How Long Does A Coleman Propane Tank Last?

by Derrick | Last Updated: November 5, 2021

Propane tanks are an essential source of energy for the operation of camping stoves and other small heating devices. These tanks are handy because they are pretty light, practical, and effortless to use. However, sometimes some campers do not know how to measure the propane remaining in the tank. That is where the question arises: how long does a Coleman propane tank last?

The most in-demand Coleman propane tank is the 16.4 ounce or 1 pound tank. This tank can last approximately 2 hours when connected to a small 75,000 BTU camping stove, using both burners with the fire at its highest capacity.

Coleman is a world-renowned brand of camping products. Coleman’s extensive portfolio includes propane tanks as one of its flagship products. These tanks are ideal for camping, travel, or any outdoor activity. Today due to these tanks’ wide range of uses, we will dedicate ourselves to learning more about propane tanks.

What Are The Different Types Of Coleman Tanks?

Coleman tanks come in two major classifications: tanks and cylinders. You can purchase either a tank or a cylinder depending on the particular use or need you want to give to the tank.

As stated at the beginning of this article, the most commonly used tank is the 1 pound or 16.4 ounce tank. This tank has a weight of 453 grams, which makes it ideal to use in a convenient and portable way in any camping activity. You can purchase this tank individually or in sets of several devices, including a refill kit.

There are also 11 and 5-pound cylinders available. Although both cylinders have the same height, the 5-pound cylinder has a smaller diameter than the 11-pound cylinder. We can also find large-size tanks that come in 100, 40, 30, and 20 pounds on the market.

How Long Do The Contents Of A Coleman Tank Last?

The 1 pound Coleman tank can last approximately 2 hours, depending in many cases on the type of stove you connect it to.

The 16.4-ounce propane tank has a capacity of 22,000 BTU. You can use this information to calculate the tank lifetime. If you want to do this calculation, all you have to do is divide 22,000 by the BTU consumption per hour; the equipment will receive the energy from the tank. By doing this operation, you will know how long any propane tank can last. Remember that this calculation is only an approximation to reality since the actual burn time depends on the performance of each piece of equipment.

It is important to note that a Coleman propane tank is not exclusively for stoves. You can also attach it to propane heaters, lanterns, and ovens without any problem.

Can I Do Something To Make The Propane Tank Last Longer?

The answer is yes. There are several things you can do to make your propane tank last a little longer. Here we will check some tips that are sure to help.

Use The Tank Only When Necessary

You have to analyze the place you are camping. It is often enough with just a lighter to make a small fire to boil water and stay warm. In these cases, we can have the propane tank as a backup tool and stop during the day where we do not have much time to create fire otherwise.

Equipping With Freeze-Dried Meals

This type of meal needs very little water. If you want to prepare this meal, you have to boil water, add the product’s contents, heat it for a few minutes, and start eating. These meals can have a higher price compared to other foods. If budget constraints, we can also equip ourselves with inexpensive dehydrated vegetables and foods that serve the same function as a complete meal.

Please Don’t Overdo It With Hot Beverages

Everybody enjoys a hot cup of coffee in the morning. However, the repeated use of the tank for these “little warm-up jobs” accelerates propane consumption the most. If you can’t create a fire by building or using other methods, you can also try leaving the water in the sun to heat up, so the propane will have less work to do. Other options are instant cold coffee or iced coffee made with cold water.

Weather Conditions Also Have An Influence

Believe it or not, the wind blows heat away from the camp stove. Low temperatures decrease the volume of propane, and cold weather can disrupt the proper functioning of the propane tank.

Try To Heat Water Without Bringing It To A Full Boil

In these cases, experienced campers recommend boiling water to 85% of its capacity. A propane stove at full power will cause a lot of heat to come out of the tank. Much of this heat will disappear without having any appreciable effect on the outcome of what we are doing. When we are going to boil water, it would be helpful to set the dial 15% lower than the maximum; this way, we will get a quick result without so much waste of propane.

How Can We Measure The Propane Tank Level?

We must be clear that every time we use the tank for heating or cooking, we are consuming propane, which makes us wonder how much gas is available in the tank? Or when will I have to replenish it again? If you want to check the propane level in the tank, regardless of the size of the cylinder, you only need a cup of hot water; let’s see below how to do it.

  • Take the cup of water and heat it to an intermediate temperature.
  • Now is the time to pour the hot water into the side of the tank slowly but continuously. Make sure that the water flows from the top to the bottom of the tank’s surface without interrupting the flow.
  • After the above two steps, put your hand on the top of the tank and lower it slowly so that you can feel the temperature in the metal.
  • Here comes the critical part; you will feel the hot metal in the empty part of the tank. When you pass your hand over the full part of the tank, you will feel the metal much cooler. This temperature change tells you the level of propane left in the tank.

Can I Refill My Coleman Propane Tank?

Yes, you can. When the propane in the tank runs out, you can refill a smaller tank using a larger propane cylinder. All you will need is a standard refill adapter.

  • Place the tank in the correct position. The larger cylinder should be on a firm, stable surface and in an upright position.
  • Then attach the refill adapter. You should screw the adapter onto the refill nipple of the larger tank. Before screwing it on, make sure that the valve of the large tank is closed.
  • Now we must connect the small tank that we want to refill. We must screw the small Coleman tank into the large cylinder. Both tanks must be in a firm position and without movement. You don’t need any tool to do this reloading process; your hand will be enough to screw the reloading adapter.
  • Now we must invert the cylinder upside down. The large cylinder should be on top of the small Coleman tank. This transfer of propane occurs thanks to the difference in pressure; this is why we are accelerating the recharge process by inverting the large cylinder.
  • After finishing this step, we must open the valve of the big cylinder. When we open this valve, we will hear the transfer of pressure between both tanks. This process may take 5 to 6 minutes; however, there is no problem if you leave it longer. This transfer will stop when both tanks have the same pressure.
  • Finally, close the valve and disconnect the refilled tank. When the small tank is full, close the valve and remove the refill adapter.

A Final Thought On The Durability Of Propane Tanks

Coleman is a global brand synonymous with quality. Their propane tanks are a must for any camping activity or even when we want to have a family reunion in our backyard. The important thing is to be clear that we can have up to two hours of gas to supply energy to stoves, lanterns, and propane heaters with a small tank.