Auto gas for Caravan LPG use

Submitted: Friday, May 30, 2003 at 17:09
ThreadID: 5191 Views:11097 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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I am sick of paying through the nose for LPG (about $25 for 9kg bottle), when Auto gas is so cheap.
Recently I heard from someone who lives in their Motor Home full time, that they use Auto gas exclusively for cooking and refrigerator operation.
He had an adapter that made it possible to fill the 9kg LPG bottle from the Auto gas car supply.

Has anyone had experience with this & is it successful? How is the bottle filled from the car gas tank?
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Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 17:14

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 17:14
A friend of mine had a filling point added to his Hilux so that he can fill the large gas bottles for the house gas. All he does is put the bottle in the storage box he has mounted on the back tray, connects the hose to the bottle, and then fills it up via the proper LPG filling point. The service stations are none the wiser. I am not sure where he got it done though.Just Do It!

AnswerID: 21472

Reply By: Dave - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 17:52

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 17:52
Autogas is not really suitable.
Autogas has two gases mixed together and they separate after standing for a while, like in a barbeque gas bottle. This causes inaccurate mixing and flow through the burners and can be quite hard to light and in an enclosed space (like in a caravan ) puts out dangerous fumes.

It's not worth it.

Cheers.
AnswerID: 21475

Follow Up By: Member - Wherethehellawi - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 18:12

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 18:12
I have heard (dont how reliable or should I say accurate) that its very dangerous to use Auto gas as a substitute for LPG.
Cant remember the reason given at the time but i did get the info from two different sources.

Take care!!!!Richard
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Follow Up By: howesy - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 19:18

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 19:18
Most people are on the right track. Auto gas is a mixture of butane and propane. the byproduct of burning this gas is carbon dioxide. For this reason LPG for bottle use (household) is pure propane as this burns practically clean. If you were to use the mixture indoors for a prolonged period it would give you a high carbon dioxide atmosphere causing you to go to sleep and possibly suffocate due to lack of oxygen. In country areas it is some times impractical to send two vehicles to fill service stations so it is not uncommon for country stations to be filled with pure propane both for bottle and auto use. By the way the performance is different between the mix and the pure, you will often hear of stories about some fills giving better performance than others and this relates to the mix percentage.
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Follow Up By: howesy - Friday, May 30, 2003 at 19:21

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 19:21
By the way made a connection to fill my 9kg from the big muthas I have at the house. domestic fills on these bottles are cheaper than servo fills.
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Reply By: Member - Tony- Friday, May 30, 2003 at 18:35

Friday, May 30, 2003 at 18:35
Dave
Years ago that was a viable option but no longer. Your LPG stove etc. runs on propane which cars did years back, but now autogas is a mixture of propane and butane which burns ok under pressure but will clog the jets in your stove and has much less heat. also your bottle should only be filled to 80% and this is regulated thru the adr valve in your auto tank, and by the gas blow of on the bottle. At the volume pumping from the bowser it is guess work in the 9kg and having a full bottle on the draw bar of the caravan is asking for trouble. I used to do this myself years ago when LPG was pure propane and 4 cents/litre (1975) but would not touch it with a barge pole now. In answer to the second part it is not filled thru car tank but via a pump to bottle adaptor which could be made with plumbing fittings
CheersThe Ghost
AnswerID: 21479

Reply By: Janset - Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 17:44

Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 17:44
Hi Dave.

I wont discuss the composition issue of auto gas in domestic use but I will tell you what I found out when I entertained this idea some 12 years ago on my then LPG Troopie.

In the domestic gas bottles used for cooking and heating, the gas is drawn from the bottom of the bottle via a long pipe and is still in a liquid form that is later converted to gas for burning.

In the Auto gas cylinder on your vehicle the gas take off is at the top of your tank and it leaves the cylinder already/mostly as a gas. It then goes through the heat exchanger (I think that is what it is called) where it is further heated by the hot water of the engine to ensure that it is a gas to the engine.

So to be able to bleed the gas from your auto gas cylinder to the cooking gas bottle you would have to either have an outlet tap on the bottom of your cylinder, (mine didn't) or modify your outlet at the top of your cylinder to reach the bottom with a metal tube or all you will get is a bit of useless gas that would empty from you cylinder in minutes.

Regards
AnswerID: 21510

Follow Up By: Dave - Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 19:21

Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 19:21
I wonder if the bottle was filled upside down if this would be the answer.
The person I spoke to who had used Auto gas in his motor home for years, mentioned something about using or filling the bottle upside down.
Dave
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FollowupID: 14036

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 19:46

Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 19:46
Janset,

The only domestic gas cylinders that have a tube right to bottom, are the "black top" ones, used to refill smaller camping type cylinders. Usual domestic cylinders take the brew straight out of the top.

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Reply By: Johnad - Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 18:40

Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 18:40
Try Bunnings, they only charge $17 to refill a 9kg bottle. Still alot, but cheaper than $25.

Regards

John
AnswerID: 21514

Follow Up By: Dave - Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 19:23

Saturday, May 31, 2003 at 19:23
That would be fine if Bunnings existed in outback places.
Dave
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Reply By: rodeoowner - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:28

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 11:28
Hi guys. I am a gas service technician and have worked for various LPG retailers. One thing that is apparent from some of the above posts is that there are a few people out there with incorrect info, which only strengthens my point, which is to leave it alone!

LPG is dangerous! It can burn, explose, and create fire. I have seen one employee with severe scars over his arms from freeze burns. I have seen first hand another former work colleague get burnt from freeze burns, I had to drive him to the hospital. Not pretty.

I have never seen an LPG cylinder explode in person, only in videos which is enough for me. I have seen the relief valve vent and seen how much gas comes out.

LPG is actually the name given to a group of gases. Two of which are butane and propane. As someone has already mentioned, household LPG is mainly propane (fom memory I think it is 96%, but don't quote me), so it is sometimes referrred to as just propane. It also has a small amount of butane in it. Autogas is similar, but there is more butane in it..

In short, you cannot use swap the gases for alternative uses. There is a reason that gas companies issue brochures and warning about this. It is not safe!

Be smart and pay your $25! It's not so expensive that you could consider doing something that could cause yourself (severe) injury.

My 2 cents!
AnswerID: 21550

Follow Up By: michael - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 13:34

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 13:34
rodeoowner, I think you are absolutely right ! As a full time firefighter in WA, I unfortunately get to experience the results of fellow humans' stuffups up close and personal. As a result of a quarter century doing this job I have become' Mr Safety' in my family and they, like most other 'normal' people who have not been confronted unavoidably with trauma and tradgedy, I suppose, think bad things only happen to OTHER people. I don't like paying thru the nose either (read diesel prices) but when you witness pain and suffering through someone's stupidity or clever richard penny pinching then you realise why there are regulations re gas cyl. filling etc. She'll be right, you here many say about dodgy situations and most times nothing happens; then one day-------- good luck, DRC.
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FollowupID: 14056

Reply By: bluehealer - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 17:20

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 17:20
regarding auto gas ,a few years ago saw one off the balloon operators in the yarra valley filling up the gas bottles in his balloon basket with gas at the local servo must have thought it ok ,but he has had 2 accidents , balloons destroyed by fire 1 landcriuser and 2 trailers and equipment.was awitness to 1 accident quite a spectical ,owneroperator was burnt was flown out by helicopter ,ignorant prick helped him as much as i could ,as i was second on the scene ,he new me but not a word of thanks ,the first guy there got a medal hooray, note he is using different gas now ,so the message is check the balloon operators in the yarra valley before you fly ,the third accident could be the final one ,his brother was killed at alice springs with a lot of tourists ,believe it was not his fault that the balloon came down good luck
AnswerID: 21563

Reply By: Michael - Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 17:52

Sunday, Jun 01, 2003 at 17:52
Hi all, there are plenty of servos in Sydney that sell 9kg LPG for $15 to $15.50, most cheapies have a sign and the sale price, the $25 dollar guys dont have the price displayed. I got a shock the other day when a lady walked in to a servo with a 4.5 kg bottle in the bottle exchange system and the cost was $20. Michael
AnswerID: 21567

Reply By: G.T. - Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:53

Monday, Jun 02, 2003 at 16:53
Using autogas as a subsistute for L.P.G. is ILLEGAL. Next time you pull up at your service station , have a look at the autogas pump and a sign will tell you this, together what the fines are both for individuals and corporates.
AnswerID: 21632

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