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#123704 - 02/13/08 06:03 PM Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi All,

Since Taurus posted his terrific winter equipment review I have been doing some evaluating of my own gear and have been thinking about upgrading my portable stove for emergency use, but more likely for use while just working or camping in the bush.

I have used and owned many camp stoves over the past 40 years; from battered 2 burner naptha Coleman's, to tiny pocket cannister rockets and Esbit tab fold-ups.

The one fuel I usually have with me in the field is automotive gasoline (for truck, outboard, chainsaw, ATV, snowmobile or generator) therefore it would be great if I had a portable stove that could run well on this fuel so I did not have to carry a second type.

I thought Taurus had the right idea with his Coleman Exponent Multi-fuel Camp Stove seen here http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=550B725&categoryid=2005

It is a tough, efficient, one-piece unit that will run on gasoline, problem solved; then I read on the Coleman website under the FAQ section that no Coleman product (including dual/multi-fuel items) should be run on Canadian automobile gasoline as "additives will cause damage to the tank, valve, genetator and burner." This note can be found here

So I went looking on the internet for other options and found them from Brunton, MSR, and Primus; all are of the 2-piece design (I have no experience with these). It is common to read independant reviews that state that all stoves will run dirty and clog when used with automotive gasoline, I am wondering if Canadian gasoline would compound this problem even further?

So my question is;
What is the experience of ETS Forum members with using automotive gasoline in portable camp stoves and can you recommend a preferred brand and model? Any information would be terrific and any thoughts on the gasoline additive problem would also help.

As always I appreciate your input,


#123708 - 02/13/08 06:20 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: SwampDonkey]
Tjin Online   content

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1747
Well the problem with toxic fumes and dirt, is a problem of the particular fuel, not the stove. Oil company add stuff to let the fuel run better in the engine, good for the engine. Bad for your health when cooking with it. I only see car fuel's as a emergency fuel source for mine stove and use proper clean fuels for mine stoves.

I have use both one and two piece designed stoves. They all work. I personally do prefer optimus(Bruton is the US?) and primus. The plastic pumps on the MSR just don't feel right and i had a piece of plastic broken off mine old MSR XGK pump. The two piece design is easy to pack, but obviously has piece to assemble.

#123711 - 02/13/08 07:17 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: Tjin]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I refuse to buy any more Coleman stoves that run on gasoline. The generators clog up every year or so if you use them much. There is a reason that you see lots of Coleman generators in about every store that sells camping supplies all across the country.

I have a Svea 123 that is almost 30-years old; all I have ever done to it is put gasoline in it and cooked with it, it's still going strong. Itís all brass (no plastic) and was first made over 100-years ago. Itís been the standard for years. I donít think you can find better gas stove then it.

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#123713 - 02/13/08 07:27 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: Tjin]

Here's some information on Common Canadian fuel additives. It's a bit ambiguous...go figure.


I know that the big killer for stoves is Oxygenated fuels...commmonly added as an octane improvers...or branded as a 'winter gas' (maybe that's what 'Canadian gas' is?). They can attack the seals and such in your stove.

The more expensive the gas, the more additives...so I've always been told anyhow. If you use regular and not premium, I think the risks are minimal...though it might be a good idea to carry spare parts and a servicing kit anyhow.

Before propane was king around here my dad used an old school Coleman 2 burner stove and lantern for camping. He'd put gasoline in them even though you weren't supposed to and they ran fine. He claimed that as long as the quality of the gas was good, there would never be a problem. Also that the warnings originated from a time when crap gasoline was common, requiring 'stove fuel' be used.

#123718 - 02/13/08 07:59 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: ]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Gasoline seems to be a real problem with Coleman multi-fuel stoves. Unless you run them full-tilt bozo wide open, the generators foul rather quickly, and then you have to take them apart and strip out all the carbon and crud. The seals also seem to wear out rather quickly. If I use a coleman stove or lantern, I use coleman fuel in it, whether it says it's dual fuel, multi fuel, or whatever.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#123730 - 02/13/08 08:31 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: benjammin]

I just read a review on the Svea 123 and damn if I don't wish I had a couple to put in my vehicles.

Perfect thing for a motorcycle road trip. Why carry 2 fuels when space and weight are at a premium and when it's so easy to get raw fuel from a motorcycle.

#123743 - 02/13/08 09:28 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: ]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada

Thanks for the replies and please keep them coming.

I also researched the Svea 123(R) and found references to using white gas, stove fuel (Coleman Fuel) and unleaded gasoline.

I would like to purchase a used one of these to try it out (the only new ones I could find were in Cali. and were quite expensive when you factor in the shipping).

If anyone has an old one (even a beat-up one) to sell please PM me.



#123744 - 02/13/08 09:37 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: ]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4987
Is the Svea 123 or 123R rated for auto/motorcycle fuel? Mine (I have three) specifically say white gas only. I do have a small clone of the Optimus 8 that calls for white gas (coleman fuel) or regular unleaded. The problem with auto fuel is it still has lots of additives you don't want to be breathing.

#123746 - 02/13/08 09:56 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: Russ]

Every review I've read has stated it will burn unleaded, low grade gasoline just as easily as white gas. I even read somewhere that the originals (decades ago) recommended 'leaded gasoline, preferably white'. I think what's in our fuels these days is far less harmful than burning that!

#123749 - 02/13/08 10:07 PM Re: Advice on Dual or Multi - Fuel Portable Stove [Re: ]

Interesting tid bit:

The coleman site faq claims Coleman Fuel is about 50-55 octane and has none of the additives of unleaded gasoline. It doesn't say you can't put regular gasoline into a coleman product...just that you can't run your car off Coleman Fuel

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