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2014 136” HR
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Discussion Starter #1
I really like Proeddie's toilet thread that brings together toilet ideas and illustrates our diversity. So let's do the same with cooking apparatus.

I'll start:

Ironically, we do not intend to "cook" in the van. We would like to boil water inside, though, when weather is bad. If we have shore power, we will use an electric kettle. If not, we will use our Caldera Cone alcohol burner in the stainless steel sink.

https://www.traildesigns.com/stoves/caldera-sidewinder-system

This stove is clean-burning, non-pressurized, and incredibly efficient. A $1 bottle of HEET lasts two days when we are backpacking and using boiled water to rehydrate as well as drink.

The sink will be near the roof fan, so we should be able to exhaust the vapor.
 

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Are you saying that you use "HEET" , the automotive additive for removing moisture from the fuel system for fuel for this stove?
if so, thats cheap stuff.
 

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2014 136” HR
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Discussion Starter #4
Yes. That cheap yellow bottle at WalMart, dollar stores, convenience stores, etc.

These stoves are generic DIY among the backpacker crowd--made from soft drink cans. HOWEVER, the Caldera Cone guys have added so much value that their price is worth it. They did a lot of research getting the air flow just right. The shroud fits so perfectly around the pot that you are totally out of luck if you want to warm your hands while water is heating. So little heat gets out that you have to listen carefully to even know it's burning. This also means that wind from any direction has virtually no effect.

It also means that you use the pot the shroud is made for--not just any pot. We have been totally satisfied with the cheapest pot--Open Country aluminum. We use a 3-cup version for backpacking. We got the 2-quart one for the van.
 

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I wonder, if that little stove would do any good as far as throwing a little bit of heat in the back of my van? I just want a little bit of heat back there so I can lay down on the futone and not be too cold. I won't fall asleep, but I just wanted to heat it up just a little bit. I wonder if this thing would work or would it be dangerous?
 

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Microwave only for us. We have an electric hot plate that was a gift but don't even pack it.

We stay at campgrounds with electric most of the time, and eat cold food or eat out if electric power is not available. Most of our food is shelf-stable or pre-cooked and just needing to be heated at most. Leftovers from eating out also heat nicely in microwave.

An all-electric self-contained van in future would be ideal. We are more travelers than campers. I'd like to stay away from propane, generators, or fuel heaters of all kinds if practical on my next RV.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Absolutely not, Jim. The stove holds about 2 oz of fuel, which lasts about 4 minutes, enough time to boil the water. It really is a specific use item.
 

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Cooking? No, not really. Won't have a cooktop or burner or such. At least not built in. I could take my old Coleman propane dual burner campstove along if I really wanted to 'cook'. We figure that the microwave will do just fine for most stuff. We'll make up 'leftovers' before leaving on a trip, freeze 'em, and have 'em on the road. I could think about a small portable induction plate, but it would be a really small one to stay at 1000w or under (for my inverter size).


I do have my Trangia alcohol stove, sounds rather similar to the one mentioned above. I like the idea of setting it IN the sink, and using it there. Again, it really only gets used to heat water, but that might be a good option for the winter trips where we might not be getting enough sunlight to keep things charged up enough to use the microwave at will.
 

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I built in a two burner propane stove. Can't imagine not cooking on road trips. We rarely are somewhere we can plug in, so propane seems the only option for cooking.
 

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I decided to go all electric... I didn't want to mess with propane or alternate fuels. While my build is still under construction, the plan is for a hotplate and microwave... with 4 house batteries and 400w solar panels, I should have suficent capacity to keep food hot (& cold)
 

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I gutta agree. My wife won't even let me light a fire in the fireplace at home let along put a gas log in! I can imagine what she would say if I said we were going to carry a propane tank around with us camping!
 

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I built in a two burner propane stove. Can't imagine not cooking on road trips. We rarely are somewhere we can plug in, so propane seems the only option for cooking.

I'm interested in where/how you installed your propane tank?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I decided to go all electric... I didn't want to mess with propane or alternate fuels. While my build is still under construction, the plan is for a hotplate and microwave... with 4 house batteries and 400w solar panels, I should have suficent capacity to keep food hot (& cold)
YES, that the Way to GO:D Electric.
With 4 batteries and inverter (pure sine) you will be independent.
my is here https://youtu.be/DZeep19enMU
Futures plans Solar-Panels
 

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I decided to go all electric... I didn't want to mess with propane or alternate fuels. While my build is still under construction, the plan is for a hotplate and microwave... with 4 house batteries and 400w solar panels, I should have suficent capacity to keep food hot (& cold)
How large are the 4 house batteries that you plan on installing?

I'm asking because 4 small batteries may not be any larger than a single 250 Amp-hour one.

For what it's worth, I once inspected a Ford E-350 with 8 batteries, in two groups of 4, hanging under the floor. It was set up to run the 8,000 BTU/hr air conditioner using a large inverter.
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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For non AC-conected trips, it's either add another AGM battery, or come up with a plan B. I've done some research on this:



It uses 8oz butane cans that are about $1.50 a can, the size of a can of spray paint. I will probably come up with a way to store a few cans outside the van.

It seems to be OK for "indoor use". Most restaurant supply stores sell them for at-the-table or serving-table cooking. I probably would use it outside on most occasions.

Price is right ($10-30), size and weight look good! Safety seems acceptable, just limited to size of pot/pan. It should not overlap the side compartment to avoid heating the fuel can. It appears that hundreds of thousands have been sold.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ed, where would you find the fuel? We met a camping couple last month who were having no success finding canisters and nursing their last one. Also, they only used it outside because of my second concern--butane does not burn as cleanly as lighter fuels. Otherwise, it certainly seems like a nifty device. Quite light and easy to store.

I'd like to see how you store the canisters. I'd like to get our propane bottles moved outside. If I could work metal, I'd design a trailer hitch step with bottle storage.

Ahh, I see that the canisters are readily available.
 

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MsNomer,

Good idea for a thread!

I found butane canisters at our local restaurant supply store. Camping stores = $3-$4+, restaurant supply= $1.50. It appears that lots of catering firms use them for cooking at a serving station (inside), like for preparing made to order eggs at a breakfast buffet. Also, I read that Asian markets sell them for meals that use a tabletop burner.

For storage, I'm thinking about a way to buy a metal box that would somehow attach to the passenger rear door at about the same height as the license plate. It wouldn't have to be very big for propane and butane bottles, but would need to be thin enough to not hit the side wall of the van when the door is in the 270* open position. My only concern with bumper height storage is that in an accident, the fuel becomes the first thing hit!

We need some brainstorming time on that one....

Ed
 

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The worries about using and storing butane/propane cooking fuels gets me thinking even more about taking my Trangia alcohol stove with me in the van. Simple, easy, clean. Uses denatured alcohol (and variants), generally obtained at a hardware store, but other places too. Not worried about the odors from leaks. Not worried about spills; compared to petroleum-based liquid fuels it doesn't stain or destroy stuff.


http://www.trangia.se/english
 

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I'd avoid storing any fuel at back end of any vehicle if at all possible. There is a great reason cars no longer place the fuel tank just ahead of rear bumper. Granted most like my old Mustang have a lot more fuel there compared to a couple of small fuel canisters. Others also place 5-gallon gasoline containers at back of Jeeps, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with that either.
 

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I have the pictured butane stove and a dozen fuel canisters which I got at Sam's club for less than $1.50 each and I have been using it for two weeks now. THIS IS THE WAY TO COOK IN YOUR VAN! I love it, remember I have no microwave so it is my go to stove. Open the vent and/or a window. I am a collector of camp stoves. DON'T use one inside your camper! NO! This thing is made for use inside and the canisters are safe to store inside too. This stove cooks fast, has a controlled flame of small height and is silent and safe. The trick is to get the canister in its place and locked in so practice that outside the first time. A canister cooked for us for about five or six days and it was not a new canister at that. Get this stove at an asian market, Sam's club, a restaurant supply or Amazon. The one we have looks identical to the on in post by proeddie. Cost us $15. I do have a CO detector and a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher JIK.
 
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