I have a 1985 Coleman 425F stove that I converted to propane, using the propane conversion. The original red fuel tank was starting to rust on the inside, so rather than trying to buy another one and take a chance if it would work, I opted to go with the propane conversion. It is easier, as I could carry either a small propane bottle, or my 20lb tank with the tree and run it off of that. I also have a propane lantern that I can mount on the top of my tree.
With all of that being said, I may have made a mistake by not replacing or trying to rebuild the original tank, as it may have taken away from the originality of the stove.
Would it be best to buy another fuel tank setup to preserve the originality or would it be best to just stick to the propane, since it is easier to light and not have to worry about spilling gas or smelling the fuel?
I’ve heard that the people that have bought the propane conversion part has never went back to using liquid fuel after converting to propane, but also know there are people that like the original white gas aspect.
What are your thoughts? Better to stick to what I have or better to buy a fuel tank and have another fuel alternative?
From a camping perspective there is little need for a liquid fuel (alcohol excepted) unless you do a lot of winter camping and even then, propane's performance is good enough until you are at the extreme end. Consider getting refillable propane canisters. It is butane that stops working when it gets very cold.
Apart from that the only reason I see for the liquid fuel option is either because you are into retro equipment or you feel the need for some multi-fuel solution for disaster preparedness. For the latter case you really want something that will actually run on anything which I'm not sure the Coleman 425F will. The MSR whisperlite-universal might be a better choice but it is not something I have looked into.
I hav done the same conversion with a Coleman stove and it has been a vast improvement. Why are you concerned about "originality?" Are antique collectors thirsting for old Coleman stoves and paying premium prices??
No, haven’t had an antique collector ask that. Actually, I kind of like the idea of using propane with it. No gas to get on your hands. Plus, if going on a big trip, I can always take my grill tank and use that to fuel the stove, lantern, or whatever else I want to connect to it.