Ah, the joys of motorhoming! Seems, without knowing it, I've made a bit of a discovery when it comes to gas bottles.
What a way to start a blog, I suppose I better explain. First and foremost for the idiots, of which I am a leading member, motorhomes are powered by battery, electricity and gas. Quite simple really we have two (at least) batteries, one which powers the engine, just like a car, and a leisure battery, which powers everything else. Unless, of course, you happen to be on a campsite where you plug into the electricity source whereupon everything is electric.
The gas powers the cooker, and when needed, the fridge. It also is used to heat up the van which it does very quickly and efficiently. So when you drive around the place chances are you will be using all of these features. So far so simple.
Problem with gas is that it comes in bottles and they run out from time to time.
Now I don't know what your views on the EEC happen to be, but there is a gaping hole when it comes to compatibility with connectors for gas bottles.
My supply? Well I have always had the typical Calor type and within the van I always carry two, a big 'un and a little 'un. Running out of gas has never been a problem for me because I've always managed to do it in the UK, and so switching to a new bottle was easy. But, once on the Continent if you happen to run out of gas, you're sort of on your own. As a believer in the 'better safe than sorry concept', I decided to research just in case. The more I researched the more complicated it became to my innocent mind. I did, however, come across a product that seemed to offer a solution. It was a simple adaptor one end of which screws into your gas unit, and the other end offers connectivity to other bottles. I bought it. It cost all of £4.00 and when it arrived I discovered that I got two for the price. I put it into the van not knowing if I would ever need it. Everything became more newsworthy a few days ago when I realised that my smaller canister was about to run out. As I mentioned in a previous blog I met up with two new friends, Alan and Lynda, who drive a Rapido quite similar to mine. I went looking for Alan and he was in the throes of changing bottles as well. Our chat turned to our respective ideas. At this stage let me say Alan has forgotten more about motorhomes than I will ever know so when he showed me his set up I gulped as he was using terminology I'd never heard of. Trying my best to look like I knew what I was talking about I ventured to suggest, "do you not have an adaptor?" He didn't exactly call me an idiot but his response was, shall we say, kindly. The gist was that there was no such thing! I nipped back to my van and rummaged in the "where to leave gas adaptors" department and produced my little gem. Back to Alan with an air of triumph and produced the brass fitting. Silence, followed by a head scratch then a protestation that he didn't feel it would help. Strolling close by at the time was Bob, the site owner, and we sought his advice. "Where did you get that?" he asked, and so I came to learn that neither of these two knowledgable gents had ever heard of my toy! In the picture I am pointing at the brass adaptor and the cylinder on the right is the French bottle.
So all this is academic because the question is does it work? The answer is a resounding "Yes" and I am now writing this to you being heated by my french gas courtesy of the adaptor.
For those who might just be interested in the adaptor I bought mine from Bullfinch who you will find at http://bullfinch-gas.co.uk The part number is 1301 and now costs £4:18. In France you will find a compatible gas bottle in most supermarkets, garages and anywhere else that sells gas. Bring the device with you and make sure it fits before you buy.
As an epilogue to this I should say that I will blog about anything. You know that by now. It was Alan who said to me that I should write about this as that would be really useful to so many motor-homers. Only to happy to help.