I'm in the middle of a restoration and would appreciate your thoughts on gas lamps. To me they seem dangerous, like illuminating a Christmas tree with candles. Sure they "used to in the old days", but that argument doesn't make them any safer.
I would never use them in my own trailer, but while restoring a trailer to sell, am I obligated to keep the two lamps intact? The original configuration had gas lamps as the only light source. My plan is to rig 12v throughout and try to duplicate the look of the originals. Is this going to hurt the value of the finished product?
I think the more original you keep a camper the higher the price.
I agree, gas lamps don't seem completely safe. They did a lot of things in the 50s I wouldn't...kids with no seat belt, towing with people in the camper, Christmas trees with candles. Most of the time it worked out just find.
Some people wire the camper gas lamp with a 12V light.
I'm a collector of Coleman and other brands of camping lanterns and lamps, etc., including propane mantle lights. Most people's trepidation with using these lights is that they don't know how to maintain them, check them, light them or use them. Nothing inherently dangerous about a propane light in a trailer. Now leaking gas, lack of fresh air ventilation, a hole in the mantle, flammables nearby, yeah, all that could cause a problem. I live in a farm house that was built in the late 1960's and those owners included propane lighting when they built it. They were dairymen and needed lights to work by and live with in case of the frequent power failures in rural Colorado in those days. Those lights are Humphreys. Just like the ones in lots of camper trailers. I'd say leave them in. Don't use them if you aren't comfortable but keep them.
I guess to us they're no more dangerous than a gas stove. Less so, if you consider that once it's lit, it's stationary and there isn't anything combustible near it, like dish towels, shirt sleeves, etc. like anything that has potential for harm, it's wise to have a healthy "fear" of the danger, whether it's skydiving or gas lanterns.
Thanks for your feedback. You have convinced me, the gas lamps stay. They will be hooked up ready to go if for no other reason than ambiance. I guess shallaced birch demands that blue glow of propane.
For some peace of mind, become very comfortable with the operation of the lights and have your propane system checked for leaks when finished. Most propane accidents are caused by operator error or leaks rather than the appliance failing.
Post by ladywendolyn on Jun 3, 2017 8:52:25 GMT -8
I'm keeping mine, but after doing quite a lot of research on vintage propane appliances (stoves, heaters, lights), and being warned by some of the wise people on the forum, I've made the decision to just use vintage propane during the day while awake. None of the old devices have the auto shut off that the new propane heaters have, and I don't want to sleep with them on. However, if you are awake when using them you can be careful and observant. I think you will be glad you kept them, it's part of the vintage charm, and on a cool day you can light them and they give a nice toasty warmth to the trailer.
I think it's kinda funny looking back, that at 10 years old, I was taught how to use an old kerosene camping stove at girl guides. Fill it, light it etc. Now a days most ten year olds are not allowed to use an electric stove.
"I don't care how much it cost, I don't care how long it takes. It's a dream and I am doing it right"
The only thing that worries me about gas lights is the fragility of the mantles. I have a bunch of island friends with gas lighting in their cottages and have heard tales of mantles disintegrating and the resulting huge flame coming out of the lamps. And the cottages aren't towed down bumpy dirt roads...
'76 Shasta 2250 kept in a perpetual state of restoration. That way I don't have to buy any more campers
What kind of mantle do I use in the Humphrey lamp in my 1968 Shasta Compact and where do I buy them?
I was not going to install a gas lamp in my camper. After I got all the interior about finished, I got a couple of lamps from a member in the forum. In the mean time, I found an old gas lamp in one of My sheds, laying in an unexplored corner. I decided to install te lamp so now the gas lins is run up the corner of the interior. I am glad that I did install it though. I checked it for leaks, installed a mantle and it works very nice. Took a long road trip with the camper and the mantle held up real nice. Here is the link from the list of links for parts for the lamps. click the link below. link
1972 HOMEMADE BEING REMADE Location: out on the ice, catching fish
Nothing particularly dangerous about gas lamps- no way I'd remove them. As a side benefit, they make a decent heater for a small trailer. Back in the day, my grandparents used to heat their '55 Aljoa with nothing more than their gas mantle lamp, did very nicely. I remember being plenty toasty in the little 15', even while winter camping. Once they were even snowed in on an interstate for a few days before snow plows could reach them, did just fine.