Butane, propane or white gas...

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Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby slowcowboy » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:47 pm

So, what's ypur preverance, butane , propane or white gas???..i found this winter when lighting my shop stove a butane flicker will light up at near zero temps but my propane camping torch from Wal-Mart won't even fire a lick.as I am a coleman stove and lantern collector with a high case of colemanitize. I normally dig into my collection of white gas to go camping...so what's everyone's preferences????.....slowcowboy
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby MtnDon » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:54 pm

Maybe there is something wrong with the Walmart lighter as propane has a much lower boiling point (-42. C = -44 C) than butane ( 0.4 C = 32 F). Propane is the preferred fuel if you are a cold weather hiker/camper. Or maybe the Walmart lighter really is fueled by butane. I have some butane lighters I keep at our mountain cabin. I know they use butane because they don't work in winter when we get there unless I warm them in a pocket first.

I use butane in a small torch I use for some silver soldering. Indoors it is great to use.

I don't use white gas appliances anymore as liquid gasolines do not keep well long term. Propane and butane store indefinitely.
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby QueticoBill » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:29 pm

White gas fan. Several stoves and a lantern. Never had a problem using fuel several years old. Just dont pour in any dregs from bottom of can.
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby MtnDon » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:48 pm

Storage life may vary.... even Coleman recommends using a partially used can of their fuel up within 2 years, preferably a year. http://coleman.custhelp.com/app/answers ... C2%AE-fuel Of course they are probably covering their butt.

But I also should have added that I prefer to not store liquid fuels for other reasons as well. Plus Propane just seems to be much handier to me. I am not placing any part of my preference on price. My propane is in 20# bottles mounted to the trailer the cookstove, etcis used on so transport is also not an issue to me. For times we have 120 VAC we use an induction "hotplate" in place of the propane. .
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby McDave » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:39 pm

I have experienced the same phenomena as Slow on several occasions. I believe that this isn't so much liquid/ vapour issue, but a stoichiometric ratio or metering issue. My guess is that our geographics and enviromentals are very similar in Wyoming and Montana. It's not really a "gas" issue but an air density/ Oxygen issue. Extreme cold temps + relatively low altitude, (2700 ft ASL) make for high air density. So it is tough to get a rich enough mix at the ignition point with propane. The vapour temp point may actually be working against you. Butane is a richer fuel to begin with and has a higher vapour point , so the cold temp would richen the mix much like a primer shot. The only option for the propane start mix ratio issue is to choke the air or pre- heat it some how. You can try to open the valve WFO to release a crazy amount of gas but there is a danger of fuel building up and when ignition does occur the stage is set for explosion as the ratio suddenly becomes correct. At higher altitudes the extreme cold would be offset by the less dense air, keeping the mix ratio closer to ignitable. White gas has drawbacks but you can light it almost anywhere, anytime. Alcohol as stove fuel is also an alternative worth looking into, just be careful. Enough said.

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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby green1 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:38 pm

McDave wrote:Alcohol as stove fuel is also an alternative worth looking into, just be careful. Enough said.

When backpacking I use Alcohol. You can't get a lighter or simpler stove than an alcohol burner. That said, they're not as hot, and you need more fuel (the weight savings get lost at about the 7 day mark by the extra fuel you have to carry).

But in a trailer where weight is much less of an issue I like white gas for a few reasons:
- Reliable and hot
- Wide range of temperatures (especially cold weather which propane doesn't like much, and I live in Canada!)
- No cylinders to refill, or worse yet, dispose of
- No complex plumbing in the trailer, just the stove sitting on the counter
- Easy to tell how much fuel is left and refill only what you need

I've found anything dealing with pressurized gasses to be more trouble than they're worth when camping.
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby RJ Howell » Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:27 am

This time around I have a propane Grill/griddle combo cooktop and a single burner butane cooktop. Very happy with both. I do not camp in the extreme cold, so I can not comment on how they work in that Rely on others comments. I own a two burner white gas cooktop and used it for years, mainly outdoor cooking. I just don't like using a liquid fuel stove stove inside the camper. Maybe just me..

I do use the small canisters and find them simple to store (outside storage) and carry just enough for the travel event (or carry a spare & re-stock on the road). Both cooktops are also thin and easy to store. I debated a small propane tank, but again weight, storage and carrying far more than I need.
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:50 am

I'll just have to throw a photo from this week up here...

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Hot coffee from propane at 8,000' on 38º degree morning. Can't be beat. :thumbsup:

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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby bdosborn » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:06 am

Fuel is one thing I've never organized very well. I use propane for the stove and the grill. Diesel for heating. White gas for a lantern and another stove. Gasoline for the generator. Briquets for the DO.

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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby Squigie » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:06 pm

Propane for everything.
I'd rather deal with pressurized cylinders than potentially leaky containers of flammable liquids, and the fuel transfers that go with those devices.
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby tony.latham » Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:31 pm

Fuel is one thing I've never organized very well. I use propane for the stove and the grill. Diesel for heating. White gas for a lantern and another stove. Gasoline for the generator. Briquets for the DO.

Bruce


That's quite the list, Bruce. I'm wondering if you take firewood or coal for campfires? :D Or both?

:FNP

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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby featherliteCT1 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:46 pm

I am glad Slow brought this topic up.

I use a Coleman Model 425 liquid gas stove (purchased in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s). I use both Coleman brand fuel and Crown brand fuel sold by Walmart because it is cheap and easy to source. I also have a propane adapter so I can use the 1 pound gas cylinders; although my preference is to use gas.

In the wintertime, when it is below freezing, I cannot light the stove using white gas because the fuel will not vaporize … liquid fuel will run out the generator tube. Consequently, in cold weather I use the propane tanks.

I usually use the stove at about 500 to 1000 feet elevations.

In above freezing temperatures, the stove works fine with white gas.

However, several posters are saying that the white gas should work with no problems in cold weather. I googled the topic and find the same answer … white gas should work fine.

Now I am wondering if the stove needs cleaning, or repair.

In due course, when I have time, I will google how to troubleshoot and maintain the stove.

If anybody has any specific thoughts, please let me know.

Thanks
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Re: Butane, propane or white gas...

Postby bdosborn » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:46 pm

tony.latham wrote:That's quite the list, Bruce. I'm wondering if you take firewood or coal for campfires? :D Or both?



Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me. I have a portable camp fire that runs on propane. :)

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