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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:54 pm 
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My search skills are failing me today, I can't find this info via google or on here. How does one safely transport *full* gas cans with a car, in particular a hatchback?

Every single source I've read has said it's not safe to transport a full gas can in a car trunk because the fumes can build up and cause a fire, particularly on impact. I have a hatchback, so it's even less safe because the trunk isn't separate/sealed and when the seats are down (as they would be while bugging out) having a full gas can inside the vehicle is pretty much the same as storing it in the front seat with you. The vapors would not only contaminate the food and water also stored in small vehicle, but would be breathed in and build up in the cabin. My bf is a smoker, which makes the idea even more hazardous.

I know some people say ignore the warnings and just keep it in the trunk. While that may be ok for a 15min drive from the gas station to home, it seems like a Darwin Award waiting to happen when done for several hours or days during a bugout.

I've thought about a trunk rack, like for bikes. But that seems dangerous should I be rear-ended (boom!). It also puts the cans in easy reach for theft. I've thought about putting them in some kind of roof rack, maybe laying them on their side or sticking them upright in a crate. But I don't know how to secure them during travel so they're not banging around up there, or how to conceal them against theft. I can't put them in a clamshell because then we're back to a small enclosed space where vapors build up.

Any suggestions? I figured some of you must have dealt with this before. A way to keep them both secure during transit and concealed or locked when parked to prevent theft would be great. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:57 pm 
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Hm, when I do it, I just have the windows open and enforce "no smoking, dumbass" rules.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:11 pm 
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Before I had the truck, I would just put it in the trunck. I would bungie it so the tank wouldn't slide around, then I would bungie the trunck down, which always left plenty of ventilation.
If you are going to get some gas, don't let the whole "gas can in a car" thing scare you. I've hauled gas around for years and never had a problem.
Good luck.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:23 pm 
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I wrote a whole lot on this but the forum must have eaten my post so here goes again.

I have never been a fan of those plastic gas "containers" which you are probably going to use. I prefer the good ole' Jerry cans with an Air Tight seal. Those plastic ones usually have a "screw on" cap that leaks fumes and can come undone. Garbage.

As far as transporting goes I've had no issues what-so-ever. The metal Jerry can I restored is air tight and I have never smelled the slightest hint of a gas fume in my Jeep while driving around with it in the back before (And I'm worse off, I keep it wedged in the small space behind my back seat not in a trunk). I would refrain from keeping one in your vehicle permenantly especially in AZ. because of the hot weather but I take mine whenever I go on long trips or to the beach and etc...

My father knew a guy in highschool who had a gas can holder on the back of his Jeep. I say did, because he was rearended and yes, the can burst open and caught flame killing the man while he was trapped in his vehicle. In a Bug Out or PAW however you're basically living life by the moment anyway... so that would be low on my list of possible ways to die.

My $0.02
-Use metal Jerry cans. (Or the like)
-Only transport when needed. (Bug Out, PAW, Trip, Etc)
-Don't let them hang from the back of your car.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:24 pm 
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Trioxin wrote:
Before I had the truck, I would just put it in the trunck. I would bungie it so the tank wouldn't slide around, then I would bungie the trunck down, which always left plenty of ventilation.
If you are going to get some gas, don't let the whole "gas can in a car" thing scare you. I've hauled gas around for years and never had a problem.
Good luck.


The problem with carrying gas is not that it will spill in normal traffic but rather in the event of a collision the fuel jugs will break open, spill and ignite. That would not be good.

I prefer not to carry jugs of gasoline anyplace but on a utility trailer or on my roof rack. What I try to do is empty the jugs as fuel is consumed into the vehicle tank. I would rather carry the spare fuel there by always having a full gas tank. DO not wait till the tank gets to 1/2 or 1/4 tank to refuel. Refuel as you go to minimize the risk of theft or spillage.

If you want to carry a lot of fuel get a roof top carrier or bag and put the gas jugs in that container. These can be padlocked and people cannot see what is in them.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:28 pm 
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thanks andygates...

andygates wrote:
Hm, when I do it, I just have the windows open and enforce "no smoking, dumbass" rules.
for a short term solution, that could work in a pinch. However, I don't see that being realistic during an actual bugout. If traffic is jammed or moving slowly I don't consider it safe to have the windows down since that makes you an easy target for walk-up theft or carjacking. Plus, keeping the windows down at all times for days isn't really an option -- it may be raining, it may be very cold, the wind may be blowing all the car contents around. Plus eventually we'll have to sleep. Taking the cans out of the car just leaves them available for theft. Leaving the cans enclosed in the car overnight then exposes everything in the car to the fumes, while also allowing them to build up over the course of many hours... which we then have to breathe in.


thanks Trioxin...

Trioxin wrote:
Before I had the truck, I would just put it in the trunck. I would bungie it so the tank wouldn't slide around, then I would bungie the trunck down, which always left plenty of ventilation.
If you are going to get some gas, don't let the whole "gas can in a car" thing scare you. I've hauled gas around for years and never had a problem.
Good luck.
I don't think that will work for me though. :) First, during a bugout or any camping I have to put the seats down for gear room, so there is no trunk. As I mentioned, it's just one big open space. Second, even with the seats up my "trunk" isn't really a trunk since I have a hatchback. It's not a separate, metal compartment like a regular car. This means putting it in my "trunk" is not much different than putting it in the back seat with a sheet over it. Bungie-ing the rear closed for air is problematic with a hatchback because you're talking about having the entire back of your vehicle open, not a separate enclosed trunk. Third, my water is also stored in my car/trunk, not very far from where gas would be stored. It's a pretty big no-no to store your gas near your water since the fumes from the gas can be absorbed through the plastic containers, contaminating the water. Plus, as raptor and I mentioned above, if you're hit in a collision the gas can cause a fire upon impact.

Keeping them in the open vehicle/cabin area for a short (less than 3 hours) may not be the worst thing during an emergency, if there's no other choice. But looking at our possible bugout route we could be driving for days with the gas cans. In which case having them inside the vehicle really just doesn't seem smart in any way.

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Last edited by Y.T. on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:36 pm 
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thanks raptor...

raptor wrote:
I prefer not to carry jugs of gasoline anyplace but on a utility trailer or on my roof rack. What I try to do is empty the jugs as fuel is consumed into the vehicle tank. I would rather carry the spare fuel there by always having a full gas tank. DO not wait till the tank gets to 1/2 or 1/4 tank to refuel. Refuel as you go to minimize the risk of theft or spillage.
it looks like one of the safest and quickest routes out of town also provides the least amount of resources along the way. Gas stations and stores are few and far between (this is actually true during a few stretches of more populated routes as well). So we're thinking it may make sense to fill the tank and bring along another tank's worth of gas in cans in case we don't encounter another gas station in time. The idea of refilling the tank from the gas cans along the way makes sense.

raptor wrote:
If you want to carry a lot of fuel get a roof top carrier or bag and put the gas jugs in that container. These can be padlocked and people cannot see what is in them.
by roof top carrier, do you mean an enclosed one, like a clamshell? or are you referencing something different? My concern about putting them in an enclosed roof carrier is there's no ventilation. And it seems every single source states that ventilation is important, even if stored in a shed. I'm also concerned that anything else stored in that enclosed carrier would then be absorbing the gas fumes.

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Last edited by Y.T. on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:49 pm 
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thanks MosinMe...

MosinMe wrote:
I wrote a whole lot on this but the forum must have eaten my post so here goes again.

I have never been a fan of those plastic gas "containers" which you are probably going to use. I prefer the good ole' Jerry cans with an Air Tight seal. Those plastic ones usually have a "screw on" cap that leaks fumes and can come undone. Garbage.
Thanks for taking the time to rewrite that after the server ate your post. :) I have two 5-gallon plastic gas containers with locking screw tops and built-in nozzles. They're marked "self venting" (which apparently means it works by a tube running through the spout which lets air run through along with the gas). I don't see any additional holes so they seem to be the "Improved Gas Cans" mentioned by the EPA, though I can't confirm this. I think this is it: Blitz 5-gallon can. I'm happy to replace these with something better if needed.

MosinMe wrote:
My father knew a guy in highschool who had a gas can holder on the back of his Jeep. I say did, because he was rearended and yes, the can burst open and caught flame killing the man while he was trapped in his vehicle. In a Bug Out or PAW however you're basically living life by the moment anyway... so that would be low on my list of possible ways to die.
What a shame about the accident. And re: Paw, I don't know, I think a rear-end collision is probably more likely during a bugout evacuation -- tons of people stressed out, wigged out and distracted while driving.

MosinMe wrote:
As far as transporting goes I've had no issues what-so-ever. The metal Jerry can I restored is air tight and I have never smelled the slightest hint of a gas fume in my Jeep while driving around with it in the back before (And I'm worse off, I keep it wedged in the small space behind my back seat not in a trunk). I would refrain from keeping one in your vehicle permenantly especially in AZ. because of the hot weather but I take mine whenever I go on long trips or to the beach and etc...


My $0.02
-Use metal Jerry cans. (Or the like)
-Only transport when needed. (Bug Out, PAW, Trip, Etc)
-Don't let them hang from the back of your car.
that's good to know. thanks. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Y.T. wrote:
raptor wrote:
If you want to carry a lot of fuel get a roof top carrier or bag and put the gas jugs in that container. These can be padlocked and people cannot see what is in them.
by roof top carrier, do you mean an enclosed one, like a clamshell? or are you referencing something different? My concern about putting them in an enclosed roof carrier is there's no ventilation. And it seems every single source states that ventilation is important, even if stored in a shed. I'm also concerned that anything else stored in that enclosed carrier would then be absorbing the gas fumes.


I have experience with a hard shell carrier so I would suggest these. If you are worried about ventilation drill a few holes in the front and back and the car's motion will result in airflow and ventilation. However, the jugs I use are sealed up tight.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:53 pm 
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The two places that seem most acceptable to expedition-type offroaders would be a rear rack and
on the roof. Nobody I've seen carries 'em inside anything, just strapping the cans securely to the roof rack (or aft rack). One thing I like about having the cans up high (though your center of gravity will
be up a bit) is the ability to fuel the car without having to wrestle the cans around. Easy to siphon when the cans are up high.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:03 pm 
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I have been pondering this question myself since I heard something along these lines at Survival Podcast dot Com.

The only thing I can think to do (since I have a jeep with a similar problem as YT) is keep my gas tank full as can be. He recommended having enough gas to get you 200 miles. Well on a full tank I can go 250 miles. Thats the best idea I can really come up for this. The whole can in a jeep is not a good thing for the reasons stated above. The only alternative that might be easier for others, but not for me, is to have the gas at your house or on the way to the BOL. :?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:23 pm 
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In addition to what I said, Biff just strengthened my point.

I bougth my NATO can used for $15. NATO Can Goodness

I sanded, primed, repainted it and now it's as good as new.

No leaks, no fumes, no fuss.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:38 pm 
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YT,

A couple of options come to mind...

Maybe put the plastic gas cans inside a nice, big, heavy trash bag like this:
Image
from the Home Depot, twist it shut and secure with a nylon zip tie. I suppose you could even double-bag it for a little more margin. This should contain the vapors that vent from the plastic jugs, at least for a while. (Osmosis, like rust, never sleeps. :wink: )

Better solution might be to have a hitch installed on your hatchback and use something like this to carry the Blitz jugs outside of the vehicle. I'd still bag them, though. No need to drive around with a couple of 5 gallon, red, "hey look, I have extra fuel" signs on your BOV.

Regardless, if you're dealing with extra gasoline and - at some point - having to transfer it to your vehicle's fuel tank, I'd consider adding a pack of nicotine gum to your BOB. You really don't want your BF smoking around a container of fuel with a flashpoint of -40F. :shock:

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Biff wrote:
There's another thread that discusses this issue HERE.
thanks! Very helpful. I don't know how I missed that. Maybe because I was searching for "transport gas" or "carry gas" instead of "store gas".

Biff wrote:
I have several steel NATO style fuel cans. I have taken many a 4WD excursion with them inside the vehicle, without suffering from fumes or any other problems. The reason I keep them inside is to keep the vehicle's center of gravity lower. I put the lightweight stuff up on the roof. The NATO cans are designed not to leak, and they don't. No fuel, no vapor.
Great info, thanks. I hadn't realized there was an option for no-vapor cans because everything I'd read prior said the gas-off was necessary to prevent pressure from building up. And it sounds like those are safe to store on their side because they're leak-proof.

I'll keep an eye out for those NATO cans so I can upgrade. I grabbed us some of the standard plastic ones last time I was at the big Walmart so at least we had something around for the present.

MosinMe wrote:
I bougth my NATO can used for $15. NATO Can Goodness
I sanded, primed, repainted it and now it's as good as new.
I doubt I'm going to have the time or energy to go through all that for a gas can, but I'll look for them new or used but usable. Thanks.:)

raptor wrote:
I have experience with a hard shell carrier so I would suggest these. If you are worried about ventilation drill a few holes in the front and back and the car's motion will result in airflow and ventilation. However, the jugs I use are sealed up tight.
great idea, thanks. :) I have a hard shell carrier as well. It straps on with belts and needs a bit of repair on the latch and locking option. I'd like to add a proper roof rack at some point so I can then attach the carrier to that instead (belts can be cut by anyone wanting the goods badly enough).

Until I'm able to get some NATO cans I'll store the plastic cans up on the roof. I may even end up storing the metal ones there anyway since it'll free up room in the car and go that extra safety mile should there be an accident. My vehicle is so low that raising the center of gravity shouldn't make that much a difference.

thanks all for the help.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:53 pm 
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rhi wrote:
Better solution might be to have a hitch installed on your hatchback and use something like this to carry the Blitz jugs outside of the vehicle.
I looked into this before for general storage and the official word from Volkswagon is that my vehicle isn't made for a hitch or trailer so they don't make an option for it, nor will they install it or support it. If I poke around I may be able to find an independent company that makes something and find a shop locally that would install it. In the meantime I'm limited to in-vehicle space or a roof carrier.

rhi wrote:
I'd still bag them, though. No need to drive around with a couple of 5 gallon, red, "hey look, I have extra fuel" signs on your BOV.
Agreed. I'm probably just as concerned about attempted theft and the subsequent confrontation or harassment as I am about gassing us to death or blowing us up. ;)

rhi wrote:
Regardless, if you're dealing with extra gasoline and - at some point - having to transfer it to your vehicle's fuel tank, I'd consider adding a pack of nicotine gum to your BOB. You really don't want your BF smoking around a container of fuel with a flashpoint of -40F. :shock:
Fortunately he's smart enough not to smoke while actually dealing with gasoline. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:03 pm 
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Image These can be put on the front or back.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:05 pm 
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Y.T. wrote:
official word from Volkswagon is that my vehicle isn't made for a hitch or trailer

I drive a diesel Golf, so I know what you mean. You can still do it regardless of what VWOA says. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:12 pm 
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For lightweight stuff like what you will do it's OK to put a hitch on. You just need a bracket welded on to except the hitch.Just don't try to haul trailers.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:34 pm 
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rhi wrote:
I drive a diesel Golf, so I know what you mean. You can still do it regardless of what VWOA says. :)
that's what I thought, too. I Void Warranties! ;) if you've done this, I may hit you up for some tips. oh, and check out bonanacrom's pic below.

bonanacrom wrote:
Image These can be put on the front or back.


ooh! ooh! put it in front! put it in front! I've been joking for months about how I want to put a cow catcher on the front of my little Golf. ;) I could put one of those in front and trick it out to look all badass and scary. Well as Dead-Reckoning-scary as the little tyke can get. ;)


you've all been super helpful. for reals. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Y.T. wrote:
check out bonanacrom's pic

Those baby blue Crocs are awesome ! :D

(Just teasing, bonanacrom :P )

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:25 pm 
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Biff, you're the man! I got a couple of Nato cans from surplus a while back for some biodiesel experiments, but the rubbers were shot. Sorted!

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:44 pm 
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Biff wrote:
Several thoughts:
Biff, you're a rockstar! Thanks for all the info. :)

Biff wrote:
Put the can in the garage or shed for a few days
Unfortunately I don't have either so there's no safe place for me to store gas at home. The little patio area is partially closed and too small to put the gas cans anywhere that's not near water or a possible ignition source. So these would be strictly for on-the-go use.

Biff wrote:
P3. NATO fuel can holders, bolted to the rack. They're lockable.
Image
The Jerry can holder. A padlock keeps the can from being opened or stolen.
Love those lockable, boltable can holders. thanks for the tip. :) After reading some of the accounts of hurricane evacuees and hearing the scary incidents of threats and theft en route, concealment and avoiding theft have become important concerns for me.

Biff wrote:
If, after that, you're still uncomfortable with the idea of storing the fuel in the vehicle, your best option, IMHO, is:
What you've outlined with the roof rack is pretty much what I was thinking would be ideal. Storing on the roof means it's out of easy reach for theft and out of a collision area while driving. Right now I have a plastic clamshell that straps on (looks like a Big Mac container, has seatbelt-like straps that fit around the roof and inside the doors). That'll do for the present because it was free and only needs some minor repairs. But eventually I'd like to get a proper installed rack and basket as you've shown, for reasons I mentioned earlier in reply to raptor.

Biff wrote:
Image
This type of trailer-hitch-mounted cargo basket is generally known as a back porch. ...it is a poor place to store fuel because, as Y.T. already observed, it puts the fuel can at the same height as the bumper of the vehicle rear-ending you.
I wouldn't put fuel there, particularly because Golfs are very low riding vehicles (I scrape those concrete space dividers in parking lots). But there are many times it would be helpful to have some extra space for large gear, or to be able to fit another passenger and gear. If I were using it for bugging I'd want to secure the contents in some way from theft and the elements. Mostly I just think it's hysterical to put it on the front of my car, with like big steer horns and metal skulls and stuff. ;) I doubt it would work on the front of my car, but the idea tickles me.

Biff wrote:
Aside from reducing your departure angle to naught
I feel really dense for asking this, but what does that mean?

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