How to Carry Extra Fuel on Your ATV
Sometimes you need more fuel for a ride than the gas tank will hold, but you're probably wondering how you can safely bring more fuel with you. This post will tell you how to carry extra fuel on your ATV.
How Much Extra Fuel You Need
You'll need to determine how much extra fuel you need. Do you want it for emergencies or to extend your riding time?
4 to 10 gallons is what most people need, but there's a big difference there. If you only need 4 or 5, 10 would be overkill. If you need 8 to 10, then 4 or 5 will leave you seriously unprepared.
If you don't already know your ATV's gas mileage, you can feel it out over a few rides. Determine how much riding you can get out of your gas tank and then calculate how much riding you want to do beyond that, or in the event of an emergency.
What to Carry Extra Fuel In
While you could technically strap a 5-gallon gas jug to your ATV, it isn't safe. There are three ways to safely carry extra fuel on your ATV.
Fuel bottles are made of plastic or metal, and they are intended to be tough and unlikely to be damaged or punctured. They should also have leak-proof caps and overall design. You definitely want the gas to stay locked up tight. Research any fuel bottles you buy to ensure they are as tough and leakproof as they claim.
You will then put the fuel bottle in your ATV storage or aftermarket storage bag or box and pack it so you can make sure it doesn't roll or jostle around. There are fuel bottle holsters you can add to your ATV to securely hold your fuel bottles. You might prefer those.
Gas packs are tough containers intended to be mounted on your machine. This can be done with ratchet straps or fuel pack brackets. With fuel pack brackets, you can position the pack on the bracket and give it a simple twist to secure the pack. Using the gas pack and bracket method will be the most convenient option to carry fuel and other gear at the same time.
Higher capacity gas tank
Factory gas tanks on ATVs usually only hold a few gallons. You can replace your gas tank for one with a higher capacity, but it is a complex job and unless you're very skilled with ATV repair, it'd be wiser to take it to a shop for this upgrade.
Any gas tank you'll replace yours with will have to be able to fit the space inside the machine. You also need to take weight and balance into consideration. The ATV was designed with the weight of the factory gas tank in mind.
If you were to try to replace the gas tank yourself, you'd need to empty the gas tank and make sure the machine is off and the key is removed.
You would disconnect the fuel lines to the tank, and potentially remove the seat and several other parts to get to the gas tank itself. You'd remove all the bolts and the gas tank itself. Then install the new gas tank and hook everything back up.
Do Not Improvise
Creativity and ingenuity are great, but carrying extra fuel on your ATV is not a place to use either. You do it the recommended way or it could get ugly.
Use only containers built to carry fuel. Other containers can easily leak or be too readily damaged.
Don't carry gas on your person. No matter how hard you avoid leaks and damage, they can still happen, particularly in the event of an accident. Should the container become compromised, you want gas as far from your body as possible.
Avoid Storing the Fuel for Lengths of Time
Unused gas breaks down and loses its effectiveness, even in the right containers. You could keep gas in an appropriate bottle or pack for short periods, but if it will be sitting for a month or more, at least add some fuel stabilizer to it to extend its life. Stabilizer manufacturers say it will keep gas viable for a year.
When you carry extra fuel on your ATV, you'll need to add checking the fuel bottle or gas pack to your maintenance list before and after every ride. Is it leaking or damaged? Is it just getting old?
How to Fill and Use Gas Containers
Take them to the gas pump and set them on the ground.
Like when pumping gas into your car, avoid sparks. Turn off your vehicle and touch something metal before pumping the gas.
Don't smoke while filling a fuel container.
Don't put the gas container inside your vehicle. Fumes from it can buildup inside the vehicle, asphyxiating the occupants and creating a combustible environment.
Don't siphon the gas with your mouth. There are products that will siphon the gas from the container for you, and they're inexpensive and really easy to use.