What we did:
- Designed the auxiliary fuel tank
- Constructed a cardboard prototype to fit in place
- Calculated the volume and made a few adjustments.
- Nick at Suicide Lane Cycles in SLC, Utah hand cut and welded it together from 1/8″ 6061 aluminum sheets (On a side note: originally we had a plasma cutter lined up, but last minute it fell through. Nick built a jig and hand cut each piece with a carbide blade on a common circular saw. The pieces came out flawless and perfectly square!)
- Hand machined the ports and connectors out of aluminum blocks
- Fabricated a steel mounting bracket to support and install it under the van
- Pending: Need to connect to main fuel tank by dropping the tank, adding a bung, adding a ball valve and fuel lines. We need to also cut and install the filler port in the van wall.
Why we did it:
We want to be able to carry extra fuel on our journey for areas that may not have reliable access to fuel. We designed the tank to have between 20-25 gallon capacity because of the cost to benefit ratio of building it and for the additional distance we can travel. After all the design tweaks and changes, the capacity if 22.5 gallons (~85L). With the stock tank and the new auxiliary tank, we have a total fuel capacity of 42.5 gallons (~160L).
One question we have been asked a few times is “why not use jerry cans?” We want to utilize the space outside and inside the van as efficiently as we can. After looking at costs between the two options, the jerry cans with an equivalent capacity and mounting rack was not far from the cost of having this tank custom built. The location of the new tank also frees up space on the back for storage of other items.