How to Avoid Dangerous Gas on Your Camper

Have you got a camper or caravan that might have dangerous gas issues?

In the video below, we’ll show you examples of dangerous gas issues that you should avoid.

A Loosely Based On A True Story

In the video above, we made a funny little “skit” where a man was calling his friend, but the daughter picked up and informed him that the dad was busy working on a camper trailer and looking for someone to do the gas. This man offered to help, but the daughter politely declined as the dad needed someone licensed.

The skit was inspired by a job we had. It was a fantastic custom made job. Obviously the tradie who had put it together knew his stuff. But they got a mate to do the gas and it’s an absolute debacle. This usually happens when someone’s got a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of skills, but just enough to be dangerous. We’ll show you what’s happening and why it’s so dangerous.

The Gas Issues

First up, where the gas bottles are located, there’s no markings of where they are. Now, it’s very important that if they are in a storage compartment, that there’s a red reflective sticker. So in case of fire or other emergencies, the firemen or anyone’s coming to the rescue will know there are LPG bottles there and take extra care. As you can see, at the front of the camper trailer, there’s no labels or anything like that.

Second of all, inside the compartment where the gas bottles are, there are some batteries next to them. You can imagine if one of the cables was slightly loose, that could spark quite easily and this whole thing would blow up.

There’s also meant to be a test nipple on the bottle so they can test the gas main. These aren’t even flared for LPG flares.

The Hot Water System

The pipe works are amazing, great bend, but then they’ve got the hot water system screwed on the outside. It’s one of the Joolca hot water systems with a lovely cover for it, but because these are made to be portable, you’re not by law allowed to screw them to anything. They have to be able to be removable. And that’s where the Patrick Campers got into a bit of trouble, because they mounted them on the door. It was safe and everything, but it’s just that, the wording that Joolca has used that says it needs to be portable, so you can’t ever bolt this in. You can see that he’s done a great job, nice little bends on the pipes, but again, they use flared fitting, and you can’t have any piping going through into it and in there.

Another thing is, this compartment needs to be fully sealed. There needs to be a hole or vent that the gas, because it’s heavier than air, can go into it. But they had nothing like that. If there was a leak, it could build up a big spark, and the whole thing would blow up.

It’s totally set up for remote camping, but make sure you’re totally remote for everyone else because, I sure would not be want to be camping next to this camper trailer, the way it is now.

The Barbecue

And then for the barbecue set up. They’ve made up this cooker on the side that you can pull out. It has a lid that you can open up and mount it in. The owner bought this secondhand has never used it. And then above that was a compartment where they put the barbecue. It has a hose that goes all the way down under the camper trailer and hooked up to a bayonet that is connected to the gas bottles.

Again, he could have left the barbecue on accidentally, as the switch is very easy to turn on and off. And gas could have been leaking without them knowing.

Also, you can see that the hose has copped a lot of folding and bending. They’re often jammed in the door, so not ideal at all. Dust also gets in there.

What We’re Going to Do

There’s a kitchen that you can pull out. They’re going to buy one of those dual gas wok burners, like the Companion, which we have covered in another video. So we’re going to install a couple of bayonets nearby that can run the hot plates.

We’re also going to try and get that Joolca portable again, possibly hanging it on the door. If you’ve got one of those portable Joolca hot water systems, the best thing is to get it as close to the kitchen sink as possible, so you’re not wasting too much water as it’s flowing through and heating up. We will also put another gas bayonet in so that the barbecue can be run out of the compartment.

We’ll also get those batteries out of the gas compartment and put them in another compartment. We will put in all the seal, so when the door’s shut, there’s no way the gas can get through. Also, we’ll put a vent at the bottom. Because LPG is heavier than air, it’ll sink out if there is a leak. We’ll get a test nipple on that as well. And as mentioned earlier, we’ll move the Joolca hot water system. We’ll bring it up to spec so we can sign off on it and give it a completion and compliance notice.

Remember, if you’ve got a mate who’s offered to help out on the gas, just make sure he’s got a license. You don’t have to be remote camping and then things go pear-shaped or something explodes.

The Result

The Joolca is now off the front of the camper, so it’s not bolted anymore and fits to the instructional manuals and all the rest of it, because it’s meant to be a portable thing. We’ve put the LPG sticker at the front, which is really important, so if you do have an accident or something’s going on at a campsite, the firemen and everyone knows that there’s LPG stored in there. We’ve also put a 25 mil hole at the bottom of the compartment as well, because LPG is heavier than air, so it can drift out of that hole.

We put a new gas regulator on. We like the single ones, because then you know if one of the bottles is empty and can just change it over. It’s also got a test nipple, which is important, so we can test the pressure and also make sure there’s no leaks when we finalise it.

And most importantly, we’ve taken those big batteries out of the gas compartment, which were absolute hazards that could set off an explosion at any time. We’ve removed those completely, pulled out all the wires and everything, so that’s all good. He’ll have to install those somewhere else. And also we’ve put a pinch weld that sits across the door so that the LPG compartment is fully sealed off to the rest of the camper. You’re not really meant to store anything in that LPG storage compartment that is electronic. You shouldn’t even have your battery drills in there or anything. We’ve got this pinch weld and it was quite difficult to do. So as the door shuts, it pinches against the steel strip from the shelf above and seals it all up.


We’ve put a bayonet on the side for the barbecue and also a couple at the back. One for their wok burner, the Companion wok burner that they’re going to buy. And another one for the hot water system. Now for the hot water system, it was at the front and they ran the shower at the back.

We removed that whole hot main because it’s not in that location anymore. And it was nearly five and a half meters of hot water pipes. So, imagine how much cold water it would have to empty before the hot water came through when they had that original set up. Now, when you’re remote camping, you want to save as much water as possible so you might be able to stay an extra day or so. By moving the hot water system to the back, right near the kitchen sink, you’re going to use a whole lot less water when you’re out there. We’ve put some new quick connectors in there, so tool-less connection for the gas and the water.

The Batteries

We had this three-meter hose installed and the batteries were stored in there too. We put the other battery out of there now because as we dragged the hose across the batteries, it sparked on the top of the hot water system and cooked this hose completely,. That’s totally stuffed in about three or four places, so it’s really, really dangerous. They were the batteries that were installed inside the gas compartment.

The Hot Water

So we got a new 1.5 meter hose that we’re going to use for our hot water system. Once the dust cap’s removed, we can hook up the hose. The hose is live at the moment, but no gas is coming out because it’s got the quick release fitting.

We have installed quick release fittings. The hot one is connected straight to the kitchen sink and the cold one is connected to the water tanks. We’ve got the two hoses that are both exactly the same. First of all, what you do is you hook up the hose for the hot one. It just clips in easily. Same thing with the cold now, but you always clip it onto the hot water system first. And then as soon as you plug it in on the other side, water will start charging and the hot water system will try to light. The hot water works fine now at the kitchen sink.

The Shower

As mentioned earlier, they have a shower installed at the back. To get it working, just unclip the hose from the cold side of the kitchen, hold on to that so it doesn’t go in the sand. Now, there’s another hose that’s connected onto the shower. You unhook the hose from the hot side of the hot water system and take the shower one to hook in there. You can roll up the hot hose and put it away. Now the water will suck straight from the kitchen sink, so we’ll plug the cold hose onto the kitchen sink.

Now the water is coming from the kitchen sink through the hot water system. And you got a shower that’s connected to your tanks, so really easy to hook up and change over between shower and kitchen sink. We’re also not wasting that much water anymore.

The Pack Up

So now we’ll shut that off and disconnect the whole system. First of all, always unhook it from the kitchen sink. Grab your hose. Empty it out. Roll it up. Chuck them in your kitchen sink. Unhook your shower and pop the hose back into the camper. The shower also pops back inside the camper. Close the doors. The kitchen can just be pushed back in all the way. Disconnect the gas. Roll the hose up. And take your hot water system out and store it. How easy is that?

So if you need any work done on a camper or if it’s unsafe and you want to make it safe, and you live in Perth, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.