Gas on the go - an overview of applications and devices

Gas on the go - an overview of applications and devices – main image

People starting their adventure with a camper or caravan can sometimes find it difficult to find their way in the maze of gas-powered heating devices and accessories. In this article, we would like to systematize knowledge in this area and draw attention to possible methods of heating, but also storing and refueling gas.

Gas – how to transport and refuel

The most popular gas tank used in broadly understood caravanning is a replaceable 11 kg cylinder. The downside is that it is made of steel and is heavy. Due to their weight and dimensions , NANO cylinders have also become popular, available at numerous chain gas stations and some DIY stores (equipped with a dedicated filling connector), and recently also GAS BANK cylinders. Although the latter solution is associated with a high purchase cost, the wide range of refueling nozzles available makes it easier to fill in most European countries. We also have the option of connecting a gas level sensor . The cylinders are light, handy and safe - link


Properly selected reducers are extremely important in the installations of our cars and caravans. The standard operating pressure is 30 mbar and we must remember this parameter when selecting gas-powered accessories. The reducer, or pressure regulator , is an extremely important element. In many countries, it is forbidden to travel with gas installations on without protection such as a crash sensor. This term refers to a valve that cuts off the gas supply in the event of a sudden shock (implicitly a collision). Especially in winter, if we have a supply of two cylinders, it is worth considering using the DUO version of the above-mentioned reducer, which will automatically switch the gas supply from one cylinder to the other when it runs out - link.


It is also worth using gas filters to minimize the risk of damage to devices and keep the installation clean. Let us also remember that pure propane is optimal for camping purposes, especially in winter.

Our western neighbors also require regular periodic inspections, during which the tightness and efficiency of the gas installation are checked. The standard and statutory obligations in this area do not apply in our country, but many reputable services are authorized and offer this type of service in accordance with the German standard. Each inspection is confirmed by a certificate and a sticker recognized throughout Europe.

Permanently mounted gas tanks are a frequently discussed topic, especially among camper users. It is best to entrust the installation of such a tank to a specialist company. It is important that both the type of tank and the method of refueling it comply with European regulations. The use of gas devices in recreational vehicles while driving without appropriate approvals and protections provided for by law may have unpleasant consequences in the form of large financial penalties - especially in countries such as Germany, the Benelux countries or France, this should be remembered.

Heating – types and models

In our comparison of heating systems in campers and caravans, we will focus on the most commonly used factory solutions. The clear market leader is the Truma brand and its flagship COMBI model, available in a 4kW or 6 kW version, heating air (warm air blowing through a system of dedicated channels) and water.

TRUMA Combi , in addition to the standard strictly "gas" version, is also available in variants D (powered by diesel fuel) and E (system equipped with an additional electric heater, ideal for stationary use, e.g. at a campsite). The heart of a Truma heating system is always the so-called "furnace", and the air intake ducts distributed throughout the vehicle are connected to it. Since the heat is directed upwards, exhaust holes are usually found in cabinets near the floor and near the entrance/seating area.

An alternative to TRUMA heating systems used in trailers adapted for winter use and in some campers (usually above 3.5 t GVM) can be found in the ALDE water heating system - e.g. Premium brands such as Pilote or Frankia - link

Alde is a perfect solution for people who travel a lot in winter. This is not a warm air supply installation, but a system based on the circulation of liquids - in a system of heating pipes (e.g. floor pipes) and radiators. The heating is effective and pleasant, and there is no blowing of heated, dry air. Additionally, as part of the ALDE installation, it is possible to integrate an additional heat exchanger connected to the engine compartment, or even a system for pre-heating the drive unit before starting the vehicle. At extremely low temperatures, this may have a significant impact on the durability and operating parameters of the engine.

Controlling the heating and air conditioning in a camper or trailer will be facilitated by a dedicated Truma module - the so-called iNet box


This solution is compatible with both Truma and Alde control panels (the iNet Ready inscription must appear on the panel casing). Using a mobile phone, we can remotely start the heating or air conditioning, check the gas level (an additional sensor will be required), turn on the light integrated in the air conditioner, diagnose the unit or update the software.

Gas in a camper and trailer – accessories

Refrigerators/freezers in campers and trailers can also be powered by gas and it is an extremely economical fuel for such applications - in the summer we do not have to worry about high gas consumption and we can achieve far-reaching independence without burdening the batteries and without having to rely on a stationary electricity connection.

A recently extremely popular piece of equipment is a gas grill , which allows you not only to prepare delicious and healthy meals, but also to "take" the kitchen outside. Cooking on a gas burner outdoors is definitely more convenient than generating high temperatures inside a camper or trailer - link


When choosing a gas grill for a trailer or camper, we do not have to take the cylinder outside - an extremely practical solution will be a dedicated, external socket - gas connection with a system quick connector - link


A properly installed socket is safe and helps avoid uncontrolled leakage (the valve can be opened only after the quick connector has been properly plugged into the socket). This solution will also allow us to avoid the use of an additional reducer.

Remember that all gas accessories must be adapted to the "camping" working pressure of 30 mbar in Europe. Importing a gas grill, e.g. from the USA, may involve a potential risk of failure or improper functioning.

Each accessory element should also be installed and serviced by an authorized service - just like in the installation at home - gas is no joke.

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This article was prepared in cooperation with CarGO!
Maciej Kinal
Maciej Kinal

I feel best in the form of trade fairs and meetings with enthusiasts. Technical freak. In my life I have dismantled many motorhomes for the first time. Fan of large vehicles, mountain biking and traveling without weight and financial restrictions. At CampRest, I am responsible for all publications on automotive topics.

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