Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by Silverswan on Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:51 pm

We just returned from a four night trip to northern France to christen our newly acquired Ravenna - and ourselves, as we are new to motorhomes.

We set off with one half full cylinder of Calor propane and one empty one - which I expected to swap for a full one at some convenient depot. This turned out to be over optimistic. Whereever I showed my Calor cylinder, I was met with "Non" or "Ce n'est pas possible". It seems the French don't do Calor and whatever they do is not compatible with Calor type regulators.

Luckily, the half bottle we had lasted.

Is this a known problem when touring France? Is there a simple solution?

The trip also gave us an opportunity to gauge the performance of the 2.4 litre Transit diesel and the outcome was:
1) Engine quite noisy - much more than a diesel car. Is this right?
2) Cruising speed: 60 to 65 on motorways seemed comfortable. not sure how much more could have been squeezed out.
3) Driving on French "ordinary" country roads required a fair bit of gear changing, including dropping to second gear for the sort of hill that would test the average cyclist, but not force a dismount.
4) MPG on leisurely driving, avoiding motorways, rarely exceeding 50 mph, returned 32mpg (of lovely, cheap French diesel!)

-and my question is, Is that the sort of performance you would expect?

Any advice from experienced motorhomers gratefully received.

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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Re: Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by micknhilary on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:55 am

Hi Silverswan.
As you have discovered, Calor is not available in France. Members here have a variety of ways of obtaining a suitable gas supply. When I go I take two full calor Propane bottles and additionally I carry a Camping Gaz bottle and regulator for use if I run out of Calor as it is very available in France. I have found that generally a full bottle of Calor will last a month with careful use if I am on electric hookup. As my trips tend to be a maximum of 2 months I have never had a problem (yet). allthumbz

Cheers,
Mick.
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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Re: Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by roli on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:56 am

Yes UK Propane cylinder refils are non exisitant in France although on our 5/6week trips over the years have never managed to empty 2 x 6kg cyls. One option we took last year is to fit a refillable and get a French pump adaptor.

Tou must have a later Ravenna if its the 2.4, most were on the the 2.5 Tranny engine. That fuel consumption is fine when your consider the van has the aerodynamics of a Centurian Tank.
Our Transit tells me it averages 29.7mpg in the uk, but if I reset for long runs it can manage 31mpg at a max of 60mph on motorways.
Our vans have always performed better with French Diesel on French roads too.

If you think you did a lot of gear changing your should try it in a Boxer, thats what changed us over to the tranny although I am not convinced it needs a 6 speed box.
Might be worth getting the van a good engine service if its not pulling too well. Dont rely on dealers " we have given it a service" If you are stuck for a garage that can handle your size of van try the local BT Workshops.

The older Transits had their own sound as do the Pugs, if you want a quiet engine then you have to opt for the 5 cylinder VW 2.5td (fitted in Audi cars also)

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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty No calor in France

Post by murph on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:51 am

Hi Silverswan,
I have always suggested refillable cylinders for motorhomes, once you have them set up you dont have to remove them from the locker (no carrying heavy cylinders) as you never change them, autogas in the UK is less than half the price of Calor and is available all over Europe, (Google maps will tell you where) and you can buy a 6kg cylinder for under £150 with an 11kg only slightly dearer if it will fit your gas locker. and of course you dont have to wait untill it is empty before you refill, so you never run out, unless you are very careless.

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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Autogas?

Post by Silverswan on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:49 am

Thanks MicknHilary, Roli and Murph for those useful comments. I like the idea of having a refillable autogas tank - but does that prevent you from being allowed to use the channel tunnel?
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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Autogas

Post by murph on Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:47 pm

Recent posts tell us that so long as the gas is switched off at the cylinder or tank there is no problem in the channel tunnel, but a fixed tank can be much more expensive than a cylinder in the gas locker, use the search box for recent posts on this subject.


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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Re: Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by The Chase on Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:09 pm

Hi Posted this on the Motorhome and Camping chat page on this forum about a French Bottle we got today,,,,

On our first real trip to Brittany,France .The dealer gave us as part of the deal a used red Calor 6k bottle but we had no idea of how much gas was in the bottle and as we plan on getting over here to France on a regular basis took the risk of running out. Well after just 12 days use it did run out of gas.We thought this would happen and had made the decision to get ourselves a French bottle so that in the future we would not have problems getting a refill as we knew that you cannot get Calor over on the continent.
It ran out yesterday so today we drove to Quimper and called into a Camping Car dealer called "Masters" after first speaking to other campers who all just like on the net give conflicting answers to the problem of getting gas in France.Well this is how it worked out for us.
Had to buy a new pipe a P30 70cm long to fit from our Truma regulator to fit the new La Cube bottle regulator,this new regulator fits on top of the new cylinder which you just have to hold in a button and push on the cylinder then just turn the gas on and all is ok.
Got the lightweight square La Cube from Carrefour for 46.50 euros this is made up of 29 for the contract and 17.50 for the gas.The man at the fuel station at Carrefour told us that they have in September a offer of a free regulator (Clip Propane) for taking out a contract for La Cube Propane/Butane or Viseo butane, nice. Shame I had paid Masters 17.90 for one in hindsight I should have got the bottle first but I did not........
Paid 20.90 euros for the new pipe.
We now have the ability while traveling all over France to just call into any large supermarket or local filling station that sells Butagas/La Cube and exchange our empty for a full one and in just a few minutes change back while at home in the UK or for that matter any other country go back to using Calor,simples....
Hope this helps anyone going to France and are looking to get a French bottle.
-----
Laissez les bons temps rouler
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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Re: Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by roli on Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:22 pm

We havnt been stopped using the tunnel but there again being a refillable cylinder it looks like a normal one so they just ask if its turned off. Ours is a GasIt and is the standard red colour for propane cyls. Cant comment on other colours of cylinders.

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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Re: Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by Dago on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 am

The only restriction for LPG at the Chunnel is that it doesn't power the engine.
So if you have a car that can switch between ordinary fuel & LPG for driving, they do not let you on!

If the LPG is solely for cooking and can be visibly seen to be switched off at the regulator, (as in most cases a Border Guard will inspect your gas cylinder/locker), then you can use the Tunnel without any problems.

We use the crossing quite often, have always been inspected when leaving the UK, without any problems.

I must say that our experiance of the same procedure when leaving French soil is that sometimes they do, some times they don't.

other than a question " Have you switched off your Gas?" If we answer YES, they just wave us through!

Maybe they just want to get us Brits back where we came from ASAP shrugg shrugg

Can I also add

On our recent trip of 17 days, we took a 3/4 full 6kg lite & 2 907's. This time we spent 12 nights at a campsite in Provence, so were many on electric hook up. we used just over 3kg of propane from the Lite and used 1 kg from a 907 for BBQ. The other full 907 was as back up.

Have never felt the need to opt for refillable or french cylinders, as our sojourns are rarely more than a fortnight longest, as we are both still working.
think_smiley_46


Last edited by Dago on Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional comment)

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Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit Empty Re: Propane in France, Ravenna on Transit

Post by SteveUK on Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:09 am

There is a limit on the quantity of LPG that can be carried, and in the case of a fixed tank it must have a gauge and be seen to be no more than 80% full. See details on Eurotunnel's web site for definitive rules...

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