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CO2 Tank System
 

OK.....so you got your CO2 tank assembled and you've checked it out.  It is working awesome, right?  Super!  Now.....what are you going to do about that plain looking tank?  What, you haven't given that any thought?  Oh oh....wrong answer.  You gotta dress it up a little bit.  Besides, we all customize our Jeeps....you certainly don't want your CO2 tank looking like the CO2 tank in your buddy's TJ, right?   Here is what mine now looks like.
 


Through the wonders of the internet, I hooked up with a Jeeper named Todd who also happens to be interested in scuba diving.  (I'm certified but its been about 15 years since I last was in the ocean with a tank on my back.)  Anyway, Todd is also a graphic artist and he designs and sells his "Scuba Hides" to the scuba diving crowd. 

Scuba Hides are a non-adhesive 2-ply tank cover.  The graphic is printed on a 10 mil thick sheet of polyethelyne which is placed around the tank without any adhesive.  A transparent 5 mil thick shrink-wrap sleeve is then slipped over the tank/graphic.  This outer sleeve is shrunk-to-fit with a regular hair dryer.  Because the graphic is under the protective sleeve, the graphic does not rub off.  The whole setup is water and UV proof so having it strapped in the rack in the back of your TJ with the top down shouldn't hurt it.


Since Todd's graphics are currently made for the typical scuba tank, they are a little tall when put onto a 10# CO2 tank.  However, for those of you running a 15 or 20 pound tank, you may not need to trim anything.

My wife, Donna, loves to sew.  Quilting is one of her favorite hobbies (even more popular than operating the video camera for me on the trail runs) and so I requested her talents when I started putting the graphics on the tank.  While I could have found a scissors or box knife and cut the graphic to fit my 10# tank, Donna agreed to make the cut for me.  She follows the old "measure twice, cut once" method while my results are more like "I cut it twice and it is still too short!".  Needless to say, she made very short work of the task and I had a 12" tall graphic in no time at all.


The grahpic is designed to leave a gap on the cylinder.  On scuba tanks, you can not cover the visual inspection sticker, so the graphic is sized to leave a gap where the sticker can be displayed.  Since the gap was there, I positioned the graphic so that my CO2 sticker could be views (or at least most of it anyway). 


With graphic on the tank, slip the protective sleeve over the tank.  I had Donna cut this for me as well as it too was longer than desired.  She trimmed it to 13.5".  The directions that came with the Scuba Hide mentions that the sleeve needs to extend past the graphic by about .5" on both ends.  I opted to make mine a little longer as it was my intention to have it snug around the tank's tapered shoulder just a bit. 


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