Long Term Fuel Storage Options

For this article we are talking regular gasoline, not diesel. This is because over 90% of the cars on the road use gasoline. So chances are that is what your cars uses, its what my car uses.

There are really only 2 options when it comes to long-term fuel storage, using an additive and rotating the fuel. Maybe rotating isn’t true long-term storage however, even with a fuel additive fuel only last 1-2 years. Considering the ultimate goal is to have viable fuel on-hand both options satisfy the objective.

How Much Fuel To Store

This depends on why your are storing fuel, which is usually for a gasoline generator or your car.

If its for your are divide how far you would drive when SHTF by the mpg of your car. I live in Florida while much of our family lives in Michigan. This is about 1200 miles. Our Prius’s (ya, I get they are not exactly bug out vehicles) usually get at least 45 mpg. This means with a full tank of gas I only need to store around 20 gallons of fuel.

Most likely I would use the fuel for a generator. My Prius’s can double as a generator and a re very efficient. Assuming your careful with what you plug in, the estimate looks to be about 5 gallons for 3 days. So if I stuck with the 20 gallons of storage I would have around 12 days of electricity. As well as a few more days depending on how much is in the tank at the time.

Compare this with a standard generator that is capable of burning up to 18 gallons of fuel per day. Now assuming you only run it for half the day and you are careful with how much you plug in maybe you get that down to 4-5 gallons per day. In this case your 20 gallons will last about 4 days.

Rotation Is Easy Enough

The first form of rotation is a kind of constant rotating fuel. The concept is pretty easy. Just rotate your fuel through your cars. Again sticking with my 20 gallons my wife uses about 10 gallons a week. I don’t drive much and only use a few gallons a week. So the plan is to use the stored fuel to fill my wife’s car when it gets low. Then when I get gas I take any empty containers and fill them up as well. This means the gas pretty much only get to about 3-4 weeks old. Considering the congestion in Florida this rotation save trips to the gas station as well.

The second form is more of a store and binge process. Fuel should store for fine for several months, let say 6 months. So use up and refill your stored fuel every 6 months or so.

Using An Additive

There are several additive available on the market with 2 very common ones, STA-BIL and PRI-G. With STA-BIL you add 1-oz per 2.5-gallons and it claims to stabilize fuel for up to 24 months. With PRI-G you only add 1-oz to 16-gallons of fuel and they claim “by treating the fuel annually with PRI-G, you can keep it fresh in storage for years!”

Cost of Additive Treatment

Depending on which additive you choose and the quantity purchased your cost of treating 1 gallon varies, see the table below.

Additive Size Cost Cost to Treat 1 Gallon
STA-BIL 32 oz $15 19 cents
STA-BIL 1 gal (128 oz) $50 15 cents
PRI-G 16 oz $25 10 cents
PRI-G 1 gal (128 oz) $100 5 cents


You can see there really isn’t a long-term option for fuel storage that doesn’t require regular intervention. Personally, I find it easier and more dependable to just rotate the gasoline. Buying additives, making sure you remember to update or add more, and hoping the fuel doesn’t get contaminated just doesn’t seem as dependable. Rotation is pretty much constantly testing the viability of the fuel. Both options are far better than not storing fuel at all.

The next option I hope to have time for is creating my own fuel.

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