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Thread: Range extender :-)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    82

    Range extender :-)

    This year we are driving up to the Whitsundays from Melbourne, so we will do a long drive. We have tried to do the same trip previously in 2011 and got stuck on the Sunshine Coast due to the floods (literally got stuck as for a day the Sunshine Coast became an island with no way off it in any direction). Anyway, this is try 2.

    I have tried to contact a few people along the way, but it looks like people on the willing to donate list are dropping off as I did not get responses, even from those to whom I have donated previously.

    So I decided on different approach. We also have an electric car and everyone talks about range and range extension. So, I thought, why not build a range extender for WVO...

    I have now bought this very nice 400L tank:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/321209055384

    Seemed cheap compared to all the other places.

    Next I am getting a trailer built to carry it. A standard 6x4 trailer would do, but I wanted something more robust to make sure it will carry the weight easily. So I am getting an off road trailer built with tyres the same as my Surf, so I only need to carry 1 spare tyre.

    It is due to be finished in about 2 weeks.

    Then I still need to filter enough oil to fill it before we leave north on Boxing day. Together with my 150L fuel in the car, I should have enough fuel to get to the Whitsundays and back mostly. We will leave the trailer in Brisbane, fill up from it again and then pick it up on the way back.

    Will put updates in this thread about how I progress...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tea gardens. nsw
    Posts
    127

    Re: Range extender :-)

    i have some oil to spare its not filtered but well settled and would be glad to top you up if you need it, will be glad to to hear of your journey.
    cheers stuart
    just keep it simple

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    South Australia
    Posts
    1,243

    Re: Range extender :-)

    I'm not on your planned route but have done the same with a trailer before. Took 20x 20l containers in 6x4 to Alice Springs. left trailer there, took 4 containers and made it to Halls Creek. Bought diesel for a while then back to Alice and had enough on trailer to get back to Adelaide. Another time went to Kings Canyon and back, 3 people, 2 lots of camping gear and oil on 6x4, 3000km without needing to buy fuel. You will pay for that tank with that trip, not sure about the trailer though.
    Johnnojack
    4WD Isuzu Jackaroo 3.1 200000km on WVO,(2020) 2 tank home built system 6 solenoids FPHE, heated filter fuel line and tank pickup for thicker oil. Mk. 9 version now and no changes planned as trouble free.
    Mercedes W201 190D 1986 model: 2 tank system, bigger fuel line from tank, no heat exchanger, electric pump for diesel 22000km so far

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    300

    Re: Range extender :-)

    You are certainly making a decent investment in this.

    I think you'll find veg oil users are dropping off the perch at a rapid rate which is why you probably haven't got much response. You only need to see how quiet veg forums have become over years past to see it's pretty much a dying interest. OTOH, veg is a lot easier and more plentiful to find! I could spare you a minimum of 100L of oil in Sydney, maybe more but I won't commit untill I have it which I don't atm. I have let stocks decline as I'm not using so much these days but I should be getting some more at the end of the week or early next week. I could let you know as your trip gets closer though. I guess you wouldn't need much more between here and home either way so probably not much use anyhow.

    I have used the 25L drums before for trips and also used a 200L drum in the back which I put my collection pump on. Ran it in reverse to fill the vehicle tank. I wasn't smart enough though as I could have just put a valve on it and ran it straight into the tank through the inspection hatch in the floor. With a solenoid valve I could have switched it on and off on the fly. One upside was when the drum was empty I dumped it a a recyclers and had the space and that bit less weight. I have dumped the 25's as well as I have colected " Souvineers" or wanted to bring back things mates have given me.

    I keep some fuel up the coast at a mid point of my normal journeys north now which is convinent. I have to go up there fairly often so when I don't have much to take with me, I load up with some fuel so I have a reserve. That cuts down on all the excess weight I'm dragging around. Simply top off the tank when I get there and I have enough for the long trip and just use the drums I carry for running around and getting back where I can fuel up to get me home again. Last trip I arrived at the "Fuel Depot" with 1/8th of a tank which I thought was great as I wasn't carrying any excess.

    I also tried collecting on the road but I may have done it at a bad time. I had a lot of trouble with fats blocking filters due to the attempt being in winter and had to resort to Dino at one stage. I did manage to stretch that well out though with the fuel I did get and a forum member generously giving me a helping hand. On the road filtering in summer particularly in the north would not have the same problems though.

    The problem with carrying so much fuel and especially a trailer is that you have to allow for more fuel (and even more weight) as your economy falls right off. I can use as much as 50% more fuel with the trailer on even if it is unladen just due to the wind resistance. Admittedly it is a covered trailer but even a box trailer is pretty unaerodynamic and with another half ton of weight, it will make a significant difference in economy. Don't forget to factor that in or you'll still come up short.

    Dunno if it's any help to you surfie but if you want a place to leave the trailer on the mid north coast, I can accomodate you there. Only 5 min off the highway. If you could carry enough fuel just in the vehicle without the trailer to get back there, would save you some hassel. Would work out pretty much half way for you so even if you wanted to take a couple of 44's and drop one off and collect it on the way back, may be an option to lighten the load.

    I would also suggest you throw a wheel bearing set in with you for the trailer. I understand it will be new but I have seen them go with very few miles and it's only a small thing to carry that can save a lot of hassel if you need them. You can throw them direct in a tub of grease as you'll need that too if you need the bearings and that will be a tad more compact and keep things together.

    Hope your trip goes well. You are a braver and more paitent man than I doing that big of a trip in the peak season!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane (North Side)
    Posts
    810

    Re: Range extender :-)

    Hey Surfie,

    I dont have a single drop of oil to my name at the moment mate unfortunately.

    Like the others here, I have done a few long distance trips on Bio. Gone from Brisbane to Adelaide and back a few times now without refueling. 800 litres in 25l drums in the trailer. in my super thirsty landcruiser that gets me about 4500 kms on the highway. Raises a few eyebrows I can tell you. I kept a MSDS of bio on hand in case the authorities questioned me, and a tarp to cover the load at night when stopped at the motel at Dubbo so I didnt get robbed.

    About wheel bearings - definelty. I actually had to change mine in the dark on the side of the road at 3am at West Wyalong, with a fully loaded trailer in the rain. Joy. I kept them handy in the top of the toolbox with grease, split pins and side cutters. extra weight, bouncy roads and hot running days does take its toll.

    Lots of other things have gone wrong too, but thats a different story for a different day!

    Bottom line is its very doable, and I do recommend it. Make sure your containers are strong and reliable, and pack some carpet or something such as between the drums and the trailer side boards to prevent excessive chaffing. Regular inspections is the key, especially on an unknown new trailer. Double check that the axle u-bolts are tightened right up and have a lock nut (more experience talking there!!).

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    82

    Re: Range extender :-)

    Thanks guys for the generous offers, advice and encouragement. Everyone else I talk to probably thinks I am nuts :-)

    In regards to the trailer, I initially bought a 6x4 trailer off e-bay for $180, not realizing that it was a home made trailer. I thought that I will fix it up and take that. However, after realising that I will have to register my trailer if I drive to Queensland (NSW lets Vic drivers tow an unregistered trailer, but Qld is too far to worry about Vic drivers, I guess), I thought that I have to do it more seriously. I am now doing the opposite with a custom built off road trailer.

    The tank will pay for itself on this trip alone, so that's fine. The trailer will not, but it will be a full galvanised off road trailer, which will last forever, so that is just an investment.

    I will try to get the trailer maker to give me an extra bearing, thanks for that advice.

    In regards to MSDS and authorities, have you guys got into any trouble at all? I was told that it is better to cover the tank to avoid unnecessary scrutiny.

    Stuart, thanks for the offer, I will see how I go, I guess I may consume more on the way up due to the extra weight. I expect to run out at the Whitsundays and planning to buy diesel on the way back to Brisbane. Will also do some 4wd'ing on Fraser Island on the way back, so that will consume quite a bit, too. However, from Brisbane to Melbourne, I think I will be ok, however will keep your generous offer in mind.

    Peter, thanks for your offer as well to leave the trailer. At this stage, I have got a place in Brisbane to leave it, but if anything goes wrong, I will keep that in mind.

    Johnnojack, you have helped me out greatly in the past already, when my diesel was playing up on the way, which turned out to be the dirty diesel I bought in Port Augusta in the end!! There was nothing wrong with any of the WVO.

    I am dropping off wheels, some parts and the tank for the trailer today, so they can start building it. Pretty exciting, but timing will be everything as I still need to filter enough fuel and fill that tank once all mounted.
    Last edited by surfie; 27th November 2014 at 11:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brisbane (North Side)
    Posts
    810

    Re: Range extender :-)

    It might be different on modern trailers or your particular trailer especially if you are matching wheels and track width, but most trailers were designed around either ford or holden bearings. They are pretty widely available if you get stuck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Forster NSW
    Posts
    78

    Re: Range extender :-)

    Hi all I have been towing a trailer behind my motorhome for many years it was made to suit my needs I had a tank made by Wangeco tanks in Belmore NSW ihe tank can carry 770 litres and was in the bottom of the trailer on top of this was 12v fridge 12v freezer, Generator and many other needs the only problem I ever had was crossing the Nullabour 2013 I broke a spring so I upgraded the springs I live in Forster NSW so if you need oil on your trip pm me limoman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    300

    Re: Range extender :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by surfie View Post
    I expect to run out at the Whitsundays and planning to buy diesel on the way back to Brisbane. Will also do some 4wd'ing on Fraser Island on the way back, so that will consume quite a bit, too.
    Perhaps it may be worth considering a small on the road filtering setup to take with you? You could have a look around for some oil when you need it and if you get it, great, if not, no biggie.
    If you got a small pump I could probably organise you some filters either in Sydney or on the coast you could put on the pump and just toss when they blocked. Even if you only got 50L through each, would save you plenty and be worthwhile. I would thing if the oil was half decent and settled you'd get a lot more than that through but if you ran the oil through an old pillow case or something first if it was dirty you'd probably get a lot more out of them.
    I should be able to drum up 4 for you. They are the same as I have been running on my truck for getting on for 2 years in place of the OEM filter and they work great.

    I got a small Bilge pump for my onroad collections from Whitworths For $20 and 3M of cheap hose and it worked well. Not exactly the 80L a min my SBC pump does but good enough to be practical. From there I used a small Caravan water pump which I think did 8L min @ 30 PSI and it was good too, just fats killed the show. That would be the last thing you'd have to worry about up there at that time of year.
    The pressure pumps are available on Ebay for around $25-$40 depending on the actual flow rate you get. Some are good ( or at least rated to) 10L Min. I just bought one for a fuel pump for another project. It's rated at 6L min and I can get 4L min out of it open flow on oil which is just enough for what I need. I don't think they would drop that much through the filters with the pressure they do.

    Whatever you do, Make sure you hit fraser with a full tank and a Jerry or 3 if you think you may need it. The last place on earth you want to be buying Fuel is Fraser. I think most of the Big banks have offices there right next to the fuel joint so they can do personal loans for people needing to fill up there. The sand there is Very soft on the tracks through the middle and you'll probably want to air down your Tyres which won't help economy either. Figure 2-3KM/L through the middle I reckon. You would be wise to invest in a decent compressor to take with you as well if you don't already have one. Hand if you want to pump the tyres up a bit on the beach after the tracks.
    Also the servos when you come off the ferry are pretty anti 4Wd Pumping up their tyres unless you are filling your tank at the same time. At inflated prices as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    833

    Re: Range extender :-)

    Surfie - happy to help you out with oil - i have heaps - with a bit of notice can fill you up both ways - even give you extra to save you having to carry it all the way from Melbourne could also lend you my flat 200 litre poly tank to go in the back of the surf to save you taking the trailer to Fraser Island

    Craig
    Holden Suburban K2500 1998 6.5L Turbo GM engine
    210,000KMs (90,000 on new crate motor)

    Currently 2 tanks in and working - 90 litre BIO tank and main tank of 160L WVO

    30 plate FPHE in Engine bay and Helton Dual coil in rear
    Walbro FRB-5 pusher pumps x 2

    50,000KM on Veg and 10,000Km on B100

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