Liquefied Petroleum gas (LPG) is convenient, clean, relatively inexpensive and for most caravanners or campers readily available. However, it is also flammable. Below are some hints which will help keep your system operating safely and efficiently.
LPG consists basically of propane which is a by-product of petroleum processing. Existing in a vapour for at atmospheric pressure it changes to a liquid when stored under pressure. Inside a cylinder the pressure varies from 350 kPa (50 psi) at OpC to 1400 kPa (200psi) at 45pC. This means that it is possible for a larger quantity gas to escape rather quickly if handed carelessly.
Because LPG is heavier than air it will always find the lowest place or stay close to the ground floor. Ventilation therefore is very important, particularly in confined spaces like caravans. The practice of blocking off air vents to keep put draughts is a dangerous one and is not recommended. As most gas facilities and installations are covered by regulations, a little care by the user can prevent accidents.
The gas systems should be inspected regularly and any service work carried out by a licensed gas fitter. A 'certificate of compliance' has to be issued on the completion of any work carried out on a LPG system.
These must be stored upright and securely fastened. All cylinders normally used on caravans and camper trailers are fitted with a safety relieve valve. This is designed to release gas to the atmosphere should a high pressure build up occur in the cylinder usually as the result of very high temperatures. Always make sure that this is relief valve is pointing away from both the caravan and towing guide.
For cylinders not stored under cover a coat of paint once a year will prevent rust formation. Every ten years, from date of manufacture, all cylinders mist be inspected and retested.
Because gas at a high pressure is unsuitable for use in appliances like stoves and refrigerators, a regulator is necessary to lower the pressure. Never attempt to use gas from a cylinder which is not fitted with a gar regulator. To prevent damage by water it is advisable to place a cover over the top. Due to the need it have the regulator vented to atmosphere it is possible for water to enter the unit cause corrosion. If this occurs with older type regulators, it is possible to have the gas delivered to the appliance. Never attempt to dismantle or adjust a regulator. If in doubt have the regulator tested or replace it with a new one. Newer caravans use regulators with over-pressure protection.
Check to make sure that all pipes are secures to the chassis or body. The pope leading away from the cylinder should be fitted with a loop or flexible hose to reduce the chance of the pipe cracking due to vibrations. To make sure that no leaks have developed, regularly check all joints and fittings by brushing on soapy water. Bubbles will indicate a gas leak.