Gas in the motorhome - gas cylinder replacement in other countries

Gas in the motorhome - gas cylinder replacement in other countries – main image

Gas is the most popular fuel used in campers and caravans. We use it to power the stove while cooking dinner, heating the interior or heating water.

We can buy gas in interchangeable steel or composite cylinders of various capacities. Steel cylinders are most often rented by paying a deposit at a given point and later the cylinder can be exchanged at other points and only pay for the gas.

Gas cylinders in Poland can usually be replaced at gas stations, campsites and various sales points.

Replacing a Polish gas cylinder abroad

There is no problem with the availability of gas in various European countries. It appears when we want to replace a Polish cylinder, e.g. in Germany , Austria, France, Croatia, Italy or any other country in Europe.

Unfortunately , no one abroad will accept a Polish cylinder for an exchange , because our cylinders are different from those used in other countries.

You can, of course, buy/rent cylinders in a given country, but you will still have to carry your empty ones, which becomes problematic due to limited space and load capacity. You should also remember that cylinders in different countries have a different standard and the output thread from the cylinder, which is different from those in Poland. To connect such a foreign cylinder to the Polish installation in a camper, you will need to use various threaded reductions.

You can find reductions on the Internet, thanks to which we will even be able to refuel a Polish steel cylinder at a foreign LPG station . However, please remember that this is illegal and there is a risk of explosion of such a cylinder if we fill the gas tank to more than 80% of its capacity. It is not difficult to make a mistake in calculating how much gas you should refuel, which is why we warn against such experiments.

Gas-Bank - A gas cylinder for a camper that can be refueled at an LPG station

Last winter, when I tested Frankie Platin, I was going on a 3-week camper tour through Germany, Italy and Austria and I knew that the 2 cylinders standardly installed in the camper would not be enough for the entire trip and I would have a problem with replacing them in all these countries.

I found a very cool solution from Gas-Bank , i.e. composite gas cylinders for a camper that can be refueled at LPG stations .


The cylinders are made of composite and when empty they weigh only 5 kg, which means we save weight, which is very important in caravanning. When refueling for the first time, 19 liters of LPG gas entered the empty cylinder, which is a value similar to 11 kg in a standard steel cylinder.

This is a great solution because we no longer have the problem of buying a cylinder in a given country and looking for a place where the cylinder can be sold before we leave that country. Additionally, we do not have to bother with unscrewing, removing and inserting heavy steel cylinders.

In this case, once the cylinders are placed in the hatch in the camper, they stay there for a long time. To refuel them, just drive to the dispenser and fill them up like a standard tank in a car with an LPG installation.

Installation and refueling of Gas-Bank cylinders at an LPG station

Gas-Bank cylinders are installed in a camper or trailer in the same way as standard steel cylinders.


I have a set of 2 MULTI cylinders , which have an input valve for refueling and a separate output valve for connection, e.g. to the installation in a camper. Both cylinders are connected with one refueling hose, so when refueling them at an LPG station, we do not have to refuel each cylinder separately.

If we want, we can install an external gas filler in the wall of the camper, which looks like in a car with an LPG installation. This way , we don't even have to open the cylinder hatch when we want to refuel them at the station.

Installing such a filler should not cause any problems, but if you don't feel up to it, every camper service should do it in no more than a few hours.

The distributor of these cylinders, CarGO from Poznań, installs such fillers in campers at the request of its customers. We found out that virtually every new camper purchased in their showroom leaves with such a set - which is sufficient confirmation of their practicality.


Refueling is safe because the cylinders have an automatic OPD valve (Overfill Protection Device), which cuts off the cylinder refueling when the amount of gas in the cylinder reaches 80%.

The cylinders look very nice and have a clear inscription REFILABLE with OVERFILL PROTECTION, which means that the cylinders are refillable with an overfill lock. Together with the cylinders, we receive a TUV certificate, which we can show to the station employee who has any objections to the fact that we are refueling gas cylinders.

I have already refueled my cylinders about 15 times (in various European countries, including Poland) and the station employee only once did not allow me to refuel such a cylinder. This happened in Italy, where an employee claimed that he could only fill up with gas for the engines that power the vehicle and not the heating.

At subsequent stations in the same country, I did not have such problems, and it should be noted that in Italy, each LPG dispenser is operated by an employee who clearly saw that he was filling the gas cylinders in the camper.

Recently I had the pleasure of testing the Hobby 545 KMF De Luxe caravan and the Gas-Bank cylinders worked equally well in the caravan.


Indicator showing the amount of gas in the cylinder and overfill lock

The gas level indicators in the cylinder , which are mounted at the top, right next to the valve, are also very helpful. You no longer have to wonder whether we only have 50% or maybe 20% of the gas left in the cylinder - just look and we know whether we need to look for a gas station or whether we still have enough for the next few days.


The investment in such cylinders will pay off very quickly because before each trip we usually replace the cylinder with a full one, even if the previous one is not completely empty. In this case, we only fill up the tank and do not throw away the unused gas as before.

LPG gas in winter

In winter, it is best to have cylinders filled with pure propane and not a propane-butane mixture. The mixture has a different density and in case of minus temperatures, such gas may freeze if less than 1/3 of it remains in the cylinder.

Since we cannot refuel pure propane at LPG stations and the mixture, I was a bit afraid of the winter trip. LPG stations for the winter, however, have a "winter" mixture with a larger amount of propane and only once did it happen to me that at -10, when there was about 25% of gas left in the cylinder, frost appeared on the cylinder and the system, Duo-Control switched the gas consumption to the cylinders where there was more gas.


To avoid this , just remember to always have two cylinders full and in this way we should be able to safely heat the camper, even in frosty weather, for about 4-5 days using gas purchased at an LPG station.

Yet another solution is to use heating mats with which we can cover the cylinders or blow warm air into the cylinder hatch, but this is a topic for a separate article.

More information about the Gas-Bank cylinder can be found on the manufacturer's website and for purchases please visit the store.

I personally highly recommend them for both summer and winter trips.


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