How To Use Propane Instead of White Gas

My favorite camping stove is my old white gas suitcase style Coleman stove because it’s just so reliable.

Sometimes I forget to bring enough Coleman fuel when camping and it can sometimes be difficult to buy. I know I can already use unleaded gas in it but what about propane?

It turns out that with a little adapter it's actually possible to run an old Coleman stove off propane.

To use propane instead of white gas on a Coleman stove, you need to buy a propane converter. Screw the converter onto your 1 lb propane canister and then insert it where you normally place the generator. 

If you want to use larger propane tanks, you’ll need to use a suitable fuel line adaptor as well. Alternatively, you could convert your white gas stove to permanently work on propane. 

Using propane on your Coleman fuel stove is easy if you get the right parts and connect them safely. 

Buy a Propane Adaptor

Image Source: MountainBuzz

If you don’t want to use white gas (or Coleman fuel which is the same thing) on your suitcase style Coleman stove, you’ll need to get this propane converter from Amazon.

You can also use butane instead of white gas on these stoves, but you'll still need this particular adapter in order to do that. 

Mr. Heater White Gas to Propane Converter
$39.95 $29.97

Convert your white gas/coleman camp fuel stove into a propane stove with this converter.

Buy Now at Amazon
03/07/2024 08:37 pm GMT

This converter is just a few dollars shy of $30 and you could buy a good brand new propane and butane stove for just over $30. However, if you’re attached to your reliable Coleman liquid fuel stove, it could be worth it. 

Plus carrying a single adapter with you give you a lot of fuel options without having to bring a second stove along for the ride.

Also, these propane converters only work on the 1 lb Coleman-style propane bottles so if you like to use the larger tanks, you’ll need an additional part because the bigger tanks have acme and not Coleman-style fittings. 

You can attach the adaptor to a 5-40lb to 1 lb hose adapter (Amazon) for use on larger propane bottles. This will set you back $20 or more so I recommend considering if it’s really worth the expense.

Gaspro 5 Feet Propane Adapter Hose. Connect 5-40 lb tanks to 1 lb Appliances
$24.99 $17.99

Easily connect a 5-40 lb propane tank to 1 lb portable appliance with this hose adapter.

Buy Now at Amazon
03/07/2024 08:47 pm GMT

Once you have your adaptor, here’s how to use propane on your appliance: 

1. Remove the liquid fuel tank completely and set it aside.  

2. Place your propane converter into the stove where you’d normally attach the generator to the burner and hook it onto the stove. 

Image Source: MountainBuzz

3. Attach your propane canister to the converter or connect the fuel hose first if you’re using larger tanks.

4. Light your stove and use it as you normally would. 

The YouTube video below shows how someone effortlessly uses propane on their Coleman white gas stove by using a propane converter: 

If you have one of the newer Coleman dual fuel stoves, unfortunately you won’t be able to use a converter because of how the stove and fuel tank are constructed. 

Manually Convert Your White Gas Stove to a Propane Stove 

Propane makes a great fuel alternative and if you love complex DIY projects you could always manually convert your white gas stove to run on propane. However, the conversion would be permanent and you’d have to reconvert it if you wanted to use white gas again. 

Also, you would need spare propane stove parts (you could get a cheap propane stove from a garage sale). 

It essentially involves gutting out your white gas stove and replacing it with propane stove parts. You can see the full conversion with photos here.

1. Remove the grill and burners from both stoves being careful not to damage any parts. 

2. Fit the propane burners and valves into the white gas stove by drilling holes to accommodate them. 

3. Cover the adaptor hole with a pipe knockout punch and ensure that the tubing fits properly (you may have to bend it). 

4. Replace the grill and attach your propane bottle.