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Thread: Coleman stove-fuel

  1. #1
    Boolit Master TCTex's Avatar
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    Coleman stove-fuel

    I just picket up a Coleman stove and had a fuel question. I don't plan on running any gasoline out if it. I don't mind the Coleman fuel, it is cheaper than the propane. But, is there an alturnitive to use that is just as good?

    Thanks

    Duane
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote

    Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Wondering myself as yesterday I was thinking of getting some for my lantern but the little store by me wanted $17 for a gallon!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    From the net: "Coleman fuel is a petroleum naphtha product marketed by The Coleman Company. Historically called white gas (not white spirit), it is a liquid petroleum fuel (100% light hydrotreated distillate) usually sold in one gallon cans.[1] It is used primarily for fueling lanterns and camp stoves. Additionally, it is a popular fuel for fire dancing. Originally, it was simply casing-head gas or drip gas which has similar properties. Drip gas was sold commercially at gas stations and hardware stores in North America until the early 1950s. The white gas sold today is a similar product but is produced at refineries with the benzene removed.[2][unreliable source?]

    Coleman fuel is a mixture of cyclohexane, nonane, octane, heptane, and pentane.

    Though Coleman fuel has an octane rating of 50 to 55 and a flammability similar to gasoline, it has none of the additives found in modern gasoline and cannot be used as a substitute for gasoline, kerosene or diesel fuel in modern engines. Its high combustion temperature and lack of octane boosting additives like tetraethyllead will destroy engine valves, and its low octane rating would produce knocking. However, it is quite popular as a fuel for model engines, where the low octane rating is not a problem, additives are unwanted, and the clean burning, low odor and longer shelf life are considered advantages."

    Propane sure looks a whole bunch cheaper! I have never used C fuel in anything because all my camping & lighting equipment is propane for that exact $$ reason. And I use propane in my plumber's furnace (jet engine!) to melt raw alloys real fast.......much faster than any stove could.

    I have read that some, in desperation, have used unleaded gasoline. Never heard if it blew up or not! If they are still alive, maybe they will chime in.

    I would highly recommend either a turkey fryer or plumbers furnace (propane or nat gas) for melting large pots of raw alloy to clean and ingotize.

    banger

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Depending on the gas generator used in your Coleman Stove, you may, or may not, have an alternative.
    The Duel Fuel Coleman stoves can run on Coleman fuel or unleaded gasoline. The ones that aren't rated for duel fuel Coleman claims they should be restricted to Coleman fuel.
    NOW the reality is that just about any Coleman stove will run on unleaded gasoline, it's a question of how long. In some cases you're better off economically just running them on unleaded gas and replacing the generator more often. Amoco unleaded seems to be the favorite. The Coleman fuel does store better. It doesn't have ethanol in it and is basically naphtha.

    You'll get mixed answers on this but I think you can get by with unleaded gas just fine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Been using unleaded gas in my coleman for years, no problem.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hickok View Post
    Been using unleaded gas in my coleman for years, no problem.
    Yes sir. Many years. If someday the generator should need replacing, I'll have paid for it many times by using cheaper gasoline.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by imashooter2 View Post
    Yes sir. Many years. If someday the generator should need replacing, I'll have paid for it many times by using cheaper gasoline.
    And there you have it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master TCTex's Avatar
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    Ok, what about Naphtha?

    1) how will it run?

    2) where can you get it?


    For me, it is still cheaper to run the Coleman fuel than it is to use propane. Just changing out the Cylinders at the store is 50.00.

    A looong time ago, my granddad ran leaded fuel (white gas,) in his, but can't really do that any more.

    Just talking out loud.


    Duane
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote

    Benjamin Franklin

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    Naptha you can buy at the hardware store. I think I'm going to give it a try in a lantern and see how it works there. I've used unleaded gas in my stoves no problem outdoors but I want to use the lantern indoors and don't want to be breathing all the extra **** in unleaded gas.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Naptha is actually a class of fuels and can mean different things. Coleman fuel is often referred to as "Naptha" or White Gas but that's a bit of an oversimplification.

    As for the potential energy in equal volumes of Propane vs. Gasoline, check the available BTU's per gallon:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent


    How much propane are you getting for that $50.00? That's high for a 20lb. (4.2 gallon) bottle.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 11-09-2014 at 07:25 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master TCTex's Avatar
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    Petrol, I honestly have no idea.


    It it is more of the observation of 51.99 for a refill tank, (and I do have two of them,) vs 15 for a gallon of Coleman fuel. A gallon of Coleman fuel lasts a long time. LOL


    Duane
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote

    Benjamin Franklin

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The average 20lb propane tank, the typical size for a gas grill, holds approximately 4.2 gallons of liquid propane. At $3.00/gallon that only comes to $12.60 per tank and even at $4.00/gal that's only $16.80. It generally costs a little more to fill them than the going rate but not $51.99 for a 20 lb. bottle.
    You have to look at more than just the cost of the fuel because not all fuels produce the same amount of energy.
    Gasoline yields approx. 114,000 BTU's per gallon
    Propane yields approx. 84,300 BTU's / gal
    Diesel 129,500 BTU's/gal
    Kerosene 128,100 BTU's/gal

    Now it's not as simple as picking the fuel with the highest energy content, there are trade offs. Propane doesn't yield as many BTU's per gallon as gasoline, diesel or kerosene but propane burns clean and offers a lot of convenience.
    However in terms of energy (BTU's or heat) produced per dollar spent, gasoline is very attractive. Like everything in life, there are compromises. Propane is easier to deal with and gasoline makes more heat and is often cheaper. Pick what works for you.

    By the way, my camp stoves and lantern run off of kerosene. I have a small Coleman gasoline stove that is permanently dedicated to melting lead but it will never be used for cooking.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master TCTex's Avatar
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    I have 2 propane stoves, (one Coleman and one brand "X",) and two Coleman fuel stoves. Lanterns are mixed propane and fuel 2 & 2 as well.

    (It might make more sense if you know that I bought the duel fuel lanterns while stationed in New Orleans. I grew up camping with propane.)

    First, I am going to have to find someplace that will fill my tanks instead of trading them out.

    Second, I am going to take both on the Boy Scout camp out this weekend. (Why, because I can... LOL)

    There are some pro's and con's not discuses. Smell of fuel, reliability while camping and depending on your stove for meals, colds affect on fuel, availability in geographic location, ect...

    I appreciate all comments!!!!!!!! I have a lot to consider.

    Duane
    Last edited by TCTex; 11-12-2014 at 11:48 AM.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCTex View Post
    Ok, what about Naphtha?

    1) how will it run?

    2) where can you get it?


    For me, it is still cheaper to run the Coleman fuel than it is to use propane. Just changing out the Cylinders at the store is 50.00.

    A looong time ago, my granddad ran leaded fuel (white gas,) in his, but can't really do that any more.

    Just talking out loud.


    Duane
    Naphtha around me sells for about $13-14/gal. I use it in my shop for several solvent and wood refinishing techniques. It is "lighter fluid" from the old days of Zippo lighters.

    Rather expensive. Called " Varnish Makers & Painters Naphtha" on the can.

    "White gas" was a refined hydrocarbon gasoline that had no additives in it (such as lead and the other stuff) that makes normal gas the color it is today.

    banger

  15. #15
    Boolit Master TCTex's Avatar
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    Update.

    I found a "mom and pop" store that did cylinder exchanges for 16.00. There little cylinders were 2.99 and like 7.99 for a three pack.

    However, they also had coleman fuel for 8.50 a gallon.

    Duane
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote

    Benjamin Franklin

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Not to steal the thread, but I heat my house with propane. To save money, every June I prebuy a certain amount of propane. I found out my delivery guy will refill my 20# bottles if I leave them behind the 500 lb tank. The amount used is charged against my prebuy amount, which is way cheaper than exchanging the tanks (which incidentally, to keep the price down, they only put in 17#, instead of the std 20#)

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Not to help you steal the thread but yes, the amount of propane in an exchanged tank is always suspect. The tank exchange schemes are based on convenience. The average suburban dweller is more than happy to pay for the ability to swap out tanks at their local convenience store/gas station/grocery store than to find a propane filling station. It is also attractive for the retailer. It requires far less capital outlay for the retailer to install a cage full of pre-filed tanks than to invest in all of the equipment needed to fill tanks and pay someone to do it.
    I prefer to have tanks refilled as opposed to swapping tanks out; It is almost always a better deal.

    As for Coleman fuel at $8.50/gal, that is still way over 2x the cost of unleaded gasoline. Unless there was some huge advantage to running Coleman fuel as opposed to unleaded gasoline (odor, fumes, I don't know?), I'd run plain old unleaded gas.
    As Hickok & imashooter2 pointed out, the savings of running unleaded gas vs. Coleman fuel far outweigh the cost of any potential problems and those problems appear to be greatly exaggerated.


    My guess is that when gasoline had lead and other additives that would damage the gas generator on a Coleman stove, the Coleman fuel was a good deal. Now that unleaded gasoline is not only readily available but the only gasoline available, there is little incentive to purchase Coleman fuel. I'm certain that Coleman enjoys a very healthy profit margin when selling Coleman fuel one gallon at a time. I bet Coleman is more than happy to continue that practice but I question why consumers need to pay that premium.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master TCTex's Avatar
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    Bring it on gents, I greatly appreciate the comments!!!

    The title of the thread is Coleman stove fuel. I think we are still spot on!!

    I will try the unleaded, but this weekend I think I am still going to use the off brand look alike Coleman Fuel with the Boy Scouts. I have found out they frown on the gasoline... So unfortunately, that is a veriable.

    Duane.

    Yall have been awesome and thank you!!!

    ps, I just found a place that will refill my tank. Thought y'all would get a giggle out of that.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote

    Benjamin Franklin

  19. #19
    Boolit Master S.B.'s Avatar
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    You mentioned gasoline, is your stove a dual fuel stove? If so, you can run gas in it as long as you filter it when filling it.
    Steve
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    have used unleaded gas in my colmans with no trouble. when you guys want to get serious about refilling propane look into a wet leg for your tank, I have one for filling my tractor tanks and it works on the bbq bottles as well. we do the summer fill and have a couple thousand gallons of propane at the ranch, if push comes to shove we can get by for two years with out a refill.

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