Caravan Gas Bottle Storage - Regulations - 9kg Gas Bottle Holders
There have been a number of discussions on various online forums relating to the type of gas bottle required for use on caravans.
However, the comments being shared in these forums are perpetuating urban myths that have no basis in fact.
Specifically, claims that you can only use gas bottles with certain Coating Classification Codes on a caravan and that the use of the wrong gas bottle could void your insurance.
There is no truth to either of these contentions.
Caravan Gas Bottle-Cylinder Requirements
• There are no caravan specific standards, including types of coatings, that apply to the gas bottles themselves.
• There are very specific requirements on how and where you store the gas bottles in and on a caravan.
• The total number of gas bottles that you can legally carry is subject to control and can vary based on different state regulations.
• Gas bottle holders must withstand a 4g load.
Learn more about the specifics and background of caravan gas bottle requirements...
The Australian Standard Explained
To explain, a bit of background is in order.
As with most urban myths, there is a bit of fact mixed in with misinformation.
The paint coatings for caravan sized gas bottles are covered under AS2469-2005, in Section 11.
This Standard specifies manufacturing requirements for welded carbon and stainless steel cylinders with water capacity not less than 0.1kg or more than 150kg.
The Standard does NOT reference any application restrictions.
There are four Coating Classification Codes in this manufacturing Standard.
The Classification Codes are stamped into the neck ring of the gas bottles.
Depending on the Classification Code, the number 1, 2, 3, or 4 will appear within a 10mm circle. The lower the number, the more durable the finish.
The Coating Classification Codes
Classification Code 1:
These are hot dipped galvanised gas bottles.
This would be the most durable finish but these bottles could cost 3X what a normal caravan gas bottle would cost.
Classification Code 2:
These are abrasive blasted, then coated with a base coat and a zinc rich top coat.
Classification Code 3:
These are sprayed with a single layer of a zinc coating.
Classification Code 4:
These are sprayed with a primer and a polyester top coat.
This would be the least durable finish.
There are NO Specific Requirements for Caravans
In reference to the first myth, there is not, nor has there ever been a prohibition regarding the use of any Coating Classification Code gas bottle on a caravan.
Many, many years ago there was a common sense “recommendation” suggesting that Code 4 bottles would not be ideal for continuous exposure on a caravan tow bar.
This was never a ban and even the recommendation vanished from the Standards many years ago.
We know this for a fact because the gentleman that wrote that recommendation, as a member of the Standards Committee, currently works for Elgas.
The Standards also make no reference whatsoever to the Coating Codes being for specific applications, like marine, caravans or other applications.
This is pure urban myth.
Swap Changes the Durabilty Issue
With the advent of swap, even the issue of finish durability became a moot point.
For example, SWAP’n’GO® paints more than half of the bottles that come through for refilling, making long term coating durability less of a necessity.
Also, contrary to yet another urban myth, SWAP’n’GO does not blast the finish off of the swapped bottles, unless they are already heavily corroded.
They do not compromise the original undercoat and top coat. They just spray over both with an additional top coat.
SWAP'n'GO complies with all Australian Standards for caravan gas bottles
New Gas Regulations for Caravans
Not all of these are new gas regulations for caravans but they are all applicable. The Australian Standards that apply are AS/NZS5601.2 Gas installations. Part 2 and AS/NZS1596.
The two critical gas safety requirements specified by that Standards are:
1. All gas appliances must be approved for use in Australia
2. All gas work must be done by a licensed gas fitter. The requirements for this person may vary by State.
In addition, caravans must be designed with attention to the following:
Electrical equipment must be safely located away from LPG gas bottles storage locations.
LPG gas bottles storage and appliance locations must have adequate and permanent ventilation to any space that contains, or that may contain
Cabinetry and range hood must have proper clearances from the gas burners
All exhaust flue pipes must discharge outside
Install any gas bayonet or other quick connection fittings outside of any enclosed area
All gas appliance used must include a flame safeguard system
Gas Bottle Holder Requirements - Caravan Gas Bottle Storage
There are specific requirements for gas bottle holders under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 5601.2:2013 Section 3.3.
These all apply if the gas bottle is connected while the vehicle is moving:
• It needs to be mounted on the tow bar or the caravan wall that faces the towing vehicle.
• It must be installed upright – with the valve at the top.
• The gas bottle holder or carrier must be rigidly secured and able to withstand a steadily applied load equal to 4x the weight of a full gas bottle.
• The mounting method must be capable of withstanding this applied load from any direction.
Caravan Gas Bottle Storage - Gas Bottle Compartments or Lockers
There are specific requirements for caravan gas bottle storage compartments or lockers under the Australian Standard AS/NZS 5601.2:2013 Section 3.4.
Must only contain the secured cylinders and associated fittings
No access from inside caravan and must be sealed to prevent gas vapour from entering the caravan
Must have an unobstructed drain properly positioned to prevent gas from entering the caravan, being exposed to a source of ignition and as per the Standard
Water and corrosion resistant
Not contain any electrical equipment, batteries or other source of ignition
Must have the specified warning sign
Note that this is only a summary for caravan gas bottle storage. Please be sure to see the Standard for the full requirements
No Insurance Issues Based on Coatings
The supposed insurance requirement is just another myth.
There are no grounds for an insurance company to reject a claim on the basis of the Coating Classification Code.
This is because there is no Standard or legal requirement for any specific Coating Classification Code for a caravan application.
In addition, we have never seen such a clause in any policy and the LPG industry association would almost surely oppose any such arbitrary and capricious clause.
If anyone actually has a policy that states this, we would love to see a copy!
How to Test for Gas Leaks
A Real Issue That Could Affect Your Insurance
In reading the online forums, there was another issue of GREAT SAFETY CONCERN that actually could affect your insurance.
Contributors make mention of having 6, 8 or as many as 12 gas bottles.
Separate from the Australian Standards, there are various state regulations that limit the number of gas bottles you can carry in a private vehicle.
The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.