Mussels or Muscles!

Friday 18th May 2018

Cathy posting,

Last night we were at Baško Polje camping for one night, it was just a resting place for us as we’re going to Ploče to catch the car ferry to Trpanj on the Pelješac peninsular, we are heading for Dubrovnik, the ferry runs three times a day off-season, and apparently it’s not summer yet! We find this so strange as the weather is glorious and us Brits are definitely in summer mode! Continue reading

SOG Cassette Toilet Unit fitted

As we continue preparing the motorhome for our travels, in September 2017 I bought a brand new SOG unit from eBay for £112 including P&P saving £10

Our cassette toilet is a Thetford C200.

SOG charcoal filter cover

The SOG unit does not require any chemical toilet fluids like Aqua Kem Blue and Pink toilet flush, therefore a SOG unit will pay for itself because you don’t have to buy any chemical fluids.

It operates when you open the cassette toilet blade inside the bathroom, this action powers the small extractor fan, 12 volts, and draws the smell and oxygen through the flexi hose to the charcoal filter fixed to the outside. This action also breaks down the solids naturally. The valve ensures the smells are pushed outside and not back inside the van.

Benefits are:

  • chemicals are not used so therefore this environmentally friendly
  • no further costs, i.e. no need to purchase chemical fluids
  • easy enough to install if you take your time
  • the cassette toilet can be emptied in both chemical disposal points on camp sites and in standard toilets (please clean up though and keep motorhomers reputations intact)
  • no requirement for special toilet tissue paper, continue to use normal toilet tissue paper

Of course we all make our own choices but we are pleased with the SOG unit.

Installation and fitting I did myself and took about an 90 minutes, the instructions are comprehensive with photos.

I did the wiring first, no drilling yet, joined the spade connections and tested to ensure the unit works before fitting. All ok, now;

  • Remove the toilet blade mechanism, 4 screws, approached through the outside cassette door.
  • Next was to carefully saw, cut and sand the plastic blade part as per the instructions.
  • Now put this back in to the same position it came from.
  • Place the metal bracket with the micro switch in position, flick the switch with your finger ensuring it’s still working correctly.
  • Mark the position for the metal bracket, drill a 5mm hole through the toilet plastic white casing, it will go through in to the bathroom, this is normal.
  • Now inside the bathroom push the plastic pop rivet through the hole to meet the pre-drilled hole in the metal bracket, there are self sticky pads on the metal bracket as well to hold it in a permanent position.

The scary bit now, with a hole saw (20mm I think) drill a hole in the white plastic outside cassette door. Fix the fan using 4 screws to the inside of the door pushing the fan neck in to the new hole, connect the wires together, gently push the black flexi hose on the green plastic neck on the cassette and the other end of the pipe on the fan.

Fitted and working

Test the closing & opening of the door, flick the blade switch with your finger to test, then pop inside the van and test the blade mechanism, all working? perfect!








LPG Refillable System

In one of the motorhome lockers there are two 7kgs calor gas bottles. These bottles provide gas to a Truma heater/boiler/water unit and provides hot water and blown hot air heating inside the van, the gas is used also for the 3 ring cooker hob and cools the fridge.

After reading motorhome blogs about travelling through Europe and some research we decided to install a LPG refillable system.

We like the convenience of using just one LPG system on the motorhome and avoid buying different LPG bottles in different countries.

Having two bottles and use one at a time, close one off at the valve on the top of the bottle and use the other one. When the first one runs out, switch to No.2 and fill up at your next opportunity.

On the many forums the LPG discussion boards are full of comments, ideas and personal preferences. The most common systems seem to be Gas It and Gaslow, Alugas & Prakto. Each one has merits and drawbacks and there didn’t seem much differentiation, apart from maybe Alugas as their bottles are aluminium so therefore lighter than the others.

However, the dimensions of the gas locker meant there was only two choices for us due to height of the locker at 580mm plus a smaller upper recess rising to 600mm. We were looking at the 10-11kg bottle size.

For your information, the bottle heights were;

Gaslow – 580mm, click here

Alugas – 600mm, click here

Prakto – 550mm, click here

Gas It – 550mm, click here

The full kit quotes in 2016 for two 11kg bottles and hoses were circa £450, plus a further £110 – £140 for installation by a professional.

I had to buy a 7kg calor gas bottle recently and paid £22.50 from our local garage (we didn’t have the LPG system then) and LPG at the pump was 58 pence per litre.

We realised that the purchase of an LPG refillable system wouldn’t really pay for itself, it would take a lot of refills over a long time before it broke even. This was solely about the convenience, hassle-free fill top ups with the minimum of fuss at petrol and service stations.

We weren’t in a rush, but I kept an eye on the adverts for both Gas It and Prakto systems, when a classified advert on Motorhome Fun popped up; for sale 2 x Prakto 10.5 kg bottles with some hoses. I made contact and we agreed a price £180.

I called Autogas 2000 and was told the price of two Prakto bottles was £390 and in fact they fitted this system 6 weeks earlier and this was confirmed by the seller. Autogas 2000 quoted about £100 to install including the refill point in the body not the skirt.

Be aware that all LPG refillable bottles are date stamped and are good for up to 10 years.

There are two types of filler points available to you, internal and external;

1) a filler point mounted internally on a bracket or similar inside the locker, open your locker door and fill up or

2) a filler point mounted externally in the skirt or body of your van, no need to open the locker.

We went with option two, the filler point was mounted flush in the body like a fuel tank cap.


Small white cap is the gas refill point, I should have washed the van!

For £138 including VAT, Autogas 2000 installed a white flush filler cap, my Prakto bottles and 3 gas filling adaptors for use abroad.

Therefore, the total cost was £318 excluding diesel costs to Lockerbie and Thirsk. You can read about the Lockerbie trip here and the Thirsk here.

The pipework had to be boxed in though because the hoses came through the body in to an interior locker and dropped down in to the gas external locker.

We now have 42 litres of LPG so it will last a reasonable time between top ups.


Overall, I think we got a bargain.


How to put LPG in your refillable system;

  • Wearing gloves is advisable
  • Put the LPG nozzle on to your filler, inside the nozzle there are two slots, line these up with the two prongs on your filler.
  • Twist the aluminium sleeve on the nozzle a quarter turn to the right, it should lock on.
  • Squeeze the LPG trigger upwards, keep it there and with your other hand flick the clip inside the holster handle to lock the trigger in the up position.
  • Release your hands, the nozzle will remain attached and in position on its own.
  • Now on the LPG pump housing press and keep your hand pressed down on the button, this releases the gas through the nozzle.
  • It will cut out/off automatically when the bottles are full.
  • The trigger will release and return to its down/normal position.
  • Twist the aluminium sleeve nozzle a quarter of a turn to the left to release.
  • Replace nozzle in to the pump housing holster.