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Who here cooks on suitcase style ranges/grills? Coleman or otherwise?

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Who here cooks on suitcase style ranges/grills? Coleman or otherwise?

 
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:08 PM
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Who here cooks on suitcase style ranges/grills? Coleman or otherwise?

I bought a Bass Pro grill several years ago that is a combo grill/burner. I love it. I use the burner for everything when I need to cook out of the truck or out camping - even making coffee at 3am waiting to wet some flies for steelhead.

I converted mine to run off an external propane tank. I always use a 20lb. I like knowing I am never going to run out. It took me 4 years to go through the tank, and the only reason I did was I used it to run a torpedo heater in a barn for 3-4 days...

My question is - what size tanks are you guys using to fuel your grill/range? How long do they last you?

I do not want to go to the green cylinders. We use some of those at my cabins with a clamshell style grill and, although it keeps the patio a bit more "neat", I can't stand them myself.

I am packing for a 4-6 week trip and I am about to go out and refill the 20lb tank. Though, I know I don't need that much. If I can get a smaller tank (refillable - not the green throw-aways) I think that is going to work best. Space/weight will be a pretty big consideration.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:33 PM
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Edit - I just discovered there are methods to refill from larger tanks. I have a 100lb tank that is only slightly used (a couple days of heater use is all so far). I suppose that doesn't change my tank requirements for my trip, but it may change the game a bit on my options to refill.

The throw-away green bottles are marketed as non-refillable, but with the right fittings it looks like people are refilling them off bigger tanks. I think if I had 3 of those bottles with me I would be comfortable - so that is what, 1lb per bottle so 3lbs of propane?
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:42 PM
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I like the coleman and still use it when it gets to hot to cook on the stove during hot days while boondocking.

Coleman 3 burner stove Coleman 3 burner stove

Here is from a month ago with the carry over truck kitchen when we did tent camping.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:54 PM
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Have you looked at the small 5# tanks. I bought one of those I didn't want the hassle of the 1# through a ways. Easy to carry/ store great for a weekend camping trip or a road trip dinner on the grill.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:12 PM
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While I have a Coleman two burner suitcase, I do most of my cooking on my Blackstone 17" griddle. With the carrying case, it is much like a suitcase unit. And though it is made for the 1# bottles, I have a 5# tank that I use with a hose that I only have to fill once a year. I have refilled the 1# and I even bought a refillable 1#, but refilling is a hassle and you need a digital scale to do it right and not overfill.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by scraprat View Post
Have you looked at the small 5# tanks. I bought one of those I didn't want the hassle of the 1# through a ways. Easy to carry/ store great for a weekend camping trip or a road trip dinner on the grill.
Ive seen tanks about that size before. I want to say the ones I saw were at Menards. That is a thought. Do you have any approximate use times/extended trip lengths on your 5lb tank?

I suppose I can find a place to refill on the road if I need to. I want to say I got my big tank filled at either TSC, Menards, or Big R. I'm sure there are a lot of places I can fill up at (although, if I recall IL law won't allow filling stations - you swap tanks there, which would be a problem for a non-standard small tank size).

I'd just rather start off with what I need and not worry about it. I want to run the burner to make coffee most days for sure. Then I have some pastas I want to cook, and the occasional steaks, chicken, burgers.... My backpacking stove would be along for a back-up/in-case-I-run-out-of-propane burner, but if I can't cook in a pot I can't cook on it...
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:58 PM
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We have a Coleman 2 burner stove, Weber Q, a Can Cooker, and a Blackstone 17" to cook with. We always eat really well while camping! I got an adapter hose so I can them off the big propane tanks on the trailer. No more little green bottles.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:12 PM
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I love my Coleman 2 burner propane stove - always I like to make breakfast outside.
I found that so long as not trying to boil water, these stove are pretty stingy on fuel.
I saw several places now have 'refillable' 1lb bottles at about 15$, I've refilled a few green bottles..
Also carry a small tabletop weber grill, and a big grate to put over the campfire for ribs.
 
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:17 PM
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Boiling corn on the coleman and burgers on the grill. Not really sure how long the 5# last but I know I've used it over a holiday weekend cooking breakfast and dinner with it. A 30# on the 5th wheel last for 17-21 days, when I fill the 30# I'll top off the 5# and I cook on the grill at least a couple dozen times in that period of time.
 
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:04 AM
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I have a Cabela's grill that I converted to run off of the trailer's propane. I already had the propane quick connect on the trailer.

I also have Camp Chef Everest 2 burner stove that still runs off of the small non-refillable bottles. It's a very good stove. So far, it lights every time.
 
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by scraprat View Post
Boiling corn on the coleman and burgers on the grill. Not really sure how long the 5# last but I know I've used it over a holiday weekend cooking breakfast and dinner with it. A 30# on the 5th wheel last for 17-21 days, when I fill the 30# I'll top off the 5# and I cook on the grill at least a couple dozen times in that period of time.
Good stuff. Yeah, I'm not sure how "much" I will be cooking on the grill/range overall - I would imagine boiling water for making coffee will be the majority of its' use most days. It sounds like with your math there you still have fuel left in the 5lb tank = you aren't running empty in that time period. That means you still have some run time. The question is how much?

Originally Posted by 7591250sd View Post
I saw several places now have 'refillable' 1lb bottles at about 15$, I've refilled a few green bottles..
I found some of those online also. It looks like most of them are the same theory as the throw aways - same fitting. There are a couple others I found that look like a propane torch bottle (long and thin) with a brass valve.

Does anyone have any experience with the 1lb bottles? Have you had any issues with places allowing a fill up with them?

I was talking to ma last night and apparently my grandpa was using a propane grill on one of his boats a long time ago and had a small tank for it. This could have been 30-40 years ago, before the throw away tanks were thought of I'm sure. There is a chance that gear is still around at our cabins... Sounds like some of us will be up there for a quick trip before I take off so its worth a look anyway. If not - I'll try to find something on the way home and get it filled. One of our neighbors uses the small green ones exclusively - elderly and can't move the bigger tanks. I can see the reasoning, but when you need cases of them to get your cooking fuel for a few months doesn't that sound counter-productive? Buying them 1 at a time would surely be expensive also... Anyway, I may be able to get a bunch of throw-away 1lb'ers to try refilling off a bigger tank. I won't have time to try that before I leave, though.
 
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:53 AM
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I refill the 1lb bottles from a 20lb tank. They work fine within limits.

Using this method, I've been unable to fill the bottles with as much LP as a newly purchased bottle. Putting the bottles in your home freezer for a few hours prior to the refilling process seems to help in getting a somewhat better fill. Having said that, one of my refilled bottles will keep the Coleman stove burning for several hours before it runs out, so I keep four refilled bottles on hand, doesn't take long to swap them out and get back cooking..

I went this route because every refillable bottle or tank less than 20lbs that I could find was pretty expensive compared to the 20lb tanks.
 
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by kgburns View Post
I refill the 1lb bottles from a 20lb tank. They work fine within limits.

Using this method, I've been unable to fill the bottles with as much LP as a newly purchased bottle. Putting the bottles in your home freezer for a few hours prior to the refilling process seems to help in getting a somewhat better fill. Having said that, one of my refilled bottles will keep the Coleman stove burning for several hours before it runs out, so I keep four refilled bottles on hand, doesn't take long to swap them out and get back cooking..

I went this route because every refillable bottle or tank less than 20lbs that I could find was pretty expensive compared to the 20lb tanks.
Good stuff. That helps a lot. If you have a small scale - like a postal scale - Id be curious how much the 1lb bottles weigh new vs refilled vs empty. That may show how much fuel you have in there vs new.

I could fill off my 100lb tank, in fact... Thinking about it now I may be able to fill the 20lb tank off it. Same theory as the small bottles though - cant get the tank that is being filled all the way full as the pressure differential wont be what a filling station can create.
 
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:26 AM
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Sorry, I don't have a scale to weigh the bottles, but just hefting a warm refilled one against a new one, I'd guess they're getting a bit better than half full, one that I kept in the freezer for five hours before filling felt about three quarters filled.

For safety reasons, you need to be wearing gloves when you fill them, just in case you get an LP spew, but when filling the ones from the freezer, the gloves make it a lot easier to hold on to.
 
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Old 09-18-2018, 08:18 AM
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Doing a quick google search... An appliance or burner with a rating of 60,000 BTU/hr will burn at least 60,000 BTU per hour making the fuel consumption 1 gallon of propane per 1.53 hours.
Using a 5# tank. If a small grill at 10,000 btu (high setting) would last 9 hours.
Coleman camp stoves are 22,000 btu (high setting) would last 4 hours.
I would say unless your into a good char on everything you cook maybe double the time for use.
 

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