Outdoor Stove White Gas vs Propane? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Outdoor Stove White Gas vs Propane?

I am thinking about buying a stove for using outdoors. I remember using the white gas Coleman style when camping with family as a child. Now there is the propane canister style.

I read the white gas light better in colder temps but we would only be cooking outside if it was above 45.

Thanks for your opinions!
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Hands down, go for the propane versions.

Pluses: More selection, easier to use, seems to be hotter, fuel is usually more available than liquid fuel, you can connect it to your trailer's LP system if desired.& safer (no fuel spills) safer (no fuel cans that can leak) and safer (easier to light)
Minuses: Fuel may cost more over the long run.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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Since propane is a cryogenic liquid under pressure (really, really really cold!!!) freezing of propane is not much of an issue unless the outside temperature should drop below -305 degrees F, which is probably a bit too cold for most of us to go camping anyway. Liquid propane returns back to a gaseous state in order to be used by any propane powered appliance, so a five gallon tank of propane-vs-5 gallons of white gas would last longer for the sheer volume of fuel. It is also safer to store a 5 Gal. propane cylinder as opposed to a 5 Gal. Jerry can of gasoline and it also doesn't give off that "gasoline smell" when you are cooking. With the price of gasoline, especially white gas when you can find it, propane is the clear choice winner in my book.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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Propane has about 90,000 BTUs per gallon.
White gas (naphtha) has about 125,000 BTUs per gal.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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Coleman "white gas" stoves can also be run on unleaded gas, which is almost as high as naptha in BTU's. A lot less expensive than white gas...

I've heard that unleaded can clog the appliance's "generator", though we've been using unleaded that way for years in our coleman lantern and haven't had any such problems.

Francesca
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryra View Post
I am thinking about buying a stove for using outdoors. I remember using the white gas Coleman style when camping with family as a child. Now there is the propane canister style.

I read the white gas light better in colder temps but we would only be cooking outside if it was above 45.

Thanks for your opinions!
We were moose hunting in the BWCA years back in November . Trying to make coffee on a propane stove took forever but the coleman white gas stove had no problems ( Temperatures in the teens and windy)
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
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I like the white gas stoves - the small propane cylinders are tres expensive, they crap out quickly in cold weather, and the empty cylinders are a major waste item.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:43 PM   #8
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Bought a propane stove last spring, to try, after 20 years of owning a dual fuel (Coleman fuel/unleaded gas) stove. I sold the cranky old white gas stove at a garage sale before the summer was out. I'll never push that pump plunger again. Oh, with a $12 adapter, you can refill the 1lb. cylinders off your gas grill tank.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:57 PM   #9
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I have been using Coleman white gas stoves for over forty years with no difficulties. They are safe to use and fuel is relatively cheap on a $ per meal basis. I would have no qualms about going that way. On other hand, if you have a propane stove that connects to your rv tanks, that option would be most convenient.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Since propane is a cryogenic liquid under pressure (really, really really cold!!!) ...
Propane is not stored at cyrogenic temperatures - perhaps you are thinking of Liquified Natural Gas. Propane is just at the surrounding temperature. It is mostly liquid in the tank because the liquid and vapour are in equilibrium; the pressure changes to whatever corresponds to equilibrium for the current temperature. The conversion of liquid to gas takes energy, chilling the propane container, perhaps leading people to mistakenly believe that propane must be cold to be liquid.

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... freezing of propane is not much of an issue unless the outside temperature should drop below -305 degrees F, which is probably a bit too cold for most of us to go camping anyway.
Propane will not freeze at any reasonable temperature, but neither will any common fuel. Since the pressure of the propane in a tank does change in a direct relationship with temperature, cold weather is a problem for winter camping, in places where there is actually winter. At -40 C / -40 F there is so little pressure that it is almost unusable. This is not a problem for any temperature at which it is comfortable to cook outside.

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Liquid propane returns back to a gaseous state in order to be used by any propane powered appliance, so a five gallon tank of propane-vs-5 gallons of white gas would last longer for the sheer volume of fuel.
The energy content values quoted earlier are for liquid fuels. A 5 gallon tank of propane contains much less energy and will not run a stove of comparable heat output as long as a 5 gallon can of gasoline (or campstove fuel). This is one reason that liquid fuel remains popular among backpacking campers.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #11
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While trailering with propane, that is the way to go with a stove.

For any other use I much prefer the benefits of white gas, it is cheaper, burns hotter and it seems those old gas stoves have way better control. Many of the newer propane ones don't seem too simmer at that great.

I tried my hand at refilling the disposable bottles. Just not worth the time and effort for a partially full bottle, IMHO.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #12
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If propane turns out to be your fuel of choice:

I'm with Jim re.not refilling disposables- even if one could get them full I wouldn't depend on the valves on a throwaway container to function properly over and over again.

Much better to tee off the rig's main gas line, or if portability is desired, investing in a one-gallon (five pound) cylinder will soon pay off. Though initially expensive a small refillable cylinder will very shortly pay for itself in terms of disposable bottles not purchased.

Francesca
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #13
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3 or 4 times seems to be the limit for refilling 1lb cylinders. Maybe that's why the sell brass caps with gaskets for refilled tanks. That said, perhaps I had a lemon of a white gas stove or the use of unleaded fuel with 10% ethanol did something to the generator. When it did work, it was either full blast or a big yellow flame that sooted up my pots - even when using genuine Coleman fuel.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:59 PM   #14
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Liquid propane returns back to a gaseous state in order to be used by any propane powered appliance...
White gas / naptha / camping fuel is also turned into a gas (or vapour) to be fed to the burner - that's what the "generator" is in the stoves mentioned by Francesa and Brian M.
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