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My plans for extra fuel capacity

CheJ

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I’ve been putting in a bit of thought how I’m going to deal with the condition known as Australian Range Anxiety (ARA). ARA is a condition largely isolated to Australia, however, with the advent of Electric Vehicles an almost identical condition known as Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety (EVRA) has been surfacing all around the world with concentrations on the west coast of the USA and western Europe. Although the symptoms to this condition are similar the treatments are quite different.

ARA is defined by a mismatch in the actual required driving range between stops at refuelling infrastructure and how much a person thinks that they need. Extreme examples of this can be seen in the CBD’s of our major cities where the “Raptor”, “Rogue” or “Sports” models of common utility vehicles can be seen with not one but two Jerry Cans mounted to the rear of the vehicle. Should the driver of said vehicle run out of fuel in the 5km between petrol stations, they will be able to add an additional 300 odd kilometres of range by simply filling up from their rear-mounted emergency supply.

A recent study of Australian drivers by the University of Betoota found that 97% of Australian drivers of utility and off-road vehicles did not venture far enough away from petrol stations to justify any sort of range anxiety, whilst a further 2% did so only once a year.

Now onto the problem.

For a vast majority of my travels the 90L fuel tank for the grenadier will be sufficient. However there are a few tracks in Australia which actually do justify the need for a long range fuel tank. The most extreme example of that is the Canning Stock Route (The CSR) which attracts around 1,000 vehicles every year. A rule of thumb for the CSR is that you should leave Wiluna or Halls Creek with 300L of fuel onboard. Between these two stops there is nowhere that you can fill up. Lets say your vehicle of choice is a Grenadier, well you need to find somewhere to keep 210L of fuel.

There are a few things that concern me carrying this much fuel: - I dont want to carry it inside the vehicle, I just don't like the concept of sniffing diesel for days on end, not to mention the amount of space it will consume that could otherwise be used for other essentials like water, food, clothing, shelter, etc. - I don’t really want to carry too much weight on my roof, maybe one or two rotopax laying flat but definitely not hundreds of litres. Its an awkward place to be dealing with heavy objects and generally I try to avoid making my car too top heavy. - Whilst you could mount a few rotopax on the “utility belt”, that’s not going to put much of a dent in the 210L I’m trying to tuck away

A few assumptions I’m making are: - I won’t have a trailer (If I have a trailer ill just store any extra fuel in there easily - I’ll be driving a diesel

So my plan is:1 - Buy or make a hitch mounted rack. I’ve got my eye on something like the Pakmule Sway Back. This gives me something that I can use only when I actually get to the point of needing to carry the extra fuel. Up to that point I can tie it down on my roof rack, at 18kg its relatively light so it isn’t going to throw off the balance of the vehicle when its stored up there.2 - Approach Fleximake to make a custom diesel bladder that fits within the footprint of the hitch rack. If we use the Pakmule footprint as an example, a 20cm high bladder will have sufficient volume to carry 210L of diesel.

Pro’s: - The Pakmule and fuel bladder can be packed away to a volume far smaller than the volume of diesel they can carry. The same cannot be said for jerry cans, rotopax, etc. - The Pakmule will have other uses, picking up bags of fertiliser from Bunnings, carrying garbage out of campsites, wet/muddy storage, etc.

Con’s:  - The Pakmule has a carrying capacity of 226kg - the weight of the fuel plus the bladder itself will be just below that limit. One thing I’ve learnt is that the rated limit is often meant for ideal conditions. To keep the strain off the the platform I’ll just have to stop after the first few hours and top off the IG’s tank, that will bring the weight down to something well within the limits of the Pakmule. The towball weight limit of the IG is 350kg so no concerns there. - The Pakmule will definitely reduce the departure angle, if it proves to be a real problem I could possibly use a tow hitch extension/raiser to raise the height of the platform (which will then get in the way of the rear doors at a certain point

Keen to hear what the community thinks - are there any pro’s or con’s I haven’t thought about. Are there any better ideas out there?

Edit: One additional thought/consideration I have is that it might be a good idea to have two bladders side by side or internal baffling within the one bladder to ensure I haven't got too much weight shifting to the edge of the platform when the vehicle is angled over to the left or right.
 

CheJ

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One more thing - any sort of rear external fuel carriage of petrol is a really bad idea. Rear end collisions make up ~40% of all car accidents and are typically fairly minor affairs. Throwing 40L of highly flammable liquids into the equation can turn this minor accident into a fiery inferno. You really don't want to convert your Grenadier into a modern day Pinto.

That is not to say diesel is perfectly safe, it just has a higher flashpoint and won't ignite due to metal on metal sparks, electrics, etc.

If you are thinking of really getting into outback Australia, go for diesel, whilst you can get by with petrol it will take more planning to make sure you can get petrol where you are going. Then in certain communities you will have to use Opal fuel because too many people are sniffing petrol to get high and turning their brains to porridge. Not to mention that Australia's petrol quality is quite literally some of the worst in the world, whereas our diesel standards are very high.
 

stickshifter

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Hi Che,
If you are only going to be carrying extra fuel a couple of times per year, then carrying the fuel on some sort of rack on the rear bumper doesn't seem overly risky. Its not like you will carry that fuel 365 days per year. Secondly, the majority of fuel carriers I've seen position the jerry-cans well above the bumper, keeping them well-clear of explosion risk from a basic "fender-bender" (see - for example - the photo of Rotopax fuel-containers mounted on the Jeep below). You would have to be the victim of a high-speed rear-end collision for there to be any risk of explosion. That is extremely unlikely in the outback, so it is only a possibility during your trip out of town, as you travel to a track like the Canning Stock Route (which you might do once per year?). Coming back into town, one would assume your jerry-cans will be empty. It seems that the likelihood of suffering a high-speed rear-end collision during the few hours per year you may be carrying the extra fuel on a highway is fairly low. That's just how I see it, but we all assess risk differently, and have to be comfortable with our own choices.

 

CheJ

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[QUOTE username=stickshifter userid=8617054 postid=1333006679]Hi Che,
If you are only going to be carrying extra fuel a couple of times per year, then carrying the fuel on some sort of rack on the rear bumper doesn't seem overly risky. Its not like you will carry that fuel 365 days per year. Secondly, the majority of fuel carriers I've seen position the jerry-cans well above the bumper, keeping them well-clear of explosion risk from a basic "fender-bender" (see - for example - the photo of Rotopax fuel-containers mounted on the Jeep below). You would have to be the victim of a high-speed rear-end collision for there to be any risk of explosion. That is extremely unlikely in the outback, so it is only a possibility during your trip out of town, as you travel to a track like the Canning Stock Route (which you might do once per year?). Coming back into town, one would assume your jerry-cans will be empty. It seems that the likelihood of suffering a high-speed rear-end collision during the few hours per year you may be carrying the extra fuel on a highway is fairly low. That's just how I see it, but we all assess risk differently, and have to be comfortable with our own choices.

[/QUOTE]

Totally agree, in the CSR scenario it’s not really a problem. Sadly on any highway or urban driving the risk is out of your hands by and large when you have people towing overweight caravans, tailgating, playing with their phones and all sorts of stupid shit. For me that risk isn’t worth it and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal where I live.

As you say we all have our own risk tolerance, you can make your own assessment based upon your own circumstances.
 

Ovrland Bill

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When I need to carry extra gasoline, I do strap ‘jerry cans’ down in the middle of the load space (away from any collision ‘crush zone’) of my Defender 90. (This is the approach recommended by Tom Sheppard, author of the book “Vehicle Dependent Expedition Guide”.)
 

CountyV8

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Why worry about petrol you cant even put a lithium battery fire out if you want to .
 

painter

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[QUOTE username=Cheswick Jones  Che userid=8996982 postid=1333005515]Keen to hear what the community thinks - are there any pro’s or con’s I haven’t thought about. Are there any better ideas out there?[/QUOTE]Hello, new to the community here. Just flipping thru some treads... this one caught my attention.

Being in Canada I can relate somewhat to range anxiety for remote travel and am interested solutions for the Grenadier. 

The fuel bladder is slick but ... as much as I dislike carrying them, I think I would defer to the superior versatility of Jerry cans.

They're easy to: move/fill/empty, carry a few or many, carry/store/stack in different locations/vehicles, give/lend/sell the container or contents to a fellow traveller/group member, etc. 

If you come to an obstacle where your hitch tray hasn't the clearance, J cans would make removing it easier until you get through it.

If you want to carry only an extra 20 or 40L  - maybe on the roof or rear ladder - again, having J cans makes it easy.

On the bladder, agreed, two might be better than one. Possibly you could have a second, smaller hitch tray or one that was expandable. 

For me, I'll be waiting for a larger tank, probably one from Australia !




 

Ferrugenfish

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You know how when you fold the rear passenger seats down, it leaves a "cliff" in the cargo area?  How about fitting a fuel tank on the floor of the cargo space which will match the height of the seats when folded?  That would leave you with a flat area when seats are folded (to lay on), lots of fuel supply with it's weight held closely to the axle(s).  Sure it's inside the rig, but if your fuel hatch closes tightly, and reliefe valve is routed outside, it shouldn't give off smell inside.... I think... right?  

Just thinking out loud. That's a lot of fuel to store outside. 
 

CheJ

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[QUOTE username=Ferrugenfish userid=9004165 postid=1333082576]You know how when you fold the rear passenger seats down, it leaves a "cliff" in the cargo area?  How about fitting a fuel tank on the floor of the cargo space which will match the height of the seats when folded?  That would leave you with a flat area when seats are folded (to lay on), lots of fuel supply with it's weight held closely to the axle(s).  Sure it's inside the rig, but if your fuel hatch closes tightly, and reliefe valve is routed outside, it shouldn't give off smell inside.... I think... right?  

Just thinking out loud. That's a lot of fuel to store outside. [/QUOTE]

Thats a good idea, I’ll probably fabricate something modular so I can still use the space for the 99% of the time when I don’t need it.

Even if it’s just a sizeable amount of fuel to reduce the amount carried on the roof or strapped to the back and side’s it’ll work.
 

Ferrugenfish

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[QUOTE username=Cheswick Jones  Che userid=8996982 postid=1333085203]

Thats a good idea, I’ll probably fabricate something modular so I can still use the space for the 99% of the time when I don’t need it.

[/QUOTE]

That would be really cool to see if you do!  I wonder what the IG cargo space looks like with the interior plastic panels/floor taken off... if a mold can be taken of it for your bladder, and a frame & false floor built on top.  I have no experience with such things so I hope you take photos of the process.... maybe even market the thing and have your IG eventually paid for with the proceeds of aftermarket sales :)  I'm sure some regulation would stop you though hehe.
 

DenisM

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[QUOTE username=Cheswick Jones  Che userid=8996982 postid=1333005515]I’ve been putting in a bit of thought how I’m going to deal with the condition known as Australian Range Anxiety (ARA). ARA is a condition largely isolated to Australia, however, with the advent of Electric Vehicles an almost identical condition known as Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety (EVRA) has been surfacing all around the world with concentrations on the west coast of the USA and western Europe. Although the symptoms to this condition are similar the treatments are quite different.

ARA is defined by a mismatch in the actual required driving range between stops at refuelling infrastructure and how much a person thinks that they need. Extreme examples of this can be seen in the CBD’s of our major cities where the “Raptor”, “Rogue” or “Sports” models of common utility vehicles can be seen with not one but two Jerry Cans mounted to the rear of the vehicle. Should the driver of said vehicle run out of fuel in the 5km between petrol stations, they will be able to add an additional 300 odd kilometres of range by simply filling up from their rear-mounted emergency supply.

A recent study of Australian drivers by the University of Betoota found that 97% of Australian drivers of utility and off-road vehicles did not venture far enough away from petrol stations to justify any sort of range anxiety, whilst a further 2% did so only once a year.

etc etc etc


I was interested in this study.... the Uni of Betoota has a really excellent faculty of systems engineering which amongst other things integrated the "seat of the pants dynamometer" concept for calibrating the power enhancement of DIY engine mods. They also determined recently that 84 . 956% of all statistics were suspect...  ? except when it came to Porsche drivers...their anxieties were in a different range category all together?
 

globalgregors

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Yeah, guilty as charged on the ARA. We carried two jerry cans around the world and only used them twice (Gobi Desert & Pamir Mountains/Wakhan Detour). ~450km standard range was adequate. In my defence, grew up in Western Australian where, in the days before satphones, running out of juice could be a death sentence.

I’ll be on the lookout for a long range tank, but failing that a couple of side mounted jerry cans and we’re gtg, noting they’ll be mostly empty.  Might be worth mentioning it can be a pain to get used jerry cans onto a RoRo service, for those considering intercontinental overlanding.
 

DCPU

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Another similar option:

Screenshot_20220828_140906.jpg

 

Caladan

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Another similar option:

View attachment 7792519

Looks interesting for water storage (6 gallons). However, even the manufacturer put this note in their Disclaimer section: *These tanks are NOT certified by the EPA for fuel storage and voids all warranty and return claims.
 

DCPU

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Well spotted ~ I only read the article with the accompanying link...
 

Caladan

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Is that EPA warning only because it does not have the impossible spout?
Unknown. The little cap at top looks okay for water but sketchy for fuel/vapor expansion. Then again, maybe the way the seam/seals are constructed?
 

4runnernomore

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The same issue was said for the new l663 defender. No hope for a longe range tank solution. Aftermarket has now come up with a traditional underbody tank solution with no compromise to ground clearance giving 174 litres of capacity. A little less if you choose the extra thick (3mm) base. http://thelongranger.com.au/landrover/defender/2020-current/. Give it time and the aftermarket industry will provide. 😉
 
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