Carrying Gas and Water cans on JKU w/ Smittybilt Atlas tire carrier


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I'm pretty sure this is one of my first posts here, though I've been lurking for years. I just finished tinkering with a system to deliver water while camping out of my JKUR. I do a lot of solo hunting trips deep into the boonies, and I'm off grid for 2 to 6 days at a time. For years I've just used 5 gallong jugs with taps, but my back isn't as reliable as it once was, so I needed to figure out a simple system that would avoid having to stow and lug big can's of water around.

Since I rarely need more than 5 gallons of extra gas, I've swapped the driver's side for a Wavian water can (not worth the $30 premium price over the Walmart Scepter can, btw) but it does have a threaded hole at the bottom that comes with a REALLY lousy spout. Here's how I upgraded things to make it much more useful:

As I mentioned earlier, the bottom spout on the Wavian SUCKS. It was really the only reason I bought this versus the $16 Scepter can from Walmart (blue one) which looks almost identical but without the bottom spout. If I had this to do over again, I probably would just buy the inexpensive Scepter can and then drill a hole for a plumbing fitting.

However - I had the Wavian, so I was able to adapt it for my needs as follows:

1. Luckily, the bottom threads for the spout are regular garden hose threads. I was able to use a garden hose brass shutoff coupling from Home Depot (SKU 046878279339 - $4.98), flip it around backwards and install it in the can. NOTE: make sure you use a hose gasket behind it, and seal the threads otherwise it leaks like a mofo.

2. To strengthen it, I applied some clear JB Weld epoxy

This gave me a good solid valve that won't spin around while trying to operate it with one hand.

Next was the assembly of my "faucet" system:

This threads into the bottom valve, just like attaching a garden hose to a hose bib, except backwards:

Detail of the "faucet" portion with the 3/8" FIP to 1/4" compression fitting:

For testing, I'm just velro-ing to the carrier. My longer term plan is to shorten the copper tubing and then make an aluminum bracket for the copper tubing and either use magnets or a spring clamp (or quick fist) to attach to the tire carrier. A few trips in the field with this setup will help me decide where to put it. The whole contraption rolls up and fits in my rollbar bag on the driver's side.

Here's a quick video of it in operation:

I think I have a pretty workable water solution now for camping out of the back of the Jeep. I always bring a couple gallons of drinking water separately and use my "jug" water for things like boiling pasta, washing hands and dishes, brushing teeth, bathing, etc. Its potable, but I don't usually drink it, so my approach might be a bit different from someone who wants to use this as a potable water supply.

Parts List:

Marine foot-operated galley pump ($31)
5/8" clear Vinyl tubing ($9) SKU 841804100349
1/4" copper tubing (had on hand)
1/4" compression x 3/8" FIP brass coupling ($6.70) SKU 887480009095
1/2" x 3/8" plastic barb adapter - ($2.35) SKU 88740002195
Toro 1/2" NPT "Funny Pipe" (I had a bunch of these leftover from a sprinkler project) . Even though the description says "3/8" it fits inside the 1/2 ID vinyl pipe perfectly - test fit if you buy one of these.

Then I had this brass female garden hose to 1/2 FNPT bushing in a bucket of plumbing parts and lucked out that it was the "magic missing piece" that made everything work:


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Would love to see an overview picture with the smiity built carrier and both cans

Here's where I stow the faucet/pump assembly:



Closeup of the carrier in the closed position with Hi-Lift and shovel/axe carrier I made:

Opened position:

With faucet attached:

Honestly, I'd like to eventually replace the 5/8" vinyl tubing with some 1/4" surgical tubing, but the problem is that the 1/2" barbed connectors on the pump are fixed and not replaceable (molded into the unit). If I can find a simple way to convert from a 1/2" male barb to a 1/4" male barb then I'll go that route to make the package even more compact and flexible.
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