Suggestions for a vintage stove - Vespa camping trailer project

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Tom_B, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. Tom_B United States

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    Greetings,

    My name is Tom and I have an unusual hobby of designing and building scooter cargo trailers. The trailers are small and can hold a single man tent, food, and a tiny single burner cooker.

    I am in the beginning stages of building an actual tear drop travel trailer to connect to the back of my 1962 Vespa motor scooter. The tear drop will be large enough to sleep in and will have an outdoor rear kitchen just like any other teardrop trailer.

    Every piece utilized on the trailer has to be unusual, artful, and vintage - *especially* the stove. In fact, the stove is a huge part of this. It will be used to make coffee, tea, and small meals while scooter camping.

    I've been researching portable stoves for days now and I'm hoping for some advice and suggestions.

    I want something single burner and square or rectangular...as opposed a circular shaped stove.

    I really like the Primus PT-1 and PT3. I know nothing about them except they are beautifully mechanical. What kind of fuel do they burn? Are they super reliable or do they require a lot of fussing or constant maintenance? The one's I'm seeing on eBay are around $100 and all of them are from sellers in the Ukraine...which makes me a bit nervous.

    PT-3
    PT-3.jpg

    PT-1
    PT1_1.jpg

    The other one I like is the Pink Coleman 5402A. Also around $100 in nice condition. I understand that the fuel canisters are no longer avail...but found a gentleman that makes an adapter for modern fuel canisters to fit. He says he'll have the adapters for sale again in October.

    Pink_5402A.jpg

    I am open to other suggestions for stoves. My budget is around $100. I don't want something typical. I'm looking for odd, unusual, off-beat. Hoping for something that is generally reliable.

    Below are pics of my Vespa, a 12" scale mock up of the camping trailer I'm about to build, plus several cargo trailers I've built for my other bikes.

    B&W Vespa.jpg
    Cabin Car.jpeg
    vespa1.jpg Vespa2.jpg
    Liberty_1.jpg Liberty_2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  2. Jim Lukowski

    Jim Lukowski United States Subscriber

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    Those trailers are beautiful! Love your creativity!!!

    I think it's the Optimus 111 that's a bigger box/square stove than say an Optimus 99 or 8R, but I'll let those in the know confirm and offer other suggestions. The picnic stove you show was also in at least one other color, but I'm drawing a blank on what color it was.
     
  3. itchy

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    Did you want a new stove or are you ok with a used one? The later are always better (personal bias). I'd second the suggestion for the Optimus 111. I'd also suggest the Optimus 8R over the little Russian stove in picture #2. Both are good stoves, and some folks prefer the Russian, but the Optimus (or Primus) are sort of the standard.

    Limiting it to a square (can it be rectangular?) does rule out a real favorite: the Coleman 502 (plus most brass classics).

    The first two stoves you show run on Coleman fuel (or equivalent brands of Camp fuel). The Optimus 111 runs best on Kerosene but can be run on Coleman fuel if you are careful. They can be had for $100 but a nice looking 111 will likely go over the $100 target, not sure about the 8R.
     
  4. Daryl

    Daryl United States SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Beautiful work and very professional looking. The picnic stove has the right vintage look, super easy to use, but takes up a lot of space. The 8R or the 99 would be my pick. Also the firebox type or alcohol types.
     
  5. Scrambler

    Scrambler United States Subscriber

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    Are you planning on using it on the kitchen bench in the trailer? If so, there are real pluses with the style of stove you have mentioned, and some negatives.

    Pluses include the square shape, and catcher effect for burning fuel.

    But minuses include a requirement to prime the stove- have a substantial input of heat from burning alcohol or Coleman fuel in a tray under the burner. This is a nuisance and a risk in a lightweight timber environment.

    Coleman have a tap design that allows fuel vapour to be lit, replacing the priming requirement. The much different Soto Muka also does the same. This allows a gasoline (Coleman fuel) stove to avoid the wildfire starting requirement.

    Coleman make rectangular stoves, but TBH I would consider seeing if you could build, or have built for you, a square box with grill which a Coleman (533 or one of the older 5xx stoves) could sit in. I feel a Coleman suitcase 2 burner will be huge in your nifty camper.

    Best wishes. Do please show us what you decide.

    If you were on this side of the Pacific I would try to talk you into a Maxie stove. Either the 1950s caravan versions or the later boating types. You might find something like that. Quirky, but simple. And basically rectangular.

    Maxco Alcohol Stove

    Maxie Indestructable
     
  6. Tom_B United States

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    I really appreciate the compliments on my bikes and trailers. Thanks!

    Sorry for all the questions but vintage stoves are a new (and exciting) thing for me. The stove is one of the most important parts of this build.

    So if you guys could provide some links or if you can spell it all out, here's what I'm confused about - All of the stoves you mention Optimus 99, 8R, 111 all look identical to me. What's the difference? Also, is Optimus and Primus brand names?

    Are the PT-1 / PT 3 stoves on eBay (all from Ukraine) good quality or junk? Are they clones of Optimus or Prime?

    Is there a wiki on this site or elsewhere where I can learn about the 99, 8R, 111? History, differences, clones, etc.

    I really love this style of stove...beautifully mechanical and very vintage looking.

    Thanks so much!

    Tom
     
  7. Tom_B United States

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    Thanks Scrambler,

    I appreciate all the info. That Maxie Indestructable is absurdly cool. I'd love something that quirky.
     
  8. Scrambler

    Scrambler United States Subscriber

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    Tom, you are very welcome.

    The photos are from the Gallery, head over and wade through.

    The Optimus and Primus stoves are (or rather were) usually off the same assembly line. Usually same model names!

    The 8R and 99 have the same working elements, but different cases. The 111 versions are larger, and then there are 2-burner versions of those- the 22.

    You can get modern alcohol stoves similar in design to the Maxie Indestructible. I'll try to grab a link for you.
     
  9. Scrambler

    Scrambler United States Subscriber

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  10. gieorgijewski

    gieorgijewski Subscriber

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    IMO
    - forget PT3
    - many factors - gives "BRS-8"- could be easy, cheap, multi purpose, light weight stove - but not "real vintage"
    In that completation - BRS 8A by APG is very useful, and "aged"...

    My vehickles are 60 - years old, every day used, engines less then 50 cm3 :)
    good job !
     
  11. pau-i-amor

    pau-i-amor Subscriber

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    As @gieorgijewski , I suggest you forget PT-3 stove. In the other hand, PT-1 -a 8R russian clone- is a reliable one-person stove. A Coleman 502 would be a good choice for two-person stove.

    Just another fan of old VESPA





     
  12. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Yes, clones. Not made in Sweden. They can be more difficult getting parts for, since they are not the same as the Optimus or Primus models.

    A Trangia kit can be found to be period correct, easy to use, very efficient AND lighter weight than most stoves.
     
  13. gieorgijewski

    gieorgijewski Subscriber

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    yeah - i missing above...
    Yours trailer seems 130 cm high
    stove table will be circa 40 cm higher than floor
    it mean - upper stove will be circa 75 cm space
    ------------------
    imo - it is not good idea for liquid stove - burn them inside the small trailer
    gassie need to be stored outside too
     
  14. Tom_B United States

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    Scrambler,
    THAT STOVE IS AWESOME LOL. I love it. Definitely a front-runner.
    Looking for a stove that will aesthetically knock people off their center...something odd or quirky and that R8y1 certainly fits the bill.
    Thanks for such a cool suggestion.
     
  15. Tom_B United States

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    Pau-i-amor,
    Nice Vespa! I've owned mine now for 3 years and I love it. Also, thanks for the video on the stove. I could not get an idea of how big or small the stove was. Your video answered that question!
     
  16. Tom_B United States

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    gieorgijewski I appreciate the concern. To be clear, I will only be cooking outside of the trailer on the outdoor rear kitchen. I agree that inside the trailer is unsafe.
     
  17. Tom_B United States

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    Again thanks for all the info on the Primus and Optimus stoves. I'll continue researching using all of this new info.
     
  18. Tom_B United States

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  19. Jim Lukowski

    Jim Lukowski United States Subscriber

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    If not in too much of a rush, check out some yard sales. You just never know. Admittedly, I never thought I would see a little box stove like an Optimus 99 or 8R, but picked up a mint Optimus 99 with fuel bottle at a yard sale a couple of years ago for $2. I was beyond elated. From other collectors, I've since obtained a 99 clone and a couple of 8R's.

    A want to buy ad in the classifieds here is a good option, but I'm not sure if you need to subscribe to the forum for access. Signing up at estatesales.net is another option. Each morning, I get an email with a list of local estate sales starting the next day in my area. What's nice about this is that you get pics of what's for sale and can decide if any are worth the trip. If I just see a can of Coleman fuel in one of the pics, that tells me it's worth investigating.
     
  20. Scrambler

    Scrambler United States Subscriber

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    Tom, that Optimus 99 is a downgraded model, with the 8a flame shield. The earlier ones are slightly sharper looking, IMHO.

    Another thread here is talking about an alcohol marine stove: Punker Galvanized Single Burner, Yellow Flame and Pulsing

    This group of stoves were THE cruising stove, but now the yachting crowd have moved to things like propane- that the older sailers avoided due to fire risks. Alcohol can be put out with water.

    Because they are not fast, not light or compact, you won't have trouble getting them in your price category. Like the one in the thread they may have been unloved and need some fettling. But someone who can make a BOB trailer sing can get an old stove purring.

    The self-pressurising hiking/camping stoves (8a, 99, Svea 123r) are now becoming expensive, and their pressurised cousins more so. You would probably have more luck with an old 3-leg Primus for your price, sadly.