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Campervan Gas Installation: Ultimate Guide

If you eat cooked food, enjoy warm showers, or want to keep the frostbite at bay during the winter months, a campervan gas system is for you! By this I mean, nearly everyone needs gas in their campervan 🔥; at the very least for the stove!

In this guide you will learn everything you could ever want to know about a campervan gas installation. We will review a mega-detailed campervan plumbing diagram, learn about campervan gas lockers, campervan gas bottles, gas regulations, and much more! I promise you'll learn a lot.

I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, instructor of The Van Conversion Course, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. Now let's jump in a look at the best van insulation!

Campervan Gas installation: complete guide

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Disclaimer 🙃

The information provided in this guide is provided solely as a high-level resource for information - and not as a single source of truth. I am not a certified gas fitter, nor do I hold myself out to be. The information provided below is a collection of publicly available information that I have consolidated - while I have done my utmost to provide the correct information, there may be mistakes in this information. For this reason I encourage you to get a certified technician (with minimum CITO ACOPS/STGW qualification in the UK) to do your campervan gas installation, or at the very least to review and test it. This guide gives you the basics of gas plumbing and simply shows you how I did my campervan gas installation.

Supplies List 🛒

Gaslow filler kit

​Gaslow filler kit

Installed in the side of your van to fill up with LPG

LPG gas manifold

​3-way gas manifold

Gas shut-off valves for appliances

LPG adapter set

​LPG refill adapter set

Adapter set to fill up in any european country

​Pigtail hose

For connecting LPG cylinder to regulator

Truma regulator

​Truma 30mbar regulator

Regulate the pressure of the LPG system

Truma level gauge

​Truma LevelCheck

Easily check the levels of your LPG cylinder

P clips


For securing pipe

Gas bottle straps

Gas bottle strap

For securing gas bottle in place; regulatory requirement

Copper pipe cutter

pipe thread jointing compound sealant

Jointing compound

For sealing compression fittings

Straight compression fitting

Elbow compression fitting

A few 8mm elbow compression fittings

For gas joints

Copper pipe 5m

Drop out vent

Gas drop out vent

Allows gas to drop through the bottom of the van in case of leak; regulatory requirement

What is a campervan gas system, and why do you need one?

For most vandwellers a campervan gas installation is going to be vital to a successful and comfortable build. The following are appliances that you can run via gas:

  • 3-way fridge

  • Gas Stove

  • Gas water heater (for taps and shower)

  • Gas oven

  • Gas heater (eg. Propex)

Yes, you could have an electric version of all of these... but I'm afraid unless you've got an onboard nuclear reactor, you won't be able to power them!

A campervan gas installation provides an efficient and cheap way to run many appliances that make a campervan feel like home!

Theoretically, a campervan gas system is quite simple (especially when compared to a campervan electrical system). Gas is stored in a gas bottle, and runs via pipes to the appliances mentioned above. Throughout this guide we will be going in depth into each part of the system.

Campervan Gas Diagram

The diagram below shows "the ultimate" campervan gas installation. It contains all the bells and whistles - needless to say, you don't need everything shown! Throughout this guide we will explore every component of the diagram - focussing on the Gaslow system (campervan gas bottle).

Campervan gas diagram

Campervan gas regulations

Throughout this guide to campervan gas installations, we will be referencing the gas safety standards recommended by the British Standards Institution - the national standards body of the United Kingdom.

Specifically we will be referencing the Specification for the installation of LPG systems for habitation purposes in leisure accommodation vehicles and accommodation purposes in other vehicles [BS EN 1949:2021 - TC] as our source of truth.

Giving credit where credit is due, I would like to give special thanks to Greg Virgoe who has gone in-depth into LPG standards for campervans, doing a lot of heavy-lifting for the self-build community.

Here is a summary of some of the key points from the BS EN 1949:2021 - TC standards:

  • A gas installation should be done by a certified technician (with minimum CITO ACOPS/STGW qualification in the UK)

  • Certified refillable campervan gas bottle must have the following:

  • A level gauge

  • An automatic refill cut-off at not at not more than 80% (as the gas expands when warm)

  • A manual shut-off valve

  • A pressure release valve

  • An overflow regulator

  • A shut-off valve on top of the cylinder when refueling

  • A campervan gas installation must use gas-safe non-flexible piping

  • The following gas fittings are permitted in a campervan gas installation:

  • Cutting ring type fitting

  • Capillary type fitting

  • Flared type fitting

  • Compression fitting

  • Threaded fitting for nozzle

  • Each appliance must have a dedicated isolation valve (manifold)

  • The exhaust and inlet must be outside the van

  • The exhaust should be somewhere where it will not be sucked back in by the air inlet or through a window

  • A campervan may have a maximum of two 16kg gas bottles

  • A campervan gas locker must be sealed; but that the sealed door must not go right to the floor.

  • A campervan gas locker must have a drop-out vent and that drop out vent must not be covered by the campervan gas bottles.

  • The drop-out vent must be at least 2% of the floor area of the campervan gas locker.

  • Gas bottles must be securely fixed to the campervan gas locker with a top and bottom gas bottle strap. You must be able to undo these gas bottle straps by hand.

  • the low pressure side of the gas system should be able to handle 5X pressure than normal (150mbars).

  • Testing your system according to the standards:

  • Pump the system to 150mbars (this will read as 112.5 mmHg on the manometer). After you have pumped the pressure to 150mbars, leave it for 5 minutes, then take the start reading. Leave it for another 5 mins and take a second reading. Per the BS EN 1949:2021 standards, the pressure cannot have dropped more than 10mbar (7.5 mmHG) in that time.

A note for DIYers: I did my own gas fitting and got the SQI to look over it. This was fine in Ireland and many people do this around the world. Check your country’s specific requirements to see if you can DIY.

Campervan gas bottles: Refillable vs. Replaceable

There are two types of campervan gas bottles: refillable and replaceable.

Replaceable campervan gas bottles

Replaceable campervan gas bottles are designed to be removed from the campervan gas installation and replaced when all the gas is used up. You can buy replaceable gas bottles from many places, including fuel stations or DIY shops. Some of the well-known brands are Calor, flogas, and campingaz.

Replaceable campervan gas bottle

When you are replacing a campervan gas bottle, you hand in the empty gas bottle and obtain a full bottle.


  • Cheap to install

  • Convenient to install


  • More expensive ongoing costs (than refillable)

  • Cumbersome when replacing the bottle

  • Not optimal for long van expeditions

  • There can also be an issue with different gas regulations per country. Some countries may require you show them a vehicle gas certification of compliance before you can purchase a replaceable campervan gas cylinder.

Refillable campervan gas bottles

Refillable campervan gas bottles are permanent installations. They are not supposed to be removed from the campervan gas system, but instead are refueled via a filling point in the side of the van. You can refill a gas bottle at many fuel stations around the world (with LPG - Liquid Petroleum Gas). You can find an LPG filling station with (they also have a mobile app!).

The Gaslow system is one of the most popular setups for refillable campervan gas bottles + appliances. It is what I personally used for my campervan gas installation

Other popular brands for refillable campervan gas bottles are: Alugas, Gasit, and Autogas.

Regulations for refillable campervan gas bottle

According to BS EN 1949:2021, a certified refillable campervan gas bottle must have the following:

  • A level gauge

  • An automatic refill cut-off at not at not more than 80% (as the gas expands when warm)

  • A manual shut-off valve

  • A pressure release valve

  • An overflow regulator

  • A shut-off valve on top of the cylinder when refueling

The Gaslow system abides by all of these gas regulations.


  • Cheaper ongoing costs (LPG is hella-cheap)

  • No lifting and reinstalling the gas bottle every time you need a fill

  • Some bottles can be underslung to the van - bigger + they save you space inside!


  • High upfront cost

  • More technical installation (this guide will help though! 😄)

NOTE: You cannot lay a gas cylinder on it's side - it must be installed upright!

Campervan Gas: Propane vs Butane vs LPG

When using a refillable campervan gas bottle we have the choice to choose between: Propane, Butane, and "Patio gas".

Should I use a propane or butane campervan gas bottle?

Here's all you need to know:

Use butane for the warm months - it is more efficient, but doesn't work below 0°C.

Use propane during the cold months - it works below 0°C!

What is patio gas?

Patio gas is the same as propane with one important difference: it takes a clip-on regulator, whereas a propane gas bottle takes a screw-on regulator. Do not use patio gas in a campervan! It is not safe.

What is LPG?

When using refillable campervan gas bottles, we normally don't have the luxury of choosing what fuel we get. Instead we refuel at a filling station with LPG. Again, reference the fantastic

LPG filling station

LPG stands for Liquid Petroleum Gas, it contains a mixture of hydrocarbon gases, specifically propane, propylene, butylene, isobutane and n-butane. It is often referred to as autogas.

It is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and has a high octane rating (102–108 RON). It burns more cleanly than petrol and is free of many particulates.

How to refill a gas cylinder

How to refill a replaceable Campervan gas bottle

If you have a replaceable campervan gas bottle, you refill by unscrewing the empty bottle (Shut off the gas supply valve first!), handing it into a filling station, getting a full bottle, and screwing that into the campervan gas installation.

A refill for a 5kg replaceable campervan gas bottle will cost about €30. It costs about 6X more than the refillable LPG gas bottle equivalent.

How to refill a refillable Campervan gas bottle

You refill a refillable campervan gas bottle with LPG from a filling station.

You fill up via a filling point in the side of your campervan. The gaslow system has an easy to install filling point: the gaslow refill kit.

From personal experience, a refill of my gaslow system (11kg campervan gas bottle) costs ~10€. Dead cheap!

How long does a campervan gas bottle last?

This entirely comes down to how many gas appliances you have, what season it is, and how much time you spend in the campervan.

With that being said, here are some rough guidelines for an 11kg refillable campervan gas bottle under full-time van-living conditions:

Scenario 1: Gas stove only

If you are only using a gas stove, an 11kg refillable campervan gas bottle will last ~6 months.

Scenario 2: LPG heater (eg. Propex) only

If you are using an LPG heater a lot (eg. where I live it is frequently -10°C or lower in winter), you can burn through an 11kg bottle in as little as 3-4 weeks (this is under the most intense usage). If you are using the heater on a less frequent bases, it will last much longer.

Scenario 3: Tankless Water heater (Shower & hot taps) only

If you are showering most days (that's luxurious for vanlife) & being frivolous with hot water from the taps, you will burn through an 11kg bottle in 1 month.

Scenario 4: 3-way absorption fridge only

A typical absorption fridge will burn through an 11kg campervan gas bottle in 1 month.

Using the figures above, you can do your own estimations for how often you will need to refill your specific campervan gas installation.

Campervan gas bottle adapters (READ THIS!)

It's quite annoying, but different countries use different LPG connectors at LPG filling stations. There are four types of LPG connectors you need to know about:

  1. Dish connector (most common)

  2. Acme connector (pretty common)

  3. Bayonet connector (a few countries)

  4. Euroconnector (Portugal & Spain)

Campervan LPG gas adapters