The Difference Between Auxiliary Tanks & Transfer Tanks

Fuel transfer tank in the truck bed of a white pickup truck on a field.

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Auxiliary fuel tanks and fuel transfer tanks provide many benefits that can really upgrade your vehicle. We often use pickup trucks for their utility, including their ability to haul heavy loads. They’re also highly versatile and can travel through environments other vehicles can’t (imagine trying to drive up a dirt trail in a Smart Car- not so smart.) With the power to haul and travel anywhere comes great responsibility – to fuel up! The heavier the load and the further your truck goes, the more fuel it will require. Sometimes, you need more fuel for a trip than your truck was designed to hold, even if you’ve taken steps to improve gas mileage. So, to supplement, we opt for auxiliary fuel tanks and fuel transfer tanks. If they both serve the same purpose, what is the difference between an auxiliary tank and a transfer tank?

What Are Fuel Transfer Tanks?

Aluminum combo fuel transfer tank on top of a red pickup truck in front of lumber.

A fuel transfer tank is a container that holds fuel to refuel equipment, generators, power tools, and more. They can transport liquids on your truck, SUV, or Jeep to job sites or remote areas where access to fuel might be sparse. Having one on hand can also be useful in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, providing power for essential equipment. They require a transfer pump to siphon fuel into external appliances. There are many quality fuel transfer tanks with pumps to choose from, including a variety of RDS tanks. With the right fuel transfer tanks, you can take fuel anywhere.

What Are Auxiliary Fuel Tanks?

Auxiliary fuel tank in a white pickup truck on a field of grass.

Auxiliary fuel tanks are containers designed to provide additional fuel storage capacity for your vehicle. They’re typically either mounted to the truck bed or installed underneath it in a way that transfers fuel directly to the stock fuel system when it’s empty. An auxiliary tank may employ its own fuel system via an inline pump or simply use gravity. The main purpose of auxiliary tanks is to provide supplemental fuel during prolonged travel, extending the range of trucks, off-road vehicles, and RVs.

How Auxiliary Fuel Tanks and Fuel Transfer Differ

Fuel transfer tank with pump on in a pickup truck.

There are various similarities and differences to note when comparing auxiliary fuel tanks vs. fuel transfer tanks. Some factors will be more important to prioritize depending on how you plan to use your fuel tank.

Bang For Your Buck

What is the price difference between an auxiliary tank and a transfer tank? The difference isn’t astronomical. Auxiliary tank prices can run a bit higher, ranging from about $400 to $1500. On the flip side, transfer fuel tanks range from roughly $500 to $1,000. Ultimately, it depends on the model you get, its construction, and its features.

Fuel Carrying Capacity

The difference between the amount of fuel a transfer tank and an auxiliary tank can hold is negligible. Both types of tanks have a capacity between 20-100 gallons. Your vehicle’s gas mileage and the number of miles you want to be able to travel will largely dictate the capacity you choose for your fuel tank. Did you know you can get a fuel tank that carries more than just fuel? Fuel transfer tanks with toolboxes exist, and they’re awesome. If you’re a working professional on the job, this could be the gear solution you didn’t know you needed.

Comparison in Construction

Agricultural technic working in a yellow field of grain.

Both fuel transfer tanks and auxiliary tanks are typically made from aluminum or steel. Steel provides the utmost strength and durability throughout travels, but it also weighs more. This could be something to factor in if you’re conscious of your vehicle’s weight or towing capacity. Steel is also vulnerable to rust and corrosion in wet or salty environments. Their endurance can be improved by protective coatings, such as a powder coat finish. On the other hand, aluminum tanks are lightweight, naturally corrosion-resistant, and heat-dissipating, which reduces overheating. The tradeoff is that aluminum is less durable, making it more prone to damage upon impact. For the best of both worlds, there’s a little something called aluminized steel. Fuel tanks with aluminum-plated steel offer protection from moisture, heat, and collisions, all in one glorious tank.

The Benefits of Both

The advantages of auxiliary fuel tanks include the ability to work in different environments with greater freedom. Farmers, ranchers, contractors, and construction workers alike would reap benefits from owning a fuel tank or two. Without needing to stay close to civilization for fuel, workers can venture to remote job sites, relying on their own fuel storage. It also means fewer stops for refueling, as well as opportunities to shop ahead and save money on fuel.

Fuel transfer tanks fuel extraneous appliances and equipment, allowing users to remain on job sites in remote destinations. If equipped with a pump and the right features, a fuel transfer tank can also power your vehicle.

Conclusion: Contrasting Fuel Tanks

Semi Trucks arrive to take on loads of harvested food  transporting them to market

What is the difference between an auxiliary tank and a transfer tank overall? In short, the answer lies in the pump system, or lack thereof. An auxiliary fuel tank can pump right into a vehicle’s stock fuel system. A fuel transfer tank is typically used for fueling equipment outside the vehicle, requiring a separate pump and the right features to transport liquids into the vehicle’s fuel system. Both have their ideal uses and strong points. Find fuel transfer tanks with pumps, auxiliary fuel tank kits, and more to prepare for your next big travel experience!

Level Up Your Vehicle!

At Omni Garage, we make it our mission to level up your vehicle to its highest potential at the lowest price. Whether traveling to a job or traversing terrain, we’re all about getting you where you need to go.