How long will a 9kg gas bottle last in a caravan?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How long will a 9kg gas bottle last in a caravan? We will discuss caravan gas bottle consumption and give you a few tips to reduce the costs, especially during winter!

How long will a 9kg gas bottle last in a caravan?

A 9kg gas bottle will last about a week in a caravan, depending on how it is used. You may think that is more than enough for a short trip, or you may think that a 9kg gas bottle will not suffice. You are right either way, since it all depends on personal preferences, number of persons on board and frequency of use. 

Gas, butane or propane, is an integral part of the life of a caravan, especially if you are camping in the colder months. You can use your gas for many daily tasks, such as:

  • Cooking with the stove or oven
  • Heat water before showering or washing your hands
  • Generate energy for the refrigerator and other appliances
  • Heat your caravan.

The estimated lifespan of a 9 kg caravan gas bottle

ApplianceAmount of time (continuous usage, all burners)
4 Plate Gas Hob16 hours
Gas Oven40 and a half hours
Full Gas Stove (hob + oven)11 and a half hours
3 Panel Gas Heater29 and a half hours

What are the typical sizes of caravan gas bottles?

The larger the cylinder, the more gas it can hold. In return, it is also heavier. We all have in mind the image of those big blue or red gas cylinders. They contain 13 kg of gas and they are the most common bottles on the market. They, therefore, weigh 13 kg plus the weight of the bottle, or 24 kg in all for butane and 27.5 kg for propane (propane is indeed a little heavier).

These cylinders are therefore not always easy to handle and we also find at retailers smaller cylinders, containing 5 kg or 5.5 kg of gas for a total weight of around 13 kg.

If necessary, an RV mechanic and LPG expert can help you modify your campsite to accommodate more than one gas cylinder. If you are trying to determine which gas cylinder size is right for your motorhome, contacting a professional is the best way to ensure you choose the safest and most cost-effective option.

But a small 5 kg bottle will work well indoors due to its small footprint.

How long does a caravan gas bottle last on average?

On average, a caravan consumes 650 grams of gas per hour of use. This includes the use of heating, water heater, refrigerator and kitchen equipment, all used at the same time for one hour.

Although your caravan is partly supplied with electricity, by plugging into the electrical network or using the battery (s), some devices require gas to operate. Either way, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency gas cylinder nearby. The life of a butane or propane cylinder depends on several factors, including:

  • Your bottle size
  • How many devices depend on the use of gas
  • How often do you use these devices
  • How much energy do your devices consume during operation

1 kg of butane gas delivers 12.66 kWh, while 1 kg of propane delivers 12.78 kWh. To calculate an estimate of how much gas you will need for your trip, you need to understand the calorific value of the gas and the consumption of your devices on board.

For example, a Truma 4 heater consumes between 160 grams for 2000 watts of power and 480 grams for 4000 watts, per hour of use. You will therefore have about 80 hours of battery life at 2000 Watt. Obviously, you can heat to 1000 or 1200 Watts and will increase your range even further.

Be careful, depending on the weather, the insulation of your motorhome, the interior temperature … a caravan gas bottle may not last very long. Especially if it’s not just for warming you up.

We imagine that you will also use the gas for cooking, heating your water, powering your refrigerator when you are not connected to electricity etc. An oven generally consumes 85 g / h, a refrigerator 350 g / h, a gas cooker 240 g / h to 350 g / h. At this rate, a 13 kg gas cylinder may not last more than a weekend depending on your usage.

The best way to avoid running out of gas and remembering to refill a cylinder is to use a dipstick. A gauge will measure the percentage of gas remaining inside the cylinder. Some cylinders have a built-in gauge system, but you can also purchase and install an external gauge.

You can thus buy an electronic level indicator, which is simply placed on the wall of the bottle by a magnet system.

Otherwise, more empirically, you can just underweight your bottle every now and then, because the more you drink, the lighter it gets. So you will have a roughly consistent idea of ​​what you have consumed and how much you have left. You can even put your hand on the wall of the bottle and look for a change in temperature as you slide down. The area where there is gas remaining will be cooler.

Make it part of your daily or weekly routine to check the level of gas in your cylinder, and try to plan your route around places where you can refill or swap your cylinder when needed.

Tips to reduce the costs and reduce gas consumption in a caravan

Gas is a necessity for most campers and RV owners, it’s one of the biggest budgets when going on vacation. To save gas, try some of these tips:

  • Refill instead of exchanging it: When you run out of gas, you have the choice of refilling your bottle or exchanging it for a new one. Refilling is a great way to save money, as it is usually the most affordable option. However, keep in mind that all gas cylinders have an expiration date, so always exchange them on time. Also, exchange your bottle if you notice any damage or malfunction.
  • Plan preventive maintenance: A damaged gas cylinder can be expensive. The best way to avoid possible damage is to perform regular visual inspections of your cylinder, both during operation and while filling.
  • Insulate your caravan: If you use propane to heat your caravan ime to properly insulate it. Pay special attention to areas where cold air may enter, such as around doors and windows. The better your motorhome is insulated, the less gas you will consume to heat it, and the less problem your refrigerator will have to keep cold.

Final thoughts

To supply the uses of a caravan, you can buy a bottle of butane or propane gas. The choice of gas is made according to the location of the storage: if it is inside, we opt for butane and if it is outside, we choose propane.

Now that you have a better understanding of how your caravan uses gas and how long a cylinder lasts, you are ready to hit the road with confidence, for a comfortable and economical trip!

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on How long will a 9kg gas bottle last in a caravan?

How long does a 19kg gas bottle last in a static caravan?

​​A 19 kg gas bottle will suffice for a few days or even a week in a static caravan. It will all depend on how many appliances you have. However, in winter, when heating is used, it will be necessary to provide several 19 kg gas cylinders, which can optionally be connected using an inverter-coupler.

How much propane does it take to heat an RV in the winter?

The average sized-RV heater would use ⅓ of a gallon of propane/hour to heat an RV in the winter. Most RVs use 20 lbs or 30 lbs propane tanks, which would last you for 10, respectively 16 hours of continuous use.

How do you know when gas bottles are running out?

When a gas bottle is running out of fuel, the tare disk will show you that the bottle is empty. This is the best way to check on how much gas is left in the cylinder. 

How to increase the autonomy of a gas cylinder?

In order to increase the autonomy of your gas installation, it is possible to network several gas cylinders together using a reversing coupler. This system makes it possible to switch automatically from one gas cylinder to another. 

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