Rotopax Fuel Canisters Warp

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SVgarage

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Only about 7 months ago, I purchased two 2-gallon Rotopax fuel canisters. I mounted them on the back of my Jeep JK with the Rotopax Deluxe mount that they offer, stacking them flush against each other. There has always been a little bit of a challenge getting the mounting handle on, since there aren't many additional threads to guide into the hole- maybe 3/16".

The fuel canisters were pretty good for the first 5 months or so, as I would mount and dismount them occasionally, while leaving them off in general for my daily commuting. This past winter here in California, the snow levels have been absolutely tremendous, so I took a few trips to Tahoe with the Jeep, Rotopax canisters mounted full with fuel. They pretty much just stayed there for a good 2 months or so.

The other day, I was low on gas. It was late and I was about to make my way home from work. Rather than hunt down a gas station, I elected to empty the Rotopax containers feeling like they could use a refill of some fresh gasoline. (BTW, the spouts they provide are pure shit. I would advise buying replacements- the locking mechanisms will just break on you anyway.) After putting the gas in my vehicle, I tried to mount the empty containers back onto the mount, but there was NO WAY IN HELL they were going to mount up again! Both containers had warped and were now swollen to a point that there was more than 1/2" of space between the end of the mount bolt thread and the hole it needed to thread into. Those canisters are very stiff and it takes a lot of effort to get them to budge even just a little. I threw the empty vessels in the back of the Jeep and drove home.

Rotopax containers come with a 10-year warranty. I emailed the company to explain what my situation is and if they could provide me with a fix. I fully don't expect them to provide me with new containers (nor would I want that, considering that in 7 months, I would be faced with the same problems), but maybe a mount with a longer bolt? I suppose I could try and unthread it myself and see if I can't find a longer stud at my local hardware store, but I really shouldn't have to do that. It's been two days now and Rotopax has been unresponsive.

So just a word to the wise- if you're planning on stacking more than one Rotopax container, you many encounter non-fit issues after some time. I am waiting on bated breath to see if Rotopax will actually stand behind their product. To see if they're going to acknowledge me at all.
 

SVgarage

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A quick follow up already. I just received an email from Rotopax. She was kind enough to point out to me that there is a reminder in the product description that says that the container should be vented "if the elevation or temperature changes significantly". I did burp the containers while in the Sierras, but I guess it must've been necessary to vent them even at sea level since the recent temperatures have been varying largely, hence the deformity of the products. Nonetheless, she is going to send me out the next largest extension to remedy my problem. Lesson learned. And I'm satisfied with the Rotopax response after all :)
 

Knight

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That's good to hear! I am still using old steel Jerry cans and the mounts are cumbersome and the whole thing is heavy so I was looking into these. Good info!
 
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emulous74

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Here in Austin, the temps are really high and can vary 30 degrees between day and night. I noticed expansion immediately and have to vent the rotopax's every time I stop to keep the rotopaxs from warping. This is even necessary when I have emptied the gas out of the rotopax's as there is residual gas in them. Diesel isn't as bad as gas, but have still needed to vent them. I ended up using one of my water rotopax for DEF and I had to occasionally vent that as well. Also for the water ones, do follow the freeze line, if you will be in cold weather.

I wish there were self-venting caps available for the Rotopaxs. I also agree the provided spouts are pretty much crap. I thought of changing out to Steel Jerry Can's, but where Rotopax excels are the easy mounting options and being able to mount them outside the bed of my truck. The other negative I noticed is you can't empty the fuel out of the rotopax using their provided spout into the vehicle, this I find frustrating, so I did go buy a funnel set so I don't have to use the provided spout.
 
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SVgarage

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Rotopax sent out the longer extensions very quickly. But I've got so many other things going on that I still haven't yet swapped them out yet. It's been an unusually long and unpredictable rainy season this year here in California, so I've kind of been waiting for the sun to permanently come out, before I give the JK a good and thorough wash. At that point, I was planning on taking care of the Rotopax system. I've got some conventional spouts on my eBay watchlist, but I still haven't pulled the trigger on those yet.
 

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I'll take my Scepter MFC's over anything out there. I've had them at extreme high and cold temperatures , big elevation changes, strapped them to a roof rack on their side even and never had any issues at all. I'm pretty sure you could drive over them without much problem. They never leak, and with the internal vent in the handle you can fully empty one in what seems like seconds. I bought one Rotopax once, the pos nozzle broke the first time I used it.
 

chris_nc

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For the OP and others on the thread that have had problems with Rotopax fuel cans expanding/warping: did you get the Rotopax fuel cans or the cheaper Fuelpax fuel cans? They are made using different processes and the Fuelpax cans are thinner only carry a 5 year warranty. I recently picked up the water Rotopax and a gas Fuelpax. Here in NC with the huge temp changes during the day, the very first day I mounted them, I had the Fuelpax can blow up like a balloon. As soon as I got home I went to vent it and had to fight to get the mount loose enough to remove the can. Another issue is that once you vent it, and temps drop back down, it sucks in and collapses. This causes the mount to loosen up and I'm afraid of that causing an issue. I originally was thinking it was because of it being the cheaper version, but if the thicker Rotopax does that too, I may have to find a different solution. Sucks because 2 gal. water and 2.5 gal. gas was perfect for my recent trip.
 
like any plastic container that holds fuel, they swell up from the heat & they need to be vented. My gas cans for lawn mower, weedwacker, chain saw gas etc I have the same problem. You can thank the meth heads for the fuel spouts how they changed. I run a 2gal. Roto Fuel Pax on my trailer but haven't used it yet since I just finished the trailer a week ago. But I will be using it on the 10th of this month since the wife & I will be doing a 6 day overland trip which I will be taking a 2500w inverter genny to power the a\c unit & keep the battery charged. I store my trailer inside of a large shop building here on my farm.
 

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I'll take my Scepter MFC's over anything out there. I've had them at extreme high and cold temperatures , big elevation changes, strapped them to a roof rack on their side even and never had any issues at all. I'm pretty sure you could drive over them without much problem. They never leak, and with the internal vent in the handle you can fully empty one in what seems like seconds. I bought one Rotopax once, the pos nozzle broke the first time I used it.
Where do you buy these at? I was looking online and finding a good source for them isn't as easy as you would think, a lot of imposters out there or used ones for sale on Ebay.
 

bmwguru

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Where do you buy these at? I was looking online and finding a good source for them isn't as easy as you would think, a lot of imposters out there or used ones for sale on Ebay.
You can't technically get them "legally" in the states since Scepter didn't get them CARB certified. I got a pair brand new and genuine Scepter MFC's from ebay for $160 for a pair shipped. They did not come with a spout. That was another $55 plus shipping. They are very nice cans but I ultimately went with Rotopax. I ditched the stock Rotopax spout and got the non government approved yellow self venting spouts. The Rotopax are easier to pour and don't leak when pouring. In the end any fuel container will need to be vented if the temperature changes a lot.
 
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Viking1204

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I live in NW Florida where it gets really hot so having vented cans is a must IMO. It amazes me how complicated they can make things such as gas can.
 
you have to make it a habit when the weather warms up if your fuel cans or fuel pax are filled with fuel to crack them open to release the pressure. Sometimes when the wife & I are dispersed camping it's twice a day. IMO it's part of living or exploring in areas were the weather conditions are hot.
 

Viking1204

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you have to make it a habit when the weather warms up if your fuel cans or fuel pax are filled with fuel to crack them open to release the pressure. Sometimes when the wife & I are dispersed camping it's twice a day. IMO it's part of living or exploring in areas were the weather conditions are hot.
You wouldn't have to do that with a properly made vented gas can. I've vented my own gas cans with small holes in the handles, you would think someone would make a decent gas can with a nice vent and a nice spout but the EPA seems to have wrecked any chance of that with the regulations they place on "safety" with gas cans. I've bought gas cans that were almost impossible to use with the original spout, just stupid IMO, I thought we were all adults! As a parent I kept my younger kids away from gas cans and other dangerous items duh!
 

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Good to hear some real world experience. Rotopax are definitely the Instagram/Magazine rage. I hadn't heard of these issues before but given their intended usage venting would seem to be something that should have been taken into consideration during the design and production process. Seems like a real miss...
 

bmwguru

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Good to hear some real world experience. Rotopax are definitely the Instagram/Magazine rage. I hadn't heard of these issues before but given their intended usage venting would seem to be something that should have been taken into consideration during the design and production process. Seems like a real miss...
All plastic fuel canisters will swell with temperature fluctuations. It physics, not a real miss. Rotopax are not marketed as a self venting can. It's clearly stated in the instructions about the swelling and venting issues. My Scepter MFC's will swell as well and need vented too.
 

Rd62

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I'm new and certainly not going to argue. My plastic fuel cans do the same too but weren't designed to be vehicle mounted. Maybe not design miss but seemed that way to me if it interferes with the vehicle mounting capabilities under normal use conditions. Either way I appreciate the OP sharing his experience so that I might have a more realistic expectation.
 
You wouldn't have to do that with a properly made vented gas can. I've vented my own gas cans with small holes in the handles, you would think someone would make a decent gas can with a nice vent and a nice spout but the EPA seems to have wrecked any chance of that with the regulations they place on "safety" with gas cans. I've bought gas cans that were almost impossible to use with the original spout, just stupid IMO, I thought we were all adults! As a parent I kept my younger kids away from gas cans and other dangerous items duh!
sounds to me that your gripe with fuel cans are what you make them out to be. Many of us deal with weather condition changes w\our fuel containers whether on our vehicles or on our trailers. Buddabuda stated the facts as well as myself & others have, it seems to me facts are not what you like to hear, but that is reality in the real world. Nothing is perfect man made, we all make adjustments to this & deal with these less perfect situations that are part of our lives. Lastly how can you vent a fuel container w\o leakage? they offer vents w\caps you install on your fuel containers, you still have to pop the cap to vent them.
 
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Viking1204

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sounds to me that your gripe with fuel cans are what you make them out to be. Many of us deal with weather condition changes w\our fuel containers whether on our vehicles or on our trailers. Buddabuda stated the facts as well as myself & others have, it seems to me facts are not what you like to hear, but that is reality in the real world. Nothing is perfect man made, we all make adjustments to this & deal with these less perfect situations that are part of our lives. Lastly how can you vent a fuel container w\o leakage? they offer vents w\caps you install on your fuel containers, you still have to pop the cap to vent them.
My gripe is if they're going to charge the ridiculous prices they do for plastic gas cans they should include a built in vent so they don't swell up, wouldn't be that hard to do. It's obviously a problem as others have stated. Ironically the oldest gas can I have has a built in vent with a cap on it. It's the oldest gas can I have and works better than any of the others I have. All the newer ones have the dumb nozzles with a vent built into the nozzle when you push it down and none of them work very well if at all.
 

bmwguru

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My gripe is if they're going to charge the ridiculous prices they do for plastic gas cans they should include a built in vent so they don't swell up, wouldn't be that hard to do. It's obviously a problem as others have stated. Ironically the oldest gas can I have has a built in vent with a cap on it. It's the oldest gas can I have and works better than any of the others I have. All the newer ones have the dumb nozzles with a vent built into the nozzle when you push it down and none of them work very well if at all.
That's for an old school lawn mower style gas can. That is only designed to be stored upright. If you were to store that on it's side and open the vent you will spill fuel. Rotopax and Jerry cans can be mounted upright or horizontal. There would have to be multiple vent locations to accommodate the different mounting options. My Rotopax may swell but they do not leak and I carry them like this on top of my vehicle.IMG_0853.JPGIMG_0854.JPG
 
Buddabuda I carry my 2gal. Rotopax for my generator on the side on my current trailer. Like I mention there isn't no perfect alternative on extra fuel containers or their spouts. I used to run 5 gal metal jerry can on my last trailer & hot Arkansas weather I would hear the metal expand by a pop sound (2nd photo). I just check the containers periodically to vent them, until then I'll keep up on doing what I do until they make a better fuel container.
007.JPG32904319_1676721549043379_8346791133254254592_n.jpg
 
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