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Old 31-05-2006, 08:20   #1
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refill propane tanks in Europe

Need information where to refill North American propane tanks in Calais France.
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Old 05-06-2006, 03:45   #2
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You will have big problems - just like I had with european in USA - Frankly the easiest solution is buy a couple of Camping Gaz cylinders with regulators on the top and then just run them into your system via your own regulator (so they go through two regulators) The piping is a problem but it is rubber ---- they are much cheaper in Spain than France.
Michael
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Old 05-06-2006, 12:27   #3
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Frankly the easiest solution is buy a couple of Camping Gaz cylinders with regulators on the top and then just run them into your system via your own regulator (so they go through two regulators)
Not a great solution. The concept of the two regulators is really unneccessary.

The camping gas cylinders are definitely the easiest system to use in Europe (but not the cheapest!), however they come in different sizes with one type of top fitting in cylinders up to 2.72 kg, and another for larger (Taller) cylinders. These naturally have different regulators ,

If I was having to make this conversion. I also would recommend the 907 camping gas cylinder (2.72 kg) and then fit:
available from the calor shops and this fits the smaller camping gas cylinder, and is designed for our standard butane regulator, but there is nothing to stop you connecting via high pressure hose to your own N American system. There is also a suitable connector for the larger cylinders, but they tend to be much too tall for our gas lockers
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Old 05-06-2006, 12:41   #4
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I went for the two regulator system so it never mattered (in pressure terms) if I was using butane or propane. There is a difference in hose size between US A fittings and EU... I had an awful time trying to get my camping gaz system into the USA system - none of the chandlers had compatible hose size - I suspect the metric - inch problem- I did an acceptable bodge in the end.. Still got my American tank and the Australian!! Just in case I head back!
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Old 06-06-2006, 00:31   #5
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There is an adaptor sold by Trident Marine which makes conversion to the Gaz cylinders dead simple; it's referenced in the link to the article I wrote some time back (see above).

One issue with Talbot's suggestion is that shallow threaded fitting on the side of the manual valve. I don't like the looks of it and would prefer something designed to carry LPG.

I keep hearing comments that using Gaz containers is more expensive than other options but I doubt in reality that's true for a boat on the move and actually cruising. Once you dip down to France (from N Europe), the standard 3 kg Gaz bottle costs about 8.5 Euros/$10 USD. The bottles are available almost everywhere, and surely one's time is worth something. We cook almost exclusively onboard and the 3 kg bottle lasts us 4 weeks; that's about $2 USD/week out of our budget. We carry a decanting hose (and have used it) and we've occasionally tracked down the rare hardware store or filling station that will fill a U.S. tank...but this rarely seems in the end worthwhile.

I would recommend a storage box (or boxes) designed for LPG bottles which can accommodate two bottles. That way, you can leave one North American bottle, charged, in the box long-term and you only need to put a deposit down on one Gaz bottle. Use every bit of the LPG in the Gaz bottle (invert it for the last 20 mins of cooking...), switch to the NA bottle for the balance of that meal's cooking, and then do an exchange at the nearby grocery/hardware/etc. store. Given some of the logistics puzzles cruisers must solve (mail, importing something without paying a fortune, laundry in the land of few laundromats, crowded marinas right when you need a major provisioning), this puzzles seems delightfully simple to solve.

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Old 06-06-2006, 02:33   #6
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One issue with Talbot's suggestion is that shallow threaded fitting on the side of the manual valve. I don't like the looks of it and would prefer something designed to carry LPG.
Actually, this valve is purpose designed for high pressure lpg before going to the low pressure regulator. The shallow threaded bit is what goes into the Camping Gas cylinder, and is the only fitting that cylinder will accept.
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