View Full Version : Basic Preparations #5 - Fuel Storage

06-20-2012, 11:48 AM
One of the first things that you'll need in an emergency, and one of the first things to disappear, is fuel. You'll need it to evacuate an area, and to run generators, etc. Let's share some ideas on fuel storage.

I have the disadvantage of having to move about every three years, so I am unable to put a large, permanent option into place. Currently, I have 50 gallons of premium gas stored in 5 gallon Scribner utility jugs. I always carry 10 gallons (2 jugs) in the cargo area of my HUMMER, and the other 8 jugs in my garage. The company states that these jugs are not to be used as a portable fuel container, but I've had them for years with absolutely no problems. I prefer them because they are very thick, completely seal all leaks and vapors, and are a convenient shape for hauling and storing. There is absolutely no gas smell in my HUMMER. I use bungie cords to secure them into place so there is no movement. I purchased a tube that screws into the top to dispense my gas.

Link: http://scribnerplastics.com/utiljug.htm

I rotate all of my gas annually and treat it with STA-BIL when I put new gas into the jugs.

Link: http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/products.aspx

These pics are very old, but the jugs haven't changed.



So, what do you recommend?

06-20-2012, 12:20 PM
Many boaters use large fuel containers on wheels (typically kept on their boat docks). Some even have a fill nozel. I use Sea Foam in all my engines, from vehicles to lawnmowers to yard tools - even the boat and generator. Just added a product by Mercury that removes ethanol from gasoline, to my boat fuel arsenal. A small bottle (about $10) treats 120 gallons. The safest place I've found for my fuel storage is in my vehicles. Try to never go below a half tank. Next up is a few 5 gallon containers - kept in the garage. One of those is always filled with Premium. All are treated with Sea Foam.

06-20-2012, 12:40 PM
Nice jugs! Unfortunately such are near impossible to get for fuel use here as all the fuel-rated stuff has the leaky eco-nozzle on it.

Currently, I have a total of 6 fuel cans, 4 diesel, 2 gasoline (soon to be 5:1). All stabilized and lined up on the floor of my garage (closer to ground and in contact with the concrete slightly reduces temperature swings which limits flexing). When I go on trips at least one can goes with me and I ratchet-strap them in the bed of my truck.

Also, a secondary fuel tank with transfer pump is in the works, which will have the truck's innate capacity at 45 gallons until I can get the 35 gallon main tank in place (which would total 55, compared to the current 25). Given it's not a daily driver, I'm not worried about mileage losses but that'll give me quite the range to get out if I need to, or a lot of time for doing local recovery work.

06-20-2012, 01:52 PM
That's a great point. :thumbs:

I fill my tank every Friday on the way home from work, whether it needs it or not. I know that historically most bad news is released by the government on weekends so the impact is lessened in the media, so I use that as my motivation. I also use that stop to buy my weekly $2 in Mega Millions tickets, just in case. I would love to have a fleet of HUMMERs someday and that is probably the only way that could happen...

06-20-2012, 02:08 PM
For the truck, almost always try to keep it at a half a tank or more.

At home we have atleast 55 gallons in those plastic red containers with those stupid spouts that leak all over. Then we have 12 jerry cans all full with gas. Each one is also treated with sta-bil. They are periodically rotated through our various lawn equipment as well.

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06-20-2012, 04:19 PM
Between tractors, Hummers, etc I usually have well over 100 gallons of diesel and 25-30 gallons of gas on hand, not including what I may have in my Sceptors/fuel cans. ( another 50 gallons in capacity but not usually all full )

06-21-2012, 12:27 AM
Just to be cautious and add some info from another opinion;
just my findings in the search for something safe.

I recently replaced an aluminum fuel tank full of pin holes caused by sitting on damp wood, in a boat.
I looked for an alternative material and decided on a form of polyethylene designed for fuel storage. HDPE is the designation.
I have found descriptions of LLDPE being of limited to unsatisfactory for the storage of gasoline.
One of the LLDPE storage limitations is also that it should be stored in cool, dark, well ventilated areas.

HDPE though is what automotive tanks are made of now.

I avoid storing fuel inside a vehicle, especially in the heat because they need to vented. A crushing collision could crush them and bath you in a flammable liquid. Hauling gasoline outside the vehicle is still dangerous but would hopefully allow it to vent and not enter the passenger area in a wreck. It could still of course wet the outside and combust. Either way know the dangers and be aware.
In cases like this it is something to think about!
I don't think fuel cans mounted low on the rear is good way to absorb impacts from other vehicles either.
I do sometimes carry 5 gallons but use the old military style cans still available thru ACE Hardware. I try to keep mine stored in the dry in a vented storage area and keep a good coat of paint on them.
They unfortunately do not supply it with the old style metal flex filler but rather the awkward new plastic junk. I found that a funnel works best right out of the can or better yet I now carry it up high on the vehicle gas tank filler side after this picture was taken when I found out I can't as easily handle the tank full of fuel like I used to. Now I can gravity feed it into the tank. No heavy lifting doing that but I do have to heft it up there as it is recommended to ground a tank when filling it, but I try to get help.
There are some compact style jugs available and are the legal red color and proper material if that is your choice.
The are different requirements for aux tanks for fuel oil and diesel than for gasoline.
In the truck, truck I have an L shaped 100 gallon tank with a transfer pump and a tool box on top. One of the reason I am still researching a diesel generator.

Then of course if you are going on expedition, lol
http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac336/DHunter_bucket/0606or_35_z2006_hummer_h3_race_truckreinstall_dash board.jpg

06-21-2012, 10:25 PM
I managed to score some of the MFC (Military Fuel Cans) from Scepter before they were outlawed by stupid CARB laws. I converted them over to gasoline using the viton gaskets. I try to store enough fuel to get at least 500 miles away or to offset a potential fuel crisis. I use Stabil and rotate my gas about every 9-12 months.

06-22-2012, 01:07 AM
My Scribner utility jugs were originally for fuel storage and transport. That is how they were marketed a few years ago when I bought them. Now they aren't; I assume some law changed or a lawyer made some money somewhere. Either way, they still work great for me.

06-22-2012, 11:07 AM
My Sceptors are great.

06-22-2012, 01:32 PM
Storing gasoline for long periods of time is very problematic. Even with stabilizers it is only good for about one year. After that the loss of volatility will cause engine starting problems, in which case engine starting ether could be the ultimate barter item. Storing fuel in the garage is also a fire hazard.

On the other hand most internal combustion engines can be converted to run on propane and propane has a virtually unlimited storage life. Propane is also available during power outages because it doesn’t require power to pump. With the right hoses and fittings you can refill small propane tanks from larger ones (although it might not be legal in some states). I have a 500 gallon propane tank sitting in my yard which runs the furnace for close to a year, allowing me to refill every summer when the prices reach their annual low point. It holds 400 gallons (with an 80% fill), so as long as I keep it over half full I have a 200 gallon reserve. I've thought about getting a second 500 gallon tank or upgrading to a 1,000 gallon tank and installing a propane fueled backup generator. I've also thought about adapting the H3T to run on either gasoline or propane and adding a connection to portable propane tanks in the bed of the truck or installing a custom tank where the spare tire used to be. When gasoline gets hard to find, I could switch to propane until that runs out.

Another option is diesel. With a fuel filtering system that continually or periodically cycles the fuel through special filters (boaters commonly use these systems, they call it fuel polishing) diesel fuel can be stored for 10 to 20 years. Diesel generators provide much longer service life than gasoline and they can use off highway fuel without fuel tax added which is significantly cheaper. With an oversized diesel storage tank, I could have backup power for weeks or months. When diesel becomes difficult to get you could switch to bio-diesel if that is available.

My ultimate bug out plan centers around the long range power boat that I plan to get in the future. Ideally my boat will have a 2,400 NMi range at 8 to 10 knots, so I'll have the range to cross the Pacific (assuming refueling in Hawaii). By slowing down to 5 knots, I could stretch my range to over 4,000 NMi which could get me to South America or the central Pacific where you can get bio-diesel from Palm oil. During times of high risk or uncertainty, I'd cast off and anchor out at one of the So Cal Islands where I could monitor the radio and satellite TV for news. If things turn really bad, I'd head several hundred miles out to sea and set course for a safer destination, like Palmyra Atoll.

06-22-2012, 01:48 PM
Now I can gravity feed it into the tank. No heavy lifting doing that but I do have to heft it up there as it is recommended to ground a tank when filling it, but I try to get help.


I would leave the gas cans on the rack and run a ground stray to the ground. I'd use your jumper cables (I'm sure you carry a set) and a length of copper pipe. Put the copper pipe behind the rear tire and roll back on it to secure it to the ground. Clip one end of the jumper cables onto the pipe and the other end to the gas can handle. If that isn't grounded then nothing is.