11 days to go! Today, I want to talk about one of the biggest mistakes we made in our motorhome road trip to Europe back in April- we forgot to get new gas bottles and we didn't have our LPG gas tanks fitted. But now we do! Soooo- how DO you find LPG in Europe? And if you don't have LPG, what do you do for gas?
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What do I mean by LPG in Europe?
First, let's clear up a teeny tiny confusion. By GAS, I mean the stuff you burn for your cooker or hob (or fridge and maybe heating). I do NOT mean petrol or diesel and I'm not talking about LPG for your car/ motorhome or anything which makes the vehicle MOVE. This is not about fuel for your motorhome so you can get more mileage. This is about cooking, eating, heating. hot water- all that fun stuff which you need on a road trip… at least I do!
For those who are unaware of the chaos we caused ourselves back in April, let me show you what happens when you realise you're in Europe. With no gas. On a bank holiday weekend and all the stores are shut… It wasn't pretty (just click the link below to watch the video.)
Can I take a motorhome with LPG on the Channel Tunnel?
Yes… and no. If your motorhome has LPG fitted for use as fuel, even if it can be switched off completely, you are NOT allowed on the Eurotunnel. Ferry only, I'm afraid. If you have LPG tanks fitted for use as domestic gas, then you CAN travel on the Channel Tunnel. Expect them to stop you and check that the tanks are turned off.
How do I know if I need gas for my road trip?
When we toured Italy for two weeks last August, we didn't need to change our gas bottle at all. In fact, I don't think we used a full 6kg bottle. We cooked with it every night, used lots of hot water for showers and washing up, ran our fridge with it and it lasted forever. The thing which REALLY cripples our gas consumption is when we have the heating on. In winter, we get through a 6kg bottle every 4/5 days- big difference!
So, think about the length of your trip and the weather (ie- will you need heating and does your heating run on gas?) If in doubt, I would always recommend changing the bottle for a full one- it's so much easier to do it in the UK than it is abroad.
How to Find Gas Bottles in Europe
As you saw in the video, we found a solution to getting gas bottles in France, which works in the exact same way as the UK- you return one and swap for another one. But to do this you need to sign a contract a pay for a new bottle from an outlet and this is a very expensive way to get gas unless you are in that country for a long time. (TOP TIP- some places will ask for a French address- use a local campsite)
Just remember to get the connectors so you can switch between French, German and all other gas bottles- because they do NOT all have the same connectors. Shocking, I know. Connectors can be found at camping or motorhome stores. Gas bottles are commonly sold in garages, especially big supermarkets. You will rarely find them at service stations on motorways- you're much more likely to find them in towns. Remember that Europe observes Sunday trading laws so plan your shopping and gas buying in advance! If you can, run two bottles. We don't advocate using the auto switch over- yes, it's less annoying at 3am when the heating dies and you think you're going to freeze in your bed… but at least you KNOW one bottle is now empty. We've heard so many stories of people who didn't realise the bottles had switched over and found themselves in the middle of nowhere with no gas!!
How to find LPG in Europe
We have now fitted the Gaslow LPG refill system, but we haven't been to Europe with it yet. We've been told some countries are great (like the Netherlands) and others are more difficult- like Norway….! Finland doesn't have LPG at ALL (neither does Morocco) so we need to make sure we fill up before we head that way.. if we head that way!
These are the sites we have been recommended to use. I'll update this after our trip so you know how effective they are.
- Specifically for Norway: http://www.lpgnorge.no/stasjonsoversikt/english/
Apparently the mylpg site has many sites which are out of date, so use with caution. If you find a better site, please let me know and I'll add it here. We plan to mark on our map where LPG stations are, so hopefully that will help.
- Figure out if you need to get gas for your motorhome
- If you are away longer than a few days, replace or refill any bottle which is less than half full (this can sometimes be hard to judge!)
- If using LPG, have a look for stops near your destination
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