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Old 06-26-2011, 06:33 AM   #1
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The old Coleman Stove lives again.

I've had a 2 burner Coleman 425E stove for many years, always a suppliment to our family tent camping trips, but lately assigned shelf duty for maybe the last 10 years or so. Idea! dust it off, fire it up and enjoy this old classic. It's not a looker, paint is burned a bit on primary burner, its been used in its life.

It didn't light, bummer.

Much tinkering, check manifold of obstructions, nope. Remove generator and check for anything, nope. Buy new pump, nope, me thinks I wasted $8 on that idea. I could hear it hissing and even see some vapors, but no flame, drat. I even put a bit of fuel on a paper towel, it burns, whats up?

Ah ha, lets look at Google, many writeups and how to's, even learned that mine was made in 1971, old but certainly not the oldest.

OK now what? Hey Google, make that Coleman what is the shelf life of Coleman fuel? answer Shelf life of Coleman® Fuel about 2 years after opening. A trip back to WallyWorld, new fuel and it lit right away, cooked dinner last night and coffee this AM. Lights on one match easily.

So just how old was the old fuel? Unknown, likely well in excess of 10 years maybe 15. The new can is tri-lingual and the entire backside of the can is WARNING DANGER WILL ROBINSION stuff, the old can English only with more pictures of Coleman equipment and only a simple DANGER FLAMABLE warning on the side, looks good enough to keep as a it used to be like this souvenier.

I think there is a strong chance that the 40 year old Coleman will make appearances at future campouts, should look pretty neat next to the classic Airstream. This X-mas the daughter and boyfriend got me a new propane Coleman 2 burner, don't think it will make 40+ years like the old 425E has already.

Also, looks like there are a lot of Coleman collectors out there.

It's all fun.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:54 AM   #2
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Coleman stove

I have had mine since 1962 and use it every year, at least a few times. Have replaced only the fuel cap. I do keep it in cardboard box in the garage, so it's it pretty nice shape. What a great product.

Also, I have my Optimus gas stove from 1952, and on it I have not replaced anything. They are still making these things, same as they were 70 years ago. A truly magical product. Burns like a jet engine. No moving parts. Not even a pump (self primer).
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:49 AM   #3
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We love our old stoves and loving use them all the time. In fact I think we have about 4 of them. There are times when I'm at home and it's to hot to cook inside the house and I will use it outside. Love those stoves!
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:01 AM   #4
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They were built to be simple, reliable and serviceable. Thought I was upgrading when I bought one of those compact stoves with the disposable propane cylinder. The disposable started with the cylinder, it never worked as good as my early 70's Coleman. Wish I still had it.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:36 AM   #5
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We have one too. I can't imagine camping without it! We call it Old Greenie. I don't remember exactly how old Greenie is, maybe 20 or 25 years, but it still works like a champ. My favorite thing is to wake up early and make coffee outside. I just got a cast iron waffle iron, a perfect addition to my morning routine with my old green friend!
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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R2DTube,

What I found for dating the Coleman came from one of my searches, look under the tabs that secure the tank to the stove. Three numbers? 771 on mine, July '71 was what it meant per the searches.

I just might keep my eyes open as my better half drags me thru thrift shops and the like. But my all time preffered method is still a campfire, but these are neat too.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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I have several old Coleman lanterns and stoves. Love them and they always get dragged out for use anytime the power is out for more than a few hours. Last go around was after the tornadoes back in April.

I always write the date I bought the fuel on top of the can with a marker, that way I know how old it is. Old fuel I just add to the tank of one of my tractors to burn off.

IIRC our oldest stove is around 1963 with one lantern being about that old. I have one MilSpec Coleman lantern that dates to the Korean war.

Also as a side note: current white gas stoves and lanterns are still made in the USA (or were the last time I checked) but not the LP stuff

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Old 06-26-2011, 01:14 PM   #8
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They were built to be simple, reliable and serviceable. Thought I was upgrading when I bought one of those compact stoves with the disposable propane cylinder. The disposable started with the cylinder, it never worked as good as my early 70's Coleman. Wish I still had it.
Hit the garage sales. My coleman stove cost $10.00 and works like a champ.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #9
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Aaron,

I think one neat (TBD) thing I would like to see or better yet try out is "old school" Airstreaming and RV'ing. My rig has a lot of modern convienencies, but to see how it was in maybe the 50's good and bad both would be interesting. And I bet a lot of Coleman stuff was the order of the day.

One of my I wish I could have's would have been to be on a campout with my Grandparents and Parents back in the day. Someone had a cabin in the woods believed to be somewhere in Somerset County PA and everyone got together for what I believe was mostly a ladies cooking event. Pic of Grandma and other ladies in their dresses, never in any type of pants.
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:15 PM   #10
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Aaron,

I think one neat (TBD) thing I would like to see or better yet try out is "old school" Airstreaming and RV'ing. My rig has a lot of modern convienencies, but to see how it was in maybe the 50's good and bad both would be interesting. And I bet a lot of Coleman stuff was the order of the day.

One of my I wish I could have's would have been to be on a campout with my Grandparents and Parents back in the day. Someone had a cabin in the woods believed to be somewhere in Somerset County PA and everyone got together for what I believe was mostly a ladies cooking event. Pic of Grandma and other ladies in their dresses, never in any type of pants.
Considering the condition of my Airstream...if I want to camp it is going to be "old school"

I still have most of my camping equipment from when I first started camping with the BSA 40 years ago. I added to the collection as time went on. I briefly had a pop up around 1982. Then tent camped with my kids on a monthly basis from 1989 up until 2001 when I got yet another pop up. Sold that one last year due to lack of use. Kids are out on their own now, DD is a high adventure leader at River Ranch a GSA camp near Seattle, WA. DS works for Thompson Island Outward Bound in the Boston, MA area. So I guess all the camping paid of after all

I have considered a tear drop with the built in kitchen at the rear and the bed in the front.

Need to get some more work done on the AS but when the heat index is 97* it is hard to get motivated.

Aaron
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:41 PM   #11
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Hey, I've been to Thompson Island!

I bought a white-gas lantern ~12 or 15 years ago, or so. I bought it to take to a rustic cabin in the mountains of Maine that my family used to rent for summer vaca's and occasional weekends. Cabins were equipped w/ the humpreys gas lamps that you see in older airstreams...but they weren't always well placed, and some additional lighting came in handy.
ANYway, I only used it a couple of times when the owners stopped renting out the cabins...that is part of what pushed me toward getting the airstream. ("...can't do this anymore; at least, not "here"; so what else can we do?...hey, how 'bout one of those cool campers?" and then, aluminitus set in. ) I'm pretty sure that was the only can of gas I ever bought for the lantern, and I still have a little bit left. gotta be more than 10 years old.
So the other night, I got home to find the power out. (very rare in my town). so, I pulled the lantern out of the basement, and it lit right up.
Maybe the stoves are more fussy than the lanterns(?).
I usually bring it with me when airstreaming, but rarely use it. I've used it a couple of times when boondocking, but the thing throws SO much heat, I don't like it inside. maybe a single-mantle would be more suitable for inside the airstream. I've only seen those in "propane", though. not that there's anything wrong w/ that.
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:27 PM   #12
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Where ever we go the Coleman white gas stove and lantern go with us. Aside from heating water to make coffee in the AM, all cooking is done outside on the Coleman, rain or shine. Except for the occasional frozen pizza or Tater-Tots. Keeps the AS cool and cooking odors outdoors.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #13
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Hey, I've been to Thompson Island!

I bought a white-gas lantern ~12 or 15 years ago, or so. I bought it to take to a rustic cabin in the mountains of Maine that my family used to rent for summer vaca's and occasional weekends. Cabins were equipped w/ the humpreys gas lamps that you see in older airstreams...but they weren't always well placed, and some additional lighting came in handy.
ANYway, I only used it a couple of times when the owners stopped renting out the cabins...that is part of what pushed me toward getting the airstream. ("...can't do this anymore; at least, not "here"; so what else can we do?...hey, how 'bout one of those cool campers?" and then, aluminitus set in. ) I'm pretty sure that was the only can of gas I ever bought for the lantern, and I still have a little bit left. gotta be more than 10 years old.
So the other night, I got home to find the power out. (very rare in my town). so, I pulled the lantern out of the basement, and it lit right up.
Maybe the stoves are more fussy than the lanterns(?).
I usually bring it with me when airstreaming, but rarely use it. I've used it a couple of times when boondocking, but the thing throws SO much heat, I don't like it inside. maybe a single-mantle would be more suitable for inside the airstream. I've only seen those in "propane", though. not that there's anything wrong w/ that.
If you get back to Thompson Island look for a big guy with a bit of a southern drawl. He is late 20's about 6'6"...kind of stands out in a crowd.

The lanterns aren't as fussy as the stoves and I don't know why. They do make white gas single mantle lanterns but they are not as common nor are the kerosene powered ones (I have a couple of those too).

Aaron
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #14
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If you ever get by Wichita Kansas, Coleman has a factory store/museum near the downtown area. Pretty neat self guided tour.
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