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Old 05-06-2022, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default External cooking

I am sure this has been discussed previously, but hey, maybe things have changed.

To use a small camping stove outside, say to cook smelly things, or avoid heating/fogging up the interior, do you prefer

1) Camp stove on a 1lb propane/butane can

2) Camp stove connected to the campers propane tank

1) seems more flexible as you are not tethered, and therefore also no tripping hazard
2) seems cheaper + environmentally friendly long-term, plus no extra mini-tanks to carry

Anything else glaring/obvious that I may be missing?
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Old 05-06-2022, 10:13 PM   #2
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We do all our cooking with a portable induction cooktop or an InstantPot both inside and outside on a drop down table in the sliding door. I sometimes carry a cast iron Dutch oven or a gas Bertello pizza oven for gatherings.
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Old 05-06-2022, 10:44 PM   #3
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Do you want to cook on the picnic table standing up with a good place to set your pop or evening beer conversing with your spouse or do you want to cook on the ground next to the van bent over with a sore back? i prefer the former with a small cheap propane canister that lasts a considerable time. No brainer.
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Old 05-06-2022, 11:39 PM   #4
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Do you want to cook on the picnic table standing up with a good place to set your pop or evening beer conversing with your spouse or do you want to cook on the ground next to the van bent over with a sore back? i prefer the former with a small cheap propane canister that lasts a considerable time. No brainer.

We started out with the short hose Roadtrek recommends to connect to the gas outlet and also carried cans for when we couldn't reach. It took about two trips before we were done with carrying, using, buying, disposing the cans and bought a 15" hose for the onboard gas connection. It will reach a picnic table 95% of the time close to just by moving the table a bit. We also carry a piece of plywood to put on the spare tire in the down position so we can use that to hold the grille or stove anywhere. We still have one can in the storage, and it hasn't moved in at least 8-9 years. We use the grille nearly every day, so we do use quite a bit of gas. If you don't use it a lot, cans would be a lot easier to tolerate, I think.
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Old 05-07-2022, 12:10 AM   #5
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Do you want to cook on the picnic table standing up with a good place to set your pop or evening beer conversing with your spouse or do you want to cook on the ground next to the van bent over with a sore back? i prefer the former with a small cheap propane canister that lasts a considerable time. No brainer.
Thank you. Yes, the former sounds a bit better. Plus, the low pressure outlet on the van may not work with further regulated stoves.

I think at least initially we'll go with this option.
Prices for propane cans went sky-rocketing, at least on Amazon.
Ideal would be to refill a small bottle from the tank in the camper. Not sure if this is possible.
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Old 05-07-2022, 12:15 AM   #6
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We started out with the short hose Roadtrek recommends to connect to the gas outlet and also carried cans for when we couldn't reach. It took about two trips before we were done with carrying, using, buying, disposing the cans and bought a 15" hose for the onboard gas connection. It will reach a picnic table 95% of the time close to just by moving the table a bit. We also carry a piece of plywood to put on the spare tire in the down position so we can use that to hold the grille or stove anywhere. We still have one can in the storage, and it hasn't moved in at least 8-9 years. We use the grille nearly every day, so we do use quite a bit of gas. If you don't use it a lot, cans would be a lot easier to tolerate, I think.
Thank you, very good points to ponder. I don't think we'd use it every day... but maybe we would. For example, toasting bread for breakfast is usually nicer sitting outside while enjoying the surroundings, than in the cramped van, with the wife still snoring etc.

I guess I'll get started with a little disposable can and see how frequently it gets used.
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Old 05-07-2022, 09:53 AM   #7
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We use a 5lb propane tank which is refillable and a 5' hose
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Old 05-07-2022, 12:53 PM   #8
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Waste aside, the 1# disposables have gotten crazy expensive. Used to be under $2, now about $5 each, which works out to over $20/gallon!

Flame King makes refillable 1# cylinders. They’re DOT approved in the US, but I think not in Canada.. You can also buy a very small DOT tank (5# or 1.2 gal), but I’d have to research the legalities of transport. Unlike the 1#ers, DOT tanks are quite robust. I watched a video of a travel trailer rollover in which two 20# tanks detached from the tongue and could be seen slamming repeatedly against the pavement at the end of the hoses. They remained intact.

We pull the 20# LP tank from our “extra bedroom” travel trailer. I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have that option. Tethering would be my last choice. The kind of cooking we do outside needs to be far away from our bedroom.

Depends on how much outside cooking you do. We can easily go through one disposable a day cooking for four (and using a lantern in the evening). I like your idea of starting with disposables, though, just to see how much you use.
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Old 05-07-2022, 01:12 PM   #9
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Default Ext Cooking

For occasional ext cooking I use a GasOne butane. Super small and easy to use. Only draw back is butane will not flow well under 40 degrees "F". It works in cold temps but the flame is diminished. My solution was sleeping with my butane can.
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Old 05-07-2022, 03:57 PM   #10
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We use option #1, with a refillable small 1# propane cylinder.
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Old 05-11-2022, 06:28 PM   #11
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Default Another option

I use a Coleman liquid fuel camp stove. Burns white gas or unleaded fuel. One gallon lasts me about a year of camping (probably around 80 days of coffee and oatmeal making). In my opinion cheaper and safer than the small propane tanks.

Amazon Link to stove

You can also get this type of stove in a single-burner style if that is a better fit for your needs:
Liquid Fuel Backpacking Stove. This particular one is obviously made in China and sold by a few different resellers on Amazon.

The technology behind these stoves is interesting. There is a video that covers it here (where it is used for gas lanterns):
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Old 05-11-2022, 07:29 PM   #12
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I use a Coleman liquid fuel camp stove. Burns white gas or unleaded fuel. One gallon lasts me about a year of camping (probably around 80 days of coffee and oatmeal making). In my opinion cheaper and safer than the small propane tanks.

Amazon Link to stove

You can also get this type of stove in a single-burner style if that is a better fit for your needs:
Liquid Fuel Backpacking Stove. This particular one is obviously made in China and sold by a few different resellers on Amazon.

The technology behind these stoves is interesting. There is a video that covers it here (where it is used for gas lanterns)
Yeah, I have one of them classic 3-burners...



I think it is from the 60's.



It is wayyy toooo big though.



What makes you say a can of gasoline is safer than a propane can? I guess getting super-heated isn't good for either one.

We have some oil lamps, for romantic evenings, but nowadays LED lanterns are so much more practical.
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Old 05-11-2022, 09:02 PM   #13
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The small propane cooking stove that I use fits easily in my van storage box and burns about 2 hours on a 1 lb propane canister. It probably takes me about 15 min to make a meal on the campground picnic table (a couple hamburgers, etc.). I just bought a 2-pack of the propane canisters at Walmart for $9 which should last for about 16 meals. This adds up to about 56 cents in propane for each time I cook on it. The canisters are sealed and about as safe as any fuel source that you would haul around in a vehicle. I agree with the somewhat wasteful aspect of the canisters but certainly don't use them anytime except in the van and tailgating at football games. I am far more wasteful driving around my 7000lb gas guzzling RV. I can't really see any reason to change my outdoor propane cooking stove.
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Old 05-11-2022, 09:20 PM   #14
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What makes you say a can of gasoline is safer than a propane can? I guess getting super-heated isn't good for either one.
Well, years ago at a caver get-together, somebody's VW beetle caught fire and burned to nothing. There was a Colman stove in the bonnet (over the gas tank). The red gas tank expanded to several times its normal size, but it never ruptured. So, there is that...
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Old 05-12-2022, 12:04 AM   #15
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The small propane cooking stove that I use fits easily in my van storage box and burns about 2 hours on a 1 lb propane canister. It probably takes me about 15 min to make a meal on the campground picnic table (a couple hamburgers, etc.). I just bought a 2-pack of the propane canisters at Walmart for $9 which should last for about 16 meals. This adds up to about 56 cents in propane for each time I cook on it. The canisters are sealed and about as safe as any fuel source that you would haul around in a vehicle. I agree with the somewhat wasteful aspect of the canisters but certainly don't use them anytime except in the van and tailgating at football games. I am far more wasteful driving around my 7000lb gas guzzling RV. I can't really see any reason to change my outdoor propane cooking stove.
Yep that's how I am going to start my outdoor cooking career. I do appreciate all of the different opinions and ideas.

Looking for Propane options I saw that Target had three for $12. I would not expect to go through many, but we'll see. If it becomes more of a habit I'll prolly go for the extension hose.
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:12 AM   #16
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Default Propane Adapter

Many years ago I used to refill my small tanks with one of these adapters.
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:23 PM   #17
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Many years ago I used to refill my small tanks with one of these adapters.
Illegal to transport and dangerous, so best to leave that in the past. Among other things, I have noticed when using disposable cylinders, the valves have a tendency to start leaking after being removed from an appliance and reconnected more than once.

If you're going to refill, get cylinders DOT approved to refill- which presumably have sturdier valves- and use an approved refilling system (which inverts the bulk tank so you're getting liquid propane into the cylinder). Flame King makes this system.
Flame King.jpg
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:59 PM   #18
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Default External Grill Cooking

We converted an old Weber Q-2000 (you have to by-pass the regulator so it doesn't get regulated twice - lots of YouTube videos on the parts and how to do it) for use with the built-in propane tank on our MAD Passage Sprinter. We use a 15 foot propane hose which has always given us enough room to set it on picnic table rather than the ground, but works great on the ground when boon docking too. It seems to have plenty of flow pressure for our cooking needs.
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Old 05-12-2022, 04:29 PM   #19
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We use the Flame King re-fillable 1# bottles and a cheap Coleman two-burner propane stove. We're also beginning to use a Duxtop single-burner induction stove. Sometimes I bring a 5# tank and use a tree to fuel the stove and a lantern. I set up our cooking station on a table right next to the van, or if using the bigger tank and the tree, on a picnic table.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:42 PM   #20
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we use a 1 gallon tank for our coleman single burner stove, equals about 4 of the disposable 1 lb cans. The hose has a barbecue tank type connector on one end and a disposable can connector on the other. We also have a Y to use two devices on the tank, like a small grill and the single burner.
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