Better 12V Camping Stove

Submitted: Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 19:02
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Recently we brought a new design 12v camping stove from Supercheap and this is how it went.

Back in 2006 in thread no 39429 I outlined how to make a better stove and we have used it sucessfully for the last 7 years but it was time to look for something new and we noted this item currently for $39.

12V stoves really are mostly for heating although we have even cooked scones etc when the wind was blowing in the right direction.

They really aren't for baking and except for ones modified as per my 2006 design, most struggle to get to 120c.

The new item is quite a different design and meant for heating pies/pasties etc by inserting them in from the side instead of the top.

This has the advantage of confining the heat and generating a higher temperature , with cleaning as the disadvantage.

The stove actually drew its rated current of 15 amps (at 12.6v) and generated 150c which basically meant that it cooks well for what it is.

Most other items I tested don't deliver as much heating power.

As a practical test we cooked 2 heat it the bag type pies that were thawed out and they were done in 25 minutes which is pretty good.

I was surprized to see that the pastry even browned up - so I might even give some scones ago - but I don't think I will take them to tomorrow mornings E.O. Vic Coffee club - although the last time I tried this the scones were found to be quite useful to chock a vans wheels.

This device is however of flimsy construction with a plastic door and plastic hinge that just feels like it is going to break.

I spent 1/2 an hour working on its cheap plastic hinges to try and make the door close easily.

Another great feature is that the 12v coord stacks away inside the unit - but the opening for the coord is to small so I spent another 1/2 hour shaving off the plastic entrance and now its a lot better.

Looking at the picture you may note that the switches say High On - the "High" & "On" don't go together.
The left rocker switch is for high/low power and the right switch means on/off.
On/Off has an LED indicator but there is none for high/low power.


Finally its rectangular construction means it packs away better than the earlier designs.

Also these stoves can be used on total fire ban days.

Apologies to those watching us wolf down hot apple strudel by the fire at the last Pyrennies gathering but these stoves are just to small to make enough to go around.
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 20:29

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 20:29
Hi Robin I've had two of the older designs and love it. I usually use party pies or sausage rolls as they are easier to eat whilst driving. Also used it to heat up left overs in the tinfoil containers - excellent and relatively quick as well. Always have the engine running when using it as I think it would soon draw down the battery.

The new design looks like it would be better for mounting somewhere in the vehicle and the on/off switch is a much better idea. Might just have to get one.

Cheers & thanks

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 07:36

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 07:36
Yes Duncan the design is more suited to mounting or having its own little shelf some where.

It actually uses less power the the standard shape to heat a pastie and it seems to have a more accurate thermostat operation.

Its not faster than the modified one I made in which I added more insulation.

The earlier shape did have one advantage in that it was tougher and could be left on in any position even covered with clothes etc on the back seat , not that this is a good idea.

I estimate about 4 AH use to heat up 2 pies.

Because of our simplistic camping setup I also try and run the engine a bit when using it which keeps volts up and gives the fridge a touch up before turning things off for the night.

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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:07

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:07
Robin, Do you hardwire the unit to the 12v source as 15amps is too much via the cig adapter correct..?
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:08

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:08
Oh and also how long did it take to heat up 2 pies..?
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:11

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 12:11
I prefer the look of this one, says 6 amps, stainless steel albeit $199

Stainless Steel 12v Oven
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 21:19

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 21:19
hi Terra

It took 25 minutes

15amp is on the limit , and I wouldn't like to run that thru a standard car socket , but many have aftermarket sockets which are rated at 20 amps.

In addition while its not required I will probably change the plug as well as it (like most) only carries current thru 1 of the 2 earth contacts. Its all ok as it comes for now but I would be concerned down the track.

The stainless steel one is a much better quality item Terra but I have previously examined them and they simply don't have the necessary heat output.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 20:59

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 20:59
That looks alright Robin.

i looked ont he supercheap site and couldn't find it.

So you have any details on what they call it or a way to find it?

thanks
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:10

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:10
Hi BooBook

The computer here is tied up almost 100% with kids uni exams - and I have 30 seconds to answer.

I couldn't see on site either but its in current supercheap xmas catalogue and is called 12v travel oven with part number PLU 344856 under SCA (super cheap ) branding.

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Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:12

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 21:12
Robin
We didn't get upset untill you brought out the whipped cream and besides you could have cut it up into 7 pieces.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 13:12

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 13:12
I have a confession to make.

I used the old stove at the gathering - and the new one has a bigger more rectangular heating area - so next time I'll be able to share some more around - or else eat it all in the tent where no one can see.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 07:50

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 07:50
Ebay one: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SCHUMACHER-BRAND-12-VOLT-DC-OVEN-/160753408700?pt=US_12_Volt_Portable_Car_Appliances&hash=item256da65abc&_uhb=1

Another on ebay: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SCHUMACHER-BRAND-12-VOLT-DC-OVEN-/160753408700?pt=US_12_Volt_Portable_Car_Appliances&hash=item256da65abc&_uhb=1

Just a quick search. I never even considered one. But the idea of a warm pie for mournos stated me thinking. Luckily we have three batteries under the bonnet. So it is a possibility!!

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:14

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:14
Thats the one Phil - interesting the US version has watts printed on switch , didn't know that but I noted that low isn't very low.

We have to find a local source those Yankee postage costs are horrendous.

I have just been trying to find a UHF 5/8 whip on ebay I found one for $20 but as its from USA postage was $44 ?
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:35

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:35
I just did a Google search (yeah Phil used Google) and came up with heaps of references.

Were you after a particular one Robin? I missed that bit. Just starting to look at them myself. My wife was not committal either way when we spoke briefly about them on her way out to work. About a 5 second conversation.

Even Dick Smith came up with one. Maybe!! Don't know as yet. We wont have any hassle with the 12V. It's just where do we install it and how often will it be used and at what dollar figure.

What's the gain of a 5/8? Aren't they 6DB. If so there are heaps. My brain is really sizzled these days.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GME-AE4705-6-6DBI-1-2M-UHF-DARK-GREY-HEAVY-DUTY-FIBREGLASS-ANTENNA-BULLBAR-MNT-/161002295784?pt=AU_Electronics_Radio_Equipment&hash=item257c7c11e8&_uhb=1

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:40

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:40
I mucked up that post try here: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/UHF-CB-Antenna-Collinear-2-x-5-8th-True-5-5dBd-Gain-40-or-80-ch-477-MHz-/300887690979?pt=AU_Electronics_Radio_Equipment&hash=item460e4dcee3&_uhb=1

That one is in QLD.

I used uhf "5/8" (antenna,aerial) as the ebay search text.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 09:03

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 09:03
Hi Phil

Getting a UHF 5/8th isn't that easy, espically one thats has standard CB radio connector on the end - I think I will have to make one.

As usual with stuff I go after its special characteristics that make it do its job better.

The links you put up aren't a 5/8th - they are 5/8th in conjunction with something else.

I have even caught 1 supplier with wrong data and another with non-standard end.

Your plain 5/8th whip provides lowest angle of radiation over a ground plane (car roof) than any other type.

You can buy longer stainless steel whip easily - you can also buy a stiff fibreglass pole 5/8 (as opposed to a flexible whip) but they don't like under cover car parks

Which reminds me - I'm gone (to the coffee club meeting)


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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 09:15

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 09:15
I don't drink coffee so I will leave you to it.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 18:42

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 18:42
Robin, I'm a bit confused about your stove comments in this follow up.

Robin Miller posted:
"Thats the one Phil - interesting the US version has watts printed on switch , didn't know that but I noted that low isn't very low.

We have to find a local source those Yankee postage costs are horrendous."

Are you saying that the supercheap one and the one Phil found appear to be fundamentally the same ( apart from watt markings) , or different? The first paragraph seems to confirm they are the same, then the second one seems to say that we need to find Phil's version in Australia ( which I thought was the Supercheap one you bought)

I must be missing something.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 19:02

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 19:02
Hi BooBook

Yes a couple of replies above couldn't see it on the Supercheap site and Phil found a US reference and I can tell its the same item.

So hence we were looking for an alternate Aussie supplier.

Yes low power appears a waste of time - although I noted a peak temp of 170c on bottom shelf in mine on full power , so maybe some things might heat up to fast unless on low (this would be a change).

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 19:37

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 19:37
Ok Robin I am still in go slow mode.

Is there a problem with Supercheap as a source? Isn't it still on sale?
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 21:23

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 21:23
The sale is till Xmas BooBook - no problem with them if they have them - our local Knox City store only had 4 a week ago , but I suppose one could order one from the part number I listed above.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 22:11

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 22:11
Ok slooooowly I get it. Thanks Robin.

So that's Goop, 12v Oven.... that you have researched and found.

Now what else do I need?
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 13:17

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 13:17
OK, lots at the Mentone store. It works well and will fit 4 pies and 2 - 4 sausage rolls.

I also got a silicon bbq mat from woolies and cut it to size, that should help stuff sticking to the bottom.

The only issue is that the cig lighter socket gets hotter than the oven. I will put a merit on it quick smart.

I also see the issue with the plastic that needs to be removed on the cord slot. I am thinking of putting a small 20 - 60 min timer in that location.

Thanks Robin.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 15:02

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 15:02
Silicon mat sounds good as these wouldn't be easy to clean BooBook - although my wife seems to put baking paper under everything.

My socket didn't get that hot however I did feel the need for change.

For not necessarily technical reasons I stick to cig lighter plugs.

In this case I cut off 400mm of lead leaving me with a spare for other things and I brought the dirt cheapest $1.50 Jaycar cig plug and used it. (also left more room for coord pack up)

It works better because it has no internal fuse , LED, and both earth prongs make contact - all these things lower the heat generated by the plug.

As the unit has an LED and my 12v system is big fused at the sockets I don't need these features.

You have to take care with putting these plugs on else you overheat the plunger or make it hard for internal cable to move.

Mine now passes the finger test - previously I ran the stove till the thermostat clicked and then pulled the plug and put my fingers on it - the centre pin and one earthprong were very hot.

Now with new plug I can touch either pin and they are just cosy warm.

Do you think a timer is worth the trouble ?

I note that when thermostat cuts in the stove dropped from 13amps on high power (9 amp on low) back to only 4 amps.






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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 15:11

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 15:11
Interesting, I didn't know it had a thermostat, mind you I've only had it a few hours and most of my testing was in the car on the way home.

RE the timer. I guess I am doing it more out of a hobby / interest rather than need, however I would like to be able to set it and forget, sometimes if things get a little complex on the road I can forget other things, and had a burnt offering in the old DSE oven once. Anyway while I haven't cooked anything yet it does look pretty good. Thanks again.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 16:36

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 16:36
Robin, I took it apart to check for where I could mount my timer.

Once open, and in conjunction with your measurements above I could see how it works.

There is a 115W heating element at the bottom of the unit and a 36W heating element at the top.

On low, only the bottom heats up. When you switch it to high, the top element also turns on.

There is a thermostat on the bottom which only cuts out the bottom element. So either it never gets too hot when on Low, or more likely you happened to see and measure it cut out when you had the unit set to high. hence the current draw of 3 amps for the top element only.

I just bought one of these switches on ebay and am going to re wire it so one switch is the top element and the other is the bottom element. That way I can have High, low and very low settings.

Very low should be great to keep things warm slowly, or for defrost ( back to my pies) It is a simple matter of moving 2 wires and I have no idea why they didn't do it that way in the first place.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 18:44

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 18:44
That all adds up BooBook - with your low/low setting you could leave it on all night without flattening the car battery which is a good idea.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:49

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:49
What about changing the switches for illuminated ones. You know the ones. They have LEDs in them that light up when on. Then they will both have inbuilt LEDs. Just an idea.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:56

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:56
Blue one for high/low power

Red: SK-0978
Blue: SK-0976
Green: SK-0979

This switch may not be the correct fit and it is only 15A.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 16:25

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 16:25
Phil those switches won't fit unfortunately. The switch is a double switch assembly.


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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 00:13

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 00:13
In our tent camping days we used to have a small wire basket with a lid that was dipped in plastic, about 6" X 4". I found a couple of empty bolt holes in the engine bay, near the exhaust manifold, and bolted it in place.

I would wrap a pie in alfoil and put it in the basket at the start of the trip and by lunchtime it was hot and ready to eat.

Yummo.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:30

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:30
We did that trick a bit to Gone Bush, in fact even today when we stop I put things that may need thawing or heating on the head as it gives these little stoves a head start - even if we don't start tea for another hour its worthwhile.

But we were not as courageous as you - anything plastic used to melt near our exhaust manifold.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 20:01

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 20:01
First Scones

Well this proves it can be done but they took 30mins to cook and didn't rise very high still when your desperate to have something with that cappicino out in the bush then the little stove can scrape up a result.





To be fair the scones came up pretty good (thanks Anne) , not tough as I expected.

They would have risen more except we were using our "Healthy ? " scone mix which uses 1/3 rd wholemeal flour

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 13:33

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 13:33
Ha ha ha, I like it,
Use the "healthy" low fat mix and them smother them in jam and cream ;)

A bit like my sister who orders a skim cappuccino and then adds two sugars
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 13:37

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 13:37
Forgot to add, was poking around the Vic High country last weekend and my mate had one of the more expensive SS versions, $300 I think he said it was and he was cooking up a pizza in the back while we were driving around
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 14:59

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 14:59
Where abouts are people putting these in their vehicles?

Do you need to be careful of carpets etc or are they pretty well insulated?

Do they need to be mounted on some sort of non flammable surface?

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 18:38

Saturday, Nov 23, 2013 at 18:38
But Alby , it was low fat spray cream so its all fluff and puf.

I reckon that would have to be a small small pizza.

Anthony the previous sort could be anywhere even wrapped in a blanket , but not the new version, they get a bit hotter with 170c internal surface temp in spots, and are more fragile, ours usually sits on the tailgate or if full , on rubber mat under drivers feet when its being used for cooking.

Then put back into its cardboard box.

Note - Unit has feet on it and these have 5mm thick rubber cushions which pop out and get thrown away.

Removal of those rubber feet makes it go back into its box more easily.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 02:19

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 02:19
Robin,

What about a Travel Buddy?, Looks like they are based in Bendigo :)


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 09:42

Sunday, Nov 24, 2013 at 09:42
Hi Kev

Unfortunately its the same issue as most others which is simply lack of power.

The travel buddy at 72 watts is only 1/2 the power and 8 times the cost.

They are really only food warmers.
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