Canada & Alaska

Michele & Stephen's trip in 2012

Propane and Electricity

Propane

Most shipping companies prohibit all propane gas from vehicles being shipped. If your vehicle has propane cylinders (bottles) then you may not be permitted to ship them, even when empty. If you have a fitted propane tank you may have to have a certificate to say it has been purged and sealed.

To avoid all propane gas problems Man was shipped without any propane cylinders. This meant, of course, that we had to buy new cylinders on our arrival. Naturally Canadian (and USA) cylinders use a different fitting to those used in most of Europe. Whilst it is of course possible to buy "pigtails" that connect to the local cylinders the regulator end of Canadian (and USA) "pigtails" use imperial threads and will not fit the metric threads found on European regulators.

The solution to this problem is to bring with you metric pigtails with Swedish/Belgian left-hand thread POL fittings (available from Gaslow). These fit the internal thread of Canadian (and USA) cylinders. Note that although most new Canadian (and USA) fittings actually use the external thread (also found on new Canadian (and USA) cylinders) the internal thread is still usable.

The most easily obtained Canadian cylinder (about Can$65.00 from Wal*mart full of propane) is about 300mm in diameter and 450mm in height and contains 8kg of gas.

These cylinders are a tight fit in Man's gas locker which is 600mm wide.

Note the unused external thread on these Canadian cylinders.

Electricity

Man like nearly all European motorhomes is designed to use 230 volts 50Hz mains electricity. Both Canada and the USA use 110 volts 60Hz. The easiest solution to this problem is to carry a small "step up" auto-transformer to convert 110 volts to 230 volts. Assuming that your motorhome has an inverter (to convert 12/24 volts to 230 volts) then if you exclusively use this to supply 230 volts within your vehicle your auto-transformer need only be large enough to supply the maximum power ever demanded by your battery charger. In Man's case this was measured as 450 watts.

The waterproof box with cable glands is supplied (very cheaply) for use with outdoor Christmas lights!