Wavian Can | 20L Fuel Container Product Review
Do you know why a lot of campers, off-roaders, and preppers keep their fuel in a Wavian can? It’s because fuel is heavy and takes up a lot of space. Plus, you need to store it safely and securely to prevent leaks or fires.
Wavian Can | Product Review
Fuel is an essential part of modern life, and this is especially true during emergencies. Sometimes fuel is not accessible due to natural or man-made disasters. That means you should have some on-hand in case such a disaster happens. The trick is storing and transporting fuel. This is where the Jerry Can comes in.
The Jerry Can has an interesting history and traces it’s origins back to 1937. Back then, Vinzenz Grünvogel, a German from Schwelm, designed a rectangular, metal fuel can that could carry 20 L of liquid. It featured three integrated handles, which meant it could be carried by one or two men. Plus, it had a flip-top spout. This allowed the contents to be poured out quickly. The can also had enough space for an air pocket. This pocket of air allowed it to float if dropped in the water! It was called the Wehrmachtkanister, and the German Army adopted it before the outbreak of World War Two.
The Allies quickly adopted this ingenious design wehen they saw that it was superior to their fuel cans. Allied soldiers called these containers “Jerry Cans,” as “Jerry” was the slang term for Germans. The Jerry Can was adopted and produced in vast numbers to support the British and American armies. After the war, millions were either sold as surplus or found as discarded items across the battlefields of Europe. Jerry Cans became a popular means of storing and transporting fuel due to their design and durability. The features that made them great back then continue to popularize them today.
There are many different manufacturers of Jerry Cans these days — and there are just as many styles. NATO militaries currently use a design made from plastic with a round fuel spout receptacle in the center of the can. Scepter is the primary military supplier for these cans, although there are other manufacturers who produce the same design.
However, the traditional, metal German-designed Jerry Can is still being produced. Their metal build and D-shaped fuel spout receptacle on the right-hand side of the can distinguish these cans from competitors. They use a rubber gasket to keep fuel from spilling. They also have metal locking mechanisms for the spout.
The Wavian Can Craze?
One brand seems to most popular among Jerry Can uses though, which is why I decided to purchase and evaluate one. When I was at a prepper show a while back, I was talking to one of the vendors and asked him what his most popular item was. Without hesitation, he mentioned Wavian Jerry Cans. He would import a 40’ shipping container of them, and they would still sell out in days. After some research, I realized the consensus was that the Wavian Can was the best new Jerry Can out there.
Before I go any further, I should mention that color matters when it comes to Jerry Cans. There is a color code for civilian fuel containers used within the United States. Basically, the color of the Jerry Can determines what can be carried in it. The following table lists the color and associated fuel.
|Fuel Container Colors|
Surplus Jerry Cans are usually olive drab and sometimes desert tan. Be aware of these restrictions before you put fluid in your Jerry Can.
One more thing to keep in mind: There may be restrictions on how much fuel you can keep in your garage. Contact your local fire department or your insurance agent to find out how much fuel you can store. You can only store fuel in approved containers, like a Wavian Can.
I got my Wavian Can at a local military surplus store (new) for $59.95. I’ve seen them online for anywhere from $79.95 all the way down to $49.95. However, be aware of shipping and handling costs. These are large, heavy items, so you may end up paying a lot of have them delivered.
I have had this particular Jerry Can for almost a year and haven’t had a chance to use it. One day, I decided to put it to the test to see if it was worth the hype. I put it in the back of my car and took it to the gas station down the street. I started filling it up and got to about 4.3 gallons (16.3 L) before the pump stopped. The nominal capacity of the Jerry Can is 20 L or 5.3 gallons, but modern fuel pumps won’t fill it up all the way. I withdrew the pump a bit and filled it to the brim. This was a mistake…but more on that later on. In the mean time, I closed the fuel cap, inserted the retaining pin, and placed the Wavian Can on its side inside the trunk of my car.
I got home and opened the trunk. No fuel had spilled and there wasn’t any fuel vapor odor. All this was good, meaning that the seals worked as intended. I placed the Jerry Can in my garage and waited for it to cool off before I went to fill my other vehicle. It was over 105F that day, so I wanted to refuel when it was cooler.
About an hour before sunset, I decided to fuel my other vehicle. However, I got a bit of an unexpected surprise when I took the cap off to attach the fuel spout. Remember how I filled the Jerry Can to the brim? Well, since the fuel came from an underground storage tank, it was cool. Then I left the can in my garage for a few hours, meaning the fuel warmed up and expanded. When I opened the cap, gasoline sprayed out at me.
I don’t blame the can for this. The incident was purely human error on my part.
I attached the EPA-approved fuel spout and went to fuel my other car. This is where the process became a mess. The spout wouldn’t fit into the fuel filler, meaning I spilled some gasoline before I halted the fueling process. There was no way the spout would allow me to dispense fuel into the tank, meaning I either had to use a funnel or transfer the gasoline to another container before fueling.
I ended up having to pour the fuel from the Wavian Can — sans EPA-approved fuel spout — into one of my smaller gasoline containers. Then I poured the contents of the smaller can into the fuel tank, which I repeated four times. The good news was that without the EPA-approved fuel spout, the Wavian Can emptied the fuel very quickly and without interruption. While it was a pain to use this process to fuel the car, I began to formulate some ideas on how to address this problem in the future. After all, this wasn’t an emergency situation, and I wasn’t in a hurry.
Essentially, if you have an old-school Jerry Can with a new-style fuel spout, forget about fueling an automobile with it. You will either need a funnel or a pre-2009 fuel spout that will fit a traditional Jerry Can. Otherwise, you are going to spill a lot of fuel on the ground and not in your tank. I am going to look at both possibilities, since I really want to be able to use my Wavian when necessary. It is a great fuel container with an absolutely abysmal fuel spout.
- Solid construction, the seals and connections are top-notch.
- EPA-approved fuel spout is an absolute pain to use.
- Metal fuel cans weigh more than plastic fuel cans, and the heavy gauge metal used in the Wavian cans makes them even heavier.
Wavian Jerry Cans shows a video of the quality testing their products goes through:
I really like the Wavian Jerry Can, but the current fuel spout makes it difficult to use. I don’t blame Wavian for that. They’re just following the dictates of our Imperial Overlords at the EPA. The can itself is well-crafted and solid, and I will be using this one for many years to come. In fact, I plan on buying several more in the near future. If you are in the market for new Jerry Can, this is the one to get.
Overall Rating 8/10
Do you have a Wavian can of your own or plan on purchasing one for yourself? Let us know in the comments section below!
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October 10, 2017 at 7:57 PM
I had the same dueling issue. Bought a long flexible neck metal funnel. Problem solved.
January 30, 2018 at 12:45 PM
Do not buy they are junk broke first time I used it. Not worth the money
June 26, 2018 at 8:52 AM
Wavian fuel cans are made by Valpro in latvia. Canada Ammo sells the Valpro cans, premium model, that are EXACTLY the same can, but with an embossed V . If you buy 4 at a time it is $45 canadian. That’s $34 US. These are .9mm thick and fully welded just like the wavian branded valpro. Wavians are valpros. I bought 8.
June 30, 2018 at 1:38 AM
Very bad experience with the affiliate site JerryCan.com I did purchased 2 jerry cans and it seems that the 5 gal can is leaking because the spout is not tighten to the can. This is a manufacturing issue but they still does not want to replace the product. I have tried to call them more than 10 times a month ago, I left a voice message, I sent an email and I even wrote on the chat platform but no reply. This week I called 5 times and no reply. I left a voice message to let them know that I will post reviews to let other know about this experience and they finally called me back but they mentioned that you can only return it 30 days from the purchase date. I was not using the can in the first 30 days at all and now I am realizing that I have an expensive can that I cannot use. Please be aware that buying from any survivallife.com affiliate is like playing at the lottery and the support is inexistent. They only want you to spend the money to buy them but they don’t offer any support and most of the time they do not have them in stock so you have to wait more than a month to receive them (like in my case) To receive an expensive can that is leaking it is not acceptable.
September 21, 2018 at 5:28 PM
I bought one of these cans at a local Military Surplus store, Not only would the can’s spout not fit into the filler opening of my 1988 Ford Ranger, but the gasket on it leaked (improper seal). And – the can IS HEAVY! I took mine back to the store for an in-house credit. I’D NEVER BUY ANOTHER ONE OF THESE CANS! Since then, I’ve opted for a sturdy plastic can that can be adapted with an”EZ POUR” brand flexible spout. Be sure to get the correct EZ POUR spout size for your filler neck application – large or small – AND – BE SURE THE CAN AND SPOUT ATTACHMENT FITTINGS ARE THE SAME DIAMETER!
September 21, 2018 at 10:57 PM
I WAS INTERESTED BUT AFTER READING THE REVIEWS I THINK I WILL STAY WITH MY WALMART 5 GALLON PLASTIC CONTAINERS
October 18, 2018 at 3:08 PM
I purchased the 2.6 gal (10 Liter) can a couple of years back through wavianusa.com. While the spout is poor because of the plastic crap part. and it flew across the driveway when I swung it to shake the excess gas out. Did not realize that the end section was only slipped in and pressure fitted. Plastic was a bit hard to bounce.
Anyway got the midsize can and have been carrying it in the trunk of the car or the cab of the truck for years. the fuel will indeed spray if you open it to quickly while under pressure – expect pressure it is called gas. Point is I love this can. It is expensive but has far outlasted any plastic can I have ever owned.
The complaints I see about the seal or spout leaking have never entered the picture. Never a spill or smell from any trip or travel. I do fill it up but leave a small air pocket. I do open slowly and stand opposite the opening. The comment about color – BS as far as I am concerned. Mine is Blue and has retained the finish since new.
I will be getting a second can because at this time the gas gauge on my 21 year old Chevy s-1o is dead. I am having to use the trip odometer to track approx levels in the tank ~ 200 to 250 per tank be filling and resetting the odometer full. Having a spare 2.6 gallons is a plus.
I will most likely get the flexible metal goose-neck spout. This looks like the one I had for my old metal gas can with the screw on cap/nozzle some 20 years ago. Not a Wavian but almost as good, It went the VW Bus as part of the sale.
Not as good because the screw cap was a bit of wasted time compared to the life lever remove cap (yet still attached), replace nozzle and drop lever. Much simpler. Since it is only as a spare supply or to maybe fill a lawnmower or such, the 2.6 is great as both a transport and storage can and fits in the trunk of the car with ease. Plus full it is not very heavy. Size wise it is easier to life and pour into the tanks.
Extra note: for the people still reading, Cycle your gas. If you carry for extra gas in a car or trunk, empty every other tankful and fill with new stock. Rumors has it that gas will loose it strength after a month or more.
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October 10, 2022 at 8:04 PM
To solve the fuel transfer problems mentioned, try a “Super Syphon” or similar.