance of being bitten on the a*se by a bull shark at Lightning Ridge !
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Follow Up By: slow mower - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 16:12

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 16:12
CHOICES - DECISIONS - CHOICES - DECISIONS...........I can never really make up my mind just what the difference is. But then, THAT'S LIFE.....ain't it !!! Personally, I think that LPG bottles are a great idea and IF correctly maintained and handled, should be safe to use and have around - BUT probably NOT inside a motor vehicle. like I said previously, it comes down to CHOICES - DECISIONS ETC that we have to make every day. pheeeew hope that wasn't to philosophical #$%*#@
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 18:49

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 18:49
Mike. 100m would be about right... LPG expands by nearly 300 times(according to the guy's doing our workplace dangerous goods handling top-up training) when vented to the atmosphere... So 1L of compressed LPG potentially equals a fireball of nearly 300L in volume.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 18:55

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 18:55
Slow Mover, I've seen several of the BLEVE video's... Very nasty situation that...
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:00

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:00
. . . so everyone driving an LPG vehicle has a death wish ?
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:07

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:07
Ha! I'm just an old risk taker Blue! Don't know how I've made it through all these years? Dangerous battery chargers. Dangerous LPG inside the vehicle Dangerous petrol inside the vehicle (hmmm... even I'm not keen on that one :) Dangerously going to remote places by myself, My 4kg LPG bottle is dangerously 6 months over date. Sometimes I exceed the speed limit. On rare occasions I’ve used a chainsaw without eye protection (not clever) and I never bother with ear muffs. Hell, we even used to drive from Spain to the UK with the kids asleep lying flat out in the back of the car without seatbelts – they survived. And there are a few other dangerous things I’ve done that I’m not going to mention here :)

Life is full of risks – in fact risk is one of the things which makes life interesting and a challenge – otherwise we’d all be accountants, wouldn’t we? :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:47

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:47
Forty years ago we ALL drove around without wearing Seatbelts ! . . . . and the worry is that we felt totally safe doing it !

Mike
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:59

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:59
Mike DiD

It's just a risk - which needs to be factored in to how one lives one's life, who ever said we could be safe all our lives or live forever? That is a silly recent concept which came out of Political Correctness and is on the way to turning us into a flock of sheep.

I forgot: I've also ridden a motorcycle (thousands of miles) without wearing a crash helmet - and that is _fun_ :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 20:13

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 20:13
In my youth I went solo SCUBA diving without a Flotation device and without any sort backup air supply.

Recently I've gone solo bushwalking (after a heart attack)

I won't recommend it to my son . . . but if he takes no risks in life, I'll consider I've failed as a father.

Mike
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 20:17

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 20:17
>I won't recommend it to my son . . . but if he takes no
>risks in life, I'll consider I've failed as a father.

Likewise Mike - likewise :)

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Skid - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:17

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:17
I believe that a 2kg bottle is the max legal size that can be carried inside a vehicle
AnswerID: 151756

Reply By: Moose - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 14:21

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 14:21
G'day Damien
What's ideal and what one has to do are often two very different things. If you take the precautions mentioned (check for leaks regularly and make sure the unit can't be damaged i.e. securely held in place) you should be OK. I too carry ours in a sealed bucket. Whilst it can't be entirely ruled out the chances of any mishaps, if you're sensible, are in reality quite remote.
AnswerID: 151795

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:06

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:06
Very contraversal subject, and I am sure the ideal and safest way to carry gas bottles would be outside the vehicle, but with a lot of people like myself it is not very practical.Ihave carried two 4.5kg. bottles inside the vehicle for years including trips to Cape York,Gurig, Gove,Walcott Inlet etc.etc. but the bottles are totally secure and are checked with soapy water after every fill.An interesting point is that hundreds of the older Britz type hired campers had gas bottles fitted inside for years and must have been legal then although they now seem to be all vented to outside of the vehicle.If like myself you carry them inside do so with great care and regular checks with soapy water.Isuppose life is an ongoing risk and we should all just try and live it the best we can.
Cheers and safe travel.
AnswerID: 151841

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:37

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 17:37
I'm a gas fitter and when I worked for a large company we had to carry gas cylinders in a sealed cabinet, vented to outside the vehicle for OHS. Admittedly it was acetylene and not LPG. I believe Telstra trucks have to have a vented box for their LPG.
Having said that I often carry my Oxy and Acetylene in the back of my Patrol because I sure as hell can't fit a sealed box in there. When camping my gas bottles are always kept on the roof rack. I had a valve leak once when in the back of a ute and when i got to camp all I had left was a frozen block of LPG that vaguely resembled a 3kg cylinder. It was scary to think I had lost 3 kg of gas and wasn't aware of it until I stopped to pick up fire wood.
AnswerID: 151851

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:18

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 19:18
One thing that no one has mention as yet. The valve might be good and tight, but what happens when the gas bottle is left in the vehicle on a very hot day. We all know that the inside temperature is a lot higher than out side.

When the bottle reaches a certain temp it will vent. Gas is then pumped into the vehicle. Gas is heaver than air and will sit on the floor of the vehicle.

This has always been my concern with carrying gas bottles in the vehicle.

Wayne
AnswerID: 151885

Reply By: HJ60-2H - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 21:01

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 21:01
If you do carry the LPG inside then at least make sure the bottle is held upright and the valve is protected against anythng hitting it.. It reduces the escaping gas effect by about 800 times if something does go wrong with the valve.
AnswerID: 151907

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 01:06

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 01:06
Hi Damien,

On a couple of occasions I've seen small gas bottles being carried in a bracket from the spare wheel mount on the back of 4WD's. Similar arrangement to hi-lift jack holders etc. Not sure what type of 4WD you have but this could be an option for you. I googled for a commercially made bracket as I've described bt can't find one so perhaps the ones I saw were DIY or custom made jobs. A good metal fabricator could probably knock one up for you fairly inexpensively. If you must carry the bottle in your vehicle, check out the Safe-T-Alert 12V gas detectors here

Also, bare in mind that you dn't need a faulty valve etc to experience a gas bottle leak. On our last trip we were annoyed by a nasty odour on the air from time to time. It was about 24 hours before we realised that one of our gas bottles was leaking. The valve had simply shaken loose as we travelled on a not too bad dirt road. Luckily for us, the bottle is carried in an external bracket on our camper trailer so the gas simply dispersed in the air but it shows how easily a leak can occur.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 151995

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