LONG RANGE TANKS…Worth the wait?

Despite earlier reservations, Elvin Pal ditched the jerries for a long range tank. Here’s why…

For me, setting up a vehicle for towing and touring purposes is a constant balance between increasing the vehicle’s capability and keeping within its weight limits.
So when I got my new ute, I made an effort to reduce weight by going against installing a long range fuel tank. I made this decision while we were full time travelling with a caravan in tow and hitting some very remote places, such as Dirk Hartog Island. A place we found ourselves paying three times more per litre of fuel! As you can tell, it didn’t take long for me to really wish I had a long range fuel tank.

What I wanted
My first preference was an ARB frontier tank. Unlike the other tanks on the market, this tank is made of plastic, making it lighter than a traditional steel tank. A tank for our MR Triton would only be 28kgs with a capacity of 120 litres. Unfortunately, we were deep into COVID’s effects on the supply chain and it was proving too difficult to obtain, so I gave up and just stuck to using jerry cans.

What I got
It was only after planning our next trip, across the Simpson Desert that I finally installed one. This trip would need a lot of extra fuel, so I enquired again about plastic long range tanks, still impossible to obtain, I looked into other brands from different suppliers. I settled for a Brown Davis long range tank. Yes, the dry weight was considerably higher at 47kgs, but it also had a greater capacity with 138 litres.

It’s a process
There are a few downsides to having a long range fuel tank. The dry weight is more than the factory tank. The extra cost of purchasing, installing and certifying. In Queensland you will need an engineered modification plate. However, I believe that these cons are easily outweighed by the benefits. Benefits like no longer having to rely on jerry cans to carry the extra fuel.

Jerry can woes
Jerry cans can be tricky to store. On the roof, they can make the vehicle top heavy and affect handling. In my case, I stored them behind the canopy, on the tray, where they are sitting well behind the rear axle.
Most of the time we only need to carry extra fuel when we are headed to far away remote places. Places that don’t have sealed roads, where bull dust, dirt and mud accumulate and if not careful, can contaminate fuel supply when topping up. Jerry cans are also laborious, making it tricky to transfer in and out of vehicles when full and heavy. They can leak, and become hazardous with odour and chemical exposure risks especially if stored inside the vehicle.

Why wait
All these risks are eliminated by opting for a long range tank. The extra weight of the extra fuel is down low and improves centre of gravity. The extra fuel capacity will in most cases make jerry cans redundant.
Also, when not on our travels, the long range tank is coming in handy to get me through the fuel price cycle until prices are more reasonable.
So after using the long range tank, I regret not getting it done a lot sooner!