How Long Does a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

Are you planning to camp in a remote area? A propane tank is a must to go. The propane tank is ideal for camping and touring and can be used for cooking, grilling, and heating the room.

Coleman propane tanks are considered to be the best propane tanks in the market. They come in various sizes and capacities. On average, a small propane tank of 16 oz or 1lb lasts two hours, whereas larger propane tanks of 45 lb last for 7-8 hours, depending on the usage.

Evergreen Farm and Garden Coleman Propane Replacement Fuel Cylinders 16 oz Camping Fuel Bundled...
  • Includes: 4 Pack Coleman 16 oz Bottles
  • The Coleman All-Purpose Propane Gas Cylinder is an excellent choice for anyone looking for clean-burning, portable propane fuel.
  • With each cylinder weighing only 16 ounces, this propane tank is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport and store when not in use.
  • Designed to fit most portable appliances, camping grills, and lanterns with a standard CGA 600 connection, the Coleman propane tank is a versatile and convenient option for outdoor cooking and...
  • Made with durable steel and reliable valves, this propane tank is built to last and provides safe and easy use for all your outdoor propane needs.

Coleman propane tanks are portable, less expensive, non-toxic, and less hazardous to carry. With all these benefits comes a question about the longevity of the tank.

In today’s article, I will discuss how long a Coleman propane tank last.

How Long Does a Coleman Propane Tank Last?

The Coleman propane tank comes in various sizes with various capacities. The most commonly used Coleman propane tank is a 16 oz or 1lb  – if you connect it with a 7,500 BTU stove, the average burning time will be 1.5 to 2 hrs. But remember, that is not an accurate time; it largely depends on your usage. 

The easiest way to calculate how long one propane cylinder will last with a certain propane stove, coffee maker, or space heater is by determining your need. 

Let’s do some calculations;

A Gallon of propane equates to roughly 92,000 BTUs. BTUs strands for British Thermal Units – measures the total energy used to boil the lb of water from 40 degrees.  

A 16.4 Oz Coleman propane tank contains 22,000 BTUs. So, to calculate the actual burn time, divide 22,000 BTU by equipment’s per hour BTU consumption, and you will get the exact number of hours your 16.4 oz propane tank will last. 

Apart from a propane stove, the Coleman Propane tank can also be attached to equipment like a  camp oven, heater, lantern, etc. Below is the table that summarizes the burning time of a 1lb Coleman Propane tank with other portable propane appliances. 

How to Make Coleman Propane Tank Last Long?

How to Make Tank Last Long?
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For longer camping trips, you want your Coleman tank to last longer. No one likes to be left without heat in the middle of the meadows. Here are some tips that will help you save propane tanks fuel and maximize tank usage.

Let’s dig deep!

  • Bring Per-Cook Food
    Try pre-cooking the food that is easy to preserve; later, you can bring that food. Use propane tanks to reheat them and enjoy your meal in no time.
  • Cook Small Portions
    A large portion of food needs more energy and time. Try to cook food in small portions.
  • Use Small Gas Grills
    Try to use larger tanks with smaller gas grills, as they will consume less Propane tank gas, and you can enjoy the BBQ with less fuel.
  • Bring Water Meals
    Bring just water, add meals that will save your time, and make Coleman Propane tanks last long.
  • Use Water Heater
    To boil water, use a water heater instead of propane tanks.
  • Clean up Your Propane Tank
    Before packing your camping stuff, ensure the propane tank’s connecting pipes and nozzles are clean.
  • Choose High Buring Rate Equipements
    Some equipment uses more fuel to produce the same amount of BTUs. So must choose them wisely.
  • Use Auto-ignition Grill
    While connecting the manual grill to your Coleman propane tank, a small amount of propane gas was wasted. To avoid such conditions, use an auto-ignition grill.
  • Campfire
    Instead of using propane heaters, try to warm yourself with a campfire.

How Do I Know If My Coleman Propane Tank Is Empty?

How Do I Know If My Propane Tank Is Empty?
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Suppose you bought a Coleman propane tank and use it for testing purposes at home. After a few days, you plan for a camping trip; how would you know if the propane tank is empty or how much you have used?

Today, I will describe a simple method to measure whether your propane fuel tank is empty. All you need is a cup of water, a propane tank, and your time. Follow these simple steps and measure the fuel level in your propane tanks.
Are you ready? 

Step 1. Boil water in a pan; now pour it into a cup; make sure the cup is warm before you put boiling water into it. You can warm the cup through the stream. At boiling point, put water in the cup. 

Step 2. Now pour some of the boiling water on the sides of the propane tank. You will notice the water will slide down without skipping.

Step 3. After draining, slide your hand on the metal of the propane cylinder. That part has a cooler temperature than the rest, so it tells you how much propane is in the tank. The empty tank feels warm in hand; if the gas is still in there, it feels cold.

How To Refill My Coleman Propane Tank?

Most campers think they need to buy new propane each time they go camping. Well, in reality, you can refill the Coleman propane tank. You can also refill the smaller tank from the larger propane cylinder with the help of a refilling adapter.

Follow these simple steps to refill your Propane tanks;

  1. Put the larger cylinder on an upright, firm, stable surface. 
  2. Now attach the refill adapter. Close the valve of the large cylinder, now screw the adapter onto the refill nipple. Make sure you screw them properly so there is no chance of leakage. 
  3. Now it’s time to screw the smaller tank to the other side of the adapter. It is important to screw the small Coleman tank into the large cylinder. Make sure both cylinders should be in a firm position. To screw the reloading adapter, you don’t need any special tool; it can be done by hand. 
  4. This step is very important, and you have to perform it will care. Invert the larger cylinder upside down. The small propane tanks should be placed under the large propane tank. Due to the difference in pressure, the transfer of propane occurs. By inverting the larger cylinder, you’re accelerating the recharge process.
  5. Once you place them properly, it’s time to open the valve of the large tank. When you open the valve, you will hear clear pressure between both propane tanks. The whole process will take 4-5 minutes. Not to worry if you leave them for long, as the transfer will stop automatically when both propane tanks have the pressure. 
  6. Finally, it’s time to close the valve and disconnect the filled tank. 
How To Refill My Coleman Propane Tank?
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After refilling the Coleman tanks, follow the steps mentioned earlier to check how much gas is transferred to your propane tank. If the Propane tank is full, you will feel the tank surface cold even after pouring the boiling water.

Do Propane Tanks Expire?

Many people question the longevity of propane cylinders. Simply put, a new, unopened camping propane tank has no expiration date, so you have nothing to worry about.

However, I would like to give a comprehensive answer. This is a gas tank, not propane. Since it is made of metal, its lifespan can be shortened due to damage.

Another thing to remember is that closed containers do not have an expiration date, but open containers do! Likely, they will not function properly, so care must be taken in their use and safety. Let me tell you a little bit about that.

After opening the propane tank, could you place it in a well-ventilated area? It can be outside or inside your house, but ensure it is away from any heat sources. It would help if you also had a dry and clean place to store; the tank must always be upright.
If you maintain your propane bottle according to my advice, it will last longer and have no problems. To be safe, you can also check with the manufacturer to see if your propane tank type and size have an expiration date.

Wrap Up!

Today we have discussed the Coleman propane tanks in detail, their lifespan, how to fill them, and all the other useful information. I hope you can check if it’s time to get a propane tank refill. If it does, follow the refill cylinder steps and do it yourself.

Remember to store your propane cylinder in a cool, dry place at home. Make sure the valve is securely closed and upright in travel. Propane gas is something you shouldn’t waste, so always check all disposable propane tanks carefully!

About Antonio

I’m Antonio, a passionate traveler, and outdoor lover who’s running this website. I started this site to share my passion for camping, traveling, and bikepacking.