Long Range Fuel Tanks

A large number of outback treks involve long distances between fuel outlets. Jerry cans are dangerous, difficult to store and not as convenient as a long range fuel tank. Fitting a long range fuel tank is a common modification and there are many good manufacturers. This article looks at basic considerations when thinking of getting a long range fuel tank for your vehicle.
Article By: Michelle Martin
Created: April 2003
Revised: April 2007
Latest Feedback: February 2016


Below is a brief outline of the things to consider in regards to long range fuel tanks.
  • There are a number of outback treks involving travelling distances of over 1000 kms without the ability to source fuel or supplies.

  • Trying to carry a large number of Jerry cans is not only physically difficult, but they are also very heavy and dangerous things to have inside the vehicle.

  • Too many Jerry cans on the roof racks create a weight and centre-of gravity shift problem - each loaded can weighs 25kgs. Jerry cans are also very difficult to lift up and take down.

  • Carrying a large amount of fuel enables you greater choice in when to buy your next load of fuel. You may be able to pass a few expensive locations and opt for larger towns where price and quality may be better. Many aboriginal communities do not sell petrol (diesel only) so range is an important trip planning factor.

  • Most standard tanks are made from very light-weight material and can easily be damaged or holed in the outback.

DIY Installation?

If you are DIY inclined, you may be able to fit your long range tank yourself, as we have for our 80 series Landcruiser. It is generally suggested however, that a replacement tank is fitted by the distributor. Some aspects of the installation require careful consideration such as extending the fuel sender and lifting the tank into position. In some vehicles, the long range tank fists into the spare wheel bay (eg. 80 series Landcruiser) and is a far more practical use of the space. As a spare wheel bay this space is pretty useless for offroad terrain as the wheel becomes the lowest point and can drag in the sand, especially if your tyres are deflated. Get it out from under there!

Once you've installed a long fuel tank you may also see the need for suspension changes to compensate for the added load of fuel.

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