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White Gas

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by ikona, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. ikona

    ikona west of pdx Member

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    I was wondering if any here keep a couple of gallons of white gas (coleman fuel) in storage for emergencies? I like the convenience of the propane bottles but I still like to strike up the old Coleman gas stove every now and then to make sure everything is working properly. Usually in the late fall I fill my generator with fresh fuel along with a stabilizer, spring rolls around and I empty it for the mower and other items. Since supposedly white gas has a long shelf life, if in an emergency I would most likely use it in the generator along other items, probably mixing in a little amount of 2 stroke oil to keep things lubed. Anyone else have ideas on the use of white gas in emergency situations?
     
  2. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    After they quit putting lead in gas I've just used regular unleaded in the Coleman. Haven't seen any problem with it. I guess you could put some stabil in it
     
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  3. durango#95

    durango#95 Medford New Member

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    I once drove my Baja home on 2gal. of white gas. Ran fine, but VW's are a low CR engine, so I'm not sure about water cooled engines liking it to much.
    I know that it works well for a primitive rag on a stick torch as well.
     
  4. DALE

    DALE Boring, Oregon Member

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    White gas has an octane of about 50 and will burn valves if not diluted with regular gasoline.

    Unleaded gas will burn in a coleman stove fine... but not so sure about the food exposure side of it.

    White gas does get gummy and shellacy with age, but the Coleman brand most people use has very effective additives that give it a life in normal storage with a tight lid of several years... Fuel that has gone bad smells like laquer thinner and shouldn't be used. If the fuel smells like new fuel, it is still ok, even if it's old.
     
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  5. Redrum

    Redrum Portlandia Active Member

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    Coleman makes a duel fuel stove and lantern that run on unleaded or white gas.
     
  6. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    I'll confirm that you cannot use Coleman fuel (also callled white gas or parafin) in a normal internal combustion engine. VERY low octane rating, it will pink, knock, rattle, the engine likely will not do well on the tickover (idle), and will not accelerate well. It burns TOO fast, igniting whilst the piston is on its way up on the compression stroke. I suppose one COULD, in a bind, cut it with somethng else... regular petrol, perhaps a bit of diesel or kerosene. Diesel also has a low "octane" rating, and will ignite on compression (how it lights in the diesel engine), and doesn't "carburete" well.. has a hard time blending with the air, vapourising, so as to burn smoothly.

    Best to continue doing as you do now..... although fuel is very much poorer in quality than even two years ago, it will usually keep fairly well in a full and closed fuel tank. Your plan of filling the generator set tank come fall, draining what is not used for the lawnmower in the spring, is the best.

    ANother option..... a bit of cash to invest, but nearly any petrol fired engine can easily be converted to burn propane. This fuel will keep forever in a closed tank, the tanks are portable, manageable, the fuel is cheaper than most others.... I'd suggest looking up a firm that deals in used forklifts and other power equipment, particularly one that breaks them for parts/scrap. I've seen a propane conversion kit, used but all in, for a small four cylinder engine, on offer for well under two hundred dollars.... perhaps someone could think of another source for small one or two cylinder engines in equipment that might be broken up for scrap/spares. If I had a genset here for "emergencies", I'd set a large (thousand gallon?) propane tank, convert EVERYTHING to run on the stuff, and have done with it all. That fuel will NEVER rot. In the alternative, using the small barbeque tanks, or getting one or two of the hundred pounders (about a hundred bucks at the Home Cheapo or Costco) and having a couple to hand..... will suffice for very comfortable "survival" in the short to mid-term. Things go apart for years, though, no amount of preparation will carry one through unscathed.
     
  7. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I keep Coleman fuel, use it as paint thinner and a mixer when I run low on quality booze ;)
     
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  8. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I'm still burning through my dad's old stash of coleman fuel from 30+ years ago. I like coleman gas stoves, some of the older stuff I have (lanterns especially) are really pissy about burning unleaded, but the stoves generally work fine. Frankly, I've been failed too many times by propane stoves that simply didn't work when it gets too cold out. I laugh at the people who bring butane stoves to snowcamp.
     
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  9. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Notice: I will now sound like a PROG But I do not endorse Proggies!

    I like Butane/propane for one reason:
    Fire safety
    Coleman fuel is mostly Naptha, dang flammable even at sub zero temps. Sure I use it, it's life saver when used wisely, it boots out massive BTUs w/o that huge drama about getting the fire lit! Naptha has the same BTU output as burning C-2 but unlike C-2 it can vaporize at near freezing, and explode.
    Handy if your smart and not inside a nylon tent
     
  10. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I keep a few gallons of white gas in storage along with a half dozen full 20 gal propane tanks along with....
     
  11. 44mag2ndamend

    44mag2ndamend Round the ole tree stump, Down by the crick Well-Known Member

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    White gas or Naptha is what they use in most all fuel system cleaners at the autoparts stores. Check the MSDS sheets for the product if its not listed on the can.

    Hmm, me thinks we are all on to something here. Been to camp in the cold and snow and you had a hard time cooking breakfast on those propane stoves.
     
  12. 51.50

    51.50 West of Salem Member

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    What about using non ethanol gasoline?
     
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  13. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I havn't found ethanol to matter much for stove use, coleman's newer generation of dual fuel stoves burn it just fine, same with the older generation of stoves. Coleman lanterns tend to be finicky no matter what, even when fed fresh fuel, with fresh mantles, pumped up appropriately.

    I'm actually to the point where I've sold off nearly all of my lanterns, with the current generations of LED lights, gas powered lanterns really don't make sense any more. I can put out more light, using 12V gel-cells (charged up by solar panels when the sun comes out) running LED lamps, I get a better quality of light, it's cheaper (no more paying $10/gal for coleman gas) and all I have to do is flip a switch.

    Really, the only advantage I found in the coleman lantern is using it as a bug lamp, and since I am usually running an inverter off my big battery bank, I just plug in a bug zapper also.

    Depending on how serious you want to be about it, I really think coleman fuel is on it's way out, it's getting harder and harder to find, and every time I do find it it seems to get more expensive. I definitely think it is the superior fuel for cooking by far, however as the number of different devices proliferate that are powered by propane continuing to use liquid fuel might not be an option in the distant future.

    At the moment, I only use coleman fuel to cook, however with propane I run my hot water heater, my tent heater, a large area heater, a refrigerator, and I'm sure I have at least a few propane lanterns around, the big difference is, I don't run 1lb bottles, all of my stuff is set up to run off a 40lb bulk cylinder.
     
  14. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    In my experience, Odorless Mineral Spirits are a great substitute for most kerosene applications, liquid fuel lamps (less wear/soot), Coleman stove/lantern applications, fire starting, etc....
     
  15. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    When the squid hits the fan you do not want any element of your fuel system to be sucking water out of the atmosphere and then turning to ice in your fuel line.
    Neither do you want that same product turning to a gas, thus giving you vapor lock in the middle of a desert ( or on a steep hill) due to engine heat build-up, even in the PNW(Don't ask how I know, just know I was the only male on that dam highway to hell)
     
  16. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    That's what I need to get. Actually I have a white gas stove and my sweetheart's is propane. So I guess we should get hitched and move in together with our camp stoves. Tell me I don't understand how women think!

    Serious question about white gas. I know from experience that it eventually turns to something like varnish and would probably ruin my stove. Is that timeframe significantly extended with an unopened factory sealed can? Any idea how long?

    And a question about propane. Am I correct in assuming those standard size propane (so-called "BBQ") grill canisters I fill at the gas station would also power her unmodified Coleman propane stove if I had the proper hose fitting? Between the two of us we have 3-4 tanks, which would be a lot more economical than dozens of those little disposables.
     
  17. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You'll need a pressure regulator when using a large propane bottle when hooked up to a canister style camp stove. They make a fuel line adapter that hooks up to the refillable propane tank and then to the smaller disposable bottle fittings.
     
  18. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    Propane is definitely the best possible fuel. It is cheap, almost universally available, portable, and cannot deteriorate. It is a simple, pure three carbon molecule with the stink added as a signal it is present. Any of the propane fired camp stoves that use the green 1 litre bottles can be used with the adaptor hose. Back when Coscto sold a six pack of the green cans for <$10 it didn't matter. Now they're >$4 it does. So I got an adaptor hose... one end fits the standare propane barbie bottles, the other screws right in where the green cannisters I no longer use did.. Get the spare washer/seal kit, a couple bucks, because eventually that o-ring etc will wear out. WalMart, Harbour Fright, feed/farm stores, probably the Home CHeapo, Cabelas, that hose costs maybe ten bucks, fifteen max. You'll earn that back long before you've emptied the first barbie bottle., IF you have, or know someone who has, a large stationary propane tank, there are always two dip tubes on those... one picks up the vapour from the top of the tank. The other dips to the bottom to pick up liquid. You can buy, perhaps $20 or so, a "wet hose" that can attach to the wet diptube (that must have a valve fitted to control flow). The other end fits to the outlet fitting on the standard propane barbie bottle. Connect, open the bottle's valve, use a screwdriver to open the vent screw (side of tank fitting at base of "spout) to vent the vapour and allow the liquid propane to flow in. If you have this setup, you can even use the obsolete barbie bottles, which no one wahts because they cannot be ;legally refilled at suppliers, but home use is exempt. I've got merhaps half a dozen of those folating about.... and see them at yard sales for a coiuple of bucks.
    Places like Cabelas sell a large stand stove, two or three burner, uses the standard barbie bottle to fuel, these are <$100, portable, and can make a very fine kitchen range if the press of circumstances warrant.

    Other things propane is good for..... for about $50 or so you can buy a propane conversion kit to fuel your small or even large gasoline powered genset. Or even a large stationary power plant. Nearly any gasoline engine can be converted to drink propane. No more water in fuel, fuel going sour, vapourising away, getting stolen by a guy with a Tijuana Credit Card..... in fact I think one of the most sensible investments one can make to ride out the storm would be to buy and set, or lease, one or two five hundred gallon stationary propane tanks, then get the bits, hoses, kits, etc, to run everything from them. I've been in Amish homes where they won't connect to the power grid but do have propane for cooking, heating, etc, and have piped the gas into the home for old-time gas lamps. Fully lit homes with a lovely warm glow of mantle-type propane lamps ensconced into the walls.Very cozy, romantic, and bright.... for almost nothing. Power out for three months? Fine. they never had it in the first place!!!! Don't miss it.
     
  19. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I would prefer white gas over unleaded, but I don't think even the additives in any kind of gas will get into the food in any significant amount unless you are grilling directly over the flame.

    In my experience, having stored an unopened sealed can of Coleman white gas for over a decade and then opening it and using it, white gas seems to store just fine for a long time if it isn't opened.
     
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  20. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I advocate for fuel diversity. I have things that burn diesel, kerosene, propane, gasoline and so on. I have some things - like diesel engines, that will run on diesel and kerosene and propane at the same time (you can add propane to a diesel engine intake to get more range and power).