2 Gallon Rotopax failure, leaking - UPDATE - received replacement

outback97

Adventurer
I have a couple of 4GL Rotopax fuel cans, but sometimes you just want a couple extra gallons of fuel for peace of mind. I thought I had come up with a great solution to carry two gallons of fuel, a 2GL Rotopax fits perfectly in the cargo box on my Xterra.



Unfortunately my 2GL can failed after only the second time I used it. I smelled fuel and saw that it had leaked all over the roof, running down the top of the windshield and soaking a tarp I had placed in the cargo box. Could have been much worse, fortunately this happened in the driveway and not out on the trail when I was counting on it.


Anyone else have this happen, specifically on the 2GL ones? I will be contacting Rotopax about it.

UPDATE:
Only two days after contacting Rotopax, I received a replacement 2GL can. Hopefully I'll have no problems with this new one.
 
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lchavez

Observer
sorry to see that, any idea where it was leaking? I have two I have carried on my xterra roof rack. they have ballooned up in the heat, but did not leak. no longer carry up there do to the expansion. does not take much for them to expand. even almost empty and in the shade they balloon up when it's warm out. I was surprised at this because they felt like thick material. been thinking i would try again, but under a rotopax water pack. hoping the water pack will transfer heat and deflect the sun.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
All of them balloon out as soon as the temperature starts rising - don't even have to be exposed to direct sun.

I've not owned any of the Rotopax containers but I do have a couple of the similar Kolpin brand containers I bought at Cabelas. After about 3 years the 4-gallon container began weeping gasoline out of the center seam on one of the corners. I contacted Kolpin; they asked that I take a photo of the leaky portion of the container and send it to them. Soon after I received a new container at no charge. That one has worked out well for several years - use it all the time. But I really appreciate a company that stands by their products and I remember that for future purchases!
 

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outback97

Adventurer
sorry to see that, any idea where it was leaking? I have two I have carried on my xterra roof rack. they have ballooned up in the heat, but did not leak. no longer carry up there do to the expansion. does not take much for them to expand. even almost empty and in the shade they balloon up when it's warm out. I was surprised at this because they felt like thick material. been thinking i would try again, but under a rotopax water pack. hoping the water pack will transfer heat and deflect the sun.
Do you have the 4GL or 2GL? It failed at the bottom seam, next to the thick round molded area where you would join two of the 2GL ones and pivot them together.

I have used the 4GL in similar conditions and treated them the same, without any failure. I have had leaking at the cap, but never at a seam. They do bulge when the temperature fluctuates, and I try to vent them when they're warm so that they contract when cool.

Your idea of putting them under the water containers could help, but they'll probably still bulge. And the downside to that configuration would be raising your COG even more since water is a lot heavier, and it will be higher up.


All of them balloon out as soon as the temperature starts rising - don't even have to be exposed to direct sun.

I've not owned any of the Rotopax containers but I do have a couple of the similar Kolpin brand containers I bought at Cabelas. After about 3 years the 4-gallon container began weeping gasoline out of the center seam on one of the corners. I contacted Kolpin; they asked that I take a photo of the leaky portion of the container and send it to them. Soon after I received a new container at no charge. That one has worked out well for several years - use it all the time. But I really appreciate a company that stands by their products and I remember that for future purchases!
Yup, temperature will expand the fuel whether it's in the sun or just ambient heat.

Agreed about companies standing behind their products. I'm curious how Rotopax will respond. Right before a long weekend trip I discovered one of my 4GL cans was leaking at the cap. I emailed them about three weeks ago inquiring where I could find replacement gaskets or caps on short notice. I received no response. Hopefully they will do better this time; I messaged them on Facebook so I'll see if that gets a reply more quickly than email.
 
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Idaholandho

The other white meat
I have several Rotopax fuel containers that I have been rotating in extreme temp swings and weather with no issue.
Have you tried calling them? I recently had a key break off in the lock, called them and within 2 days had a replacement handle. Their customer service is amazing and being in Utah, it should be pretty simple to get in touch with as they may just have explanation for the issue. Best of luck.

@outback97 - About the time you tried to contact, I believe they were in the middle of a move and having one of the busiest years trying to catch up. Give them a call and leave a message if no answer. When I was called back, they were very apologetic about not taking the original call.
 

Thirty-Nine

Explorer
For what it's worth, I had the EXACT same thing happen to mine 2 gal. RotopaX last month. First time I filled it up, it pissed all over my brand-new JCR rear bumper. I called 2-3 times without a word back. I Facebook messaged them and got a response. They ended up dropping off a brand new one at Easter Jeep Safari for me (they were headed that way). I haven't had a chance to fill it yet. This was 1 of 2 that I ordered. The first one was fine.

I wonder if they had a brad run. When did you buy it?
 

outback97

Adventurer
I have several Rotopax fuel containers that I have been rotating in extreme temp swings and weather with no issue.
Have you tried calling them? I recently had a key break off in the lock, called them and within 2 days had a replacement handle. Their customer service is amazing and being in Utah, it should be pretty simple to get in touch with as they may just have explanation for the issue. Best of luck.

@outback97 - About the time you tried to contact, I believe they were in the middle of a move and having one of the busiest years trying to catch up. Give them a call and leave a message if no answer. When I was called back, they were very apologetic about not taking the original call.
I'm curious if any of yours are 2GL ones? Or other sizes? My 4GL have been fine so far in the same conditions.

I am waiting to see if FB gets me some response, if not I'll try to call them.

For what it's worth, I had the EXACT same thing happen to mine 2 gal. RotopaX last month. First time I filled it up, it pissed all over my brand-new JCR rear bumper. I called 2-3 times without a word back. I Facebook messaged them and got a response. They ended up dropping off a brand new one at Easter Jeep Safari for me (they were headed that way). I haven't had a chance to fill it yet. This was 1 of 2 that I ordered. The first one was fine.

I wonder if they had a brad run. When did you buy it?
Interesting, thanks for replying. I always try these out with some fuel around town before I rely on them on a camping trip. I had mine inside my vehicle for a day and could smell zero fumes. Picked my wife up in the car and she didn't even know the gas can was in the back. So it didn't leak at first. Just the second time I actually used it on the roof, for a weekend camping.

Both of my 4GL have a mfg date code on them. But this 2GL has no code that I could see. I got it recently, so maybe ours were from the same run.
 

outback97

Adventurer
After I got in touch with them via FB, they called me and they will be sending me a replacement free of charge. I just need to send a photograph of my failed one rendered definitively dead and unusable (i.e. drill or cut a hole in it). I'm thinking rinsing out with water and using a non sparking tool is the way to go with that.

Will update the thread after I receive it. So far I'm impressed with the customer service and responsiveness.
 

Idaholandho

The other white meat
Glad to see that they came through for you. Honestly with my issue, I did not expect anything and was willing to pay for replacement. But, they called me after hours, we were disconnected and they called me back and had a great conversation. I know they are extremely busy right now and back logged on dealer orders. They will get my business for years to come. Best of luck to you and safe travels.
 

outback97

Adventurer
Well Rotopax came through for me. They sent a replacement 2 gallon can, plus a couple extra gaskets I had asked about earlier.

I received it just over 48 hours after contacting them about it. I'd say that's some great customer service.

The new can visually just seems like the seams are higher quality. The one that failed always did look a bit rougher around the edges. I will try it out this weekend when we head out to the desert; hopefully everything works well with this replacement.

Thanks again for the responses.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
I'm guessing there was a bad run of cans that slipped through the QC checking process.
.
Been running 3 gal RotoPax for years, ratchet-strapped to the roof. Yes, they "balloon out" but they never leak a drop, even laying sideways.
.
Nice to see the company stand by their product. Reputation is very important when it comes to outdoors gear because if it breaks, it's going to break when you are far away from any store to return it to.
 

outback97

Adventurer
I'm guessing there was a bad run of cans that slipped through the QC checking process.
.
Been running 3 gal RotoPax for years, ratchet-strapped to the roof. Yes, they "balloon out" but they never leak a drop, even laying sideways.
.
Nice to see the company stand by their product. Reputation is very important when it comes to outdoors gear because if it breaks, it's going to break when you are far away from any store to return it to.
I hope it was just a bad run. Weird that there are date stamps on both my 4GL ones, but not on the 2GL. How can one tell when it was made? Anyway, this new one just seems to be better made, the seams look more finished. I filled it this morning on the way to work and it's going to be sitting around today being monitored to make sure it's sound.

It is good to see them step up. What you said is true, especially important that a product holds up when it's storing rather vital flammable liquid. It's not like you can fix a busted gas can with ratchet straps and baling wire.

EDIT: There is a date stamp on my new one, it was just in a different location than on the 4GL ones.
 
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WOODY2

Adventurer
No date stamps sounds like you may have gotten some fakes? In any event you have gotten a sterling example of how a standup company handles issues
 

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ADVSubaru

Observer
No date stamps sounds like you may have gotten some fakes? In any event you have gotten a sterling example of how a standup company handles issues
I think this is a valid point and one of the reasons I ordered mine directly through Rotopax. Admittedly I'm concerned about mine as this is the second or third report in the last few weeks of them leaking but I guess I'll just go with a steel jerrycan in the event that mine fails.
 

outback97

Adventurer
No date stamps sounds like you may have gotten some fakes? In any event you have gotten a sterling example of how a standup company handles issues
I think this is a valid point and one of the reasons I ordered mine directly through Rotopax. Admittedly I'm concerned about mine as this is the second or third report in the last few weeks of them leaking but I guess I'll just go with a steel jerrycan in the event that mine fails.
Guys I apologize, the date stamp on the new 2GL one is in a totally different place than the 4GL... I may have overlooked it on my leaky 2GL one and it may well have one. I will check it out more closely.

Is fake Rotopax a thing? Having had this in hand next to my other ones, I doubt this one is. More likely a manufacturing defect. But I guess anything is possible.
 
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