Gas can fillup

Im trying to fill the few empty gas cans I have before the ‘winter blend’ of gasoline hits the streets. There’s a couple gas stations around town that will, in winter, have blends that are free of the MTBE and other nonsense, but that gas is labelled as snowmobile gas or some such. Personally, I have no problem with buying untaxed gas since it’s mostly for use in my generator or other gas appliances anyway…but, you never know when that 5-gallon can is going to have to go into the truck rather than the snowblower.

Speaking of gas cans, I should probably suck it up and order another package of them from Lexington supply. Fifty bucks a throw isn’t cheap, but when you absolutely need fuel for your generator to get you and your family moved to safety in your truck…well, fifty bucks is gonna seem like a bargain.I hate the plastic gas cans, and the Chinese knock-offs (I’m looking at you, Sportsmans Guide!) are bad news. If youre going to drop a grand on a quality generator, even more money on the critical equipment to be powered by that generator, and the trouble and expense of storing all that…..why would you cheap out on gas cans when the difference is about $25~ per can? Do it right the first time, man.

I skip using the nozzles altogether on these things. For me, they just never seem to work right. I buy a handful of these funnels by Blitz, and para cord one to every other gas can. Works awesome. Dose the can with some PRI-G, fill with gas (in that the gas mixes with the PRI-G), attach a weatherproof tag with the date of fillup, and you’re good to go. The stuff will be good for the next year or two. (I generally try to rotate every year.)

What about the Scepter cans? What about ’em? I don’t trust plastic cans for stuff that can explode. I have faith in the metal ‘euro-style’ cans.

When you show me a plastic can that can handle that sort of action, then I’ll consider it. until then..I’ll pay the money for the peace of mind.

How much gas to store? Depends on what you plan on doing with it. First and foremost, to me, gas=distance. If I think that its, say, 300 miles to a rally point, safe house, friends homestead, or other safe location, then I want 600 miles worth of gas. (Yes, I want that big a margin of error.) Assuming 15 mpg, thats 40 gallons or 8 fuel cans. In a perfect world, I’d get to my safe zone with just four cans used. But the world aint perfect, it’s doubly unperfect in a disaster…which is why I want a huge margin of error for detours, idling in traffic, turnarounds, switchbacks, and out-and-out getting lost)

Same story for the generator…calculate runtime per gallon, figure what your average need will be, and then factor in a whopping margin of safety.

Anyway…today was the day to get the empty cans filled before he changeover to that enviro-friendly crap. If you live someplace where they do a similar switchover, you may want to think about getting your stuff topped off.

12 thoughts on “Gas can fillup

  1. We have several gas stations in the area that carry non-ethenol gas year round. And its popular. The one station down the road started with one (dual sided) pump of non-ethenol. They now have 4.

  2. i’m bugging in, so i ponied up for a 100 gallon fuel tank. the 300 dollar price comes out to 15 bucks per 5 gallons, cheaper than all but the cheapest chinese plastic cans. i put a whole bottle of pri-g in there just to be safe. i insulated the tank with foam sheeting and covered that with plywood.

    • I have thought the cheapest way for a gas tank that wasn’t going anywhere would be to salvage an old car gas tank. Why did you not just use two 55 gal. drums? Or maybe cost isnt’t as much a concern to many.

      • Im fairly certain that not many people can lift an awkward car gas tank with 17 gallons of fuel in it, nor manhandle a 55 gallon drum of gasoline, as easily as they could move three for four 5-gallon jerry cans.

      • the fuel cell is product specific, unlike a 55g drum which also has no vent cap. i keep my farm truck topped off too which is 26 more g’s. hard to insulate as well. hot/cold cycle is bad for gasoline. i can push up dirt to protect it as well. i thought about used fuel tanks from the junk yard but they wanted new prices for them.

    • Certainly, 100 gallons in NATO cans is more expensive than a single 100 gallon tank (20 cans=$1K), but I’ll side with the Commander on this: cans offer flexibility and additional security. One good leak, or contamination incident, and you’ve lost 100 gallons – I’ve lost 5. A buddy needs help, or you’ve stumbled on a terrific barter opportunity – I take him, or the barter site, a can or two, you invite those folks to your house. And, despite one’s best plans and efforts, sometimes you have to bug out, maybe only temporarily. I can pick up 4 cans at a time (the Germans designed the original cans with that in mind) so 100 gallons to the truck is 5 trips. Not to mention my 100 gallons is dispersed in several places so theft or government raid may only get 20 gallons. And I don’t need a pump to make any of it work.

      Pro tip on NATO spouts, BTW – I know Zero doesn’t care for them, but I find the spouts handy (I have funnels as well, but I can easily wire-tie a spout to every fourth can and keep one in the truck toolbox); all of mine have steel 1/2″ ribbed friction-fit tubing nipples ($2 in the plumbing aisle at Lowe’s, they also have plastic and brass nipples – plastic breaks and brass is more expensive than you need, but if you like brass….) and the same aisle has 5/8″ ID / 3/4″ OD clear plastic tubing by the foot. Insert the ribbed nipple into the spout and put 15″ of tubing on the other end. Secure the nipple ends in both tubes with double-looped safety wire (I use .041″ stainless aircraft safety wire because I happen to have lots of different diameters of aircraft wire around, but almost any kind of sturdy wire will work – 3/4″ OD fits into unleaded filler necks, and the wire ensures nothing falls into the tank. I’ve not found any vehicle that I cannot fill with the 15″ extension, but a whole lot I cannot fill with just the spout alone. FYI, get extra nipples, clear tubing and securing wire; cheap, takes up little space, always handy, etc.

      Also FYI, 1/2″ Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT, about $2.50 for 10 feet) fits easily into unleaded filler necks, can easily be bent (more easily if you have a tubing bender) and a 1.5 inch length of 1/2″ schedule 40 PVC will very tightly slide over 1/2″ EMT and not need glue to stay in place. Glue a 1/2″ PVC union over the 1.5 inch piece and the assembly will never fall trhough an unleaded neck into the tank. Bend to fit your needs and glue whatever PVC fitting(s) on the outside end to accept the NATO spout or clear tubing and you can build a custom filler for any vehicle that has an impossible-to-reach filler neck (adapters to take 1/2″ PVC to 4″ PVC can be used to make a custom funnel).

      • A bit of a false choice. A 100 gallon tank full and a couple five gallon containers and you have a large supply and portability, if needed.

  3. I started with Wedco jerry cans back before the “ban”. Purchased 8 red, 8 green, and 4 blue (water). All were around $49.99 each. Years later, Lexington Container is selling them at exactly the same cost, and as near as I can tell, exactly the same quality. My last order for 8 reds about a month ago had some peel off stickers that said “Made in Latvia”, however, a side-by-side comparison to my old Wedco’s showed excellent quality and literally no difference in workmanship. Lexington also carries spare nozzles and gaskets that are very good quality and fit my old cans too.

    I know many people don’t like those loyalty discount cards, however, I have been using them between two different grocery stores for about 3 years. By end of month I usually have anywhere from $.45 to $1.00 discount/ per gallon racked up. I use the jerry cans to top off vehicles at home (it’s good practice and good exercise), then proceed to the nearest filling station that honors the discounts and fill the cans for the full 20 gallons. I’m sure my savings have paid for the cans in full. The bad part is that I seem to always have curious individuals approaching me at the pump wanting to know where I got the cans, what am I using them for, etc. I never let them know of my stockpile, but I’m honest and explain to them how I get the discount on a full 20 gallons rather than on a vehicle that still has gas in the tank. They always walk away with a “why didn’t I think of that” comment or similar.

    Also, I use Stabil in all my cans, regardless of how soon they may be used. I’ve never been let down yet. I had some stabilized gas escape my rotation for over two years and I found that it worked fine in my vehicles, causing no problems at all.

  4. Just an FYI, MTBE is now banned from all gas in the US (and has been for some time), it has been replaced by ethanol (insert rant about ethanol here) primarily over health concerns and groundwater contamination issues. MTBE enriched gas is actually very long lasting, ethanol gas has approximately 100 day lifespan under good conditions without additives. For storage absolutely make the extra effort to find ethanol-free gas, then add your preservative of choice (Pri-G is mine).

  5. Maybe this will help.
    It’s a website that lists places in the US and Canada that sell ethanol-free gasoline.
    The one near me only sells it in 90 octane (of the 3 octanes they offer), but still…

  6. In some states, fuel is tinted/dyed a particular color depending on whether it is off-road (no road tax paid) or for highway use. You might want to check into this, as the fines for putting off-road fuel in a street vehicle can be incredibly expensive. In CA, it may be $25,000 (30 years ago) per violation, IIRC. They normally don’t bother checking cars and pickups, but if you are transporting cans, that might trigger an inspection, since gas cans are a common way to avoid filling up at the no tax pump.
    Years ago, in the pits at a race track, we rode our bikes over to the tank truck to fill them with race fuel. Even though we had our race number plates on our bikes, the fuel guy told my pit mate to return to his pit, and remove the license plate from his bike. He pointed to the CHP car sitting within sight of the filler hose, and told us the cop would be sitting there all day, hoping to catch him putting gas into a street bike, since the fine was so high.

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