Gas Gas Gas – Why the Campbell’s created this website

In 2014, Gordon and Barbara Campbell drove their new Avan Ovation motorhome from NSW across the Nullarbor.

As with all Ovations, they had two shiny new, top-quality, 9kg bottles in their gas locker.  Given this was their first major trip in their new pride and joy, they had no idea how much gas they would use. Gas was needed to fuel their large refrigerator, a hot water heater, a Weber Baby Q and a single burner wok cooker.

Because Ovations are self-contained, the Campbells planned, where possible, to “bush camp” three days, then a caravan park on the fourth.  And that is pretty much how their 5-month 19,300km trip from East to West and back worked out.

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And what was the average cost of their refills?

Being an astute record keeper, Barbara had details of every cent spent.  Her spreadsheet revealed that the five gas refills they needed cost an average $36.00 … way too expensive.

Now, remember, this occurred back in 2014.   In those days, a guide as to how much gas cost and where it could be bought didn’t exist.

So in January 2015, Gordon started a Facebook group page called “BBQ Gas Bottle Refills – cheapest in Australia?”.

He invited people keen to save money when refilling or swapping gas bottles to join the group.  The idea was that members would provide details of at least one location where they had refilled or swapped and the cost. That data would then be listed in a spreadsheet for all members to see.  In no time the group had close to 3,000 members and a database of more than 1,000 gas outlets right across Australia.

Later that year, the Campbells commenced a seven-month journey that would see them doing a 17,300 km half lap of Oz. The trip took them up the “Centre” and through some of the most costly outposts in Australia.  

This time they needed seven refills.  But now they had fairly accurate up-to-date information on where the cheapest refills were.

So … guess what the average cost was this time?

Just $19.02!!!  What a huge difference compared to the first trip … a saving of almost $17.00 a refill.

Naturally, they wanted to share this good news with everyone, especially grey nomads for whom every dollar saved is a gold nugget found.

But having met many seniors in their travels, the Campbells were aware this group have security fears about Facebook.  At “Happy Hours” these senior citizens had been told of houses being broken into because thieves had learned the occupants were away via Facebook.

Of course, the purveyors of such doom and gloom failed to mention one fact… even then, Facebook had introduced many settings to ensure users could keep such details private.

But at the time,  it became clearly evident that Facebook was not the best medium for reaching grey nomads. Nor was a cumbersome Excell spreadsheet the ideal way to locate the data …

and that’s how “www.gasbottlerefills.com” came about!

Do YOU still have a fear of Facebook? Read this.

21/02/2020 – Marion Carroll wrote:

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to save lots of money.