Camp Chef Ranger II Review - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-27-2015, 01:39 PM   #1
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Camp Chef Ranger II Review

At one point, I told my friend Jim Bennett that I would write a review of the Camp Chef Ranger II when I had enough experience with it. The Ranger II was a gift from my children. I probably would not have purchased one myself because I use a stove very little. Prior to receiving it, I used a Brinkman stainless steel stove with the same type of regulator as is used on the Coleman stoves.
First, I would make it clear that I am a short order cook, not a gourmet chef. Most of my cook stove usage is for breakfast fare on the griddle: eggs, bacon, and pancakes. Most off our cooking is done on a Weber Q100 which I converted to low pressure to use with the QD fitting on the Escape. So here are my impressions:

1. The Ranger II runs on low pressure making it usable with the QD fitting. I think most everyone here knows that. But that is a very handy feature. Now if Coleman or someone else would come out with a low pressure propane lantern.......

2. In order to get blue flame with a minimum of orange, the air/gas mixing disk had to be set to the most wide open position. This is easy to do BEFORE the stove gets hot, but it can be adjusted with a metal rod through an opening near either of the burner controls; just not as easy.

3. On high, the Ranger II will boil water a whole lot faster than my Brinkman would. It does have the ability to output the BTUs.

3. The settings on the burner controls are Off, Warm, High, Medium, and Low. The flame level is infinitely adjustable between the settings. Unless the cooking pot is offset on the burner, even on low whatever is in the pan/pot will eventually boil.

4. For those of you who are not short order cooks, you can simmer on the warm setting........BUT (there is always a but!)

5. The burners are very susceptible to moving air. I experimented for an hour inside the garage with the door open using an electric fan to simulate wind this morning. On High and Medium the flame is somewhat affected (you can tell the games are being fanned) by moving air, but they remain fully functional. On Low, the moving air was enough to extinguish a few of the orifaces in the burner, though most of them stayed lit. With the fan @ 4 feet away on high, the burner struggled to stay lit on low. On Warm, with the flame adjusted low enough to simmer, anything above the mildest of breezes blew out the flame. So the moral of the story is if you wish to simmer up a gourmet dish, it would be best to use the stove in the most protected area if there is any wind at all.

Finally, it is important to note that these are my observations/impressions. As Donna would say, YMMV.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:00 PM   #2
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Excellent review, Carl. Thanks for that.

It seems the biggest problem then lies with the lack of wind screen. Most times it would not be necessary, but there are a few times I do have wind to contend with. I imagine a simple two-sides folding windscreen would be beneficial.

It certainly still seems like the best option out there for a smaller sized stove that can be used with a low pressure quick connect.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Carl, answered the questions I had about the stove. Think I'll go with this to replace the Coleman so I can use the trailer QC port. I'll be converting the Weber Q over to low pressure as well.
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:59 PM   #4
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Given Jim's post about a wind screen and my wife's suggestion of wrapping the base with aluminum foil, I tried both. The aluminum foil didn't work. I think it blocked air infiltration around the base to the point that the air/gas vent couldn't get enough air and the flames started displaying a lot of orange. I then placed my patio mat in its carrier bag (3 feet wide, 1 foot high) about a foot from the stove between it and the fan. I was able to get a very low (simmerable) flame on the Warm position with the fan on any speed, including high. So I would say set up in a protected spot and have a shield of some sort and the wind problem is solved.
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:21 PM   #5
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Here is an easy, small, and inexpensive solution.
http://www.amazon.com/TALL-Compact-F.../dp/B006TI9KPS

Or for Canadians
http://www.amazon.ca/TALL-Compact-Fo...ove+windscreen

Lots of different ones out there.
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Old 10-27-2015, 03:26 PM   #6
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Carl, do you find the distance between burners to be adequate. A couple reviewers online thought they might be a bit close together for a couple bit pots. Rarely would we ever have more than one big pot on the stove anyway.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Carl, do you find the distance between burners to be adequate. A couple reviewers online thought they might be a bit close together for a couple bit pots. Rarely would we ever have more than one big pot on the stove anyway.
I don't think it will be a problem for the way I cook or my wife may cook. You probably couldn't put a large pot on each burner but I don't think you could with a Coleman, either. We have the 7-piece Magma set and when we use the largest pot it is because my wife is making soup, chili, or pasta. We do not cook corn on the stove because we prefer to leave it in the husk and cook it on the grill. The large magma pot is not as large as some stock pots out there, but I would think, maybe wrongly, that most FGRVers do not use mega-pots. Of course if you are cooking for yourself and for everyone in the 10 adjacent campsites, it might not be sufficient.
Center to center, the burners are 9-1/2 inches apart, which is the same distance between the from and rear burners on our kitchen range. Then again, on the kitchen range the left and right burners are 16-1/2 inches apart. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:01 PM   #8
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Incidentally, this Sterlite storage container is a good fit for the Ranger II. I bought one at Walmart.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:52 PM   #9
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I have had a Magma pot set for a few years now. No massive puts, which we like. If the fry pan and the large pot fit at the and time, all is good.
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:05 PM   #10
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Huh?
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