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Old 07-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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Best (convenient) Place to Buy Gas

Hi all, new to the forums. Just purchased a new GeorgeTown 351DS and have a question. Where do you gassers find the best place to fuel? I just don't see many places that can accommodate a 36' MH and Toad. Even some of the trucks stops seems to be cramped for fueling with gas. I searched the forums and could find no reference to this. Be kind to a newbie here(lol)


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Old 07-15-2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the forum! We're glad you found us and we're ALWAYS kind to newbies here.

We have a DP and have many of the same challenges only a little different. I often use the truck lanes at truck stops like Pilot/Flying J/Loves, etc. This gives me an option that a big gasser doesn't have... although many truck stops have an RV island, they're not always all that much better than the gas pump islands.

On the other hand, not all stations sell diesel so we have to look a little harder.

Either way the key is to ALWAYS have an exit strategy before you commit to pulling in... especially if you have a toad. At gas stations (or even the gas pumps at truck stops) you will often find yourself blocked from getting out... at least temporarily while someone pulls in or out. The key is to be patient and whatever you do... remember the "swing out" that's going to take your rear end well outside the track of your rear tires when you turn. I've heard it reported that gas stations are about the most common spots for insurance claims caused by those pesky vertical pipes they fill with concrete to protect the pumps.

Best of luck.


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Old 07-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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Do pilot/flying j have gas fuel in the rv lanes or only diesel?
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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Hi awwall,
Consider using Pilot/Flying J stations (PFJ). The title of your thread has (convenient) in the title. For gas powered coaches it is about the most convenient there is. Go to Pilot RV Plus - Program Details and read about the discount program. I am a member of the old and new discount programs for RVers. In the new program I gave them permission to take my fuel purchases from my checking account. Now I buy fuel and just need to audit the bill every month. In addition one can dump their tanks and get propane at a FJ station. There are a variety of food choices in the store and parking for the coach and toad if you need to eat a meal or spend the night. Download the directory of stations that take the discount card. The directory makes planning fuel stops a breeze.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #5
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I tend to pull into a gas station drive in front of the store and turn facing out at the end pump. This usually lets me drive straight out and back on the road.

Take it wide. Learn your swing radius. I have been lucky so far, I only had to disconnect once because the toad was going to hit the gas pump if I pulled forward.

You will get the hang of it after a few times.

Yes, flying J's have gas and diesel at the RV lanes. Get a Flying J frequent fueler RV card and save 2 cents per gallon. They are free.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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Exit strategy is the key! I always look before I leap and park at the pump appropriately so I can get out. Once you get use to your rig you will better know your turning radius and be able to gauge fuel locations. I still look for the larger chains as their lanes are usually a bit larger. If a Flying J is available I tend to use them as many do have RV lanes, not that they are really any easier to get out of as I have had cars pull in and park in front of me while I am fueling, but that is another story......
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:38 PM   #7
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Some of this just takes practice, careful practice and experience. Filling stations are intimidating no doubt about it, and we all have our "learning experiences".

The two most important things are seeing the way out before you go in and watching your "tail wag" as you exit. I can add go slow and take your time ease in and ease out.

As I think about it do not run yourself dry then start looking, make sure you can pass up places until you find one with which you are comfortable.

I have found over time that I can maneuver in less room than I thought at first. You will find the same. The only way is to learn from experience.

MY wife and I once stopped all the entry traffic to probably the busiest gas station on I-5 in California so I could unhook our toad, back it out, then back out the MH and rehook the toad. MY wife had to stand in back and stop the cars so they would not get behind while I maneuvered. People were actually rather patient with us in California of all places.

I have also found that on occassion a person will see that you need to maneuver in a very busy place and they will offer to spot for you. Most people are very nice that way.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #8
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As you get more comfortable with the mirrors and the way your rig handles you'll find more and more places you can get in. I take my 43' DP with toad thru Fred Meyer/Vans/Safeway/Smiths/etc. fueling stations for fuel regularly. I NEVER use Pilot/Loves/Flying J. Dirty, smelly, oily is not where I want to take my rig.

Always plan your in and out strategy and go around the block if you need to in order to get a better look. Look at the placement of the fuel fill plates in the ground. You know a semi-truck comes thru there regularly to refill the tanks. If he can get in and out so can you.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:46 PM   #9
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I agree with the previous posts and use PFJ when possible. There comes a time though when you are not traveling the interstates and you still need gas. In that case I agree with RickO, patience is the key, and scan for exit strategy before pulling in. I have been in many medium size fueling stations in our 37' Windsport with jeep wrangler toad. You might have to go past and turn around to approach different or patiently wait for an outside island. And I will echo above comment, don't forget the swing out as you pull out. On the day I picked up my previous and first class A, my ride along buddy(I was pulling his Saturn toad) convinced me I could swing through a station and get to the farside island amid lots of traffic on a busy day. I didn't have any choice as the tank was nearly dry. Since then I have not been as intimidated about getting into places. You'll do well.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #10
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I also agree with looking for an exit strategy before pulling in. I also look for a relatively easy entry strategy as well. I like it when I can enter a station and pull up to pumps without having to take too many turns. When we travel to Florida I only use Flying J's dedicated RV lanes, easy in and out. When we travel elsewhere, like PA or MD, I look for the large gas stations like WaWa, Royal Farms or Rutter's. They can sometimes be a bit more challenging but these types of stations have high canopies and offer plenty of room to maneuver.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:11 PM   #11
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Great points made about not letting yourself run nearly dry and then begin looking for fuel.

I'll bypass a fuel stop if I don't like the "feel" of the accessibility. But, that has gotten me into a couple of my most troubling times behind the wheel. I thought there just HAD to be another station right up ahead... while on Interstate 8 going through the desert.... the low fuel alarm kept sounding and there was no sign of civilization.

At that point you have to take what you can get. I did find a small gas station/convenience store and figured out a way to angle nearly 60' of coach and toad close enough to get the diesel hose to me. That was a lot of unnecessary stress and I now start getting serious about finding a spot when I get to half tank. With a 750 mile range that shouldn't be a problem, it just requires doing it instead of procrastinating.

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Old 07-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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Great insight and tons of experience speaking, that's what is great about the forum. If I might add a thing or two, don't forget to look up and verify the canopy is high enough to clear your roofline and A/C.
I am also very mindful of the grade into and out of the station and prefer as flat of a transition from street to station as possible. Years ago my brother hooked the corner of his bumper of his 5er on the street as he climbed into the station on a hill (I called it Mt. Everest - he didn't see the humor), put a heckuva bend in the bumper. That put a real damper on the trip to be sure.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
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I look for stations that have the pump islands parallel to the store front or sides. I find them much easier to maneuver than the ones where you have to contend with all the cars parked in front of the building and having to wait for them to finish their business and move their car. I hate Flying J.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:50 PM   #14
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Try to find a CostCo along your route...usually NICE BIG lanes, and a good price too.

If you use the truck lanes - be sure to check if there is some goofy road tax on that pump...it's a Truck lane thing in some areas. But, there is usually few gas pump in the truck lanes.

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