Should You Bring Extra Gas With You on a Road Trip?

Should You Bring Extra Gas With You on a Road Trip?

A road trip can be just the break from the monotony of everyday life you need to leave you feeling rejuvenated. Cars with significant mileage are suitable for road trips as they give you the freedom to traverse long distances. However, even with extended mileage, driving a loaded car over rough terrain can quickly deplete fuel, and carrying extra gas may seem like a good idea.

You should ideally carry extra gas with you on a road trip as you may end up driving through a stretch without any fuel stations. Having extra gas will also allow you to take more adventurous and offbeat routes on your trip.

In this article, we’ll go over why bringing extra gas on your road trip is a good idea and list some safe ways to carry fuel.

Why You Should Carry Extra Fuel for a Road Trip

Most people would rather avoid the hassle of carrying extra gas during their road trip. They may argue that it’s unnecessary, mainly if they can gauge the miles to be covered during their trip.

However, even if your vehicle is adequately fueled and can manage the journey, it’s best to carry extra fuel. Here are a few reasons why.

You Can’t Accurately Gauge Mileage   

While your car manufacturer will give you an estimated mileage, the exact number isn’t always accurate. Traffic lights, slow highways, and frequent stops can deplete your fuel quicker than you can imagine.

As such, bringing extra fuel is a safety measure that’s worth the added effort. By keeping a backup, you can drive without worrying whenever you hit a stop or get stuck.

Your Vehicle Will Be Weighed Down 

Unlike a trip across town, which won’t last more than a couple of hours, road trips are typically for extended periods. Most people pack their cars with tents, sleeping bags, and sometimes utensils so they can enjoy the outdoors for a while before heading back home. Aside from this equipment, you’ll also have to pack sports gear for outdoor activities in between drives.

All this extra baggage will weigh down your car and further reduce its mileage. And it can be challenging to calculate your mileage when your vehicle is fully packed, so it’s best to bring extra fuel just in case.

You Can Explore More

Should You Bring Extra Gas With You on a Road Trip?

Aside from the added weight, a road trip also involves exploring uncharted or offbeat spaces. Most road trippers take their vehicles off conventional roads to find places that are impossible to come by during regular drives.

Offroading or exploring natural paths require you to change your tires, often to heavier ones. The added weight coupled with driving over rough and tumultuous terrain can deplete your fuel stores quickly. And this decrease in mileage is probably the main reason you should consider carrying extra gas.

Going on a road trip brings out our adventurous side, and you want to be able to explore without limitation. As such, bringing extra fuel will allow you to take your car through different routes without worrying about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Fuel Stations May Be Unavailable  

Conventional road-tripping involves vast stretches devoid of human habitation. And even if you happen to cross a small town, you may not find a working fuel station at the time of your passing. And it’s unlikely to drive by a fuel station when going through uninhabited stretches.

And getting stuck somewhere without a fuel station nearby is a whole other problem. As such, it’s best to carry gas with you so you can ensure a smooth trip.

How To Carry Extra Fuel

Now that you know why it’s essential to bring extra gas with you during a road trip, here are some tips on safely transporting fuel.

Only Use Approved Cans

While it can be tempting to pack your extra fuel in the first empty milk jug you find, please refrain from doing the same. Manufacturers produce fuel or jerry cans to store gas for such extended trips.

For example, this Wavian Jerry Fuel Can (available on is ideal for your next road trip. Aside from a twenty-liter (5.28 gal) fuel capacity, this jerry can has a quick-release nozzle so you can easily transfer fuel into your tank.

Fill the Can Properly

Most containers are designed to handle the natural expansion that takes place when gasoline vapors are released. Even so, it’s best to fill up the tank only till the safety line mentioned by the manufacturer. If you cannot determine the safety line, stick to five gallons (18.93 liters) per container.

Keep the Can Outside Your Car

You want to create a setup outside your vehicle to store the jerry can while driving safely. Avoid keeping the can inside the car or in the trunk as the fumes can build up in the confined space, which can be hazardous in specific situations.

It’s best to create a mount outside your car, on the back or the roof, to store your container safely. If you have a luggage carrier on your top, securely tying the container to the luggage carrier should be sufficient.

If you must carry extra fuel in the passenger seat, do so only for a short period and keep the windows down to let the fumes out. Avoid having fuel inside your car if you drive longer than a few hours.

Ensure the Can Is Upright

When securing the can in place, ensure that it’s upright and adequately fastened so fuel doesn’t spill out from the sides. You also want to bind the straps tightly, so fuel moves around as little as possible. Additionally, make sure that the cap is tight enough so that fuel that sloshes around stays inside the can. 

Final Thoughts

It’s always a good idea to carry extra fuel when setting off on a road trip. By bringing excess gas, you can avoid the hassle of searching for fuel stations or limiting your journey to more habitable localities.

With extra fuel to save you in an emergency, you can explore the outdoors during your road trip without worrying about staying within city limits.


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