Welcome to our fuel tank roundup!
This guide is here to help you figure out what kind of tank your truck needs, whether you need an auxiliary tank for extending your range, a transfer tank for filling your equipment in the field or just a larger capacity factory replacement fuel tank.
First of all, let’s go over what each type of fuel tank does:
Transfer tanks are a remote fueling solution, they are a must-have for your truck if you are running any kind of equipment out in the field, as they keep you from the major inconvenience of having to trailer your equipment to the closest fuel station to fill up.
Auxiliary tanks are a way of extending the range of your truck, by adding another tank that feeds into your truck’s factory tank, you can massively increase fuel capacity.
Higher-capacity tanks are a replacement for your trucks factory tank, these aftermarket tanks take advantage of unused space under the bed of your truck to raise capacity and extend your driving range.
There are a few different styles to choose from when shopping for a transfer tank, some are specifically designed for higher capacity, some for the least size impact (slim rectangle tanks), and others have built-in features like lockable bed toolboxes.
We will go through the different styles and compare the best options from each category, so that you can choose the one that fits your use best.
Best L-Shaped Transfer Tanks
The L-shape of these tanks allows for higher capacity than the slim rectangle tanks, while still allowing you to have a good amount of bed space left for other things like your bed tool box.
The picture above is a good example of how you can use the transfer tank in conjunction with a truck bed toolbox, if you look closely you can see the L-shaped tank is tucked up under the toolbox in this truck bed. This a great option if you already own a truck bed toolbox, simply slide it in under your bed box for maximum fuel capacity and bed space.
FUEL TRANSFER TANK- L Shape 95 Gallonas of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- Special Permit issued by the US Department of Transportation
- Legal for Gas , Diesel, Methanol, Kerosene, Aviation fuel and other liquids
- Made from .125 thick Aluminum Diamond Plate
- Commercial grade lockable vent/prevent filler capCommercial Grade Lockable Fill Cap
- Fully baffled to reduce movement of contents
Vicrez Aluminum Tank L-Shape 95 Gallons Refueling Fuel Transfer Tank VZT100003as of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- Vehicle Part: Refueling Fuel Transfer Tank
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity:95 Gallons
- Dimensions: 26" x 33" x 48.5" x 9" x 22" x 17" x 11"
- Made in USA
Vicrez Aluminum Tanks L-Shape 95 Gallons Refueling Fuel Transfer Tank VZT100003 Vehicle Part: Refueling Fuel Transfer Tank Material: Aluminum Capacity: 95 Gallons Dimensions: 26" x 33" x 48.5" x 9" x 22" x 17" x 11" Features: Special Permit issued by the US Department of Transportation Legal for Gas , Diesel, Methanol, Kerosene, Aviation fuel and other liquids Commercial grade lockable vent/prevent filler cap Fully baffled to reduce movement of contents Two-2” npt reinforced bungs for superior strength 3/8” npt drain Hold down brackets Pressure and leak detection test Clean and free of debris inside and outside of the tank 1 year limited warranty The L-shape Refueling Tanks are designed to be used with a crossover style toolbox or chest box. The bottom of the L-shape fits under most standard toolboxes. The fuel tank can also be installed in reverse so the fuel tank can be removed without removal of your toolbox. The Two- 2" bungs allow for reversing the fuel fill cap and fuel transfer pump to the side you prefer best. Vehicle Fitment Notes: Universal Fit - This part is universal
Best Fuel Tank Toolbox Combo
If you don’t already have a bed toolbox and you’re looking for something that can store your tools and equipment, a fuel tank and tool box combo is probably the best fit for your needs. These boxes combine the versatility of having the fuel on-hand for your equipment, and also the tools that you need to get the job done out in the field.
RDS Aluminum Auxiliary Fuel Tank/Toolbox Combo with Fuel Filler Shroud - 60-Gal. Capacity, Black Diamond Plate, Model# 72743PCas of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- Low profile design works well with fifth-wheels
- Built-in baffles reduce fuel sloshing during transport
- Rust-free aluminum construction protects fuel from contamination
- Sight gauge allows you to quickly determine fu
- Overall Dimensions L x W x H (in.): 55 + 2-in. (tabs) x 20 + 1-in. (tabs) x 19in
RDS Fuel Tank Toolbox Combo - 40-Gallon Capacity, Model# 72775as of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- Aluminum tank and toolbox - no rusting
- Toolbox built using 0058 ga aluminum
- Fully welded seams and reinforced lid
- Universal Fit
Handy (10578) Fuel Transfer Tank and Tool Box Comboas of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- FT-50 FUEL AND TOOL COMBO 54 GALLON US(ONLY50 GAL IN CA) TANK/TOOLBOX
Best transfer tank pump
Once you have your tank, you’ll need a way to get the fuel out of it and into your equipment or vehicles. The best way to do that is with a 12v electric fuel transfer pump.
Fill-Rite FR4210G Fuel Transfer Pump, Telescoping Suction Pipe, 12' Delivery Hose, Manual Release Nozzle - 12 Volt, 20 GPMas of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- -Durable cast iron pump housing built to withstand the wear and tear of rough operating environments
- -Capable of providing a suction lift of up to 6.5' (diesel); Built-in strainer
- -1/4 hp DC motor @ 2,600 RPM provides up to 37' of discharge head
- -20 amp draw (maximum) with a 30 minute duty cycle
- -Thermal overload protection prevents motor from overheating during abnormal usage
Gravity Feed Auxiliary Tank Install
Gravity feeding is the simplest way to have your truck’s tank refilled from your in-bed auxiliary/transfer tank.
Basically all you need to do in order for this to work is to tie a small refill hose from the auxiliary tank right into your main truck tank’s fuel filler hose.
The easiest way to get this done is with an install kit. The kit comes with the fuel filler hose T fitting and a length of hose to connect to your aux tank. It also has a valve to close off the feed when not needed.
Depending on where you tie into the filler hose, you can usually leave the valve on constantly and fill your truck from your transfer tank, which will in turn automatically feed into the main fuel tank.
Best gravity feed install kit:
RDS Diesel Install Kit for Auxiliary Diesel Fuel Tank - Fits 1999-Current Ford, 2011-Current Chevrolet and GMC, and Dodge 1999-2012, Model# 011025as of February 22, 2020 4:58 pm
- RDS offers a full assortment of tanks in various capacities and dimensions to fit your needs
- Gasoline auxiliary fueling is allowed, if siphoned from the top of the tank by using an electric fuel pump
Choosing Tank Materials
Aluminum Vs. Steel Comparison
Figuring out which material is best for your new tank goes beyond how it looks and what is costs. The biggest deciding factor will be how you intend to use the thing. Will you be the operator that is out in the field with his excavation equipment running all day? Or do you only intend to use it for smaller jobs, like refilling a backup generator that only runs during grid downtime? These differences in usage can make or break choosing aluminum over steel, or vice versa.
Option 1 – Aluminum :
Aluminum transfer tanks use a metal that doesn’t rust. Ever. This means that the outside of your tank will always look pristine sitting in the bed of your truck. Rust is bad though, really bad, and for more reasons beyond just how the outside of the tank looks. One of the things that rusted steel does is it flakes apart into tiny little pieces. As you can imagine, tiny little flakes of rust in fuel are terrible for your equipment’s fuel system. No one wants to spend their evenings swapping out fuel filters.
There are a couple different options for exterior tank styles, if you care about that sort of thing. You can usually find aluminum tanks in two main styles, made from stamped sheet. Usually you can order them in the classic polished silver diamond plate pattern, or with a durable black powdercoat finish.
Best part is, by choosing aluminum you never have to worry again about rust oxidation. These tanks are great for heavy duty use on a daily basis, as part of any job site operation. And as a bonus, they also keep fuels from becoming unusable during those long gaps in fill-up times.
Option 2 – Steel:
Steel transfer tanks have always looked a bit more rugged to me. They’re built out of thicker metal than aluminum tanks, often resulting in tank walls that use up to 14-gauge steel.
Steel tanks need a coating for the exterior of the tank, for protection from the elements, and to prevent rust. On any good steel tank, you will find that a durable powder coating process is usually used to give the outside of the tanks a longer lasting finish. They can be had usually in black or white as standard colors.
One thing to keep in mind, while the powder coat will protect the outside of the tank, the interior of a tank made from steel is bare, and needs to be at a constant higher level of fuel, you want to make sure that you have enough in there to cover the walls of the inside of your tank as much as you can, because doing that lubricates the steel and keeps it from rusting into tiny little flakes.
Steel is also cheaper than aluminium, and while you might think that is a great feature, you do want to keep in mind that these work best if you’re the kind of person that would keep their auxiliary tank filled up for the majority of the time. This can’t be any more important, you want to make sure that the inside of your steel tank is always coated with fuel to keep it from rusting.
This is a problem if the tank sits around idle for long periods of time with no movement, but if you drive your truck around alot, it becomes less of a concern, because driving will slosh the fuel around the tank and coat the insides.
So think about how you fit into these usage categories while you look at the options below, it’s an important choice to consider when looking at any kind of fuel tank.
Also to consider: some of the tanks out there will work just fine for on private property or farm use, but there are DOT regulations to consider for fuel tanks that are used for commercial operations.
For more information on DOT rules about fuel tanks: Read the FMCSA regulations
Baffling is another factor that is important to look for in any fuel tank, these internal structures keep the fuel from sloshing around during transportation and are a need for DOT certification.
We hope this roundup has helped you to narrow down your options for adding a tank to your truck. As always, if there are any questions or comments that you have, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!