Coleman Liquid Fuel Camping Stoves

Liquid fuel camping stoves are available in small, single burner backpacking configurations and large two and three burner tabletop models that are suitable for family camping. Coleman is currently the only manufacturer of liquid fuel, multi-burner, camping stoves for family camping. The advent of disposable propane canister stoves has greatly reduced the interest in these liquid fuel versions, but Coleman continues to support four models.

chart1The venerable Coleman Model 425 stove dates from the late 1940s and remains largely unchanged, today. Its simplicity and durability are proven by the fact that many twenty, and even thirty, year old Model 425s are still in use. They may not be as easy to start as their propane-fueled counterparts are, and they require periodic cleaning and maintenance, but white gas stoves burn hot and are not affected by altitude, like propane camping stoves.

coleman-stovesColeman updated their original design to support unleaded gasoline, as well as traditional white gas, creating the Model 424 stove. Unleaded gasoline does not burn nearly as clean as white gas, and is only recommended for world travelers that find themselves in locations where white gas is not available. Diesel fuel cannot be used in these stoves and Coleman does not recommend unleaded gasoline that contains more than 10% ethanol. The instruction manual for the Coleman dual fuel stoves also clearly states that, unleaded fuels may vary in quality and can affect generator life.

Coleman Gas Stove Generator Location

The generator that the instructions are referring to is the gas tube that connects the fuel tank to the main burner assembly.

At 32-inches wide, the three-burner Model 428 adds a second auxiliary burner and the larger, 3.5-pint, fuel tank from the Powerhouse Model 424. The other models use a 2.5-pint fuel tank. Because of the larger fuel tank, the total operating times of all the Coleman stoves is a similar two hours, with all of the burners on their highest settings.

How durable and reliable are these Coleman camping stoves? I recently purchased a 1964 model 425 stove for another project on CampingBlogger. Have a look, while I attempt to fire up the stove for the first time…

See also…

107 thoughts on “Coleman Liquid Fuel Camping Stoves

  1. My Coleman 425F stove (circa 1984) is leaking fuel*, I think where the generator assembly screws into the tank. The instructions I have found do not seem to indicate a gasket there, but I suspect that is the fault. E.g., http://www.oldcolemanparts.com/resources/scans/426d_6.htm. Since the generator assembly must remain perpendicular to the tank, I can’t just tighten it a bit. Anyone know for sure?

    (*The fuel leak is not major — just pools around the generator during operation.)

  2. I have old coleman 2 burner stove, 425. I can not find any store in my area that sels Coleman liquid fuel. Where can I buy a propane adapter to use with my stove to replace the fuel tank.

  3. Would like to determine the model of one of my Coleman stoves.

    It has two burners and is larger than any two burner Coleman I’ve seen.

    22” x 13” x 5 1/2 overall. Is green but a lighter green than my other, newer stoves. Has the Coleman decal inside the lid and has a tan or gold tank with fill at one end and pump at the other end. The fill and pump are actually in the inset ends of the tank.

    Tank is 15” long and 3 1/2” in diameter. Length of the generator is 12” from output end to control knob.

    Hope this description is adequate for your identification. I’ve never seen one like it. Works fine with the fuel that is in it, don’t know how old the fuel, or the stove is. Other than the decal there are no markings on the stove or tank.

    Thanks everyone. Neat site.

    Cisco

    • That could be an M4, which is an early Canadian model. Look on the front of the casing by the handle to see if “-M4” is imprinted in the sheet metal.

  4. The camp stove provides the traveler with the facility to easily cook food and fulfill their energy requirements of electrical energy for charging a phone, heat for cooking food and many others are accomplished by “http://www.campstovepro.com”> camp stoves

  5. I’m packing for a long dogsledding trip and trying to figure out how much fuel to bring. Any ideas on how much we’d need? Maybe how much to boil two 8 liter pots at a time?

  6. This is good one. There can be many ideas which can be followed. You may have to use an emery cloth lightly on the tank to smooth out any rough spots so it seats properly. Coleman fuel is Napthalene…or a kind of super-refined lighter fluid & nOT gasoline.

  7. I have two two burner gas stoves.The gas caps that go on the tanks are gone that thay don’t seat any more.Looking for new caps or seals that go on the inside.I looked at Walmart and thay don’t carry any thing for the cook stoves.

    • Just go to Coleman.com and order a couple of fill caps. They’re about four bucks each. Search by model to get a part number. None of the sporting good stores seem to carry them any more. You may have to use an emery cloth lightly on the tank to smooth out any rough spots so it seats properly. Just replaced the same on my 1961 model.

  8. Nice site here!

    I have a Coleman story ya”ll might like.
    Something like 35 years ago (when in my teens) my dad and I were canoeing on a nearby larger river in mid summer. We stopped at the bottom of a rapids that in spring can be formidable but was just babbling that day. I donned my swim mask and proceeded to look for snagged fishing lures. Much to my delight I found a Coleman 425 stove and a companion Coleman two mantle lantern in about 6 feet of water. No way to know how they got there but we imagined that a hunting or fishing party tipped over their canoe during higher water. Both the stove and lantern were rusty and slimy owing to time spent submerged (guessing 3 or 4 years). I took both home and scoured the rust and washed the slime. They both still had fuel in them and both operated without replacing generators! The only effort required was to disassemble the pressure pumps, clean and re-oil the leathers.

    That is a testament to good products!

    By the way, 35 years later, I still own both the stove and lantern, they both work well with absolutely nothing but fuel and mantles being replaced. Thanks Coleman!

  9. I have a 325E coleman stove that I am refurbishing, however I cannot get the tank to pump up and pressurize . I have replaced the pump assembly and checked the check value but little air will come out of the tube. Any suggestions?

      • Had the same problem with a brand new vintage 1966 3 burner…..would not pressurize…had to fill tank half way and pump about 100 times…works great!

        • Ok..went back next day and tried to get pressure again with no luck!.. After watching a you tube video..I removed the pump assembly and found that the leather piece that is supposed to seal when pumping was shrunk. I moistened with oil and some fuel and stretched it out some. After reinserting, it now seals all around and I have no problem with pressure.

    • Round gold fule tanks were 1940’s to 1950. 1951 to 1970’s they went with the red tank we see today an all white gas stoves. You can date a Coleman 3 burner by the tank and the starting instructions under the hood. 1940’s to 1950-gold tank no instructions. 1951 to about 1960-red tank no instructions. 1960’s to end of production-red tank and starting instructions under the hood. Hope this helps.
      I found mine(late 60’s vintage) at a garage sale for $5. The old fella said he used it for years and the pump finaly quit. I gave him his $5 and ran like hell for the truck befor he changed his mind! I put a couple drops of oil in the oil hole and have been using it for the last 7 or 8 years several times a year. I love it and won’t camp without it.

      • I found my 3 burner gold tank no instructions yesterday at the dump! A little oil and a new o-ring on the tank cap and now if I can find the carrying handle…..Wooopie!

  10. In 1968 I purchased a wide-brimmed Coleman Lantern and a Coleman two burner stove. I used these for many years. I did replace the lantern generator after 20 years. 15 years ago we started renting a cabin at the camp ground which comes with a stove. I still used the lantern for light at the picnic table. Today I came across my stove which had been stored in my barn. I dug it out and tried it . I was doubtful that after all these years of neglect that it would work. Tha tank still had fuel in it and I didn’t add any. I pumped it up and gave it a try. The stove looks a little rusty, but even with 15 year old Coleman fuel, it worked perfectly. The products that Coleman made back then were really well made and reliable. I hope that the quality is there in the new products. You should make that wide brim available again. There is no shadow under it when suspended over the table. Thank you for the great products which I have. ——————————————————————————————————————————————John M Roberts

    • I have two 425 stoves and three 220 lanterns from the early 60s thru the late 70s – all of which work like champs. Both the stoves and the lanterns hold memories of hunting and camping trips that are precious to me and will be building memories for my family. The familiar “hiss” is the simply the sound of family, friends and memories of the great outdoors.

  11. Can anyone direct me to a store or a website that has coleman stove adapters for turning a traditional liquid fuel stove into a propane stove? The one that I have seems to have lost useage of the control for regulating the amount of propane going to the pan. Thanks for any help offered.

  12. I just recently received an old Coleman Camp Stove along with the fuel.—It works great btw!
    Q: Is it safe to store the Coleman fuel in a red plastic fuel can?…The type of plastic fuel can recommended for gasoline?
    —Thanks for your reply!

  13. While cleaning a 3-burner (dual fuel, 428 model), I noticed some kind of white fabric washers under each of the three master burner assemblies. They’re getting worn out. Should they be replaced, and if so with what?

  14. Can anyone tell me the proper procedure for removing the grates from a 3-burner 426D stove. They are held in place by 4 metal clips and I do not want to break them. This is not discussed in any of the manuals that I can find on this stove. Thank you for your help.

    • to my eye it looks like you can use pliers to pinch them together from beneath, and push them out. I’ve got a 426d also, and this appears to be the method, but I have not yet tried.

  15. I just got an immaculate 426d model. I’m quite familiar with generator stove concept, (I use an MSR whisperlite internationale most trips, usually using Coleman fuel, sometimes car gas, once avgas), but am unsure what Coleman means by “unleaded gasoline” as printed on the box for this ’60s model stove. Was that their term for their camping fuel back then? Or can I indeed use car gas in this? It’s not ostensibly a dual fuel model.

    • as per Coleman: 426d uses only camping fuel, not car gas. Running unleaded car gas will burn OK, but runs risk of fouling the air fuel tube inside the tank, generator tube, and ruining the tank inner lining.

      Converting this model to dual fuel would entail replacing complete tank, valve, generator tube and manifold with a dual fuel system. (dual fuel generator is larger than single fuel and won’t fit the single gas manifold – the silver scoop that feeds fuel vapor to the burners)

    • Yes – stove will run on unleaded REGULAR gasoline. Higher grades pack more generator-clogging additives. Also – stay away from RFG or “winter-blend” unleaded. In a 1 gal. gasoline can, mix 1 qt. charcoal starter or other highly-refined naptha (to get the ethanol/methanol/isopropanol content under 10%, or you’ll trash the internal o-rings in the valve assembly) with 1 bottle Gumout, top off w/gas and run a tankful of this through the stovewhile maybe boiling some water to clean any buildup out of your generator assembly. This has worked great for me on several of these old stoves.

      P.S. The Ethanol industry is lobbying heavily to get govt. approval (spelled subsidies) to get refiners to start marketing 15% ethanol blended gasoline. Present “normal” blends are 6 – 8% ethanol. If this goes through, gasoline will not be as good a choice as Coleman fuel, even with the lower price vs. Coleman Fuel..

  16. I have a coleman 425 e. i’m concerned that i may be missing an orrifice. I have the needle and a gas tip that I would typically call an orriffice but i’m not sure. does the needle stick out of the gas tip slightly or is it behind it?

  17. I know that these Coleman stoves work on unleaded petrol and that my small AC power generator is supposed to run on unleaded also.
    However, If I start my 240V generator on unleaded two stroke fuel I can then run it on a 50:1 mix of home made hooch and cooking oil!
    I wonder if the Coleman stove could run on ethanol instead of unleaded?
    Then I could make my own fuel from the fallen fruit from my trees.
    Metho stoves are too expensive but are safe in that if anything goes wrong You can throw water over them! Lots of that around in a boat but not a good idea with gas!
    Ideas anyone ? Has anyone tried it?

    Bob South Australia.

    • Don’t use alcohol, as it will eat up the o-rings inside the valve assembly. Coleman Fuel or equivalent is the best choice, followed by a mix of unleaded regular gasoline/Gumout/charcoal starter – works great to clean sputtering generators, but inhaling fumes while burning not recomended.

      • He’s asking about alcohol with cooking oil, not alcohol. He may have an idea here. I’d like to know about this. Again, not alcohol by itself, but alcohol (ethanol) in mixture with cooking oil.

        • Alcohol with ANYTHING in one of these stoves is a bad idea – it will break down the rubber o-ring seals in the valve assembly.

  18. Bought 3 Coleman 425’s at a garage sale for $10.00. Got 2 of 3 working using parts from #3. Removed inner needle tube from generators, scrubbed w/Scotchbrite pad – reassembled and ran unleaded gas/Gumout mixture through all 3 (used one of the 2 good tank/generator units to run fuel through stove #3). Searched on ‘web – found and purchased propane adapter for stove #3 – fired right up, works as well as liquid fuel. Sold one to a friend for $10.00 – now have 2 working stoves for the cost of the propane adapter.

    Built to last – just don’t lose your grate or try to use it as a “grill” – it’s a stove, designed to use cookware to hold your food. Grate replacements are unavailable from Coleman, but you may find a replacement at: http://www.grillstuff.com/gas-grill-cooking-grids/?cat=49&sort=price&sort_direction=0

    Happy Camping!

  19. I got my 424 from my ex this week. We bought it in about 1990, used it for about 4 years and it’s been in storage since (he never emptied the gasoline out of it – oh, yea). I poured the old gasoline out, rinsed the tank with about 1/4 tank of gas, poured it out, put fresh gasoline in and pressurized it, then let some gas just flow out the pipe to clean it. I put the tank on the stove and lit the burners — works G-r-E-a-T !!! Like new!

  20. the other day my dad gave me a coleman lantern, stove, and heater. the stove is a 425e that has a 65 stamped on the bottom, the heater is a 511a that also has 65 on the bottom. the lantern is a 228f that also has the same 65 on the bottom. my question is, were these made in 65, and can i burn unleaded fuel in them?

  21. I have a 425 model I cant figure out how to fill the tank it is a copper cylinder with the pump on one end and a cap on the other with a set screw in it which I thought was the fill side but when I take off the cap ther us no opening how do I fill it?

    • You have found the fuel tank cap.
      It is 2 pieces. An outer knurled donut and an inner cap, with a set screw.

      You removed the screw and the donut.
      The part the set screw, screws into is the inner cap itself.
      It’s about an 1/8″ thick.
      Spray some WD40 around the rim and loosen it off.

      The washer inside is surely shot.
      I don’t know if you can get these anymore. I only see the one-piece caps available. The caps are all standard, so the one at walmart will fit.

  22. 425E499 manual: I have been looking for a manual for my 425E499 Coleman 2 burner stove. I had one years ago but can’t find it now when I need it. I have tried contacting Coleman directly and am currently awaiting their response. If I get any help from them I will try to put it here in a PDF format for those who also need it. I tried going to the site for manuals that were quoted but no such luck. Decided to go to the source for help. Wish me luck. Or did someone already locate one? If you did, please let me know. Living in Asheville, NC we lose power frequently and I had depended on my old reliable Coleman stove for heating up coffee and cooking meals till we get th power back.

  23. I found a 425C499 new in box at an estate sale but can’t find anything online about it. Only 1 link comes up but it appears to be a bad page so I can’t access it. I’ve Googled 425C499 and “425C 499” and not coming up with anything.

    Any info on this particular model? (good or bad) I’m hoping to go back tomorrow and pick it up for half price ($20). Thanks!

    • That is just like mine, Angela – 1961 and 1963-64. $20 is (in my opinion) a good price if it is in good condition and a great price if it is in the original packaging. Good luck!

  24. i found mine in my barn its new and i have not had a chance to use it but i did get to use the coleman 425 (i have the 424) and the 425 is a nice small grill love my grill

    • I have a 426B, I think I could copy the grate with a little effort. Maybe this is too much work though. I could look for a parts unit for you.

  25. Another way to clean a generator is to remove it from the tank and burn off the gum and varnish with a propane torch. You don’t have to turn it cherry red, just heat it up pretty good and you will see the black gummy varnish disappear. Please do not attempt to do this with the generator attached to the tank.

    Eric

  26. Found a 426c, and 413f while cleaning the garage. After a little coaxing the 413f started up (lord knows how old the liquid fuel was). The 426c refuses to start, inside the 426c was a propaine tank which I assumed was it’s fuel source, but it never started. It occured to me that just because the part was in the stove it doesn’t nessaryly mean it belonged to it. Does anyone know if the 426c liquid gass, or propaine?

    • It can do both. The tank for lgas and a propane adapter that you would purchase. I’m looking for a tank for the same model. I’m trying to get back to the liquid gas.

  27. I have a 425 that I bought fifteen years ago after having grown up with them on many a camping outing. It still has the original generator. It sometimes flames out at low (has done that since new). One trick that has seemed to help is to run fuel injector or carb cleaner through it. About 50/50 for a tank when it starts to act up. Am now burning regular unleaded as Colmen fuel is becoming harder to find as is parts. So far it seems to work. Wish I had bought a dual fuel generator years ago when they were around. The fuel cells for the new Colemen products to me seem to be wastefull (non refileabull as well as well as nongreen ) as far as petroleum appliances are concerned. Happy meals…………

    • Thanks, Arlo – that is a great tip on the carb cleaner. I know I got a lot of black gunk out of the generator on mine, after I fired it up for the first time (it is an old one).

      • For 20+ years, I have done just this…and found, that a wise man, with a wrench, a can of good-quality carb cleaner and some pipe cleaners, can make one back-up generator last a stove’s lifetime! Unless you crush or rupture one, it is the gum and soot buildup that kills them…and it is the line conditioner and antifreeze in the gasoline that mainly causes this.

        Keep in mind, Coleman fuel is Napthalene…or a kind of super-refined lighter fluid…NOT gasoline.

        Spend $10 for your ‘gen cleaner kit’, buy a backup generator for your new stove, and never worry about sputtering or hard-lighting again.

        PROPANE IS FOR WIMPS…white gas is king!

  28. Cool website & video!

    I just tried my 424 with some unleaded gas at home before going on the road–worked great! Regarding Coleman’s warning, now, have you heard of many failures ascribed to unleaded fuels? What branded gas stations should we avoid, and which should we seek?

    • Jeff – the problem with unleaded gas is that it will tend to gum-up the generator tube, because it does not burn as cleanly as the Coleman fuel (or similar fuels at the big discount stores). This is also true of the Coleman fuel, if you leave it sitting in the tank for a long time. Oh, and the dirty little secret of the gasoline companies is that their gas all comes from the same refinery, so any brand will work just fine 🙂

      • Thanks. I’ll reserve the auto fuel for emergency use and keep using the Coleman. And will try to keep my stoves drained when not in use.

  29. I just bought this at a yard sale and for the life of me couldn’t get it to work, then I watched your video and to my surprise, it started on the first try! thanks for the info, your a life saver!!

  30. cant find a date on a coleman 426 ? – just bought it at a yard sale for 10 bucks …………looks used but in good shape ? going to wallmart to find some fuel – great web site

    • Thanks, Bob. I’m not sure where (or if) the date is stamped on the 426, somewhere – did you look under the fuel tank mounting tab?. It looks like the 426A was produced from 1951 to 1953, the 426B from 1954 to 1960 and then in 1962, 426C in 1961 and then in 1963 and 1964 and the 426D in 1965.

  31. I was just given a Coleman 425 c that belonged to my great-grandfather. According to my mother, this stove is at least 50 yrs old, possibly older. It still works great and i know how to operate it, but i was wondering if there was an online resource for an instruction manual as well as replacement parts for that particular model. Thanks.

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  33. I have a old coleman insta gas stove and oven that i pick up at a yard sale and was trying to find somethings about it maybe where i could get parts and such

  34. Jim and Kathy – check this page out on how to look for leaks and rebuild your stove: ***.lns.cornell.edu/~seb/philmont-coleman.html
    11/29/09 Update: This page has been taken down, so I’m posting a link to an archive of it: http://web.archive.org/web/20080803055916/http://www.lns.cornell.edu/~seb/philmont-coleman.html

    arctikbound – you bet, all the major backpack stove makers, like Optimus and MSR, have multi-fuel models that support diesel.

  35. I have an older 3 burner Coleman liquid fuel stove. I can’t seem to keep it lit. Fuel seems to be collecting where the fuel line connects to the stove. Any suggestions? There is no model number on it. Can I assume the model number would be the same as the current one they make now? It has to be at least 40 years old. Thanks.

  36. Hey, I have taken trips to Greenland and they use the old liquid fuel camping stoves there too. I always thought they ran on diesel, because that is what they heat their homes with, heating oil. Are there any cook stoves that run off of heating oil? Thanks for this great blog.

  37. We recently purchased a colemen liquid white fuel Model 425 campstove. The only thing this stove did was leak fuel and cause a rather sizeable fire in our back yard. The stove was brand new. We would be open to any suggestions to getting this stove to work. Thanks

    • Call Coleman Company at 1-800-835-3278. Tell them about what happen. They will tell you what you need to do. They will ship you a new stove. The stove model 424. I had got from Amazon leaked under the bend going to the burners. It caught fire.

      • I called the Coleman Company. Told them what had happen when I first lit the stove. They really helped me. They told me what they wanted me to do and they even sent me an e mail about what they wanted me to do. they shipped me a new 525 stove. I asked if they want me to ship the bad stove back to them. They said no. You keep it – we don’t want it back!

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  39. I still have a couple of 40+ year old single burner stoves from them. They work great. I have a double burner one too and it works great but isn’t nearly that old. I also got my Dad one of the new metal coolers because his old original metal one finally died. He really likes the new metal one. He tried plastic coolers for awhile but wasn’t happy with them.

    VE’s last blog post..Trivial Pursuit Cards VE Would Add to the Deck

  40. sanmccarron – I’m visiting my parents next month and hope to find their old Coleman 425. I have not looked at the “new” metal coolers to see if they are like the old ones. They look the same, but that isn’t always the best indicator.

    Justin – It is a great brand, everybody knows Coleman!

  41. My coleman stove is 40 years old. The cooler is about 20 years old. Really wish they still made the same cooler.

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