Expedition travel. Many factors can play into a successful trip, but planning the correct amount of food, water, and fuel are some of the most pivotal. In the backcountry, getting stuck without enough fuel can lead to bad results. Some places like Baja may have fewer gas stations than locations in the states. Some trails may be short but require more start/stop and therefore use up more fuel than a longer, less demanding road.
Planning your trip will take time to know how far between gas stations and how many miles you can drive before running out of fuel. Be sure to know your gas mileage when your vehicle is fully loaded, not just empty. If the route you plan to travel on has soft sand, rock crawling, or any other terrain that might cut your fuel economy down, be sure to consider this as well.
There are several options for bringing more fuel than your gas tank can hold. So let's look at those options and see which might be the best for you and how you travel.
There are several options out there for jerry cans. These fuel containers can be made of plastic or metal, but if you are planning to store your fuel for a longer amount of time, metal is the way to go, as plastics can leach chemicals into your fuel over time. Jerry cans are the most cost-effective solution for carrying extra fuel. Many of the jerry can mounts hold two cans which allows the user to carry up to 10 gallons of fuel with them. The one thing to watch out for with jerry cans is the gasket seal. Sometimes fuel can end up leaking out if the gasket does not seal properly around the pour spout.
~$50 - $100
Rotopax Fuel Containers are probably the easiest to find and the most recognizable. These 2-gallon red containers can be mounted in a multitude of ways and can be locked together or stacked on top of each other. They come in 1, 2, 3, and 4-gallon containers for gasoline and a 2-gallon diesel container. With their mounting system, you can carry two 4-gallon containers. These containers are some of the most cost-effective fuel solutions and hold the fuel well. The gaskets are strong, but you must remember to vent them, so they don’t expand with the fumes.
Titan Fuel Tanks
Titan fuel tanks make a wide range of fuel tank options. They have everything from the TrailTrekker II 12-gallon spare tire-mounted fuel tanks and the 15-gallon Sidekick Tank. To auxiliary and replacement tanks. The smaller options start around the $350 mark, so they are a great option for a decent amount of extra fuel without breaking the bank. Their tank replacements and auxiliary tanks are for diesel trucks but are a great option depending on what you are driving.
Long Range America
For people in the Toyota, Jeep, Sprinter Van, and a few other makes, Long Range America (LRA) makes tank replacements and several auxiliary tanks for vehicles. These replacement tanks can increase the fuel capacity from 40-89%, and the auxiliary tanks can increase the fuel capacity quite a bit. The average cost of these tanks is $2000, and takes a bit of time to install, but tank replacements do not take up room in your bed or fuel cans on your bumpers. We use these tanks quite often on our builds and have had only good experiences.
The Ranger Goat runs the 33 Gallon replacement tank, and the 2018 Tundra has the 46 Gallon Replacement tank.
S&B makes fuel replacement tanks for diesel trucks and gas replacement tanks for some sprinter vans. These tanks start at around $1250 and are about 60-70 gallons for the trucks and 40-47 gallons for the sprinter vans. While we have yet to use these tanks, S&B makes some quality products we have used on other vehicles.
No matter what option you use, it is important to consider which ones will meet your needs for travel. Many trails can be run without extra fuel, but it is better to have a backup plan than to be caught without. There are also times when you can help other travelers if you have fuel and they do not. If you have other recommendations or thoughts, please drop them in the comments.