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Thread: Gas bottle shenanigans, what next?!

  1. #1

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    Gas bottle shenanigans, what next?!



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    Well, here I am in France! It's not all been entirely straightforward, maybe I'll do a little thread on the last few days rather than bore you here. One of my biggest problems so far has been gas bottles and I'm not entirely sure what to do next. My first problem was that I managed to get the wrong dimensions for my Calor gas bottle, either I read it wrong or the site had the wrong info listed. Anyway, it turns out that none of the bottles sold in France fitted in my cupboard, so I took my cupboard apart and now I can just about fit one standard small size (10kgish) bottle in. The good news is I am now excellent at finding Intermarche, but it took me SIX attempts to actually buy gas. Problems ranging from them being shut, deserted, not having gas, not having the right gas or often, just them refusing to sell me gas. Eventually, I got frustrated and got one lady to write down exactly what the problem was and went away to google it. I needed a contract. So I went back and asked her if I could have a contract and she looked at me like I was completely mental (apparently it's FAR too expensive) but said yes of course! So I signed a contract and paid less than I would for my Calor refill back home. I bought Propane as everyone has been telling me to buy Propane due to Butane not being too good for the coming winter months.
    Next problem, Detender (thanks to whoever posted that word on the other thread, it has been my most used word in Franch so far!). The Intermarche woman said she couldn't help so I went to big DIY store on the other side of town that I had gone to earlier in the day to buy firewood. After an hour of dreadful French, pointing, photos, back and forth to the van and three staff members I gave up without even finding out which the right regulator was. The one thing I could see was that none of them was going to fit my hose. Several of the butane ones came with adaptors that seem to change the screw fitting on the regulator to a push fit one like my current reg has. So, DIY shop on the other side of town. More pointing, photos, confusion, awful French and staring at gas bottles. This guy seemed to be quite knowledgeable but sadly spoke as much English as I do French. What I can gather is this - you can't get Propane regulators to fit on my gas hose. You would need the adaptor and these are not sold for propane regulators as the higher pressure means you need a screw fit. This is my best guess at what he was trying to say and why neither the Intermarche nor the DIY shops could help me.
    So what do I do?!? Should I go back and exchange my propane for butane? I've had to open the propane bottle to look at the connection. Also, will the regulators in the DIY shops fit my bottle and if so how do I know which one? There are a few different types (and they all say for 13kg bottles on them and mine is 9kg).
    I've been trying to get this sorted for 5 days now, so any help or advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated. I've still got to fit the b****y regulator yet

  2. #2

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    'Narbonne accessoires' Look for the closest store to you and get them to advise you

    Narbonne Accessoires, le leader de l'accessoire pour vehicules de loisir et de camping.
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  3. #3

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    Awesome to hear you're in France - so jealous

    It seems like a bit of grief at the moment, but it'll soon be long forgotten I'm sure.

    I think you might do well to ideally find a guy who works on motorhomes who will swap advice for wine, or maybe a motorhome dealer who does maintenance. This should be a relatively simple thing to work out x

    Keep us posted

  4. #4

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    It will be easily sorted once you find the right person, but it does sound like you're having a bit of a mare. A German neighbour in Portugal went through a similar saga, but once she found the right shop they sold her the gas, regulator and fitted it all and it didn't cost a crazy amount.

    Make sure you get the wildcamping competitor app if you're in France as it's full of reviews and probably contains more stops. If I type it properly the forum software will block it, but it lets you park[(4)]night - remove the [()]
    Last edited by ScoTTyBEEE; 11-10-2018 at 18:30.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edina View Post
    'Narbonne accessoires' Look for the closest store to you and get them to advise you

    Narbonne Accessoires, le leader de l'accessoire pour vehicules de loisir et de camping.
    Great thanks, I'll check this out now.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by st3v3 View Post
    Awesome to hear you're in France - so jealous

    It seems like a bit of grief at the moment, but it'll soon be long forgotten I'm sure.

    I think you might do well to ideally find a guy who works on motorhomes who will swap advice for wine, or maybe a motorhome dealer who does maintenance. This should be a relatively simple thing to work out x

    Keep us posted
    Thanks Steeeeeeve! You should all come to France, yay! That's the frustrating thing about this is that I'm sure that once the right solution comes along I'm sure it will be simple, but finding it when you don't speak the language is tricky!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScoTTyBEEE View Post
    It will be easily sorted once you find the right person, but it does sound like you're having a bit of a mare. A German neighbour in Portugal went through a similar saga, but once she found the right shop they sold her the gas, regulator and fitted it all and it didn't cost a crazy amount.

    Make sure you get the wildcamping competitor app if you're in France as it's full of reviews and probably contains more stops. If I type it properly the forum software will block it, but it lets you park[(4)]night - remove the [()]
    Thank you! You're right, I'm sure I'll look back on this as a minor hiccup, just rather stressful at the time!

  8. #8

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    i'm not sure i understand. normally i would buy a bottle in a garage and they'd sell the regulator too. as there's only bottled gas in France , then you can buy it in loads of unlikely places . any campsite should have an English speaker to put you right .
    if you can swap back to butane ,i would , as i'm sure it's more widely used over there and more familiar
    too blessed to be stressed

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by LindsayH View Post
    Thank you! You're right, I'm sure I'll look back on this as a minor hiccup, just rather stressful at the time!
    We've all been there. I drove miles with a broken cv boot earlier in the year and it got to the point I had to get it fixed in France as I couldn't drive 700 miles home, the whole van was vibrating and the stress it was causing was off the charts.

    Life throws us these challenges, but that's the great thing about #vanlife, you've got to face them head on. We learn from these experiences.

  10. #10

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    A language translator app can also help with communication issues
    Lipsmacking, thirst quenching, ace tasting, motivating, cool buzzing, high talking, fast living, ever giving, cool fizzing...........Cant remember
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