OT- white gas camping stoves/lamps
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  1. #1
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    Default OT- white gas camping stoves/lamps

    We're planing a trip up to Yellowstone in a couple weeks and I've been dusting off all the camping gear. A few years back, I ended up with an old Montgomery Wards "Gypsy" 3 burner gas camping stove that hadn't been touched for 70+ years before I got it, and I got the bug to get it going again. Most of it was just media blasting rusted parts and re-painting them with hi-temp paint or clear hi-temp lacquer. Parts are not available for it, so I've been finding generic pieces or adapting old Coleman parts. This unit is a bit bigger than the typical sheet-metal Coleman stove. I have 2 questions for you guys though:

    1. What should I watch out for with these kinds of stoves? The tank is clean and holds pressure. The pump works. The generator and valve had rusted together so I'm going to adapt a "new" one. The cast iron burners seem to be clear of obstructions and have no visible holes in them.

    2. This is perhaps my main question for you all: Are white gas stoves/lamps illegal in certain parks or areas? I've been told they are more dangerous than other stoves, but so far all my research says they do their job and are just as safe as an other stove if maintained and used correctly.

    I looked up Yellowstones rules and they had regulations against open fires during certain times of year, but no issues with any liquid fuel stoves (unless I miss understood). So what do you guys think?

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    I've never heard of a white gas appliance being banned, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been done. I've also never seen a propane or gas stove cause a fire, but I'm sure some asshat has done it. I'd roll with it, if shit goes bad put the fire out...if shit goes really bad, de-ass the area with great prejudice...after reporting it of course.
    Last edited by plastikdreams; 06-18-2019 at 04:42 AM.

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    My biggest concern is the condition of the tank and plumbing. If I remember, the tank is pressurized. Have it pressure tested.

    Tom

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    Out here in the summer dry season there are no fires of any kind allowed in national forests. No camp stoves or gas lanterns at all. Might double check that "open fires" does not include other flames like in camp stoves etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    if shit goes really bad, de-ass the area with great prejudice...
    this made me laugh

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    this made me laugh
    Glad ya liked it

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Out here in the summer dry season there are no fires of any kind allowed in national forests. No camp stoves or gas lanterns at all. Might double check that "open fires" does not include other flames like in camp stoves etc.
    I could see that...what with half the state burning every year lol...believe it or not we send quite a few nj forest fire serves guys out there every year.

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    Make sure to test it a few times in driveway or other safe area. I revived an old Coleman stove a few years back, topped it off and went to use it indoors. Lit the flame and all was well for about a minute, then it burst into flames, all I can say is somewhere on the tank it was leaking, grabbed it and ran out doors and pitched it on ground to burn out, it burned the crap outta me, so it went to scrap!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    My biggest concern is the condition of the tank and plumbing. If I remember, the tank is pressurized. Have it pressure tested.

    Tom
    The tank didn't have any corrosion but did have some dried black crusties in the bottom. I rinsed most of it out with acetone. I replaced the old cork fill cap gasket with a rubber O-ring. This model has the pump and generator separated from the tank and connected with 3/16" copper tubing. I replaced the tubing and brass ferrels with new pieces. There is also a pressure gauge built into the tank that wouldn't easily come apart so I left it alone. Once the new generator is in place, I can do my own pressure test. How would you recommend checking it for leaks?

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    I didn't take any before shots, but this is the current state.
    20190617_172533.jpg
    20190617_172636.jpg
    I can't find anything about this stove online. Even pictures of a similar model are a no-go. The red knobs on the front are generic aluminum ones that came in the mail today. Not sure what the original ones would have looked like.
    20190617_172608.jpg
    The pump still has the original leather seal inside. It was covered in grease, so I flushed the insides out, polished up the exterior, and cleaned out a one-way valve at the bottom. When you pump, you can feel it build up pressure until it overcomes the one-way valve and releases into the tank.
    20190617_172627.jpg
    The tank pressure gauge has a broken acrylic lens. I closed the tanks valve and pumped it up to around 10 PSI (by the built in gauge) and it seemed to hold with no audible leaks. The tag on the filler cap advises you not to use gasoline with lead or anti-knock compound. I've read online that people have used regular gasoline in similar stoves, but you have to clean the generator out much more often.
    20190617_172554.jpg
    The generator is the last piece before I can light the burners. You can see that unlike the Coleman stoves, this one has a separate burner to heat the generator. The jets under it have porcelain inserts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    There is also a pressure gauge built into the tank that wouldn't easily come apart so I left it alone. Once the new generator is in place, I can do my own pressure test. How would you recommend checking it for leaks?
    If it looked like the guage is holding pressure I would just light it. If you are really worried run a lit propane torch quickly over all the lines and connections.

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I gather that propane and other fuels kinda took over because they were simpler to use and maintain, but I did see some interesting info online that stated it costs about $6.00 to cook 1 hour via propane, but only $1.50 to do the same with white gas. That and you don't have to bother finding some place to recycle the spent propane bottles. There's also some dedicated guys that use them when "camping" in 3rd world countries because they can find petrol easier than other stuff.

    I've got a single burner propane stove and lamp that are my back-up if this thing doesn't pan out, but it seems that aside from a little extra maintenance and skill to operate, White gas is fairly economical to use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I gather that propane and other fuels kinda took over because they were simpler to use and maintain, but I did see some interesting info online that stated it costs about $6.00 to cook 1 hour via propane, but only $1.50 to do the same with white gas. That and you don't have to bother finding some place to recycle the spent propane bottles. There's also some dedicated guys that use them when "camping" in 3rd world countries because they can find petrol easier than other stuff.

    I've got a single burner propane stove and lamp that are my back-up if this thing doesn't pan out, but it seems that aside from a little extra maintenance and skill to operate, White gas is fairly economical to use.
    The only downside is having to pump it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    We're planing a trip up to Yellowstone in a couple weeks
    Its a beautiful place. Lots of interesting geology.

    I have been advised the average speed in the park during the summer season is about 5 mph. If someone sees a bear along side the road, traffic just comes to a halt. If you love Dallas traffic jams it will seem just like home.

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    Butter or cooking oil is a nice tip if the pump leathers leak.
    Bill D.
    I suppose you could tie a rubber hose to one of the outlets and pressurerize the tank from that. Small enough to fill with air and sink in a bathtub to watch for bubbles.
    Bil lD.

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    Soap bubbles work just as well as waving a lit flame around the lines to check for leaks of flammable gas...
    A few drops of dish soap in a 12 oz plastic soda bottle works wonders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Out here in the summer dry season there are no fires of any kind allowed in national forests. No camp stoves or gas lanterns at all. Might double check that "open fires" does not include other flames like in camp stoves etc.
    I second this from Rob. One further clarification -- there is a lot of debate in the hiking community about alcohol stoves and them getting banned by the FS. I don't claim to be an expert, but there is usually a gradated ban from alcohol stoves along with campfires and then all flames from any source. The key thing would be that alcohol stoves and campfires don't have an on/off switch. I think you are hearing about alcohol stoves being called 'liquid stoves' and people are applying it to white gas.

    I own a lot of stoves: 2 colemans, 2 or 3 whisperlites, I might still have the simmerlite, a couple jetboils, esbits, alcohol stoves, etc etc.

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    Be sure to test burn the stove outside. During the blizzard of 1993 our power was out for several days. I brought in a one burner Colman white gas stove. Pumped it up, set it in the middle of the kitchen stove. Lit it and showed my wife how to regulate the flame. I went back out to shovel more snow and heard her screaming. When I got to the kitchen the flames were lapping around the overhead cabinets and almost to the ceiling.

    The rubber gasket in the fuel cap was cracked and spraying out gas under pressure. I put a pot over it, then carried it outside. Luckily there was no damage other than the wife's nerves. Had to eat cold food until the power came back on.

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    I am not a fan of propane camping appliances. The difference to me is the burn time on a 1lb cylinder is maybe 1/4 that of a similar sized container of white gas. I don’t like that propane gas is heavier than air. I have had a propane stove catch fire on me, but all I had to do was turn off the valve. None of the Coleman appliances I own ever give me any trouble. And no, you don’t pump the handle countiously if they are working properly, just to light it.

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    What ever you do, don't try driving thru Jackson Hole on the weekend, quaint little town, just a few miles long, it will take ALL day!

    If you cannot have any campstoves in the park, how do you cook food? Maybe wrap it in tin foil, place on top of engine, then a trip into town?

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    I didn't take any before shots, but this is the current state.
    20190617_172533.jpg
    20190617_172636.jpg
    I can't find anything about this stove online. Even pictures of a similar model are a no-go. The red knobs on the front are generic aluminum ones that came in the mail today. Not sure what the original ones would have looked like.
    20190617_172608.jpg
    The pump still has the original leather seal inside. It was covered in grease, so I flushed the insides out, polished up the exterior, and cleaned out a one-way valve at the bottom. When you pump, you can feel it build up pressure until it overcomes the one-way valve and releases into the tank.
    20190617_172627.jpg
    The tank pressure gauge has a broken acrylic lens. I closed the tanks valve and pumped it up to around 10 PSI (by the built in gauge) and it seemed to hold with no audible leaks. The tag on the filler cap advises you not to use gasoline with lead or anti-knock compound. I've read online that people have used regular gasoline in similar stoves, but you have to clean the generator out much more often.
    20190617_172554.jpg
    The generator is the last piece before I can light the burners. You can see that unlike the Coleman stoves, this one has a separate burner to heat the generator. The jets under it have porcelain inserts.
    The generator or vaporizer is probably the riskiest device in these types of stoves. Most are just stamped and welded, tend to corrode and ultimately fail when exposed to heat.

    Your stove appears to be of excellent quality. I especially like the burners and the generator design as they are very robust.

    From the pictures, I see little cause for concern with this stove. Just figure on enjoying it.

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