With bottled gas costing between £22-£28 per refill, it was getting quite expensive, even in the summer we use a bottle every 8 days. The price of autogas is much cheaper at 0.62p per litre compared to £1.90 per litre for the calor gas refills.
We invested in a Gas-it system that came in kit form. It comprised of two refillable 6kg bottles and all the pipes and a couple of adapters so that we can use the existing regulator and pigtail. Each bottle has a gauge to show the gas level.
I intend to use it with one bottle turned on at a time, that way as soon as one bottle is empty I can switch to the other full bottle and then get to a garage to refill the whole system without relying on the accuracy of the gauges.
The only other decision was where to put the filler. The skirts around the gas locker are very flimsy to put the filler and I did not want to drill a hole in the door because if I sell the van I will take the system out and return it to the standard layout. The decision was made to put the filler in the locker, this is perfectly legal and inline with the current guidelines for the UK.
The big day came to fill the system. We set off for a local garage after 6pm in the hope that the the petrol station was quiet in case there was any problem getting to the autogas pump. When we arrived cars we’re queuing so we joined in and eventually pulled up next to the pump. I undid the locker door and noticed my hands were shaking, I was nervous about using the autogas pump for the first time. I put the leak spray on the joints of the filling pipes, connected the nozzle.
There were some strange noises before I started filling, but this was the compressed air that they test the bottles with escaping. The pump went to zero and I pressed the big black button and gas started to flow into the van. There were no leaks showing and the pump soon stopped automatically when the bottles were full. It took 24.1 Litres which was spot on for the size of bottles. The best bit was paying, £14.94 instead of the normal £43 for two bottles.
Unbeknown to me Sue had been watching from inside the van, she thought it all looked easy, but she was not shaking as I was. I don’t think I stopped smiling all the way home. I am no longer an Auto-Gas Virgin and we now have cheap gas onboard.