Overlanding has been around for decades, but it only recently received its very proficient name and definition. While gearing up for an overland trip, there is no doubt that planning is an important factor, especially when considering the route, which leads you to understand the distance radius for your fuel capacity. No Gas = No Go!
Overlanding: Self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.
Auxiliary: Providing supplementary or additional help and support
Why Get One
Well, let's do some math. Let’s say our gas tank is 20 gallons (Stock on a JK is between 18.6 to 22.5gal depending on the model). Let’s say our fuel mileage is around 20mpg (Book value estimates between 17 and 22). So, the total distance that we could travel, at most, is 400 miles. This number decreases as you accelerate faster, climb hills, and romp through rivers. More accelerator equals more gas, which equals fewer miles per gallon.
With modifications like putting on more aggressive All-Terrain Tires, larger diameter tires, or moving weight from roof racks to your fridge in the back for example, you are decreasing your miles per gallons. The weight added and the increase in tire drag on the street plays a role. So, now we are down to 15mpg for a trip through the woods. 20 gal x 15 mpg = 300 miles. We lost 100 miles of travel by adding all our accessories, which still doesn’t account for our throttle happy driving.
When you go to plan your trip and mark the distance from Point A to Point B, you are hoping you will fall comfortably within the range of what you have calculated. If not, you are looking to purchase an auxiliary tank!
There are many different types of auxiliary tanks. When purchasing you will need to consider your vehicle type, what would be the safest in mounting, and if the product meets the CARB, EPA, and DOT regulations.
The most common is the ‘ol Fuel Jug that you put gas in, toss in the back of your vehicle, up on the roof, or attach it to the back. There are many different sizes ranging from 1 gallon to 10+ gallons.
The next would be the fuel jugs that attach to the outside of your spare tire such as the Cam Can from Daystar, for example. These hold around 2 gallons, and you have the ability to stack them against each other if you want to add more than one.
But we really want to get serious in our fuel storage…
Consider a Trail Treeker by Titan Fuel Tanks. This is a realistic option for adding an additional 12 gallons to your vehicle. This tank works with many different tire carriers and is a simple add-on with an 8-lug adaptor kit that hosts up to a 37” spare. This fuel tank is intended for temporary storage of fuel and does come with a high flow siphon kit to move into the main fuel tank. It is out of the way, friendly to the eye, and stores a lot of fuel.
Charlene – Not going to lie, the Titan Fuel Tank is what we chose was best for Frankie (a 2016 JK) for our additional fuel needs. We don’t go on crazy long adventure trips, but even the stretch in Baja that doesn’t have fuel for just over 200 miles is a stressful couple hours at 15mpg! Not anymore! We will be doing an install article on the tank, it is easier than it even looks.
Then there is the “I’m going to replace the whole tank with a bigger one!” mentality. GenRight Offroad has aluminum tanks that almost double your capacity of fuel. It is noted to take an inventory of your vehicle's undercarriage accessories, including exhaust routing before committing. This is not a “transfer tank”, this is an actual second tank with a fuel filter and switches on the dash to engage.
If you just need a couple gallons for the “what if” situation of running out of fuel, you have some great options. If you are an Overlander that puts on incredible mileage between fuel stops, then consider a larger or additional fuel tank. If you are looking for a midrange tank that is easy to install, yet readily available to do work, consider the spare tire tank. But, whatever you do, don’t run out of gas because then I will get to say, “I told you so!” 🙂
Author: Charlene Bower
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