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5 Benefits Of An Underbody Water Tank

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March 11 4 minute read

An underbody water tank is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’ll always have plenty of water on tap.

In our 76 Series LandCruiser, we have fitted an in chassis Long Ranger 40 litre water tank. Made from 2mm aluminised steel, it’s incredibly durable plus it’s tucked up neatly out of harm’s way.

Built-in water tanks are an investment, and occasional travellers can usually make do with jerry cans and water bladders. Still, for regular travellers, there are a few reasons why built-in tanks are so popular.

Low Centre of Gravity

When it comes to the stability of off-road vehicles, the more weight you can get down low, the better. With one extreme being a row of water jerry cans on a roof rack the alternative is an underbody water tank. The stability difference between the two options can be huge, and when you’re traversing a steep side slope, it could be the difference between coming through unscathed and laying your vehicle on its side.

Long Ranger Underbody Water Tank 76 Series LandCruiser-7

Weight Between the Axles

You have probably seen images of chassis bending in 4x4s. While there are usually several causal factors like suspension setup, tyre pressures and speed; often, the most significant influence is too much weight too far back. In our Cruiser, the water tank is mounted to the chassis directly between the axles on the driver’s side.

As we add accessories and our travelling loads, many 4x4s end up back heavy; weigh yours, you may be surprised. Aside from reducing the load on the chassis, by loading more weight forward, it’s possible to share some of the load on the rear suspension systems and tyres to the front.

Easy Use

While jerry cans are manageable, water tanks with pumps are luxurious to use. With our Long Ranger tank, the pump is switched by our REDARC RedVision. We simply turn on the pump and our tap is ready to go. There’s no lifting of heavy jerry cans, and it’s easy to minimise the wastage of water.

We’ve installed a gauge in our tank which means we can monitor the level in the REDARC RedVision App and display.

underbody water tank 1

Quick and Clean Fill

With our Long Ranger water tank, the system is all external, which means there’s no chance of spilling water inside during refills. The fill inlet is under the bonnet and easy to access.

Long Ranger Underbody Water Tank 76 Series LandCruiser-7

We carry a length of hose and a nozzle that fits inside this inlet so we can easily refill from any tap. The tank has an external overflow, so we fill until it starts spilling.

Long Ranger Underbody Water Tank 76 Series LandCruiser

We also carry a couple of our 6-litre hiking bladders so if we can’t park near a tap we can cart water and refill using these; they’ve been put to work a couple of times on our trips so far.

Extra Storage Space

Our 40 litre Long Ranger water tank mounts in otherwise unusable space. On our touring/overlanding trips we travel with a full-length rooftop tent which means storing water on the roof rack isn’t possible. Without the underbody water tank that 40-litres would have to be secured inside, consuming valuable storage space.

Long Ranger tanks are available across Australia through the ARB network.

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Mike Collister has spent his life outdoors. He has represented Australia as a slalom kayaker, guided whitewater expeditions in Nepal, and taught outdoor education and wilderness medicine. He’s paddled the Kimberley’s Fitzroy River in the wet season and across the Bass Strait and is an avid photographer, overlander and camper.