fuel jerry cans on roof rack

Submitted: Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 21:14
ThreadID: 5751 Views:20260 Replies:9 FollowUps:8
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just wanted to inquire what people's views are on storing fuel jerry cans on the roof rack. There are some who say this is a no no, then there are others who say you can get away with it.

What is the safest way to store jerry cans filled with petrol?

any help appreciated.

Jeelan
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Reply By: Mark - Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 21:52

Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 21:52
Jeelan,

I have a rooftop tent, awning & heavy roof rack mounted to my vehicle permanently which weighs in at around 90kgs. You can certainly feel it when cornering however I have never had a problem in 4 years of travelling in the rig & if you drive sensibly I don't see the problem with 2 or 3 20lt jerries up top at around 25 KG a piece. Ideally the jerries would be better on a Jerrie can holder on the rear door or step, not possible on all vehicles though.
AnswerID: 23898

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 22:34

Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 22:34
Jeelan,

We sometimes carry jerrys on the roof rack even though we have 275 ltrs in the tanks. The way that we do it is to fill them and the last minute and use them ASAP. So we fill them at the last fuel and have used them usually within the first one to two days. That way we do not carry the load any longer than required. You do not want to carry heavy loads on the roof rack at all however there are times when you just do not have a choice.

Hope this helps.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
--------------------------
Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
AnswerID: 23906

Follow Up By: jeelan - Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 23:23

Monday, Jun 30, 2003 at 23:23
gentlemen thank you both for your response..

i was thinking less from the weight point of view and more from the safety point of view..

let me rephrase..

are there any safety issues involved in having fuel sitting on top of the car exposed to the sort of sunlight and heat one experiences in the northern part of WA? Risks of flash fire from hot vapour etc??

i'm using the plastic fuel jerry cans NOT the metal ones.

i'm not too concerned about the weight as i dont plan on having more than 75kg or so on the roof rack.

thanks again for your input

Jeelan
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FollowupID: 16024

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 08:42

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 08:42
Jeelan, as long as they are adequately tethered and protected from rubbing through on anything (such as the rack itself), you should be fine. Bear in mind that the plastic cans expand quite a lot when exposed to the sun/heat so leave about a litre or 2 unfilled. You may also occassionally need to "bleed" some of the gas, although it will contract again at night in the colder temps.

Also, some states do not permit the carying of volitile liquids outside the vehicle so it may pay to review the legislation (either the various transport or dangerous goods acts) in the states you intend to traverse.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
AnswerID: 23925

Reply By: Gordon - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:07

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:07
Jeelan
Another thing to watch is that an empty jerry will get hotter than a full one if left in the sun. Therefore the pressure in the full jerry is less that the pressure in the empty or partly full jerry. I used a 60 L fuel drum once and it was fine while full but when I used 2/3rds of it, the top "popped" up on a hot day even though it was in the shade at our camp site. That was the last time I ever used anything other than a steel jerry to carry petrol. Diesel is a different story - lower vapour pressure. For this reason I would not be using plastic jerries.
AnswerID: 23928

Reply By: Johnad - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:44

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:44
I wouldnt want to be in a vehicle that rolled over with jerry cans on the roof. Also I wouldnt like to be in a vehicle that was hit from behind if a jerry can on the rear door. They could explode. (theoretically, of course)
AnswerID: 23929

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:52

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 10:52
Johnad, that's exactly why some state legislate against the external carrying of volatile liduids/gases.

Mind you, I'm not all that keen on having the stuff in the "cabin" with me either.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 16037

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 12:28

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 12:28
Damn. I wish my fingers would do what my brain told them to do. "liduids"????Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 16046

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 16:13

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 16:13
...dont yuo hate thoes typogrophical mistaks???

I try typing with my little fingers as it's clear my index fingers can't spell!
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FollowupID: 16070

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 09:03

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 09:03
I tried that but found they didn't stand up to the pounding, as the keyboard frustration set in, as well as the middle fingers.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 16145

Reply By: Member - Royce- Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 20:34

Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003 at 20:34
Dribbles and splashes of fuel down the side of your vehicle, back problems getting them up and down, centre of gravity and wind resistance, sun heating up ... turning to gas...big pressure, collision... lethal explosive missiles, filling the budgers up there is a problem.

Fit to arms or brackets on the back of the vehicle or in a trailer.

I have carried jerrycans on the roof.. but not if I can avoid it. Royce www.funshow.com.au
AnswerID: 23994

Reply By: Clauspeter - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 11:15

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 11:15
Hi jeelan,

we travel with 9 (steel) jerry's on the roof rack in case of isolated area only.

We prepared our roof rack in a way that they can not move and they sit in the centre of the car.
In difficult driving situation we put them of the rack (Storing them in the back - not nice). We only fill each 20 liter can with 17.5 - 18 liter. We open it a 30 meters away from the car with a fire extinguisher aside. We are very careful in refilling the car once the filling snorkel is fitted (Again is the fire extinguisher directly aside, as single drops can catch fire due to heated parts).

The lack of money forces us to be happy with this solution, for sure the cans are only filled if realy needed. We never experienced any problem in handling it this way.

cheers Cepe
AnswerID: 24028

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 16:59

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 16:59
Clauspeter, what vehicle and rack do you have? I've never heard of one that can carry over 250 kgs.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
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FollowupID: 16171

Follow Up By: Clauspeter - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 13:12

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 13:12
Hi,
we have a Toyota Landcruiser, 1979 2f petrol ex Ambulance vehicle. The rack is a steel weldeded constratuction, with direct link to the frame. The cans are in a kind of a frame, though they can not move. Weight for the rack is never the problem, just the weight is carried in a height of 2.35m

cheers Cepe
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FollowupID: 16216

Reply By: joc45 - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 12:06

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 12:06
Can plastic jerries be safely stored on their side? (assuming there is padding fitted to stop chaffing against the roof rack mesh) Or must one always keep them upright?
I'm thinking of wind resistance on the roof rack.
Someone told me the bottoms of the plastic jerries are thicker than the sides.
Gerry
AnswerID: 24030

Reply By: jeelan - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 14:01

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 14:01
thanx for everyone's responses....

due to lack of external carry points i dont really have any other choice besides carrying the cans on the roof.

i was going to lay them on the side (to reduce wind-resistance) and wrap them up in some 12mm closed cell foam that i bought from K-mart (the basic camping mats made from foam) which should stop them from heating up too much. To reduce friction with the mesh on the roof rack i'll just tie them with a ratchet tie. I also got a rack sack so they'll sit INSIDE it anyhow. Aside from that i'll just have to take things as they come.

This is my first major trip so dont really know if i want to get side brackets installed etc. We'll see how it goes for future trips, it's definately something i'd be interested in looking into if this works out.

thanx again for everyone's input
AnswerID: 24035

Follow Up By: Member - Howard- Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 20:27

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 20:27
jeelan,

I have also used old camping mats to separate steel jerry cans.
Have found it very good. I dont like it as much for under the jerry cans especially on mesh . I find the mesh cuts thru the foam.I use an old piece of carpet underneath and lay cans on their back. I carry 5 jerries, 2 x spares and large breakdown box on extended trips - up to 250 kg on homebuilt (read strong) steel roofrack and make sure i empty cans as fuel is taken from tank.
Not as much a weight issue( tinny and motor weigh as much as 5 jerrycans) but a saftey issue with volatile liquids in case of accident.

enjoy your trip just dont hook into corners if the load is on the roof.
howard
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FollowupID: 16181

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