How much gas does a caravan boiler use?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How much gas does a caravan boiler use? We will also explain how a caravan boiler works, how to calculate the gas consumption of your caravan and how to reduce the overall costs. 

How much gas does a caravan boiler use?

A caravan boiler will use 240 g/h of gas for both heat and hot water. The choice of the gas bottle for your caravan size depends on the estimated gas consumption. Below are some examples of the lifespan of a butane gas cylinder when it is used to supply a gas caravan boiler:

Gas cylinder autonomy for caravan boiler

Type of heatingGas consumptionGas cylinder autonomy
Catalytic boiler2800W 204g / hButane 6 kg (13 lbs)29h
Catalytic boiler2800W 204g / hButane 13 kg (28.5 lbs)64h
Auxiliary boiler3050W 220g / hButane 6 kg (13 lbs)27h
Auxiliary boiler3050W 220g / hButane 13 kg (28.5 lbs)59h

Boilers that have good efficiency consume less than others. Efficiency is the ratio of the heat supplied by the boiler to the energy consumed to achieve it and is expressed as a percentage. The higher this percentage, the more efficient the boiler.

Caravan gas cylinder autonomy calculation: what factors to take into account?

The service life of a caravan gas cylinder depends on two factors:

  1. The power of the appliance to be supplied: appliances that consume a lot of gas, such as boilers, tend to quickly exhaust the gas cylinders;
  1. The frequency of use of the device: the more regularly the bottle is used, the faster it will empty.

These two factors make it difficult to calculate the range of a gas cylinder with precision. However, it is possible to estimate the average autonomy by performing a simple calculation: Quantity of gas in the bottle (in grams) / Gas consumption per hour of the appliance (in grams).

Gas cylinders are more useful in the summer because they allow campers to enjoy LPG energy outdoors without too much constraint. However, it is essential to choose your gas bottle carefully before going on vacation so as not to end the week by candlelight. 

The use of gas when camping or staying outdoors generally requires small gas cylinders which have little autonomy but are easy to transport. The specialist in bottles dedicated to camping is the supplier Campingaz, which offers Campingaz bottles and cartridges as well as dedicated devices.

Estimate the autonomy of a caravan gas cylinder

The gas cylinder is the solution par excellence for motorhomes and caravanners looking for mobility and versatility in use. Thanks to a bottle of butane or propane gas, it is possible to supply the heating, the water heater, the cooking, the refrigerator or even the air conditioning of the motorhome or the caravan.

A 13 kg bottle (propane or butane) would be enough to supply the cooking and hot water of a motorhome or a caravan for more than 45 hours. On consumer forums, internet users state that they mainly use a 13 kg propane or butane cylinder for their motorhome or caravan. 

How to reduce the consumption of your caravan boiler

Heating and hot water represent major consumption items for caravanners. To reduce the consumption of your boiler and save money on your gas bill, you can take simple steps on a daily basis. Think for example of:

  • Give preference to showers over baths;
  • Install thermostatic valves on old radiators if they do not have one;
  • Install water savers on the faucets and the showerhead;
  • Lower the temperature, avoid overheating the parts. Ademe recommends heating living rooms to 19 ° C, bedrooms to 16 ° C and bathrooms to 21 ° C;
  • Leave a clear space in front of the radiators.

Controlling the insulation of your caravan is also useful in reducing gas consumption, but requires more investment. If your boiler is old (over 15 years), don’t hesitate to change it either. This investment will pay off because recent boilers have much better energy performance.

To optimize consumption, proper maintenance of your gas boiler is also essential. It is also a legal obligation: to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas boilers must be serviced every year. This obligation concerns both owners and tenants.

How to increase the autonomy of a caravan 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. As soon as the first bottle is empty, the reversing coupler automatically feeds on the full bottle, allowing time to exchange the old for a new one.

There are automatic and manual reversing couplers, the latter require you to connect the new bottle to be supplied yourself. A green light indicates the gas supply while the red light indicates that the bottle is empty and that the reversing coupler will take over when full.

How do you know how much fuel is left in the caravan gas cylinder?

The most efficient way to find out how much gas is left in your cylinder is to weigh it. By knowing the weight of a full bottle, we can estimate the amount of gas remaining in view of its weight. 

For example, Antargaz’s 13 kg butane gas cylinder weighs 24 kg full and contains 13 kg of butane. Its empty weight is therefore 11 kg. If during the weighing its weight is 17.5 kg, it means that the bottle weighs its empty weight (11 kg) plus 6.5 kg of butane. It is therefore half empty.

Another solution to measure the remaining gas is to measure its temperature. Indeed, a gas cylinder is much cooler when it is full of gas than when it is empty. Finally, there are measuring instruments that represent the most precise solution.

The bottom line

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.

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

FAQ on How much gas does a caravan boiler use?

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. 

How many units of electricity does a caravan use?

How many units of electricity your caravan will use depends on a series of factors. The average consumption in an RV park for example is typically 20 kWh a day, but again it will all depend on the circumstances. 


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