Extended run time portable generator fuel tank
From the desk of the Firedude
Since becoming a full-timer 6 years ago, I have researched many money saving tech tips. I found many ways to save some serious money. I finally put them all together in my Tech Tip eBook and this one was one of the most favorite . I have saved myself hundreds of dollars, time and effort with my projects.
While dry camping I got tired of fueling the Honda 2000 once or more times a day depending on use. I decided enough of that and after a little surfing on the web decided to make my own extended run time fuel tank. I found these on line for $100 or more + shipping. The exact same thing. Mine cost me a whopping $40! Somebody is making some serious profit on these!
All that is needed is….
*A 6 gallon marine fuel tank. Mine is an Atwood marine tank from Walmart ($15!) A Honda mower gas cap. Make darn sure the one you get fits the generator you’re using! They make different sizes with different type threads!
*6′ or so of fuel line
* A 1/4″ bulkhead fitting of some kind All for under $45! The fuel line simply is ran from the marine fuel tank which has a 1/4″ pickup tube in it and then connect the other end of the fuel line to the 1/4″ nipple on the gas cap. Everyone asks what about venting since the original 2000 gas cap comes with a ventable cap.
Well the 6 gallon marine fuel tank (which can be bought at Walmart for $15) is vented so it accomplishes the same thing as the original cap with the ventilation knob. The fuel line and stock Honda mower gas cap was bought at a local Honda and mower shop. Talk about extended run time! You first fill the Honda 2000 tank then attach the fuel line from your 6 gallon marine tank. After about 2 minutes of run time the generator starts pulling fuel from the 6 gal tank. So basically you went from 1 gallon of fuel capacity to 7 gallons! Depending in the load on the generator you could run for several days without the hassle of having to ad fuel ever day or more often! It’s really nice not to have to go out every morning or evening and have to hassle with fueling the generator, especially in bad/cold weather. Additional info….. I have had many say they cannot find the 1/4″ nipple for placing in the generator cap. A great substitute as my son can say and works well is a simple valve stem for a set of air bags.
This can be bought at most automotive stores. Look closely of the pictures below. On the table you will see the valve stem. You simply drill the hole just big enough to accept the stem and with rubber washers or O-rings on each side of the cap-the nuts tighten down holding it in place and sealing the fitting. Out the bottom side (of the cap) we placed a short piece of plastic air line about 2″ long (compression type) for the fuel to run out of. works perfectly! You slide the fuel line over the threaded valve stem, tighten the hose clamp and you’re ready to ride! When not in use you simply screw on a valve stem cap and all is well. If you decided to run the generator without the extended tank simply loosen the valve stem on the cap and away you! No need for 2 different caps!
Here’s some pics of my setup…… The 6 gallon marine tank itself with the Honda mower cap (replaces the stock gen cap) (Keep your stock cap!)…..with 1/4″ bulkhead and fuel line….. The setup running…..Please note the tank is only sitting on the picnic table for photo op. It works at, below or above ground level. It creates its own vacuum.
Such a sweet deal for $40, but like I said earlier if you’re the adventurous type you can always order this setup for $100 plus shipping! I and others have seen this almost exact thing for sale in booths at RV events for nearly $100.
** Please note:
The Atwood tank I suggest and depict is an industry approved marine fuel tank and used in many outboard boats in this same manner. It has a vented cap so the system in NOT airtight. The only time fuel is drawn from the tank is when the generator is runing. Never disconnect the fuel line from the generator or refuel the extended tank while the generator is running. Like anything please insure all fittings are tight and properly installed. For best performance generator should be sitting at ground level with the generator. Mine in the picture as I stated was for photo purposes only.