Dual-Fuel Coleman stoves versus Coleman fuel only stoves

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I've had a couple of the old Coleman stoves and lanterns for over 20 years now, and I thought it might be a good idea to stock up on some mantles and chimneys for the lanterns and maybe an extra generator or two for the stoves. Now I haven't used this equipment for quite a while now, and haven't really shopped the camping section of the local stores for quite a while, either. I was surprised to see that Coleman has brought out a "dual fuel" stove and lantern that burns both the Coleman fuel (and substitues) and regular unleaded gasoline. WHOA! If I could use regular unleaded in my stove and lantern it would save me having to buy and store in bulk a special fuel just for their use! I'm storing unleaded already (with PRI-G Sta-bil) and if things don't turn out to be an 8 or 9, I could use the gasoline eventually in my auto and truck. I'd probably never use that much Coleman fuel.

My question: What is the difference between these dual fuel appliances and the regular old fashioned kind like I have? Could I readily convert my old models, or would it be OK to burn regular unleaded in them? I hate to buy new ones if I don't have to.

I thought about just trying gasoline in the old stuff, then reconsidered thinking about possible consequences (Ka-boom!!).

Anyone know for reasonably sure?


-- Gerald R. Cox (grcox@internetwork.net), July 24, 1999


Experiments with gasoline in the "old style" Colemans are more likely to go Ka-fizzle than Ka-boom.

Gasoline is no more of less likely to explode than white gas (Coleman Fuel). I've heard from competent folks who have tried staright white gas in lawn mowers and edgers. Wouldn't want to do it long range, but it does show that the volitiality is the same.

Auto gas has addatives to make it run better in internal combustion engines. It will clog the generators (eventually) in old style Colemans.

I've read repeated references to how much *more* dangerous auto gas is than white gas (Coleman fuel). Hopefully this note will dispell that misunderstanding. Coleman Fuel IS as dangerous as auto gas (volatility wise). Both are more volitale that keroscene or diesel.

All are dangerous in the sense that they will burn. Vapors from petroleum products (under the right conditions) will *explode*.

I do not want to scare anyone. Just use caution. Educate yourself on the properties of ANY substance you are using - period. Once knowledge and experience are gained these fuels can be used usefully and safely. Been doing it since I was 10 yrs old.


-- Got Matches?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), July 24, 1999.

Thanks Greybear,

I guess if the additives eventually clog the old lanterns and stoves I'll clean them out. I've grown to respect the Coleman fuel as highly flammable through the years, but had never really thought about their relative properties.

I'll try the gasoline and see if I have any problems before it's too late to remedy them.


-- Gerald R. Cox (grcox@internetwork.net), July 24, 1999.

You will have a HUGE problem "cleaning out" that little ceramic cylinder in the generator.


remember, the generator is the part that ensures that you burn vapor. Its job is to vaporise the liquid gas.


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), July 24, 1999.

Ditto Chuck's comment. For all practical purposes you will ruin the generators. You just might be able to clean one, but hours of labor and the cost of the cleaning fluids are hard to match against the price of a new generator.

BTW, I got carried away and did not express my opinion on one of the original questions. I've a fair amount of experience using one of the dual fuel lanterns. Have used it with both Coleman fuel and gasoline. Since the generators must be engineered to run on gasoline they are more open with larger orifaces. They work fine with gasoline but tend to run a little rich on Coleman fuel. When using the Coleman they do not make quite as white of a light.


-- Got funnels?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), July 25, 1999.

In the past I've seen "replacement" generators for the stoves. Anyone know if Coleman sells a replacement generator that would convert an older stove (or also older lantern) to "dual fuel" capability?


-- Eyell Makedo (make_do@hotmail.com), July 26, 1999.


You wrote: "I've read repeated references to how much *more* dangerous auto gas is than white gas (Coleman fuel). Hopefully this note will dispell that misunderstanding. Coleman Fuel IS as dangerous as auto gas (volatility wise). Both are more volitale that keroscene or diesel."

I purchased one of the stoves that could burn on either. Folks questioned the safety of using regular unleaded gasoline, so I E- mailed a friend at a refinery who is a Petroleum Engineer. He told me NOT to use unleaded gas, explaining that the Camp Fuel is MUCH heavier and the vapors emitted were far less flammable. He went on to say that the vapors from unleaded gasoline could ignite a distance AWAY from the stove. I know there are survivalists who mix these fuels all the time with no problems, but *I*'m not of their skill level and will take the advice of the petroleum engineer. I'm a bit annoyed since I spent the money on the stove strictly so I could save money by purchasing the cheaper gasoline, but I'd rather be safe.

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), July 27, 1999.


I read some of the same vapor pressure charts your engineer friend probably checked. When one is being mathematically absolutely correct one can also make the valid argument that Coleman brand fuel will react differently than Store brand white gas which is sold in right beside the Coleman. Both of which will react slightly different than ablosutely pure "white gas"

I have sucessfully and safely used automotive grade gasoline in lantern and stoves (which were build for that use) for years. I've used automotive grade gasoline for years in what are commonly caller blow torches.

While I don't disageee with the technical accuracy of what your friend said, I personally have used many substances which were inherently VERY dangerous. On the othere hand, a cousin of mine burned her house to the ground trying to start a fire in her fire place with gasoline.

Ask you friend about the differences between kerosene / diesel, gasoile / white gas, and say MEK or toluene. Ask about the "high end" vs. "low end" substances and how the vapor pressures and other charecteristics differ. It would take several pages of explanation to describe the exact differences in these substances and I think would be of little interest to the average person.

The point I orginally made was not one of exact differences. But a generall statement to try to make people MORE carefull and to encourage people to learn the differences.


-- BTW, how many demons CAN sit on the head of a pin?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), July 27, 1999.

To one and all:


Do NOT do ANYTHING that I (or anyone else) talk about unless you are prefectly comfortable doing so. It is bad enough to injure yourself now. In a less convenient future time even a minor injury could be deadly if you cannot get medical attnetion.



-- Git First Aid Kits!!!

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), July 27, 1999.


I REALLY don't want to bother my friend again at this time. We ALL hate to request these "freebies" of our friends, but I know that the refinery at which this friend works is experiencing cutbacks right now both in personnel and pay for the employees remaining. Since both he and his wife work there and have three kids, I feel like my question would be trite compared to his other worries.

I'll go with the heavier stuff, cook outside far away from anything flammable (possible even in winter here in Texas), and look around for an asbestos suit. [grin]

-- Anita (spoonera@msn.com), July 27, 1999.

We have three Coleman stoves, one propane, one coleman fuel, and one of the new dual fuel stoves. I have some propane, and some Coleman fuel. We have not used the dual fuel one, and I too bought it so I could buy gasoline instead of coleman fuel.

Is there any difference in buying Amoco white gas and another gasoline for the dual fuel stove?

Thanks for any input,


-- Dian (bdp@accessunited.com), July 29, 1999.

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