Dometic alcohol stoves

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 10:07
ThreadID: 104633 Views:5450 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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After yet another regulator failure on our Coleman camping stove, plus the fact that internal rust means it's now scrap metal, I'm looking at alternative fuel stoves. Why? Ease of refuelling, safety and simplicity mainly. I'm sick of the stove packing it in when we're camped miles from anywhere and I have to make a long round trip to get things sorted. The previous time the regulator failed the gas ignited and could have set fire to our camper trailer if we weren't immediately able to respond. The replacement regulator only lasted a couple of years before failing.

So I'm looking at the Dometic Origo alcohol stove. Has anyone used one of these for camping? I know they're a popular item on boats. Expensive yes, but if they last for years then over time the cost becomes irrelevant.
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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 10:17

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 10:17
What about dual fuel? You would have more chance of buying unleaded fuel than metho in out of the way places.
AnswerID: 519362

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:12

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:12
I will second that suggestion.
Been using Coleman duel fuel stoves for camping & backpacking for over 20 yrs & they never let me down.
Unleaded is cheap to buy & available everywhere. Use a few drop of injector cleaner in every tankfull & the generators last for years.
They take a bit of getting used to lighting but I will never go back to carrying LPG.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Hilux fan - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:29

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:29
You take a Coleman duel fuel backpacking? I assume you mean the Sportser?

I've looked at the Coleman dual fuel stove but I'm reluctant for a couple of reasons. One is the size of the stove (they're very deep and stick out a long way). It probably wouldn't fit on my camper trailer kitchen (a Drifta slide-out).

Two is the fact that petrol is an inherently dangerous fuel. I've used gas, metho and shellite fuel stoves over many years. My most "interesting" times camping have involved a shellite stove due to fuel leaks (perished seal, and didn't I have fun sourcing a replacement while camping!). I like metho because it's clean and simple. No (or minimal) moving parts to the stove and no reliance on seals, pumps, regulators etc. The Dometic stoves don't use much fuel so I can carry plenty to cover a full trip.

Gas is convenient, but I'm finding it harder to get refills conveniently (all the servos in Vic have swapped over to Swap-and go cylinders and don't do refills any more).

I'm against petrol because I want my kids to be able to safely use the stove so they can get their own breakfast. Maybe in five years they could use a petrol stove but not now.
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FollowupID: 799454

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:46

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:46
Yep the Sportster.
I use the 2 burner for car based camping. I did have it mounted on my camper trailer kitchen when I owned one & it fitted ok.
Never had leaky seals because I make a point of regularly checking seals etc.
Your right when it comes to children using the stove. I never let my kids at it when they were younger because as I said it is very important to use the correct lighting procedure to prevent high flames at startup.
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FollowupID: 799455

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:05

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:05
Hilux fan - I'd personally consider looking at another brand of gas stove before going over to an alcohol stove.
Just because Coleman regulators have failed regularly on you doesn't mean that all gas stoves are the same.

Dometic-Origo considerations:

Good:

Modest weight - 6.5kgs.
All-Stainless construction - excellent.
Size - Compact.
Dangerousness in use - Lower than gas, any fire from alcohol is more easily extinguished.
Marine rated, thus generally indicating a better level of design than ordinary stoves.
Quality - Dometic-Origo have a good name for quality products over a long period of time.

Bad:

Alcohol is much lower heat output than gas - therefore, slower water boiling and cooking times.
Possibility of lower availability of alcohol when travelling.
Alcohol burners are more susceptible to draughts and wind gusts than gas burners.
If alcohol leaks in a confined area, alcohol fumes are still explosive - but not quite as explosive as gas fumes.
Alcohol burner flame is nearly invisible - thus, a much higher chance of accidental burns.
I've seen user reviews on Dometic-Origo where the user claims their stove finish is poor, with many sharp edges and poor quality spot welds.
This complaint may only be applicable to only one particular model of Dometic-Origo stove, though. Inspect your potential purchase for build quality and finish.


At the end of the day, it's really a personal choice, because there are negative and positive features with each style of stove. It all depends on which negative features you're prepared to put up with.

Incidentally, both Caravan and RV World and Seabreeze Industries have that model of Dometic-Origo for sale at $382.

AnswerID: 519365

Follow Up By: Hilux fan - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:42

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 15:42
I've looked at available gas stoves and so far I'm not too impressed, although a Primus stove I borrowed performed well. There's still the issue of reliability when a long way from any spare parts or replacements.

>Alcohol is much lower heat output than gas - therefore, slower water boiling and cooking times.
Not entirely true. Alcohol has a lower energy density, but the stove output can compensate for this. Reviews I've seen comparing the Origo vs propane stoves showed not much difference in cooking times.

>Possibility of lower availability of alcohol when travelling.
I've never had a problem sourcing metho, apart from Edinburgh ( we had to go to a chemist and sign for it so they could check we weren't metho drinkers).

>Alcohol burners are more susceptible to draughts and wind gusts than gas burners.
They put wind shields on stoves for a reason, and I've had problems with gas stoves when the wind is from the wrong direction. The Origo needs wind shields made for it.

>If alcohol leaks in a confined area, alcohol fumes are still explosive - but not quite as explosive as gas fumes.
You'd have to spill a lot of alcohol to get an explosive mixture in the air. I'm cooking outside anyway so it's not an issue.

>Alcohol burner flame is nearly invisible - thus, a much higher chance of accidental burns.
The pictures I've seen of an Origo in action show a blue flame. My old Trangia flame was always visible.

>I've seen user reviews on Dometic-Origo where the user claims their stove finish is poor, with many sharp edges and poor quality spot welds.
I've yet to buy a camping stove without sharp edges on it. I thought they were a standard feature :>) I'd like to look at one before buying, I just have to find somewhere local that stocks them.
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FollowupID: 799462

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:13

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:13
Be told! Metho flames can be nearly invisible, I have seen several bad incidents on board for that very reason!
In one incident, he thought the stove had gone out, so he topped up the tank & as he was putting the lid back on the metho bottle, he felt the bottle getting hot, luckily he was able to get up the companionway fast enough & throw it overboard.
You have obviously made up your mind, so be very careful with children near methylated spirits.

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FollowupID: 799475

Follow Up By: Hilux fan - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:47

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:47
Shaker,

I haven't made up my mind yet. I'd like to see one to check it's build quality, but also hear from someone who has actually used one. I might check with my brother in law who mucks about on boats a fair bit.
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FollowupID: 799503

Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:24

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:24
I was a yacht broker with Vicsail for 19 years, I know a bit about spirit stoves, they are reliable, not quite as hot as LPG, do have seals that can leak around the tap shafts but are generally inherently quite safe, as are most stoves.

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FollowupID: 799521

Reply By: Michaeljp - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:50

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:50
Hilux fan,
I have a new Coleman Dual fuel stove. Only started once to see how it works. Runs on unleaded or Shellite. $120 still in original box.
AnswerID: 519368

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:58

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:58
Why would you not use the cheap little gas cannister stoves Hi-Lux fan - over the years we have certainly tried the lot and found them the winners - they don't suit everybody's style of camping - but clearly win in the low overheads race despite their little quirks.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 519401

Follow Up By: Hilux fan - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:45

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 18:45
I've got one of those stoves as a backup, but they're not good for long term use as they chew through the cylinders pretty quickly.
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FollowupID: 799500

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:57

Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 21:57
There are a lot of people running those cheaper cartridge stoves.

Yeh the cartridges may not contain as much as the more expensive systems ...but they are cheap and available all over the place.

They are definitely putting a very big dint in sales of more expensive stoves.

AND..there are heaps of other devices that will run on the same cartridges.

cheers
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FollowupID: 799541

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