Plastic vs Metal Jerry Cans

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:31
ThreadID: 100739 Views:10849 Replies:16 FollowUps:4
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I am looking at buying some 20l Diesel Jerry cans for our Kimberley Trip. What are peoples recommendations, Plastic or Metal Jerry Cans?

What are the Pros and Cons of each, keeping in mind I will transporting these on the Roof Rack and will be looking at buying four which will be carried in jerry can holders.

Thanks
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:44

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:44
I have 2x 25l plastic jerries i bought from ARB 20 years ago and would not go back to steel ones.
AnswerID: 505460

Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:54

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:54
Ditto, at least 20 years old.
No rust, no rattles, no leaks, no smells, EVER.

Buy the "Fuel Safe" brand made by Nylex.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
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FollowupID: 782409

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:54

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 18:54
Where you are intending to mount them, plastic ones should be OK.

A mate of mine had one mounted on the side of his trailer, behind the mudguard.
Don't know what size rock hit it, but the hole was about as big as a golf ball.
Fortunately, the petrol was only for his trail bike and we were traveling home.

Personally, I have four steel jerry cans which are several years old but still in good nick internally. I have no need or desire to replace them with plastic ones.



Bill


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AnswerID: 505461

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 19:11

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 19:11
I changed to plastic 15 years ago - after having troubles trying to get my steel jerrys lids to seal.

My suggestion - choose a plastic jerry which has a single opening (less chance of leaking - expecially if on its side on a roofrack) and large enough to take a high flow diesel pump nozzle. Willow ones fit the bill for me.
AnswerID: 505462

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 19:24

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 19:24
There are pro's and cons.

Steel is quite a bit heavier than plastic...important if carried high.

Steel is considered more durable.....but the better plastic jerries are pretty tough.
Steel is not worried by heat or UV as much as plastic...but the good plastics are pretty resistant.

Plastic jerries do not corrode.

Plastic jerries are in general considerably cheaper.

You need different plastics for diesel and petrol...so swapping uses is not a good idea with plastic.

Long term, plastic jerries let in light, this can break down the fuel and promote organic growth in diesel......hardly a problem for short term storage

no matter which....chose carefully.....nasty is cheap in both plastic & steel.

If it where me and on the roof......I'd be buying plastic..and being fussy.

cheers
AnswerID: 505463

Reply By: Axle - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 19:25

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 19:25
The condensation, water issue is not a problem with plastic,if fuel is stored for a while,...Can't say the same for metal containers!.



Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 505464

Reply By: Member - 2517. - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 20:16

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 20:16
Hi I don't think it matters,the main thing to do is to used carpet and tape so they don't rub on rough roads and wear holes on them.
AnswerID: 505467

Reply By: Member - DickyBeach - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 20:23

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 20:23
Why on earth would you need 80 litres in addition to what's in your tanks?
What is your vehicle's normal driving range?
What is the longest leg you would expect to drive without an available re-fuelling stop?

But, to answer your question, I'd use plastic because they're lighter even though the difference between (say) 80 kg and 90kg on top of your roof is pretty much irrelevant as to your Centre of Gravity..

Please, re-think why you think you need so much fuel up on your roof.

Enjoy your trip, the Kimberley is great !


AnswerID: 505468

Follow Up By: happytravelers - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:38

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:38
These are my thoughts as well, the weight of 80 litres of fuel up on the roof as well as any other gear that may be carried up there will make the vehicle extremely unstable and may well exceed the roofs weight limit. Also, as mentioned by Dicky beach, why do you need to carry so much spare fuel anyway? There are plenty of places up there that sell fuel, ok it may be a little more expensive than down South but carrying 80 litres on your roof isn't improving the vehicles fuel economy. I am also planning a Kimberley trip this year (my third)and will carry an extra Jerry can on the trailer for emergencies but four on the roof is asking for trouble in my opinion.

Jon
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FollowupID: 782408

Reply By: Member - Chris (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:03

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:03
I have and used both and will now only use the plastic, but only the black plastic.
They are more expensive than the coloured ones but much stronger and can be used for the different fuels.
Chris
AussieHF touring club. 1089
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AnswerID: 505471

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:50

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:50
Agree with Chris - I bought 5 x 10 ltr black high quality Diesel plastic jerry's about 6 years ago - still going strong, although I don't need to use them much nowadays with the duel tanks. Tough little buggers

Would suggest if you are going to store on roof, you use 10 ltr containers primarily because:

1. 20 ltr containers are a pig to lift that high
2. they have a much lower profile and less chance of getting knocked
3. you can store them upright and have a lower centre of gravity...

However like others, would be careful of how much you put up top...
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FollowupID: 782427

Reply By: Rangiephil - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:06

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 21:06
Quote You need different plastics for diesel and petrol...so swapping uses is not a good idea with plastic.Unquote

This does not apply to the HDPE black ones made by Visy in NZ. They are expensive but very robust and safe. They ar ethe same material as car fuel tanks.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 505472

Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 08:31

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 08:31
Quality plastic many day..... I would go the Rheem heavy duty black ones made of polyethylene...... how many wheelie bins do you see broken.

http://www.haigh.com.au/images/ProductImages/AAAA%20Oct%2006.pdf
AnswerID: 505489

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 at 15:01

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 at 15:01
Ditto on the Rheem ones!

Have seen them get assaulted by rolls of barb wire, steel pickets and motorbikes, and still not leak a drop. They can blow out to same shape as the Michelin Man during the heat of the day, and not burst or leak.

Tough stuff,

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 09:13

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 09:13
Buy quality plastic and they'll probably outlast you ! Fuel Safe brand is not the cheapest of them but they are very robust (Willow has a good reputation to it seems). Fuel Safe do come on special at times - they come with one or two openings as well - less is better for roofrack loading it would seem - and that other point on spout size - if you can get them with a spout large enough to take a truck-fill nozzle you can avoid waiting in line for some of those single small-nozzle diesel bowser servos.
AnswerID: 505492

Reply By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 09:49

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 09:49
Mate,
just think about it this way. Most vehicles now are fitted with poly fuel tanks and they don't have problems.

Poly Water tanks guaranteed for 25 years.

Colour coded for petrol and diesel and they will be uv stabilised.

As said buy quality and they will last forever.

RA.
AnswerID: 505495

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 13:12

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 13:12
Plastic but be aware that most brands of plastic Jerrys have different caps. Make sure you get all the same brand.

Also get a Tanamai pump ( or whichever type you need for your jerries.) Tanamai pump

I like the Proquip because it is the only one that is good quality, inexpensive and ISO size. I paid $22 at Bursons a few weeks ago. Not bad. ( they were $35 at Annaconda)
AnswerID: 505507

Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 20:49

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 20:49
G'day Patrol GU VI,

you mentioned you were going to carry the jerry cans in holders. It might be an idea to see what fits in the holders.

I travelled to the Kimberley last year with a two jerry can holder on my rear bar. That holder would any take steel jerry cans. The steel ones seem to be thinner.

It might pay to check that.

We carried the 40 litres in jerrys plus 145 in the two tanks in our 80 series Landcruiser. That was getting us about 1000 kms, almost exactly on dirt roads fully loaded. There were three times on that trip we needed the extra fuel, so it depends on which way you go.

Hoo roo,
Steve
AnswerID: 505555

Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 at 07:27

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013 at 07:27
Just for the information of other- not directly answering the poster question since he is going to the Kimberley. Modern steel jerry cans do not like the temperature changes (expansion and contraction) encountered in the desert regions in winter and will split.
AnswerID: 505582

Reply By: Robtbob NSW - Saturday, Mar 02, 2013 at 21:12

Saturday, Mar 02, 2013 at 21:12
Metal ones have stuff inside that flakes off for years. Go quality plastic but make sure it has a large opening on it. They sell yellow diesel ones with small fillers that you can't use with fast fill large nozzles.
AnswerID: 505925

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