I've often struggled with what methods to use for my rear galley main cooking element. I've always liked the butane burners, because everything is so compact, and the butane canister is easy to remove. The 1 lb propane coleman cylinders are great except I need a rubber extension tube from my propane cylinder to my stove. I usually hide the cylinder inside the custom box we build and feed the tube through a hole in the box and connect the burner.
The problem I have with that is the rubber hose is $40 at any local retail store. Primus has a really cool concept and actually has a flexible hose underneath the stove, making it easier to feed it through the hole of my custom box and connect to the cylinder. When building my teardrops I always include a complimentary butane stove if the customer doesn't have any other alternatives or preferences.
Most of my customers, including myself would like to have the small propane cylinder or butane canister mostly because of size. When you have a small teardrop trailer, a 5lb propane cylinder takes up a lot of space. So why don't they have recycled 1lb propane cylinders ? I thought to myself.
Well, they do have the potential, but it seems like for whatever reason, it's not going to be available to the public. Anymore, that is. Did you know Coleman had a "green Key tool" program ? See link here: Disposal Instructions
Apparently the program was not accepted by many recycling agencies across the country and they discontinued the program. It was simple really. A little plastic applicator that would allow all the existing propane to escape, and change the cylinder from a Household Hazardous Waste to a recyclable steel can. 1 problem, direct recycling from your home destroys the cylinder. Now I do agree that you should never try to refill one of these yourself.
First of all it's extremely dangerous and flamable, not to mention, Single use non-refillable gas cylinders are not manufactured to withstand refilling or reuse. Another very important point is that they are filled at the factory with dehumidified propane so they do not rust from the inside out. When they are refilled with one of those adapters found online or home made verisons, they are being filled with NON-dehumidified propane and those cylinders will begin to rust on the inside- where YOU cannot see it!
We are always actively looking for ways to improve our teardrop trailers, and that includes protecting the environment at the same time. For those of you that are seeking refill alternatives I know www.propane-refill.com is a company in the USA that promotes Patented Refillable Propane Valves for a 1lb Camping Propane Cylinder and primuscamping.com also offers other fuel alternatives. I don't know too much about either of them at this point, So I can't really give my opinion on them yet.
There's always the 5lb refillable propane tanks, But they take up so much room for a trailer that cherishes it's square footage. Or, Are these cylinders really just recycled after all ? As long as they are refilled properly, I don't mind paying a preminum. So where do the 1lb propane cylinders end up anyways ? Well if you're in Canada, there's a different place for each province. If you're in Ontario there's "The Orange Drop program".
No matter where you are located, just remember: "When in Doubt, Don't throw it out" and find your local Propane Cylinder Disposal location: Here's a List of Canadian Propane Cylinder Disposal Resources brought to you by: http://www.propane.ca
Many of the materials collected through the "Orange Drop Program", such as pressurized containers and batteries are reprocessed, refurbished or reused to make new products—easing the demand for energy and virgin resources. So if you choose Propane or butane as long as you have your cylinders disposed of properly you can be sure they are being recycled where possible. Camp safe everyone and Happy trails...