Shellite or ULP safer?

Submitted: Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 17:23
ThreadID: 95824 Views:9872 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
This Thread has been Archived
Have Coleman Dual Fuel Stove (cos I didn't want to travel with gas cannisters)

thought I would use ULP from my tank as I'm doing a long drive in high temps and potentially leaving the car sealed in the sun.. but alas, after buying a fuel siphon pump thing, i can't siphon fuel :( its a three foot hose but no matter how many times, how deep or at which angle, the end comes out dry :(


Which is safer to store in the car; a bottle of shellite, or a jerry of ULP?

At supercheap auto there are plastic and aluminium gerry cans/fuel bottles. Which one is better?
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 17:50

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 17:50
Shellite, white spirit and unleaded petrol are very similar in their properties and dangers of handling.
Unleaded may be marginaly more toxic and marginally more flamable, but the risk and the recommended handling is about the same.

Most jerry cans will be either steel or plastic, and even the small tins that "Coleman fuel" comes in are steel.

Alunimium is generaly not used to hold this group of flamables

There is generally no problem with plastic fuel container as long as the correct container made of the correct plastic is used for the fuel contained.
Plastic containers have the advantage that they do not rust.
Plastic containers will generally be cheaper and lighter.

Steel is traditionaly what gerry cans are made of...look for a can with entirely welded seams, some of the cheaper cans have rolled seams in the bottom.
steel is considered to be tougher and does not wear as easily from abrasion as plastic does and also does not puncture as easily

realy 6 of one half a dozen of the other.

AnswerID: 486824

Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 18:01

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 18:01
Depends on how much fuel you will be using. From what you have explained unleaded would be more convenient and is available everywhere. Shellite may be harder to get.

On the flip side I find shellite burns better and cleaner, and would be my preference. I have an MSR Whisperlite stove that I have run on shellite for over 12 years, it is always in my vehicle and gets used 3 or 4 times a week. My fuel is kept in the MSR fuel bottles which are aluminium and I have never has a problem. I get no fumes or smells in the car either but I only carry about 1.5lt of fuel.


AnswerID: 486827

Reply By: River Swaggie - Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 18:41

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 18:41

I have a Coleman Duel Fuel light (NorthStar) and Stoves and i can say ive tried Unleaded in it once and wouldnt do it again..Its too smelly,fumes etc etc...

So i use the Coleman Shellite which has a rust inhibitor in it (You can also use a third party Shellite),Also i carry the contents either in the original tin can it comes in when going away for 4-5 days plus...Shorter trips i use the Trangia plastic fuel container..

Trangia Fuel bottle


Oh the gas canisters,are you talking about the Coleman green ones...If so they are safe to take anywhere...

AnswerID: 486834

Follow Up By: Eager2CAuswithdog - Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 08:30

Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 08:30
Thanks River Swaggie,

From Wikipedia "Shellite has a freeze point lower than -30 °C (-22 °F), and a boiling point of 47 °C (117 °F). "

If I'm driving around Broome, Darwin etc isn't it likely to be hotter than that in the car when I leave it parked for a days hiking?
FollowupID: 762094

Follow Up By: River Swaggie - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:48

Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:48
Hiya Eager2CAuswithdog

Ive carried it in 45 degree days and also had it under a Tarp with direct sunlight on a 45degree day...Must have hit 60 plus....

Doesn't the boiling point mean direct flame using like a Bunsen burner not atmospheric temperature if you know what i mean....??????

I'm not a scientists a-hole so i could be wrong.....
FollowupID: 762234

Follow Up By: Eager2CAuswithdog - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 18:45

Monday, May 28, 2012 at 18:45
Hmmm, i have no idea what that means.... :)

Ok , I think I've questioned all I'm going to.

The car is packed. Including stove and empty Willow plastic 5L bottle, which I'll fill at a servo after a full day driving tomorrow, for tomorrow night.

Que Sera Sera :)

Thanks for your help!
FollowupID: 762264

Follow Up By: River Swaggie - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 19:45

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 19:45
"Que Sera, Sera

Hmmm, i have no idea what that means.... :) "

I know how ya feel i had to Google it ,lol...(Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

Yeah goodluck with it and let us know how you went with it....

FollowupID: 762368

Follow Up By: Eager2CAuswithdog - Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 04:35

Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 04:35
Hi RiverSwaggie,

Since you asked me to let you know how I'm going...

Well its been about 10 days now. Although I haven't been in any extreme heat, just the very pleasant weather in far north Queensland, I'm feeling comfortable with the fuel being stored in the stove tank, and a little in the plastic gerry.

The stove itself has been great, with one annoying thing.. that is the black residue that gets all over the cooking implement and there for on the washing basin, and anything i put the pots/pans on, such as the esky etc.

I've only used Premium Unleaded in the stove so far. Would shellite cook cleaner?


FollowupID: 763123

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 08:14

Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 08:14
G'Day Sarah,

I have been using Colemen Dual fuel stoves for 20 years & the only time it blackens the pans is when the generator is fouled or you put the pans on too early without warm up time.
If i't's working correctly you should start off with a yellow flame but then turn to a blue flame 30 seconds or so after start up.

In answer to your question the pots will still go bleck (to a lesser degree) using Shellite if the flame is not burning blue.

FollowupID: 763128

Follow Up By: Eager2CAuswithdog - Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 09:15

Friday, Jun 08, 2012 at 09:15
I must be too eager and putting the pots too soon. Great to know, thankss Stu!
FollowupID: 763136

Reply By: Member - Longtooth (SA) - Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 20:38

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 20:38
I've used both in my Coleman Dual Fuel stove for 15 years now and due to the ready availability of unleaded have used that for most of that time. Shellite was used initially but due to the exorbitant cost of it in the bush I've used unleaded exclusively for about 12 of those years and have had no problem. Carry a spare 5l container on the roof but usually fill the stove tank at a fuel station. Get some odd looks but it works for me. Never had any problem either. Just turn the tap full off and there is no smell inside either.
AnswerID: 486847

Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 20:47

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 20:47
Yep. Everything you said goes for me too. I just fill the tank using the Coleman funnel straight from the 5L container though.

Only additional thing I do is add a little injector cleaner to the unleaded.

FollowupID: 762066

Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 23:13

Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 23:13
Eager - You can't siphon out of most modern car fuel tanks because they have restrictions in the filler pipe and neck to prevent exactly what you're trying to do. Fuel theft by siphoning was big business in the 1960's and 1970's!

I can recall how my Dad was woken up by two big burly coppers at midnight about the mid-1970's, because they'd caught four thieves, red-handed, siphoning fuel out of his Kingswood that was parked on the lawn at the side of the house! (no fences in those days!)

The Suby should have a drain plug in the tank (under a little cover, usually on the passenger side). You can wait until the tank is low, park on a side slope and install a tap with a barbed tail projecting, in place of the drain plug.
Attach a piece of hose to the barbed tail on the tap and drain out what you need, as required. You'll probably need to cap the barbed tail to keep the fuel clean.

Cheers - Ron.
AnswerID: 486857

Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 00:26

Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 00:26
I bought a 20 litre drum of shellite at the local fuel depot. Works out at $3 a litre, a lot cheaper than Coleman fuel or small bottles of shellite. I take a 10 litre plastic fuel container on trips. If that were to run out i would get by on unleaded from the nearest servo. Haven't had to yet.
AnswerID: 486864

Follow Up By: Eager2CAuswithdog - Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 08:39

Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 08:39
Thanks OnYaBike,

As I mentioned above, Wikipedia has shellite as having a boiling point of 47 deg C.

Have you carried Shellite in hot Aussie summer? like I said above too, I'm going to be in Darwin, Broome and will be leaving the gear inside the car all day hiking etc.
FollowupID: 762095

Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 08:46

Monday, May 28, 2012 at 08:46
I have not travelled in extreme heat but many people seem to use Shellite without problems, taking reasonable precautions as you would with petrol. See archived thread 38142. I would never refill the stove unless completely cooled and never with the campfire burning.
This site has the boiling point at 50 - 135 C (!). That's a huge range, and > BP of water? Lucky I'm not a scientist, just confused.
I Googled BP of Coleman fuel and got this if it makes sense to you: BOILING POINT: IBF >100ºF IBF >38ºC.
AnswerID: 486970

Reply By: trains - Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:01

Monday, May 28, 2012 at 10:01
In all my travelling, I have used shellite, and for convenience, not cost, used the diggers 1lt containers as their size packed well, and found them durable.
Never had an issue.
Also have the coleman fuel in 4.somthing lts containers as well.


Ps, I buy solvent 143 in 20lt drums which is shellite (shellite was the name given to it by shell), coleman fuel has some additions to the base product to help with corrosion according to the gossip).

Some fuel depots know about shellite, or its equiv, some dont.

Ps, as others have said, you wont siphon fuel from your tank, they have measures in the filler necks to counter that.

As for storing a jerry can of petrol in the car, I think thats pretty much not a good idea, put it on the roof out of the confined space.

Those tanks at super carp, if there the willow aust made ones, there fine.
AnswerID: 486977

Sponsored Links