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David, re collapsable gas can,suggest 10L MSR dromedary bags. Last I checked they are impervious to petrochem. I have used gallon milk jugs in a pinch and they start a nice fire when empty. Al Jesse sells a unique water gas container ,which is 2.5 inches thick and fits inside most hard bags. Hope this helps. Bill
I am intrigued by your suggested use of the MSR dromedary for fuel. Has anybody actually tried this? Will the bag hold up even after months filled with fuel? Anyone who has tried this, please let me know.
I was going to place two 1/2 gallon Nalgine (sp?) "square-ish" hard plastic (water) container in my Tank panniers (RKA or Aerostich)... they are very durable, but I have never tried them with petrol, has anyone else had any experiance with these hard plastic (clear and white) containers?
OK. I have finally got around to doing my own testing. I bought the 4 liter MSR DromeLight and filled it with fuel and left it in my bathtub to see if it holds up over time. The plan is to leave it there for 2 months or so and then do a complete autopsy, cutting it open to check for any disintegration of the bladder lining etc.
I immediately noticed a problem. The bag if fine but the cap is leaking slightly. The big main cap is fine but it is the smaller "drinking" cap which is on the main cap that is not up to the job. I have checked the MSR site, but they don't offer any other caps without this “feature”. I will attempt to seal the small cap myself and continue the experiment.
I'll keep everyone posted on the progress.
[This message has been edited by rodskogj (edited 17 February 2002).]
I filled about 3 liters of unleaded into the 4 liter MSR DromeLight, covered it in baby-powder so I could spot any leaks immediately, and hung it upside-down so the filler cap is pointing straight down.
So far so good. The baby-powder is still dry and no signs of any leakage, even around the filler cap. The MSR is in great shape and there are no signs of any degradation of the materials. The one thing I noticed from day one though was the gasoline smell in the bathroom. There seems to be a small amount of vapors escaping, but not enough to cause a fire hazard (I hope). After about 7-10 days the MSR really started to expand and now resembles an inflated balloon. I imagine that bouncing around on the road and hot weather would speed up the ballooning effect significantly as well. Even with the ballooning, the MSR seems do hold up well and even withstands slapping around and squeezing. At the end of the test I will do repeated drop tests to check impact resistance of the MSR in this ballooned state.
My initial thoughts are that the MSR should work well as a temporary solution if you transfer the fuel to your main tank as soon as there is room. Venting the MSR daily on the road by briefly opening the cap will probably buy you more time as well. But extreme heat or violent shaking could be a problem.
I owe you guys an update on the improvised MSR gas can...
After two months the MSR has held up extremely well. It balloons up and shrinks down with the temperature, but will not leak. At the end of the test I had it outside for a few days in direct sunlight and very warm weather. After that I tossed it up in the air several times and it landed onto a concrete floor. It took this punishment extremely well with no ruptures and no signs of any damage.
Next was the autopsy stage: After a little over 2 months there was actually only 2 liters of fuel left in it. The rest had not seeped out, but evaporated directly (hence the smell in my bathroom!) I cut it open and carefully checked the liner and the seams. All was as good as new with no signs of breakdown or 'stickiness' from the fuel.
Conclusion: A fair amount of fuel did evaporate making it a less than ideal solution, but it did not burst even under severe punishment. If you plan on using it for a short period of time (a few days to a week) and top off your gas tank as soon as there is room you should have no problems at all. The good thing about this ‘bladder’ solution rather than a jerry can or fuel-cell is space. When not used it takes virtually no space at all. I plan to bring a few of these with me on my upcoming trip for the long stretches.
Thanks for trying that out... I'm going to use this method going through Chile this year, using the gas container only for 1-2 week sections where I think I might have problems. I might put some duct tape around the outside to add some more strength (what do you think about that?) I'll let you know how it goes for me.
I don't think duct tape is necessary. The MSR proved increadibly strong, but perhaps a little extra protection couldn't hurt... I don't think the duct tape will do anything for the vapors though, they are just a fact of life (after all, that is why your bike has a venting hose!)
Good luck with your trip!
Originally posted by rndmtim: rodskogj -
I might put some duct tape around the outside to add some more strength (what do you think about that?)
Just read through this topic with interest.
I'm surprised no one has made further comment on JohnA's word of warning.
Strangely enough many years ago now I saw photographs of a guy (military personnel) who'd come off his motorbike while carrying extra petrol in a makeshift container. I guess he was unlucky that the fuel ignited but that's what happened anyway. The images were most gruesome!
I assure you that this is true and I was shown the photographs while on a fire fighting course as part of my training in the Royal Air Force. The military never shy away from showing the most unpleasant of things to their recruits, as any ex-serviceman will tell you!
My brother has got a couple of unbelievable stories about people torching themselves (by accident of course!) while in the Army. But that's the army for you..... can't expect any better really ;-)
Anyway I'm not out to preach. Just thought I'd pass on a life experience (starting to sound like my Dad now!)
I've bought two of the 10 liter bags Dromedary bags for my trip to Alaska. I'm hoping to not use them, after carefully checking the Milepost. I'm also trying to find a replacement to fit the caps (I've got the ones with the pur spouts) - I've tried them with water mounted on the bike, and they seem ok with water, but if the level or pressure is too high they can slosh or drip, especially if they sit flat. Not a good risk unless I can get better caps. The seal around the cap seems tight though.
I know this is not the smartest idea, especially on a permanent basis. Liquid gas is not as flammable as most people think even though it burns very hot. The main risk is the fuel vapor. A full container is actually safer than a partially full container because there is less air for the fuel to vaporize in (that's what can be set off by a spark). I'm looking at something like these bags as purely a temporary stopgap for areas that are really remote where there is no other way - the last couple of hundred of miles towards Prudoe Bay in Alaska, or in northern Chile, for example. On the other hand, if you've already decided that riding alone on a gravel road with a steep dropoff with heavy trucks is an acceptable risk...
I don't think these are actually a much worse idea than a red jerry can, provided they are hung upright with the opening over the level of the gas, and no where and not above the exhaust or engine. The alternative mentioned above is many hundreds of $$.
[This message has been edited by rndmtim (edited 27 July 2002).]
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