plastic jerry cans safe in hot weather??

Submitted: Saturday, Oct 03, 2015 at 22:58
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Hey guys im driving accross the nullabor this december from melbourne to perth, weather is going to be very hot i suspect and i will be carrying fuel, probably 2-4 20litre drums! Before i start welding up a jerry holder for them to go on the ROOFRACK for the whole trip of around 1200ks total in hot weather are plastic jerry cans safe to use for this???? Thnks for your input!!!
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Reply By: Danna - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 00:27

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 00:27
Hi matth j
Forget the jerries for Nullabor. There are plenty of fuel stops there.
You just going to unnecessarily carry more weight.
If the fuel there cost little more it's worth to stop
and have refreshment anyway.
We went over Nullabor many, many times and believe me,
you will need to stretch-up.
Cheers Dana
AnswerID: 591128

Follow Up By: matth j - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 09:43

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 09:43
not to worries about nullabor but want them for the rest of the trip also! Was gas easy to find on the way also? And what prices are they generally??
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 00:54

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 00:54
All Nullarbor Roadhouses have autogas except for Penong. For other routes around Australia you will need to check.

If the rest of your trip is on regular routes, you will find fuel outlets within 300 kilometres. Off the beaten track there are a few longer stretches. The Tanami Road has the longest stretch without fuel. In remote areas, most Aboriginal communities have fuel outlets.


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 08:40

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 08:40
I sometimes wonder why we even bothered to buy a jerry can carrier for the rear bar. I took two jerry cans with us for the Simpson (Madigan line) and the CSR and didn't need them. And certainly easy to find fuel anywhere else including the Cape and Kimberley/GRR.

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Follow Up By: Danna - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 09:45

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 09:45
You right Phil. That's why we have double wheel carrier and that's very useful.
Cheers Dana
FollowupID: 859318

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 00:56

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 00:56
1. You don't need to carry fuel.
2. Yes, plastic jerries are safe. Vapour pressure will increase with temperature, but they are well able to handle it. DO NOT release the pressure, it is "self controlling".

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Follow Up By: matth j - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 09:44

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 09:44
Really? I wouldnt have known to leave the pressure in them. Thanks mate
FollowupID: 859201

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 18:30

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 18:30
The only time they would not be safe is if you top them right up and not leave the required expansion space in the top. When you fill them start empty and only put the nominal capacity into them from the bowser.

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Reply By: lancie49 - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 01:25

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 01:25
Matt, you're going to need to stop and re-fuel, much easier and more convenient to pull up beside a bowser and do it.
As other have said, you'll need the stretch time anyway, so do it all in comfort and grab a cold drink while you're there.

Do you really need an 80kgs on the roofrack ?
That in itself would probably be close to the racks rated capacity.
AnswerID: 591130

Reply By: matth j - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 09:46

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 09:46
Hey guys i wont necessarily be needing them to cross the nullabor but probably for some other parts of the trip, just wanted to be sure they are safe in the heat
AnswerID: 591133

Follow Up By: Hoyks - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 10:51

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 10:51
I have those black Rheem jerry cans, 2 x 20L and 1 x 5L. I carry petrol or diesel, depending on what I need at the time. they cost a bit more than some of the others, but I have had them for close to 16 years and they have copped a flogging and done Cape York 3 times (Only once with me, I actually lend them to people, that's how tough they are).

I have found that if they are almost empty to 1/2 full, then they will blow up a lot more than if completely full. I had the 5L on the back of my motorbike while touring once, it was hot and the fuel can resembled a rugby ball, but not a drop leaked.

Same with the big ones, they will blow up, but not a drop of fuel leaked out of them. I don't vent them, as once the day cools down the vapor condenses and the container goes back to it's normal size/shape. If you vent the vapor, then more will evaporate to take it's place.
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Follow Up By: Danna - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 11:10

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 11:10
Hi Matt
When it comes to cost of fuel, we always say
"if you go that far from home, it really doesn't matter how
much will cost to get back.
But if the cost is a big concern even before going, stay rather home."
There are quite good websites for fuel prices. You only have to go
online and ask about particular area.
HooRoo Dana
FollowupID: 859203

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Oct 05, 2015 at 14:33

Monday, Oct 05, 2015 at 14:33
What Hoyks said, Matt.

The Rheem might be pug ugly, and any colour you like as long as it's black, but they are strong and safe. We've used to use them to store petrol for motorbikes, used for mustering, and even though the jerry cans would get bigger than watermelons, they'd never leak, or worse still, explode.

Damage from other rough, sharp items in the utes often cut & bruised them severely, but they didn't leak.


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Reply By: 322 - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 11:24

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 11:24
I've used a plastic Jerry for our whole trip around Oz with no problems. I use it for ULP for the generator. I just don't over fill it.
AnswerID: 591136

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 11:51

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 11:51
Matt, just make sure the jerrycans you buy and use, are marked with, and meet the AS/NZS 2906:2001 standard for fuel containers.
This above standard sets all the conditions and tests for jerry cans, so that they provide satisfactory service in general use.

This standard covers the materials they are made from, tests them for puncture-resistance, material compatibility with the fuels specified, flame tests, drop tests, handle strength, and a dozen other checks for strength and safety.
There are fuel containers being sold and used, that are not suitable for the transport of fuels.
These fuel containers are not marked with the AS/NZS standard.
People sometimes use 20 litre plastic oil drums for fuel, these are not safe when used for fuel transport.

The jerry cans marked with AS/NZS 2906:2001 will provide good service in conditions up to 45 deg C, provided they are not abused.
Keep in mind that there are jerry cans for diesel and jerry cans for petrol, and you must never use them to store exotic fuels, such as racing fuel.

It is also very important to understand that the vapours from jerry cans, when released upon opening, are exceptionally dangerous - and they can travel on the wind, find a source of ignition, and return against the wind, to ignite the fuel in the jerry can.

As a result, it is important to determine where there are likely sources of ignition when first opening a jerry can.
Those sources of ignition are often not seen or thought of - and they can be; gas fridges that are on, electrical spark sources, even static electricity from synthetic clothing.
Thus it is important that you keep on the downwind side of ignition sources when opening jerry cans - and to make sure synthetic clothing is not rubbing on synthetic upholstery.
It is also important to place petrol jerry cans on the ground when refuelling them, to prevent static discharge.

As regards carrying jerry cans across the Nullarbor - it is viable to do this if you want to save on fuel costs.
By buying at discount prices near the cities, you do save a considerable amount in fuel costs.
It's not uncommon for fuel prices to be over $2.00 a litre across the Nullarbor.

However, 80 kgs of fuel on a roof rack is a lot of weight for the roof rack, and it does affect vehicle handling and it also worsens fuel consumption, as roof rack loads are notorious for doing.

You have to carefully weigh up the savings, and if you have room to place the jerry cans elsewhere to eliminate wind resistance.
The winds are generally strong across the Nullarbor and they seriously affect fuel consumption.

I have often carried 60 litres in drums across the Nullarbor to save on fuel price gouging.
However, I had a ute each time, which gives one much more load-carrying ability than a sedan or wagon.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 591138

Reply By: - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 14:37

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 14:37
Mate, I would be taking the jerrys empty and only filling them when/if it became apparent that the next leg of your journey is going to be touch and go as to whether you can make it with just the fuel in your tank.

To my mind, that would only mean in the most remote parts of WA (eg: Canning Stock Route).

As others have said, it is not normally necessary to carry extra fuel if you're sticking to the "usual" routes.....and then only carry what you need....and for the shortest possibly distance.

I learnt this the hard way back in the 90s on my first big trip to the Gulf country and across the top road via Booraloola etc. I lived in Canberra at the time and I carted 2x 20 litre drums of diesel the whole flamin' way "just in case"......never needed it and ended up realising my stupidity once we were in Darwin. So I used the fuel and brought the cans home empty. Never needed them again; even going to Cape York.

AnswerID: 591148

Reply By: matth j - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 17:12

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 17:12
Thanks for the advise everybody think ill just take 2 for piece of mind and i wont fill to the brim thanks alot !!
AnswerID: 591158

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 10:36

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 10:36
Why not get a long range tank under the car? Beats external jerry cans by miles.

FollowupID: 859319

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 20:58

Sunday, Oct 04, 2015 at 20:58
First trip I did in the old troopie I didn't have a LR fuel tank. Decide to use the 10 ltr plastic jerries. Damn sight easier to get up on the roof, and the weight was kept a bit lower and more spread. (also easier to lift and empty into the fuel tank).

Just a thought

AnswerID: 591167

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 10:59

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 10:59
I am getting on in years (70) and the last time I tried to get a full jerry can up there I nearly broke my back. It may be okay for you younger, fitter or healthy ones, but not for me. That's why we got the long range tank. Even wasted money on a jerry can carrier, Took two to the CSR and Simpson and they were only emptied into the car to remove the weight from the rear bar. The long range tank suited us for even the Madigan line and the CSR and they are both long drives at high fuel usage. We used 24 lt/100 Km on the Madigan.

Don't like heavy loads upstairs.

FollowupID: 859322

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 11:37

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 11:37
Phil, agree. By the 2nd trip in the Troopie I had fitted a 110 ltr LR tank. Swapped it over to my HJ47 tray in the rebuild.

I was in my late 40's at the time there was no way I was going to lift a 20 ltr jerry up there...
FollowupID: 859324

Reply By: LandCoaster - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 18:24

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 18:24
check the lids and check you are happy with the lids' systems, eg, an internally or externally stored pourer
AnswerID: 591320

Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015 at 22:59

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2015 at 22:59
Personally I would rather have more fuel within reason than not enough maybe just fill one for the road trip you never know you might see a track you want to drive down for a look see and that extra fuel will give you peace of mind even if you don't use it.
AnswerID: 591820

Follow Up By: Norm C (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015 at 17:13

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015 at 17:13
That sums it up exactly Why not carry extra as said you can make side
trips without any worries and it could save you should you get a hole in
your tank or a fuel line ect
FollowupID: 860155

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