Provision your next 4×4 adventure | A Quick 101 Guide On Long Range Fuel Tanks


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A Quick 101 Guide On Long Range Fuel Tanks

Ahhh yes, the trivial decision of wondering if you really need a long range fuel tank. There comes a time when every 4×4 enthusiast is faced with the question — do I really need a long range fuel tank?

Well, it all depends on what you do with your fourbie right? If you’re someone who travels to remote places you’ll definitely want to consider getting one. That said, if you want the freedom to take multiple trips in a day or shred up the tracks without second guessing your fuel, it provides peace of mind.

To be honest, we could sit here debating all day whether you need or not. But who has time for that? Rather, let’s dive into 4WD long range fuel tanks 101. First off….

What is a long range fuel tank?

As the name suggests, a long range fuel tank increases the fuel capacity of your vehicle either as a replacement tank or as an auxiliary tank. Typically, factory tanks do not provide sufficient capacity for extended trips. The biggest advantage of having a larger fuel tank is the fact that you can go further without having to refill. Another benefit is being able to store extra fuel safely under your 4WD, this means you don’t have to carry a couple of jerry cans. 

A long range fuel tank is suited for:

  • Touring Australia
  • Traveling long distances
  • Multiple treks

What is an auxiliary fuel tank and how does it work?

An auxiliary fuel tank works in sync with your main fuel tank by pumping additional fuel into the main tank at the flip of a switch. It’s completely trackable, with LED lighting that shows the levels of your fuel at all times. Once the auxiliary tank is depleted, you will be notified by an automatic alarm to switch off the pump. 

An auxiliary fuel tank is suited for:

  • Touring around Australia
  • Traveling remotely
  • Multiple treks

Compare long range fuel tank to auxiliary fuel tank

A replacement long range fuel tank replaces the stock tank and immediately increases — often doubling — your vehicle’s fuel carrying capacity. This allows you to travel long distances without having to refill as often.

How does it compare to an auxiliary fuel tank?

Replacement tanks pros & cons

Pros of a replacement tank

  • Fuel up on your terms. With a larger fuel tank, you have the luxury of being picky with where you choose to fuel up and not forced.
  • Save money. Shop around for the best fuel price.
  • Travel further. With extra fuel in the tank, you can travel further without having to fuel up as often.
  • Less modifications required. Using the standard fuel gauge, pump assembly and fill point means a simpler installation.
  • Can the Cans. Never worry about filling up and lugging around a jerry can again.

Cons of a replacement fuel tank

  • May affect ground clearance. If your vehicle is too low you run the risk of damaging the replacement fuel tank. 
  • Can be expensive. 

An auxiliary fuel tank acts like a spare tank of fuel, but far safer and more convenient than a jerry can. Connected to the main stock tank, an auxiliary fuel tank automatically pumps fuel, via a transfer method, into the main tank at the flip of a button in the cabin. Fuel levels can be easily monitored using an LED light system, so you’ll always know when to refuel. 

Auxiliary fuel tanks pros & cons

Pros of an auxiliary fuel tank

  • Fuel up on your terms. With a larger fuel tank, you have the luxury of being picky with where you choose to fuel up and not forced.
  • Save money. Thanks to additional fuel in the auxiliary tank, you can shop around for the best fuel price.
  • Travel further. The most obvious, with extra fuel in the tank, you can travel further without having to fuel up as often.

Cons of an auxiliary fuel tank

  • Additional weight. Additional weight means you’ll be burning extra fuel.
  • Additional cost for professional installation. Installation is rather complex, which includes new fillers, gauges and a transfer pump, as well as electrical and plumbing work. It’s best left to the experts. 
  • Additional maintenance. 
  • Can be expensive. Depending on the brand, specifications, material, capacity and installation, auxiliary fuel tanks can cost more than a replacement tank. 

How do you decide between the 2?

In most cases, it will come down to personal preference. However, your decision will be heavily influenced by your vehicles brand, make and model. Overall weight capacity and weight distribution also plays a role in your decision.

Not all fuel tanks are compatible with every vehicle make and model, so it pays to speak to a professional before dropping your last paycheck on a fuel tank setup. 

Does a long range fuel tank affect my ground clearance?

In short, yes it can. If the tank is hanging too long you run the risk of damaging the tank while you’re driving, resulting in fuel loss. To make sure this doesn’t happen, always check the dimensions of the tank and it’s vehicle compatibility so you can calculate your desired ground clearance. As most brands of fuel tanks are very specific with the type of vehicles they can be fitted on. There are a variety of 4×4 accessory brands, including Long Ranger, which provide hi-clearance designs for adventurous off-roaders who need greater range and more ground clearance.

What’s the best material for a long range fuel tank? Steel Vs Polymer

These days, most long range fuel tanks from reputable manufacturers, like the ones from Outback Accessories, are constructed from 2mm aluminium coated cold rolled steel to ensure maximum strength and durability.

Essentially, they are designed and built to last. It’s highly resistant to impact damage, making additional tank guards unnecessary and has anti-corrosion properties. 

On the other hand, you know see polymer plastic long range fuel tanks coming from the likes of ARB’s Frontier tank, which is impact, UV, chemical and fire-resistant. 


Can’t decide on a long range fuel tank? 

There’s a lot more to long range fuel tanks than simply increasing your fuel capacity.

Different types of tanks will have varying installation methods, are made from different types of materials, and can affect your ground clearance and your overall weight capacity.

You then., of course, have to consider if the tank you have chosen is even compatible with your vehicle make and model. 

When in doubt, you can always contact the experts here at Total 4×4 for a long range fuel tank solution that’s suited to your vehicle and lifestyle.

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