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Refillable Propane Tank by Gaslow

Are you wondering whether a refillable gas bottle is going to save you money or will you never make the initial cost back? A refillable propane tank can be very expensive but the payback time will be very short.

gaslow refillable gas cylinder with 80% cut off marking.

Aren’t all propane tanks refillable?

Well yes, they are! So why the heck am I writing an article on it? There’s a BIG difference between tanks the manufacturer can refill and tanks that you can refill.

Many tanks can’t be purchased, they are rented from the manufacturer. You will usually sign an agreement when you first pay for the tank. It comes full of LPG/Propane/Butane which belongs to you but the tank does not belong to you.

When your tank is empty, you take it back and the supplier will swap it for a full tank. A refillable tank, you will fill up yourself and just pay for the LPG.

Refillable Propane Tank Benefits

There are only a few benefits to refillable gas bottles, but those few benefits are huge! They are particularly huge in the financial department.

  1. They are seriously cheap to fill and I mean SERIOUSLY cheap! If you refill at a supplier that doesn’t charge road tax for the LPG then the price is 60p a litre. To fill the tank pictured above is £3.11 pence in 2022. If you were renting your cylinder and came to swap it then you would be looking at a price of around £22. Refillable gas bottles are about 85% cheaper to refill!
  2. If you thought that was the main saving then you could be mistaken. Most people waste so much propane by returning partly full bottles. Everyone wants to make sure that they have enough gas for their camping trip. This is why we take half-empty gas bottles to be exchanged for a full one for their trip. This is a cost that many of us don’t count. This suddenly makes the refills about £40 for a small one. It’s best not to do the maths or you will probably be thinking twice about boiling the kettle on your next trip. It would be cheaper going to Costa!

3. The cylinder comes complete with a lovely gas gauge which is pretty accurate. To be fair you don’t need it that much because you tend to top it up before every trip. It’s only at home I use the gauge.

gas gauge on refillable gas cylinder

Refillable Gas Bottle Drawbacks

There are indeed some major drawbacks to consider.

  1. initial cost is high. You can pay just shy of £200 for refillable propane tanks.
  2. Finding a place to fill. You will likely get questioned if you go to a station forecourt and they are generally too busy to do any research so they will just refuse to fill your bottle. The best technique is to find somewhere local to you that deals in LPG. Give them all the information they require to make a decision. Hopefully, they will say OK and then in the future, you can fill up at that station before every trip. I made my local supplier a poster with images so they could display it for staff to see which cylinders are safe. Here’s a link to the PDF maybe you could print one out for your local garage.
    Here’s the poster to download and print.

  1. 3. Sometimes topping up a small bottle is embarrassing, particularly when the topup costs under £1. On saying that, it does mean you have just saved yourself £30 because you didn’t have to swap your half-full bottle out
    4. The small bottle is slightly too tall for a standard gas locker in a campervan. There are alternative gas lockers available but don’t expect to be able to just drop it inside your existing locker because it’s unlikely to fit


The question on everyone’s lips is how long will it take to pay me back. To be frank, this is probably the quickest payback I have ever bought! I paid about £180 for my refillable propane tank. It would have cost me £40 to rent a full cylinder so there is my first £40. After I had filled it for just over £3, we went camping for a week. We used about half the tank on our trip so needed to top up before the next trip. This would have cost £30 to swap a rented cylinder, plus there was half the gas left in it so we would have lost £15 in gas and bought another £30. That takes the total to £85 in two weeks! Let’s just say a month of little trips and you are in profit! enjoying cheap refills.


There are many regulations around the manufacture of gas cylinders but the refillable ones have one specific regulation that you need to look out for. They must be designed, when filling, to cut off when the gas level reaches 80% This is really important. Imagine filling your gas bottle to 100% and then putting it in a hot car or campervan. BANG! You will not find anywhere that will fill a bottle if it is not marked with the 80% cut-off. There are many homemade cylinders on the market that just have an LPG pump connector on the top. There are also kits to convert your rented bottle to refillable. DO NOT BUY THESE! it is only a matter of time before you will die, that’s if you manage to find somewhere to refill it!

What can I use a refillable Gas Cylinder for?

Now that you have realised it’s only just over £3 to fill it, you will start to consider other uses. Here are a few things I have bought JUST because I have a refillable cylinder:

A Weed Burner.

Not one of your little ones that take the tiny gas canisters and gives a little pencil flame. A burner that is more akin to a flame thrower and clears our large patio of weeds in 15 minutes. I always have the hoes pipe at hand. I’ll do a review on that with some photos later.

A Patio Heater

We’ve taken this camping as well as used it on the patio. You don’t feel like it’s burning a hole in your wallet with a refillable propane tank.


It’s a no-brainer. It’s likely to pay you back within a month and you get that oh-so-happy feeling when you fill it up for £3. It makes cooking while you are camping, a lot less stressful. You’re not worried about running out of gas because you always leave home with a full bottle. I also run the old bay window camper on LPG as an alternative to petrol. I get that oh-so-happy feeling when I fill that up too! You can see how I converted the camper to run on LPG here.

As usual, if you have any questions then ask away in the comments below.

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