How to Install an Auxiliary Fuel Tank in a Pickup Truck for Extended Range?

March 11, 2024

Ever been on the open road with your pickup truck, hearing the hum of the engine and feeling the wind in your hair, only to be brought back to reality by a dreaded low fuel warning light? The truth is, the fuel capacity of most stock pickup trucks often leaves something to be desired, especially during long road trips or when using your truck for heavy-duty tasks. Luckily, there’s a solution to extend your driving range: the installation of an auxiliary fuel tank.

In this comprehensive guide, we will outline step-by-step instructions on how to install an auxiliary fuel tank in your pickup truck, allowing you to take advantage of extended range and more refueling options. This process, which involves a high-capacity tank and a transfer system, can give you peace of mind on long drives, improving your truck’s usability and practicality.

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What is an Auxiliary Fuel Tank?

An auxiliary fuel tank, also known as an aux tank, is an additional fuel storage device that can be installed in various vehicles, but most commonly in pickup trucks. This extra tank significantly increases the truck’s fuel capacity, thereby extending its driving range. Typically, auxiliary fuel tanks have a high capacity, often ranging from 30 to 100 gallons, depending on your truck’s size and your specific needs.

Installing an auxiliary fuel tank can also prove particularly useful for diesel trucks. Diesel is less readily available than gasoline, and having an extra supply on hand can be a huge advantage during long distance travel or in remote areas where diesel pumps are few and far between.

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Choosing the Right Auxiliary Fuel Tank for Your Truck

Choosing the right auxiliary fuel tank for your pickup truck is crucial. The main considerations include your truck’s size, the tank’s capacity, and how it will feed fuel to your primary tank. An auxiliary tank can either be installed in the truck bed or under the truck, making sure it doesn’t interfere with your truck’s wheel range.

A good starting point is to identify what capacity you need. If you frequently undertake long trips or use your truck for work-related purposes, consider a high-capacity tank. A 60-gallon auxiliary tank, for instance, can double or even triple your driving range, depending on your truck’s original fuel consumption.

Next, consider the feed system. Some auxiliary tanks have a manual transfer pump, allowing you to control when and how much fuel is transferred to the main tank. Others have an automatic system, which can be more convenient but also more expensive.

Installing an Auxiliary Fuel Tank

Now that you have chosen the right auxiliary fuel tank, it’s time to install it. While it’s always a good idea to have a professional handle this task, if you’re handy with tools and have the right equipment, you could consider doing it yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Positioning the Tank

The first step is to position the auxiliary fuel tank in your truck. If it’s designed to be installed in the truck bed, make sure it’s positioned correctly and isn’t obstructing the wheel range. If it’s an under-bed tank, you’ll need to lift the truck and secure the tank underneath.

Securing the Tank

Once the tank is in position, you’ll need to secure it. Most tanks come with brackets or straps for this purpose. Ensure the tank is stable and won’t move while the truck is in motion.

Connecting the Fuel Line

The next step is to connect the fuel line from the auxiliary tank to the main tank. This is a crucial step as it ensures the fuel can be transferred from the auxiliary tank to the main one. Make sure you use high-quality fuel lines and connections to prevent leaks.

The Benefits of Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

There are many reasons why you might opt for an auxiliary fuel tank, but the key advantage is undoubtedly the increased driving range. Having an auxiliary tank means fewer stops for refueling, which can save time and offer peace of mind during long journeys.

An auxiliary tank also gives you more refueling options. You can choose to fill up when fuel prices are low or when you’re in an area with plenty of fuel stations. This can save money and prevent situations where you have to refill at a station with high prices because your fuel level is low.

With a properly installed and well-maintained auxiliary fuel tank, you can enjoy the freedom and convenience of extended driving range. Whether you’re taking a long road trip, pulling a heavy trailer, or navigating remote areas, an auxiliary tank ensures your journey can continue unhindered.

Maintaining Your Auxiliary Fuel Tank

Aside from the installation, maintaining your auxiliary fuel tank is also a significant aspect to ensure its longevity and performance. Regular care and inspection will help you avoid potential problems and ensure the tank continues to function as expected.

Begin by routinely checking for any leaks in the fuel line connections and the tank itself. Even a small leak can lead to significant fuel loss over time and can pose a danger. Next, pay attention to the fuel transfer. If it’s taking longer than usual to transfer fuel from the auxiliary tank to the main one, there may be a problem with the pump or the fuel line.

Cleanliness is another important aspect. Make sure the pickup bed area around the tank is clean and free from debris that could potentially damage the tank. Periodically clean the tank exterior to prevent rust and corrosion, especially if your truck often operates in corrosive environments or harsh weather conditions.

Don’t forget to monitor the fuel quality. Always use clean, uncontaminated diesel fuel in your auxiliary tank to avoid issues with your truck’s engine. Remember, an auxiliary fuel tank increases your fuel capacity, but it also requires extra attention to ensure it contributes positively to your pickup truck’s performance.

Conclusion: Enhancing Driving Range with Auxiliary Fuel Tanks

In conclusion, an auxiliary fuel tank is a valuable addition to any pickup truck, particularly for those who frequently undertake long journeys or have heavy-duty tasks. By increasing your fuel capacity, an auxiliary tank extends your driving range, offers more refueling options, and in turn improves your truck’s usability and practicality.

Whether you opt for a tank system to be installed in your truck bed or under your truck, choosing the right auxiliary fuel tank and maintaining it properly can ensure you reap the maximum benefits. Despite the initial cost and effort, the advantages provided by an auxiliary tank – such as fewer refueling stops, potential cost savings, and peace of mind on long journeys – make it a worthwhile investment.

To make the most of your auxiliary fuel tank, remember to maintain it well. Regular checks for leaks, keeping the tank clean, and using high-quality fuel can ensure your auxiliary fuel tank continues to perform optimally and extend your pickup truck’s driving range for years to come.

Overall, an auxiliary fuel tank epitomizes the saying: "It’s better to have it, and not need it, than to need it, and not have it." By installing an auxiliary fuel tank in your pickup truck, you ensure that you’re prepared for any situation, ready to take on lengthy travels and heavy-duty tasks, and able to enjoy the open road with fewer interruptions.