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Gas Guage on Lancashire

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Post by crisp on Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:57 am

Whilst i can understand that the dash fitted gauge is never going to be 100% accurate, I am getting increasingly frustrated that it sometimes fails to read anything but empty. It has now been back three times but the problem continues. Anyone got any ideas, is it possible that damp gets into the connections?
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Post by Spospe on Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:37 am

I can only sympathise. We have a 2014 Warwick Duo and it does the same sort of thing. Usually when the lights drop from 8 to 4, the tank will take about 5 litres rather than the 10 you would expect (the Duo has a 20 litre capacity tank).

I prefer to read the level when on the move, rather than when stopped, as I hope that the constant jiggling will even up the contents and give a more reliable indication.

Up to now we have learned to live with the problem and treat the gauge as a guide, rather than as an accurate instrument.
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Post by crisp on Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:34 pm

Thanks for the reply I could cope if it was just regularly out by even 50% but the fact it just keeps going to empty is very frustrating!!confused3
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Post by Claytaa on Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:17 pm

In Spain at present in our new Bourton. Gas gauge suddenly went to red light so decided to top up the gas as with the camper being new had no idea of consumption. Travelled 25 miles to get gas, it took 22 cents of gas. We had used the gas for cooking and a bit on the fridge for three weeks. The gauge as on our previous Warwick Duo is completely useless. It will have to go back for "repair" when we return to the Uk but it really is a pain in the a..e havin no idea what gas we have.
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Post by Pete Taylor on Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:13 pm

Daft question time.... being an engineer I really ought to know this... what does 20 litres equate to in terms of Kgs bottles? 

confused3 

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Post by roli on Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:05 pm

The 20 kg is around 10/11kg I recon (for the perfectionists I will stand correction)
Have you tried taking a reading when you have gas flowing ie fridge or fire on ?
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Post by Spospe on Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:19 pm

roli wrote:The 20 kg is around 10/11kg I recon (for the perfectionists I will stand correction)
Have you tried taking a reading when you have gas flowing ie fridge or fire on ?


I agree that 20 litres of propane is about 10 KG (based on the density of propane being 493.00 kg/m³), so the simple rough equivalent measure, is to half the capacity in litres and that will give you the mass in KG.

Personally, I have never tried to read the gauge when drawing any gas, but its an interesting idea and worth a try. In our Warwick Duo, the ignition has to be on and the engine running for the gauge to work, which is perhaps why I have never tried it up to now. When next we use the van, I will give the idea a try and see if the readings are more accurate.
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Post by Jaytee on Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:11 pm

Sadly cannot do that check as fridge and heating won't run when engine on (well fridge does but on 12v).
Ours is very inaccurate but constantly so which as Spospe says we just use it as a guide. We have also sussed more or less how much gas we use depending on weather etc.

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Post by crisp on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:05 pm

Problem continued whilst we were away in Cornwall last week. I knew it couldn't be empty so I was ignoring it when suddenly it registered full again hooray. lasted about 30 miles before going back to red light empty. Technology ehh. Was much easier when I could lift the bottle and estimate.
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Post by Jools on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:38 pm

I used to have a Freelander that ran on LPG - and had its Gas tank in the boot.

It had an analogue dial gauge on the tank - physically connected to the float, which you could read - and was fairly accurate. This also relayed the level to a LED gauge on the dashboard - That was always inaccurate, and pretty useless!

I realise the AS tanks are fitted under the floor - so its not easy access - but do they have a physical gauge on the tank?

In the end - with that Freelander I would know that it would need filling every 300 miles - and would fill on distance, rather than what the gauge says.

I would imagine that this method could work in the camper too.

How long does a tank last for with normal use in the Summer (fridge, water, hob, BBQ) and in the winter  ( as above + heating)?

With some history surely you could build up some idea of filling up after 10 nights camping - or something like that.

(Warwick XL coming in March - so theory at the moment!)

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Post by crisp on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:43 pm

Thanks for the response. I have been under the van to see if I could locate another gauge but if there is one its not easy to find. Its difficult to estimate how much is being used because of the different situations we've been in on hook up, not on hook up etc. Once I 've had it for a while I am sure that I will get better at estimating. In the past a 6kg bottle lasted for a year but this van is bigger than the old one and does more so I haven't got the experience to reassure me. Actually its more of a frustrating issue than a problem one., but still not what you'd expect after paying that mush for a new motorhome. Especially a "luxury british auto-sleeper."
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Post by Jaytee on Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:48 pm

It does seem that all these gauges are approximate and as I mentioned b4 ours is pretty consistently inaccurate so now a good guide. Over the last month we have been on sites for seven days with no EHU so fully on gas and 12v. Fridge on all the time, heating most of the time, (sometimes ticking over all night) copious amounts of hot water plus cooking, kettles, oven etc. took 18.5 litres when we filled up so now have a good guide to how long it lasts in these temperatures.

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Post by mikethebike on Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:52 pm

Reading this ,these gauges are as useful as a chocolate Fireguard.
I assume they come free with a new van?

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Post by Jaytee on Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:03 pm

crisp wrote:Problem continued whilst we were away in Cornwall last week. I knew it couldn't be empty so I was ignoring it when suddenly it registered full again hooray. lasted about 30 miles before going back to red light empty. Technology ehh. Was much easier when I could lift the bottle and estimate.
Got to be an actual 'fault' if it's intermittent rather than just 'inaccurate'.

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Post by inspiredron on Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:47 pm

I wonder if A/S are using the same studs as on the water tanks - No, Ian, don't react - I'm just joking - but maybe they are made by the same people hugegrins

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Post by Jools on Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:37 am

Jaytee wrote:
crisp wrote:Problem continued whilst we were away in Cornwall last week. I knew it couldn't be empty so I was ignoring it when suddenly it registered full again hooray. lasted about 30 miles before going back to red light empty. Technology ehh. Was much easier when I could lift the bottle and estimate.
Got to be an actual 'fault' if it's intermittent rather than just 'inaccurate'.


Here are a couple of photos of the LPG tank that I had fitted in the boot of my Landcover Freelander

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It was a BRC tank and gauge.

When it was FULL it would be upto the red line (you can only fill the tank to 80% - so the red section is the unusable 20%)
Empty - it would be all the way round at the top.
So in the pic - its about 3/4 full.

If you parked up - got out and had a look, it would normally be swinging around wildly. The liquid gas would slop about in the tank for quite a while, and the needle was physically attached to a float device and would jump all over the place from min to max. - So best to read when it had been stationary for a while.

Now the blue thing - with a green wire - is the sensor that relayed the reading to the LED dashboard lights. I think it was a magnetic connection of some type. I can only assume that when travelling, as the gas was slopping around, it would display an "average" of the readings.

So - I would assume (not having my van yet) that the system is similar under the vehicle - It might not have a nice transparent cover over the gauge, but I would think that mechanically its fairly standard.

In my freelander - the physical needle was always pretty accurate..... The LED's were a guide at best! If I remember rightly they had to be calibrated. When the Gas system ECU was plugged into a laptop you could calibrate the LED's by taking the plastic cover off the gauge, moving the needle to 100% - and Calibrate....... Then move it to 0% and calibrate again.
Not something I ever played with - but I watched the garage do it a couple of times.

I also wondered - as the tank profile is round, not square, if the float is just measuring the depth of the liquid then it is going to be more sensitive at the top and bottom - and "slower" in the middle...... 

In the end, as I said, I would refill based on miles driven - and could take a look at the physical gauge if needed. 

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Post by crisp on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:02 am

Thanks for the reposes and for your experience Jaytee. Will soldier on without a gauge.smile!
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Post by Claytaa on Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:41 pm

Well we ran out of gas. Not too many stations in the Ebro Delta area of Spain. Booked appointment to get some at LPG car showroom. They filled it and it took exacactly 16.75 litres. Gauge now reading full but pretty sure it will be reading empty quite soon and that the tank will still be nearly full! I suppose it's a case of guessing when you think. Top up is required. Useless bit of kit.
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Post by Jools on Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:03 pm

The system on my Freelander was a BRC system - and the mechanical gauge was easy to read in the boot through the clear cover.

Auto sleeper use the Gas It products - and I've found some photos on their website

The tank - which is mounted under the van has a metal cover - and under this is the mechanical gauge - Here it is with the cover removed

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The spare gauge looks like this - very simple a float on an arm connected to the mechanical gauge  (This is a side view)

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As this is all mounted under the van a remote sender relays this to the dash

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Now the interesting bit of their description of this part says:-


So my guess is that its the sender that is poorly calibrated, and therefore should be used as a guide only - hopefully the calibration doesn't change, and so it would just be a case of getting used to what the reading relate to your particular van.


"Please note - this GAS IT sender unit and GAS IT LED is not a claibrated unit and as such the tanks contents displayed can vary."


If someone wants to investigate their tank sender then I would check the physical gauge on the tank first - which I suspect will be pretty accurate. 

Here's their website where you can get all sorts of spares http://www.gasit.co.uk

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Post by crisp on Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:29 am

Clattaa What a pain!! At least you were in the warm (I Hope) salad was the order of the day i guess . smile!
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Post by Jools on Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:50 pm

Claytaa wrote:Well we ran out of gas. Not too many stations in the Ebro Delta area of Spain. Booked appointment to get some at LPG car showroom. They filled it and it took exacactly 16.75 litres. Gauge now reading full but pretty sure it will be reading empty quite soon and that the tank will still be nearly full! I suppose it's a case of guessing when you think. Top up is required. Useless bit of kit.


So if it's 20 litre tank, then to fill it full would take 16 litres, as you can only fill the tank to 80% of its total volume.

So I think it's safe to assume that it was completely empty, and now it's full to capacity.

The question is - how long did it last from the last time you completely filled it? How many days camping?

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Post by Claytaa on Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:30 pm

We used the gas for just under five weeks but only for cooking and the fridge now and again. I would imagine if we use the heating we will be looking to refill every four or five days?
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Post by Jools on Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:41 pm

Thanks Claytaa

So if we take that as "summer use" the I would fill up say every 4 weeks

If you were camping in the winter, off , and using the heater and estimate 4 days, I would fill up after 3 and see how much I'd used, and how much I still had in reserve.

You should be able to estimate how often you need to top up. In the UK LPG is fairly well available, and if you are popping out in the van should be fairly easy to top up. 

We hired a camper in NewZealand, which had refillable cylinders. Over 2 weeks of wild camping we were still on the first tank (no heating, but hot water, fridge, and hob)

We get our van in March, which is why I'm interested in how long a tank will last - at the moment I don't think I will have anything to worry about :-)

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Post by Jaytee on Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:16 pm

I am pretty sure it is a 25 litre tank which should take 20 litres of gas as per the sales brochure. Mine manages 19 at times but it depends if the forcourt is flat or? I think from memory I can get more in if the van is nose low. Never managed the magic 20 though ha ha.

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Post by Claytaa on Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:14 pm

Mine was definitely empty, not able to light a gas ring, on the flat it took 16.75 litres?
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