Putting a toe in the water

#63
One thing I might do though, now that I've seen the bolts go right through the floor, is to add an additional (and much stronger) anchor to lock the bike to.
 
#64
Well today I've finished off converting all the lights to LED's as well as working on some storage options in the garage. In the past we've tended to just chuck stuff in there but given we'll now be carrying a motorbike, and also will be going away for longer, I thought it'd be better to get a bit more organised.

As a start I've fitted some cheapo shelving from Ikea to replace the various bags and boxes that used to lie on the floor. I've also fitted a cargo net to hold some light stuff - toilet rolls and the like. For the back wall (to the left in the picture below) I've got a couple of the Fiamma cargo strap systems coming and those will be used to secure the our outdoor chairs against that wall.


I've got a nice spot behind the bike to carry our 2Kw Honda generator although I'm not 100% sure yet whether I'll take it with us or not. I expect I probably will because even though I've not had to use it much it is nice to have as a bit of a comfort blanket.

I've spoken to the guy who operates a motorhome & caravan service place where we store the motorhome. I think I'm going to get him to do the solar panel installation and also the LPG system. He's quite happy for me to buy the stuff and have him fit it, so I might go down that route. I've seen one good offer from Sunshine Solar for a 160W system (2 x 80W panels) plus all the fittings and an 20A MPPT controller for £299 so might go with something like that.

On the gas systems he's quite a fan of Gaslow but less so on Gas-It.

I'll also need to do some measuring to see what the maximum battery capacity is that I can fit under the passenger seat. At the moment it contains a single 75AH Varta (our battery packed in when we were in France last year and that was all I could get in a hurry) plus the 12v charger but I'm hoping to get a couple of 95AH's in there as there is a fair bit of room - although it might mean turning the batteries the other way round.
 
#65
We actually managed to get away for a couple of days, using a CS near Ayr (£9 including electric) and a Britstop pub in Leadhills. Quite useful as it's easier to think of stuff that we need to do to prep the van for long term use when we're actually using it.

Also used the little bike properly for the first time and it seems absolutely ideal for our needs - although I do have a rack to fit to it and a big top-box on the way.
 
#66
I returned one of our empty 6kg propane bottles and got a full 13kg one and it does indeed fit in the locker. It fits better than the 6kg ones did so I'm assuming the only reason we were using those was because we'd already had the two 6kg bottles from our previous motorhome.


So I think what I'm going to do is replace the other 6kg bottle with an 11kg Gaslow bottle and get an external filler fitted under the locker - or maybe in the door.
 
#67
We've been down in London starting the move out of our house there so haven't had a chance to do anything more to the motorhome yet. I do have a pile of bits to get fitted to it now though:
- 11kg Gaslow system
- 160W (2 x 80W with an 20A MPPT) solar panels
- 120AH Leoch AGM leisure battery (just ordered one for the moment to check if there will be space for a 2nd one)

Hopefully get around to getting those fitted in the next couple of weeks, with a view to starting our trip in September.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#68
I returned one of our empty 6kg propane bottles and got a full 13kg one and it does indeed fit in the locker. It fits better than the 6kg ones did so I'm assuming the only reason we were using those was because we'd already had the two 6kg bottles from our previous motorhome.


So I think what I'm going to do is replace the other 6kg bottle with an 11kg Gaslow bottle and get an external filler fitted under the locker - or maybe in the door.
Probably wouldn't go for external filling point in the gas locker door, could be awkward when you need to access to change the Calor Bottle :wasntme:
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#69
change the calor bottle ?
they are fillable. calor dont throw them away.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#70
change the calor bottle ?
they are fillable. calor dont throw them away.
I know that Calor do not throw the bottles away ;) but with Calor bottles they usually 'exchange' the empty bottle for a full one, they then refill the empty one at a Calor depot. Are you suggesting that you can use one external filling point to two different types of bottle, a Gaslow and a Calor ? If so, then I confess that I did not know that you could do that :wasntme: if that is the case then why wouldn't everyone just connect filling points to existing Calor bottles in the first place, there would be no need for other makes like Gaslow etc. ? :think:
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
#71
Years ago we did just that,had a lpg connector on the box and connected it to the gas bottle to fill.The pump attendant couldnt see where the gas went and probably didnt care.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#72
If it is possible to do that then surely SteveG does not need to change his small calor bottle, he could just connect both his small bottle and large bottle to one pipe and use a coupling connector to the separate bottles so he can fill both at the same time in much the same way as I fill my two 11kg Gaslow bottles ? If he wants a larger capacity then he simply just needs a second 13kg Calor which looks from his photo as if it would fit easily into his locker. There must be a reason why lots of other 'in the know technical people' do not already do this as it would surely save purchasing 'Gaslow' or other similar systems ? Perhaps Calor do not promote this as they make more money from 'exchanging' bottles than they would from providing 'legitimate' self refillable systems ?
 
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#73
While I expect it is probably possible I'm not all that comfortable messing around with gas systems so don't think I'm going to try refilling Calor bottles myself.

I decided to go with a single 11kg Gaslow bottle and that, and the various fitting stuff, has now arrived although isn't fitted yet. What I'm going to do is use the Gaslow bottle as my main gas supply, with the Calor bottle being used as an occasional backup. If that turns out to be an annoyance in practice then I'll get a 2nd 11kg Gaslow bottle and add that.

There is space directly under the gas locker where the filler could potentially go, so I'm thinking about trying that before considering fitting the filler in the door.
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
#74
IF you check the calor blurb when you purchase the bottle you will find it's illegal for anyone except calor to fill their bottles. Well in their eyes anyway they say you will be prosecuted.
I have never bought a calor bottle so don't have the paperwork to back this up.
Just paint the bugger ;)
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
#75
Done properly using brass fittings and copper tube,connecting only before you fill,not a problem. I can solder with the best of them and at one time had a Corgi ticket,long expired now.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#76
There is space directly under the gas locker where the filler could potentially go, so I'm thinking about trying that before considering fitting the filler in the door.
That is what my original comment was in relation to :thumb: If you had the Gaslow external filling point through the door, which is fine, the connections would go from the door to the bottle, but if then you did need at some point to exchange the Calor cylinder the 'Gaslow' internal pipework to the external filler in the door may create access problems, you would need enough connector hose to permit the locker door to be opened fully to access the Calor bottle, remove and replace it. I had my external filling point fitted through to one side which worked perfectly :thumb:
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#77
Done properly using brass fittings and copper tube,connecting only before you fill,not a problem. I can solder with the best of them and at one time had a Corgi ticket,long expired now.
I am all for good DIY projects that work and are safe, however, adapting a system that is not 'permitted' could potentially lead to issues 'if' it were to go wrong, Insurance probably would not pay out if a problem occurred due to a fire or explosion no matter how good the workmanship of the adaptation was. Again, it is weighing up the pro's and Con's, the risks etc. and this is a decision that only the individual can take. If Calor do state that only they can refill 'their' bottles, it doesn't matter whether you are a trained gas engineer, fitter or whatever, you still cannot do it 'legitimately'. Chris, disguising them by painting them will not make any difference when filling using an external filling point as the gas locker door remains closed so you cannot see the type or make of bottles, it only matters 'if' it all goes 'Pete Tong' :wasntme:
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
#79
Where were Gaslow 25 years ago? You made do and if you couldnt then you stayed at home.
I totally agree and am certainly not criticising anyone who can adapt and modify to survive. However, we are 25 years further on and with it comes limitations, restrictions, revised safety measures etc. It is a lot like Seat Belts, people drove vehicles quite happily years ago without them, now they are a mandatory requirement and a bit of rope and gaffer tape to hold you in your seat would not be acceptable.
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
#80
just buy a vehicle that doesnt require seat belts .
dont need them in mine.
good reason for keeping it.
i used to build trikes just so i didnt need a crash helmet or seat belts .
wore a spanish ,german looking helmet though if it was raining .
 

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