Thread: Water and Fuel
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Old 04-03-2008, 11:56 AM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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Default Water and Fuel

UB last night talking about running out of fuel one time on the Rubicon, wanted to start a thread about requirements and storing of this stuff.

Water
I am planning to have about 15 gallons (plus a misc Nalgene liter bottle here and there) of water on board. My thinking is to top off Tuesday night at the camp. We tend to average around one gallon per day each for all uses, so I'm calling it a total of 2 gallons/day when I figure in filling the Solar Shower each morning. My estimate of max need would be most of Wednesday on stored water, 3 full days and Sunday morning for coffee. So for the two of us, 10 gallons should be sufficient and so I'm guess on a 5 gallon reserve.

I run 2.5 and 5 gallon water jugs that get stored inside the truck. I top off smaller Nalgenes each morning for drinking during the day. We have this part set, no problems.

Fuel
Fuel, that is not quite as clear to me. I assume our last real chance to fill up the fuel tanks would be around Lake Tahoe, Placerville or Auburn (along I-80). Not sure of the route from Reno to Robbs Valley Resort, but they all seem to be about 60 miles. If there is a gas station along US50, that obviously changes things.

I have a 19 gallon fuel tank, which gets me about 250 miles by the odometer in regular mixed 4x4 driving (i.e., leave the house, pavement and dirt roads, few hours of trail time and back to pavement). Translation to remote travel is harder to say since I only have a handful of chances to measure it in hours. I use about 12 gallons for the White Rim (160 miles over 16 hours for ~0.75 gallons per hour), about 8 gallons for Toroweap (130 miles over 4 hrs for ~0.5 gallons per hour) and Elephant Hill is a one tank trip.

So I'm figuring 60 miles from fuel station to Tuesday camp will be about 3.5 gallons, Wednesday morning to trailhead is another 0.5 gallons. That leaves me about 15 gallons to true empty in the tank. Figuring 16 hours on trail to Rubicon Springs and another 1.5 hours to get out at 1 gal/hr, I'm short by at least 2.5 gallons. So I'm planning on bringing along a 20L fuel can. Is the feeling that 24 gallons of fuel is pretty typical? I know the FJ40 guys will have a much different measure, since their tank is slightly smaller (about 16 gallons IIRC, right?) and they'll be less fuel efficient on the leg getting from the Interstate to the trail head. But my thinking is if a FJ40 can do the trip in a tank + 1 can, then that should be a safe assumption for me.

The biggest problem for me is that I don't have anywhere to store extra fuel easily. Normally I put on a roof rack and carry the jerry cans on top, but that is not a good option here. I'm already going to press my luck with the WilderNest and I don't want to tempt the Cruiser Gods by running a roof rack... So I'm probably gonna stash the can inside the bed and put it in the tank either Wednesday or Thursday evening.
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