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 > Propane question for a trip around the world

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hautegaronne31

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Posted: 05/19/22 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am planning buying a pop up truck camper for a world tour, starting in July 2023.

I was wondering about the possible propane issue as I think countries use different connectors/adapters for their propane tank. And even a mix of butane/propane.

I will have the 20 lb or 10 lb North American tank. Will I be able to use my fridge, stove in Europe, Africa...?

Has anybody faced the same dilemma and found a solution?

Thanks

bgum

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Posted: 05/20/22 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go to. Rvlifestyle.com. there is an excellent article there on various fittings.

bgum

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Posted: 05/20/22 08:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For some reason I couldn't get the link to work.

Sharon and I are gearing up to ship our Roadtrek to Europe for six months this coming spring, and there are many, many things we need to do – a long term visa, shipping for the Roadtrek, insurance for the Roadtrek, health insurance for us, plane tickets back and forth, paperwork and a carrier for Fiona, and so on. A small but important detail is the propane tank. The standard fill fitting we take for granted in North America has a variety of forms in Europe, depending on where you are. No adapter means your fill port won’t fit the local fuel nozzles. So off I go to look online for adapters.

Propane Fill Adapters - Getting Ready for Europe 1
Your humble standard North America fitting.
I stumble upon a website – lpgshop.co.uk – which looks promising, but I need to browse around a bit to learn the terminology. I have no idea what they call all these different fittings, or what they call the North American one. As I read along and look at the photos, it turns out the standard North American fitting is called an ACME fitting, and is also used in Germany and Ireland, so that means there are at least some places in Europe where you can fill your propane tank without an adapter. So what I need is a set of adapters which converts an ACME fitting to the other types you find in Europe. Now I know what I’m shopping for.



Propane Fill Adapters - Getting Ready for Europe 2I order the right set of adapters, and it arrives IN THREE DAYS, for less than forty bucks, including shipping. We are truly living in a global economy. The box is a little beat up from its rapid and unceremonious transatlantic voyage, but they’re brass fittings, not china or electronics, so I don’t care. After cutting through all the tape and digging into the bubble wrap, three pieces emerge. They’re nice brass with good finish, clean threads, quality machining. I am impressed. I didn’t expect to see such high quality workmanship. So now I have to figure out how they work, and which fitting I need in each country.

Propane Fill Adapters - Getting Ready for Europe 3In France, Italy, and Eastern Europe, they use what is called a Dish filling port, which has a 10 mm diameter female fitting with 1 mm threads. The biggest adapter piece I have screws onto my ACME port and has one of these Dish ports on the other side. I thread it on and it goes on smooth as silk. My threads are beaten up compared to theirs, but it’s still an easy hand threaded fit. Here’s what it looks like installed. My guess is the gas seal is inside the 10 mm threaded interior – there’s no lip on the outside. Kinda small orifice, but under pressure it doesn’t really matter that much.




Propane Fill Adapters - Getting Ready for Europe 4Next we get to Spain and Portugal, which adopted the nifty newly designed EURO connector, intended to standardize all this chaos, but of course everyone else didn’t budge and stayed with what they had. The second piece of my adapter set converts the Dish port to the EURO connector port, which is 64 mm long and sticks out a bit, but not enough to cause clearance problems – I hope. The fill port on the tank points downward slightly, so with a very long nozzle you might not have enough room between it and the ground to line up your fill hose and thread it on straight. I have run into places with funny nozzles in the US that can’t fill my tank, and I have to keep shopping when I find one of those places.

Propane Fill Adapters - Getting Ready for Europe 5Last but not least come the Brits, who, being Brits, do things in their own peculiar way. The adapter to convert the Dish fitting to the British one is VERY long and has little ears on the outside so the fill hose goes on and turns to lock – this is called a bayonet connection. Norway also uses this type of fill port (we are NOT going to Norway). Why anyone would have a fitting that sticks out this far to get banged up is beyond my comprehension, but I spent enough time repairing Jaguars and MGs not to worry my head about it excessively. That’s just the way the Brits are, bless their hearts. I hope their fill nozzles will fit between this flying buttress of a port and the ground.



So now I’m still not ready to go to Europe, but my propane tank is. Stay tuned.

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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/20/22 01:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look into the adaptors but once you leave N. America, expect to need the tanks replaced because they won't fill other tank types. (plus most shipping companies require proof the tanks are empty, so it's just easier to leave them behind).

There are some rube goldberg setups to fill your own tanks but really just easier to get local tanks and adapters.

Butane is only really an issue if you are in very cold weather. I would assume most of the time you will be timing things to avoid cold weather...if you do find yourself in really cold weather local places will likely be selling propane not butane.


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Geo*Boy

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Posted: 05/20/22 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why not just rent an RV on the continent your visiting and skip the hassle?

joerg68

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Posted: 05/21/22 06:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As a european ... every country here has their own legislation and there are a number of different fittings and adapters out there.
Typically, an empty tank is echanged for a full one (at a campground, home improvement store, supermarket or gas station), and refilling or even doing that yourself is unusual or even prohibited in many countries. Of course, the tank needs to belong to the local system, sometimes even the correct vendor chain.
Also, the dimensions of our euro tanks do not fit into US camper LPG compartments, euro tanks can not be laid on their sides, and all other sorts of discouraging technicalities.
On the other side, many countries/regions have LPG readily available at many regular gas stations, but others not so much.
If you have the correct fill adapters for an american tank and the three common automotive LPG systems, it is technically not a problem to fill your tanks at a gas station that sells LPG. Do not overfill and you are good to go. But it may be prohibited where you are, and the gas station personnell may or may not care, so it is up to you which risk you want to take.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 05/21/22 07:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Geo*Boy wrote:

Why not just rent an RV on the continent your visiting and skip the hassle?


If you are only visiting for a week or two, it's the logical choice. We've done it and there are plenty of rental agencies.

If you are staying for 6 months, it gets pretty expensive to rent.

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