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Campervan Cooking - Backup facility

Discussion in 'Camping & Campsites' started by Davenjo, 30 Oct 2016.

  1. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    In common with many conversions, we have a small gas locker that can only accommodate a Campingaz 907 cylinder. Most of our cooking, aside from toast, boiling pasta, rice, etc., will be done outside of the van on our Cadac, for which we have had an external gas point added to the van running off of the 907.

    This presents us with 2 problems; relatively small capacity of of gas in the 907 (2.7kg) and the gas (butane) won't be any use outside when the temperature falls much below about 4 degrees.

    To get around this I want to have a secondary means of cooking. Previously I'd just switch between using butane (907) and propane (calor patio gas) dependant on season and just make sure the bottles we were taking had plenty in them but, checking gas levels is not quite so easy in the van and it seems silly to carry multiple gas bottles around without the protection of the gas locker.

    I had been looking at small gas canister stoves as backup (room to slot a couple of cans of gas in the gas locker) but again, most of these seem to be butane rather than propane.

    I'm now wondering about going for an alcohol burner based system, such as Trangia.

    Am I alone in this "fuel anxiety" or do other campers on here have similar concerns and, if so, what do you use??
  2. CaliStu

    CaliStu Senior Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    Cadac sell an adapter so you can use high pressure (en417) gas cannisters on the LP safari . They should certainly work to a lower temperature plus you can keep the canister somewhere warm .

    We've got the HP safari and use it with JetBoil cannisters . Last weekend it was -2c and I cooked breakfast without any problems .
    Pauly and Davenjo like this.
  3. BiTurbo

    BiTurbo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    You neede to have one of these installed 12 Ltrs of propane. No locker = more space. Can be refilled at any auto gas fuel station.... Simples

    Fish, Gingercoastie and Davenjo like this.
  4. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    Thanks - I didn't know there was a way to run the cadac off of canisters. We have the Grill O Gas so probably burns through the gas a bit quicker than the Safari but still looks like a viable alternative for the way we want to use it without adding too much to what we take.

    I think this is the way we will go.
  5. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    This would be my ideal but we already have our large water tank underslung where this would have to go.
  6. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    @CaliStu - just ordered a cadac power pack (£26 from Hamilton Gas products) and 4 of the 500g Cadac canisters (£17 of of fleabay). Apparently you need the dual canister set up for the bigger cadacs as a single canister can't gas off quick enough to get a decent flame on them.

    Thanks again .
    CaliStu likes this.
  7. BiTurbo

    BiTurbo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    Also have a 27ltr water tank too. This fits in front of the spare wheel carrier.
  8. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    We have a 72 litre tank. Everything is a compromise.
  9. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad Senior Member T6 Guru

    We take a camping cooker (just a £50 thing with two rings and a grille; Sunncamp I think) and a spare 907 bottle which works for both van and the camping burner. If it's warm, we cook and make coffee outside.
    We got just under five weeks of daily use from a 907 bottle and we'd used it a fair bit before we went on our trip.

    They work fine and are freely available.
  10. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    Once you start using it with the cadac outside you burn through 2.7kg quite quickly - I'm half way down my 3rd bottle this year with the 4th ready to swap in. Also, not good outside when the temperature drops - heard stories of the gas liquefying in the pipe.

    We do keep a spare 907 which we have carried in the car before but, older and wiser, not sure where we would stand, or if we want to, with carrying spare gas around outside of the gas locker.
  11. BiTurbo

    BiTurbo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    That's a lot of water to carry, which deserts are you driving through... Lol
  12. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    All about convenience - lasted us 5 days before we needed to top up. As I say, for us camping has always been a bit of a compromise and will continue to be so with the van. We all use them slightly differently and having hot water on tap is something we wanted but to have, something else has to be done differently.
  13. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    @CaliStu - I've been looking at the cadac power pack idea a bit more and come across someone who has used it as the main gas feed in his van rather than using 907, etc. What you would do is replace the bulkhead regulator mounted in the gas locker with the cadac power pack (effectively a regulator with connection for two canisters) leaving the remaining room in the locker for safely storing and transporting as many gas cartridges as you can fit in (room for more gas than you'd get in a 907 and easy to tell how much spare gas you've got).

    Without looking too far for cheaper, you can currently buy 6 of the 500g Coleman Butane/Propane mix cartridges off of Amazon for £26.40 (delivered) - more versatile for outdoor cooking in low temps and more gas than a 907 bottle, for which I've paid between £26 and £35 in the last year. You could go cheaper by buying Go System, propane/butane mix, 445g cartridges - I have seen 12 of these (slightly less than 2 907 refills) for £40. Still not cheap compared to underslung, refillable LPG tanks, etc., but could be a viable alternative for those of us limited to 907 by the size of our gas lockers. Even allowing for the slightly higher energy output you'd get from using pure butane in the summer months, I think the cartridges could work out quite a bit cheaper.

    I'll see how I get on with using the power pack with my cadac but may well look at converting the van's gas supply over later.
  14. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner Grape Yellow Beach VIP Member T6 Legend

    I do, as long as it's held in place you should be ok. I'd have though you would have gone for a calor gas bottle instead of a 907.
  15. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    I would of done as much cheaper and so you can switch between butane and propane but there is not enough room in the locker to fit one in.
  16. Loz

    Loz California 204 DSG 4Motion MY17 VCDS User Admin Moderator VIP Member

    Our backup is a Jet Boil system as this uses a Propane/Butane mix. We have the Jetboil Flash and a helios system.
    Davenjo likes this.
  17. Polzeylad

    Polzeylad Senior Member T6 Guru

    We have the Cali built in hob; same as the last Cali. No problems in three years with the last one including cold Mull, two 5 week trips aha more.

    Sometimes it's easy to be over cautious.
  18. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    I don't have any problems with the built in hob or grill - the temperature inside the van and gas locker will always be well above freezing when we want to use. However, to stop the van smelling like a chip shop, we don't want to use the hob for anything other than boiling things up. The issue is with using the onboard gas, via our external BBQ point, outside the van via several meters of fixed pipe and tubing, i.e. will gas off no problem in van but can liquefy in cold tubing outside.
    Loz likes this.
  19. DaveBos

    DaveBos Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    Get yourself an MSR dragonfly, burns anything but you'll need ear defenders when your cooking, doesn't half roar.
    Jules likes this.
  20. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member VIP Member T6 Legend

    Looks like a real boyz toy - might have to get one just for the sheer hell of firing it up!!

    How much burn time would you get out of a bottle of unleaded?

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