Next step seemed to be to decide which fuel we would use to keep warm, whether that be heating, showering or cooking. I preferred the idea of Eberspacher or similar diesel heating, which means only one fuel and one fuel tank so saving weight and space. There’s not much in it price wise between gas systems and diesel systems but diesel was my preference.
Things that seem simple often are, except for diesel kits. Diesel cookers are not recognised by the DVLA when re registering your camper van from goods vehicle to motor caravan. I suspect that common sense would prevail if you turned up with a diesel cooker, as the idea is your van has to be permanently converted to prevent companies wrongly avoiding regulations applicable to their business vans. I did ask around, and asked the DVLA, who just quoted the rules, so it seemed too big a risk to take. Shame. Heating water with diesel is a little more complicated with expansion cylinders required and remote heat exchangers etc….
I looked into gas systems and given the hassle with all the different types of bottles across the globe and storing them I decided to fit an LPG tank under the van in-between the chassis rails. The big advantage with this is that you only need to carry three different attachments to fit all the European filler nozzles.
The first company that popped up was close to where I live, priced right and were very helpful on the phone, I took a trip in the van to Autogas 2000 at Carlton Miniot, Thirsk
Brilliant service, with my van popped up on a ramp to see how big a tank was possible and some holes drilled through the chassis as he said it would be horrible laid on your back doing it. No charge for quite a bit of messing about. Needless to say I bought my kit from them, resulting in a 38 litre tank and all the kit for a little over £500.
Now to fit it……Autogas 2000 fabricate their own bottle clamps which are laser cut, fit perfectly and make the job a doddle. Once bolted up under the van using the perfectly place drilled holes that was it…bish, bash, bosh. I fitted the regulator and a 3 way manifold (cooker, water and air heaters) under the van. The only bit left to do is cut a hole and fit the filler.
This bit needs a careful eye to suss out the best place on the cill as it needs to go through the outer and inner skin due to its depth. You don’t want to cut through the outer skin to find you meet a structural point behind…doh! Fortunately I got it right first time, which is never a forgone conclusion as I am mentally challenged when it comes to measuring.
A nice neat bead of white Sikaflex and a few screws to clamp it in and that’s basically it.