If there’s one thing that’s undeniable, it’s that Australia is a huge place. That means there’s so much to explore, and getting off the beaten track in a 4WD is of course one of the most popular Aussie pass times. There’s such a wide variety of things to see – from the alpine mountains of the Victorian High Country, to the remote desert expanse of the Simpson and the golden sands and shimmering blue coastal waters of Fraser Island.
Having a properly equipped 4WD is an absolute must when it comes to touring the country, especially if you plan on traveling to the more remote areas this big island has to ofer such as the Simmo or the Kimberley. And there’s one bit of kit that, if you’re planning a big remote trip, is something that you absolutely must have at least one of – a trusty jerry can.
Why Should I Carry a Jerry Can?
It’s really important that if you’re doing a big trip, that you do your research especially when it comes to fuel stops. Even if you’ve installed a long-range tank, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be carrying enough diesel to cross the Simpson without your tanks needing a top-up. This largely comes down to both the distance between servos, and the increase in fuel usage that comes with constant soft sand driving. Another example is the iconic Canning Stock Route in Western Australia. This track is so long, and so remote, that you’ll actually need to plan well ahead and organise fuel drops in advance!
They’re just a couple of extreme examples of why you should be prepared to carry at least one, probably more jerry cans. But the fact of the matter is, that carrying at least one jerry can is a wise thing to do no matter where your adventures take you, as it always pays to prepare for the worst.
The Right Way to Carry Jerry Cans
The thing that a lot of people don’t consider when it comes to jerry cans, is where they’re going to mount them. Often, you’ll see big 4WDs built with big tyres and suspension, barwork all round and packed to the brim with camping gear with four jerry cans ratchet strapped down on the roof rack. If we’re honest, this is something that always makes us cringe!
There’s a couple of issues here – firstly, the weight of four full jerry cans fitted to the roofrack is almost certainly placing more weight on your roof than it is rated to carry. Most 4WDs have a rated roof carrying weight capacity of between 50kg to 150kg, with a few exceptions such as the 200 Series LandCruiser rated up to 200kg. So if you’re carrying four full jerry cans that weigh around 20kgs each, you’re already at 80kgs! Of course, you also need to include the weight of your roof rack as well, which can be as much as 40kgs for a steel roof rack! So just with the jerry cans and roof rack, you’ve already exceeded the maximum weight limit of most 4WDs roofs. Add awnings, lightbars, tents, swags, camp chairs and everything else you can expect to carry on a remote trip and you can see just how easy it is to overload a roof!
The second issue is weight distribution. Carrying that much weight at the highest point of your 4WD will make it extremely top-heavy, and unstable. This becomes a massive issue when you hit the tracks, as the angles and inclines you’ll often experience off-road can really put your 4WD in a precarious position. Add a bunch of weight to the top of your 4WD, and it doesn’t take much for it to go over!
There is, of course, a solution. Enter the humble jerry can holder!
Benefits of Fitting Jerry Can Holders
Proper weight distribution is just one of the many benefits to installing a proper Jerry Can Holder. Here’s a look at a few more:
There are a number of different styles of jerry can holders on the market that can be mounted and are loaded in different ways. ARK’s range includes standard, top and front loading options which means you can pick and choose the one that best suits your needs, whether you’re installing the Jerry can holder onto your 4WD’s rear bar, or onto a caravan or camper trailer.
Let’s face it, when it comes to carrying something as flammable as fuel, you want to ensure you’re carrying it in a safe manner. You should always carry jerry cans external to your vehicle, and a jerry can holder is the ideal solution.
If there’s one thing that has become a fact of life, it’s that fuel is expensive – doesn’t matter if you’re talking about diesel or petrol. With prices in cities often going far over the $2 per litre mark, it goes without saying that when you’re traveling remotely the price will often be double that at bush servos. That means fuel is a precious commodity, and there are plenty of people out there with sketchy morals who will not hesitate to steal a jerry can full of the good stuff should they see one unsecured in a parked 4WD. A lockable jerry can holder such as ARK’s Front Loading Jerry Can Holder or Top Loading Jerry Can Holder is the best way to prevent becoming a victim of fuel theft as they both feature an anti-theft adjustable bar with padlock!!
You may be surprised to hear this, but a jerry can holder can actually be a pretty versatile bit of kit! Fit a canvas bag inside it, and you have yourself a camp bin! We’ve also seen people use a jerry can holder as a night time shoe storage rack!
Where to go for more information?
When it comes to getting off-road and exploring this magnificent country, ARK are the proven experts. They’ve been leaders in trailer parts, towing gear and 4WD accessories for over 40 years, are 100% Australian owned and independent.
The best part? They love to get off-road just like you! They regularly hit the tracks, testing all their gear in real world conditions to ensure that their offering tick all the boxes when it comes to touring Australia!