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Old 10-02-2013, 10:59 PM   #1
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Coal for campfires

Having been born and raised in the UK, we're very familiar with coal as a fireplace fuel. In most of the homes we grew up in, a coal fireplace in the living room was the only source of heat for the entire house. Even in 1967, before we emigrated, our house (just a year old) was configured like that. We'd wake up on winter mornings with 1/4" of ice on the inside of the bedroom window!

Once you have a coal fire going, it takes very little maintenance. Just throw another shovel-full of coal on every 90 minutes or so. The problem with it is the smoke on initial light-off. It's very sulfurous and nasty and lasts about 15 minutes.

We've used coal in some of our houses in the US where we were frequently hit with power outages and had a decent fireplace.

Given the smoke issue, what do people think about using coal in a CG fireplace? It's cheaper than logs, doesn't bring any obnoxious critters with it and really makes a warm, low maintenance, smoke-free fire after the first 10 minutes. Hauling a 50-pound bag with us would be simple enough and it would be good for several fires. I'm not sure about retail availability.


Comments, please
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:12 PM   #2
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Nothing like a 2in thick T-bone cooked over a (Coal) fire?? Youroo!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:42 PM   #3
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Coal fires are great with a grill on top and meat cooking
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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I work at a coke production facility across the street from an iron blast furnace. The LAST thing I want to smell on vacation is burning coal. LOL

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Old 11-28-2013, 05:59 PM   #5
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I work at a coke production facility across the street from an iron blast furnace. The LAST thing I want to smell on vacation is burning coal. LOL

Tim
X2. I didn't work at a coal company, but can't imagine the smell lends itself to making nice with your campground neighbors. Plus, locating coal to burn would no doubt be a challenge. Recommend sticking with good ole....wood!
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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DW wouldn't let me burn coal in the home fireplace,let alone the RV fireplace and I don't think I would want to even if she let me.

All I can envision is the smell and the mess. Getting rid of the ashes might be a problem also.

Not sure where I could buy coal in my area anyway.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by F and E Damp View Post
Having been born and raised in the UK, we're very familiar with coal as a fireplace fuel. In most of the homes we grew up in, a coal fireplace in the living room was the only source of heat for the entire house. Even in 1967, before we emigrated, our house (just a year old) was configured like that. We'd wake up on winter mornings with 1/4" of ice on the inside of the bedroom window!

Once you have a coal fire going, it takes very little maintenance. Just throw another shovel-full of coal on every 90 minutes or so. The problem with it is the smoke on initial light-off. It's very sulfurous and nasty and lasts about 15 minutes.

We've used coal in some of our houses in the US where we were frequently hit with power outages and had a decent fireplace.
Given the smoke issue, what do people think about using coal in a CG fireplace? It's cheaper than logs, doesn't bring any obnoxious critters with it and really makes a warm, low maintenance, smoke-free fire after the first 10 minutes. Hauling a 50-pound bag with us would be simple enough and it would be good for several fires. I'm not sure about retail availability.


Comments, please
Having grown up in the same era and in the same country I can remember all you say about using coal but where would you get it and would it be allowed as the emissions from it are supposed to be controlled I know what you mean about how good a fire it is once it gets going.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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X2. I didn't work at a coal company, but can't imagine the smell lends itself to making nice with your campground neighbors. Plus, locating coal to burn would no doubt be a challenge. Recommend sticking with good ole....wood!
I have a forge and do some black smithing. It is not difficult to find several different types of coal for sale.

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Old 11-28-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Coal for home heating is next to impossible to get around here anymore. Last time I was able to get any a local trucker brought some back as a backhaul and sold it off pretty quickly. But I have seen burlap sacks of Mexican mesquite charcoal that people like for campfire cooking.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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Blackrock....good call on mesquite. I'll fully endorse mesquite instead of coal any day!

And ....anyone who has a Robert Earl Keen quote on their signature line is OK by me
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