It seems that most of those on this list have newer vans with Aluminess bumpers and their associated boxes. Our 2001 SMB has the then-available optional steel Reunel bumpers with the rear one fitted with a swing-out jerry can box. While the spring-loaded latch for the box seems up to the task of holding the box in the closed position under normal circumstances, the latch has a tendency to disengage while off-roading, resulting in the box (typically loaded with four 5-gallon jerry cans of water) swinging out while negotiating a steep or rough spot on the trail.
After the last time this happened (on a trip to Death Valley with some other SMB owners), I decided I needed fix the problem for good. I solved the problem by supplement the latch with an 18”-long gate cane bolt. Cane bolts are used to hold pairs of gates in place by dropping into pipes in the ground. They come with a couple of holders which are bolted to the gate to hold the cane bolt vertically. Here is my installation:
The holders were attached to the side of the jerry can box. The can bolt drops into a hole drilled through the top of the 3/8”-thick steel bumper. The right rear van door will hit the “handle” on the top of the cane bolt if it isn’t swung to the left to I dipped the handle in red Dip-It rubberized paint so that we’d hopefully not leave it in the wrong position. When we aren’t off-roading, I store the cane bolt inside the van.
Incidentally, the Reunel jerry can box was designed to fit WWII-era sized jerry cans. The cans that I purchased from Expedition Exchange many years ago gradually rusted inside (even though they were lined) and when I called a couple of weeks ago to replace them, I discovered that they are no longer available. After a lot of Internet searching, I found some nice ones at NRC (originally called Northwest River Supplies) which are listed as 6-3/8” wide. Many of the jerry/water cans that I found online didn’t list the width or were too wide for the total width I have available. These NRS cans are heavy duty but are just a little wider than listed. I can get four of them in our box but only if they are empty and are shoved into place. I won’t be able to remove them if full of water but I don’t do that and instead pump water from them into the inside water tank.