Coleman Dual Fuel Question.

Bought a coleman dual fuel single burner stove last year. Have only used white gas in it so far. Question is what is the difference between the two fuels? Is there any downside or plus to using one over the other besides the cost per gallon?


Some second-hand info

– Last Updated: Mar-18-08 12:34 PM EST –

Something I've heard a number of times, is that the main feature which makes a dual-fuel stove what it is, is that it is fairly easy to take apart and clean. If what I keep hearing is true, using unleaded gas instead of Coleman fuel WILL plug up your stove eventually, no matter what kind it is, but if it's a dual-fuel stove, you can get it working again much more easily than you could if it were a standard stove. I read an article in some magazine once where "some expert" said there's no real need for a dual-fuel stove for average Americans camping in their own country, since you can buy Coleman fuel in any town big enough to have a hardware store, and in any town at all if you are in prime camping country. Sure, Coleman fuel costs more than automotive fuel, but how much does stove fuel really cost for each trip - maybe 30 to 50 cents per day?

One other thing: If I'm not mistaken, white gas is not the same as Coleman fuel. I think Coleman fuel consists mostly of naptha. I don't know where one would buy white gas nowadays; I haven't seen it for sale around here since I was a very young kid.

before the gas prices were what they are now , the option of using car gas was , it WAS cheaper than white . White gas is refined gasoline . So when ya use car gas the generator may become clogged , but you can replace it --or clean it manually , there is a wire that runs through it but it is hard to NOT bend it while pushin it back an forth , which is supposedly what the flame adjustment lever is sposed to do .

Naptha IS white gas .

Say yer in Honduras , welp it IS gonna be hard to find white gas-hence the reason for car gas .

OH—you can filter the car gas before you put it in the stove , an a coffee filter is the same as the ones coleman sells.

I’ve never had major problems w/my duel fuels or the white gas only ones . I think they are the best for ease of operation, economy , field maintence .

and I manage to simmer with em too.

get one an carry a spare generator an pump cup


Coleman fuel
is what I mean when I refer to white gas. I grew up camping with my folks and my dad always called coleman (camp) fuel white gas. I thought I heard somewhere that regular unleaded gasoline will not produce as many BTU’s as WG so you will need to burn more of it. I plan on using camp fuel as long as I can get it but often wondered what the real difference was.


I have that stove and also have only burned white gas. The quantity is small, so cost is not a big factor.

Can you burn alcohol in that stove?


i have a couple
do you mean white gas/gas vs the canister? Vs kerosene?

Gas, easy to light still cheaper then the canister burns hot and pretty long, you can tell how much fuel you have by opening the bottle, and you can also use the fuel to start fires if needed. may flair up when lighting off.

Canister, plug and play, the easiest to light. however its hard to tell how long it will last and they are an odd shape. more expensive then gas.

Kerosene, cheap fuel, lots of BTUs, hardest to light, you can tell how much fuel you have by opening the bottle and it can be used to start fires too.

I have used regular gas in all my stoves over many years and have never had a problem with any of them clogging. Personally I like regular gas the best, but for ease of use the canisters are good.

I perfer to use unleaded
I only get to camp about 10-20 nights a year and don’t do much cooking when I do (usually just heat & eat or make coffee). I use to buy a fresh gallon of Coleman fuel each year and burn the old can on a leaf fire. The old can would be at least half to three quarters full. Now I just get a half a gallon of unleaded, fill up the stove and spare fuel bottle. At the end of the trip, I just pore the left over fuel in the gas tank. This way I don’t half to store any fuel in between camping trips and I always have fresh fuel for the next camping trip.

Regular Gas
Coleman started selling their fuel when regular gas was leaded. The lead additives were good for car engines, but the lead that saved valve seats, clogged up the generator tips. Coleman fuel solved that problem. In towns that had Amoco stations, unleaded was available way before the Gov’t mandate of 1971 and it worked well in Coleman stoves.

Now gas is all unleaded, and because of fuel injected cars, is kept much cleaner by the oil companies and gas stations. Kept in clean containers, and run thru a filter funnel when refueling, there is seldom a problem using it in stoves.

The Dual Fuel stoves i own, and there are Coleman and MSR, all seem more forgiving about fuel quality that the straight white gas models. And even car gas is much easier to work with than running a stove on Kerosene.

Taking fuel from the car is much easier than driving into town when the stove fuel runs out. Why burn several gallons of car gas to buy one can of Coleman fuel.


Add a Cap Full of Carburetor Cleaner
to a full tank of fuel and lite the stove. Allow the stove to burn until it runs out of fuel. Do this once a year and it should always perform for you. This is what I have always done to my Coleman Dual Fuel and it hasn’t failed me yet.

Does Coleman go Stale?
I thought one reason to use the “white gas” was that it stayed fresh. It took me years to burn a gallon and I never threw any out. If it degrades in can, I couldn’t tell from the way the fuel performed.


I have a Coleman 442 Dual Fuel.
I have used it for eight or nine years now. Bought it for the dual fuel option. It works with unleaded gas. But not as good as it does with Coleman or wal mart fuel. It’s a great little stove. I use only Coleman fuel in it now. And the shelf life for it is way better than for unleaded gas. A couple years anyway. Duality is a good thing. In camp stoves at least.