COLEMAN 3 BURNER

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by BB, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. BB

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    As a new enthusiast I was in a "commercial" junk store stoday (as opposed to a charitable one) and saw a big three burner Coleman. Had been painted white. Seemed rather expesnive at $40? Looked in good condition, and very clean.

    I think this type of stove may not generally be what "spirit burner" afficianados look for, but I mention it as part of my learning curve.
     
  2. Ian

    Ian Subscriber

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    The Coleman 'suitcase' is no stranger to these pages. It may not be all things to all people but it has its place in the great scheme of things.
     
  3. BB

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    The term suitcase describes it very well. One can imagine its utility in some applications.
     
  4. Nordicthug

    Nordicthug R.I.P.

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    The Coleman "suitcase" stove is one of the wonders of the ages. They are everywhere. Given clean fuel and a modicum of care, they will last for generations. I have one made before 1920 that works perfectly and has never been repaired.

    Not only that, but they're easily converted to canister and bulk propane by inserting a $15.00 conversion unit.

    When I was a tad in the wilds of So. Dak. in the early 50's, my Mom much preferred to cook on the Coleman stove on the back porch than fire up the wood burning kitchen range in Summertime. The temp. commonly was in three figures. I do not recall it ever failing.

    My first stove bought in 1963 with my first paycheck from my first full time job was a Coleman two burner that cost less than $10.00 new. I still own and use it. The only machine I own that is more reliable is a hammer.

    Nordicthug

    Look around, find the price of a new 3 burner Coleman Gasoline stove and $40.00 will seem a pittance.

    Nordicthug
     
  5. usdan50

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    I would consider that stove very high priced with or without the paint job.The repaint destroyed the value to the collectors of Coleman.The Flea Markets yield nice examples for fifteen to twenty US dollars.I own three variations of the big three and fifteen was the highest I paid in new condition with box and papers. Dan
     
  6. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    We have a couple of Coleman discussions going lately. The only heretical word I see here is the idea of converting a petrol-burning Coleman to propane!
    Though I camped with a big family, I never wanted one of the three-burners; I've always had one of the bigger twos. (Never have paid attention to those model numbers.)
    As to price, you can around here buy your basic 2-burner green Coleman liquid fuel suitcase for $59, and it will literally last you a lifetime.
    For the Yank who grew up camping, while the green paint will never glow like brass, the Coleman always has a great place in the memory.
     
  7. bark2much

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    I had once looked at the 'majesty' of three-burner Coleman Suitcase, and concluded that, if I needed a three-burner stove to cook, it would be better to have two 2-burner stoves.

    The bulk of the three-burner stove was just too much. It would be eaiser to handle two of the 2-burner stoves. That is how I ended up having: one 425 and one 424 Duel Fuel.

    Actually, I restored a 425F, but decided to donate it to a church yardsale. Some lucky guy got it for a pittance. Oh, well.
     
  8. Guest

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    I keep getting tempted to buy one of these monsters but I already have a coupel good 2 burners from Coleman that just never seem to wear out. One of these days I am probably going to break down and get one. But, Coleman doesn't seem to advertise these 3 burners much so I speculate they have or will eventually discontinue it. So if you want a new one, you might need to order sometime in the next few years or less. I do see they are still on the Coleman site at about $130US. You can often find nice used ones for way less and an occasional near new one on EBAY, but sometimes the bidding gets ridiculous.

    I have the short 2 burner and the large 2 burner and both are excellent for car camping or where you have an established "Base". I prefer the large 2 burner since it handles the larger pans better, like cast iron and it handles the Coleman oven better. Both stoves are rather large anyway, so if you are going thru the trouble of lugging one, might as well lug the big one. It's not like we are trying to shave ounces in the backpack.

    Only thing I am mixed on with the Colemans is that it is hard to have the second burner do anything unless the main burner is almost full steam. It is hard to get both burners to simmer at the same time. I would guess the 3 burner just makes the problem worse.

    Still, they are bullet proof and have never failed me in almost 30 years of use.

    Just my opinion,

    Jim Henderson
     
  9. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    The three-burner has been around forever, and I doubt it will ever be discontinued, but I think that it's probably mostly used by group campers; scout troops, church groups, etc.
    For me, when it's time to bring out the Coleman for the first family campout of the season, the experience is always highly nostalgic, connecting the present-day campouts with those when my kids were young, and those with my family when I was young. I was a Boy Scout, too, all the way through high school, but those were wood-burning days, even in the backcountry. My son's scout troops used Colemans in camp.
    Coleman is the standby, too, at home for power outages and such. When we remodeled our kitchen years ago, we cooked on the Coleman for weeks on the back porch.
    Is there a UK equivalent to the Coleman in North America: a stove that's just inseperable from family camping?
    True, the second burner always has lower pressure, but it works out.
    This forum in many ways reconnected me with camping, and as I've reported from time to time, we now have campouts with kids and grandkids, with cooking a big focus: the Coleman, always at least 2 brass keroburners, and now the Dutch oven!
    Here's to family and friends. Hands across the sea! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
     
  10. Ian

    Ian Subscriber

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    I think many people of my generation (i'm 49) would have had their first encounter with a pressure stove in the form of a family picnic with a Primus, quite likely a No1.
    The smell of burning meths still brings a lasting memory of susages frying on a No.1.
    I must have been 7 or less as I have no recall of my sister then. I still have the stove and it still gets fairly regular use ( it was my first choice for a griddle driver). I also still have the wooden box my Dad made for it, the pint Castrol tin he kept paraffin in and the little kettle (alas the spout cap and tea diffuser have long gone).
     
  11. bikamper

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    I have never personally used the Coleman 3-burner, though I expect one is probably in my future. I have used a 425E (or is it an F) for nearly 30 years with one rebuild in that time and that was only because my kids used it on an outing and they proved to be messy cooks.
    My parents still use the one that they bought in the 60s (which I hope to inherit)even though they now 'camp' in a 24' trailer. Mom only uses the built-in if the weather is too crummy to cook outdoors. I should say that they will leave the trailer in Wisconsin if they are doing volunteer work at one of the ghost town restorations in Wyoming. Then they 'camp' right in the bed of the Dodge diesel.
    I must agree with Ed that the Coleman suitcase, no matter what vintage or model, is a trip down memory lane for most in North America. :)
     
  12. Doc Mark

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    Greetings, Listmates,

    I have really enjoyed this thread! I, too, started out with a Coleman 2 burner, and using one, even today, brings back memories of the "old days" of camping with our families. That old stove still works and it's been in use for nearly 30 years. Never had to rebuild it, either. Just a little oil, now and then, on the pump washer, and it has always worked like a charm. Yes, Coleman stoves, be they the suitcase models, or the newer backpacking "wonder stoves", all have a "special" personality, and they need to become your friends before you will gain confidence in them. But, take the time to learn their foibles, and they WILL earn your trust and pay back your efforts. One other outstanding reason for using a Coleman 3 burner is that, while you are using one of the burners to cook, you can also be using the folding Coleman oven to bake some fresh biscuits, cornbread, or muffins!! Yummy!! I think finding one in good shape for only $40 is a fine buy. Sure, they can be had a little cheaper. But, a stove in the hand...

    In our Living History hobby, many cook over fires. We have chosen to cook on period braziers and use lump charcoal to fire them. However, with the conflagrations we had in So. Cal last year, much of the forest is closed to cooking with either fire, or charcoal. Cooking with a propane stove is acceptable, but at our events, where everything has to be period correct, folks have to cook in their tents and hide their gas stoves after using them. Here's where a Coleman product has saved the day for us. We have taken a few of the Coleman gas, 10,000 BTU, single burner heads and installed support rods that fit them into our period braziers. We then drilled a single hole through the bottom of each brazier, and ran the gas hose down through that hole, and then through a hole in a trestle table that we built to hold two of these special braziers. Under that table is a large wooden box that holds a huge propane tank, to which both burners are connected. To anyone passing by, it appears that we are actually using the braziers with charcoal, and this illusion helps us to maintain the proper ambience in our campsite. I must admit, however, that I take great delight in hiding my Optimus 45A alcohol burner inside the tent, just so I can fire it up on the cold, frosty mornings and brew my first cup of tea, while the braziers, in charcoal mode, are heating up to cook our breakfast!! :D Ian, I enjoyed reading of your family experience with the Primus stove, and it makes a wonderful juxtaposition to the Yank camping experience!

    Merry Christmas to all, and may 2005 be your best year yet, filled with a few new stoves and all of God's blessings!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc Mark, and his Sweet Bride, Lady Cynthia.
     
  13. BB

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    This forum is amazing and great for someone just learning, whatever length the teeth are. Having rsised a simple enquiry re what I did not even know was called the suitcase, I now know a fair bit about it. Enuf that I would buy a green one in good shape if I come across it.

    Re my Optimus starting point, bought some fuel the other day and will try to fire it up.
     
  14. usdan50

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  15. Guest

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    Thanks, Dan. I have to say that that photo would take just about any North american back to a happy time.
     
  16. canfield

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    This is amazing; I thought you were died in the wool OptoPrimSvea people. Being an Eagle Scout and now Scout Master I have seen and used almost all Coleman stoves in my young 48 years. From old greasy, rusted, and bent up 3 burners to brand spanking new propane out of the box stoves. In my years I have only had one that did not work. The sales lady at Wally World thought I was just joking until I further explained that all twenty of us hard-core campers over 40 could not light the stove. She was amazed and said Coleman might contact me for any questions. The old trusted 3 burner is just great for using a griddle on one end and keeping the coffee on the other.

    I have three 2 burners of various ages in my garage now. Because of buying a flat plate stove in our new kitchen, I keep the Coleman on hand for our Wok cooking. It looks a little odd to see a green suitcase sitting on top of a new state of the art stove. The kitchen smells very good and it?s not just from the food. In my Michigan winters I always keep one stove or another in my truck. The Coleman 2 burner fits nicely in the rear always ready for use if needed. In side the suitcase is also coffee and a chunk of my wife?s old nylon sock (washed). A little water, a pot of any kind and boil a good cup of java.

    It is great to know I am in a great crowd that loves all kinds of liquid fuel stoves.

    Paul
     
  17. BB

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    I am learning lots about old Colemans from these comments. Very interesting stuff.

    Dan I finally realized that the foto you gave the URLfor was accompanied by others. I had a look at the Colemans and other stoves.

    One question. The white $40 3-burner model, still there at the junk store, does not have a tank, but the pipe leading out to where the tank would be is on the right side, not the front. What does this signify?

    I know nothing about this topic but do find it of interest.
     
  18. Guest

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    That to me means the stove is powered by propane gas and not white liquid gas. No tank just small bottles or 20 lb tank. This does reduce the value, however, make sure it's a Coleman. Coleman sold them for a lot cheaper price I think. A few manufactures overseas have been building units like this for a few years. These stoves do work well, but not a enduring as the frendly Coleman name. We use a 3 burner propane Coleman in our Boy Scout Troop. One of the burners is I think 35.000 degrees hot, nought to burn the heck out of anything we use. If you are going to start collecting go ahead and add it your collection.

    Paul
     
  19. usdan50

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    Paul summed it up quite well.Coleman made a conversion as did Bernzomatic,Coghlan and several overseas importers.The propane stoves are not as collectable as white gas but are very reliable for camping.You have to be willing to lug that bottle around.My Buddy has a complete kitchen setup with Camp Chef cast iron two burner ,drip coffee maker stands for lights that can feed 65 Boy Scouts at a sitting all running on propane.He carries his gear in a trailer.It is quite a hoot when he sets up. Dan
     
  20. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    I don't like the Coleman propane stoves; I suppose that's no surprise in this company of liquid-fuel aficianados. It's not just the fuel issue, it's just that all propane appliances lack panache. If there are exceptions, I don't know about them.
    My nostalgic comments about Colemans of course apply to liquid fuel. But why do propane stoves all have to have such cheesy, tinny burners and other features? It's pretty true of all manufacturers.
    While I can see the logic of using propane stoves for scout troops, my opinion is that petrolburners should be used instead; the retro aspect is important to the Scouting experience, I think.
    Many people besides those here must feel the same; the classic Colemans and their fuel still are stocked and sold most places that sell camping equipment.