1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

RM Rambler, the Missing Link? *

Discussion in 'RM MFG & Engineering Co Ltd' started by kerophile, May 14, 2007.

  1. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    8,868
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
    Hi,
    This is a liquid gas-fuelled stove from the 1960's? which retained many features of the excellent 1-pint Paraffin stoves made by the RM Engineering Co. in the UK.

    Today I took some photos of the one I have, and would like to share them with you:

    1354925068-DSCN0002_edited-19.jpg

    Originally the bright yellow box would also have included the liquid-gas refill canister.

    1354925076-DSCN0003_edited-24.jpg

    The "Fount" or tank is made of brass, painted yellow. The legs are identical to those on their paraffin stoves of this size.

    1354925084-DSCN0003_edited-25.jpg 1354925093-DSCN0004_edited-14.jpg 1354925101-DSCN0005_edited-13.jpg 1354925110-DSCN0006_edited-10.jpg

    Operating picnic stoves in biscuit tins ( to act as windshields) was obviously common practice at this time.

    1354925117-DSCN0007_edited-12.jpg

    Here are some images of the Instructions which came with the stove.

    1354925127-DSCN0008_edited-10.jpg 1354925136-DSCN0009_edited-7.jpg 1354925145-DSCN0010_edited-13.jpg 1354925155-DSCN0011_edited-6.jpg 1354925171-DSCN0012_edited-9.jpg

    I think this is an interesting stove and it seems to be the "Missing Link" between the paraffin pressure stoves and their gas-fuelled successors.

    The stove still contained gas when I acquired it and it operates well. I used a butane lighter refill cartridge to re-fuel it.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2015
  2. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner United Kingdom Admin Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    9,566
    Location:
    N.E. England
    I think Ian M. has one? I've already got a doorstop (Blueut). :lol: It's interesting to see a company make the transition like that & as it appears, use the same presses etc to make the thing - saves money & maybe satisfies those in the market who what the new modern convenience but retaining the look of the past.

    Make sure it's got no gas in it before you chuck it out! :lol:
     
  3. kaw550red

    kaw550red United Kingdom RIP Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    Durham NE England
    Hi George

    I think that the stove is much later than the 1960s

    Up until about 1960 RM were producing the 1 pint paraffin stoves with imprinted lettering on the tank. They then switched to transfers which were covered with lacquer. Later still they were lacquering the tanks BEFORE the transfers were applied. The same stove was marketed as an RM, Thermidor or Veritas brand. The only difference was that the Thermidor had a different tank lid. At the end of the run I think that unbranded stoves were produced and they only got the transfers applied after the makers got an order. This saved holding stocks of three different brands. They only needed three different transfers to fill an order for any brand.

    By the end of the 1950s gas stoves were affecting the sale of paraffin stoves and the production of them was drastically reducing. Bahco stopped making Primus paraffin stoves in 1962 and switched their production to gas stoves which at that time were propane fueled. This competition was the reason for the reduced standard of paraffin stove tank. Paraffin stove makers had to get their prices down to make the stoves attractive against the simpler lit gas stoves.

    I suspect that the RM gas stoves were merely a way of using up paraffin tanks and stove legs so may have only come out after the paraffin stove production ceased. The tanks are non magnetic so I presume that they are the paraffin stove tanks fitted with fixed instead of folding feet.

    It was a pretty silly idea. The only virtue seems to be that the tank was much more stable than the butane stoves of that time. Basically the design only increases the weight of the stove. You need an RM cartridge to fill a paraffin stove tank to which you have to fit a long burner to cope with the paraffin stove legs which fit the tank! It is not logical. It would have been more logical to fit the burner straight to the cartridge. The tank, long burner and legs must have made the stove expensive to make which may mean that few where made so even fewer survive.

    I have never heard them called a Rambler which is contradicted by the name on the instructions but I agree that is the name given by the makers on the other link.

    RMPicnic.jpg

    If you look at the above photo you will see why the tin is so large. Until I got this stove I had never seen an RM cartridge which does not have a standard connection. Running out of fuel might mean that the stove became useless as you may not have been able to buy refills near where you ran out of fuel.

    The tank and refill have gas in them and the stoves work quite well but it seems a complicated way to make a gas stove so it is not surprising that there are few about. I suspect that mine may be one of the few remaining with gas.

    Regards Bryan
     
  4. Ian

    Ian United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    6,243
    Location:
    West Riding of Yorkshire
    Here's one lit!

    RaMbler2.jpg

    RaMbler3.jpg
     
  5. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    8,868
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
    Hi Bryan, thanks for the information and the pictures of your pristine example of this stove ( complete with refill tank). It is interesting that the stove is still being marked up as made by the R.M. Manufacturing and Engineering Co. Ltd. of Stanhope St.,Birmingham 12, despite thet the Company having been taken over by Samuel Heath and Sons in 1950.

    Hi Ian, great pictures of the operating stove. I notice that your example is actually badged as a "Rambler" whereas mine, and probably Bryan's, are not.

    Certainly this stove was an evolutionary dead-end but the control and burner assembly are remarkable similar to that of the Camping Gaz Beluet Conflower.

    Aren't stoves fascinating.... even the gassies.
    Regards,
    George.
     
  6. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner United Kingdom Admin Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    9,566
    Location:
    N.E. England
    Where do you peg these Bryan? A little later than the 60's is the 1970's. Much later is when?

    I recently got one & am hoping to get it working for Tess to use as a brew stove when we're camping.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2015
  7. redspeedster

    redspeedster United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,194
    Location:
    North East England
    Ross
    I bet you could make a re-filling rig for that, have you seen my posts about re-filling globetrotter cartridges.
     
  8. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner United Kingdom Admin Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    9,566
    Location:
    N.E. England
    Not sure it needs one - I'm sure Ian used a lighter fuel canister. Ian?
     
  9. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    8,868
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
    Hi Gary/Ross I partially filled my RM "Rambler" from a gas-lighter refill canister, using one of the adaptors which came in the top cap of the refill.
    It allowed me to try out the burner, which produced a very respectable flame pattern.
    I would be interested in an adaptor if anyone is making them.
    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  10. Ian

    Ian United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    6,243
    Location:
    West Riding of Yorkshire
    David S. has the Rambler which used to be mine.
    As I remember filling it from a currently available screw top gas canister using the adapter that was with the stove, was problematic. I think some sort of filling adapter incorporating a valve to control the job would be a good thing. I'd suggest that you Rambler owners got your heads together and sorted out the best way forward on this.

    Speaking from experience I can tell you that Skype with video is an extremely useful aid for 'distance fettling' - you can compare notes, fittings, fettles etc. live, as it were.
     
  11. kaw550red

    kaw550red United Kingdom RIP Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    Durham NE England
    Hi Ross

    I think that this oddity probably dates from the late 1970s.

    The reasons are not necessarily logical but a combination of several factors. I am repeating some of it which I have previously given to try to explain my reasoning

    During the 1950s RM, Thermidor and Veritas tanks were identical but had the tanks imprinted with the brand names. They were being very strongly challenged by Camping Gaz stoves which were the main gas stove maker at that time. To reduce the cost of producing the stoves they stopped imprinting the brand names on the tanks but applied transfers instead. Those transfers were applied to the brass tank and then lacquered over. They then went to true badge engineering where it appears that all three makes were made in the same factory. The polished tanks were lacquered and the transfers were applied on top of the lacquer and I THINK to identical tins which followed the nice lithographed tins. Effectively they had a pile of unbranded stoves which got the appropriate brand on when the factory got an order. I suspect that this may have been going on at the RM factory because the Thermidor factory went on to make other products and I think still exists today but as part of a larger concern.

    Parasene continued to make paraffin stoves into the early 1980s which may be influencing my opinion.

    I think that this stove came after the paraffin stoves but cannot justify that statement. It probably came in the latter part of the 1970s but I doubt much later as the design was unlikely to have been a commercial success.

    I think that my opinion is probably being influenced by the design defects in the stove suggesting that the designer did not really understand stoves so probably had not been involved with paraffin stoves.

    Whilst the stoves are an interesting collectable item there is a lack of logic in the design which I find confusing.

    You buy gas in cartridges so you do not need a separate tank for a gas stove. This stove has a tank. This stove uses a special gas cartridge that would only be available at RM outlets. The tank is a different shape to the paraffin stoves so would need different formers to shape the tank. The feet are fixed feet so they would have to make new formers to make the new design of feet.

    A gas stove simply needs a burner incorporating pan supports with the burner having a threaded connection which screws to resealable gas cartridges. This stove has separate legs considerably longer than needed if they were attached to the burner. The burner is much longer than would have been needed if it had screwed directly to the gas cartridge.

    The more conventional gas stoves do not need a box because the pan supports are captive to the burner. This stove needs a box to keep the loose parts together. The box looks to be identical to that used for the later RM, Thermidor and Veritas 1 pint paraffin stoves although it has been painted yellow and does not have a brand transfer on it. The stove is bulky in relation to other gas stoves

    Basically the production costs for this stove would have been very high in relation to other gas stoves which it was in competition with and any profit margins would have been very small or non existent. Apart from that until I found this stove I had never seen one of the special RM cartridges so if you ran out of gas when you were away you probably lost the use of your stove because you could not buy gas to put in the tank.

    The design & commercial defects suggest that this design was a desperate attempt to keep the factory going which makes me think that it was probably from the late 70s although I have no information when RM stopped stove production.

    Sorry for the repetition but there are several factors suggesting the period that the stove was made in

    Regards Bryan
     
  12. kaw550red

    kaw550red United Kingdom RIP Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,351
    Location:
    Durham NE England
    Hi

    I had another look at my RM stove and it appears from the label on the gas cartridge that Thermidor may have made the same stove unless the wording was in preparation for a Thermidor version of the stove.

    1247500834-RM_gas_label_opt.jpg

    At the time that I think that the RM stove was introduced there were ample alternative gas stoves.
    1247501120-3_gas_stoves_ass_opt.jpg 1247501055-3_gas_stoves_pack_opt.jpg

    The left stove is a Camping Gaz Globe Trotter introduced in the late 1960s. It weighs 630 gramme with a 90 gramme cartridge which was readily available in most places at that time. The back one is the RM gas stove with a cartridge solely dedicated to it and a Thermidor equivalent stove. It weighed 1140 grammes when packed with a full cartridge in the tin. The right stove is an Alp 7000 introduced at some time in the mid 1970s. It weighs 410 grammes with a full cartridge which were readily available in most places.

    In the 1970s I was motorcycle camping and hill camping and bulk was as much of a problem as weight. I used the Alp for about 2 years but at that time the publicly available cartridges only contained butane which gave problems in low temperatures. It was towards the end of the 1970s when the mixed gas cartridges became available.

    From memory the cartridged gas stoves started in the 1950s and were mainly made by Camping Gaz. Primus introduced their bottled propane appliances into this country in 1962 when they sold their brand name for liquid fueled stoves to Optimus. I think that the Primus cartridge appliances became available in the mid 1960s.

    Regards Bryan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2015
  13. brassnipplekey

    brassnipplekey United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,345
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2015
  14. Spiritburner

    Spiritburner United Kingdom Admin Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    9,566
    Location:
    N.E. England
    It certainly not mentioned in any of the backpacking & camping how-to books I have from the 1970's.
     
  15. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Messages:
    8,868
    Location:
    Far North of Scotland
    Hi, The RM Rambler which I own did not come with a dedicated refill cartridge, and these are long obsolete anyway.
    Recently I received a great adaptor from my good stove-friend -/-. This was to allow me to re-fill this early gas stove from a current re-fill cartrige. I then ordered a stove hose assembly from plus2city and it arrived this afternoon. Here are some photos:

    1287498706-RM-Rambler.-St-191-1.jpg 1287498731-RM-Rambler.-St-191-2.jpg 1287498790-RM-Rambler.-St-191-3.jpg 1287498808-RM-Rambler.-St-191-4.jpg 1287498826-RM-Rambler.-St-191-5.jpg 1287498843-RM-Rambler.-St-191-6.jpg 1287499180-RM-Rambler.-St-191-7.jpg 1287499206-RM-Rambler.-St-191-8.jpg 1287499320-RM-Rambler.-St-191-9.jpg

    The re-fill adaptor and stove work really well.
    The tea-test was passed with flying colours.

    Take a bow, Henrik, you are a master stove fettler.

    Best Regards,
    Kerophile.
     
  16. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,642
    Location:
    UK
    Outstanding, George and -/-. Great to see that bright yellow peril come to life and stay usable.

    John
     
  17. -/- Denmark

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,015
    Good on ya' mate :thumbup:

    There's still an adapter up for grabs if anyone have a Rambler lying idle.
     
  18. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,642
    Location:
    UK
    Love the stove and the adaptor's the icing on the cake, but haven't yet found one, alas.

    John
     
  19. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith United Kingdom Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    6,879
    Location:
    Co. Durham, England
    Wouldn't mind that, -/-, when you're around...