In the age of mobile phones, there’s one feeling we’ve all experienced at one time or another – 0% battery. Thankfully, power banks came along, offering peace of mind for those on the go. By that same token, TITAN Fuel Tanks’ products work toward a similar purpose, but for 4x4s. These tanks offer drivers security to keep on exploring or make it to the next gas station. One of their hallmark products is the Trail Trekker II (PN 4040287) for Jeep Wranglers, available for classic and late-model versions.
TITAN sent us a tank to test out on a Jeep, which we found courtesy of Heather Lucido in San Dimas, California. Her four-door 2015 JK Unlimited was already packed to the gills with adventure equipment. It only made sense to equip her Jeep with even more capability thanks to the Trail Trekker II.
Before we kicked off on the installation, however, we spoke with TITAN’s Marketing Manager, Mike Deford, to learn more about the Trail Trekker II and what it brings to the table.
TITAN Fuel Tanks is all about auxiliary fuel storage, offering vehicle owners the ability to go farther and keep them from getting stranded. As we learned from talking with Deford, the inspiration behind The Trail Trekker II comes from a personal need to want to keep going, as a lot of TITAN’s employees enjoy off-roading themselves. “We spend our weekends on the trail with friends and/or family,” said Deford. “We are always off road playing in one way or another.”
“Years ago, while in a meeting, a couple of us started talking about the need to do something specific for Jeeps,” he continued. “The Jeep conversation quickly turned into a tank for a wide range of vehicles. The Trail Trekker II is the result of our own wishes and desires.”
In keeping with TITAN’s trademark design attributes, the Trail Trekker II makes use of cross-linked polymer. “Our cross-linked polymer material is tough, flexible, and the material reduces condensation and extreme temperatures,” explained Deford. “The formula we use and our construction methods make it the ideal material. Our tanks have also proven themselves in racing applications. Some of the best off-road racing teams use our tanks in their chase and recovery rigs around the world, from the Johnson Valley desert at King of the Hammers to the rugged conditions of the Dakar and Baja.”
Tied to the Trail Trekker II’s durability is its safety. As we all know, gasoline is flammable. TITAN took steps to ensure that the potential for electric discharge while refueling is heavily mitigated thanks to a grounding stud included in the kit.
“We’ve all seen accidents with gasoline, and they are scary,” said Deford. “When we went to work developing the Trail Trekker II and our other gasoline transfer tanks, safety was the first priority. It is why you will find features like the grounding stud. This tool reduces the possibility of a spark while filling up. Safety is why our mounting system and hardware are so robust. Yes, we could have made them cheaper, but we want to make sure that the product outperforms and lasts.”
Our installation brought us to Core Motorsports in San Dimas. There, Justin Bayes took care of our install. His background in off-road and aftermarket upgrades, as well as his considerable tool collection and knowledge base, made fine work of installing the Trail Trekker II.
Justin began by removing the spare tire from its aftermarket tire carrier. With that done, he examined the mount and measured the approximate length needed to fit the Trail Trekker II. His calculations showed he would need at least 6.5 inches of space from the rear door. Also, Justin relocated the mount lower on the tire carrier. This would give Heather some more visibility out back.
The new TITAN mount was a two-piece design. The first piece nestled inside a concave spot in the tank, and would bolt in four places to the spare tire carrier. The second piece would mount onto the first and give the spare tire a new place to bolt on. To that end, the second piece came with several studs that needed to be pressed in.
To do this, Justin mocked up the studs inside the TITAN mount to determine which holes required studs. He then took the mount and studs to his 50-ton shop press. Here, he gingerly moved the mount around and pressed in the studs. He used three studs in all, each of them corresponding to the spare tire’s wheel holes.
With the tire carrier mount on its lowest position, Justin bolted the tank in. He then installed the tire mount jutting out from the tank, and locked it in place using a top jamb bolt. The Trail Trekker II tank was now in place, but there was one more step to take care of – grounding the tank.
The tank came prepackaged with a grounding wire, which connected to a terminal on the tank. Justin opted to connect the wire to the tire carrier. It would come in handy for Heather down the line to prevent any accidental static electrical discharge.
More Fuel = More Fun
The goal of the Trail Trekker II is to give Jeep owners more fuel for more fun and adventure. Now with 12 additional gallons on tap, Heather’s JK can go further on the trail, or help her get out of a jam and into the next gas station.
“I’m planning a trip to Big Bear Lake soon and the Trail Trekker II will be great to have,” commented Heather. “I like that I’ll have more fuel at the ready to keep the Jeep topped up. I always used to worry about having enough fuel while off-roading. Now I feel at ease knowing I have extra to get me to a gas station, or that I can help other off-roaders get going again.”
TITAN Fuel Tanks’ Trail Trekker II tank is a great addition if you’ve been looking for a way to get more miles on the trail. Be sure to check out the company’s website to learn more about this and other awesome auxiliary fuel tanks. And don’t forget to follow TITAN on Facebook, too.
Additional photography by Jeff Henderson