Using a Camp Chef stove with the Fleetwood external propane connection

The Camper

The Fleetwood/Coleman Saratoga (and Niagara/Avalon highwalls too) come with a high-pressure propane port on the frame rail, already plumbed up to the front bulk tanks. The intended use of this port is the high-pressure stove that’s mounted on the side of the camper.

Maybe I’m a bit slow, but it took me a while to realize that this port is the exact same 1×20 connection that the little green portable propane bottles have. This is cool: Basically you have an ‘endless’ little-green-bottle on the side of your camper! You can use accessories or adapters designed for these bottles to supply propane to your other devices.

The Stove

In my case, I have a Camp Chef stove. A carry-over from our tent camping days, we’ve found it to be a wonderful way to bring both a camp stove for cooking and a nice BBQ with a cast-iron grill. Currently we have their two-burner stove, model EX60LW with a grill box, model BB100L. The grill covers one burner on the stove. This setup was perfect for tent camping, but now that we have the popup with built-in stoves, I also purchased Camp Chef’s single-burner model instead (shown in photo), to cut down on size & weight. It’s perfect for the trailer, the whole thing stows neatly under the dinette with plenty of room left over.

Note: (Update Spring 2013) I no longer use the camp chef grill box. The stove is fine, but I finally decided I didn’t like the grill. Instead, I now use a Weber Q220 (the current model is a Q2200). This is a portable grill that packs up small but cooks extremely well. It doesn’t leak grease which was one of my main complaints about the Camp Chef grill box.

It also comes in a larger and smaller version.

The Connections

Back to the propane connection: The stove is designed to connect to a bulk tank, and comes with a regulated hose for this purpose. To adapt the stove to the camper, I purchased a “Second Chance Adapter”, which is intended to allow you to connect to a little green propane tank. This, and an extension hose (also with 1×20 connectors), allows me to connect the Camp Chef stove to the trailer and also have some freedom of movement for grill placement.

Third, a brass “Add-A-Tee” fitting, made by Marshall, allows me to split the connection and use both the grill and the camper’s outside stove at the same time.

Here are the components:

And here is the whole setup, ready to go:

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There are 6 replies to “Using a Camp Chef stove with the Fleetwood external propane connection

  1. SFowler

    Great post for newbies like us struggling with everything on the tent trailer move. Your pictures and links are awesome. So user freindly! Just bought a used pop up that has the out side connection (sunridge) but the high pressure out door stove is missing. I’ve been searching for one and stumbled on your blog. This is perfect, we can follow your directions and and adapt what we are using with the green bottles.

    Reply
    1. sebastian Post author

      Hi, thanks for the comment! Just one more tidbit in case it helps: I had to replace my camper’s high pressure regulator because the diaphragm was leaking. It was difficult to find the right one. 10PSI “high pressure” regulators are easy to find but my Coleman camper actually has a 15PSI regulator. After trying a 10PSI version it didn’t run the Weber Q220 very well, so I finally located this 15PSI Hot Max 24215 High Pressure Propane Regulator at amazon of all places, and it works perfectly to drive my outside stove, camp chef stove, and the weber Q.

      Reply
  2. Bob

    Hey, great advice. Could you send me links to purchase the above equipment. I don’t care which company, just being a novice I don’t want to in advertently purchase thevwrong materials. Thank you so much.

    Bob Erdman
    916-517-3964
    roerdman2@yahoo.com

    Reply
    1. sebastian Post author

      Hi Bob, thanks for your comment. Most of the items needed are linked directly to where you can buy them. I would echo my comments above in the article: If you’re in need of a grill I don’t recommend the camp chef setup. The Weber Q series is fantastic. I now mainly use a Q1200 which is the smallest one they sell, and it’s made for green bottles so all you need is the hose I linked above, no adapter is necessary to connect it directly to the camper. You may still want the add-a-tee so you can use the stive simultaneously. Happy to answer any specific questions you have.

      Sebastian

      Reply
  3. Michael

    Sebastian,

    I have an 08 Fleetwood Niagara and tried this exact setup on my Camp Chef DB60. The the flame was severely low to the point where it was unusable. The more I thought about it I was thinking that the high pressure port on the rail of the camper is already being regulated at the tanks on board. Add in the regulated hose on the Camp Chef and I assumed I was not getting the proper volume of propane to run the Camp Chef stove off the rail port. As a test, I connected directly to a 20lb tank and the Camp Chef stove works great.

    You don’t seem to be having the same issue. Is this correct?

    Reply
    1. sebastian Post author

      There is a high pressure regulator running the external propane port that is surprisingly hard to find. Most “high pressure” regulators are 10 psi, not high enough pressure to equate to a standard green bottle. Its possible that yours was replaced by one of these lower pressure regulators. When my OEM regulator died I had the same issue with my first replacement, but I hunted and found a 15 psi regulator made by “hot max” and it works well.

      Unfortunately Amazon doesn’t seem to sell that item anymore, but surely its out there somewhere.

      I now run a Weber Q mostly off that port. I also picked up a 10# refillable propane bottle and use that when I set up farther from the camper.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Sebastian

      Reply

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