Words & Images Martin Pretorius
Jerry cans deserve some respect, for they’ve been a saviour to many an off-road adventurer over the decades. They became one of the first must-have accessories for overland travel, and enabled explorers to venture ever further off the beaten track. But they’re also a bit of a palaver to use out in the bush.
They can leak, rub up against each other, and even when paired with a funnel, the chances are that some of the precious liquid will be spilled. They are damn heavy to heft up and down, and topping up the tank with an exposed stream of fuel increases the risk of both fuel contamination and fire. To add insult to injury, they require at least an external holder (adding weight) or, more likely, a large amount of real estate atop a roof rack.
This is where an auxiliary fuel tank (also called a long-range tank) comes into play: think of it as a built-in Jerry can, but an extra-large one without the fuel spillage and no added effort to use or re-fill, and no possibility of contamination.
Being able to avoid refuelling at service stations with questionable fuel quality is an added bonus, and its secure hiding place under the vehicle keeps both the container and its contents out of reach of long fingered individuals.
In the case of Front Runner’s long-range for the Toyota Hilux, the extra tank adds 70 litres of freedom to the standard vehicle’s 80-litre fuel tank, almost doubling the distance it can travel between fill-ups.