Jerry Cans = FUEL

NATO fuel cans, or as some call them, Jerry cans, carry just about 5 gallons each. There are not the easiest things to handle when refueling, but their uniform shape makes them easy to store and move about in preparation for refueling. Our recent trip with The Rig was made without the use of our stored fuel. I’d like to say that doing it that way was part of the plan, but I’d be lying. I forgot to load them. The last minute rush to get things in order necessitated some alterations, and I think my brain decided to not tell me about leaving them behind to save me a little stress. At our first overnight site, I regained some of that stress when the fuel gauge showed next to nothing in the tank. There is a reserve built in, but I didn’t know if it would be enough to get me into town.

It was.

The gauge was reading artificially low because The Rig was nose down at the camp site. Once it got leveled out, the reading was a touch higher. Not much, but enough to convince me I really would return to camp to sleep in my own accommodations that night.

Having my own bedding about me is nice. Having a reserve fuel source would be nice, too. So, with some of my scrap lumber about, I will build a simple corral for 5 cans, with a divider designed to secure any quantity short of 5. At 12 mpg, the 3 cans I should have squeezed in would have given my an additional 60 miles range with the trailer in tow, or 90 miles unloaded. That’s a lot of maneuvering, or a good means to search for, and take possession of, more FUEL.

If you are planning on purchasing a few 5 gallon cans, know that they are expensive. Anything under $50 is likely to be cheaply constructed, and of poor utility. Most will have a very thin surfaces where the sealing gasket contacts the spout and closure. Some leak through pinholes. You really do need to make a good choice, and that’s hard to do over the net.

I require:

  • Heavy sealing gaskets
  • Positive retention of the closure hasp and cap
  • An internal coating that is not cracked or rusted away (generally orange in color)

I will not tolerate:

  • Dents
  • Deep rust (outside rust can be manageable)
  • Welds or repairs
  • Obvious signs of leakage, recent or otherwise

I found this offering on Amazon. It’s in the price range, and colored yellow for diesel. Red is for gasoline. There are no reviews for this product yet, and I only show it here because of the name brand attached to it. I don’t know where it is built. But it IS a “Prime” product, which means Amazon will ship it for free if you are a “Prime” member. That’s a good deal if you are buying 5 or 10 of these big things.

 

This similar Red can doesn’t have the greatest reviews, either, but it is made by the same people.

I would search around for surplus cans. I found 20 of them at a great price, and but for the rust, I’m completely satisfied with them.

A few other notes. Gasoline is much more likely to get through a small pinhole than diesel, and just as much more likely to ignite.  If you are storing gasoline, makes sure it DOESN’T LEAK.

Plastic cans  will swell massively in the heat, and contract in the cold if you store gas in them. This will cause stress and possible leaks at some point. They might even VENT. Bad news, venting. Especially if it is in an enclosed location such as a garage or truck bed with shell mounted.

All cans need a pour spout. If it doesn’t come with one, be sure to get it separately.

Practice filling your vehicle from a partially filled can. Put a gallon in it and see how it feels when tilted and balanced to that small fill point. Then imagine the weight of 5 gallons in the same position. Practice! If you get fuel soaked into your clothes, it’s best to see how that happens before bugging out.

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