Transporting Gas Cylinders to the Campsite

So you’ve bought a gas cylinder for camping and now you need to get it to the campsite. How should you safely transport it? What are the laws on this? Fortunately, it’s quite simple and just needs common sense…

Transporting your gas cylinder

Transporting Gas Cylinders to the Campsite

you don’t need to put a gas warning sign on your car

Unlike carrying large or commercial gas cylinders, you don’t need to put a gas warning sign on your car or have a special driving license, but there are some sensible precautions you should take.

Cylinders should be secured so that they don’t roll around when you are driving and should be kept upright (this is to avoid the liquid gas clogging the valve).

If you have a trailer, it’s best to carry the cylinder in that rather than your car.

If you put the gas cylinder in the boot of the car, you might want to keep a window slightly open to provide additional ventilation, just in case there’s a gas leak from the cylinder.

It’s also not a good idea to leave a gas cylinder in direct sunlight in a hot car. Gas cylinders can explode when they get hot.

Having said all that, the actual risk from a small gas cylinder used for camping is quite low, and Campingaz says their cylinders are safe for transporting in a car, but it is wise to use common sense and not take any unnecessary risks when you are taking your family camping.

Tips for Transporting your Camping Gas Cylinders

  • Secure your cylinder so it doesn’t roll around.
  • Keep the cylinder upright.
  • If you have a trailer, place the cylinder in that.
  • Make the cylinder easy to access to inspect.
  • Don’t leave the cylinder in direct sunlight or a hot car.

Transporting gas cylinders to Europe

At the time of writing, Eurotunnel had a 47kg limit on a single gas cylinder, but it must be less that 80% full.

For your typically family campers with a tent, a 47kg container is extremely large, and you’ll be fine with the normal smaller containers, such as the Campingaz R907 (which is 2.75kg).

When you check in you may be asked if you are carrying any gas, and they may want to inspect your gas cylinder, so make sure it is easily accessible.

Please check with Eurotunnel for their latest rules before travelling.

Ferry Operators have similar rules to Eurotunnel. You need to check your ferry operator before travelling and check your route too as it can vary for different destinations.

As a general guide:

  • A number of gas cylinders you are allowed to transport can vary. When we checked, different routes had different rules, as you can see below:
    • up to 1 x 47kg cylinder (but less than 80% full)
    • up to 2 x 11kg cylinders
    • up to 3 x 11kg cylinders
    • up to 3 x 15kg cylinders
  • Any gas must be off
  • Declare the gas cylinder (most require this when you check-in)
  • Cylinder is secured and upright
  • Cylinder is accessible for inspection

Thousands hop over the channel with their gas cylinders to go camping in France and the rest of Europe. If you are taking the appropriate measures, you won’t have a problem.

Remember, Say no to CO


Remember, gas is dangerous. Carbon Monoxide Kills.

Tents are generally designed with sufficient ventilation for humans and not sufficient ventilation for cooking. It’s not just condensation from cooking in your tent that could cause a problem, but if there’s not sufficient ventilation for the gas, you could build up to a harmful level of fumes in your tent.

We create a cooking shelter outside. Cooking in an open porch is possible, but always keep it away from the tent walls.

Keep your gas cylinder outside of your tent

Don’t store your gas cylinder in your tent. Keep it outside, but try to keep the cylinder and regulator out of the rain.

You can get gas heaters for your tent, but this is something we’re not taking the risk with. I know, there are safety cut-offs, etc., but I’m not going to put my family’s life on the line for a cheap cut-off valve.

So, please, keep it out of your tent, use common sense, and say no to CO.

Next Article

Cooking with Gas – Your guide to getting started with cooking with gas at the campsite

This is the final article in the series to help you get up and running with your gas camping stove. If you want to revisit the series, click here for the previous article on getting and fitting the gas regulator.

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

  1. thanks for the information

  2. If you have a small gas cylinder in a camper van should you put the warning sticker at the back of the vehicles or where the actual cylinder is?

  3. Hi,

    We will visit Grand Canyon this summer and will do tent camping there.
    To cook we will use a gaz canister stove but we aren’t sure where to keep it while we hike in the park.
    We called MSR and they say it’s definitely too hot in the car.
    Where would you keep it?
    Trying to put it somewhere on the campsite, trying to burry it, keep it with us in our bagpack while we hike?

    Thanks a lot for your hints!

    • Yes, good point. A stationary car in the sun soon becomes as hot as a furnace. Not a place you want to keep the canister.  I’ve not camped at the Grand Canyon, and you might see other campers there with a better solution… However, I would set-up a camping tarp shelter. One big enough for a kitchen and seating area, and ideally cover the tent too. I would then keep the canister in the open but in the shade of the shelter, out of the direct sunlight.  The air moving around the shaded canister should keep it cool enough.  Of course the natural refrigerator is running water. Placing items in a stream can help keep them cool. But I suspect that won’t be an option at your campground.

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