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Thread: Difference between coleman 1 mantle kero. and dual fuel?

  1. #1

    Default Difference between coleman 1 mantle kero. and dual fuel?

    Is there a difference between the Coleman 1 mantle kerosene lantern (639) and the dual fuel lantern(285)? I mean obviously one is for kerosene and one is for gasoline, but is it just the fact the kerosene lantern has a preheater? I know the older dual fuels can be converted by adding a preheater... So basically the question is can I add a preheater and run the dual fuel off of kerosene?
    On amazon the price of the dual fuel is half of the kerosene.
    Last edited by speedywheelz123; 12-16-2011 at 06:07 PM.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Difference between coleman 1 mantle kero. and dual fuel?

    Well, this is as good a time as any for my first post. I own a Coleman 639C.

    First off, there are some obvious differences between the two lanterns you mentioned, the biggest being the 639 is a one mantle lantern versus the two mantles of the 285. Having used mine for awhile, I think the big #11 mantle in the 639 transfers more heat to the gen, which is paramount with kerosene pressure lanterns. With kero lanterns, you have to preheat the gen nice and hot with alcohol and keep the gen hot by running the lantern wide open. If the gen isn't hot enough, it doesn't vaporize the fuel properly, soots-up and you have problems.

    I think most of the price difference you are seeing is simply because they aren't giving you a break on the price of the 639. Coleman kerosene lanterns have always been much rarer than the gas models and I don't think they sell nearly as many now. I know the used kerosene models bring a hefty premium as well.

    In case you don't know about it, here's where all the Coleman enthusiasts hang out:

    http://colemancollectorsforum.websitetoolbox.com/

    Most guys use old garage sale finds for their conversions and the conversion parts needed vary per model. According to some, even with generator changes they might not be quite as bright. If you are buying new, I would just go for the dedicated kero model. You might not always have the choice.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Difference between coleman 1 mantle kero. and dual fuel?

    I just got a kero model. +1 to the 'run wide open' info. Yup. ran it at 1/2 to 2/3 last night and it didn't take long before the flame was yellow and soot was roiling out of the sucker.

    I bought it as a curiosity. Will run some citronella in it and see if it keeps bugs away. Heck, the kero smell alone will likely drive them off!

    Don't know how brightness compares, but I don't think it's as bright as the 2 mantle powerhouse model. Powerhouse runs 7 hours on high @ 1 quart fuel. Kero model runs 5.5 hours on high with same fuel usage. Couple that with the need to use a preheat fuel and buy hard to find mantles (amazon does NOT have the #11 mantles, wow) and I've now got a lantern I really don't see me using much, if at all.
    This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    Be prepared for the truth.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Difference between coleman 1 mantle kero. and dual fuel?

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    I just got a kero model. +1 to the 'run wide open' info. Yup. ran it at 1/2 to 2/3 last night and it didn't take long before the flame was yellow and soot was roiling out of the sucker.

    .
    How long ago did you pump it up?
    that does not sound right.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Difference between coleman 1 mantle kero. and dual fuel?

    The single burner kerosene lantern, in your case a 639, should burn much brighter than a 285. All things being considered equal, the 639 is a much better lantern. I own a few 237 kerosene Colemans and they are the grandfather to the 639. I know for a fact that my 237 will run on both kerosene or Coleman fuel. And even regular pump gasoline, but I never suggest that unless you're going to be in a very well ventilated area. Modern pump gas has a to of nasty agents in it that you don't wanna breath as it burns.

    Now, here's where things get interesting. To the OP: you can run your 285 on kerosene. I've converted mine to do so. And I'm not suggesting anything dangerous here. Coleman made a kerosene version of the 285. It was called a 214. And granted, the 214 had a unique generator that some swear was special for the kerosene, but all I did to mine was add the little preheat cup for the alcohol. Make sure you retain your heat shield because the BTUs you're going to be creating is about to greatly increase.

    To me the appeal of kerosene versus a Coleman fuel/gasoline lantern is performance. And kerosene is less hazardous to store than the more volatile gasoline or Coleman fuel. CF is at least $7 a gallon now. And gasoline, although approved, will stop up a generator eventually. Plus, all the octane boosters in gasoline make it extremely hazardous to breathe burned.

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