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Fuels and Alternative Fuels Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Fuels and Alternative Fuels

Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

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Old 01-13-2012, 06:24:05 PM
JoeCB JoeCB is offline
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Default Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

Question please, Is it OK to run todays unleaded / 10% ethanal in the old Coleman appliances that were designed for just Coleman Fuel? I know that some of the new appliances are compatible with unleaded, but how about the older ones?

Joe B
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:22:30 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

I'll go out on a limb and say I don't see any reason why not.

I'm not real familiar with how the Coleman equipment is set up, but there were enough toy/model steam engines made over the years that used Alcohol burners that I doubt 10% alcohol would be a problem in something made to run on gas.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:17:19 PM
bitsnpieces1 bitsnpieces1 is offline
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

The problem is in the equipment generator. It sits in or near the flame/heat producer. Liquid fuel enters the bottom and is heated and vaporized creating pressure which forces the vapor through a jet and into the burning apparatus (ring burner or filament). The problem comes when the fuel contains dissolved solids which don't vaporize and remain in the generator gradually plugging it up. So alcohol wouldn't be a problem since it would vaporize. However, other additives that are added for octane rating would be the problem since they would plug the generator. If you can find gasohol that doesn't have the other additives it should be fine. Les
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:10:37 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

From what I've found since seeing the question is that gas lanterns will operate on unleaded gas but not as good. Coleman now makes a dual fuel lantern that runs on either Coleman fuel (white gas or naptha) or unleaded gas. No mention is made of ethanol gas in the ad that I saw, however.

Personally I would only use Coleman fuel or naptha gas in a gas lantern or camp stove. For one thing you don't have to worry about storage life of the fuel. Another consideration in using gas containing ethanol would be the corrosion of generator parts. (Remember all those corroded carburetors on lawnmower engines etc. from another thread)

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:42:17 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

Gasoline is a lot more volatile than coleman fuel. I would not use it, especially in older equipment.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:11:25 AM
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Alan Rudd Alan Rudd is offline
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

I got my first Coleman lantern from my grandpa when I was 14. It still works fine today. I have four other gasoline lanterns and two Coleman two burner stoves. To this day I have never in my life bought a can of coleman fuel. I have always used regular gasoline. One time when I was camping on an island in the river I had to resort to boat gas with oil in it. Now this was back in the old days with leaded gas and a quart to six gallons mix ratio. I can tell you that it works just fine but it gives a yellowish light.

The newest lantern or stove I own is at least 30 years old. Right now I have two lanterns out in my Bounder and I will bet the homestead both will fire right up.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:41:31 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

When I was a boy I experimented with various fuels in various stoves and lanterns. What I found was that the cook stoves don't really seem to care what fuel you use although maximum output is somewhat reduced on car gasoline. I think it is lighter fractions, i.e. lower energy per volume than white gasoline. Also an old single mantle lantern from the 1940s ran fine on car gas but one I bought from the late 60s only "fills" the mantles with fire about half way on car gas. Very inadequate light. When I bought some coleman fuel it was like looking at the sun.

I even got one of those old green single burner coleman cook stoves with the straight generator to run on Kerosene. I stuffed a wad of fiberglass insulation under the generator in the center of the burner, soaked it in kero and set it on fire. Once it was pretty well heated I opened up the main fuel and it ran fine and blue though if ran at max output if I recall it would start to overtake the vaporization capacity of the generator and get yellow tips to the flame and might even overflow with liquid fuel eventually but if turned to a lower setting would run indefinitely.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:27:02 PM
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

Originally Posted by JoeCB View Post
Question please, Is it OK to run todays unleaded / 10% ethanal in the old Coleman appliances that were designed for just Coleman Fuel? I know that some of the new appliances are compatible with unleaded, but how about the older ones?

Joe B
unleaded gas in any coleman gear has always been a bad idea. It works, but don't expect it to work for very long. You have dies in there along with other aditives and they all end up stuck in the generator. You can only clean the generator so many times before the walls just get too thin from the brush and then the genny has a blow out. Even the ones that are "designed for it" really only tolerate it and will run longer on coleman fuel or pure naptha if you can get it.

Now if your brave, and a little bit dumb (like me) you can go ahead and re-refine the gasoline. That removes almost all of the stuff that will plug up a generator. I'll leave it to you to design your own still for this purpose.

Would I put unleaded gasoline in my northstar? Sure, I can get parts for it.
Would I put it in my handy gas plant? No, I can't get parts for it.
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:02:27 PM
gootsch gootsch is offline
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Default Re: Unleaded gas in a Coleman stove

I agree with Polyhead.

I own many Coleman lanterns and stoves of many vintages and I use only Coleman fuel as it is just plain easier. As in easier to remember what you were using for fuel in each appliance. I have experimented with gasoline, gasoline and Coleman fuel and gasoline, Coleman fuel and kerosene. They all like Coleman fuel.

I have 2 Coleman lanterns built for kerosene. The 1944 vintage lantern will burn anything resembling kerosene just fine, fuel it up, warm it up, light it and forget it for the evening. As for the 1990 vintage lantern, I have yet to find a fuel that it likes, this lantern needs tending way too often throughout the evening.
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