Can I run my cooktop with portable propane canisters? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-04-2021, 07:36 PM   #1
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Question Can I run my cooktop with portable propane canisters?

Hey there,

A few months ago we got a 1974 1300 Boler and realized that a lot of the previous renovations were just cosmetic.

The propane system was taken out, but the original cooktop is there with nothing to attach it to and missing peices. I'm thinking of replacing it with a stove like this one (link).

Does anyone know if it's possible to run RV drop-in cooktop stoves with those little 16oz propane cylinders used for outdoor cooktops? If so, do I need any special attachments?

Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2021, 09:59 PM   #2
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I'd remove the inoperable range and make it all counter top. Then I'd pick up one or two butane burners. The one shown is top of the line and expensive. It's used in the restaurant industry.
There are much cheaper versions available at any Asian grocery.

You could cook inside, or outside, as you choose.
I have a three-burner range inside, but prefer to cook outside with this burner and a BBQ.
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Old 07-05-2021, 07:16 AM   #3
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Don’t think so. The factory cooktop runs on a different pressure than the portable stoves that run on the disposable cylinders. I don’t know of any devices to regulate a disposable cylinder for built-in appliances, and I assume the reason is there’s a safety issue with having removable connections inside the cabin.

If you plan to cook inside the trailer, it’s not terribly complicated or expensive to reinstall the missing propane lines with a bulk tank and regulator on the tongue. If you do much cooking, running off a bulk tank will save the waste of all those throwaways.

Or ditch the cooktop and go with Glenn’s suggestion of a portable butane burner. Note with the butane burners your cookware cannot cover the butane cylinder compartment next to the burner. That rules out griddles and family-sized frying pans.

We typically cook outside on a 2-burner Coleman. When we’re staying in one place several days we run it off the bulk tank from the trailer to save disposables. There are devices to regulate a bulk tank for portable appliances, but they’re only for outside use. If we want to cook inside (very rare) we re-install the bulk tank on the trailer and use the factory cooktop via the onboard plumbing and regulator.
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Old 07-05-2021, 10:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNickels View Post
... I'm thinking of replacing it with a stove like this one (link).
The short answer to your question and the device in your link is “no”. Note that that device doesn’t have a regulator.

Aside from rebuilding the propane system (copper tubing from the stove area to the tongue with brackets for a propane tank & regulator) for a replacement “drop in” RV stove (like your link), the best approach is to follow Glenn’s and Jon’s advice.
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Old 07-05-2021, 11:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by KNickels View Post
Hey there,

A few months ago we got a 1974 1300 Boler and realized that a lot of the previous renovations were just cosmetic.

The propane system was taken out, but the original cooktop is there with nothing to attach it to and missing peices. I'm thinking of replacing it with a stove like this one (link).

Does anyone know if it's possible to run RV drop-in cooktop stoves with those little 16oz propane cylinders used for outdoor cooktops? If so, do I need any special attachments?

Thanks!
You can certainly run any propane device off a small cylinder if you have a regulator inline between the bottle and the device. You can buy a hose with the regulator already attached at Home Depot. I ran a single burner marine stove off such a hose for many years in my camper van.. For added security, since the bottle was inside my van, I put a quick shutoff valve at the bottle and then attached the hose/regulator to it.
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Old 07-05-2021, 12:08 PM   #6
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The 16 ounce canisters are very expensive compared having a refillable tank. I would consider the butane if it was for limited use.
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Old 07-05-2021, 12:14 PM   #7
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The 16 ounce canisters are very expensive compared having a refillable tank. I would consider the butane if it was for limited use.

Yup, and my butane seems to boil water in half the time of propane.
Price shown is CAD and everything costs more in Canada. Plus taxes and environment fees, BTW.
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Old 07-05-2021, 12:29 PM   #8
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Cheapest fuel cost would be a refillable tank, There are small 5 pound tanks on the market. My experience is that if you are just heating coffee water and such, the 1 pound cylinders last a long time!
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Old 07-05-2021, 12:34 PM   #9
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Cheapest fuel cost would be a refillable tank, There are small 5 pound tanks on the market.

True, but, you don't want a 5 lb. tank inside with you.
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Old 07-05-2021, 12:45 PM   #10
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If a 5 pound tank were located such that the main valve could be closed every time it was not in use, I would not hesitate having it in then living space. That is why I had my 1 pound tank with a quick shut off gate valve. I modified a fire extinquisher bracket to hold the tank on the exterior of the cabinet, where I could rapidly access it.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:46 PM   #11
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If a 5 pound tank were located such that the main valve could be closed every time it was not in use, I would not hesitate having it in then living space.....
Please don't have anyone else inside with you... valves DO fail, and if it gets real hot.. the pressure relief valve might expel gas also.
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Old 07-05-2021, 02:53 PM   #12
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Escape located the fire extinguisher at the door to the trailer so that you exit and grab the extinguisher to fight the fire.
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Old 07-06-2021, 08:44 AM   #13
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Escape located the fire extinguisher at the door to the trailer so that you exit and grab the extinguisher to fight the fire.
When I was hauling petroleum (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and the like) products, I always said that if it caught fire, I'd grab the fire extinguisher while exiting the cab, and run away as fast as I could, squeezing that fire extinguisher handle the whole time. Lost two good friends to tanker fires, and had another friend who did exactly what I described - he survived!
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Old 07-07-2021, 01:31 PM   #14
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Thanks Glenn, I've been thinking the same thing actually. Wasn't sure what was going to be less of a headache and expense - replacing the stove top or counter :P
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Old 07-07-2021, 01:39 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advice everyone! Honestly, we don't expect to cook that much inside at all but weren't sure if it would be easier to fix the propane system, the old cooktop, or the hole in the countertop where the cooktop would go.

Sounds like we'll replace the countertop and switch to a portable cooker.

Now to find a good countertop replacement instructional thread....
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Old 07-08-2021, 12:22 AM   #16
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If you electric system will handle it, get a portable induction cooktop. A lot of RVers are using them.
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Old 07-08-2021, 06:18 AM   #17
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I’ve seen induction burners in some newer van builds. They commonly have 400Ah or more of lithium, 200W or more of solar, a 2000W inverter, and a second alternator. They’re usually running a 12V compressor fridge and microwave as well, but I wonder what the minimal electrical system requirements would be to be able to use an induction burner off grid?

If you will always have shore power, then it’s easy.
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Old 07-11-2021, 05:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNickels View Post
Hey there,

A few months ago we got a 1974 1300 Boler and realized that a lot of the previous renovations were just cosmetic.

The propane system was taken out, but the original cooktop is there with nothing to attach it to and missing peices. I'm thinking of replacing it with a stove like this one (link).

Does anyone know if it's possible to run RV drop-in cooktop stoves with those little 16oz propane cylinders used for outdoor cooktops? If so, do I need any special attachments?

Thanks!
The problem w/ the 1# is, though "handy/ safe" is expensive ($3-$4+/lb), so central w/ larger 20# gets price down to $1.25-$1.75/# range? and easy to burn 1#+ per meal?. Easy to pay for manifold, hoses, piping for bulk 20# tanks, when saving $2-$3/#?
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:04 PM   #19
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Just had my 20 lb tank topped off at Tractor Supply. $3.45 USD per gallon. That's about $.82 USD per pound. I also have two DOT approved refillable 1 lb cylinders that I fill from the 20 lb tank as needed.
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Old 07-12-2021, 02:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I’ve seen induction burners in some newer van builds. They commonly have 400Ah or more of lithium, 200W or more of solar, a 2000W inverter, and a second alternator. They’re usually running a 12V compressor fridge and microwave as well, but I wonder what the minimal electrical system requirements would be to be able to use an induction burner off grid?

If you will always have shore power, then it’s easy.
I was looking in to induction cooktops because they seem really safe an effective to use inside. But we don't traditionally camp with a shore power hookup. Think I'm going to look for a small compressed gas portable camp stove
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