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  #1  
Old 8 Aug 2007
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Gas bottle availability in Africa

Does any one have experience of exchanging blue or red gas bottles (small size) in Africa?

We are planning the west coast route then across either at Chad or down through Congo depending on the politics when we get there and on to SA.

I know about the regulator size problems so this question is purely about availability.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 8 Aug 2007
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blue

Kate,

In all French speaking countries they will have the blue Campinggaz bottles (3kg) We had 2 of them and got to Namibia without running out of gas. In Namibia the 'trouble' started. They have the South African system (Cadac). The thread on the bottle is different but fortunately I was lucky (or smart . Instead of screwing a 90 degree regulator directly on to the bottle I had a straight regulator screwed on a loose 90 degree closing valve which was screwed on the bottle. This closing valve happened to have a universal gas connection (where the regulator goes on) which could connect to the South African standard connections for filling equipment. This worked throughout Southern Africa and in Tanzania (on our way back up) they had the Campinggaz type again although it is called differently. In short; Blue worked for us !

I hope my description is clear. If not, let me know. I can send you a picture of the components!

Cheers
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #3  
Old 8 Aug 2007
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Gas Bottles

Hi

We recently investigated blue vs red bottles in preparation for our africa trip. General opinion seems to be that blue (butane) is best as it is more widely availible throughout africa. The red propane bottles are there we've been told by people who travelled with them but they ended up switching to butane for ease and availiblity.
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Old 8 Aug 2007
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[QUOTE=I hope my description is clear. If not, let me know. I can send you a picture of the components!
[/QUOTE]

Noel,

Very useful info. It's kinda clear but a picture would help, if possible.
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  #5  
Old 8 Aug 2007
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picture

As requested

The nut is part of the regulator. The valve has lefthanded thread.

Cheers,

Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #6  
Old 9 Aug 2007
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Thanks for the info and picture Noel... and a facinating website too!

Our Mog has both red and blue bottles at the moment and runs the water heating and cooking. I don't mind luke warm showers but I do like my cups of coffee!!

I think we'll take two blue bottles after the comments here.

Thanks
Kate
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  #7  
Old 14 Aug 2007
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Hi again Noel

I've just re-read your posts and notice that you are talking about 3kg bottles... we are carrying 15kg bottles - do you know if these are available too?!!

Kate
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Old 14 Aug 2007
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bigger bottles

Kate,

I have never heard of 15kg Campingaz bottles but then again I have never paid attention to it because they are to big for the Landcruiser, so they might exist. Best to check with some camping supply outfit or caravan dealer.

The bottles I am talking about and which we found in Africa are strickly the blue Campingaz bottles from French origin. One 3kg bottle lasted us 4 to 5 weeks, for cooking. One bottle empty we switched to the other and started looking for exchange or refill places. Never failed.

We also have seen many 6 kg red bottles usually at Total gas stations. Don't know much about them.

I guess if you can't work it out to the 15 kg bottles, just take a couple of these 3 kg bottles in your truck! Easy to stow away and redundancy is always good.


Good luck.
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2007
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Thanks Noel

Our Mog has two external storage 'racks' for 15kg bottles and we are currently carrying one red and one blue (both 15kg) as our cooker will run on either gas.

As you say... we can always swap over to the smaller bottles if necessary and I'm sure we can adapt the racks for smaller size bottles to save space inside.

It's good to hear that we will have a choice of red or blue as this will increase our chances of supper!

Many thanks again
Kate
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  #10  
Old 14 Aug 2007
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30kg

2 bottles of 15kg ?

That's is a lot of suppers/teas/coffees and hot showers, how long are you thinking to be on the road? Even if your cooking 3 hot meals a day for a small group of people.

I would start with two fresh bottles and only invest in the regulator (like Noel showed) and maybe some spare/universal connection bits.

You can always buy a local bottle (blue/red) with a matching regulator or just a burner if you don't succeed to find a filling station or a good replacement.

cheers

BTW. we (2 persons) used 2 R904 bottles + one refill in 6 months N-W africa, as a backup-unit we took a small burner with extra c206 cartridges.
But I should mention we like every oportunity to let someone else cook.
Refill was no problem in Mauritania although it was a bit scary, imagine a big gaztrailer with a hose coming out of it's belly, a small balance/scale for the right weight and a man happyly helping this tourists with a burning sigaret in his mouth, aah sweet memories...
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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I hope you aren't thinking of swapping as you go along the local bottles. No telling the last time any of the seals were checked or replaced.

I had no problems getting a Cadac type bottle refilled from SA to Uganda. I just refused to exchange for bottles of questionable condition and kept mine the whole distance.
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  #12  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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east & west

True enough, East coast is well develloped and is no challenge for most gas system. They use several systems next to each other. But try fill a Cadac bottle in Congo, Gabon, etc. or any country in West Africa. No chance !
We got around the 'entire' continent (30 countries) with the Campingaz system, without ever running empty! To my opinion that is the most suitable system for Overlanding.

Cheers,
Noel

exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #13  
Old 15 Aug 2007
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Sophie - thanks for your advice and your rather scary sounding experience!

We are intending on being away several years but the question is more of the actual practicality of taking a system that predominantly runs on gas - I should add that it's not just the water heating and cooking (both hob and oven) but also the heating.... my boyfriend is a rock climber so we will be spending a good deal of time in mountainous areas where ever possible and the temperature at night will fall considerably – especially in the Atlas in winter. So we will also need to heat the Mog on occasion.

I think after all that has been said here – and thank you all for your advice – we will be fine with two full bottles at the start and we can always add if necessary!
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Old 15 Aug 2007
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mistress-kate
If you're looking for a total solution and are still in the planning stage you could also consider the posibilities of heating (car and water) with diesel heater systems, and there are also diesel cookers on the market.

Take a dive into the world of mobilehomes/campers and yachts.

the dutch department of webasto mentions a whole new productline.

When your MOG is a diesel this could be a serious option, one fuel type for all your needs and transport.
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Old 15 Aug 2007
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Thumbs up diesel heating & cooking

Bart is right! I have seen expedition vehicles with totally enclosed diesel cooking stoves, built-in a sink, electronically ignited. The only thing you see is a ceramic cooking plate like unbreakable glas top. Everything else is inside. It has an exhaust to the outside, no fumes, no smells. Top of the bill. Probably expensive but if you are going away for years it would be a very good option!
Room heating by Webasto heaters is pretty standard equipment nowadays so that won't be a problem.

cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl

Last edited by noel di pietro; 15 Aug 2007 at 16:11.
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