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Old 03-02-2016, 10:06 AM   #1
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Tranfer/Auxiliary tank: Steel vs Aluminum??

I am getting ready to purchase a xfer tank arounr 50 gallons. Any reason to buy aluminum over steel, beside weight and corrosion? Steel tanks are significantly cheaper.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:07 AM   #2
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I hauled a 100gal steel tank for many years that worked very well. Suggest an easily changed in-line fuel filter for your new tank.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:14 PM   #3
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I hauled a 100gal steel tank for many years that worked very well. Suggest an easily changed in-line fuel filter for your new tank.
That is the plan. Also running a gravity fed fuel pump as well.
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Old 03-02-2016, 08:50 PM   #4
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Zac, I have a 90 gallon RDS aux tank / toolbox combo in aluminum diamond plate I am looking to sell... it's not very old and in great shape.
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Old 03-03-2016, 12:03 AM   #5
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Zac, I have a 90 gallon RDS aux tank / toolbox combo in aluminum diamond plate I am looking to sell... it's not very old and in great shape.
Thanks for the thought. I dont think the 90 will fit in front of and Andersen hitch on my shortbed. Also, Illinois is a far stretch.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:55 PM   #6
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My steel tank is 21 years old and has been great. Painted the outside a few times to protect from rusting.
I prefered well vented gravity flow for dumping in the truck tank through the fill hose.
The hoses rotted and changed as often.
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Old 03-08-2016, 10:18 PM   #7
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I am getting ready to purchase a xfer tank arounr 50 gallons. Any reason to buy aluminum over steel, beside weight and corrosion? Steel tanks are significantly cheaper.
"IF" an aluminum tank is built and mounted properly it will outlast (not out perform) a steel tank.

Steel tanks that I've seen fail are due to a lack of paint or there was no way to remove the water from inside of the tank.

There maybe more condensation with aluminum.

I work with aluminum allot so for me aluminum is the way to go but in saying that I've seen ALLOT of really cheap poorly made aluminum tanks that only last 6-8 years.


A rule of thumb is that aluminum is 1/3 the weight of steel and 1/2 the strength. If a steel tank is say .063" thick for the same strength an aluminum tank should be .125" and still be 1/4 less weight.......1/4 because extra reinforcing is needed on an aluminum tank.

I wouldn't buy a tank made with less than 1/8" aluminum.

It is important to use a marine grade aluminum like 5052 or 5086.

Super-brite aluminum checker plate can be 3003 grade

Aluminum will corrode if it is mounted to a flat surface that traps moisture against the tank.

Galvanized steel tanks and fittings are bad news for diesel.

If I was building a 50 gal alum. tank for myself I would use either 5/32" or 3/16" aluminum.

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Old 03-09-2016, 11:30 AM   #8
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Don't steel or aluminum tanks normally have a sealer applied to the inside?
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:14 PM   #9
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I had steel tank for a number of years, but when my in-line filter started getting rust clogging it I sold it and bought aluminum.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:26 PM   #10
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I had steel tank for a number of years, but when my in-line filter started getting rust clogging it I sold it and bought aluminum.
Oh, I did not think about that.

I plan on keeping mine full as much as possible to prevent water moisture.
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Old 03-20-2016, 06:57 PM   #11
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What in line filter set up do you guys use in the gravity feed line between the aux. tank and the main tank? I plumbed the small line into the fill line for the main tank this weekend but I would like to put a filter in the line before putting fuel into the system. I was thinking a filter with a water separator but have not found an affordable solution yet.


I mounted an aluminum RDS tank by the way. 51 gallons with a shallow tool box on top. It all fits below my cover and in front of the hitch.
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:00 PM   #12
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You will have to make sure to get a filter that will work with gravity feed.
I tried a spin on filter with water drain like I have on my dump truck and it would not work with gravity feed (RDS 90 gal tank)
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Old 03-25-2016, 04:13 AM   #13
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I am getting ready to purchase a xfer tank arounr 50 gallons. Any reason to buy aluminum over steel, beside weight and corrosion? Steel tanks are significantly cheaper.
You may want to do some weighing of your combo first. Your RV has a GVWR of 14K that means the pin at 20% will be 2,800# and easily 25% at 3,500#. You are most likely already at or above your rear axle rating. Add 50 G of fuel and fuel tank and you need some help!
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:37 PM   #14
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Tranfer/Auxiliary tank: Steel vs Aluminum??

This weekend, I installed a used Weather Guard 90 gallon L shaped tank in my truck. It came with a 15 GPM electric pump so I'll go with that for now ($500). The inside showed no signs of rust but the outside needed a couple coats of Rustoleum oil based paint. I know it's heavy and heavier still with 83 gallons of diesel. And I think I've found the tool box I want. A Taylor Wings Low Boy box, aluminum.
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