Gaslow filler

So, I got my Gaslow system about 7 years ago, and only got round now to fitting the filler kit!
The filler kit is the bit that allows you to fill the tanks using a service station hose. The filling point has always been jammed in the bottle cupboard attached to a metal bracket to make it easier to fill. However when you buy a Gaslow system they do come with a proper kit so you can fit the filler to the body, making it much easier to fill.
This will be easier too I am a little tired of messing around as I’ve always had to do, it’ll be much more fun now that it’s fitted properly.
One thing that surprised me is that when I drilled the hole out of the skirt to take the filler, I found the skirt to be made of 1 millimetre thick aluminium, 5 milli plywood and a core of polystyrene!
A slice of my camper wallThe entire van is made of this, although there are solid struts here and there for strength and shape, this is essentially what the box I live in is made of.
I guess they do it for lightness, and insulation although I’m not convinced polystyrene is the best insulator going. It’s slightly worrying when you think that it would be relatively easy to break into most campers and caravans simply by using a hooked Stanley knife and cutting a hole in the wall.
Anyway I got the filler point fitted neatly and this is what it looks like in place. Sorry for the state of the van it hasn’t been washed in 2 weeks. Gaslow filler point

I could have chosen white which would have matched nicely, but there’s a lot of black trim and the water filler port is black so although white might have matched better, it would have looked odd with the other things being black. And yes, it’s about time I washed the van!

So, why Gaslow? Well when I got the van I had 2x 6 kg propane bottles in it and when each is empty you take them to a Calor stockist and swap them for full ones. Currently I think a full 6 kg bottle is about £21 from Calor. However it’s difficult to judge when the bottle is empty, also they may be almost empty just as you’re going off on a trip, so you find you very often swap them out when they still have gas in so £21 for a fill, but you’re filling more frequently than necessary.
Now 6 kg is about 14 litres of gas but the Gaslow bottles only take about 12 litres. It’s a safety thing. Currently LPG or autogas can be had for about 49p a litre of you shop around, 70p a litre on motorways. Even if you pay 70p a litre and fill them up, that’s 2x 12 litres at 70p which is £16.80. So I save more than half the cost of swapping 2 Calor bottles. Not only that but you can fill the Gaslow bottles at any time, even if they’re not empty you can top them up, so no wasted gas as there is with Calor.

Unsurprisingly Calor won’t let you fill at their stations, because they don’t want their profiteering to be hurt so they claim Gaslow bottles are unsafe. They’re not of course, they fit every standard going but the truth is Calor want to take your eyes out because they are making so much money out of bottled gas and they hate the fact they’re losing out to the likes of Gaslow and the other companies who supply these bottles.
LPG is all over Europe too and I’ve used it successfully in Italy, France, Germany and Belgium although you need adapters for the taps over there. Now I am going to celebrate my handiwork with a chicken casserole that’s been bubbling for hours, a JD to wash it down with and a movie. Life’s good.

Calor protects it’s profits.

I ran out of gas today and went to fill my 2 Gaslow refillable tanks at a local Calor centre in Ayr. I’ve filled there before, but this time he must have seen me pull in as he came out to the van to ask what I wanted. When I said to fill my tanks, he said no, unless you have a proper, fitted, permanent gas tank. I haven’t, so was refused gas and had to drive around for another hour trying to find some. (Which I did eventually)

The reason he turned me away? Money.

Gaslow is a company that manufactures gas bottles which can be refilled at standard gas refilling stations. They have a cutout safety valve which prevents them being filled beyond 80%, and a safety release valve which conforms to the same standard as do the permanent tanks fitted to cars and other vehicles. So these aren’t really bottles, they are refillable tanks in the shape of bottles.  The beauty is you don’t have to continually swap bottles as you do with Calor’s fixed system, or swap bottles with some gas left in them, you simply refill. I’m certain Calor have scored many, many litres of gas off me when I’ve swapped bottles out knowing they were nearly empty, but of course when you rely on gas for heating and cooking you can’t wait until they ‘are’ empty.
The cost of swapping a 6kg Calor bottle is now £19.99, but the cost of filling one with autogas is only about £9. So of course Calor are losing huge profits on gas by the likes of me.

Now the guy’s excuse was that it was Calor policy not to fill my type of tank, as it was a safety concern. Yet the safety standard these bottles have is the exact same one permanent tanks have, so Calor is at best being disingenuous. I couldn’t argue with the bloke in the shop of course he’s just doing his job. But it annoys me that Calor are making a profit on the auto-gas anyway, but they are fleecing people who have to use bottled gas.