Fuel jerry cans are a must-have accessory for every outdoor enthusiast. They’re particularly useful for road-trippers and off-grid campers.
A jerry can may come in handy when your SUV runs out of fuel in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest gas station located miles away. The container can also help you stock up enough fuel to run certain equipment when camping or working in areas cut off from the electricity grid.
But as with any outdoor accessory, in-depth research is paramount while shopping for fuel jerry cans. Here’s a definitive guide to picking the best jerry can for you.
1. Find a Supplier
The first step in purchasing an outdoor jerry can is to find the right supplier.
A quick online search for relevant terms like “the best fuel jerry can store near me” will reveal plenty of jerry can suppliers based in or shipping to your location. But how do you choose the best supplier from a sea of recommendations?
For starters, insist on jerry can sellers with an extensive history and background. The conventional wisdom is to choose retailers with at least 5 years of experience.
The next step is to sample the company’s products either on their e-commerce store or by physically touring their brick-and-mortar outlets. This will help you determine if they stock the specific jerry cans you’re interested in.
For instance, Front Runners Outfitters have earned a reputation for their high-quality fuel jerry cans. The company provides jerry cans of different shapes and sizes at industry-competitive prices. They also stock a wide range of jerry can accessories, including can holders, lid seals, and can spouts.
2. Factor In the Fuel Type
After finding a suitable jerry can supplier, the next step is to buy a jerry can based on the type of fuel you intend to store in it. The key consideration here is the color.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), gasoline cans should be red while diesel containers should be yellow. The color designations resonate with the flammability of the two fuels.
Gasoline is highly flammable, while diesel is far less flammable. OSHA defines flammable liquids as those with a flash point below 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).
Jerry cans also come in other colors besides red and yellow. They include blue cans for storing jet fuel, army green cans for storing non-drinkable fresh lake or stream water, and white containers for storing drinking water.
3. Pick the Right Can Size
Many seasoned road-trippers already appreciate the significance of picking the right fuel jerry can size.
Larger jerry cans help you stock up more fuel. However, very large containers may use up a sizable space in your SUV.
Smaller jerry cans are more convenient to carry as you can easily stash them in the trunk. However, small fuel containers will only serve you for a few hours before needing to hit the gas station.
It’s also important to bear certain regulatory requirements in mind while shopping for the right fuel jerry can size.
In many countries, the fuel legal guidelines require travelers to carry jerry cans with a capacity of ten liters if they’re metallic or five liters if they’re plastic. Jerry cans intended for home storage can be up to 30 liters large.
4. Don’t Forget the Shape/Construction
Shape and size usually go hand in hand. The same applies when shopping for jerry cans for your next outdoor endeavor.
Most fuel jerry cans are rectangular, with the top corner containing the can opening flat.
Portability is the primary advantage of rectangular jerry cans. These cans use up significantly less space compared to containers of other geometric shapes, such as squares.
Rectangular jerry cans are also easier to handle. The containers allow you to refuel your car, generator, or other equipment with minimal spillage.
Other elements of jerry can construction besides shape include the handle, lid, and spout. Insist on cans with a handle at the top and on its back for easy carrying. The lid should tightly seal the can, while the spout should be compatible with most gas fuel nozzles.
5. Choose Between Metal and Plastic Jerry Cans
Plastic and metal are the most common jerry can materials. Each comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
Durability and ultra-violet (UV) protection are the biggest benefits of metal jerry cans. These containers can also preserve fuel quality for longer since they’re largely unaffected by extreme temperatures. However, metallic cans can be quite heavy. They’re also more expensive due to their extended durability.
Plastic jerry cans are cheaper and lighter. They’re also fairly durable due to their corrosion resistance. However, plastic can break down and leach harmful chemicals into your fuel upon exposure to high temperatures.
If you prefer plastic jerry cans, insist on those made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The material is food-grade, lightweight, and robust enough to last several years.
Choosing the right jerry can isn’t enough. It’s also essential to use the can with the specific fuel it’s designed for.
Experts strongly discourage using gas fuels for storing diesel, and vice versa. That’s because you could inadvertently end up refueling your car with the wrong fuel. Remember that diesel is generally thicker than gasoline.
Adding diesel to a gas-powered car may clog up the fuel filter, rendering the engine dysfunctional. On the other hand, adding gas to a diesel engine may cause detonation, severely damaging the engine’s pistons and rods.