Coleman stoves! How do you check the level of the fuel?

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Steven John Satak, Oct 23, 2021.

  1. Steven John Satak

    Steven John Satak United States Subscriber

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    And how much is TOO much?

    I had a water rocket when I was a kid. We had to learn by trial and error not to put too much or too little water in the rocket. Too much and there wasn't room enough for compressed air. Too little and you ran out of reaction mass before your compressed air charge was spent. Of course, reading the instructions might have helped. But we were kids.

    These stoves are the same way, but not as finicky. There does not appear to be a reliable way to tell what the fuel level is (our water rockets were transparent plastic). There is a level mark ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TANK but I am deuced if I know how to determine whether the level inside is at or near that mark - or not.

    I am just getting into this and have already scoured the forums for an answer. Maybe I just need to read the instructions!

    Steve
     
  2. Haggis

    Haggis Subscriber

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    I’m going to be honest here,,, I have a have and have had a good many Coleman stoves,,, all sizes and ages… When they run out of fuel I add more… Give them a shake, if they feel pleased with themselves, I light them up, if they seem low on fuel, I add as much as I think I dare…

    I’ve been using Coleman stoves and lanterns for well over 50 years, and my simplistic approach has worked so far…
     
  3. John Eggert

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    You don't name the model of Coleman stove to which you refer.

    Most Coleman stoves are designed such that if the tank is set level when filling, sufficient air space is bound to exist, by the purposeful design of the tank and filler neck construction.

    As to how much fuel remains after use, a little tipping and shaking has always served to tell me.
     
  4. Steven John Satak

    Steven John Satak United States Subscriber

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    Well, I was thinking my 'by guess and by golly' method was just me doing a workaround to the Actual Method. Maybe it is. I have a 426D and E. I just worry about overfilling and spilling camp fuel every gol-dang where. The stuff isn't exactly kerosene. I have the same issue with lanterns. Is there a dipstick or something we can use to check the level?

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2021
  5. IvanN

    IvanN United States Subscriber

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    I don’t know of a factory device. Have you tried one of these?
    upload_2021-10-23_16-4-16.jpeg Don’t strike it and look in! But dip it in the tank (unlit) at the filler hole.
    Sorry, I’m being facetious. I usually jiggle the tank a little to make the surface of the fuel more visible. I find the gas hard to see on a matchstick sometimes.
    A fill indicator built in to a funnel might work. A float tall enough to be seen in a clear tube when it’s at the right level. Or a floating marker in a separate clear tube that you could dip in to check with might be easy enough to build. The height of the float itself could be the desired air space.
    I’ve been thinking as I type, I may have a go at one myself.
    It might be a nice accessory to make.
    An eye dropper glass without the squeeze bulb might do. Add a tall enough float to see before over full. Or a glass straw. Dip it in, close the top with a finger, and raise it to see the level.
     
  6. Scrambler

    Scrambler Australia Subscriber

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    Do the official Coleman filler funnels work in the suitcase stoves? They are brilliant in the smaller Coleman gear. You add fuel until the funnel itself starts to fill, then retract it to have the last portion enter the tank.

    The funnel does work in lanterns, so long as it's not one of ye olde narrow filler styles.

    Coleman 2000016489 Filter Funnel Model # 5103a700t for sale online | eBay
     
  7. Toby Garner

    Toby Garner United States Subscriber

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    This seems to be the go to from my tank/fount fishing adventures....

    PXL_20211021_202017981~2.jpg

    I've pulled everything you can image out of these GPA's... One of the strangest, being a hair tie
     
  8. Majicwrench

    Majicwrench Subscriber

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    Love the #1!
     
  9. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    The reason that there isn't a special super dee super method to determine how full the fuel tank is, is because it simply isn't critical.

    My method is to tip the tank, and see how far I can tip the tank before fuel sloshes at the opening.
     
  10. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    Not just Colemans, it’s a problem with all my stoves and lanterns. I use the cell phone light and wiggle and tip to see the fuel. Or I fill till it spills out and makes a mess.
     
  11. HunterStovie

    HunterStovie United States Subscriber

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    I just fill up to the bottom of the filler neck and that will leave sufficient airspace in the tank. Of course one you've used the stove some and the level drops then you'll need some sort of dipstick.
     
  12. Jim Lukowski

    Jim Lukowski United States Subscriber

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    As @Marc stated, with Coleman's, it just isn't critical. Coleman's do not use wicks to assist in feeding the fuel, such as Svea 123's, in which the wick can be damaged if the stove runs out of fuel. If the fuel level is too low and you run out, the lantern or stove shuts down. If too full, you'll be pumping it up more often until the fuel level drops, allowing more air space.

    The only concern would be if you have a full tank/fount and tip the stove tank or lantern too much and fuel gets into the snorkel. Coleman check valves are great at stopping air, but not liquid. If fuel gets into the snorkel and there's pressure, when you open the pump, there's a good chance of raw fuel squirting through the check valve and out of the pump plunger. This happened to me twice. The first time was with gasoline or naphtha, I don't recall, but fortunately, the lantern wasn't lit. The second time was with a kero conversion and the lantern was lit, but being kero, it just made a bit of a mess.
     
  13. Scrambler

    Scrambler Australia Subscriber

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    A Dual Fuel stove, but if the funnel fits yours, it will prevent overfilling.
     
  14. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill Subscriber

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    Fill your tank to the bottom of the fill port then empty the tank into a clean container and measure the amount of fuel. Then you will know the capacity of your tank.

    I believe the 426D and later models use the same tank as the 413E and later models. That is a 1.5 quart tank. My wife buys a brand of vinegar that comes in 1 pint and 1 quart glass bottles. I keep a couple of each around to use as measured fill bottles. If you know the capacity of the tank you're filling it's easy to fill one of the bottles from a Coleman Fuel can and then fill the GPA. No spilled fuel, no guesswork, no problems. If you're concerned about adding fuel to a stove that's been used some then set the tank on a lever surface and take off the cap. Look into the tank. Add fuel as required. I find a flashlight with a small led tip such as those used to inspect the barrel of a firearm is useful as you can stick it in the fuel port and still see past it. Can be bought at any sporting goods store for a few dollars.
     
  15. itchy

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    I shake it, guess, fill and then swear a little if I guessed wrong.

    But, more importantly, those hand-held hard plastic water rockets were so cool. Of course, two were even better because you and your brother could shoot them at each other in the back yard.
     
  16. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Every stove is different.
    Read the instructions.
     
  17. HercL4D2

    HercL4D2 Subscriber

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    Social Media sites always have some people that will answer your question with an answer that has nothing to do with what you need. Like some of the answers in this thread. Go to this site and on the banner, you will see Manuals in RED.
    It will give you the user manual on the operation of the Stove, Lantern, or other GPA if it is listed. Coleman stoves need an air space at the top of the tank for pressurized air. You need this air space for proper start-up and operation of the GPA
    Gas Pressure Appliance. I only fill the tank with fuel to the bottom of the filler tube no more. Sometimes not even that much, Just enough to do what I need.
    The Coleman Collectors Forum - CCF
     
  18. dixda

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    I just pick the tank up with my hand in the middle palm up and judge by the resistance on my wrist while tipping it side to side. If there is no resistance, it's empty. If it slips a little either way it's full.
     
  19. Alcoholic Australia

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    As far as I’m concerned, one of the big advantages of a liquid fuel stove is the ability to fill it up before you use it. If you’re unsure of the fuel level, just fill it up while it’s sitting on a level surface, until the white gas is about to come out of the filler hole. Then you know what the fuel level is because it’s full…